Fantasy Football

Matthew Berry analyzes Elliott's fantasy football impact on Stevenson

There are fantasy football implications to Zeke Elliott's move to New England.

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One of the main questions surrounding the New England Patriots' expected signing of free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott is how the move will impact Rhamondre Stevenson, especially from a fantasy football perspective.

Stevenson enjoyed a breakout 2022 campaign with 1,040 yards (5.0 per carry) and five touchdowns on the ground, as well as 69 receptions for 421 yards and one touchdown as a pass-catcher. The University of Oklahoma product will remain the undisputed No. 1 running back in New England, but the addition of Elliott doesn't help his fantasy value.

"In terms of fantasy, I think you're going to see Zeke vulture a number of touchdowns from Rhamondre Stevenson," NBC Sports fantasy expert Matthew Berry said in a social media video Monday night.

"For me, Zeke comes in at running back No. 40. I think he's one of the most important insurance running backs. I think he's going to get 10-12 touches per game. I will say this -- I still think Rhamondre Stevenson is a very good player and a very good running back. He's still going to be involved in the passing game. He's not going to be a nothing in terms of rushing touchdowns. I think he's a high-end RB2 still."

Elliott's 862 rushing yards and 3.8 yards per carry in 15 games with the Dallas Cowboys last season both represent the lowest totals of his seven-year career. In fairness, he did share touches with Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, who ran for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns himself.

But despite this drop-off in yardage, Elliott remained a good fantasy option because of his touchdown production. He tallied 12 touchdowns, with a bunch of those scores coming inside the 10-yard line or at the goal line. He's still one of the most reliable goal-line running backs in the league, and he could feature prominently in those situations for Bill O'Brien's Patriots offense.

Overall, Elliott could take away some goal line touchdown opportunities and short-yardage situations from Stevenson, but the third-year running back is still a top fantasy option at his position, especially in leagues that use half or full point PPR scoring.

Stevenson remains a solid bet to tally around 1,500 total yards and find the end zone between six and 10 times, assuming he plays a full season (or close to it.)

For more analysis from Berry about Stevenson's fit in New England and Dalvin Cook's role in New York, check out the video below from NBC Sports' Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry.

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