After five years wearing the Chargers “Powder Blues,” Melvin Gordon has joined his AFC West divisional rival in the Denver Broncos. While Gordon is still looked at in many circles as one of the better running backs in football, the former Wisconsin Badgers star has only eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing once in his five seasons.
What Are the Oddsmakers Saying?
DraftKings Sportsbook currently has Gordon’s total rushing yards number in 2020 set at 775.5 yards.
Gordon’s Fantasy Value in 2020
The Broncos will now have one of the league's best running back tandems with Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. Gordon, who has scored eight or more rushing touchdowns in four consecutive seasons, will remain a threat for double-digit touchdowns as the featured goal line back in an up-and-coming offense. He should only be drafted as a high-end RB2 with upside, due to his potential timeshare with Lindsay; an undrafted rookie free agent who has run for over 1,000 yards in both of his seasons in the league..
Gordon's best statistical season was in 2017 when he rushed for 1,105 yards. It was also the only time in five seasons that he was able to play a full allotment of 16 games. Investing draft stock in either of these two talented backs could be a big risk, but if Gordon can stay healthy, he is clearly the back to own in Denver for fantasy.
Under new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, I would expect him to make strides in the passing game lining up wide in various formations while looking to draw single coverage with linebackers or safeties. The fantasy success of this talented offense will largely depend on the strides second-year quarterback Drew Lock can make with just five career starts.
As of now, Gordon joins a crowded backfield that not only features Lindsay but also former Oregon Ducks standout Royce Freeman. Unless one of the other backs is moved prior to the start of the season via trade, my projections have Gordon checking in at 799 yards; 24 yards more than the market offering at DraftKings.
If Gordon is able to play all 16 games, he would only need to average 48.5 rushing yards per game to surpass this total. I am inclined to believe the powerful and speedy veteran will emerge as the back to own in this backfield, but his biggest value in 2020 will be in Point-Per-Reception (PPR) leagues. Gordon, with the right opportunity, could easily finish amongst the team leaders in catches with wideouts Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler and emerging tight end Noah Fant.
The Play: OVER 775.5 rushing yards (-110)