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Player Outlook
For the first time in his career, Ekeler will play on a new team in a new offense with a dual-threat quarterback. And after the 29-year-old saw all of his statistical metrics drop last season, it's natural to be cautious. Last season Ekeler never really looked like himself, especially after suffering a high-ankle sprain in September. The Commanders obviously see some good in him, but they also have Brian Robinson as a running-downs back as well as rookie dual-threat QB in 2023 Heisman winner Jayden Daniels. Both figure to keep a cap on Ekeler's workload from week to week, including his target volume (he was at 5.3 per game last year, a five-year low). Draft Ekeler accordingly -- Round 7 in PPR is a reasonable time to grab him, though we'd wait at least one round in non-PPR formats.

Fantasy Stats

rushing receiving fantasy
Year yds
Rushing Yards
avg
Average Yards per Rush
td
Rushing Touchdowns
fl
Fumbles Lost
rec
Receptions
yds
Receiving Yards
td
Receiving Touchdowns
fpts
Fantasy Points
fpts/g
Fantasy Points per Game
2024
2023 628 3.51 5 4 51 436 1 1198.5
2022 915 4.49 13 3 107 722 5 24814.6
3y Avg. 818 4.17 10 3 76 602 5 21113.2
Projections Powered by
Fantasy Performance by Week
98%
Roster
86%
Start
#36
RB Rank

Fantasy News

  • Commanders' Austin Ekeler: Headed to Washington

    Ekeler is signing a two-year contract with the Commanders, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. The deal reportedly is worth up to $11.43 million, but with only $4.82 million guaranteed in the first season and a significant portion being incentives. Ekeler turns 29 in May and is coming off a 2023 campaign in which he experienced a massive downturn from his 2021-22 production while dealing with a high-ankle sprain and poor blocking. Even if he can't recapture his peak form, he should be useful as a passing-down back given that he has 3,884 career receiving yards and 30 receiving TDs. The Commanders likely envision Ekeler and Brian Robinson sharing backfield snaps, though it might look quite a bit different than Robinson's split with Antonio Gibson in 2023 (Gibson is signing with the Patriots, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). The Commanders have a new offensive coordinator (Kliff Kingsbury) and are widely expected to acquire a new quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Not getting tag

    The Chargers don't plan to give Ekeler a franchise tag, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Ekeler was never a serious candidate for the tag, given the Chargers' hesitance to hand him big contracts in the past and his downturn in production during the 2023 season. He'll hope to convince other teams that his high-ankle sprain was a big part of the problem in 2023, along with general dysfunction in Los Angeles that made it difficult to find running lanes and gain yards. Ekeler seems like a questionable fit under new Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman -- best known for powerful running games -- but a return to Los Angeles can't entirely be ruled out at this juncture. If he does end up signing elsewhere, it's hard to say whether Ekeler will be deployed as a lead back or as more of a passing-down guy in a timeshare.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Disappointing close to season

    Ekeler rushed the ball 10 times for 11 yards in Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Chiefs. He added seven receptions on eight targets for 38 yards. The Chargers ran 80 offensive plays in the loss, with Easton Stick taking to the air 47 times. As a result, Ekeler saw limited opportunity on the ground and was held to under 15 rushing yards for the second time in his last four games. He did manage to salvage his day as a receiver by matching his highest reception total of the season. It was a fitting close to a disappointing season for the Chargers overall as well as Ekeler individually, though he did still manage 1,064 yards from scrimmage with six total scores. He'll enter free agency this offseason, leaving his potential role and team in 2024 unclear.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Totals 50 yards in loss

    Ekeler rushed 13 times for 46 yards and caught his only target for four yards in Sunday's 16-9 loss to the Broncos. Ekeler was featured on offense for a Chargers team that was without its quarterback and top three wideouts Sunday. The remaining star on offense finished with a team-high 14 touches, but he was stymied by a stout Broncos defense and held to 50 total yards and no scores. In positive news, Ekeler's efforts helped him reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 13 semi-healthy games this season. The Chargers will still be lacking several key pieces in Week 18, so expect Ekeler to continue to be featured on offense in the team's regular-season finale against the Chiefs.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: RBs to Start

    Ekeler was better than expected in Week 16 against Buffalo with 15 carries for 65 yards and three catches for 21 yards on four targets. His 11.6 PPR points were his second-best total in his past six games. His best total over that span was Week 14 against Denver when he scored 21 PPR points, and he loves beating up on the Broncos. Ekeler, who went to high school (Eaton) and college (Western Colorado) in Colorado, has scored at least 15.8 PPR points in seven of his past eight games against Denver. And the Broncos are No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to running backs this year.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Lead role resumes under new HC

