Austin Ekeler, Deebo Samuel Give Composed Owners Promising Rest of Season Fantasy Outlooks - Roto Street Journal
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Austin Ekeler, Deebo Samuel Give Composed Owners Promising Rest of Season Fantasy Outlooks

The final two weeks of the fantasy regular season is equitable to Chris Hansen’s “Witching Hour” on NFL RedZone, where wins become losses and where playoff spots are solidified.  Having a top option return from injury at this point is huge, especially on teams that won’t be resting their studs in the final weeks.  Stashing guys like Austin Ekeler and Deebo Samuel for a few weeks (or more in Ekeler’s case) proved well worth the roster spot, as they both dazzled in their return to play. 

Austin Ekeler

Ekeler had last played in Week 4, where he was injured early on.  After missing most if not all of the Chargers’ last seven matchups, Ekeler exploded for 23.9 points in PPR formats.  On the field for 73 percent of all offensive snaps, the “little guy” (RIP Tommy Heinsohn) was targeted a beastly 16 times, hauling in 11 of them for 85 yards and pacing the team in both categories. 

Add 14 carries and 44 ground yards, also team highs, and Ekeler vaulted himself back into RB1 territory.  Two tough matchups on paper await against the Patriots and the Falcons, but Ekeler’s prowess in LA’s electric passing attack should offset the matchups a bit.  Weeks 15 and 16 hold some tasty matchups, however, where the Chargers face-off with the porous Raiders and the Broncos respectively. 

Look for Ekeler to continue dominating the backfield for the Chargers, who will look to disrupt the playoff hopes of a few teams in the back end of their season. He’s back up to RB5 in The Wolf’s Rest of Season Rankings.

Deebo Samuel

In his first appearance since Week 7, Deebo Samuel had the best outing of his sophomore campaign, albeit it was only his fifth active game after being hung up with multiple injuries. 

Finishing with 11 receptions on 13 targets for 133 yards, Samuel emerged as Nick Mullens’ top target. In fact, no other 49er topped 35 receiving yards on the day.  San Fran has been decimated with injuries on the season and their young receivers, like Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, have been thrust into some opportune situations and improved nicely. Aiyuk should return from the reserve/COVID-19 list this upcoming week, so it’ll be interesting to see the target share between the two as they hang on to their playoff hopes.  

Deebo is up to WR22 (+8 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s ROS Big Board and he’s surprisingly still available in 43 percent of leagues if you want a free target hog for the playoffs.

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