After an entire offseason of investigating, the NFL has finally come to a decision over Ezekiel Elliott’s domestic violence charges, suspending him for the first six games of the season.
Cowboys' RB Ezekiel Elliott is being suspended 6 games, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
The NFL has been investigating Elliott in connection to five alleged incidents of domestic violence in the month of July. Elliott has also made headlines for pulling a woman’s top down at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in March and reportedly being involved in a bar fight in Dallas.
Schefter has already reported that Elliott is expected to appeal his suspension but we’ll have to wait and see if the suspension changes.
For now, it’s six games. And here comes the fallout.
The Cowboys will be conceivably moving to a running back committee between Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden, while probably relying more on Dak Prescott and the passing game to move the offense.
For fantasy, this suspension changes everything.
Elliott was widely regarded as the number three running back and possibly the number three pick overall. Now his stock will fall quite possibly out of the first round. It’ll be hard not to take a talent like Elliott when he falls in your lap around the seventh or eighth pick, but missing six games is nothing to scoff at. It’s going to be hard to convince me that 10 games of Elliott is better than 16 games of LeSean McCoy.
David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell are now your surefire number one and two picks (in whichever order you like) and I’d put money on the third pick in everyone’s drafts being Antonio Brown. (Unless you’re crazy like me and take him at 1.02.) I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next round of running backs—LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon & Devonta Freeman—go earlier than their current ADP.
Definitely expect an uptick in ADP for everyone else on the Cowboys, especially Morris and McFadden. Of the two, I’d put my money on Morris to take over the backfield. He had the most carries behind Elliott last year and has already flashed for the Cowboys in their Hall-of-Fame game. Like I said above, I’d expect the Cowboys to become a little more balanced without Elliott and that means more passes from Dak and more catches for Dez Bryant. Dak is currently QB15 in our consensus rankings and I’d pump him up a few based on the added workload he’s likely to see now.
Of course, this will all change if Elliott does appeal and get his suspension shortened, but at this moment, six games is a big chunk of time and a big hit to Elliott’s stock.
Where would you feel comfortable taking Elliott?
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Not on my team