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Austin Ekeler

#1 RB,

Commanders

Photo of Austin Ekeler for fantasy football

ACTUAL 2022

373 FPTS

RANK: 1

2023 SEASON

305 FPTS

RANK: 2

AGE

28 yrs

HEIGHT/WEIGHT

5'10'' / 200 lbs

COLLEGE

Western Colorado

SEASONGPFPTSRANKRUATTRUYDRUTDRUAVERECPTREYDRETD
2023163052nd20188884.4856194
2022173731th204915134.51077225
3yr Ave142717th15166654.41726816

Headed to Washington

RotoWire Logo Published: 2024-03-11

Ekeler is signing a two-year contract with the Commanders, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

The deal reportedly is worth up to $11.43 million, but with only $4.82 million guaranteed in the first season and a significant portion being incentives. Ekeler turns 29 in May and is coming off a 2023 campaign in which he experienced a massive downturn from his 2021-22 production while dealing with a high-ankle sprain and poor blocking. Even if he can't recapture his peak form, he should be useful as a passing-down back given that he has 3,884 career receiving yards and 30 receiving TDs. The Commanders likely envision Ekeler and Brian Robinson sharing backfield snaps, though it might look quite a bit different than Robinson's split with Antonio Gibson in 2023 (Gibson is signing with the Patriots, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). The Commanders have a new offensive coordinator (Kliff Kingsbury) and are widely expected to acquire a new quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Weekly Stats 2022

Stats not available

Performance Splits: 2020 to 2022

Fantasy PointsRushing AveragesReceiving Averages
LOCATIONSTADIUMGPGSGMTOUCHRANKYDTDAVEYAC%10+20+50+RECYDTD
Home Outdoor 22 2222.51.261st590.84.849%1.50.20.05.5450.3
Away Outdoor 14 1416.00.977th500.24.241%1.40.10.14.8370.3
Away Dome 3 318.01.0212th530.34.154%1.00.30.04.7400.3
Away Retractable Dome 4 427.01.383rd491.33.936%1.30.30.07.0360.8

Career Stats by Season: 2017 to 2022

Fantasy PointsRushing StatsReceiving Stats
SEASONAGETEAMGPGSTOTALRANKATTYDTDAVEYAC%10+20+50+SHARERECYDTD
2017 22 LAC 16 0 107 44th4726025.546%73011%272793
2018 23 LAC 14 3 169 25th10655435.263%194027%394043
2019 24 LAC 16 8 309 4th13255734.258%154036%929938
2020 25 LAC 10 10 165 26th11653014.649%152025%544032
2021 26 LAC 16 16 344 2nd206911124.448%223049%706478
2022 27 LAC 17 17 373 1st204915134.542%224251%1077225
"YAC%" is percent of total yards gained after first contact. "Share" of team passing targets.

Not getting tag

RotoWire Logo Published: 2024-02-27

The Chargers don't plan to give Ekeler a franchise tag, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Ekeler was never a serious candidate for the tag, given the Chargers' hesitance to hand him big contracts in the past and his downturn in production during the 2023 season. He'll hope to convince other teams that his high-ankle sprain was a big part of the problem in 2023, along with general dysfunction in Los Angeles that made it difficult to find running lanes and gain yards. Ekeler seems like a questionable fit under new Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman -- best known for powerful running games -- but a return to Los Angeles can't entirely be ruled out at this juncture. If he does end up signing elsewhere, it's hard to say whether Ekeler will be deployed as a lead back or as more of a passing-down guy in a timeshare.

Disappointing close to season

RotoWire Logo Published: 2024-01-07

Ekeler rushed the ball 10 times for 11 yards in Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Chiefs. He added seven receptions on eight targets for 38 yards.

The Chargers ran 80 offensive plays in the loss, with Easton Stick taking to the air 47 times. As a result, Ekeler saw limited opportunity on the ground and was held to under 15 rushing yards for the second time in his last four games. He did manage to salvage his day as a receiver by matching his highest reception total of the season. It was a fitting close to a disappointing season for the Chargers overall as well as Ekeler personally, though he did still manage 1,064 yards from scrimmage with six total scores. He'll enter free agency this offseason, leaving his potential role in 2024 unclear.

Totals 50 yards in loss

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-12-31

Ekeler rushed 13 times for 46 yards and caught his only target for four yards in Sunday's 16-9 loss to the Broncos.

