Should fantasy managers trust Tony Pollard, the Cowboys in 2022?

Yahoo Sports’ Matt Harmon and Scott Pianowski discuss whether or not the Dallas RB will be a good fantasy option this season. Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

MATT HARMON: All right. Let's talk one more guy in this group before I let you kind of pick some of your favorites in the plausible upside group. Tony Pollard at 8. I don't know, man. I've been buying into the standalone value argument with Tony Pollard, and I'm not a big Tony Pollard guy, like I've not been one of these, he's definitely better than Zeke. And I think that that's sort of-- it's not a wild opinion, but I think it's a little misguided given the way these guys have been used and some of the efficiency metrics that Pollard shines in.

But I think they're going to need him this year because of the state of their pass catching depth chart. It's basically CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Tolbert, Dalton Schultz, and nothing else going on there. Pollard was a pretty interesting receiver for them last year. I sort of buy into-- I think I heard JJ Zachariason or saw him make this argument on Twitter that Pollard could be like sort of a Austin Ekeler to Melvin Gordon back. Zeke Elliott is the Melvin Gordon, Tony Pollard is the Austin Ekeler.

When those two guys, when Ekeler was first breaking onto the scene, I can squint at that and see it for Tony Pollard. And we obviously know he has top 10, top 12 running back upside if Zeke Elliott ever does get hurt. So I don't know. I've really come around on Tony Pollard, and I would probably have him ranked a lot higher than you do here. But what's sort of the downside case for Pollard?

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Man, this one hurts me because I want to be very clear on this. I love Tony Pollard. I think he's fantastic. If tomorrow, Zeke retired or God forbid, had some major injury, was out for the season, I would make-- everybody would do this. But I would make a-- not only would I make a gigantic move up with Pollard, but I would make it a point that I have to have-- on one of my primary teams, I have to have Tony Pollard on my team.

I'll elbow people out of the room. I'll go-- I'll shoot up the moon with my offers in a salary cap draft, whatever it is.

And remember, back in college-- and this was the thing with Gibson too-- I mean, Pollard, 139 career rushes at Memphis, 104 catches. You know, I mean, he was not a traditional running back. He has the skills to be all the stuff that you're talking about and the stuff that JJ was talking about how they could make him an Ekeler in this offense. That's all doable. The reason I have Pollard so low is I don't trust the Cowboys.

MATT HARMON: Fair.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I think they're going to play to Zeke's contract, and then $90 million or whatever he's guaranteed and everything. And we didn't talk about Zeke, and I guess maybe you skipped Zeke because, you knew we'd talk to Pollard and we'd get, kind of ancillary talk about Zeke. There's a guy I'm not drafting. There's a guy who is just, he's too-- it's too deep in the story, too late in the career arc. And if he has a fantasy viable season, it's going to be just lifted-- he's going to be lifted on the shoulders of the Cowboys who stubbornly refuse to admit that their best running back is Tony Pollard.

Now if this team were coached by a staff, a head coach and an offensive room where I'm like, oh, these guys are really creative, they're going to find a way to play both of these running backs, I'd love that. If they could find a specialty role for Pollard-- and I'm not saying it can't happen. It's just-- I looked at who's in charge of this team, and I've just, I've been burned by the Cowboys hoping they would do something creative, something proactive, something maybe a little bit out of the box.

They just don't strike me as that type of team. They strike me as oh, yeah, Zeke's the guy we paid. Zeke's the-- I still think they think Zeke might be the most important guy in their offense, which is crazy. I mean, it's obviously Dak Prescott, like just about any team, it's their quarterback, you know? And they still think Zeke is a signature player there. And I don't want to come down too hard on Zeke. He's had a great career. It's just running back windows don't last that long.

So why is Pollard so low on my list? I don't trust the Cowboys, and I think Zeke's contract and this Cowboy stubbornness is going to lead to-- and we're going to ring over this all during the season, it's already happened, but it's going to happen during the season. It's going to be like, OK, here, you know, Zeke got 21 touches last week, Pollard got 7. And here's their efficiency over the season. And here's the tape. And here's the broken tackle stat. And here's all these other elusiveness ratings. It all points to Pollard, and on game day, it's all Zeke.