Melvin Gordon Starts His Denver Revival

Justin Bruni
Melvin Gordon
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Melvin Gordon is Primed for a Rebound Year

Melvin Gordon’s consensus ADP is RB18 in PPR; he’s my RB15. I’m going to be very bullish with my shares of him in 2020. Gordon is going to be a rock-solid RB2 with the potential to climb to RB1 status. His career numbers took a dip in 2019 but expect him to progress in 2020.

Since the start of Gordon’s career, he’s only played one full 16 game season. While he has had setbacks in regards to injury, I’m not concerned for the upcoming season. According to sportsinjurypredictor.com, Gordon has a 55.4 chance of getting hurt this year, ranking him 15th, most likely RB to occur an injury. The site cited him as a player with a “Medium” risk of accruing an injury. Alvin Kamara is ranked right behind Gordon at 16th most likely to get hurt; if you’re drafting him with your third to fifth overall pick, you shouldn’t be concerned about taking Gordon at a value in the fourth or fifth round.

Gordon Stands Above All in Crowded Backfield

Melvin Gordon is a traditional three-down back but will have to fend off the likes of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. I expect Gordon’s total touches to grow as the season goes on. He’s a shifty running back, breaking the most tackles from 2016-2018 and can catch the ball out of the backfield; his skill set is more than versatile.

Lindsay is most likely to threaten Gordon’s touches, earning over 1000 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons for the Broncos. Lindsay’s downside is that he’s not adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. He recorded 35 catches in his rookie and sophomore season. On the other hand, Gordon has averaged 60 catches per season since entering the league. While Royce Freeman strung together 500 rushing yards consecutive seasons with eight total touchdowns, he’s not a threat to Gordon or Lindsay.

Gordon hasn’t exceeded 200 touches since 2017, but he will touch the ball more in Denver this year. The Broncos ranked 14th for most rush attempts last season while the Chargers ranked 28th. On top of more rushing opportunities, the offensive line is a much better situation in Denver.

Final Take

You can load up on some great talent before needing to pull the trigger on Gordon. I like taking him in the fourth round, pairing him with two stud running backs out of my first two picks and locking down a WR1 in the 3rd round. I’m not a big pusher for 0Rb or 0Wr strategies, but Gordon is a player that fits the mold for both. I prefer owning him behind a few other running backs if possible, but if you load up on wide outs in the first three rounds, he’ll be the best option for you through the fourth.

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