Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Yahoo Sports’ Fantasy Analyst Matt Harmon are joined by the Indianapolis Colts star running back. Taylor, Ekeler and Harmon chop it up on the wild last 3 weeks in Indy with the surprising hiring of a Colts’ legend as interim head coach, and Taylor explains how he is trying to tap into the opportunities that lie within his popularity in the world of fantasy football. Catch fresh episodes of Ekeler’s Edge every Wednesday on Yahoo Sports and your favorite social media platforms. Listen to this entire episode of Ekeler’s Edge on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast wherever you get podcasts.
MATT HARMON: All right, absolutely hyped to welcome to “Ekeler’s Edge,” it’s Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor. Jonathan, buddy, how’s it going, man? How are you feeling?
JONATHAN TAYLOR: I’m feeling well, Matt. I appreciate you guys taking out the time. It’s dope. I actually talked to Austin about this a bit in the offseason. So I’m excited that we finally found the time to get this thing rolling.
MATT HARMON: We do got to ask you a little bit about what’s been going on with the Colts this year. A lot of crazy stuff, right? I mean, Jeff Saturday gets hired as the head coach, and it’s been going pretty well. Like, you win your first game. You take the Eagles down to the wire there. What’s the vibe been like there with you and just getting your work done while all this kind of craziness has been going on around you?
JONATHAN TAYLOR: Yeah, man, like you mentioned, it was a jam-packed couple of weeks. Number one thing is, we were really intrigued by his passion, I mean, Jeff Saturday, of course, given his history with the Colts. From day one, it never felt like it was about him coming to the forefront. Hey, I’m going to save and turn this organization around. We’re going to win a bunch of games.
He genuinely wants the organization to succeed, whether it’s from the players to the coaching staff to the equipment staff. I mean, he just wants to do his part to help put the organization in the best position for success because, I mean, he’s a Colt– he’s a Colt for life. Like, that’s what Jeff Saturday is. So it’s just important to him, but it’s also important to us.
We want to win games. So it’s easy to go and play for a guy that he wants nothing but the organization to succeed. It’s not, OK, I need to make sure I come in here and I win a bunch of games so they know that, hey, it was me. It’s, no, we have a great coaching staff. We have great players. We have great people in the building, the front office. Let’s all work collectively to get to where we want to go. So it’s just about how we respond.
I thought we responded really well going into Vegas after those crazy couple of weeks. And now we loved to finish that one last Sunday, loved to finish it. Went down to the wire. We loved to play with that one. But we need to continue to stack every single week. How are we going to respond every week? Because we know everyone in the world is going to be watching us every week now. You know, how are the Colts going to respond in the second half of the season?
AUSTIN EKELER: Fantasy football podcast, “Ekeler’s Edge.” We talk about fantasy a little bit. Have we tapped into a little bit more, anything like that? Do you have any teams, any relationship with it, stay away from it? What’s going on in the fantasy world with Jonathan?
JONATHAN TAYLOR: So number one, I always love to– you know, your fans they believe in you. They picked you because they believe in you. So you always get the, hey, don’t worry about the outside noise. And it’s not so much as the outside noise, but it’s more in particular the Jonathan Taylor fans. You want– you want to do your best for your fans because you know, hey, they could have picked anybody, anybody in the NFL. But they said, you know what, I’m going with my guy 28.
So, you know, whenever you have those games where you’re like, man, I didn’t do as great, you just start thinking about your fans. You’re just like, man, I let the fans down. That’s the biggest thing, not so much is what the trolls say or the burner accounts, just those legit fans who really picked you and say, hey, I think my guy is going to go off. I’m like, every week, I got to try my best to back my fans up.
AUSTIN EKELER: Look, that’s music to my ears, and I know Matt’s ears too–
MATT HARMON: For real, yeah.
AUSTIN EKELER: –because, man, like, a lot of guys, they don’t understand the magnitude of fantasy football and how it adds layers of depth to the NFL as far as people watching it and buying into us as players. Because you have, whether you know it or not– you probably do– you have thousands upon thousands of other fans, and not just Colts fans, but they’re Jonathan Taylor fans because you scored them fantasy points, right? And that has so much value that lays within that, right?
JONATHAN TAYLOR: It’s insane. It’s insane. I didn’t realize until last season. I knew people played fantasy. I knew it was a thing that people play some money or just people doing crazy bets. Hey, you need to stay inside of a Waffle House for 24 hours or whatever it may be. I didn’t realize how huge it was until last season when people would say, hey, are you Jonathan Taylor? And I’m like, yeah. And they’re like, oh, my gosh, you’re my favorite player. I have you on my fantasy team. So not like, hey, you’re my favorite player, I know who you are. It’s, oh, that’s the guy who was scoring those points for me on my fantasty team.
AUSTIN EKELER: Yeah, man. And, sheesh, like, the NFL would not be as big as it is if it weren’t for sports betting and fantasy football. Like, people get invested because of that, right? And they’re in, right? You see them screaming at the TV. So why would you not tap into that? That’s just like free– that’s just free value sitting there for you. So good stuff, man.
MATT HARMON: Hey, JT, really appreciate your time, man. Good luck the rest of the season. You’ve been crushing it. And I know all your fantasy fans appreciate it, the Colts fans appreciate it. And we here at “Ekeler’s Edge” appreciate you coming on, man.
JONATHAN TAYLOR: Oh, I appreciate you guys so much. This has been awesome. Austin, thank you very much. I’m sure we’ll definitely connect again.
AUSTIN EKELER: For sure.
JONATHAN TAYLOR: Whether it be this season, in the offseason, I definitely want to connect with you some more, things outside of football. But–
AUSTIN EKELER: No doubt, man.
JONATHAN TAYLOR: –stay healthy, man. The best of–
AUSTIN EKELER: Likewise.
JONATHAN TAYLOR: –luck the rest of the way as well. Actually, we’ll be seeing you guys in a couple weeks. So that will be awesome. Definitely save that jersey for me, definitely.
AUSTIN EKELER: Hey, no doubt. Let’s get it done.