Tony Pollard

Tony Pollard

RB - DAL
Height: 6-0
Weight: 215 lbs
Age: 26
College: Memphis
Dallas Cowboys

2023 Season Outlooks

Pollard has the chance to be a breakout Fantasy running back this season, and he's worth drafting as early as Round 1 in all leagues. He certainly would be a bargain if he fell past the middle of Round 2 in one-QB formats. Pollard's main competition for touches is rookie Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle and suspended veteran Ronald Jones; Ezekiel Elliott, who scored 12 touchdowns for Dallas last season, is on the Patriots. Given the others in Dallas' backfield, Pollard has a clear path to over 250 touches with a shot at as many as 1,700 total yards and 12 touchdowns. That would change if the Cowboys add to their group, but they didn't do that at all over the summer and didn't bother to give Elliott a nice contract at any point. At full health after a fracture late last year, Pollard has league-winning potential that shouldn't be ignored.  

After a breakout 2022, Pollard’s positioned for similar success this fall.

Zeke Elliott’s absence – at least for now – adds an extra layer of safety to Pollard’s workload. He’s also avoided a setback in his recovery from a high-ankle sprain/fibula fracture.

The franchise RB is deservedly going in Round 2 of fantasy drafts.

What We Learned Last YearPollard missed only one game. He sat out Week 17 with a thigh injury, but that game was played on a Thursday night. A Sunday kickoff likely would have found Pollard in the lineup.Across 15 games together, RB Zeke Elliott out-carried Pollard 231-157.Pollard clearly proved to be the better back.Among 24 RBs with 190+ carries, Polllard ranked: fourth in Pro Football Focus rushing gradesecond in yards per carryfirst in yards after contact per attemptsecond in breakaway percentage.Elliott ranked 20th, 22nd, T-20th, and T-18th in the same categories.Pollard out-targeted Elliott 48-23 in 15 games together.Elliott was a nuisance near the goal line. He out-carried Pollard inside the 10-yard line, 26-12. The margin was 16-6 inside the 5.Pollard finished RB4 and RB8 in two games without Elliott.He ranked as the PPR RB3, RB29, RB67, RB21, and RB30 in five games without QB Dak Prescott (thumb fracture).Overall, Pollard finished as the RB9, boosted by six top-8 finishes.Among 90 qualifiers, Pollard ranked third behind RBs Khalil Herbert and Nick Chubb in rushing yards over expected per attempt (1.26).In the NFC Divisional Round, Pollard sustained a fractured fibula and a high-ankle sprain.
What to Expect in 2023Dallas assigned the franchise tag to Pollard (~$10 million). Pollard was limited in OTAs but said in June that he’s “a little bit ahead of schedule” and back to running full speed.Dallas released RB Zeke Elliott over the offseason. We’ll see whether the team re-signs him.OC Kellen Moore left to take the same job with the Chargers. Brian Schottenheimer slides in as OC, but HC Mike McCarthy will call plays.Schottenheimer has talked up a “fast” approach to the offense.He added that about 70% of the offense will be similar to what they ran in 2022.Pollard’s backfield competition, for now, looks weak. Ronald Jones and Malik Davis project as the complements.We’re not concerned about the O-line. Tyron Smith would provide a huge lift if he can stay healthy. But he has missed 33 games over the past three seasons.

Pollard has finally found his way atop the depth chart in Dallas following the offseason release of Ezekiel Elliott. After three seasons as a change-of-pace back, the 2019 fourth-round pick proved too good to keep off the field and was operating in a near-even split with Elliott in 2022. Pollard finished 21st among backs in touches, but was 12th in yardage, sixth in TDs and eighth in fantasy points. Absurdly efficient, Pollard ranks third in rushing EPA per carry, third in yards per carry (5.13) and first in YAC (2.43) since he was drafted. Pollard has shown that he can provide high-end efficiency with added volume and will be working behind a good offensive line in Dallas. He's a top-10 fantasy option.

2023 Fantasy Football Rankings

Standard

#15

PPR

#16

Half-PPR

#18

Superflex

#23

2023 Fantasy Football Draft Projections

Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD
1064.9 7.9 45.7 380.5 2.5

2023 Average Draft Position (ADP)

Standard

#17

Pick 2.05

PPR

#15

Pick 2.03

Half-PPR

#14

Pick 2.02

Superflex

#24

Pick 2.12

Injury Risk

Injury Risk:
Medium

Depth Chart

Strength of Schedule

Average/Tough Season Ahead
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Fantasy Playoffs
15
16
17
18

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