    Ekeler rushed 15 times for 63 yards and caught three of four targets for 21 yards in Saturday's 24-22 loss to the Bills. Ekeler saw his role reduced to single-digit touches in last week's loss to the Raiders, but his role was quickly restored by interim head coach Giff Smith on Saturday after Brandon Staley was let go last week. Ekeler responded with one of his better performances in what has been a down year affected by injury. The 28-year-old finished with a per-carry average above 4.0 yards for just the third time in 11 attempts since returning from a high-ankle sprain back in Week 6. Two of the three have come over the star tailback's last three contests, which could be the product of his ankle returning to full health in recent weeks. Ekeler's improved play coupled with a high touch count make him a plus fantasy play next Sunday against Denver.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: RBs to Sit

    It's hard to bench Ekeler in the majority of leagues, but we saw the downside of this offense in Week 15 at Las Vegas in a 63-21 loss with Justin Herbert (finger) out, which could get worse in this matchup with Buffalo in Week 16. Keep in mind that Ekeler was awful in four of his past five games, with his one positive outing against the bad Broncos run defense in Week 14. Otherwise, he scored 9.4 PPR points or less in his other four games, including 7.8 PPR points against the Raiders. Buffalo just held Tony Pollard to 7.7 PPR points in Week 15, and the Bills should be able to contain Ekeler in this matchup.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Major role reduction in loss

    Ekeler rushed five times for nine yards and brought in four of six targets for 29 yards in the Chargers' 63-21 loss to the Raiders on Thursday night. Ekeler's rumored usage downturn essentially came a game later than expected, with Isaiah Spiller outpacing him by 11 carries and Joshua Kelley logging five rush attempts as well. With Keenan Allen (heel) sidelined, Ekeler did finish tied for second in receptions and as the runner-up in targets, but the ineffectiveness with his season-low number of carries could mean he'll operate as more of a complementary option again in a Week 16 home matchup against the Bills on Saturday, Dec. 23.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Costly fumble in loss

    Ekeler rushed 10 times for 64 yards and lost a fumble in Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Packers. He also caught two of three targets for six yards. Ekeler was surprisingly held at bay by a Packers defense that has struggled against the run this season. While the tailback's average of 6.4 yards per carry was impressive, Ekeler coughed up the ball in scoring territory during the fourth quarter. With minimal contribution in the passing game, it was a missed opportunity for Ekeler, who is now set to square off against a tough Ravens defense in Week 12.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: 100-plus total yards and touchdown

    Ekeler registered 19 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown along with four receptions (on seven targets) for 48 yards in the 41-38 loss to the Lions on Sunday. The Lions' vaunted run defense certainly performed as advertised, as Ekeler averaged just 3.5 yards per carry over the afternoon. The electric scat back did get his customary red-zone work, which resulted in a short touchdown; however, the 28-year-old was otherwise bottled in terms of explosive plays. The seven-year pro now has six consecutive games with at least 14 carries and owns a near monopoly on the Chargers' goal-line touches, which means even with a sub 4.0-yard-per-carry average, he remains a weekly fantasy lock for the time being.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Touchdowns mask poor outing

    Ekeler carried the ball 14 times for 47 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two of his seven targets for 23 yards in the 27-6 win over the Jets on Monday. Ekeler punched in both touchdowns from a couple of yards out, but he uncharacteristically had a number of drops, specifically in the first half, that could have produced far more yardage. The Chargers offense hardly had to put much effort in this one as Zach Wilson and the Jets could barely cross the 50-yard line. Expect the mundane offensive figures to look a bit different Week 10 against a much better team overall in the Lions.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Big receiving game ends slump

    Ekeler (ankle) carried the ball 15 times for 29 yards and caught seven of eight targets for 94 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 30-13 win over Chicago. He also coughed up a fumble, his first of the season. Ekeler continues to struggle as a rusher since returning from injury in Week 6, but he finally broke out for fantasy managers with his contributions as a receiver. The 28-year-old displayed his usual burst on a handful of his 22 combined touches Sunday, something that was lacking when he initially returned from injury. With an extra day of rest scheduled ahead of next Monday's tilt the Jets, we could see the healthiest version of Ekeler since Week 1, when he combined for 164 yards and a touchdown against Miami.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Logs full practice Wednesday

