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What to do with Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley in Week 4 fantasy football

The Chargers backfield is off to a great start this season. How can they help your lineup?

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler breaks away from Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann during the second quarter at SoFi Stadium Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers will head to Tampa Bay this weekend, and Austin Ekeler will look to build on a monster Week 3 performance, while Joshua Kelley will look to bounce back from a somewhat disappointing outing. What can we expect from these backs against the Buccaneers and where do they belong in your lineups? We break down the fantasy implications below.

Fantasy Football analysis: Chargers RBs Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley

Austin Ekeler had 12 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown while adding 11 receptions for 84 yards against the Panthers in Week 3, establishing his dominance in this backfield. Ekeler has seen significant usage in both the passing and rushing games this season and this volume makes him a must start on a weekly basis. The Buccaneers are only allowing 70 rushing yards per game this season, making them a less than ideal matchup. They were able to bottle up Melvin Gordon in Week 3, but the Denver offense is struggling as a whole, and the Chargers will likely be able to better stretch the field and create more opportunities out of the backfield. Ekeler’s usage in the passing game will also bolster his value. He is a must start in all leagues.

Joshua Kelley saw a decline in usage in Week 3 as he only received eight carries for 43 yards while adding two receptions for nine yards. The decrease in usage may be in part to a costly second quarter fumble. Given this early blunder while Ekeler was performing so well, the coaches may have decided to ride the hot hand. Owners will hope that the coaches regain trust in Kelley and afford him more carries, however this is not a given heading into this difficult match-up. Kelley has some low end flex appeal, but can be left on the bench in most leagues.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Austin Ekeler as an RB1

Start Joshua Kelley as a low end flex