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Austin Ekeler - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Austin Ekeler
LAC

RB LAC

#13 Running Back

204 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 7
Experience: 4 Yr(s)
Age: 26
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 195
40 Time: 4.67

Weekly Outlook

3d Projection

Med Floor

9.5

DS Projection

13.8

Consensus

38 other sites
15

Low Ceiling

16.7

Rest of
Season

14.6

Week 6 Projections
Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
60 0.3 5.1 41.8 0.3 13.8
Weekly Writeup
Ekeler has finished as a top 10 fantasy RB in 4 straight weeks. He's getting the target volume, and he's getting the goal-line carries. Football Outsiders ranks Baltimore 19th in run defense and 29th in RB coverage.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
62 0.4 4.8 42 0.3 14.6
Week 5
Ekeler through Week 5 sits as the RB2 in fantasy. Ekeler seems to be putting it all together as he currently ranks 5th in RB targets and 10th in carries inside the 5. In Week 5 this ceiling was on display as Ekeler finished as the RB1 on the week, scoring 3 total TDs and catching 5 passes.
In Week 6 Ekeler will once again be a threat for RB1 overall numbers as the Chargers take on the Ravens. The Ravens just allowed 169 total yards and 2 TDs to Jonathan Taylor. This should make Ekeler worth the price in DFS in Week 6.
Week 4
Ekeler rushed 15 times for 117 yards and 1 TD in the Chargers' Week 4 win over the Raiders, adding 3 catches for 28 yards and another TD on 5 targets.
Ekeler dominated this game, averaging 7.8 yards per rush and bouncing off several Raiders defenders throughout the game.
Ekeler scored in the 1st half on a wheel route against a LB and punched in a TD run late in the 4th quarter to seal the win for the surging Chargers.
Ekeler is an easy RB1 across fantasy formats and a potential top 5 RB in PPR leagues.
Week 3
Ekeler showed once again that his lack of Week 1 receiving usage was fluky. He caught all 6 of his targets for 52 yards and 1 score against Kansas City. He added 11-55 on the ground. Ekeler’s score came on a simple pass out of the backfield, as the Chiefs D simply didn’t properly pick him up. With Justin Herbert playing lights out, Ekeler is positioned to thrive going forward. Week 4 turns up a favorable draw vs. the Raiders.
Week 2
Ekeler had 9 carries for 54 yards against Dallas and ran for a 2-point conversion that enabled the Chargers to go into the closing seconds in a tie. He was more valuable in catching all 9 targets for 61 yards. LA’s running game produced 95 yards in just 19 carries.
Can the Chargers use their passing game for check-down and other through-the-air plays that emphasize Ekeler’s elusiveness as a ballcarrier? Or can they use him on running plays at Kansas City, which ranks last in rushing defense through 2 weeks. He’s likely to see the bulk of RB snaps. Backup RB Justin Jackson contributed 29 yards on 4 touches, but he hasn’t scored a TD since 2018.
Week 1
After seeing his targets from Justin Herbert dip over the last 2 weeks of last season, it was shocking that despite 47 pass attempts, Ekeler failed to see a single target. Fortunately, he was given 15 carries, including 1 near the goal line that he converted into a TD to salvage his fantasy day. He did cede some rushing work to Larry Rountree (8 carries), but in a tough road matchup, this floor game from Ekeler was respectable.

