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Chargers RB Austin Ekeler: Fantasy football draft profile for 2023 NFL season

We break down the outlook for Los Angeles back Austin Ekeler heading into the 2023 NFL season.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at SoFi Stadium. Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has been a top fantasy performer for the past few years. This offseason, he voiced his displeasure about his contract and ended up getting a bit of a raise with incentives, so he will be playing for the Chargers this season barring a surprising change.

2023 Fantasy Football: Austin Ekeler Profile

Recap of 2022 season

Ekeler had the best season of his career in 2022, finishing with 204 carries for 915 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had 107 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns. Ekeler finished the season as RB4 and averaged 15.6 standard fantasy points per game. You do not find many players who can do what he does at the position.

Updated Los Angeles Chargers outlook

The Chargers added Quintin Johnston in the 2023 NFL Draft to bolster their wide receiver room. Aside from that, we won't see many changes in the offense. After a down season for QB Justin Herbert, a bounce-back could be in the cards if everyone on offense can stay healthy. Ekeler got so much work last season due to injuries to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, forcing L.A. to run the ball more and lean on Ekeler in the passing game.

Best-case scenario

Finishing the season as RB1 is the best-case scenario for Ekeler. He can do it and he’s done it before. Yes, the Chargers’ passing game will take a step forward, but that benefits Ekeler by having fewer defenders in the box. It would also not surprise me if he had his first 1,000+ yards rushing season. The Chargers will still need to be balanced and Ekeler is durable.

Worst-case scenario

Injuries are always the worst-case scenario for a running back. Ekeler has been pretty durable the past few seasons but he’s 28 years old and has 410 carries over the past two seasons. The Chargers will want to get everything out of Ekeler and that could push him too much. If the receivers stay healthy and the Chargers pass the ball more, it could mean fewer red-zone touches and fewer TDs, a big reason why Ekeler has been one of the best backs in fantasy. If the TDs and receptions regress, Ekeler could go from being an easy top-10 back to a fringe top-20 back, which isn’t great given his ADP.


Ekeler should finish right around RB2-RB4. The guy is a beast in the run-and-passing game and the Chargers will use him as much as they can given his contract. Ekeler wants to maximize his performance to get him paid more next offseason, so he will be a man on a mission.