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What to do with Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler Week 9 fantasy football

The Chargers run game has been pitiful with Melvin Gordon back. Can a new OC change their fortunes in Week 9 against the Packers?

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is tackled by Tennessee Titans defensive back Amani Hooker and Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard during the first half at Nissan Stadium.  Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Since returning from his holdout, Melvin Gordon has accumulated 30.4 fantasy points to Austin Ekeler’s 50.3. During those four weeks Gordon has touched the ball 55 times to Ekeler’s 43 or, a per-game average of 13.8 to 10.8 touches. Ekeler leads in targets 31 to 16, but last week against the Bears, they tied with three targets each. Gordon and Ekeler have split snaps fairly equally, with Ekeler at 56 percent to Gordon’s 53 percent.

Gordon and Ekeler both scored touchdowns against the Bears last week, but the tough matchup limited their overall numbers, but there’s no doubt that Gordon is the early-down back as he has 44 rushing attempts to Ekeler’s 16 since his return. But those 44 attempts have gone nowhere, as he has just 112 rushing yards for a pitiful 2.5 yards per carry.

Fantasy football analysis: Los Angeles Chargers RBs Austin Ekeler, Melvin Gordon

This week the Chargers will host the Packers, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs. They are the worst at allowing yards per carry at 4.94, which could be a boost for Gordon, especially when you add in the return of Russell Okung to the offensive line.

The biggest wildcard this week is the Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt getting replaced by QBs coach Shane Steichen. But the running game couldn’t get any worse, so there is some hope that Steichen will bring a few new wrinkles in a good matchup.

Ekeler continues to find ways to put up fantasy numbers even when he doesn’t see many touches, and I expect the OC change to lean a bit more toward him, as he’s been the best back between the two.

Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start both in RB3/Flex spots.

DraftKings DFS Recommendation

The split in work between the two Chargers backs makes it tough to rely on them in DFS. Ekeler is at $6,000 to Gordon’s $5,000. That’s too high for Ekeler when he isn’t consistently getting touches, but if you believe the new OC will default his way, it’s a gamble you can try in GPPs. Gordon’s price is more appealing with Okung back and the Packers unable to stop backs at the line. But he would also be a risky proposition and not one I would take on for cash games or a sizeable chunk of GPPs.