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Joshua Kelley - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Joshua Kelley


#57 Running Back

64 Projected Points

ADP: 28.2
Bye: 7
Experience: 1 Yr(s)
Age: 23
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 212
40 Time: Not Available

2021 Projections & Outlook


#57 Running Back

64 Projected Points

ADP Rush Atts Rush Yds Rush TDs 100 Fum Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs
28.2 71 284 4 0 1 16 118 0

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Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Kelley was 1 of the most ineffective runners in the NFL last year. Among 47 RBs with 100+ carries, Kelley ranked …
    • 47th in yards per carry (3.2)
    • 46th in Elusive Rating
    • 45th in Pro Football Focus’ rushing grades
    • 47th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA
  • The Chargers used him a bit near the goal line, but he wasn’t very good there either. Kelley scored on just 1 of his 5 carries inside the 5-yard line and 2 of his 13 carries inside the 10.
  • He was better in the passing game.
    • Kelley hauled in all 23 of his targets.
    • He averaged just 6.4 yards per catch.
    • But he ranked 30th in yards per route run and 15th in PFF receiving grades among 61 RBs with 20+ targets.
  • Kelley averaged 12.5 carries over his first 6 games. That sunk to 4.5 over his final 8 games. He was a healthy scratch in Weeks 14 and 16.
  • The Chargers took Kelley in the 4th round of last year’s draft. He tallied 225-1,243-12 and 229-1,060-12 rushing lines over his final 2 seasons at UCLA. But Kelley didn’t look special on tape, was subpar analytically and tested as a 47th percentile athlete at the Combine.
  • The Chargers lost RB Kalen Ballage in free agency but return RBs Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson and added 6th-round rookie RB Larry Rountree.
  • Kelley, Jackson and Rountree will battle for a complementary role behind Ekeler.
    • Jackson has had trouble staying healthy as a pro but easily beat Kelley in all rushing and receiving metrics last year.
    • The 5’11, 211-pound Rountree was a 4-year contributor at Missouri but averaged a mediocre (for college) 5.0 yards per carry and tested as a bottom-barrel athlete.
  • In Ekeler’s 8 full games last year, other Chargers RBs averaged 8 carries and 3.1 targets.
  • 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. He also spent 12 years in New Orleans working under HC Sean Payton.
  • 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:

Kelley was decent in the passing game last year but was 1 of the worst runners in the NFL. We’ll see if he takes a step forward in his 2nd season.

Kelley, Justin Jackson and rookie Larry Rountree will battle for work behind Austin Ekeler this year. But even the winner would need an Ekeler injury to be anything more than a fringe fantasy option.


Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Chargers RB Joshua Kelley "might be having the best training camp of any player on the roster," The Athletic's Daniel Popper writes. HC Anthony Lynn likes what he's seen from the rookie, too. "I believe Joshua is having an outstanding camp," Lynn said. "I’ve thrown him in with the ones; he’s made plays. He’s in with the twos; he’s made plays. And he has shown a versatility. He can catch the ball out of the backfield well. He has shown that. So I’ve been pleased with his progress so far.” Popper notes that Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson still appear to be ahead of Kelley on the depth chart. But it sounds like he's pushing Jackson for snaps behind Ekeler. That'll be a situation to monitor early this season. For now, Kelley and Jackson are only worth rostering in deep fantasy leagues.

View all Joshua Kelley Shark Bites »

The Chargers added UCLA RB Joshua Kelley in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Kelley was a workhorse for the Bruins over the past 2 seasons, tallying rushing lines of 225-1,243-12 and 229-1,060-12. He averaged a mediocre 5.1 yards per carry, though, and doesn’t look like anything special on tape. Kelley ranked 17th among 21 of this year’s top RBs prospects in Pro Football Focus’ 2019 rushing grades and dead last in Elusive Rating. The 5’11, 212-pounder did test reasonably well at the Combine, posting a 4.49-second 40 time and a 6.95-second 3-cone. He finished with a 47th percentile SPARQ score. We heard one scout compare Kelley to the Packers’ Jamaal Williams. He’ll compete with Justin Jackson for ‘big-back’ duties behind Austin Ekeler in Los Angeles.

View all Joshua Kelley Shark Bites »

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