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Austin Ekeler - RB - Chargers

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4 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I disagree. This tangent started by me posting that the coaching staff made a huge mistake shifting so many snaps from Ekeler to Gordon the past 2 weeks. I don't think Henry's return has any bearing on that stance, and the game script last night evolved in part because of that bad coaching decision.

So your position here is that having Melvin Gordon back actually makes the Chargers worse.

 

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12 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I disagree. This tangent started by me posting that the coaching staff made a huge mistake shifting so many snaps from Ekeler to Gordon the past 2 weeks. I don't think Henry's return has any bearing on that stance, and the game script last night evolved in part because of that bad coaching decision.

I mean sure you can say that. But I don't think it's the fault of Gordon that caused Rivers to overthrow him on a screen and then throw a pick to Bush (granted off a tip) in the first 6 minutes of the game to go down 14-0.

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3 hours ago, davearm said:

So your position here is that having Melvin Gordon back actually makes the Chargers worse.

Having Gordon back and forcing snaps and touches to him over Ekeler in his first two games back has made the Chargers worse. There is really no disputing that, it is fact. It's not really Gordon's fault, it is the fault of the coaching staff.

 

3 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

I mean sure you can say that. But I don't think it's the fault of Gordon that caused Rivers to overthrow him on a screen and then throw a pick to Bush (granted off a tip) in the first 6 minutes of the game to go down 14-0.

Drive #1: Gordon had 2 carries for 1 yard, putting the Chargers in 3rd and 9, and Benjamin dropped the 3rd down pass. Drive over.

Drive #2: Gordon was the target on the lateral that was overthrown and returned for a TD. It is possible that occurred at least partly due to lack of chemistry between Rivers and Gordon, and possible that it wouldn't have happened if Ekeler was on the field instead of Gordon.

Drive #3: Gordon had 1 carry for 7 yards that put the Chargers in 3rd and 4, and they converted. Then the tipped pass was intercepted, ending the drive.

Drive #4: Gordon had 3 carries for 5 yards, which contributed to the drive stalling.

By this time, the first quarter was essentially over, and the Chargers were trailing 21-0. The usage of Gordon was absolutely a contributing factor.

The current Chargers OL cannot block well enough for Gordon to be effective. Gordon is a RB who, for the most part, gets what is blocked. He lacks vision. This is very well known among Chargers fans. The team would be much better off giving snaps and touches to Ekeler and Jackson (when healthy) given the state of the OL.

The coaching staff apparently feels differently, but they are being proven wrong on the field so far.

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Just now, PinkydaPimp said:

About time they stop messing around with Gordon and give ekeler the rock.

I mean they're using him out wide, but yes. More productive either way.

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Austin Ekeler rushed five times for seven yards and had seven receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown on eight targets in the Chargers' Week 7 loss to the Titans.

For those counting at home, that's 125 yards on 15 touches (8.3 YPT) while Melvin Gordon had 29 yards on 19 touches (1.5 YPT). The Chargers stubbornly handed the ball off to Gordon often in the first half before relying on Ekeler as a receiver in the second half. Ekeler created separation on a stop-and-go on his 41-yard touchdown, and he nearly had a second receiving touchdown but was tackled at the half-yard line. Don't expect the Bolts to start feeding Ekeler carries, but he is the preferred pass-catcher in this two-back committee. With the Bears on deck, Ekeler is a flex play in PPR leagues.

Oct 20, 2019, 7:29 PM ET

 

 

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With the near dud (saved by a late game winning catch), I'm not sure what to expect on a week-to-week basis. GB looks a little juicy, and Gordon hasn't done much to force Ekeler out of timeshare, but I would be starting Ek with a little more confidence if they didn't just play the Bears. For now, I'll be tossing around the idea of starting him over Jaylen Samuels and praying he gets RB/WR designation in ESPN. 

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1 hour ago, Absolutely Nothing said:

With the near dud (saved by a late game winning catch), I'm not sure what to expect on a week-to-week basis. GB looks a little juicy, and Gordon hasn't done much to force Ekeler out of timeshare, but I would be starting Ek with a little more confidence if they didn't just play the Bears. For now, I'll be tossing around the idea of starting him over Jaylen Samuels and praying he gets RB/WR designation in ESPN. 

