Dynasty Leagues: Don't let Austin Ekeler go for cheap

Those who have shares of Austin Ekeler need to hold firm and shrug off the poor trade offers.
Dec 23, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA;  Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) runs against the Buffalo Bills.
Dec 23, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) runs against the Buffalo Bills. / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Those of you who have Austin Ekeler sitting on your dynasty roster can't be feeling too good after what we saw in 2023. But the other managers in your league are going to know that.

All of the signs of a player heading in the wrong direction are there. First and foremost, Ekeler will be 29 years old in May, so he is creeping up on that dreaded 30-year age threshold. But he is also coming off of the worst season of his career, one that was marred by a trade request, injuries and poor production on a team that just seemed to quit as the season wore on.

The Chargers fired head coach Brandon Staley and replaced him with Jim Harbaugh, but with Ekeler being an unrestricted free agent this offseason, it seems likely that they will move on.

This is when some fantasy managers in your league will start to swarm like vultures, ready to pick the bones. But what they are really doing is hoping to take advantage of what Ekeler might still have in the tank, particularly if Ekeler can land in a favorable spot next season. As a result, you'll start receiving some lowball, almost insulting offers for Ekeler, who was a top 3 RB entering this season.

We must not forget that. I refuse to believe that he has fallen that far.

What if Ekeler were to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, as predicted here by Bleacher Report back in November? In fact, the Chiefs are a team linked to Ekeler often in offseason talks. Suddenly, his situation would seem great catching passes from Patrick Mahomes, wouldn't it?

This is why, at least for now, don't take any offer that is too low for Ekeler. He is one of the most determined players in the NFL and I would not bet on him not having a bounce-back season in 2024.

Conversely, if you are someone who has your eyes on obtaining Ekeler, and you could land him for a lot less than you could have at this time last year, you might find a manager who doesn't believe he has much left to offer.

Ekeler is going to be way down in the running back rankings next year and managers will look at those rankings and, for the most part, lower his value in their heads. This is where you might be able to strike a deal that would be a steal.

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My advice would be to still look at Ekeler as a valuable fantasy football piece in 2024.