RB Austin Ekeler - Los Angeles Chargers

5-10, 200Born: 5-17-1995College: Western State (CO)Drafted: ---

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Photo: Jay Biggerstaff, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 16): If we were drafting today, Ekeler would be a second-rounder no matter when Melvin Gordon is coming back. He's an elite RB1 until Gordon returns, and probably a solid RB2 after that.

Week 3: vs Houston Texans

All RB vs HOU

FBG says: Tough matchup. The Chargers ground game was humming along again this week as both Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson found success rushing the ball. Ekeler out-touched Jackson 17-to-7, but they finished with similar yardage totals as Ekeler had 66 rushing yards to Jackson's 59 rushing yards. Both running backs had big plays called back due to penalty, including a would-be 60-yard touchdown run by Jackson. Jackson remains limited by his lack of involvement in the passing game though, as Ekeler continues to see success with a heavier workload and snap count through the first two games. Ekeler now has a rushing touchdown in each game this season while averaging nearly 4.3 yards per carry. He also saw goal-line work last week, but unfortunately fumbled it instead of punching in a touchdown. That did not appear to impact his usage, however, as Ekeler remains the lead option for this backfield. The Texans run defense looked stellar in Week 2 against the Jaguars, limiting Leonard Fournette to just 3.1 yards per attempt for 47 rushing yards on the day. Linebacker Zach Cunningham was a force in the middle as he led the team in tackles with double the solo tackles of any other Texans player. D.J. Reader looked improved on the interior, but his supporting cast in Angelo Blackson and Brandon Dunn still left much to be desired. J.J. Watt had a nice bounceback game against the run after looking sluggish in Week 1, while Whitney Mercilus maintained his excellent performance to start the season. While their poor showing from Week 1 will not yet be forgotten, this run defense should be far above average and showed up as such last week. The Chargers ground game has been rolling to start the season, but this Texans defense will be the toughest test they have faced thus far.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
1 vs IND 48 12 58 1 7 6.0 96 2 0 33.4
2 at DET 49 17 66 1 6 6.0 67 0 1 18.3
3 vs HOU PROJ-Dodds * 13 * * 5.9 * * * *
3 vs HOU PROJ-Tremblay * 15 * * 4.7 * * * *
3 vs HOU PROJ-Bloom * 14 * * 6.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Austin Ekeler's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 2 vs DET (17 / 66 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 67 / 0 rec)

Austin Ekeler was terrific in a game where he could have had a massive day. Ekeler converted a goal-line touchdown early in the game, but had a reception for a long touchdown called back by a holding and fumbled at the goal line on a point-blank opportunity. He was elusive throughout the game, consistently making life difficult for the first defender. Ekeler out-touched Justin Jackson 23 to 8, a continued sign of his lead back role in the Melvin Gordon-less Chargers offense. Ekeler projects to be the lead back against Texans in week three.

2019 Week 1 vs IND (12 / 58 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 96 / 2 rec)

The stat line makes it obvious, but Ekeler may have played even better than the statistics suggest. He was very busy from the opening series all the way through to the game-winning touchdown run, and dominated in just about every way possible. The Chargers designed numerous plays specifically for him, and he took advantage of the room the offensive line was opening up for him up-front. His first score of the game came on a 3-TE set when he leaked out of the backfield to get wide open in the end zone. It was a perfect play design, and he was mostly just the beneficiary of some lapsed coverage. That wasn't the case on his second score, when he took a very well-blocked screen reception up the right side with blockers in front. Once the defense met him, they tried to strip the ball instead of just going for the tackle. Ekeler proved too strong to be dragged down by strip attempts and weak arm tackles, and kept charging ahead. One last block sprung him ahead for the 55-yard score. On the overtime possession, he showed a lot of patience running west to east before finding the seam and bursting through it. He later capped that drive with a twisting run into the end zone to end the game, breaking a tackle at the 2-yard line before lunging for the goal line and his third score of the game. With Melvin Gordon's holdout continuing and showing no end in sight, Ekeler is proving to be extremely valuable at least in the short term.

More

Latest News

Chargers | Austin Ekeler involved in run, pass game (Sun Sep 15, 04:20 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler rushed for 66 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries against the Detroit Lions in Week 2. He also caught six passes for 67 yards during the game.

Our View: Ekeler is an elite RB1 right now with maximum passing game involvement and red zone usage. He had another score called back or his Week 2 would have been even bigger.
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Schedule

3vs Houston Texans
4@ Miami Dolphins
5vs Denver Broncos
6vs Pittsburgh Steelers
7@ Tennessee Titans
8@ Chicago Bears
9vs Green Bay Packers
10@ Oakland Raiders
11vs Kansas City Chiefs
12--- BYE WEEK ---
13@ Denver Broncos
14@ Jacksonville Jaguars
15vs Minnesota Vikings
16vs Oakland Raiders
17@ Kansas City Chiefs