When has ESPN ever changed a player's designation 9 games into a season, let alone changed a player's designation when the team itself has not changed the player's official position?

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8 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

When has ESPN ever changed a player's designation 9 games into a season, let alone changed a player's designation when the team itself has not changed the player's official position?

IIRC, Ty Montgomery got the designation of RB midway through the season back in 2016. 

I think he ended up just converting for them, but with Ek's usage, a man can dream. Like the opposite of the Jimmy Graham debate from a few years back.

Edited by Absolutely Nothing

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2 hours ago, Absolutely Nothing said:

With the near dud (saved by a late game winning catch), I'm not sure what to expect on a week-to-week basis. GB looks a little juicy, and Gordon hasn't done much to force Ekeler out of timeshare, but I would be starting Ek with a little more confidence if they didn't just play the Bears. For now, I'll be tossing around the idea of starting him over Jaylen Samuels and praying he gets RB/WR designation in ESPN. 

It's funny, Ekeler has been getting a ton of love this week yet, if it wasn't for that late TD his line would have been complete garbage. I could have seen Ekeler owners throwing in the towel if that TD didn't happen.

Rodgers is on fire. Gotta think GB gets up in this one so maybe Ekeler gets his share. That said, GB a little soft in the middle so this could be a Gordon game.

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5 minutes ago, kyoun1e said:

It's funny, Ekeler has been getting a ton of love this week yet, if it wasn't for that late TD his line would have been complete garbage. I could have seen Ekeler owners throwing in the towel if that TD didn't happen.

Rodgers is on fire. Gotta think GB gets up in this one so maybe Ekeler gets his share. That said, GB a little soft in the middle so this could be a Gordon game.

Last week was a tough game for everyone on the LAC offense. The week before, he showed that even with garbage rushing, he can be an RB1 with his receiving share. This is a team that will throw a LOT, and dump it off a lot. Especially if Gordon continues to struggle, Ek isn't worth giving up on.

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46 minutes ago, Absolutely Nothing said:

Last week was a tough game for everyone on the LAC offense. The week before, he showed that even with garbage rushing, he can be an RB1 with his receiving share. This is a team that will throw a LOT, and dump it off a lot. Especially if Gordon continues to struggle, Ek isn't worth giving up on.

In my opinion, this is the week Gordon has to show up. Everything is lining up to say that he should be solid this week. But if he fails again, and Ek performs better and/or the offense plays better with him in, the hot hand approach might be used going forward, or rather Ek gets the nod very soon. Overall, I am really curious to see on how this backfield will go after this weekend. Someone needs to control this backfield eventually, right? 
 

(I’m staying neutral with the Ek vs. Gordon debate; eventually one party will be victorious...hopefully.) 

Edited by Mario Wario

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Austin Ekeler rushed 12 times for 70 yards in the Chargers' Week 9 win over the Packers, adding four receptions for 23 additional yards.

Ekeler's 16 touches were his most since Week 5, and came even as Melvin Gordon vacuumed up 23 handles. Ekeler actually received a pair of carries inside the five, including from the two, but couldn't cash them in. Gordon did one play after Ekeler's failed two-yard plunge. Despite that disappointment, today was how the Chargers want their backfield to look. It came against one of the league's worst run defenses. Week 10 Thursday night opponent Oakland, though weaker than the Packers' defense overall, is better on the ground. Ekeler will still be a legitimate RB2.

Nov 3, 2019, 7:52 PM ET

 

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In full admission, I didn't watch every snap of today's game.  However from what I did see, I thought Ekeler looked considerably better on his touches than did Gordon despite Gordon's superior stat line. Can any homers enlighten me why the Chargers aren't using this guy at least as much as the guy who held-out who didn't seem interested in making LAC his long term home?

