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Friday, August 11, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: SIX GAME SUSPENSION SLAPPED ON EZEKIEL ELLIOTT

                                                              
 
As reported earlier in the day and speculated on weeks ago, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was slapped with a six-game suspension to begin the 2017 season by the NFL for a series of domestic violence incidents involving a girlfriend last summer.  There are a lot of variables here but it starts with the fact the NFL had some clear evidence of wrongdoing by Elliott to go to such a lengthy suspension.  Obviously an appeal will be filed here as it almost always is when players get suspended and it is likely that thought and the expectation Elliott would get a game or two chopped off that the NFL went six games to cover themselves.  Either way, this is a huge story for 2017 fantasy football drafts as now Elliott should not be picked in round 1 no matter the format.  Also Elliott should see the following running backs go before him given the suspension:  Johnson, Bell, McCoy, Howard, Freeman, Ajayi, and Melvin Gordon.  Last year I myself drafted Le'Veon Bell late in Round 2 as he faced a three-game suspension and that worked out swimmingly but six games (or five or four is some are slashed) are a big deal.  Also there is the the not-so-small matter of the league warning Elliott that if he messes up again, he will likely be banished for over a year.  There could be a story that has not come out yet Elliott that could lead to such a move so even drafting Elliott as a value play carries sizable risk.  In his absence, Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will likely split the workload and so that makes both nothing more than backup material at best.  In the end though, Elliott's suspension has really thrown drafts into chaos.

  

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