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Fantasy fallout: ‘Lightning backs’ Chris Thompson, Austin Ekeler strike in Week 1

Fantasy fallout: ‘Lightning backs’ Chris Thompson, Austin Ekeler strike in Week 1

Timeshares can be a blessing and a curse in fantasy football. We’d all prefer to start a Le’Veon Bell (or a James Conner) and enjoy about 30 touches in a given week. But there’s nothing wrong with a good “thunder and lightning” combo now and then — as long as it produces a pair of fantasy-relevant backs who complement each other well.

That was the case in Week 1 with the Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos. Here’s a breakdown of each situation, with intel from ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters:

Chris Thompson: What a start for Washington’s backfield. Adrian Peterson defied conventional wisdom yet again by gaining a total of 166 yards from scrimmage at age 33. But in some ways, Thompson’s 11 touches for a total of 128 yards and a touchdown were even more promising.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Yes, we’ve seen this kind of dynamic impact from Thompson before. But we didn’t know how quickly he would return to form after suffering a broken fibula last season. Even Thompson himself suggested last month that he might not truly feel back to 100 percent until November.2

But as ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim wrote, Thompson said he started to feel like his old self about a week before the season opener.

“It was huge,” Thompson said of his return performance. “Once that clock started and I got on the field, that was the best I had felt since my injury.”

Although the Redskins’ goal for Thompson is just 12 to 15 touches per game, he has proved he can do enough with that workload to make a fantasy impact, especially in PPR leagues.nfl nike jersey cheap

Austin Ekeler: It was even more surprising to see the Chargers produce two backs with more than 100 yards from scrimmage in Week 1. But Melvin Gordon owners shouldn’t worry after Ekeler gained a career-high 126 yards and a touchdown on a total of five carries and five receptions. Gordon is still a true “RB1,” while ESPN Chargers writer Eric D. Williams said Ekeler is more of a “changeup guy.”

But Williams does think Ekeler should get enough touches to be a fantasy consideration and wrote this week about how well they feed off each other. Gordon’s desire is to be the workhorse back this season, but he’s willing to share some of the spotlight.