RB Andre Ellington, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
HT: 5-9, WT: 199, Born: 2-3-1989, College: Clemson, Drafted: Round 6
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Thomas (29), R Gronkowski (30), Andre Ellington (31), R Bush (32), V Jackson (33)
Position: A Morris (25-RB13), Z Stacy (27-RB14), Andre Ellington (31 - RB15), R Bush (32-RB16), C Spiller (36-RB17)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: R Cobb (26), R Gronkowski (27), Andre Ellington (28), J Thomas (29), A Morris (30)
Position: A Foster (23-RB11), D Martin (25-RB12), Andre Ellington (28 - RB13), A Morris (30-RB14), Z Stacy (31-RB15)
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|2||St. Louis Rams|
|3||at Atlanta Falcons|
|4||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|5||at New Orleans Saints|
|9||at Cleveland Browns|
|11||at Washington Redskins|
|12||at Chicago Bears|
|14||at Detroit Lions|
|15||at Carolina Panthers|
|16||Green Bay Packers|
|17||New Orleans Saints|
2013 Game Summaries
Week 2 - Once buried deep on the depth chart during pre-season, Andre Ellington was once again an important part of the Cardinals game plan. Whereas last week Ellington and Palmer were unable to connect on a wheel route which likely would have sealed the game, this week the Cardinals ran virtually the same exact play in the second quarter and Ellington scored with ease. Ellington was not especially effective on the ground, but a 16-yard pickup on a beautifully schemed draw-play in the 4th helped the Cardinals convert a crucial first down on their go-ahead drive. Ellington will continue to play in a rotation, with all four active running backs seeing some action on Sunday, so while his fantasy value is still nearly non-existent, his game-changing speed and strong pass-catching ability will continue to play an important role for this team on Sundays.
Week 3 - If there was ever a bright spot in Sunday’s blowout, it’s the continued emergence of Andre Ellington. Through the first two weeks of the season we’d seen Ellington’s speed and quickness in the open field, as well as his pass-catching ability out of the backfield, but Sunday’s game showed a far more versatile Ellington than anyone had expected. Ellington lined up all over the field, in his usual tailback spot, split out wide, in the slot and most surprisingly of all, at fullback multiple times, laying an important block on the Cardinals longest run of the day. Ellington’s role in the offense should continue to grow as Cardinals coaches continue to find creative ways to utilize him. Due in large part to their still sub-par offensive line as well as the play-caller’s penchant for airing it out, Cardinals running backs should never really be viewed as viable fantasy starters, but depending on the depth of your league, Ellington might be a nice player to stash on your bench as his role in the offense expands.
Week 4 - Ellington’s impact continues to be limited, totaling only seven touches on the day (4 carries/ 3 catches) but his explosiveness is apparent on just about every one of those plays. Ellington had the long run of the day, a 25-yard burst up the right side, and appears a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He’s already become an integral part of the passing game, being targeted over 4 times per game and already with more passing targets than rushing attempts, and his rushing attempts should continue to rise as he outplays starter Rashard Mendenhall. Bruce Arians’ offense will always lean pass-heavy, so he may never be a 20-carry kind of running back, but the Cardinals coaches clearly like what they’re seeing out of the rookie, and will look to find new ways to feature his athleticism in the offense.
Week 5 - Ellington has quickly emerged as the most dynamic player on the Cardinals offense, and his role as the team’s “jack of all trades” appears to be expanding each week. In the run game Ellington’s quickness and speed have never been in doubt, but his vision has improved greatly from game to game. As is often said about rookies, the game appears to be “slowing down” for Ellington and the improved decisiveness will only lead to bigger gains and a larger role in the offense each week. Despite 10 less carries than Mendenhall, Ellington led the team in rushing yards, tripled Mendenhall’s average per carry, and had the team’s long run of 26 yards. Despite Mendenhall’s consistency mentioned above, it’s clearly time for Ellington to be this team’s lead back. Ellington also hauled in all 4 of his targets, and his 15 yard sideline catch was not only incredibly impressive, but crucial to the Cardinals’ first touchdown drive.
Week 6 - Its becoming a consistent theme, win or lose the highlight of the Cardinals offense is Andre Ellington. At times Head Coach Bruce Arians' seems a bit too enamored with Ellington's receiving ability, but on Sunday Ellington was able to find a lot of success on the ground, scoring his first rushing touchdown of the season. Ellington went untouched on his 15 yard score and was featured on a pair of well executed draw plays. Each week he appears more decisive, no doubt becoming comfortable in an offense in which he's quickly become a featured role. Arians has warned of overuse for the rookie, but its hard to imagine Ellington's role not growing if he continues his outstanding performance.
Week 7 - Ellington converted an early third down and did get a few looks in the end zone, but he was curiously underutilized in this game. It's hard to say exactly why Bruce Arians and Ken Whisenhunt minimized him in this game, because Ellington had been the most consistently effective running back all season.
