Why Ezekiel Elliott's signing doesn't spell disaster for Rhamondre Stevenson

Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38)
Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was announced earlier this week that the New England Patriots would be adding the services of three-time pro-bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott on a one-year deal, causing panic for Rhamondre Stevenson drafters. Not to worry, the Elliott signing is less about cutting into Stevenson's 65 percent snap share, and instead taking snaps from Pierre Strong and Ty Montgomery.

Elliott adds strong short-yardage running and pass blocking to the Mac Jones led Patriot offense, which is one of the slowest in the league. In 39 redzone attempts last season with the Dallas Cowboys, Elliott found paydirt 12 times, making for a whopping 30 percent touchdown rate.

Now while this may seem like bad news for Stevenson's workhorse reputation this season, he wasn't going to get the redzone carries anyhow. Last season, Stevenson only scored three rushing touchdowns from inside the 20, making for not much to be lost to Elliott anyhow.

With the departure of Damien Harris to the Buffalo Bills in the offseason, fans can expect Elliott to simply take over his role. Elliott will mainly be used to convert short yardage 3rd downs, and dive across the goal line to finish off drives. Everything in between that still belongs to the Patriots best offensive player, Rhamondre Stevenson.

Stevenson may be the only running back in the league that has a chance to lead his team in targets, because of the lack of star power at wide receiver. The Patriots' top two wideouts are Davante Parker and Kendrick Bourne, two almost non-options in fantasy football. If Stevenson can replicate his 88 targets from a season ago, he will once again pay dividends to his drafters in PPR leagues.

Ezekiel Elliott certainly will impact Stevenson's fantasy points in the redzone, but that is about it. Stevenson averaged five yards per carry last season and doesn't show signs of slowing down even with a heavy workload. Add his receiving usage for PPR leagues and you still have a quality option in the second and third rounds of drafts.

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With the addition of Elliott, it stampers Stevenson's top 10 positional upside, but his workload shouldn't decrease much, making for a great fantasy option on a bad offense.