Austin Ekeler Fantasy Outlook Includes Top-5 Upside in 2021

Jason Schandl
Austin Ekeler's fantasy outlook for 2021 could have him positioned for a top-five finish.
Austin Ekeler's fantasy outlook for 2021 could have him positioned for a top-five finish. / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Austin Ekeler was supposed to have a breakout year in 2020, but injuries limited him to 10 games and an RB26 finish in fantasy football (PPR scoring).

With Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers' offensive looking as promising as ever, this should finally be the year that a now-healthy Ekeler makes the leap.

That gives him the upside to finish as a top-five fantasy football running back in 2021.

Austin Ekeler Fantasy Football Value

Injuries were the obvious concern for Ekeler last year. if we shift our view to per-game fantasy production, his 16.5 PPR fantasy points per game put him 11th among all running backs who played at least two games.

RB11 may not seem like anything special either, but that per-game number is misleading too. When he got hurt in Week 4 he had played just 3 snaps — hardly a full game. If we remove that performance, his output jumps to 18.0 fantasy points per game. That would have ranked sixth on the season.

That production came on some serious workhorse volume too. Excluding Week 4, Ekeler averaged 19.8 opportunities (12.7 carries and 7.1 targets) per game.

The average target produces more fantasy points than an average rush attempt (even in standard scoring, but especially in PPR), which goes to make that workload even more valuable.

The Chargers sport a promising win total of 9.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook, meaning this offense is well positioned for another strong year. And Ekeler should be at the core of that success.

Austin Ekeler ADP

Ekeler checks in at RB7 in The Duel's 2021 fantasy football rankings, and he could be a great pick at his current average draft position (ADP) of RB10.

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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.