2020 NFL Draft Guide Player Profiles: Austin Ekeler
Jen Piacenti breaks down what we can expect from Chargers RB Austin Ekeler
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Austin Ekeler rushed 16 times for 93 yards and caught 4-of-4 targets for 55 yards in the Chargers' Week 2 overtime loss to the Chiefs.
Once again, Ekeler looked like one of the best tackle breakers in the NFL, gashing the Chiefs interior line for 5.8 yards per carry. More importantly, the Chargers offense looked to have some life under first-round rookie QB Justin Herbert, who passed for 311 yards in a surprise start. The quarterback change is a big win for Ekeler, as Tyrod Taylor's rushing ability limited Ekeler's chances as a receiver. Herbert can run too, but he'll check down to Ekeler more than Taylor would. Ekeler still doesn't have full control of the backfield with Joshua Kelley handling 23 carries, some of those coming in the red zone. Still, Ekeler's status as a fantasy RB1 is clearer with Herbert as the starter. Ekeler offers upside against Carolina's nonexistent rushing defense next week.
Added 7:55 pm (EST)
J. Herbert - QB
Justin Herbert completed 22-of-33 passes for 311 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the Chargers' Week 2 overtime loss to the Chiefs, adding 18 yards and a score as a rusher.
Tyrod Taylor suffered a chest injury during pregame warmups, thrusting first-round rookie Herbert into the starting lineup on zero notice. For someone who didn't work with the first-team offense leading into the game, Herbert looked promising. The ball leaves his hand with zip, and he offers scrambling ability, which is how he scored his first career touchdown. Herbert certainly has the tools to be a franchise quarterback if he can limit his mistakes. A bad cross-body interception was one of his few errors against the Super Bowl-defending Chiefs. We'd bet Herbert starts the rest of the season barring injury or chaos. He deserves extended looks after Week 2's performance. Herbert has QB2 appeal against the Panthers next week.
Added 7:49 pm (EST)
Larry Fitzgerald caught 7-of-7 targets for 50 yards in the Cardinals' Week 2 win over Washington.
Fitzgerald masterfully found soft spots in the Washington defense and served as an outlet for Kyler Murray when Murray couldn't get the ball to DeAndre Hopkins. Fitzgerald will likely be a low-ceiling option in a highly productive Arizona offense when the Cards play the Lions in Week 3.
Added 7:48 pm (EST)
Myles Gaskin rushed seven times for 36 yards, hauling in 6-of-7 targets for 36 yards in Miami's Week 2 loss to the Bills.
Dolphins OC Chan Gailey mentioned that Gaskin only led the team's backfield in Week 1 because he's the team's de facto runner from the spread offense, but Gaskin (13 touches) again out-touched Matt Breida (8) and Jordan Howard (5) for the second straight game. Gaskin also showed he has a floor in PPR leagues, finishing third in catches (6) aomng Miami's receivers. With a tantalizing matchup against the Jaguars in Week 3, Gaskin should arguably become a top priority for those who lost players due to injury this week.
Added 7:42 pm (EST)
Kyler Murray completed 26-of-38 passes for 286 yards, one touchdown, and an interception, rushing eight times for 67 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals' 30-15 Week 1 win over Washington.
The speedy, elusive Murray again made defenders look silly on his way to the end zone. He has 19 rushing attempts through two games, a marked increase over his rookie year rushing pace. It makes Murray a potential top-3 fantasy quarterback with a massive weekly floor. He's a high-end QB1 next week against Detroit.
Added 7:41 pm (EST)
Patrick Mahomes completed 27-of-47 passes for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Chiefs' Week 2 overtime win over the Chargers.
It was a struggle all game long, but MVPs find ways to win ugly. The Chargers zone defense and defensive end pressure limited Mahomes' big plays. He had to grind things out underneath in the second half and in overtime, only adding one deep TD conversion to Tyreek Hill. Mahomes will have bigger games ahead against far easier defenses, but even today, the Super Bowl MVP threw for 300 yards. The game of the year awaits Mahomes. Next Monday night, the Chiefs will play Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. He'll be a top-two fantasy quarterback once again.
Added 7:41 pm (EST)
Antonio Gibson rushed 13 times for 55 yards and a touchdown in Washington's Week 2 loss to the Cardinals, adding a reception for -1 yard.
Gibson led the Football Team in rushing attempts, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and getting goal line work on his way to his first pro touchdown. Washington ditched the run in the fourth quarter. Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner talked last week about slowly integrating the rookie into the offense, and we saw another step for Gibson Sunday against Arizona. Fantasy players should be increasingly confident in deploying Gibson as a weekly flex play. He has an OK Week 3 matchup against the Browns.
Added 7:28 pm (EST)
Lamar Jackson completed 18-of-24 passes for 201 yards and one score, rushing 16 times for 54 yards in Baltimore's 33-16 Week 3 cakewalk over the Texans.
It was smooth sailing for the Ravens, whose front-seven reached Deshaun Watson four times in the backfield as the team's offense cruised to an easy win behind 37 carries for 230 rushing yards (6.2 YPA). Houston's secondary limited Mark Andrews to a single catch but it was Marquise Brown (5/42) who consistently settled in holes throughout the defense to keep moving the chains. Jackson has been terrific when asked to dropback, completing 38-of-49 passes (77.5%) for 476 yards and four touchdowns through two games, but the Ravens' weekly seige on opponents has capped his upside (so far). Expect that to change in next week's primetime showdown against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Added 7:19 pm (EST)