Melvin Gordon Holdout Update Could Be Huge Blow to Austin Ekeler Fantasy Value

Jason Schandl
Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers
Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

One of the biggest stories of this fantasy football season was Melvin Gordon's holdout and the impact it had on Austin Ekeler's fantasy football value. It has played out perfectly for Ekeler owners so far, as he ranks third among running backs in PPR scoring.

Will Melvin Gordon Play This Season?

Week 10 has always been the expected latest-possible return for Gordon (to make himself eligible for free agency), but Wednesday morning's report is that a return could be coming much sooner, giving Gordon's fantasy football value a boost and possibly hanging Ekeler owners out to dry.

Gordon was one of the best backs in fantasy in 2018, finishing eighth in PPR scoring despite playing only 12 games. On a per-game basis he ranked in the top-five.

He's also shown himself to be a true every-down workhorse over the last two years, averaging 16.4 carries and 5.3 targets per game since 2017, also finding the end zone a terrific 26 times in that stretch.

Ekeler won't lose all of his value once Gordon returns, but he certainly shouldn't be expected to continue averaging 12.7 carries and 6.7 targets per game like he has in 2019. His terrific start to the year and potential rust for Gordon should give Ekeler a bigger role than he saw last season though, when he averaged 7.6 carries and 3.8 targets per game.

There's still plenty of uncertainty around this situation. Adam Schefter's update doesn't include any sort of specific timeline, and it remains to be seen whether the Los Angeles Chargers will choose to ease him back into the offense or give him his old workhorse role right from the jump.

Whenever Gordon does return, he and Ekeler will likely be in play as fantasy options — especially if that comes in time for this incredible Week 4 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

The pair's respective workload in their first game together should paint a much clearer picture of the situation, but at this point the safest bet is to assume Gordon will eventually revert to being a must-start fantasy option every week.

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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 their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.