Is it time to bench Austin Ekeler in fantasy football in Week 14?

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots / Billie Weiss/GettyImages

At one time, Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler was one of the best running backs for fantasy football. He had back to back seasons where he led the league in rushing and receiving touchdowns with 20 in 2021 and 18 last year. He has had over 1,500 yards from scrimmage each year and was a PPR star with 177 receptions during that time.

However, the workload has seemed to catch up to the Chargers running back and this season has been a notable decline in performance. He is only averaging 3.5 rushing yards per attempt (almost a full yard less than the previous two years) and is averaging only 3.4 receptions per game, which is a significant drop from the 6.3 receptions per game he averaged last season.

The most notable drop has been in touchdowns as he has only five on the season and has not had a touchdown, either rushing or receiving, in three straight weeks. Over these three weeks, he is averaging only 14.3 touches per game compared to 19 over the first six games.

Is it time to panic about Austin Ekeler heading into fantasy football playoffs?

This is not a great time of the year for Austin Ekeler to start to struggle as fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner and starting in the next few weeks. The good news is that his schedule gets much easier starting with Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos defense has been awful against the run and are allowing the most rushing yards per game at 149.7 yards. The good news is that the Chargers play the Broncos in two of the next four games with games against the Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills in between.

Both the Raiders and Bills have run defenses that rank in the bottom half of the league so Ekeler is in position to finish the year strong. Even with the struggles over the past few weeks, Austin Ekeler should remain in fantasy football lineups.