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|An explosive playmaker out of the backfield, Austin Ekeler surprised many when he burst onto the scene in 2017 and took some playing time from Melvin Gordon, particularly on obvious passing downs. It was on a limited sample size, but Ekeler's 7.3 yards per touch were among the best in the league for any running back and it's not as if that production came out of nowhere. Ekeler was a big-time producer in college where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in all four seasons in addition to making plays as a pass catcher and scoring a total of 73 career offensive touchdowns.
Ekeler would presumably be in for at least a slight uptick in touches this season if the Chargers hadn't selected Justin Jackson in the NFL Draft this past April. Jackson himself rushed for 1,000 yards in all four seasons in college and would almost certainly split backfield duties with Ekeler if Gordon were to go down. As it stands, neither Ekeler nor Gordon is likely to have much standalone value unless you're playing in very deep PPR formats where Ekeler might be worth a late-round flier selection. He could see 40 to 50 receptions this season which would make him a viable option for those in need at the running back position.
| Melvin Gordon inactive|
Austin Ekeler to start
By: Mike Krueger | Sun Oct 21, 8:20 am
|Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is inactive for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. Gordon did not appear on the injury report until the team's practice on Friday in London, when he was listed as limited because of a hamstring injury. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: With Gordon out, expect Austin Ekeler to start with Justin Jackson playing a backup role. Detrez Newsome has been promoted from the practice squad. Ekeler holds RB2 value today against the Titans in London.
| Melvin Gordon downgraded to questionable|
By: Mike Krueger | Sat Oct 20, 2:45 pm
|Chargers downgraded Melvin Gordon to questionable with a hamstring injury for Sunday’s game vs. Titans. Gordon was a limited participant Friday, but not listed in the injury report. Gordon likely is a game-time decision for Sunday. (Eric Williams on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Gordon owners should be up bright and early tomorrow to check the inactives as the Chargers play at 9:30 AM Eastern. Austin Ekeler would vault into RB2 territory if Gordon sits. The Chargers have a bye in Week 8.
| Keenan Allen misses second straight practice|
By: Doug Orth | Thu Sep 27, 8:10 pm
|WR Keenan Allen (knee) was not on the field today for the part of practice open to the media. (LA Times - Jeff Miller)|
FFToday's Take: Although HC Anthony Lynn said the team is just being cautious with Allen, back-to-back missed practices are not a good sign, although Friday's participation should give owners some clue as to whether or not they need to consider other options. Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams would see their value increase in a big way if Allen has to sit, while Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler would probably see even more work out of the backfield.