Austin Ekeler has probably been a fantasy football godsend for those who drafted him. But it’s uncomfortable to bask in the sunny situation. After all, reports have indicated that Melvin Gordon intends to return between Week 6 and Week 8. Ekeler’s glorious run figures to come to a halt, to some degree.
Gordon may be a bit overrated — he has only exceeded 1,000 yards rushing in one season — but he’s sure to cannibalize some of Ekeler’s touches. In PPR, it’s likely that Ekeler continues to be strong option from week-to-week. But in standard, it’s might be hard to feel confident about starting him every week with Gordon likely taking the between-the-tackles work.
So if you’re an Ekeler owner, it might be time to think about how Gordon’s return will impact your team and how you can prepare for that eventuality. Here are a few ideas.
Trade Austin Ekeler
It’s an obvious option, but an excruciating one to execute. Ekeler’s value is probably a little rough on the trade market because opposing fantasy owners are likely just as aware of Gordon’s impending return as you are. So recuperating value for Ekeler may be challenging. But if the right deal comes along, it may end up being shrewd to bail on Ekeler for a buy-low player like running backs Marlon Mack, Todd Gurley or David Montgomery. (You could also target a wide receiver. It just depends on your roster strength.)
Trade for Melvin Gordon
Another obvious option. You can bring in Gordon to try to offset the potential for Ekeler’s role to diminish remarkably. The longer you wait to acquire Gordon, however, the more he’s going to cost. Try to pull the trigger on a Gordon trade as soon as possible, if this is the route you want to pursue.
Trade for A.J. Green
If the market for Ekeler is bad and the asking price for Gordon is too high, you can consider other options to bolster your roster beyond the Chargers. Green, for example, will be returning from injury at around the time Gordon returns from his holdout. It’s possible that Green, who has been a WR1 for most of his career, can help your team withstand the blow if Ekeler’s fantasy value diminishes significantly.
Trade for Golden Tate
The thinking behind trading for Green is the same as that on Tate, who will return from suspension and play in Week 5. Tate might be an easy player to acquire, too. He’s on a new team, and will be dealing with a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones. But there’s upside — Tate and Jones demonstrated nice rapport during preseason.