At the start of the year, Bijan Robinson and Tony Pollard were two running backs who had a lot of buzz around them. Entering the 2023 NFL Draft, Robinson was considered a generational talent at running back and seemingly couldn't have landed in a better spot to make an immediate impact in fantasy football in Atlanta.
Arthur Smith was previously offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans and built an offense around Derrick Henry that helped establish him as one of the best players in fantasy football. The hope was that he could the same for Robinson.
However, Robinson's season has been up and down due in large part to splitting the workload with Tyler Allegier. After an abysmal 11 rushing yard, 3 receiving yard game in Week 15, Robinson bounced back for 72 rushing yards with seven receptions and 50 receiving yards.
As for Tony Pollard, the Cowboys cleared the way for him to be the featured running back in this offense after releasing Ezekiel Eliiot and not really bringing in any competition to share the work. Pollard started the season off great with 70 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, would only score three touchdowns the rest of the season.
This past week against the Dolphins, it was an ugly game as Pollard had only 38 rushing yards with one reception for five yards.
Should fantasy football managers start Tony Pollard or Bijan Robinson in Week 17?
In a championship week, I would not be confident starting either with the matchups they have and how the season has played out. The Atlanta Falcons are on the road to play the Chicago Bears, who have allowed the fewest rushing yards per game this season at just over 80 yards.
While the Cowboys are playing the Detroit Lions, who are not far behind as the defense to allow the fourth fewest rushing yards per game at just over 90. In this situation, I would have to go with the player who is in the better offense and that is Pollard.
I know that he will get almost all the work out of the backfield while Robinson is going to split the work and the Cowboys should be able to move the ball against the Lions which gives Pollard a better chance at a touchdown.