04 Aug Melvin Gordon: 2020 Fantasy Bust
Every year there are certain players in fantasy football who are drafted high for unforeseen reasons. In some cases it’s hype, and in others it’s based on better projections than the previous year. For players who have been in the league for a more than three seasons however, you kind of ‘are what you are’.
This is where Melvin Gordon falls, as he leads my fantasy bust series going into the 2020 season.
We all know of the contract holdout that caused Gordon to not suit up for the first quarter of the 2019 season. Funny enough, when he decided to end his holdout and return to football his play did not reflect the contract he was ultimately demanding. But if we’re being honest, did his play ever reflect his perceived talent?
In his career, Gordon has managed to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season once in his career. If you look at his receiving numbers, you may question why I’m not higher on my top RB choice for fantasy bust going forward. At this point I’d like to direct your attention to Austin Ekeler (who made Gordon expendable) and Philip Rivers, who habitually checked down to his RBs.
Backs have actually accounted for over 25% of Rivers’ passes. Gordon’s receiving numbers wont’t be inflated by QB play nearly as much with Drew Lock, and even with Pat Shurmur (an OC who likes to scheme RBs open) running the offense. It is unlikely he reaches his previous fantasy football potential, which brings us to problem number two for Melvin going forward – Phillip Lindsay.
With the Chargers, Melvin Gordon was seeing the lion-share of the snaps in the running game. For some reason Ekeler wasn’t seen as ‘the guy’ until his breakout campaign last year. Gordon wasn’t able to stay healthy with the Chargers (has played 16 games only once in his career), and as previously mentioned he only surpassed 1,000 rushing yards once despite being given every opportunity.
To make matters worse, he has only surpassed four yards per attempt only once in his career. In Denver he’ll be playing with an RB who’s had an absurd 5.4 and 4.5 YPA, and coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons – while being part of a committee himself.
At the moment, Gordon’s ADP is at #34. This is above players like James Conner, Le’Veon Bell, and Mark Ingram who have next to no competition on teams that are much more run-heavy than the Denver Broncos. At his ADP, Gordon is also above wide receivers such as Allen Robinson, D.J. Moore, and Keenan Allen, all of whom are expected to produce more than Gordon this upcoming year.
This becomes more absurd when you look at Phillip Lindsay, whose ADP is at an unbelievable #93 despite being the better player recently.
All of this does not mean that Melvin Gordon is a bad running back. He is a volume-based RB with soft hands who can produce under the right circumstances. However, being added to a team with a RB who is better at the position itself is going to pose problems for his success in Fantasy Football.
Adding in his absurd ADP and it’s safe to assume that Gordon will not come close to cashing in the numbers that fantasy owners are expecting him to produce this year. This is why despite his talent, Melvin Gordon leads the pack in my installment of fantasy busts for the 2020 season.
170 Att, 600 yards, 5 Rush TDs. 35 Rec, 200 Rec Yards, 2 Rec TDs – RB22