Austin Ekeler Player Props: Expert Projection Likes This Chargers vs. 49ers Pick
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Ekeler.
The Chargers have underwhelmed offensively this season, mostly because of injuries. The one constant: Austin Ekeler.
Using Sean Koerner’s expert projections in the Action Labs Player Props tool, I’ve found a pick with great value for Sunday Night Football.
Check out the Chargers vs. 49ers pick below, and check out Action Labs, as well, for all of Koerner’s numbers.
Over 40.5 Receiving Yards (FanDuel)
Ekeler has been a PPR cheat code for fantasy managers this season, and we’re going to back those skills on Sunday Night Football.
The Chargers RB has gone over this total five times in eight games this season, including two of his last three. There’s reason to believe that trend will continue.
Ekeler had just four targets in Week 1, but since then he’s had at least seven in six of the last seven games. The difference? No Keenan Allen. The Chargers’ slot-receiver extraordinaire has only played in two games, which has created a hole in the passing game.
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While DeAndre Carter has gotten Allen’s snaps in the slot, Ekeler has gotten most of the catches. In the seven games without Allen, Ekeler is averaging eight catches per game on 9.3 targets. That’s an insane total for a running back, but he has sustained it over an extended period.
Ekeler’s volume has increased over the last three games, during which he has averaged 12 targets from Justin Herbert per game.
This season, Ekeler is averaging 6.4 yards per reception. That means he needs about seven catches to clear this total.
That may sound like a lot, but Ekeler has had at least seven catches in each of his last three games.
The Chargers are unlikely to lean on the run game because, well, they rarely do. Without Mike Williams or Allen, expect them to avoid challenging the 49ers’ fourth-ranked rush defense. That will be good news for Ekeler.