Melvin Gordon, running back for the Los Angeles Chargers, probably feels like he deserves more respect in the NFL and fantasy football circles. After being drafted behind Todd Gurley, he has basically lived in the shadows of elite backs for his entire career. However, Gordon has been putting up top-five numbers at the position for the past three years. With basically the same offense in place as last season, he is poised for yet another elite year in fantasy.
Melvin Gordon 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook
Gordon is somehow one of the least talked about of the elite running backs in fantasy football. Despite missing four games last season, Gordon still punched in an RB6 finish. Before missing three consecutive games, Gordon was the RB4, but averaged a whopping 20.8 points-per-game, second only to Gurley. He also didn’t score under 15 points in one game up to that point. And that includes only playing in one half against the Arizona Cardinals week 12.
But Gordon hasn’t just been doing it since last season. He also boasts a top-five finish in 2017 and a top ten finish in 2016. Gordon missed another three games that year, but in terms of per-games averages, Gordon was top five.
Gordon has improved his numbers every year he has been in the league, but there are still reasons why people are skeptical. Perhaps some may not have gotten over his rookie season completely, where he averaged a paltry 3.5 yards-per-carry (YPC). Others may also point to the fact that Gordon didn’t average more than four YPC until last season.
Worse yet is something else he is consistent at – not playing full seasons. In four years, Gordon has only started 16 games once. Still, when he is on the field, he consistently produces fantasy points.
Dynamic Player in a Dynamic Offense
One of the reasons Gordon puts up big points on a consistent basis is how dynamic of playmaker he is. Gordon doesn’t just get it done on the ground; he also catches a ton of balls. Aside from his forgettable rookie season, he has put up at least 400 yards receiving year. He also has at least twelve totals touchdowns each year during that span.
But it helps that Gordon isn’t the only dynamic player on the team. In fact, his offense is one of the more stacked units in the league. Keenan Allen looks like he has finally gotten through some of the serious injuries he suffered early in his career. In fact, like Gordon, his talent probably doesn’t get enough respect in the league. Mike Williams is also establishing himself as one of the better number two wide receivers in the league. Of course, Los Angeles still has their wily leader, Philip Rivers under center as well.
The one question the Chargers still have is depth for their offensive line. Part of the reason for Gordon’s are Russell Okung at left tackle and Mike Pouncey at center. However, the rest of the line is not only far from established, but lacking depth. Okung is already coming into the season with questions on his health. Should even one of the two miss extended time, it could spell trouble for Gordon.
Melvin Gordon Average Draft Position
Last season, the Chargers had one of the tougher schedules in the league for run defenses. They went up against the likes of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, who were top ten against the run. Though they play the Steelers again, aside from probably the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, the teams they go up against in 2019 are not that formidable.
Right off the bat, he takes on the Indianapolis Colts. While the Colts were technically a top ten run defense in the real world, they gave up the most fantasy points to running backs last season. In addition, they play the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders twice a year. The Chiefs were 27th against the run, while the Raiders were 30th. Oakland also happens to come week 16, the fantasy championship.
Basically, Gordon is looking at an ADP of about 5th overall, which is right where he should be. On the surface, it seems like a longshot for him to outscore Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott, but it isn’t outside of the realms of possibility. As long as he plays the majority of the year though, he is basically a lock for a top-five finish at the position.
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