What’s Changing Up Top: Ezekiel Elliot
I'm here to remind you of the little changes that can make a big difference in performance year over year. The What’s Changing Up Top series of articles covers the highest projected Running Backs and just one or two points that might change your perspective on their 2020 outlook.
Tim Heitman, USA Today
284.3 Points//19.0 PPG// June 15th ADP of 7.9
2019 Ezekiel Elliot was the epitome of consistency as he finished as RB3 on the season. He only finished outside the top 24 ONCE in all of 2019, but he never cracked the top 3 in one individual week. Those who drafted Zeke weren't disappointed, but he never came out and won his team a week.
After an 8-8 season, Dallas missed the playoffs, and Jason Garrett deservedly took the fall. With Mike McCarthy filling the vacancy, we need to reconsider what's fresh in our minds about his stint in Green Bay. McCarthy's Packers were at the bottom of the barrel in Rushing Offense from 2016-18. Finishing as Rushing Offense 29,27, and 32 respectively doesn't capture McCarthy's full tenure in Green Bay. The 4 years prior, the Packers finished between 12 and 16 in each year. What's more important is McCarthy's decision to keep Kellen Moore in house. Dak Prescott called Moore a "young, genius phenom," and he feels like the next Kyle Shanahan to me. Moore took the 22nd ranked offense in 2018 and made it the 1st ranked offense in 2019. What Moore brought to the Cowboys is the use of motion before the snap. In 2018, Dallas was near the bottom of league in pre-snap motion, but 2019 was a different story. Simple motion before the play allowed Prescott to read the defense, while making it more difficult for the defense to read the offense. Moore’s innovation won’t stop here, and his second year as Offensive Coordinator should be a big one.
The Cowboys offense should once again be at the top of the league. On top of that, they see 87 vacated targets from Jason Witten whose Average Depth of Target was less than 7. While Jarwin may eat some of these up, Zeke should also take a percent of these targets, and show up in the receiving game in 2020. Zeke will be rocking that crop top and rolling back into a top 5 RB finish.