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What to do with Ezekiel Elliott on Thursday Night Football

Ezekiel Elliott has had a down year for his standards. Will he break out this week in Chicago?

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs for a first down against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Tony Pollard is INACTIVE. That leaves only fullback Jamize Olawale behind Elliott on the depth chart.

Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t lived up to his usual fantasy stats this season, but he still remains a must-play each week, ranking seventh in PPR and sixth in standard leagues. After scoring six touchdowns in his first seven games, he’s had two in his last five and has seen his receiving work fluctuate too much for his fantasy backers liking.

Fantasy football analysis: Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

This week Elliott gets a Bears defense that has missed run-stopper Akiem Hicks badly, as they’ve allowed nine rushing touchdowns since he went down. They aren’t pushovers by any means, but they can be beaten, both on the ground and through the air.

On the season, the Bears have allowed the fifth-most receptions to running backs while giving up the eleventh fewest receptions to wide receivers. With Dallas favored in a game that could be windy and will be cold, I expect Elliott to be the lead in this week’s game plan.

Dak Prescott has played much better at home than on the road this season, and with two straight losses to good passing defense, they’ll probably go back to their bread and butter with Elliott behind their strong offensive line.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Elliott.