Austin Ekeler finished as the RB2 in fantasy football last season, with almost 30 fewer PPR fantasy points than Jonathan Taylor. Ekeler missed one game, though, and things were very close between the two of them on a per-game basis.
With that being the case, it's no surprise to see Taylor in the conversation among the top fantasy football picks this offseason. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the third player off the board, and he's a consensus top-five pick no matter where you look.
Austin Ekeler Fantasy Football Outlook
Ekeler may not be your traditional running back like Taylor, and he finished only 14th among running backs in carries and 12th in rushing yards last year. He more than makes up for it as a receiver, though. His 94 targets, 70 receptions and 647 receiving yards ranked first, second and first at the position, respectively. That's nothing new, either, as he ranked top-five at the position in receiving while playing only 10 games in 2020.
There's not much going on in the LA offense that should have us expecting things to change, either.
Justin Herbert is still leading one of the league's most dangerous offenses, with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams back on the outside to keep defenses honest.
If the Chargers live up to the hype as a Super Bowl contender we could see increased rushing volume for Ekeler (since they'd be milking the clock with leads more often), and if that doesn't happen then he'll make up for it with receiving volume.
The only obstacle to top-three RB volume for Ekeler this season is his health.
Austin Ekeler Injury Update
As mentioned above, a missed game in 2021 cost Taylor some fantasy production, and he only played 10 games in 2020.
None of those injuries are threatening to impact his 2022 campaign, however. It was a hamstring injury that cost Ekeler six games in 2020, and his missed game in 2021 was due to COVID. He picked up some minor bumps and bruises down the stretch, but that's going to happen with any running back. He played incredibly well through those ailments, too, finishing the season with 28.9 PPR fantasy points in Week 18.
Austin Ekeler Projections
Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook are also nice and high on Ekeler. He's 13th to lead the NFL in rushing (putting him right around where his rushing output was last year), and considering he's averaged 6.4 targets per game over the last four years, a full healthy season should see him push 100 targets again. At last year's pace of of a 74.5% catch rate and 9.2 yards per reception (not far off his 79.4% and 9.7-yard career averages), 100 targets projects to give him about 75 receptions for 690 yards through the air.
Is Austin Ekeler a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
So with all said and done, is Ekeler a good fantasy pick? Absolutely. He's the No. 2 running back in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings, and unless Jonathan Taylor is on the board he should be your pick.
Don't overlook him in non-PPR leagues either, though. You may not get points for that huge reception total, but even in standard scoring his receiving stats generated an average of 7.0 fantasy points per game, helping him finish as the RB3 behind only Taylor and Derrick Henry.
Oh, and if you drafted Ekeler with your first-round pick then you might want to check out the best Austin Ekeler fantasy football team names for your squad too.
New users earn an instant FREE entry when you sign up for FanDuel DFS! Sign Up Now!
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.