Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Yahoo Sports’ Fantasy Analyst Matt Harmon discuss Austin’s 3 touchdown game in Houston. Number 30 is excited to have finally made his way into the end zone, but believes there is still plenty of room for improvement. Austin’s big day, vaulted him way up the fantasy running back rankings, and his placement on the list came as shock. While Austin led the way against the Texans, some unexpected contributers came up big in Houston as well. Something that comes back to the leadership and talent of Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, whom Austin compares to none other than the GOAT. Catch fresh episodes of Ekeler’s Edge every Wednesday on Yahoo Sports and your favorite social media platforms. Listen to Ekeler’s Edge on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast wherever you get podcasts.
AUSTIN EKELER: We got one in the books, as far as the win, and got the run game in the right direction. We still have room to go as our running back coach was saying, he's like, you ever see that friend when you're eating chicken wings and they'd never eat all the meat that's on the bone? He's like, that's how I felt.
MATT HARMON: Oh.
AUSTIN EKELER: He's like, that's how I felt. He's like there was more meat on that bone out there that we could have got. And so it's like, hey, we're getting there, but we still got a long way to go and I agree with him.
MATT HARMON: Joining me as he is, every Wednesday, it's LA Chargers three touchdown running back, Austin Ekeler. Austin, I am so happy, like the first few questions I don't have to ask you, hey, what's the deal with the usage? Any of that stuff? We're feeling good here, coming out of week four, man.
AUSTIN EKELER: You put up some production, you put up some good fantasy points. People in the community are going to be happy. It feels good to be back of the end zone, finally.
MATT HARMON: Yeah.
AUSTIN EKELER: I can't take enough away from that. Shout out to the O-line, get me in, finally was able to dust off the old air guitar and break it out a couple of times on last Sunday.
MATT HARMON: You were overall super efficient on the ground, 4.6 yards per carry compared to the first three weeks. What felt different this week than the other weeks?
AUSTIN EKELER: I think it came down to me seeing a little bit more clear, I would say. Just getting more into a rhythm with the O-line and with our scheme, with what we're trying to do. And we got the run game in the right direction. We still have room to go, as our running back coach was saying, he's like, you ever see that friend when you're eating chicken wings and they'd never eat all the meat that's on the bone? He's like, that's how I felt.
MATT HARMON: Oh.
AUSTIN EKELER: He's like, that's how I felt. He's like, there was more meat on that bone out there that we could have got. And so it's like, hey, we're getting there, but we still got a long way to go. And I agree with him.
MATT HARMON: You come around the Harmon household and leave meat on the bone, and from a chicken wings perspective, you-- it might be the last time you get the invite, or at least you're going to be corrected.
AUSTIN EKELER: You get those people that have like, they'll have like the drums, the drumstick and the legs, I eat like a little ring around it, and like, put it down. It's like, um, excuse me?
MATT HARMON: What are we doing?
AUSTIN EKELER: Oh, man. Good stuff.
MATT HARMON: We talked so much about the freak out about us tacklers season, you know this, that, and that. He's top 5 pick, and like, he's not only scoring this many points. If you look at like, the standings right now, Austin, you're the fifth highest scoring running back on the season. And obviously, some of that is--
AUSTIN EKELER: Wow! Really?
MATT HARMON: Sometimes fantasy points come in Costco. They come in both there, right? So that's the way it is and you're still lapping the field in terms of like targets, catches at the running back position. So sometimes you got to be a little patient and going back into sort of the game a little more.
One thing that really caught my eye, you know, obviously we had a big injury we talked about last week Rashawn Slater, he was all-pro level, left tackle. As a rookie, he was awesome. You guys lose him for the season, but you had a sixth round rookie, Jamaree Sawyer? He was really impressive in this game in left tackle. Like I'm watching it, went back and watched the film, too.
And like, he's blowing guys up in the run game, playing pretty well in pass protection, like that's a guy I wanted to call out on the show because it was really impressive. And I think sort of kind of sneaky. Like, if he had been a-- if he'd been an offensive skill position player, we'd be talking about him all week, but like, we got to give some love to the linemen here too.
AUSTIN EKELER: Yeah, no doubt. And it's a position he played in college, actually. So he had familiarity with playing that spot. Another guy that came in was Michael Bandy. He made two big catches for us, and he's been showing out for us all pre-season. So I was happy to see him get some burn in there as well.
MATT HARMON: You guys just have some-- I don't want to say like random sounds like disrespectful, but unexpected guy seemingly pop up every single week. You've had this like fullback, what's his name? Zander?
AUSTIN EKELER: Zander, yeah, the Zandman.
MATT HARMON: He's popped and a couple of touchdowns. Obviously, we talked about DeAndre Carter's big week one. But that's the mark of an offense that is captained by a quarterback that we all believe is one of the best guys in the sport. Right? Like talent elevating play at quarterback will bring these guys like Bandy, like Zander up every now and again, man.
AUSTIN EKELER: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think we saw that a lot with Tom Brady. We saw that a lot with him, where it's like man, you got these guys that aren't getting really paid but they're balling out there, right? Because he's giving them opportunities. You know, O-lines protecting him and he's putting the ball in spots where it's undependable, or making the right decisions. Where it's like on time, you can't defend it. Like I said, man, play with J Herb makes me want to continue to play for a lot longer. So I'm enjoying life right now.