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What to do with Austin Ekeler in Week 4 fantasy football

If you own Austin Ekeler in fantasy football and do not start him in Week 4, you deserve to lose your fantasy league.

Houston Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney forces Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler out of bounds during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes fantasy football provides difficult decisions. The decisions on those borderline cases can drive you crazy. This week, if you own Austin Ekeler, you do not face that kind of difficult decision in Week 4. You insert the Los Angeles Chargers running back into your lineup as he faces the inept Miami Dolphins, and you don’t think about it further.

Ekeler is a talented running back, but the context of his situation is what makes this an easy start decision. Melvin Gordon returned to the Chargers on Thursday after a holdout through the first three weeks of the regular season. The thought was he would not play, but Justin Jackson injured his calf in practice and has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Head coach Anthony Lynn said Gordon might see limited work given Jackson’s absence.

Fantasy analysis: Even if Gordon plays, he is not likely to take a big bite out of Ekeler’s workload. And even if he ended up with a surprisingly big workload, it would be more likely because the Chargers are crushing the Dolphins and have that much more rushing work to distribute. Regardless, Ekeler has as ideal a matchup in Week 4 as you’re going to find. He might not get starts after this, but for at least one last week, he’s a tremendous value.

Recommendation: Start