Maybe it’s just because I’m the resident Cowboys fan on the podcast, but I’m all in on Tony Pollard for 2023. I’d even venture as far as to say that he’s been underdrafted given his upside, which I think is higher than Saquon Barkley’s and Nick Chubb’s. And he was coming off the board at the top of the second round all offseason!
The reason why is well documented. Of the top 8 fantasy running backs in fantasy points per game last year, only one of them - Pollard - finished with less than 50% of inside the 5 carries on the season. Pollard saw just 28% – and still scored 9 touchdowns! Only 2 of them were on carries inside the 5.
Zeke is gone, and he was the only thing standing between Pollard and a goal line role. Even if Pollard’s number jumps to 50% of carries inside the 5, it will still be double what he’s seen in his career. We could see Pollard being delivered to easy touchdowns for the first time in his career.
And it’s not like Pollard has to be touchdown dependent, either. He’s arguably the premier home run hitter at RB – his 5.22 yards per carry ranked second last year among RBs with 150+ attempts, and he ranked first in runs of 10 and 20+ yards, and 3rd in runs of 30+ yards. He was also first in yards after contact per attempt, which says Pollard is capable of getting it done by going around or through you.
Plus, he’s more than an asset in the receiving game despite low usage (a result of his low snap share). He was first in yards per reception last season, and despite the fact that he only saw 52% of snaps, he was the RB8 in points per game
If that number goes anywhere close to 70%, he’s got overall RB1 upside, and that’s something Faraz “boldly predicted” for this season - and it might not really be that bold!