Fantasy Football: 5 Things We Learned From Week 12

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Melvin Gordon's Fantasy Season Is in Jeopardy

Did this really need to happen?

This weekend, the Los Angeles Chargers took on the hapless Arizona Cardinals. Melvin Gordon was reportedly banged up at practice during the week but still found himself on the field for what was projected to be (and later became) an easy win. With the team up by 18 points at the half, the team probably should have considered taking it easy on their star running back.

But instead they ran Gordon back out there, resulting in what is currently looking like an MCL injury with a multi-week timetable for return. He'll hopefully be healthy again in time for the NFL playoffs, but he could miss some -- if not all -- of the fantasy playoffs. It's brutal news if you were counting on him to help make your playoff push.

If you're familiar with Gordon and the Chargers, you've probably heard about his electric backup, Austin Ekeler. Ekeler rushed 5 times for 35 yards and a touchdown during the win over Arizona, and even reeled in a remarkable 10 receptions for another 68. With Gordon out of the picture for the near future, you absolutely need to get Ekeler on your roster if he's sitting on the wire in your league.

Ekeler is definitely the back who benefits most from Gordon's injury, but keep an eye on Justin Jackson, too. The undrafted rookie was a downright dominant workhorse back in his four years at Northwestern, and he filled in nicely for Gordon in Week 12. Despite Ekeler's presence, Jackson still carried the rock 7 times for 57 yards. He could definitely cut into Ekeler's opportunities with Gordon sidelined and may even carve out a significant workload down the stretch.

Gordon's injury is extremely unfortunate for the Chargers and for those of us relying on him in fantasy, but if you can get Ekeler or Jackson on your rosters, you may be able to weather the storm.