Melvin Gordon Fantasy: Start or Sit Chargers RB on Thursday Night Football?

Getty Melvin Gordon of the Los Angeles Chargers

Melvin Gordon’s initial fantasy returns for owners upon ending his holdout earlier this season left much to be desired. However, after a slow start to his 2019 campaign, the Los Angeles Chargers running back has since elevated his game and his fantasy outlook over the past few weeks.

Can Gordon continue on his upward trend and possibly recapture the form that made him the eighth-highest scoring fantasy player at his position? Or will he revert back to his mediocre play, leaving fantasy owners trying to dig out themselves of a hole left behind by Gordon’s poor performance? Let’s take a look.

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Melvin Gordon’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Oakland Raiders

Melvin Gordon has been the polar opposite of efficient for the majority of this season. The former Pro Bowl running back has averaged just 2.5 yards per carry since returning from a holdout earlier this season. That average is tied for the fewest ypc in football amongst all qualifying runners.

However, despite his struggles, Gordon showed his first signs of life this past week. Gordon enjoyed his best game of the year by far against the Packers in Week 9, racking up 109 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He has now scored three touchdowns over his last two games. Gordon is no stranger to the endzone, as he’s been one of the most prolific touchdown makers in all football since entering the league. From 2015 to current day, Gordon has scored 42 total touchdowns.

Even better than Gordon’s nose for the endzone is LA’s commitment to featuring him in the backfield. Despite Austin Ekeler‘s superb play early this season, Gordon immediately stepped back into his featured role within the Chargers offense after ending his holdout. Gordon has now out-touched Ekeler in four consecutive weeks. The running back has also averaged 20.5 touches in two of his last three games.

Gordon’s matchup on Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders isn’t as welcoming as one may expect. Oakland is right smack in the middle in terms of defending the running back position, currently allowing the 16th-most fantasy points to the position.

However, there are certainly reasons to feel optimistic about Gordon’s outlook heading into the game. For starters, since returning from a Week 5 bye, the Raiders have allowed four touchdowns to running backs over a three-game span. Plus, RBs to carry the ball at least 12 times against the Raiders this season have finished with an average 15.47 fantasy points.

Should You Start or Sit Melvin Gordon in Week 10?

The days of worrying about Ekeler eating into Gordon’s workload are long gone. Gordon has seemingly received more and more touches virtually every week since returning from his holdout. In return, Gordon’s production has begun to trend upwards.

There is no reason to think that Gordon won’t at the very least find the endzone against a Raiders defense that has allowed more running backs to cross the goal line than games they’ve played since returning from their bye.

READ NEXT: DraftKings Thursday Night Showdown: Chargers vs. Raiders

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