Saturday - Aug 17, 2019

Home / Commentary / TWO BIG QUESTIONS: Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon – What To Do

TWO BIG QUESTIONS: Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon – What To Do

The question on the minds of the fantasy masses right about now, is how to navigate drafts with the holdouts of running backs Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott looming over draft rooms world-wide?

If you pick later in the 1st round you should secretly be rejoicing and pumping up the holdout narrative to your league mates so these two players’ ADPs continue to drop, because, the deeper we get into training camps and preseason games without these contracts being rectified, the media will only continue to drive home the negative impact it’s having to their teams and individual values in fantasy. To those of you that pick in the Top-5, you should be utterly disgusted at the moment, because seemingly overnight your options got drastically smaller with the news that these two fantasy stars are planning on holding their Super Bowl caliber team’s hostage with demands of new contracts, in Gordon’s case it’s more of an ultimatum really, pay me or trade me.

So, how to handle it? If you pick in the Top-3, you really have a difficult decision in front of you. Choosing to bypass Elliott could mean you’re relinquishing the right to have the #1 player in fantasy according to my board for standard, PPR, or dynasty leagues. That’s not to say taking Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or Alvin Kamara is a complete waste of a pick (because it’s not) it’s that they’re just not Ezekiel Elliott.  Face it, without a 6-game suspension in 2017, this guy is a 3-time rushing champion in his first three seasons with one of the better offensive lines in the league paving the way for him. Not to mention, that Dallas finally seemed to understand how effective Elliott can be in the passing game last year; when he tripled the number of catches and targets he previously had averaged in his first two seasons, reeling in a hefty 77 balls on 95 targets in 2018. All together Elliott totaled 2,001 yards on the season last year, can you really afford to let him get by you?

Listen, I understand the risk involved. You don’t want to look like the silly owner that took Le’Veon Bell in the Top-5 last season. A move that almost surely ended that person’s season before it even began. Look at it this way, at this stage in the game, the only person that knows whether or not Elliott will show up Week 1 against the Giants, is Elliott. Various reports on his contract status are going to continue to contradict each other in the coming weeks, causing you to panic and removing your focus away from where it’s supposed to be during the most important part of the year; which is getting prepared for the draft as a whole. However, if I was a betting man (which for full disclosure I am) I would bet the house that Ezekiel Elliott is in uniform and ready for a full workload versus the division rival New York Football Giants on that first Sunday afternoon of the regular season in Texas.

Now, for you players that have picks later in the first round, your job is simple. If your league mates cower away from Ezekiel Elliott because they’re having withdrawals from watching Le’Veon Bell’s circus last year, or they’ve just been listening too much to industry pundits that keeping dropping Elliott down their rankings, you do what I’m going to do. Stand up, smile, and smash that button that has Elliott’s name queued up the second it’s your turn to pick. Count getting a player of his magnitude late in the first round as a blessing. Then assuming you’re in a snake draft, you now get the added bonus of getting to pair him with another great RB or top WR at the turn. Congratulations!

P.S. Make sure that you tip the guy that told you to do this when you bring home the bacon in your league, I graciously accept bitcoin or cash donations through Paypal services.

On to Melvin Gordon

About Justin Smithey

The common man with uncommon fantasy takes. California raised, Texas approved. Avid reader, golfer and father.