Fantasy Football: Solving Andre Ellington

Andre Ellington

Do either of these fantasy football narratives sound familiar?

“Oh my God, Andre Ellington is so bad.”

“He’s so undersized, he’s not an every down back.”

Yes. They both do, actually.

The Arizona Cardinals drafted David Johnson in the 3rd round (86th overall). David Johnson looks like he could be a workhorse back, and can catch. This can’t bode well for Andre Ellington, right?


I’m so tired of people being down on Ellington, why are you anyway? Yup, he wasn’t that great last year and he got hurt.

Give the guy a break! He was ONE of FOUR RBs to have 200+ carries and 45 receptions.

What made Andre Ellington come to fame? He had a high yards-per-carry, and produced well in 2013. BUT GUESS WHAT! He had Rashard Mendenhall who carried the ball 217 times TO ELLINGTON’S 118.

Andre Ellington is better when he doesn’t carry the ball all the time. In 2013, he had exactly ZERO games in which he carried the ball more than 15 times. In 2014 he had only FOUR games in which he had 15 carries or fewer, and two of them included games in which he got hurt against Atlanta, and against Seattle.

Look at the games in which he 15 carries or less in 2014…

Week 1 – 13 carries, 56 rushing yards (4.3 YPC), 5 receptions for 27 yards.

Week 2 – 15 carries, 91 yards (6.2 YPC), 1 receptions, 10 yards.

The other two games (like I said above) were against Seattle, where you shouldn’t have started him regardless if you had a decent option and against Atlanta in which he got hurt.

Between those two games, that’s 5.2 YPC. I know it’s a smaller sample size, but my point is Ellington cannot carry a full load. It hurts him literally and figuratively.

Ellington needs to be the guy that gets 10-15 carries a game and catches out the backfield to be productive. Look at his fantasy point totals from 2013 to 2014. He had only about 15 more in 2014.

Don’t panic because of David Johnson. Give David Johnson the majority of the carries, and give Ellington right around 130 per season and he will continue to produce at the level the made him so valuable to begin with.

You can’t trade him in dynasty for anything right now, so hold on to him and when he has a string of good games, trade him for what his value was at the end of 2013.

Stop the Ellington hate, and trust Arians to use him properly.


Verdict: Hold on to him, you won’t get full value. When he has a few good games in a row, flip him (if you want), or just keep him!


Sources: ProFootballFocus


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