Even though Melvin Gordon has scored at least nine touchdowns and totaled at least 75 yards per game in each of his past five seasons, he figures to be an unpopular Fantasy pickup. That's because the Broncos drafted fresh young rookie Javonte Williams to work in tandem with Gordon. However, many people feel Williams will overtake Gordon at some point this season, making the 28-year-old veteran useless for Fantasy purposes. Here's the reality: The Broncos prefer a multi-back approach, so Gordon will see work so long as he's healthy and effective, even if it's on fewer touches. And that's the issue: Gordon has hit 15-plus PPR in just 11 of 29 games over the past two seasons, so if he's seeing fewer touches with Williams in the fold, then the Fantasy frustrations will only grow. You might want to root for someone else to take Gordon by the end of Round 4 before you're stuck considering him in Round 5 or 6. If the idea of him in your lineup makes your gag reflex kick into overdrive, then strongly consider taking other rushers earlier on Draft Day.
Second-round draft pick Javonte Williams has joined Gordon in the Broncos backfield, Ben Swanson of the team's official site reports. The Broncos moved up five spots in the 2021 draft in order to select Williams. Per GM George Paton, Williams was "one of (the team's) favorite players in the draft" and the North Carolina product will help fill the void created by the offseason departure of Phillip Lindsay. At this stage, Gordon remains atop Denver's running back depth chart, but Williams, whose prospect profile is highlighted by his ability to run through defenders, is going to be hard to keep of the field. As a result, some form of a timeshare figures to develop once Williams gets acclimated to the pro game. Also on hand in the team's backfield are Mike Boone and Royce Freeman.
The Denver County Court dismissed Gordon's DUI charge Wednesday after he pled guilty to lesser charges of reckless driving and excessive speeding stemming from his Oct. 13 arrest, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports. While the dropped DUI charge doesn't necessarily mean Gordon will escape NFL punishment, it certainly won't hurt his chances of avoiding a suspension or fine. Gordon is signed through 2021, with $4.5 million in guaranteed salary and a $2 million camp reporting bonus, per Klis.
Gordon's attorneys entered a not guilty plea for his DUI charge from Oct. 14, Troy Renck of Denver 7 News reports. Gordon recently had a virtual court hearing, and his next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24. It sounds like the case will be resolved within the next few months, so Gordon could be suspended for the start of the 2021 regular season. He'll be entering the second season of a two-year contract after rushing for 986 yards and nine touchdowns in his first year with the Broncos.
Gordon ran for 986 yards and nine touchdowns on 215 carries in 2020 while adding 32 catches on 44 targets for 158 yards and a touchdown. He lost four fumbles during the season. The debate in Denver heading into the season was how the Broncos would find ways to get the ball into the hands of its two talented backs -- Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. The answer was largely just to feed Gordon. Gordon averaged 16.5 touches per game to Lindsay's 11.4 during the 2020 season and the raw touch numbers show greater disparity as Lindsay missed five full games with toe, knee and hip injuries. Gordon proved to be the difference in a couple of Denver's wins, including those against the Jets and Dolphins. His abilities as an inside runner and in the passing game also seemed to make him a better fit than Lindsay in Pat Shurmur's offense. Gordon's fumbles were a major issue and arguably cost the Broncos the season opener against Tennessee and almost came back to bite them against Miami. He also faces a suspension stemming from a DUI to start the 2021 campaign. The offseason won't, however, have as many questions as last: Gordon is the lead back in Mile High.
Gordon carried the ball 26 times for 93 yards and a touchdown and caught four of six targets for 17 yards in Sunday's 32-31 loss to the Raiders. His first season in Denver proved to be a fruitful one, as Gordon finished the campaign with 986 rushing yards and nine TDs in 15 games, although he didn't contribute as much as a receiver as he had in his last few years as a Charger. With Phillip Lindsay a restricted free agent in the offseason, Gordon could well find himself taking on a bigger workload in 2021 if the Broncos don't prioritize bringing in more backfield help next year.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/12||@New York Giants||16||17.50|
|3||09/26||New York Jets||20||18.00|
|6||10/17||Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|8||10/31||Washington Football Team||3||14.24|
|12||11/28||Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|13||12/05||@Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
|16||12/26||@Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|17||01/02||@Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|18||01/09||Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||184||828||9||41||315||2||175|