Ekeler was featured on offense for a Chargers team that was without its quarterback and top three wideouts Sunday. The remaining star on offense finished with a team-high 14 touches, but he was stymied by a stout Broncos defense and held to 50 total yards and no scores. In positive news, Ekeler's efforts helped him reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 13 semi-healthy games this season.The Chargers will still be lacking several key pieces in Week 18, so expect Ekeler to coninue to be featured on offense in the team's regular-season finale against the Chiefs.

Lead role resumes under new HC

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-12-23

Ekeler rushed 15 times for 63 yards and caught three of four targets for 21 yards in Saturday's 24-22 loss to the Bills.

Ekeler saw his role reduced to single-digit touches in last week's loss to the Raiders, but his role was quickly restored by interim head coach Giff Smith on Saturday after Brandon Staley was let go last week. Ekeler responded with one of his better performances in what has been a down year affected by injury. The 28-year-old finished with a per-carry average above four yards for just the third time in 11 attempts since returning from a high-ankle sprain back in Week 6. Two of the three have come over the star tailback's last three contests, which could be the product of his ankle returning to full health in recent weeks. Ekeler's improved play coupled with a high touch count make him a plus fantasy play next Sunday against Denver.

Major role reduction in loss

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-12-14

Ekeler rushed five times for nine yards and brought in four of six targets for 29 yards in the Chargers' 63-21 loss to the Raiders on Thursday night.

Ekeler's rumored usage downturn essentially came a game later than expected, with Isaiah Spiller outpacing him by 11 carries and Joshua Kelley logging five rush attempts as well. With Keenan Allen (heel) sidelined, Ekeler did finish tied for second in receptions and as the runner-up in targets as well, but the ineffectiveness with his season-low number of carries could mean he'll operate as more of a complementary option again in a Week 16 home matchup against the Bills on Saturday night, Dec. 23.

Typical usage as always

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-12-10

Ekeler carried the ball 10 times for 51 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 24-7 loss to the Broncos. He also caught five of his seven targets for 49 yards.

Despite coded comments from head coach Brandon Staley earlier in the week that left some speculating Ekeler would cede touches to Joshua Kelley and Isaiah Spiller, the multi-faceted back saw his usual workload while the aforementioned backups combining for nine carries and 25 yards. It's unclear if that's because the Chargers trailed from the jump, and were put in an even more difficult situation after Justin Herbert left the game late in the second quarter with an injury to a finger on his throwing hand, or if it was by design, but the end result is hardly surprising given the career acumen of Kelley and Spiller. Herbert's status could certainly affect Ekeler's upside come Thursday's Week 15 contest against the Raiders, but backup quarterback Easton Stick could also rely heavily on the pass-catching running back should he play making the Pro Bowl back a likely solid fantasy play regardless.

Could yield carries Sunday

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-12-10

Though Ekeler remains in line to start, Joshua Kelley and Isaiah Spiller are also expected to see work in the Chargers' backfield Sunday against the Broncos, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Ekeler carried 14 times for 18 yards and caught two of his three targets for nine yards in last weekend's 6-0 win over the Patriots, and Per Rapoport the Chargers may be inclined to get Kelley and/or Spiller more involved Sunday. Rapoport adds that the team is expected to ride the hot hand versus Denver, be that Ekeler or one of his fellow RBs.

Could face competition for work

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-12-07

Ekeler may be at risk of losing out on some snaps and touches out of the backfield after Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday that "competition for carries is going to be something that you can see happening," Kris Rhim of ESPN.com reports. "We're going to keep exploring, making adjustments, so that we can find that rhythm that I've been talking about," Staley said. "We know that Austin is a good running back. We just haven't found any rhythm in the last couple of weeks in the run game. Just need to keep after it and keep working hard in practice."

Staley's comments come while Ekeler has mustered just 3.0 yards per carry on 110 total rushing attempts since the running back returned from a three-game absence due to a high-ankle sprain following the Chargers' Week 5 bye. Ekeler hasn't seemed to show any notable improvement as he's become further removed from the injury; as Sunday's game against the Broncos approaches, the 28-year-old is in the midst of a streak of 28 carries that have gained six yards or fewer. Joshua Kelley would be next in line to poach touches out of the backfield if the Chargers elect to scale back Ekeler's workload on the ground, though Kelley hasn't made much of a case to deserve more snaps in his own right. Over his last four appearances, Kelley has averaged just 2.6 yards on 53 totes. The Chargers' wholesale struggles in run blocking -- the team's 26 percent run-block win rate is the seventh-lowest in the league this season -- seem to have played at least some part in Ekeler's poor efficiency, and his downturn in productivity comes at a particular poor time given that he's scheduled for free agency this spring.

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