New England Patriots RB Ezekiel Elliott continues to get steady work in the offense in recent weeks. Despite the Patriots’ struggles on offense, especially at the quarterback position, and the presence of lead running back Rhamondre Stevenson, Elliott’s role has remained remarkably consistent.
With this in mind, should fantasy football managers pick up Elliott off the waiver wire this week? If they do, what can they expect from him on their rosters?
Should Fantasy Managers Add Ezekiel Elliott in Week 13?
Elliott’s role in recent weeks has been remarkably consistent. Since Week 4, he’s managed between 33-46% of the snaps and has managed 11+ touches in four of his last seven games. This kind of workload allows him to maintain a high-end RB3 role in fantasy football.
Elliott is currently ranked RB32 in our PFN Consensus Rankings at the time of writing for Week 13. This week, Zeke and the Patriots face the Los Angeles Chargers, who are conceding the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs entering Week 13 (21.1 fantasy ppg).
There is also the chance that Elliott’s role will increase as the season goes on. For starters, the Patriots’ QB situation is an absolute mess. Mac Jones threw three interceptions in last week’s loss to the New York Giants in the first half before being benched for Bailey Zappe. Zappe, who threw an interception of his own, only managed to complete nine of 14 passes for 54 yards.
This quarterback situation, which led to coach Bill Belichick not even naming a starter until two hours before the game, means that neither of them appears to have the trust of the coaching staff. This should mean Belichick is likely to utilize the running game more in the coming weeks.
Stevenson hasn’t exactly lit up this season with great performances, much to the disappointment of fantasy managers who drafted him high in their fantasy drafts this summer. He’s only averaging 3.9 yards per carry, which is one of the reasons why Elliott is seeing more work.
Elliott has only carried the ball 52 times less than Stevenson this season and is just 203 rushing yards behind him. Elliott is also only eight first downs behind Stevenson, amassing 25 first downs to Stevenson’s 33.
There could also be a situation where Belichick decides to shut Stevenson down towards the end of the season — around the time of the fantasy playoffs — and use the final few games to evaluate Elliott to see if he wants to keep him on the 2024 roster.
There is very little to be gained from this season for New England, so Belichick will use the last few games to decide who he wants to keep and take forward into the 2024 season. Therefore, Elliott provides solid RB3 utilization over the coming weeks and can be used as a bye week cover.
Yet, in the fantasy playoffs, or if Stevenson gets injured, Elliott could see his role expand into a low-end RB2 role. Therefore, fantasy managers should add and stash Elliott unless they’re desperate for cover with this week’s byes. Then they can start him as a mid-range RB3 this week against the Chargers.
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