Chargers RB Austin Ekeler announced via Instagram that he tested positive for COVID still on Saturday and will miss Sunday's game against the Texans. That positions Justin Jackson to lead the backfield in a high-upside matchup. He will share work -- to an unclear degree -- with Joshua Kelley and perhaps Larry Rountree, though. So don't overrate the certainty of Jackson's fantasy outlook.
A contract adjustment seems to be ending the offseason tumult for Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the team is adding "close to $2 million in incentives" to the final year of Ekeler's contract and that the RB is "staying." Ekeler, of course, requested a trade earlier this offseason over discontent with his contract. He's still set to hit free agency next March. But there should now be no question about Ekeler's 2023 status. His ADP slipped some through the dispute, but Ekeler never got consistently outside of Round 1 in best ball drafting. He sits well within that range in our 2023 fantasy football rankings.
The Chargers have granted RB Austin Ekeler permission to seek a trade, according to his agent. Ekeler and the Chargers haven't made much progress on extension talks, leading to the possibility of a split. Ekeler has 1 year left on his current deal at a very reasonable $7.75 million cap hit. He remained a fantasy monster last year, catching a career-high 107 passes and scoring 18 TDs. Ekeler earned a career-best 83.2 Pro Football Focus rushing grade (13th among 42 qualifiers) and ranked 3rd among 43 qualifiers in PFF receiving grade. It's tough to imagine a move out of Los Angeles helping his fantasy value -- but we also wouldn't expect a significant hit.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler capped off his age 27-season with 13 carries for 35 yards and 2 scores. Credit the Jags for filling up rushing lanes — and limiting Ekeler to only 2 catches for 8 yards (4 targets). A TD machine with 40 scores over the past 2 seasons, Ekeler is now scheduled to enter the final year of his second contract. Change could be coming to the Chargers’ coaching staff, but there's no reason to alter RB1 expectations for 2023.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler ran for 122 yards and 2 TDs in Sunday's win over the Rams. Ekeler carried just 10 times for the game, adding 4 catches for 39 yards. The team also mixed in RB Joshua Kelley for 9 carries and RB Larry Rountree for 10. Rountree's use came in the 2nd half, perhaps motivated by a knee issue that limited Ekeler to start the practice week. The Chargers finish the regular season at Denver. Ekeler went for limited yardage -- 83 total on 14 carries and 16 targets -- in the 1st meeting. That came back in Week 6, though, against a much different Broncos defense.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (knee) fully participated in practice on Friday and doesn't carry an injury tag for Week 17 vs. the Rams. The Chargers have already clinched a playoff berth and don't have a ton to play for this week. As such, we can't really say how much involvement Ekeler or the other key starters will have vs. the Rams. But unless we have reason to believe his work will be limited, fantasy managers can trust Ekeler as a bonafide RB1 as they have all season. Keep your ear to the ground for any whispers to suggest he'll be lightly utilized just in case.
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