What in the world do you do with Melvin Gordon? That is one of the most puzzling questions surrounding fantasy football talk over the past two weeks, and to be honest the past few months.
We thought the question marks revolving around the Los Angeles Chargers running back were put to rest when he returned from his holdout back in Week 4 and took the field in Week 5.
However, that couldn’t be any further from the case. Is the one-time fantasy football must-start now nothing more than just a roster filler for your bench? Let’s discuss.
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Melvin Gordon’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Tennessee Titans
When Melvin Gordon ended his holdout and returned to the Los Angeles Chargers lineup, the majority of his fantasy owners believed they were getting a locked-in RB1 in return. Yet, Gordon has struggled mightily throughout his first two games of the season, while simultaneously diminishing his, and fellow running back Austin Ekeler’s, fantasy value along the way.
The worrisome part about Gordon’s statistics are not that his usage has been limited, but that his production has been diminutive. The two-time Pro Bowler has averaged just 2.5 yards per carry on an average of 10 rushing attempts per game this season. To make matters worse, he’s been completely usurped in the receiving game by Ekeler, with the latter accumulating 10 more receptions over the past two weeks of play. This is not great news for Gordon, whose receiving prowess was a big part of his fantasy value in years past, eclipsing 50 receptions in each of the past two seasons.
However, while it’s easy to pile on Gordon for his struggles early on in his return, we must remember that he is likely just getting back into game shape, something that likely coincided with his limited usage. Now, approximately a month since he’s reported to the Chargers, there’s a high likelihood that he will see his numbers increase across the board. If not for anything but the fact that nothing else seems to be working in Los Angeles. The one-time Super Bowl hopefuls have dropped four of their past five games. You might as well begin to feature arguably your most talented skill-player in hopes that he ignites a spark to the dwindling offense in LA.
The matchup for Gordon this week certainly leaves much to be desired. The Tennessee Titans have been stout against the run all season. The team currently gives up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2019. Yet, it is worth noting that in two of the Titans’ past three games they’ve allowed both parties in opposing teams’ running back tandems to eclipse double-digit fantasy points. This is a major plus for Gordon, who has scored just 7.8 points in each of his two games this season. In each of those games Tennessee also allowed a rushing touchdown, something Gordon is highly familiar with, as he’s found the end zone a staggering 38 times over his past 43 games.
Should You Start or Sit Melvin Gordon in Week 7?
I know you want to give up on Gordon, but give it one more week to make a decision. He’s just now getting his legs up under him, and has already unseated Austin Ekeler as the preferred choice on running plays. This is evident by his 20 rushing attempts to just eight for Ekeler since his return.
Gordon may not be the RB1 you hoped he’d be when you draft and stashed him this offseason. However, Week 7 should mark the beginning of his upward trajectory.
Expect Gordon to hit pay dirt for the first time in 2019, and produce solid RB2 number vs. the Titans.