Week 14 hot seat: Can fantasy managers trust Austin Ekeler?

How will Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers fare this weekend? Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Los Angeles Chargers star RB Austin Ekeler scored 38 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Let that sink in for a minute, because 38 touchdowns over a two-year period is hard to fathom, and quite historic. Obviously, this level of production made Ekeler a beloved fantasy football option, and managers had every reason to expect another outstanding, monster statistical campaign.

Welcome to Week 14 and Ekeler is not having anything close to an outstanding, monster statistical campaign. Fantasy managers must have noticed Ekeler scoring single-digit PPR points in each of his past three games, against the Packers, Ravens and Patriots, and wondering what awaits them this weekend as the Chargers host the division-rival Broncos. Ekeler has routinely enjoyed himself in the past against the Broncos, but the current version of Ekeler sure seems different, coming off a game with 18 rushing yards on 14 carries, perhaps still physically compromised from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 1.

It would take quite a bit for fantasy managers to bench Ekeler, especially as we close in on the fantasy playoffs, and managers tend to act with excessive loyalty toward their top draft picks/superstars. Ekeler certainly qualifies. Remember, he surpassed 20 PPR points in each of the games from Weeks 8-through-10, scoring four touchdowns in that span. Ekeler has scored only 21.1 PPR points over the past three games. He's not catching as many passes, nor scoring touchdowns, and he lost two fumbles. Still, this is Austin Ekeler. Does he ever deserve inclusion on the fantasy Hot Seat?