Austin Ekeler Fantasy Outlook Skyrockets Following Injury Update

Austin Ekeler fantasy outlook skyrockets following his injury update.
Austin Ekeler fantasy outlook skyrockets following his injury update. / Harry How/Getty Images

The Austin Ekeler fantasy managers who have patiently stashed him on the bench all year may finally get to reap the rewards. The Los Angeles Chargers reportedly plan to designate the elite pass-catching back for return from the IR this week.

That's not a guarantee that he'll play, but it's a really encouraging sign. Worst-case scenario, it looks like Ekeler should at least be back by Week 13 – just in time for the fantasy playoffs.

Austin Ekeler Fantasy Outlook

Whenever Ekeler returns, he should immediately start providing some low-end RB1 value in PPR formats. Ekeler only got to play three games this season before going down in Week 4, but he showed some really promising signs in the two matchups he played alongside breakout star Justin Herbert.

In those two outings, Ekeler was handling 21.5 opportunities (14.0 carries plus 7.5 targets) for 145.5 yards from scrimmage per game, scoring 1 TD. Herbert also targeted Ekeler a whopping 11 times the last time these two shared the field for a full game.

The injury concerns may make some fantasy managers hesitant to use him right away, but his upside is impossible to ignore.

He has the potential to be a true league-winning type player thanks to his upcoming schedule. Discounting Week 17 (when most leagues have finished), Ekeler will only face one team (the Denver Broncos) that currently ranks as an above-average defense in Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics.

And three of his next four opponents are actually a bottom-12 defense by that metric.

Herbert's emergence has raised Ekeler's ceiling significantly from what fantasy analysts thought it would be at the start of the year. If he looks like himself when he returns in the next couple weeks, Ekeler is the kind of guy who can win you your league.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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 their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.