Melvin Gordon Week 4 Fantasy Impact Hinges on Potential Return in Emergency Situation

Dan Israeli
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers visit the Miami Dolphins in Week 4, which should be a mouthwatering matchup for all of the Chargers' top offensive options, especially Keenan Allen. Many are expecting the game to serve as Austin Ekeler's last start, now that Melvin Gordon has returned from his holdout.

Early on Sunday, it was reported that Gordon would suit up for the game, but only play in an emergency situation. The report likely implies that Gordon will only be needed if Ekeler were to get hurt, in a game where the Chargers are 14.5-point road favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

As the report squarely puts Gordon's game use in doubt, Week 4 should be another smash spot for Ekeler in his potential swan song as starter this season. The Dolphins give up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, as they have allowed the most yards per game (208) and rushing touchdowns (six) this season.

Ekeler is the RB3 in most standard leagues through three weeks, as he has compiled 368 scrimmage yards, 19 receptions and four total touchdowns. With fellow back Justin Jackson also out, along with wide receivers Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin, there are only so many healthy Chargers skill players available against the Dolphins, meaning Ekeler should soak up usage in the offense.

While he is arguably the RB1 in Week 3, Ekeler's fantasy value going forward is very much in doubt. There are some who think Ekeler will hold PPR values in FLEX leagues with Gordon back as starter, but that wasn't really the case last season. If the Chargers feel Ekeler has earned more of a role, however, he may serve as a FLEX option going forward. As a result, he is a hold until the Los Angeles backfield is sorted out in Week 5.

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