Fantasy Football: NFL wins their appeal in Ezekiel Elliott case, but that doesn't mean Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden is a must-add option. What's next?
The never-ending Ezekiel Elliott continues to be never-ending. The latest round was won by the NFL, as the 5th Circuit Court sided with the NFL, vacating Elliott’s injunction and reinstating Elliott’s suspension. Of course, as is seemingly always been the case, it’s not that simple.
The 5th Circuit’s ruling is essentially a restart on the process.
It is likely that Elliott’s team will refile their injunction request in New York and it is possible that they win again. With Elliott’s Dallas Cowboys on a bye in Week 6, it is absolutely still possible that he does not miss any games as a result. Thursday’s ruling was more about procedure than it was the merits of Elliott’s case against the NFL.
For Fantasy purposes, we know nothing. This makes the situation different than before, because we kind of thought we knew something. (Editor’s note: It’s all very confusing). Elliott serving his suspension is now more likely than it was a week ago, but it’s still no sure thing.
This still means you need to get his backup. The problem is, naturally, we don’t know who that is either.
Alfred Morris has been the main backup so far this season, and should be your first priority. Morris is younger than Darren McFadden and has been successful in limited opportunities this season. Morris is still just 23 percent owned in CBS leagues. That number should balloon over the next couple of days.
The one knock on Morris is his ability to catch, and that is where McFadden could contribute, even if Morris is the main guy in Elliott’s absence. There are also people who think McFadden will be the feature back even though he’s been inactive. This wouldn’t be the first situation to work out that way, and it’s possible they were keeping him inactive in order to keep the injury-prone veteran healthy.
But I would still put McFadden behind Morris in terms of priority. If you’re in a very deep league you could even consider adding Rod Smith. But that’s a long shot.
Regardless of who you go after, I would be careful of who you drop to get them. If you’ve got Terrance West on your bench, sure, drop him. But this isn’t an automatic add like you might think. The situation in Dallas with that offensive line can be one of the best in football, but neither Morris nor McFadden has Elliott’s ability. Assuming one of them consistently sees 15-plus carries a week, I would view them as a mid-range No. 2 running back; not the star that Elliott is.