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What Does Austin Ekeler Have Left?

By Kevin English | Updated on Mon, 17 Jun 2024, 6:26 AM EDT
Austin Ekeler Headshot

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?

What They're Saying

Ekeler’s backfield fit (for new Commanders OC Kliff Kingsbury) will play a key role in whether he rebounds. 

Here’s how the former Charger sized up new teammate Brian Robinson Jr.

“He’s a big guy,” Ekeler said at mandatory minicamp. “He’s going to catch the ball. He’s going to be a strong runner coming downhill. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have as much wiggle. But if you compare him to me, I’m a jitterbug out there. I’m probably going to be a little bit more maneuverable than he is.”

Ekeler also believes he and Robinson are “different assets” – not necessary direct competitors.

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

Let’s think logically here. Robinson figures to see primary usage on early/run downs, including goal line snaps. Ekeler, with 440 career catches, should see the bulk of the receiving work.

Per beat writer Sam Fortier, the Commanders have experimented with two-back sets this offseason. But such a formation isn’t going to be a staple under Kingsbury.

Visit our fantasy football RB rankings, and you’ll see Ekeler is best viewed as a PPR RB3/FLEX.

Dynasty Impact

Ekeler recently signed a two-year deal, although the Commanders can get out of it with relative ease in 2025.

Our work with historical aging curves say we should expect a noticeable drop in production for age-29 RBs. Ekeler, who turned 29 in May, has totaled 1,430 career touches.

Kevin English Author Image
Kevin English, Senior Analyst
Kevin brings 15 years of experience as a fantasy analyst and mid-stakes competitor across various formats (redraft, best ball, dynasty, DFS). His work has been featured on The Mercury News, Rotoworld, and FantasyPros.
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