Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (ADP: 64, Running Back 29): Take
Literally right after Williams in the ADP pecking order is pass-catching savant Austin Ekeler, and my opinions of the each could not possibly be any more different. Ekeler is a personal must-draft Chargers player in this year’s draft, currently selected as the 29th running back. If Gordon sits until Week 11 (still very likely), Ekeler has the potential to be a top-10 back for those first 10 weeks. I don’t care if he then drops in value after Gordon returns, you are getting a first or second round value for more than half a season and all it costs you is a sixth rounder. That’s an easy purchase. Ekeler has his doubters for sure; some may point to games last year and claim that Justin Jackson will be the top back in Gordon’s absence. That’s not what the first preseason game said: Ekeler and Jackson had five carries apiece, but Ekeler produced 40 yards (8.0 yards a carry) as opposed to Justin Jackson’s 22 yards (4.4 a carry). Even if the Chargers grant Ekeler the top spot, there are strong options around him, and there are some justifiable nerves about a change-of-heart in the Gordon situation, but the risk of a sixth-rounder and the potential reward of a second-round value is well, well worth it.
Pick him over: See Mike Williams section