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Buy This Stud Running Back Before It's Too Late

Acquiring a stud running back in Fantasy usually costs an arm, a leg, the deed to your house, and your firstborn child. Acquire this running back before he dominates the league for the rest of the season.


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Austin Ekeler's Start To The Season

Most of my articles are about players with far less name recognition that you can acquire on the cheap, but this may be the lowest we see Austin Ekeler's value for the rest of the season.


Ekeler missed four weeks after exiting his Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins. Despite only playing 51% of the snaps in that game, Ekeler scored 26.4 fantasy points in PPR formats. He was the RB2 that week and only 0.3 points behind the RB1. After that, he did not play again until Week 6.


His opponents in those two games since his return were the Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs. Those teams are the 7th and 5th toughest opponents vs running backs so far in 2023. That was the 2nd hardest schedule for running backs during that time.


In Week 6, Ekeler scored 10.2 fantasy points and in Week 7 he only scored 5.6 fantasy points (PPR format). Managers who have rostered Ekeler during those four weeks and played him when he returned are frustrated by his lackluster numbers. This has opened up a buy-low window for him. At least, the lowest we will see for a running back who has finished RB4 or better in three of the past four seasons.



Austin Ekeler's Rest Of Season Outlook

Moving forward, the Los Angeles Chargers face the first easiest schedule for running backs. Seven of their next ten games are against bottom-12 defenses vs running backs. Of the three remaining games, two of them are against bottom-16 defenses vs running backs.


Ekeler is set up for success for the rest of the season and he's still seeing a fairly large workload since returning. In 2023, he's seen 17.7 touches per game. That is 15th amongst running backs with at least three games played. And again, he did this while exiting Week 1 early and coming off of an injury.


Between the fantasy manager's frustration from his fantasy points scored and worries that he may not be the same after suffering a high ankle sprain, this will open up opportunities for you to trade for Austin Ekeler.


Don't be afraid of the high ankle sprain. It can take running backs some time to get back to full health but Ekeler is going to be a volume king moving forward. He gets plenty of opportunities on the ground and through the air.


Last year Mike Williams was injured from Week 9 - Week 13. In those five weeks, Ekeler averaged 83.2 total yards and had 6.4 receptions. He also scored four total touchdowns during that time.


Many of you are probably thinking about Keenan Allen's injury potentially skewing those numbers but Allen actually only missed two of those five games. Look for Ekeler to be a big part of this offense moving forward and it may start as early as this week.


In Week 8, he plays against the Chicago Bears who are 26th against running backs. I expect the Chargers to dominate this game from the start as they will be taking on rookie backup quarterback, Tyson Bagent. This will give the Chargers plenty of opportunity to run the ball so go out and target Austin Ekeler before it's too late.


Players To Trade For Austin Ekeler

Some players I would be comfortable trading away to acquire Ekeler are Saquon Barkley, Jahmyr Gibbs, David Montgomery, De'Von Achane, Jonathan Taylor, Kenneth Walker III, and Josh Jacobs. All of these players outside of Jacobs and Montgomery are listed ahead of Austin Ekeler in rest-of-season value in redraft leagues, per KeepTradeCut.com.


If need be, throw in an extra player to get the job done. It's always worth throwing in a depth piece to acquire the best player in the trade. You can replace your depth pieces on the waiver wire.


Austin Ekeler may still be relatively expensive in comparison to some running backs, but few possess the upside the Ekeler does. Go and acquire him before he blows up in Week 8.

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