2022 Fantasy Upside
Tony Pollard is one of the most popular Zero RB targets for the upcoming season. Another example of an explosive and versatile running back from Memphis, Pollard has increased his receptions and receiving yards in each of his first three NFL seasons. Last year, Pollard also saw a career high in rushing attempts (130) and rushing yards (719) while averaging a robust 6.2 yards per touch (second among all running backs).
Pollard produced six RB2 or better weeks while sharing touches with Dallas’ clear lead RB1, Ezekiel Elliott. However, the departure of wide receiver Amari Cooper has allowed the Cowboys to explore Pollard on the field as a slot receiver even with Elliott in the backfield. Pollard has tremendous fantasy upside if Elliott ever was injured, but his projected increased role solidifies his standalone value.
2022 Fantasy Downside
Owner Jerry Jones reiterated Elliott’s role as the team’s lead RB once again, leaving fantasy drafters to speculate if Pollard’s increased opportunity is going to be a reality. He is currently residing as a mid-round fantasy RB pick, which has a historic large variance of outcomes. If Elliott remains healthy all season, will there be enough opportunity for Pollard to make a significant redraft impact?
2022 Bottom Line
I’m buying Pollard’s role increasing, and see an average Cowboys receiving core in need of another weapon. If offensive coordinator Kellen Moore uses Pollard in an Alvin Kamara-type role, Pollard could be a league-winner in PPR formats. There is always a risk in the annual running back “dead zone” in fantasy drafts, but Pollard’s efficiency on just a 33.7 percent snap share is a harbinger of great things to come in 2022.