Fans excited to see San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon’s NFL debut may be disappointed. Gordon debuted Thursday night in San Diego against the Dallas Cowboys. He carried the ball just 6 times gaining 11 yards. Gordon finished the night with a dismal 1.8 yards per carry.
There was some production among the San Diego running backs. Brandon Oliver outperformed the other backs in the first preseason game. Oliver rushed the ball 10 times for a total of 53 yards. He also scored one touchdown. Running back Danny Woodhead also found the endzone.
While it is certainly too early to jump to conclusions, Thursday’s performance leaves Chargers fans and fantasy owners perplexed. While San Diego fans are anxious to see Gordon unleashed, if Thursday is any indication, they will have to exercise patience as the Chargers plan to ease him into his rookie season. Meanwhile, fantasy football players will continue to debate if Gordon is worth the risk of an early round selection his rookie season.
If the Chargers plan to use a running back by committee approach, Gordon’s fantasy value goes down. Additionally, if Brandon Oliver continues to shine this could eat into Gordon’s carries.
Gordon certainly has the talent to be able to be an elite rusher in the NFL. The San Diego Chargers selected Gordon with the 15th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. At Wisconsin, he rushed for 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns during his career. He averaged 7.8 yards per carry. Last season he rushed for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns in a game against Nebraska.
Melvin will get a chance to redeem himself on Saturday, August 22nd against the Arizona Cardinals. The distribution of carries among running backs for San Diego will continue to be a key storyline throughout the preseason.
Editor’s note: Are you playing daily fantasy yet? Heavy’s partners at DraftKings are paying out $1 billion to daily fantasy players. Sign up with DraftKings promo code HEAVY and get a $600 deposit bonus with no season-long commitment.