After a rookie season that saw him break a lot of franchise records, Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott, was expected to be one of the top fantasy players this season. Last week, the NFL commissioner’s office announced Elliott would be suspended for the first six games of the year, since then, Elliott’s fantasy stock has taken a nose dive. Keep reading to find out how this affects the NFL betting odds this season.
Elliott’s suspension was the result of a domestic violence investigation by the league. Even though he was never charged, the league’s investigation determined Elliott violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
The running back has denied any wrong doing and has three days to appeal the decision. However, it is unclear if the league will reduce the length of the suspension. If the commissioner refuses to reduce the suspension, expect Elliot’s legal team to take the case to court.
Now, how does Elliot’s suspension affect the Cowboys and fantasy players?
First of all, as the leading rusher in the NFL last year, a lot of people were expecting Elliott to be just as good, if not better, because the Cowboys still have a great offensive line and Dak Prescott will get a lot more attention from defenses this season than he did last year.
Using your first pick in the fantasy draft on Elliott at this point won’t make a lot of sense, since he is expected to miss the first six games of the season. If the suspension is reduced to four games, you can still pick him if you can find a high value pick that can give you good fantasy points later in the draft.
Elliott’s teammate, Darren McFadden, is a good substitution to get since he will get a bulk of the carries without Elliott in the lineup and he surpassed 1,000 yards the season before Elliott was drafted by the team, when he was their primary option.
Since he didn’t get a lot of playing time last year, McFadden should be fresh and give you some valuable fantasy points.
For the Cowboys, Elliott’s suspension is an even bigger deal because going into the season, the Cowboys had the second best odds of winning the Super Bowl. Once news of Elliott’s suspension came down, Vegas odds makers shut down bets on the Cowboys and adjusted their odds accordingly.
The Cowboys opened up as four and a half point favorites against the New York Giants on opening day, but the line has been removed because the Cowboys won’t have Elliott in the lineup. By the time the line is put back up, expect the Cowboys to be underdogs in that game.
With Elliott out of the lineup for the first six games, there will be a lot of pressure on Dak Prescott from defenses because they don’t have to worry about Elliott. Even though McFadden is a formidable runner, he isn’t as fast or physical as Elliott and has also been injury prone in his career so he isn’t seen as a big threat the way Elliott is.
The good news for the Cowboys is that Elliott likely won’t have to serve all six games, which means they should see him back on the field a lot sooner than expected.
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