The running back position doesn’t have a ton of superstars available on the free agent market, but there are a few names of interest … including Tony Pollard. He’s coming off a career season, posting 39 catches, 1,378 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns. That was good enough for him to finish with 248.8 fantasy points.
Unfortunately, Pollard suffered a fractured left fibula in the Cowboys’ postseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers that will reportedly have a recovery timeline of at least three months. That could affect his value as an unrestricted free agent.
The most likely scenario is that Pollard remains with the Cowboys, whether it's via a new contract or the franchise tag, and most of us would agree that it's among his best (or the best) landing spots. But where else would Pollard retain the most fantasy value if he didn’t remain in Dallas? This doesn’t have anything to do with salary caps, money, etc., but it’s more about his overall fantasy appeal.
Here are five teams that could have a need at running back and would be interesting spots for Pollard to land next season. Let's start things off in Kansas City.
Top Five Fantasy Landing Spots: Tom Brady | Aaron Rodgers | Saquon Barkley | Tony Pollard
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs appear to be done with injury-prone and inconsistent Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon is slated to become a free agent. The team does have Isiah Pacheco in the backfield, and pairing him with Pollard would be a nice option from a fantasy standpoint. Pollard seemed best served to play along with a power back, and being utilized in a high-octane Chiefs offense is a nice scenario.
The Dolphins could have a gaping hole in the backfield this offseason, as Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Salvon Ahmed (RFA) and Myles Gaskin are all slated to be free agents. Miami could decide to retain one of Mostert or Wilson, who are familiar with coach Mike McDaniel's offense and pair him with Pollard. In that scenario, Pollard would lead the backfield in touches in an explosive offense.
The Bears utilize a run-based offense with an up-and-coming young quarterback in Justin Fields, but the team needs playmakers around him. If the Bears decide to let David Montgomery walk as a free agent, Chicago could pair Pollard with Khalil Herbert to form a powerful one-two backfield punch. With the Bears' glaring need for offensive firepower, there would be plenty of touches for both backs to succeed.
Los Angeles Rams
Cam Akers looked great at the end of last season and would be the likely favorite to start in 2023, but adding Pollard would add an even more explosive weapon to the offense. While the move would hurt Akers' appeal, offensive-minded head coach Sean McVay could use Pollard in various ways. He could even take the job from Akers, who was in the doghouse during the course of last season.
The Panthers could be in the market for a running back, as D’Onta Foreman is slated to become a free agent. Pollard would be a nice fit, forming a backfield committee with Chuba Hubbard in an offense that could use more playmakers. In fact, the addition of Pollard gives Carolina a less expensive, “poor man’s version” of Christian McCaffrey. He would be a viable No. 2 fantasy back in this scenario.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!