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21 minutes ago, aggie_dave said:

In full admission, I didn't watch every snap of today's game.  However from what I did see, I thought Ekeler looked considerably better on his touches than did Gordon despite Gordon's superior stat line. Can any homers enlighten me why the Chargers aren't using this guy at least as much as the guy who held-out who didn't seem interested in making LAC his long term home?

Ekeler had a chance to get a rushing TD - he got 2 carries inside the 5 bringing it to the 1, but on 4th down Gordon got the call and the TD. Gordon looked good today,  broke some tackles, but Ekeler does look more explosive. It's a good 1-2 punch. They don't want to wear down Ekeler.

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Austin Ekeler rushed six times for 19 yards in the Chargers' Week 10 loss to the Raiders, adding two receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown.

Ekeler caught a 22-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage, but was mostly quiet for the rest of the evening, his touchdown excepted. For the second game in a row, Ekeler couldn't cash in a goal-line carry, this one from the five. Thankfully, he caught his six-yard score the following play. It still wasn't a positive night for Ekeler's fantasy future, as he got out-touched 23-8 by Melvin Gordon, whose advantage is now 46-24 over the past two weeks. Ekeler will maintain PPR FLEX appeal for a juicy Week 11 matchup in the Chiefs.

Nov 8, 2019, 12:16 AM ET

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

Only 8 touches for the most explosive player on the Chargers offense. They deserve to lose.

Sure.  Gordon looked really good this week too though.  

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I'm going to try very hard this week to trade Ekeler to some fool. This is the 2nd week in a row where a late TD saved his day.

He's just not getting the touches, Gordon is, and the LAC season is going down the tubes.

Don't love the playoff matchups either.

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hard to complain about last night given how good Gordon looked.  he was running the ball effectively so Ekeler got fewer touches.  still getting looks in the passing game.

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20 minutes ago, joffer said:

hard to complain about last night given how good Gordon looked.  he was running the ball effectively so Ekeler got fewer touches.  still getting looks in the passing game.

He had two targets last night. 

My issue is the coaching: How in the world are you not getting Ekeler more involved? I understand that Gordon was productive last night but this doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. What about a 2 RB set or using Ekeler in the slot? It makes zero sense to me that they're barely using this guy.

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7 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

He had two targets last night. 

My issue is the coaching: How in the world are you not getting Ekeler more involved? I understand that Gordon was productive last night but this doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. What about a 2 RB set or using Ekeler in the slot? It makes zero sense to me that they're barely using this guy.

Spoken from a true Ekeler owner.  I am a Gordon owner and if the season is lost... this favors Gordon more than Ekeler.  Gordon is going to be on someone else's roster next year, which means you should run him into the ground.  The only thing hampering M. Gordon is the outcome of these football games.  Generally speaking, they are in passing situations late in games where Ekeler is the clear favorite for the Chargers. 

Through my eyes, Melvin Gordon is clearly the better back and anyone asking for more Ekeler volume is an Ekeler owner hoping for his Start of Season production.

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6 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

He had two targets last night. 

My issue is the coaching: How in the world are you not getting Ekeler more involved? I understand that Gordon was productive last night but this doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. What about a 2 RB set or using Ekeler in the slot? It makes zero sense to me that they're barely using this guy.

Rivers completed a pass to Ekeler from the slot for 23 yards on the first play from scrimmage... then no other official target until the late TD. That said, he did catch 2 other passes, but those plays were both negated by defensive penalties.

Interestingly enough, the Chargers decided to accept a 5 yard penalty to get in 2nd and 8 rather than decline to keep the result of an 11 yard catch by Ekeler that would have put them in 3rd and 2. Not sure about that decision, but that was the drive that ended with Ekeler's TD, so it worked out.

The problem is that Gordon played well and had 23 touches and Allen played well and had 15 opportunities. Ekeler had 10 opportunities, which was next highest.

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23 minutes ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

Spoken from a true Ekeler owner.  I am a Gordon owner and if the season is lost... this favors Gordon more than Ekeler.  Gordon is going to be on someone else's roster next year, which means you should run him into the ground.  The only thing hampering M. Gordon is the outcome of these football games.  Generally speaking, they are in passing situations late in games where Ekeler is the clear favorite for the Chargers. 

