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Austin Ekeler Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Shark Bites are the latest fantasy football news & NFL updates. Draft Sharks has been in business since 1999. And when we started, redraft was the dominant form of fantasy football. Check out what we've learned about this most basic form of fantasy football along the way.

New Commanders RB Austin Ekeler endured a forgettable 2023 season. It started with a Week 1 high-ankle sprain, one that lingered upon returning in Week 6. The now 29-year-old set career lows in yards per carry (3.5), yards after contact per attempt (2.64) and Pro Football Focus Elusive Rating (49.4). With better health, can Ekeler rebound in Washington?

The Commanders are signing RB Austin Ekeler to a two-year deal, according to multiple reports. NFL Networks' Tom Pelissero reports it's worth "up to $11.43 million." The exact terms aren't yet clear, but it looks like he'll get a larger annual average than the three-year deal Antonio Gibson agreed to with the Patriots. The new Washington staff likely views Ekeler as at least an upgrade over Gibson. And Commanders run-game coordinator Anthony Lynn is plenty familiar with the veteran RB, having served as Chargers HC through the first four years of Ekeler's career. Ekeler figures to share touches with Brian Robinson Jr., operating as the lead receiving back. We'll watch for more signals on Ekeler's expected role. For now, both Washington RBs make sense in RB3 range of best ball drafts. Check our best ball rankings to see exactly where they land.

Chargers WRs Keenan Allen (heel) and Josh Palmer (concussion) are out for Sunday’s game vs. the Broncos. That leaves Los Angeles with WRs Quentin Johnston, Jalen Guyton, Alex Erickson, and Derius Davis. None is a recommended Week 17 fantasy starter. RB Austin Ekeler and TE Gerald Everett could see more targets with Allen and Palmer out.

On Friday, multiple reports indicated that the Chargers have parted ways with HC Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco. This news doesn't come as much of a surprise following the team's 63-21 collapse vs. the Raiders on Thursday night. Across nearly three full seasons on the job, Staley finished with a 24-24 record and appeared in just one playoff game. Who will take over as the interim coach is not known as of the time of this writing. Stay tuned for further updates.

Update: The Chargers have named Giff Smith interim HC and JoJo Wooden as interim GM, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Smith has been the team's outside LBs coach the past two years and was an NFL defensive line coach for 11 seasons before that. It looks like OC Kellen Moore will remain with the Chargers at least for the rest of this season.

Chargers QB Justin Herbert will miss the rest of the season after fracturing the index finger in his right (throwing) hand, according to multiple reports. That leaves fifth-year QB Easton Stick to pilot the offense over the final four games. Stick has been with the Chargers since they drafted him in Round 5 back in 2019, but he had attempted just one regular season pass before Sunday. Stick went a forgettable 13 of 24 passing for 179 yards after taking over against the Broncos, throwing no TDs or INTs but fumbling twice (losing one). His 2023 preseason also proved unimpressive, including a 60.3% completion rate, 5.2 yards per pass attempt, 1 TD, 2 INTs, and a 9.0% sack rate. The QB situation obviously downgrades everyone on the Chargers' offense. WR Keenan Allen should remain usable. Stick targeted Allen on 37.5% of his attempts against Denver. He threw another 20.8% toward RB Austin Ekeler, the only other Chargers offensive piece you should still consider using. WRs Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer and TE Gerald Everett look droppable for other options. Herbert should have plenty of time to recover ahead of the 2024 season.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler rebounded in Week 14 with 100 total yards, 5 catches, and 1 TD. Ekeler’s 3-yard score marked his first end zone trip since Week 10. He lost carries to Isaiah Spiller (6) and Josh Kelley (3), but as expected, the veteran remained heavily involved in the passing game (33 routes). Per PFF, Ekeler also handled all 18 fourth-quarter snaps while the Chargers played from behind. So he's certainly trending in the right direction following the positive showing (and plus matchup). The Raiders turn up a favorable opponent for Week 15, but note that Ekeler will likely play without Justin Herbert.

Chargers QB Justin Herbert fractured his right index finger in Sunday's loss to the Broncos, HC Brandon Staley said afterward. "Given where we are in the season, a fracture could mean his season is over," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted. We should get more details on Herbert's status on Monday, but the 5-8 Chargers have no reason to rush Herbert back. QB Easton Stick will take over for however long Herbert is out. The 2019 fifth-round pick had one regular-season pass attempt before going 13-of-24 for 179 yards in relief of Herbert today. Stick is obviously a significant downgrade for this Chargers offense.

