Would You Rather: Draft Derrick Henry or Austin Ekeler in 2019 Fantasy Football

Zach Brunner
Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Fantasy football draft season is upon us and fantasy owners will have to make some difficult decisions in order to take home the championship trophy by season's end. One decision that is particularly tough is at the back end of the second tier of running backs.

Two running backs that will likely be available toward the end of the third round are Titans RB Derrick Henry and potential Chargers starter Austin Ekeler. Ekeler's upside is purely connected to Melvin Gordon's holdout, but as long as Gordon isn't in a Chargers uniform then the once-undrafted back out of Western State Colorado has value as a back-end RB2 in fantasy.

While Ekeler is technically the backup for the Chargers, he has proved to be a workhorse in Gordon's absence. He out-snapped third-stringer Justin Jackson 130-40, and also got plenty of attention in the passing game. Even if Gordon does return, Ekeler has standalone flex value in fantasy due to his receiving ability.

Ekeler currently has an average draft position (ADP) of RB33 in PPR leagues, but if Gordon remains out, he has enough value to be selected as high as Henry is (RB20).

Henry was being talked up by the Titans' coaches this offseason, before a calf injury sidelined him. However, that hasn't altered his 2019 fantasy outlook. Henry remains a solid RB2 with big-time upside. He's proven he can almost single-handedly win you a week in fantasy, but will also turn in a total dud which could doom his owners.

These two backs are in very different situations, but both carry high-risk, high-reward value. If we're picking between the two today, Henry is the safer pick with Ekeler having more upside, if, and only if, Gordon remains off the field in 2019.

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