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Ezekiel Elliott fantasy outlook: Start or sit Cowboys RB in Divisional round?

We go over the fantasy football and DFS outlook of Ezekiel Elliott ahead of the Cowboy’s Divisional matchup against the 49ers in the 2023 NFL Playoffs.

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 29: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys walks towards the huddle against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium on December 29, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys travel to face the San Francisco 49ers to wrap up the NFL’s Divisional round on Sunday, Jan. 22. The contest also marks a rematch of last year’s playoff matchup between these two teams, where the 49ers came out on top 23-17. Against one of the league’s best run defenses, how trustworthy is Ezekiel Elliott in DFS lineups?

Fantasy Football analysis: Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott ($5,400)

Elliot is priced as the fourth-most expensive running back among Sunday’s slate of divisional games, which puts him behind fellow backfield teammate Tony Pollard. The veteran running back’s fantasy production this season has taken a hit in response to splitting carries with Pollard, but he managed to put together a noteworthy streak of nine straight games with a touchdown toward the end of the regular season.

Despite last week’s dominant win over Tampa Bay, Elliot remained largely fantasy irrelevant, as he totaled just 13 carries for 27 rushing yards and one reception for nine yards. Is there a chance he can remain highly productive versus one of the league’s best defenses?

San Francisco allowed the second-fewest rushing yards (79.2 PPG) to opponents in the regular season and the fewest DKFP per game (17.0) to opposing running backs. With Elliot clearly operating in a shared backfield, his value with a capped number of rushing attempts takes an even bigger dip against arguably the best run defense in the league.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Sit. Elliot had largely been a touchdown-dependent fantasy football option throughout the regular season, but now he faces the least favorable defensive matchup for a running back. He’s hard to trust as a reliable option this weekend, so the veteran tailback is better left off DFS rosters.