The LA Chargers are almost back in action with the rest of the league which means that we have officially entered fantasy football season. Every NFL pundit is going to give their two cents about who is valuable in fantasy and who to stay away from.
I am one of those pundits and there is a really interesting opportunity available on the team I cover, the LA Chargers. Austin Ekeler is already considered one of the best fantasy football running backs in the league, but in reality, he should be the best.
Fantasy Pros ranks Ekeler as the 23rd overall player in fantasy football heading into 2021 and the 12th overall running back. If my projections of Ekeler are accurate then he is going to blow those rankings out of the water.
Why LA Chargers running back Austin Ekeler will be the best fantasy running back of 2021:
1. Austin Ekeler has limited mileage
Austin Ekeler was banged up last season and that may cause people to be wary about his ability to stay healthy in 2021. While that is a concern, injuries are a concern for literally every running back in the NFL, so this is nothing new.
What is more important to look at is the mileage on Ekeler. It is no secret that running backs regress quickly in the NFL and the backs that are workhorses for a stretch of a season or two can fall quickly.
Just look at Todd Gurley.
Because of his injury last season and the fact that he split time with Melvin Gordon before that, Ekeler has relatively low miles on his legs compared to other backs entering their fifth season.
Ekeler has carried the ball 401 times and has caught 212 passes. Alvin Kamara, meanwhile, has carried the ball 672 times and caught 326 passes. Derrick Henry has carried the ball 804 times the last two seasons alone!