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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT DEBATE: EZEKIEL ELLIOTT/LE'VEON BELL

Generally speaking, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is the clear and undisputed number 1 draft pick in all fantasy football drafts this summer.  Having rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also catching 80 balls for 879 yards and 4 more scores, Johnson's numbers are out-of-this-world and thus make him the easy call at the top of the draft.  However right behind Johnson is where debate is beginning to take place and most often, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and his Pittsburgh Steelers counterpart Le'Veon Bell have been most mentioned as being number 2 in the draft pecking order.  This makes them the perfect twosome to highlight our first Draft Debate of the 2017 fantasy football season as we compare them in the standard/PPR categories and also the intangibles to find out who should go ahead of the other.  

RUSHING YARDS:  Now on paper Elliott out-rushed Bell 1,631 yards to Bell's 1,268 but the Cowboys back had four more games under his belt.  Still Elliott put up a better yards per game number than Bell (108.7-105.7) and that gives him the nod.  ADVANTAGE:  Ezekiel Elliott

RECEPTIONS:  This one is a slam dunk win for Bell as he is arguably the best receiving back in the NFL and 75 catches in 12 games last season was an insane number.  Elliott was disappointingly not involved much in the Dallas passing game as he caught just 32 passes but he is expected to get more looks on that side of the offensive attack this season.  Be that as it may, it still won't be enough to top Bell.  ADVANTAGE:  Le'Veon Bell  

RECEPTION YARDAGE:  Going along with the receptions, Bell is the easy winner in this debate over Elliott.  
ADVANTAGE:  Le'Veon Bell  

TD's:  Last season combined Bell had 9 touchdowns which came well short of the 16 Elliott produced.  Elliott is also the focal point of his team's offense near the red zone, while the Steelers pass it as much as they throw it.  As a result, Elliott is the easy call here.
ADVANTAGE:  Ezekiel Elliott

INTANGIBLES:  A few things here need to be looked at.  The first is that Bell has a durability and also a behavioral problem.  He has been suspended for off-the-field trouble and also has missed numerous games to injuries.  Elliott himself is no saint off the field but he has yet to be suspended and he played in every game as a rookie.  Bell's injury history is scary for such an early pick and that give Elliott the advantage here as well.
ADVANTAGE : Ezekiel Elliott

WINNNER:  Ezekiel Elliott

So as you can see, Elliott is the pick when it comes to number 2 overall despite the knee-jerk thought Bell is.  Elliott has the higher upside and more durability and so he is the guy to pick.  


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