Melvin Gordon is unlikely to be a workhorse
in Denver as he splits time with Phillip Lindsay.
Dynasty owners of Melvin Gordon were patiently waiting to hear where
the former Los Angeles Charger would sign this free-agent period.
With teams like the Bucs, Texans, and Falcons each looking to
presumably sign a starting running back, things appeared to be
looking up for Gordon after he made the mistake of turning down
a reported $10 million per year deal last season while holding
out for a Le’Veon Bell-size deal.
Houston decided to make a head-scratching deal for David Johnson
that included sending all-pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to
the desert, taking the Texans out of consideration.
The Rams then cut Todd Gurley, and the Falcons swooped in quickly
to sign the former University of Georgia star.
Somewhat frustrated, but not wholly deterred, the Bucs remained
an option for Gordon and his dynasty owners. With Tom Brady now
signed, the offense lacked just one thing, a proven star running
back who could be a three-down back for head coach Bruce Arians.
So when news hit Twitter, Gordon fans must have been excited to
see the running back join the pewter and red (or whatever the
Bucs colors are this season).
Instead, Gordon signed a two-year deal $16 million contract to
join the Denver Broncos, a team that had more than a few holes
on their roster, but running back was not one of them. Phillip
Freeman, and the other Broncos running backs combined to rush
for the 15th-most yards among the 32 NFL teams. Not great, but
certainly not a bottom-tier unit in need of a veteran running
back like Gordon who’s career yard per carry average is barely
So why did the Broncos sign Gordon for nearly the same deal Chargers
paid for Chris
Harris, the former star cornerback for the Broncos who the
team presumably could not afford? I imagine Bronco fans would
rather have Harris back instead of a third running back to add
to the Denver stable.
We may never know the reasons why Elway made the deal. Perhaps
he will trade Freeman away for draft picks, and he wanted a veteran
tailback to pair with Lindsay.
For fantasy purposes, the signing is less-than-exciting.
Adding Gordon to the backfield of Freeman and Lindsay limits
the value of Lindsay and all but makes Freeman avoidable in all
Lindsay finished as the 25th running back overall with 10.2 points
per game, while Freeman finished as the No. 53 running back with
6.2 points per game.
Considering the reasonably large contract given to Gordon, one
would assume that he would be the starter with Lindsay working
in like Freeman did this past season. Lindsay will still have
a role, but it is unknown how the carries will be divided. Gordon
is a reasonably skilled goal-line back and should get those carries,
but Lindsay has proved over the first two years of his career
that he is a talented back as well.
Can Lindsay be the Austin Ekeler to Melvin Gordon in Denver?
Considering Lindsay has just one receiving touchdown in 21 career
games, that is not likely. But he still could be a low-end flex
should the Denver offense as a whole take a step forward (Denver
ranked 27th in total offense in 2019).
As far as Gordon goes, it is nice that he has a job again and
could be a low-end RB1 should he stay healthy and get a sizable
number of the receptions out of the backfield. Yet considering
the other options that appeared to be in store or the former Wisconsin
Badger, landing in Denver is not exactly the best scenario for
his fantasy value.