Justin Jackson's Fantasy Outlook with Austin Ekeler Out for Chargers vs. Texans

Adam WellsDecember 25, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (22) runs past New England Patriots safety Adrian Phillips (21) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Fantasy managers should look to add Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson to their roster heading into the second week of the postseason. 

Austin Ekeler announced Saturday on his Instagram account that he hasn't cleared COVID-19 protocols, making him ineligible to play tomorrow against the Houston Texans. 

If Jackson is available in your league, he is certainly worth rostering. The 25-year-old is coming off his best game of the season with 99 yards from scrimmage on 14 touches in a 34-28 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. 

Ekeler himself told Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox to add Jackson to his fantasy roster in an episode of Ekeler's Edge this week:

Yahoo Fantasy Sports @YahooFantasy

.<a href="https://twitter.com/dawson_knox?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dawson_knox</a> joined <a href="https://twitter.com/LizLoza_FF?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LizLoza_FF</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/AustinEkeler?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AustinEkeler</a> to thank him for helping lock up a first-round bye!<br><br>Austin broke some bad news, but has advice for all of his managers out there. 👀<br><br>Full episode of Ekeler's Edge ➡️ <a href="https://t.co/V1YzNBwV30">https://t.co/V1YzNBwV30</a> <a href="https://t.co/FO7k98DU6v">pic.twitter.com/FO7k98DU6v</a>

Sunday presents a favorable matchup for Jackson too. The Texans rank 27th in Football Outsiders' rushing defense DVOA. They are allowing the most rushing yards per game in the NFL (145.0) and are tied with the Chargers for the fourth-most fantasy points allowed per game (22.4) to running backs. 

Jackson has only touched the ball 53 times this season, though he is averaging a strong 5.6 yards per touch. The Illinois native has 11 receptions on 144 offensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference

While Jackson hasn't scored a touchdown since his rookie season in 2018, the Texans have given up at least one rushing touchdown in each of the past four games and 12 of 14 games overall. 

If the Chargers are able to get out in front early, their game script will likely become run-heavy. Jackson should see plenty of opportunities against the Texans defense. 

Per FantasyPros, Jackson is currently rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues and 20 percent of ESPN leagues. 

Thanks to a favorable matchup that should afford him a lot of touches, Jackson has the upside of an RB2 on Sunday. He's certainly worthy of being a flex option if you already have two capable starting running backs.