Austin Ekeler is a very underrated winner of this offseason.
First, the Chargers didn’t make any improvements to the RB room in free agency or in the draft. It stands as is, meaning Ekeler will continue to get a majority of snap share. 65% of snaps is all Ekeler needs to get it done as a high-end RB1.
Second, the Chargers’ offensive line improved tremendously through free agency and the draft.
Third, their new offensive coaches have been outspoken on how they are going to use Ekeler. New Chargers’ OC Joe Lombardi was on Sean Payton’s staff since 2007, and that offense has been targeted RBs since before some of you were born.
Lombardi acknowledged Ekeler’s skillset to Saints’ RBs like Alvin Kamara, Darren Sproles, and Reggie Bush. He knows what he has, and I would assume he continues to be heavily involved in the passing game.
As a matter of fact, Ekeler might have had more targets than Kamara last season if he was healthy all year. Justin Herbert was giving Ekeler 7.9 targets/game, which would’ve been the highest of any RB in the league.
Here is where Ekeler finished in the weeks he was healthy (PPR):
Weeks 2-3: RB5
Weeks 12-17: RB6
He’s being drafted in the RB9/RB10 range. He’s very safe, and he has a ton of upside. He’s an autopick for me at the 1-2 turn in full PPR leagues.