Through my eyes, Melvin Gordon is clearly the better back and anyone asking for more Ekeler volume is an Ekeler owner hoping for his Start of Season production.

Yards per touch in 2019:

Ekeler:  6.1

Gordon: 3.9

Over the past 3 games as Lynn has largely phased Ekeler out of the offense, the Chargers offense has posted their 2 lowest yardage games. Is it a coincidence that in both games, Ekeler received under 10 touches per game, his 2 lowest totals of the season?

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53 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

He had two targets last night. 

My issue is the coaching: How in the world are you not getting Ekeler more involved? I understand that Gordon was productive last night but this doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. What about a 2 RB set or using Ekeler in the slot? It makes zero sense to me that they're barely using this guy.

two erased by penalty

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Ekeler is not as good of a runner as many are making him out to be.  He is a receiving specialist, who was thrust into a workhorse role to start the season.  In each of his 4 games without MG, he masked his average-at-best running (3.9 YPC) with great receiving stats.  He had more yardage receiving in all 4 games.  He is the James White of the Chargers.  This is coming from an Ekeler owner.  I don't mind that he is losing carries - that was expected upon MG's return.  I do think he needs to be more involved in the passing game though.  In the first 5 games, he had no less than 5 catches and 45 yards.  In the last 5, he only hit either of those numbers once.

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9 minutes ago, TheWinz said:

Ekeler is not as good of a runner as many are making him out to be.  He is a receiving specialist, who was thrust into a workhorse role to start the season.  In each of his 4 games without MG, he masked his average-at-best running (3.9 YPC) with great receiving stats.  He had more yardage receiving in all 4 games.  He is the James White of the Chargers.  This is coming from an Ekeler owner.  I don't mind that he is losing carries - that was expected upon MG's return.  I do think he needs to be more involved in the passing game though.  In the first 5 games, he had no less than 5 catches and 45 yards.  In the last 5, he only hit either of those numbers once.

When Ekeler has 9 or more carries in a game this season (5 games, including last week against the Packers), he's averaging 4.3 ypc. Again, the issue here is the dramatic drop in snaps. Having Ekeler off the field more often than on it is a losing strategy and he's been averaging less than 50% snap rate over the past five weeks. That's just terrible coaching.

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Started Ekeler over Jaylen Samuels- not disappointed in the 10-odd points I got out of Ek but I'm wondering if I made a misplay. The trend is definitely heading downward, but this feels like a trap where as soon as I bench Ek, he'll go off on my bench like week 7.

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14 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

When Ekeler has 9 or more carries in a game this season (5 games, including last week against the Packers), he's averaging 4.3 ypc. Again, the issue here is the dramatic drop in snaps. Having Ekeler off the field more often than on it is a losing strategy and he's been averaging less than 50% snap rate over the past five weeks. That's just terrible coaching.

They lost last night because they stopped running the ball with Gordon in the second half. 

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6 minutes ago, Weebs210 said:

They lost last night because they stopped running the ball with Gordon in the second half. 

Also Rivers 3 INT did not help.

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20 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

When Ekeler has 9 or more carries in a game this season (5 games, including last week against the Packers), he's averaging 4.3 ypc. Again, the issue here is the dramatic drop in snaps. Having Ekeler off the field more often than on it is a losing strategy and he's been averaging less than 50% snap rate over the past five weeks. That's just terrible coaching.

Don't you think it says something when you basically cherry-picked, and still only came up with 4.3 YPC?  47 RB's currently are averaging at least 4.3 YPC, without having to remove their bad games.

Just for the heck of it, let me cherry-pick this stat for you - in all games where Ekeler had less than 8 touches, the Chargers are 1-0, and it was easily their best game of the season.

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2 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

Rivers completed a pass to Ekeler from the slot for 23 yards on the first play from scrimmage... then no other official target until the late TD. That said, he did catch 2 other passes, but those plays were both negated by defensive penalties.

