The Duel

Austin Ekeler Fantasy Value Has Made Him a Legitimate RB1 With Melvin Gordon Sidelined

David Kaestle
Los Angeles Chargers v Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Chargers v Detroit Lions / Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
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The Los Angeles Chargers' former starting running back Melvin Gordon remains away from the team as he continues his contract holdout. The Chargers have already said they are done negotiating with Gordon until after the season, which means we probably won't see him until Week 10, when he's forced to report in order for the season to count toward his pending free agency.

While he's been out, Austin Ekeler has filled in as the starter and has become a viable RB1 candidate in fantasy football, especially in PPR leagues. Going into the season Ekeler was considered a valuable piece in the Chargers passing game, and through two weeks has outperformed those projections, with 12 catches in 95 total snaps.

Through Sunday, Ekeler is leading the fantasy football running back world in total points with 56.7 (PPR scoring). He exploded in Week 1 for 36.4 fantasy points, coming in slightly behind league-leader Christian Mccaffrey (37.9). In Week 2, though he saw a down tick, he still managed 20.3 fantasy points.

While rookie Justin Jackson has gotten some work in to remain relevant as a deep sleeper, it's proven to not have an effect on Ekeler's production, especially when it comes to the passing game.

Ekeler has shown he can be consistent in both the rushing and passing game and with that much volume and opportunity in an offense that projects to be above-average at worst, Ekeler owners should be excited about his prospects as an RB1 until at least Week 10, and possibly beyond.


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. 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.

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