June 15, 2024

Patriots

Elliott remains to be seen as a superb quick yardage operating again, probably limiting Stevenson’s fantasy upside.

Ezekiel Elliott Rhamondre Stevenson fantasy football
Ezekiel Elliott is anticipated to impression Rhamondre Stevenson’s fantasy soccer worth, however by how a lot? AP Photograph/Michael Ainsworth

The projected fantasy soccer outlook for operating again Rhamondre Stevenson grew to become a little bit cloudier following the Monday report that the Patriots are signing Ezekiel Elliott to a one-year deal.

Elliott, who appeared to confirm the news on social media, instantly modifications the dynamic within the Patriots backfield together with his presence. The query looming over fantasy managers is strictly how a lot this impacts Stevenson’s function?

Whereas it is going to be troublesome to completely discern what the taking part in time cut up between the 2 New England operating backs will likely be, fantasy analysts have already weighed in, providing a sure stage of perception primarily based on the precise gamers in addition to traditional Patriots developments.

What this implies for Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott, 28, is anticipated to be utilized in brief yardage conditions, the place — regardless of his statistical decline in different areas over the earlier seasons — he stays among the many NFL elite.

“Elliott transformed 56.3 % of his rushes from contained in the five-yard line into touchdowns, which was good for the fourth-best landing fee amongst operating backs in the identical space of the sphere,” wrote NBC Sports activities’ Zachary Krueger.

In his last season with Dallas, Elliott missed two video games with damage, however nonetheless completed with extra carries and an nearly similar snap rely as fellow Cowboys again Tony Pollard. He’s not anticipated to attain the identical stage of utilization in New England, nonetheless, as a substitute becoming into the changeup function beforehand held by Patriots operating again Damien Harris (who left within the offseason for the Payments).

This possible means Elliott is now not a dependable fantasy starter.

“Which may permit him some standalone flex worth at instances, however Elliott’s days of being a weekly starter within the fantasy soccer area are clearly within the rearview mirror,” predicted Sports activities Illustrated’s Michael Fabiano. “The truth is, he’s now possible extra of a late-round choice as a higher-end No. 4 runner.”

What this implies for Rhamondre Stevenson

Beforehand, Stevenson held an total fantasy soccer common draft place (ADP) within the mid-20s, as he was anticipated to deal with a overwhelming majority of the workload for the Patriots as each a runner and receiver.

With Elliott within the combine, his fantasy standing will take a slight hit.

“He was a fringe RB1 in my rankings earlier than this, however I’m dropping him right down to RB17 after this information,” wrote Chris Towers of CBS Sports activities.

“You’re going to see numerous Stevenson, in fact, however you’re going to see some Zeke, who remains to be very efficient,” fantasy professional Matthew Berry defined in his response to the Elliott report. “By way of fantasy, I feel you’re going to see Zeke vulture plenty of touchdowns from Rhamondre Stevenson.”

That mentioned, most analysts nonetheless have a broadly favorable view of Stevenson heading into 2023.

“Zeke will likely be a thorn within the aspect of Stevenson’s total landing upside, however Stevenson stays far and away the most effective again on the group,” Krueger wrote. “On a points-per-touch foundation, he ranked eleventh amongst certified operating backs at 0.90 factors per contact and was third in yards after contact per try (3.81).”

Stevenson, according to Dwain McFarland of Fantasy Life, is “nonetheless a superb late [round three] to early [round four] decide.”

What this implies for different backfields within the NFL

An attention-grabbing dynamic of Elliott signing with the Patriots is the impact it has elsewhere, with one of many extra prized veteran free agent operating backs off the desk.

Previous to the report of his settlement with the Patriots, Elliott was linked to a doable return to Dallas. On condition that that is now not taking place, Pollard is seen as a fantasy beneficiary.

“The largest winner of Ezekiel Elliott’s determination to signal with the Patriots, as reported by quite a few retailers Monday? Most likely Tony Pollard,” mentioned Towers.

Berry additionally noted this dynamic, predicting that Pollard, Joe Mixon in Cincinnati, James Conner in Arizona, and whichever operating again emerges to win the beginning job with the Dolphins are all conditions which can be “sneaky fantasy winners” from the Elliott information.