2020 Fantasy Football Trade Deadline: Who Should Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Owners Target in a Potential Trade? - Roto Street Journal
Player Stock Ticker
For the Best Breaking Fantasy Football News, Bookmark our Fantasy Stock Watch now: rotostreetjournal.com/stockwatch    

2020 Fantasy Football Trade Deadline: Who Should Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Owners Target in a Potential Trade?

Back to back sub-par weeks for Ezekiel Elliott has put his fantasy owners in a pickle. Twelve carries each week only accounted for 49 and 45 yards respectively, and this has been the third time in five weeks he’s been held to less than 50 rushing yards. Nine receptions on 12 targets over the two weeks have made up for the deteriorating ground game, but those nine catches have only accounted for 37 total yards. 

For a first-round mainstay and perennial top-five fantasy pick that Zeke has been since he burst onto the scene in 2016, these numbers should scare you.  Pair that with first-year signal-caller Ben DiNucci, who has two career completions entering Sunday’s game, many fantasy owners are at a crossroads: move on from Zeke and try to find value elsewhere, or stick it out through the many shortcomings of this Cowboys’ season.

To reiterate, Zeke is a clear-cut RB1 based on prior history alone.  But with the lackluster effort on both sides of the ball in Dallas, previous game scripts have gone out the window and the Cowboys have been chasing points on most of their drives. 

So, what sort of value does Zeke still have? 

Top running backs are at a premium this season with so many big names going down for extended periods of time.  Christian McCaffery hasn’t played since week two, Saquon Barkley is out for the season, Dalvin Cook is having a hard time staying healthy, and when he is, the Vikings face similar negative game scripts as the Cowboys.

The market for Zeke would be high, but his recent lack of production could be a sign of more to come, especially with the QB turmoil in front of him.  The question now becomes, is this Zeke’s new normal? If you plan to move him, here are a few candidates to fill that RB spot on your roster.

Kareem Hunt

With Nick Chubb on IR for at least another week before the Browns head into their bye, they’ve made it known that they want to run the ball with Kareem Hunt.  However, staring at the bye week and Chubb’s likeliness return to play after that, fantasy owners may feel it’s time to move on from Hunt, considering the tear Chubb went on in the back half of 2019. 

Despite sharing the backfield, Hunt still had 10+ carries and scored five times when Chubb was healthy.  In Hunt’s heyday with the Chiefs, he was a game breaker and you could sit back and enjoy 20+ points every week.  That production has changed in Cleveland, but not as drastically as one would think.  He is the RB6 in PPR formats, just three behind Zeke.  The potential return of Chubb after Cleveland’s bye could potentially net you a flex player as well in return for Zeke, someone along the lines of AJ Green, DeVante Parker, or even Cooper Kupp.

Josh Jacobs

Another back coming off an underperforming week in Week 7 is Josh Jacobs.  John Gruden has every intention to play Jacobs as a feature back, but the second-year pro from Alabama has had ups and downs coming off his rookie campaign.  With no fantasy-relevant reserve rushers on the Vegas roster, Jacobs is due week-in and week-out for the majority of looks.  He has scored five times this season, but those touchdowns have come in only two games, registering three scores Week 1 and two in Week 5.  Touchdown dependency isn’t something you look for in a lead back, but three games with 23+ carries and at least three receptions in all but one game is something to target. 

With an upcoming schedule that includes five of six divisional games, as well as games against the Jets and the Falcons, Jacobs is in line for solid production and is someone who would be on the block for many owners.  Packaged with a top 30-35 WR (I’d suggest someone like Allen Robinson or Justin Jefferson), a case could be made to move on from Zeke here.

DK Metcalf

If you’re one of the lucky ones, a fantasy owner who hasn’t lost your top back to injury and have two plug-and-play RBs on a weekly basis, Zeke can still procure you a top-level receiver.  With DK Metcalf coming off a primetime dud, combined with a 50 burger from Tyler Lockett in Week 7, DK owners may be wary of more inconsistent outputs going forward.  However, DK is still the guy in Seattle. 

He even got a Calvin Johnson reference weeks ago, and any time a WR is in the conversation with Megatron, there is real merit in his talents.  Before last week’s matchup with the Cardinals, DK’s production was the model of consistency: four-plus receptions on six-plus targets, at least 92 yards (with two games over 100), plus at least one score in all but one game.  That production is not going to change after a wild game from Lockett, especially with a career season from Russell Wilson.  Look to strengthen your lineup even more by snatching DK following a poor week.  

As previously mentioned, Zeke’s career body of work speaks for itself.  But as the fantasy playoffs creep closer, and the Cowboys’ offense looking like ‘2020 America’s Team’ rather than the five-time Super Bowl champs, Zeke Elliot’s volatility could be holding you back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.