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Monday 16th Oct 2017

If you are getting ready to draft your fantasy football team(s) over the next couple of weeks, the question about what to do with Ezekiel Elliott has to have crossed your mind.

Common knowledge suggests run from Zeke, no matter how good he might be. If Zeke does indeed miss six games, that is essentially half the fantasy football season and Elliott could be the cavalry for your team but just the same, the cavalry could well arrive too late.

But, largely fostered by a discussion with Todd during the "Z Zone" segment of the Tout Wars Hour last Thursday, how could we create a viable roster around the Cowboys RB?

Naturally, context, as in league make-up and rules and depth, are critical factors in employing a "Zeke" strategy. For example, a 10-team league which promises a lot more free agent depth is a good environ. Or, if a 7-6 mark is generally good enough to make the post-season, again this strategy could be worthy of thought.

That said, even if you want to try something like this, it seems picking in the first or second slot in a throwback league is about the best way to execute.

But, of the 12-team PPR mocks in which I participated (I did nine), I imagined picking in the second slot and based upon my mock results, I slotted the best player I could to make sure and build what ideally is a competitive squad. And, note that though I do try things in mocks, I do tend to draft a lot of the same players simply to see how long I can stall selecting, or conversely, get sniped.

Round PPR Player Rationale   
 1  Le'Veon Bell (RB)  No question he is a big point generator.
 Amari Cooper (WR)

 Remember, pick near the wheel so take advantage.

 Ezekiel Elliott (RB)  The gamble.
 Michael Crabtree (WR)

 Big year out there as #2.

 Golden Tate (WR)

 Solid enough as #3 WR and this is about where he goes.

 Pierre Garcon (WR)  Got him in the sixth four times, in the fifth four times.
 Jimmy Graham (TE)  Expecting he kicks it up second Seattle year.
 Derek Carr (QB)  MVP breakout year time!
 Jonathan Stewart (RB)  Will start and takes Zeke's slot to start.
10   Cole Beasley (WR)  He and Dak click.
11  Duke Johnson (RB)  More RB help and one who can catch.
12   Philip Rivers (QB)  Pretty good pick for a back-up.
13   Jalen Richard (RB)   Also explosive play behind the Beast.
14   Jason Witten (TE)  Another solid positional back-up.
15   Pittsburgh Steelers (DEF)  Will stream spot and Week 1 is Browns.
16 Sebastian Janikowski (PK)  Will get a lot of shots at points.

 It does seem once we are past round nine, there are a lot of possibilities. But for the most part, these guys are indeed guys I have rostered in mocks, save the combination of Bell and Zeke in a 10-team #MockArmyDraft last week. There I did try this and the results are here. (Note this was before Julian Edelman was injured.)

Will this work? I am not sure. Certainly it could, but lots of the fun of playing for me is trying things like this. For, if you want to win, I think you have to try and think of a different way to a title, and football translates for this with modes like the 3-4 Defense and West Coast Offense which pave the way for more new strategies. 

Tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Thursday night at 9 PM ET and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.

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