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Joshua Kelley

#2 RB,


Photo of Joshua Kelley for fantasy football



RANK: 63



RANK: 71


25 yrs


5'11'' / 212 lbs



3yr Ave125096th7222813.1714930

Struggles again as lead back

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-09-24

Kelley rushed the ball 11 times for 12 yards in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Vikings. He added one reception for five yards.

Kelley had the opportunity to serve as the Chargers' lead back for the second consecutive week with Austin Ekeler (ankle) sidelined. His poor performance in Week 2 was excused due to a tough matchup against the Titans, though Sunday's effort was disastrous with the Vikings being an exploitable unit. After ripping off 91 yards in Week 1 as the complementary back, Kelley has combined to gain only 51 yards on 24 carries as the starter in two games since. Even if Ekeler remains sidelined in Week 4 against the Raiders, there's a possibility that Kelley won't have the backfield to himself.

Weekly Stats 2022

Stats not available

Performance Splits: 2020 to 2022

Fantasy PointsRushing AveragesReceiving Averages
Home Outdoor 17 14.70.6185th210.13.447%
Away Outdoor 13 04.70.77105th200.23.845%
Away Dome 3 02.90.41101st220.03.430%
Away Retractable Dome 4 03.50.57100th150.03.048%

Career Stats by Season: 2020 to 2022

Fantasy PointsRushing StatsReceiving Stats
2020 23 LAC 14 0 81 59th11135423.248%43024%231480
2021 24 LAC 10 0 17 116th3310203.142%2008%5380
2022 25 LAC 13 1 65 63rd6928724.243%61017%141010
"YAC%" is percent of total yards gained after first contact. "Share" of team passing targets.

Another start on tap

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-09-22

Kelley is in line to lead the Chargers backfield Sunday in Minnesota with Austin Ekeler (ankle) ruled out for the contest.

Kelley handled 54 of 68 offensive snaps (79 percent) in place of Ekeler this past Sunday at Tennessee, while reserves Elijah Dotson (13 percent) and Isaiah Spiller (six percent) didn't get much more than scraps. Still, Kelley didn't make much headway against a tough Titans defensive front, taking 13 carries for 39 yards and failing to reel in his only target. In the end, he should have an easier time this Sunday versus a Vikings defense that has given up the seventh-most YPC (4.8) to opposing running backs through two games this season.

Bottled up in tough matchup

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-09-17

Kelley rushed the ball 13 times for 39 yards in Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Titans.

Kelley handled the majority of the work out of the Chargers' backfield with Austin Ekeler (ankle) sidelined. He found very little room to run in a tough matchup, though he did manage to tally 15 yards on his longest carry of the day. Unfortunately, Kelley was relatively uninvolved as a receiver as he managed to command only one target -- leaving him with no ability to overcome his poor day on the ground. If Ekeler remains out for Week 3, Kelley should find more room to run against the Vikings.

Looks primed for lead role Week 2

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-09-15

Kelley appears likely to get the bulk of the work out of the Chargers backfield in Sunday's game against the Titans with Austin Ekeler (ankle) listed as doubtful for the contest, Noah Camras of reports.

The Chargers leaned heavily on their ground attack in a 36-34 loss to the Dolphins in Week 1, allowing both Ekeler (16 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown, four catches for 47 yards on five targets) and Kelley (16 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown, no catches on one target) to come through with useful stat lines. Unless Ekeler -- who didn't practice all week -- makes more progress in his recovery from the ankle injury than anticipated as Sunday's 1 p.m. ET kickoff approaches, he'll be inactive for Week 2, clearing the way for Kelley to take on a major role in one of the NFL's better offenses. Even if the Chargers rely more heavily on the passing game than they did in Week 1, Kelley should still operate as the clear-cut top option on the ground while also seeing more involvement than usual as a receiver. The other two healthy running backs on the Chargers' 53-man roster -- Elijah Dotson and Isaiah Spiller -- have combined for 54 career offensive snaps, and neither may be trusted to handle any sort of meaningful change-of-pace role behind Kelley.

Sets career high in rushing yards

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-09-10

Kelley totaled 16 carries for a career-high 91 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's 36-34 loss to the Dolphins.

Kelley saw a lot of work specifically in the second half totaling 70 yards in the final 30 minutes, but it wasn't as if the Chargers were trying to bleed out the clock as the lead seesawed back and forth. Teammate Austin Ekeler also exploded for 117 yards, so at least in Week 1 it was obvious Kellen Moore's offensive scheme really catered to the ground game. Kelley already had fantasy value as the obvious backup to the electric Ekeler, but if this kind of workload becomes a trend moving forward it's possible both backs could be starting options for fantasy managers.

Scores 75-yard TD

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-08-25

Kelley took two carries for 78 yards and a touchdown in Friday's 23-12 win over the 49ers.

Kelley started and played the first two drives, taking his second carry 75 yards for a touchdown. Isaiah Spiller and the team's trio of undrafted rookie RBs were all less impressive, making Kelley a comfortable favorite for the No. 2 role behind Austin Ekeler when the Chargers host the Dolphins in Week 1.

Does little in Sunday's start

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-08-20

Kelley carried the ball four times for nine yards and caught his only target for five yards in Sunday's preseason loss to the Saints.

The fourth-year back got the first two touches of the night for the Chargers, but Kelley wound up being thoroughly out-played by Isaiah Spiller, who averaged 5.4 yards a carry on his five totes. The duo could continue jockeying for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Austin Ekeler right up until the Week 1 kickoff, but even if Kelley loses that battle, his ability to contribute on special teams might be enough to keep him on the roster.

Efficient in preseason opener

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-08-12

Kelley rushed nine times for 54 yards and failed to bring in his only target during the Chargers' 34-17 preseason win over the Rams on Saturday night.

Kelley was the first Chargers running back with a touch Saturday night and ended up pacing the team in carries. The 2020 fourth-round pick's long run was only 13 yards, so he consistently generated solid gains during his time in the contest. Kelley has been afforded only modest opportunity during his first three seasons, and this summer, he's battling Isaiah Spiller for the No. 2 running back role behind Austin Ekeler. The job battle will continue in Los Angeles' second preseason contest Sunday night, Aug. 20 at home against the Saints.

Efficient season

RotoWire Logo Published: 2023-01-10

Kelley finished the 2022-23 season with 69 carries for 287 yards and two touchdowns while catching 14 of his 25 targets for 101 yards.

Kelley finished the season behind only Austin Ekeler in touches, yards and touchdowns among Chargers running backs. Kelley competed for opportunities with Sony Michel early in the season and missed four games with a sprained MCL, but the 25-year-old established himself as the clear backup by the end of the campaign, a role which he will hope to hold onto for next season.

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