Interestingly enough, the Chargers decided to accept a 5 yard penalty to get in 2nd and 8 rather than decline to keep the result of an 11 yard catch by Ekeler that would have put them in 3rd and 2. Not sure about that decision, but that was the drive that ended with Ekeler's TD, so it worked out.

The problem is that Gordon played well and had 23 touches and Allen played well and had 15 opportunities. Ekeler had 10 opportunities, which was next highest.

Was questioning that decision myself.  They ended up with 3rd and 3+ if I recall. 

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1 hour ago, TheWinz said:

Don't you think it says something when you basically cherry-picked, and still only came up with 4.3 YPC?  47 RB's currently are averaging at least 4.3 YPC, without having to remove their bad games.

Just for the heck of it, let me cherry-pick this stat for you - in all games where Ekeler had less than 8 touches, the Chargers are 1-0, and it was easily their best game of the season.

I think it speaks to sample sizes and opportunity.  His YPC on the season are still better than Gordon's.

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1 hour ago, Weebs210 said:

They lost last night because they stopped running the ball with Gordon in the second half. 

He carried 5 times for 8 yards in the 4th quarter.

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9 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

I think it speaks to sample sizes and opportunity.  His YPC on the season are still better than Gordon's.

0.04 is insignificant.  

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3 minutes ago, Andrew74 said:

0.04 is insignificant.  

Agreed. So why all the workload for Gordon over Ekeler is clearly a much better weapon in the passing game?

Actually, just looked it up: Ekeler is 3.8. Gordon is 3.5.

Edited by Workhorse

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3 hours ago, Workhorse said:

Yards per touch in 2019:

Ekeler:  6.1

Gordon: 3.9

Over the past 3 games as Lynn has largely phased Ekeler out of the offense, the Chargers offense has posted their 2 lowest yardage games. Is it a coincidence that in both games, Ekeler received under 10 touches per game, his 2 lowest totals of the season?

Understandable, but that is taking into assumption all teams are equal.  Chicago is a top 10 run defense for yardage allowed.  Tennessee is top 15.  

There are variables not being factored into the production/usage change.  Injuries to the line and quality of opponent have changed.  With that being said, look at the Dolphins game.  Ekeler averaged 3.3ypc and was saved by a couple touchdowns.  If you thought this production was going to continue after Melvin Gordon's holdout ended... you are more optimistic than I am.  

If you look at the games both runners have played in... the statistics are not much different.  YPC are similar and Ekeler does not have the body type to bang between the tackles 20-30 times a game for 16 games.  If I owned Ekeler, I would have been looking to unload him for someone (assuming you were smart enough to draft Ekeler has a RB2 or RB3).  Sell them when they're performance has surpassed expectations. 

Side note: I thought Gordon looked decent running behind a line that couldn't stop a 4 man rush.

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9 minutes ago, Workhorse said:

He carried 5 times for 8 yards in the 4th quarter.

Incorrect. It was 4 for 12.

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2 minutes ago, Cobbler1 said:

Incorrect. It was 4 for 12.

Apologies, you're right. His last carry in the 3rd was when he lost 4 yards.

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4 hours ago, Workhorse said:

He had two targets last night. 

My issue is the coaching: How in the world are you not getting Ekeler more involved? I understand that Gordon was productive last night but this doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. What about a 2 RB set or using Ekeler in the slot? It makes zero sense to me that they're barely using this guy.

I don't think this is a Gordon vs. Ekeler thing. It's an Ekeler vs. all the other options in the passing game. 

Lot of mouths to feed. Earlier in the year...no Gordon, No Williams, no Henry.

Ekeler was split out often, but Rivers has a ton of targets.

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3 hours ago, Weebs210 said:

It's over. Hope you guys sold high.

Not exactly. I was able to package Ekeler with Darnold (!) earlier this week, to get Winston and Gallup. Maybe I hopped off a little late, but I enjoyed the ride.

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Side note: Ekeler’s snap percentage last night was 45% vs. Gordon’s 62%. Last week it was 34%, which shows he’s still a fine option. Next week is KC and he had a good game against them last year. The second meeting, though, he missed due to being hurt.

