Melvin's Mile-High Outlook: Featuring @Fantasy_Champs
In this article, I'm happy to feature @fantasy_champs. Like me, they do a lot of fantasy posts on Instagram. They started out right around the same time as I did last year and have been putting out great fantasy content. I rarely find myself disagreeing with their opinions. Today we are both giving our take on Melvin Gordon’s situation now that he is with the Broncos. I’ll give my opinion on whether or not I agree or disagree with their take below. Be sure to give them a follow on Instagram if you’re not already.
Following Melvin Gordon's signing to the Broncos, I have seen his ADP drop dramatically in mock drafts and I think it’s absurd. In redraft leagues I see Gordon as a complete steal. Last year the Chargers offensive line was ranked 29th in the League which just does not work for a running back like Gordon. Now he will be running behind the Broncos offensive line who were ranked 12th in the league last year and signed OL Graham Glasgow to a 4 year deal to further improve that line. Now everyone’s worried about Lindsay being a pest to his workload? What about Austin Ekeler? He finished as the RB4 last year while seeing 108 targets. No disrespect to Phillip Lindsay, but he is nowhere near the running back Ekeler is. The best part about this move is that Gordon is getting away from Ekeler because he is now able to go back to having a legit pass catching role.
The Broncos have a very young and unproven quarterback in Drew Lock and they aren’t going to throw him into the fire this early. They will rely on the run game and on Gordon. Money talks and the Broncos threw a lot of money at him to lead their backfield. I still see Lindsay having a decent role because he is a good NFL running back and if he gets 8-10 touches per game I’d be happy about that. Gordon should see around 12-15 carries and somewhere between 4-6 targets a game. I’m not so sure what his ADP will be but if you are able to snag him as your RB2 in the late 3rd or 4th I would love that. Melvin is going to prove a lot of people wrong in 2020, I guarantee it.
The move to Denver feels like a slight downgrade to me. The competition at running back, Austin Ekeler to Phillip Lindsey is equal. Both are good, undersized backs. Ekeler is the better receiving back and Lindsey being the better runner. Both had similar snap shares at 57% for Ekeler and 53% for Lindsey.
Gordon’s receiving upside should be about the same. In five seasons with the Check-Down King, Philip Rivers, Gordon never caught fewer than 33 passes. Over the last five seasons, offensive coordinator Pat Shermur has never had his top receiving back catch less than 43 passes. So the receptions will likely remain about the same.
One the rushing side, I see a slight dip. Lindsay is a good early down runner and is more than just an occasional sub. If there is one area I could see Gordon taking a bigger hit is with rushing touchdowns. The most rushing touchdowns Ekeler ever registered was three, whereas Lindsey has recorded seven and nine over the past two seasons. It only takes a few less touchdowns to make a big difference on the year.
In 2019, Melvin Gordon averaged 15 fantasy points per game, good for RB14 on the year. I think we see that dip a point or two to around 13-14 points per game. I think he will finish in the RB20 – RB24 range in 2020.