Chargers RBs Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, and Isiah Spiller will all "split carries" against the Broncos today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Exactly how those carries are split will be a "hot hand" situation, Rapoport adds. We're still betting on Ekeler leading the Chargers in carries today, as well as handling the majority of the passing-down work. But consider him more of a RB2. Kelley and Spiller should not be in fantasy lineups.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley hinted that RB Austin Ekeler might start losing carries. "Competition for carries is going to be something that you can see happening," Staley said Wednesday. "We're going to keep exploring, making adjustments, so that we can find that rhythm that I've been talking about. That's certainly one way to do it." Ekeler has been consistently inefficient since returning from his high-ankle sprain, topping 3.5 yards per carry in just one of eight games. He's averaged 3.0 yards per carry across those outings. RB Joshua Kelley has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over that same span. We could see Kelley stealing a handful of carries from Ekeler in Sunday's game vs. the Broncos -- although Ekeler should continue to dominate passing-down work.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler gained only 18 yards on 14 attempts in Sunday's win over New England. Ekeler added 2 catches (3 targets) for 9 yards, with the only misconnection coming on a drop. Ekeler’s 4.7 PPR points marked his third game with fewer than ten. Ekeler will look to rebound next week vs. Denver, but playing at less than 100% (ankle), he’ll do so with an uncomfortably low floor.

Now is not the time to hit the panic button, but it's fair to be slightly worried about Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. The veteran struggled on Sunday night, logging 64 total yards on 16 touches with a lost fumble in Week 12's loss vs. the Ravens. Ekeler has now failed to reach double-digit PPR points for the second week in a row. But the issues he's experienced lately stem from a downtick in passing game production and a lack of TDs. Ekeler averaged 19 receiving yards per game over the past two weeks; by contrast, he'd averaged 40.2 yards over his prior five games since returning from an ankle injury. Also, 30.6% of Ekeler's 98 PPR points he's scored since Week 6 have come from finding the end zone. However, don't get too caught up in these concerns. Ekeler has the easiest remaining RB schedule against a string of phenomenal matchups per our adjusted fantasy points allowed. Even though he's dangerously close to deserving a "TD-or-bust" label, it's tough to bet against a guy who ranks seventh in RB opportunity share and faces the Broncos (31st in run defense DVOA) twice between now and fantasy championship week. It may be a bumpy ride, but keep holding on.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler carried just 10 times in Sunday's loss to the Chargers, but he tallied 64 yards (6.4 per rush). He added just 2 receptions for 6 yards on 3 targets. That marked strangely low receiving for L.A.'s lead back. But his playing time didn't reflect any change. Ekeler ran 20 more pass routes than No. 2 RB Joshua Kelley and topped 70% playing time for the first time this season. There's nothing worrisome to take from Ekeler's Week 11 production in projecting him forward.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler tallied 70 total yards on a combined 16 touches in Week 9’s win vs. the Jets. Monday night was not the veteran’s most efficient showing. Going 14-47 on the ground isn't awful, but one 20-yard run from Ekeler accounts for 28.5% of his final count in the contest. But let’s not be too persnickety; he also scored 2 rushing TDs in the game. Ekeler has now recorded back-to-back games of 20+ PPR points and four straight weeks of 16 or more touches since his Week 6 return from an ankle injury. Fantasy managers should expect good production from Ekeler moving forward, as the Chargers’ remaining schedule ranks as the single-easiest for RBs in our adjusted fantasy points allowed.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler bounced back in a big way on Sunday night, finishing with 7 catches for a team-leading 94 yards and a TD vs. the Bears. The veteran wasn’t as effective as a runner in the contest (15 carries, 29 rushing yards), though the fantasy points ultimately count all the same. Ekeler’s 23.3 PPR points from Sunday are his highest since Week 1 and out-pace his last two outings combined. Any concerns about his sluggishness returning from the ankle injury that kept him out for a while should be out the window now. Next week, he’ll take on the Jets and should be considered a high-end RB1.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler ran for just 45 yards on 14 carries (3.2 per rush) in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs. He also added just 1 reception for 1 yard among 2 targets. Ekeler's playing time (62%) fell in line with his previous game, and his rushing actually proved more efficient. Ekeler averaged just 1.9 yards per carry in the Week 6 loss to the Cowboys. The Chiefs have played well on defense overall this season, ranking ninth in total DVOA entering the week. But they also ranked just 21st against the run. We're still betting on Ekeler going forward and especially expect much more from his receiving. But we'll be watching closely for any signs we need to adjust those expectations. A Week 8 matchup with a weak Bears defense looks like a potential blowup spot -- or possibly a signal to really worry about Ekeler if he doesn't deliver.

And the crowd goes mild! Chargers RB Austin Ekeler logged 62 total yards in his return from injury in Week 6 vs. the Cowboys. The veteran was fairly effective as a receiver in the contest (4 catches, 35 yards) but was unable to get anything going on the ground. 14 carries for 27 rushing yards isn’t the big return that fantasy managers had hoped for. Ekeler’s 10.1 PPR points rank as 25th-best at the RB position this week. Hopefully, we’ll see a better showing from him in Week 7 vs. the Chiefs.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (ankle) put in a full week of practice and isn't listed on the final Week 6 injury report. He'll be back for Monday night's game vs. the Cowboys. Ekeler is five weeks removed from his high-ankle sprain, so he should be relatively close to 100%.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (ankle) was a full-go in Thursday's practice. It's confirmation that he's set to return for Monday night's game vs. the Cowboys. We'll see how Ekeler looks coming off the high-ankle sprain, but he belongs locked into season-long starting lineups.

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