Edited by Mario Wario

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Dynasty wise, what's his outlook?  Gordon most likely gone this year.  New OC in the past week or so.  Rivers doesn't have that much left, does he?  Will LA bring in another RB to replace Gordon, or will they stay with what they have?

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6 minutes ago, matttyl said:

Dynasty wise, what's his outlook?  Gordon most likely gone this year.  New OC in the past week or so.  Rivers doesn't have that much left, does he?  Will LA bring in another RB to replace Gordon, or will they stay with what they have?

I think you have to work with a contingency plan, even if they like Ek as a starter with Gordon gone. They recognize they can't give him a workhorse load for a full season and should probably bring in a pounder vet to compete for early down snaps.

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^Non-Chargers fans may not be familiar with Justin Jackson, who has been hurt much of this season. He is pretty good.

Best case scenario for Ekeler is that Gordon walks and he and Jackson split the primary RB duties. That would likely give Ekeler a larger role than he is getting right now sharing with Gordon. 

Worst case scenario is they re-sign Gordon. Not out of the realm of possibility given his value has presumably reset much lower than Gordon expected. 

Similarly bad scenario would be for Gordon to walk and the Chargers use a 2020 1-3 round pick on a RB to join the committee. 

Pretty wide range of possibilities here but I think it is likely that Ekeler peaked as a fantasy asset during Gordon’s holdout and will neve again approach that value. 

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14 hours ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

 Through my eyes, Melvin Gordon is clearly the better back and anyone asking for more Ekeler volume is an Ekeler owner hoping for his Start of Season production.

I own both. I'll disagree here. Perhaps Gordon is currently looking better but it's too small a sample (I'll say the last 2 weeks) since he's been in true game shape again. Regardless I don't think there's been anything clear cut that I've seen that says one is superior to the other, unless you're going to separate rushing from receiving where IMO there is a clear difference.

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8 hours ago, matttyl said:

Dynasty wise, what's his outlook?  Gordon most likely gone this year.  New OC in the past week or so.  Rivers doesn't have that much left, does he?  Will LA bring in another RB to replace Gordon, or will they stay with what they have?

He’s a RFA so ekeler may not stay in LA either, most likely the chargers match but there is some chance he lands somewhere else and you can hope for production like the first half of the season.
Like Just Win said of ekeler is back next year they would still have justin Jackson and a combo of Jackson and ekeler would be solid. Ekeler probably gets 65-75% of the work just like earlier this year. Definitely hard to judge his future value tho, could be a steal if he is used right (Top 10 back in PPR) or he could fall back to more of a flex play every week

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7 hours ago, Bfrahm3 said:

He’s a RFA so ekeler may not stay in LA either, most likely the chargers match but there is some chance he lands somewhere else and you can hope for production like the first half of the season.
Like Just Win said of ekeler is back next year they would still have justin Jackson and a combo of Jackson and ekeler would be solid. Ekeler probably gets 65-75% of the work just like earlier this year. Definitely hard to judge his future value tho, could be a steal if he is used right (Top 10 back in PPR) or he could fall back to more of a flex play every week

Can we compare him to the likes of Coleman?  Similar role in Atlanta with solid production per touch but never got to be the guy other than a few injury replacement games.

Went to San Fran to seemingly be the man, and sort of piled into a big timeshare but still producing and proving he can be an RB1 in the right scenario.

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Austin Ekeler rushed five times for 24 yards and caught 8-of-12 targets for 108 yards in the Chargers' Week 11 loss to the Chiefs Monday night.

The Chargers were moving the ball at will in the first half, and Ekeler was a big part of it with 120 yards on 10 touches at the break. He was out-carried 14-5 by Melvin Gordon, but Ekeler tied Keenan Allen for the team lead in targets and was a major part of the offense. Even with Gordon back and playing well, Ekeler remains a key cog and should be treated as an every-week RB2 with upside in PPR formats. He gets the Broncos after the Week 12 bye.

Nov 18, 2019, 11:57 PM ET

 

 

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