Week 8 - All season long Andre Ellington has been the bright spot of the Cardinals offense, consistently showing game-changing flashes in his limited opportunities. Sunday, with an injured Rashard Mendenhall on the bench, Ellington broke out. Ellington’s 80-yard touchdown run highlighted all his best attributes as a runner; excellent vision, quick cuts and breakaway speed. Impressively, Ellington didn’t look to hit homeruns on his subsequent carries, and instead found seams between the tackles and ran hard through them. Coach Arians’ continues to stress a snap-count limit for the rookie, but after a performance like that it’s hard to imagine Ellington’s role not growing as the season progresses.
Week 10 - Some good news/bad news for Andre Ellington fantasy owners. The good news is Ellington has cemented himself as the most dynamic player on the Cardinals offense, and a major weapon in both the passing and running game. The bad news of course is even after his inexcusable fumble, Bruce Arians doesn’t appear any closer to phasing Rashad Mendenhall out of the offense. The Cardinals continue to find creative ways to feature Ellington, this time using him in the wild-cat with Patrick Peterson, but any game in which Mendenhall ends the day with more touches (14 compared to 13) is a failure from the coaches. Arians will continue to aim for about 20 touches for Ellington each Sunday, so much of his fantasy value will be touchdown dependent, but with a player like Ellington, any one of those touches can become a score.
Week 11 - Amassing only 3 yards on 8 carries, it’s fair to wonder if Ellington lost more yards of hair when some of his dreads were ripped out, than he gained on the ground all afternoon. This, however, had very little to do with Ellington’s play, and everything to do with an offensive line that could not open a hole against the 32nd ranked rush defense. Credit must be given to the Jaguars defensive front, who played aggressive and inspired all afternoon, but it was an embarrassing effort from the Cardinals’ run blockers.
Week 12 - Burst is never an issue for Ellington, which he showed again on his 17 yard scamper up the sideline (again, off the right side of the line,) but with his continued splitting carries with Mendenhall, his fantasy value has taken quite a hit, and has become very touchdown dependent. He's as explosive as ever, and has remained quite patient in his runs, but hasn't been able to break free for a big one like he did against Atlanta. The Cardinals continue to feature Ellington in the passing game, as well as look for creative ways to get him the ball in space, but unless he's getting more consistent carries, its hard to trust him as anything more than a flex fantasy option. With that said, it was a nice bounce-back effort for the rookie after his abysmal performance in Jacksonville the week prior.
Week 13 - Ellington missed Sunday’s game due to a left knee injury suffered in practice on Thursday. He was apparently optimistic about playing, but that was quickly dismissed in warm-ups. Not an ideal situation for fantasy owners heading into the playoffs, so certainly something to keep a close watch on.
Week 14 - Ellington’s return to the lineup after missing last week’s game against the Eagles was a welcome addition for the Cardinals’ offense. While only touching the ball 13 times on 11 carries and 2 receptions, Ellington was able to display his game changing abilities early and often, most notably in his 21 yard run and late, game-sealing touchdown. Its long been obvious that Ellington won’t be used in a feature role, so his fantasy value has unfortunately become very touchdown dependent, but Ellington undoubtedly adds an element of explosiveness to the Cardinals offense they otherwise sorely miss.
Week 15 - Ellington was simply sensational Sunday, providing splash plays and picking up large chucks seemingly every time he touched the ball. Not only did Ellington lead the team in rushing yards with 71, but receiving as well where he added an additional 87 yards on four receptions. For a while now Ellington’s fantasy value had become very touchdown dependent, but Sunday he did not disappoint fantasy owners despite not reaching the end zone. The Cardinals’ strong 1-2 punch at RB proved to be the difference maker in Sunday’s win.
Week 16 - Ellington was once again his shifty and dynamic self, springing loose for a 26 yard run early in the first quarter, and coming close to breaking off a few more throughout the game. The Seahawks, unsurprisingly with the #1 ranked defense, were able to hold Ellington down for the majority of the game, but he played his part picking up a few first downs, and forcing the defense to always account for him. With 4 turnovers on offense and facing the league’s top defense at home, nobody on the Cardinals offense was able to amass truly impressive stats, but all, including Ellington, did their part to keep the train moving, and come away with the result they needed.
Week 17 - Ellington had one of his worst games of the season, amassing only 42 total yards on 12 touches. His longest run of the day was a measly 5 yards, as the 49ers did an excellent job swarming to the shifty back. Ellington’s one goal-line carry was immediately stopped, and he never came close to the end zone after that. The future, however, is very bright for the young running back. A hopefully upgraded offensive line should lead to bigger holes, and after a year of surviving the rigors of the NFL, Coach Arians should hopefully be comfortable increasing Ellington’s workload.