Game day update: Since Austin Ekeler made his return from injury a couple of weeks ago, the Chargers have made it a point of emphasis to get the ball to him. Against the Patriots last week, Ekeler scored 6.8 fantasy points in a 45-0 blowout loss. But he should be able to rebound this week against an improved Falcons’ defense.
This season, the Falcons’ defense has only given up five rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs, which is pretty good. But on the other end of the spectrum, they’ve allowed four receiving touchdowns, which is sixth-most in the NFL. ESPN projects Ekeler to score 13.5 fantasy points.
Even in a totally forgettable game for the Los Angeles Chargers last week — a 45-0 home drubbing at the hands of the New England Patriots — Austin Ekeler still showed why he is such a valuable fantasy commodity.
Fantasy Football analysis: Chargers RB Austin Ekeler
Although nothing went right for L.A. in that game, Ekeler wasn’t a total dud as he tallied 10.8 DraftKings points. He finished with eight carries, four receptions and nine targets despite barely playing in the fourth quarter of that blowout. In his two games since returning from injured reserve, Ekeler has recorded 25 targets, 15 receptions, 37 touches, 34.7 fantasy points and zero touchdowns. As worthwhile as he has been, there is room for greater returns moving forward. The Atlanta Falcons, once a complete joke of a defense, have been pretty good against the run recently. Last week, Alvin Kamara became the first running back since Week 2 to surpass 80 rushing yards against this defense. The Falcons have also given up only 12 receptions to RBs in their previous five games; they gave up 51 in their first seven. But one thing the Chargers have made clear in these past two weeks is that they have no problem putting a lot of work on Ekeler’s plate.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Ekeler is a stellar RB1 in all formats. He costs $7,000 on DraftKings.