Exciting news yesterday in the NFL/Fantasy world. Zeke signs with New England and then hours later, Dalvin Cook signs with the Jets. As a Dolphins fan, I am disgusted by this, but I press on.
Anytime a player with the name recognition of Zeke and Dalvin sign with a new team, its hard not to get overly excited. And I'm certainly not here to tell you they won't be good, I just want to help put this situation into proper perspective.
Let’s take a look @ the Zeke side of things first. The patriots have traditionally used a split back system, we shouldn’t be surprised Rhamondre Stevenson is taking on competition for touches – I would assume that Zeke is going to come in and play the Damien Harris role from last season. Harris played in 11 games and averaged 9+ carries per game and scored nearly as many rushing touchdowns as Rhamondre in far less time on the field. What does this mean for Zeke? It means he’s likely to work in a rotation throughout the season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he vultured a number of touchdowns down by the goal-line as well. Elliot is definitely worth drafting, but keep in mind who you are getting…this isn’t 2016 anymore – Zeke averaged just 3.8 per carry, his lowest in his career – his total yardage was a career low, and his longest run was 27 yards – another career low. But he’s reliable…he takes care of the ball and he has a nose for the end zone, so he should return some value at the right cost, which for me, is around the round 12 range.
Let’s turn our attention to Dalvin Cook. Dalvin joins a loaded Jets roster who already has a number of talented backs on the roster, but its fair to assume that this move was done for not only luxury, but insurance. Cook will provide a safety net for the Jets run game barring any sort of setback in Breece Hall’s recovery from an ACL injury he suffered last year in week 7. Dalvin was still highly productive last season for the Vikings, but his underlying metrics pointed to a decline. He experienced career lows in yards per carry, carries low in yards per touch, 2nd lowest yards per target, 2nd lowest yards per reception. However, he’s not going to be asked to do as much for the Jets with Rodgers controlling things and Breece Hall there as the primary guy. Clearly, this knocks Hall down a peg in drafts, and keeps Dalvin right around where he was going to begin with, that round 8 range is a nice landing spot in PPR.