NFL fantasy football: Running backs to avoid
Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson
Settle down Chargers fans! Put the pitchforks down. Liking both Ekeler and Jackson is part of the reason they’re both somewhat avoidable. The Colts were a top 10 defense against the run last year, and the Chargers are likely going to end up splitting Ekeler and Jackson’s carries. Until one of them emerges in the starting role in the absence of Melvin Gordon, neither is a great option to bet on against a good run defense. Ekeler’s yards per carry is also worse when he gets more carries. Splitting the load makes sense for the Chargers, but not for fantasy.
Andy Reid grabbing LeSean McCoy says all you need to know about the Chiefs’ running game. He’s not terribly sure about Damien Williams as a number one running back. McCoy and Williams seem like they’ll be similar to an Ekeler and Jackson combo, all situational. Coupled with a tough test against the Jaguars, and it might be hard for Williams to live up to his high average draft position in fantasy.
The Chargers, like the Colts, were a top 10 rushing defense last year. It’s already a tough assignment for Mack, but now he has to potentially lead the Colts’ offense with Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement. Mack’s the current starting running back on the depth chart, but he’s also got Nyheim Hines potentially stealing catches and yards behind him. Hines posted 63 receptions for 425 yards last year, and an increase in targets could limit Mack in PPR leagues.