As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’ve been playing dynasty fantasy football for years or are looking to get started on a fantasy platform for the first time, let’s take a look at the latest dynasty value of Tony Pollard.
Tony Pollard’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
Among the 2023 free agent class, Tony Pollard is definitively the second-most impactful from a fantasy perspective, behind only Saquon Barkley.
For two years, fantasy football managers and Cowboys fans alike were waiting for the team to finally unleash Pollard. He flashed his elite RB1 upside back in 2020 when he made a spot start for an injured Ezekiel Elliott in Week 15. All Pollard did was amass 132 total yards and score 32.1 fantasy points, finishing as the overall RB1 on the week.
In 2021, Pollard saw increased usage and was more effective as a fantasy asset, but he was still just Zeke’s backup, playing 34% of the snaps.
During his career, Pollard has been remarkably efficient. He has a career 5.1 yards per carry average. In 2021, he was second in the league with 6.2 yards per touch, fifth with a 35% evaded tackles per touch rate, and sixth with 3.49 yards created per touch.
Last season, a rapidly declining Elliott forced the Cowboys’ hand. They still played Elliott far too much, but his poor performance resulted in Pollard seeing a career-high 232 touches. As a result, his efficiency surely dropped on more volume, right? Nope.
Pollard remained as efficient as ever. His 5.9 yards per touch were fifth in the league. He averaged 3.3 yards created per touch, which was eighth. And 8.8% of his carries went for at least 15 yards, the fourth-highest rate in the league. Pollard also saw a career-high 10.9% target share.
Some fantasy analysts out there believe Pollard’s role in 2022 is how he is best utilized — he shouldn’t be more than a 50-55% snap share guy. I do not share that belief. I believe Pollard could absolutely handle a three-down role over a full season.
With that said, the three-down back is a dying breed in the modern NFL. Pollard is not about to see a 70% snap share for any team. But if he wound up somewhere as the clear lead back, without a guy to steal short-yardage/goal-line work behind him, he could be even better than the guy who just averaged 15.6 ppg as the overall RB8 last season.
Tony Pollard’s Fantasy Ranking
While it’s fun to dream about what Pollard could be, we already have a pretty good situation with him in Dallas. Despite what the Cowboys are saying publicly about seeing “no decline” in Zeke’s performance, they have eyes. They know Elliott is not the guy he was a half-decade ago.
The Cowboys are going to force Elliott to take a pay cut and restructure his contract. That will enable them to slap Pollard with the franchise tag. Ideally, they work out a long-term extension with Pollard. Playing in an explosive Cowboys offense is best for business.
Assuming Pollard is back in Dallas, he’s probably not going to be able to repeat what he did last season. That could make him a bit overvalued.
Even so, Pollard is no worse than a high RB2. He checks in at RB15 in our latest dynasty rankings, No. 48 overall in Superflex. Pollard is still just 26 years old and has firmly proven himself as a productive fantasy asset. He is definitely worth targeting in dynasty startup drafts.
In the event Pollard does end up elsewhere, no team will pay him not to use him. His offensive situation will play a big role, but Pollard’s value shouldn’t take that big of a hit, even if he ends up on a significantly weaker offense.
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