Although it’s tough to draw major conclusions after 1 game of data, if Ekeler isn’t going to be a featured part of the passing attack, he’ll have a tough time earning an ADP that had him going as high as the 8th overall pick in PPR leagues. However, he’s too accomplished and explosive as a receiver to be ignored in that area, so even if he’s seeing 5-6 targets per game instead of the 9+ he saw last year, he’ll still be able to function as an RB1 in PPR leagues, though his value is lessened a bit in other scoring systems.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Ekeler suffered a serious hamstring injury 3 snaps into Week 4 and missed the next 6 games. He was knocked out of the season finale with a concussion.
  • He was awesome in the other 8 games.
    • He averaged 13.4 carries for 62.5 yards -- a nice 4.7 yards per carry.
    • He averaged 7.1 targets, 5.9 catches and 46 yards.
    • His 18.2 PPR points per game would have ranked 7th on the season; his 12.4 non-PPR points 15th.
    • And that’s despite scoring just 3 TDs.
    • Ekeler scored as a PPR RB1 in 4 of those 8 games and at a top-24 level in 7 of 8.
    • Among 47 RBs with 100+ carries last year, Ekeler ranked 12th in Elusive Rating and 26th in Pro Football Focus rushing grades.
    • Among 37 RBs with 30+ targets, he ranked 5th in both yards per route run and PFF receiving grade.
  • Ekeler has been 1 of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL over the past 2 seasons.
    • He ranks 2nd behind only Christian McCaffrey with 53.7 receiving yards per game.
    • He ranks 3rd behind McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara with 5.6 catches per game.
    • His 8.07 yards per target is good for 2nd among 56 RBs with 50+ targets over the last 2 years.
    • Ekeler led all 43 RBs with 30+ targets in yards per route run and PFF receiving grade in 2019. (5th in both categories last year.)
  • Playing all 16 games in 2019, Ekeler finished RB4 in PPR points and RB7 in non-PPR.
  • Over the past 2 years, he ranks 6th in PPR points per game and 13th in non-PPR.
  • The Chargers have been reluctant to hand Ekeler the ball near the goal line. He carried 7 times inside the 5-yard line in 2019 and just twice last year. Other Chargers RBs combined for 25 carries inside the 5 over the past 2 seasons.
  • Perhaps that changes under a new coaching staff. The Chargers canned HC Anthony Lynn and OC Shane Steichen this offseason, replacing them with HC Brandon Staley and OC Joe Lombardi.
  • Lombardi served as Lions OC in 2014 and 2015. Those teams finished 19th and 20th in total yards.
  • More notably, he spent 12 years in New Orleans working under HC Sean Payton. The Saints were regularly among the league leaders in targets to RBs during that time. Most recently, RB Alvin Kamara has averaged 102 targets and 82 catches per season over the last 4.
  • NFL Network’s James Palmer confirmed that Lombardi “envisions using [Ekeler] in similar ways as Alvin Kamara was utilized when Lombardi was with the Saints.”
  • QB Justin Herbert returns in 2021 after an impressive rookie campaign. WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are also back.
  • The Chargers bolstered their offensive line this offseason, adding free-agent C Corey Linsley, free-agent G/OT Matt Feiler and 1st-round rookie OT Rashawn Slater.
    • Linsley led all 32 qualifying Cs in Pro Football Focus’ 2020 run-blocking grades. He ranked 12th in 2019 and 6th in 2018.
    • Feiler has experience at both OT and G. He figures to play LG for the Chargers. He finished 43rd among 63 qualifying Gs in PFF’s 2020 run-blocking grades.
    • Slater was a 3-year starter -- 2 at RT, 1 at LT -- at Northwestern before opting out of the 2020 campaign. He’s a 6’4, 304-pounder with elite athleticism, projecting as an immediate upgrade over last year’s starting LT, Sam Tevi.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Ekeler scored as the PPR RB7 and the non-PPR RB16 in his 9 healthy games last year. That followed a top-7 finish across scoring formats in a 16-game 2019 campaign. He’s been 1 of the best pass-catching backs in the league over the past 2 seasons, while also contributing plenty on the ground.

Ekeler heads into 2021 on an ascending Chargers offense. QB Justin Herbert is coming off a brilliant rookie season, the offensive line looks much improved, and new OC Joe Lombardi should maximize Ekeler’s pass-catching ability.

He’s an easy RB1 with top-5 upside in PPR. Consider him a borderline RB1 in non-PPR.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler isn't listed on the Week 2 injury report. He, of course, got in just 1 limited practice last week due to a hamstring injury. Ekeler ended up playing 58% of the snaps in the opener, carrying 15 times and surprisingly finishing without a single target. Expect his role to expand vs. the Cowboys this Sunday.

View all Austin Ekeler Shark Bites »

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is active for today’s game vs. Washington. He only got in a limited practice on Friday this week, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said this morning that Ekeler will be a “full go” today. We still have some added risk baked into his Week 1 projection -- but Ekeler would be tough to keep out of fantasy lineups. RB Joshua Kelley is a healthy scratch for Los Angeles, another sign that Ekeler is good to go. Justin Jackson and Larry Rountree will play behind Ekeler today.

View all Austin Ekeler Shark Bites »

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will be a "full go" for today's opener vs. Washington, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a bit surprising after Ekeler got in just a limited practice on Friday. But it continues to sound like his absence on Wednesday and Thursday was precautionary. At this point, Ekeler should be locked into Week 1 fantasy lineups.

View all Austin Ekeler Shark Bites »

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is expected to play against Washington on Sunday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Ekeler was held out of Wednesday and Thursday's practices as a "precaution," Rapoport adds. The hamstring issue adds risk to Ekeler's Week 1 fantasy outlook, but he retains RB1 upside. We'll continue to look for updates on any type of limitations on Ekeler this weekend.

View all Austin Ekeler Shark Bites »

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is listed as questionable for this weekend's game vs. Washington. He put in a limited practice on Friday after sitting out the previous 2 days. HC Brandon Staley is reportedly "optimistic" that Ekeler will be able to play. We'll continue to look for updates on his status heading into the opener. The game kicks off at 1 pm ET on Sunday, so we'll get the Chargers' inactives around 11: 30 am. Ekeler will obviously come with elevated risk in fantasy lineups if he plays.

View all Austin Ekeler Shark Bites »

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