Tony Pollard fantasy truthers are rejoicing, as the Cowboys running back has been excellent since getting more work.
Pollard has been far more prolific than Ezekiel Elliott despite still being behind him on the depth chart. If Pollard gets more carries, he has the potential to be a fantasy league winner.
A side-by-side statistical comparison of the two backs provides an even clearer picture. Pollard has rushed for 178 more yards on six fewer carries. He’s averaged 5.9 yards per attempt to Elliott’s 3.9 yards per carry. Plus, Pollard catches more passes, adding even more value to his fantasy football outlook.
To get a better sense of what Pollard’s fantasy potential as a lead back could be, I first came up with a hypothesis: Pollard would rank as a top 15 fantasy football running back if he had a full workload.
Digging into the Tony Pollard fantasy numbers
To back that theory up, I took Pollard’s 2022 statistical averages to a larger scale to account for a greater workload. To define a “greater workload,” I took the average number of rushing attempts for the top 15 rushing leaders in the NFL. Here’s how the math shook out:
- Average carries per game of the top 15 RBs: 16.2 rushes per game
- 16.2 carries multiplied by Pollard’s 5.9 yards per carry average = 95.6 rushing yards per game
- Through 10 games, Pollard’s projected rushing total would be 956 yards.
Pollard’s projected rushing total, along with his actual receptions, receiving yardage and total touchdowns would net out to 128.4 fantasy points, making him the RB9 in half-PPR formats.
Obviously, this exercise is partially dependent on projecting hypothetical production. Pollard’s yards per carry average would likely go down with more work. But his potential red zone usage and scoring would likely go up, considering Elliott has four scores on the year.
This exercise validates the theory that Pollard would certainly be a weekly fantasy starter if given Dallas’ full workload. But unless Elliott remains sidelined, we likely won’t get to see what Pollard is fully capable of in Dallas.
Tony Pollard game log
Here is how Pollard has performed in each game this year:
Buccaneers (Week 1): 6 carries, 8 yards; 2 catches, 14 yards
Bengals (Week 2): 9 carries, 43 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 55 yards
Giants (Week 3): 13 carries, 105 yards; 0 catches
Commanders (Week 4): 8 carries, 6 yards; 1 catch, 2 yards
Rams (Week 5): 8 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD; 0 catches
Eagles (Week 6): 11 carries, 44 yards; 2 catches, 8 yards
Lions (Week 7): 12 carries, 83 yards; 2 catches, 26 yards
Bears (Week 8): 14 carries, 131 yards, 3 TDs; 1 catch, 16 yards
Packers (Week 10): 22 carries, 105 yards, TD; 3 catches, 13 yards
Vikings (Week 11): 15 carries, 80 yards; 6 catches, 109 yards, 2 TDs