    Ekeler (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday. During this past Sunday's 31-17 loss to the Chiefs, Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times noted that Ekeler was spotted limping off the field after a rushing attempt, but the running back was able to return to action and ended up logging 40 of 63 snaps on offense while carrying 14 times for 45 yards and catching one of his two targets for one yard. A full practice Wednesday sets the stage for Ekeler to continue to lead the Chargers backfield this weekend against the 2-5 Bears, with Joshua Kelley on hand to work in a complementary role.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Kept in check during loss

    Ekeler carried the ball 14 times for 45 yards in the 31-17 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. He also caught one of his two targets for one yard. Ekeler appeared to sustain some sort of ankle injury in the first half, but he managed to play through it. It was an ineffective day overall for the Chargers offense, particularly in the second half as the team failed to score a single point in the final 30 minutes. While Ekeler's status will likely need to be monitored throughout the week, the workload (14 carries for Ekeler compared to seven for Joshua Kelley) would seem to suggest this won't be a significant issue moving forward.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Rusty return from injury

    Ekeler (ankle) rushed 14 times for 27 yards and caught four of six targets for 35 yards in Monday's 20-17 loss to the Cowboys. Ekeler made his much anticipated return from the high-ankle sprain he suffered back in Week 1, reclaiming his role atop the Chargers' RB depth chart. The electric back didn't have his usual burst after coming back from a lower-body injury, averaging just 1.9 yards per attempt against Dallas. It wasn't the triumphant return managers were hoping to get from their top talent, but a healthy four quarters with a full dose of touches should be considered a success. Ekeler appears to have escaped Monday's loss no worse for wear, putting the fantasy star on track to be available for Sunday's divisional matchup against the Chiefs.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Practices fully Thursday

    Ekeler (ankle) was a full practice participant Thursday. Kris Rhim of ESPN.com previously relayed that Ekeler said he had a "99 percent" chance of returning to action Week 6, and the running back's full practice participation Thursday has him on track to play Monday against the Cowboys. Ekeler sustained a right high-ankle sprain Week 1, but after the Chargers' Week 5 bye, he's ready to reclaim his role as the team's top back and thus belongs back in Week 6 fantasy lineups.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Likely to return in Week 6

    Ekeler (ankle) said Tuesday that he's "99 percent" certain that he'll play Monday against the Cowboys, Kris Rhim of ESPN.com reports. Since sustaining a right high-ankle sprain Week 1, Ekeler has missed three games, but after the Chargers' Week 5 bye, the running back looks as though he might be ready to return. He participated in Tuesday's unofficial practice session, and Thursday's practice report will reveal the extent of his participation to begin Week 6 prep. If he's able to get back to full participation after being listed as limited on all three reports back in Week 4, Ekeler's prediction will be set in motion, barring a setback as the weekend draws closer.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Practicing Tuesday

    Ekeler (ankle) was present at Tuesday's unofficial practice, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports. Prior to the Chargers' Week 5 bye, Ekeler missed three consecutive contests due to a sprained ankle, which was believed to be of the 'high' variety. During Week 4 prep, he was listed as a limited participant on all three of the team's injury reports, so it'll be interesting to see how he shows up Thursday, when L.A. will post its first report for Week 6.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Inactive Sunday, as expected

    Ekeler (ankle) is inactive for Sunday's Week 4 game against the Raiders. Ekeler's doubtful tag essentially sealed his third straight absence, and his lack of availability against Las Vegas now is official. Joshua Kelley, who's gained only 51 yards on 24 carries over the last two games as Los Angeles' lead back, once again is set to helm the Chargers backfield, while Ekeler's absence also could benefit the team's pass-catching corps in the form of some extra targets. Having practiced in a limited fashion throughout the week and with a Week 5 bye on tap, Ekeler seems like a good bet to return to action in a Week 6 Monday night home showdown against the Cowboys on Oct. 16.
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  • Chargers' Austin Ekeler: Logs limited practice

    Ekeler (ankle) practiced Wednesday in a limited capacity. Ekeler has missed the Chargers' last two games and didn't practice at all last week while recovering from a high-ankle sprain, but his return to the field Wednesday -- albeit in a limited fashion -- is a positive indicator with regard to his chances of suiting up Sunday against the Raiders. He'll now have two more chances to upgrade to full participation, which he'll presumably need to do in order to avoid carrying an injury designation into Sunday's game.
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