News & Analysis

Melvin Gordon slots in as a front-end RB2 for fantasy football as the lead back for the Denver Broncos

The free agent running back market has officially dried up, as Melvin Gordon today signed a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos. Gordon joins an already-crowded house that features Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in the Denver backfield.

One of the better fantasy backs of the last half-decade, Gordon has found the end zone a combined 47 times over the past four seasons. He finished as a top-10 fantasy back in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Of course, last season his holdout was one of the biggest fantasy storylines of the year. Gordon ended up sitting out the first month of the season and returned in Week 5. 

With Gordon out, Austin Ekeler was electric — only Christian McCaffrey had more fantasy points among running backs. Perhaps that was a motivating factor for Gordon’s return, but regardless he ended up ranking as the No. 10 fantasy running back over the final 13 weeks of the season despite splitting the workload with Ekeler. 

Gordon is a proven commodity with very consistent fantasy returns. While age isn’t necessarily on his side, Gordon isn’t over the hill quite yet in what will be his age-27 season. The bigger question here is Gordon’s fantasy potential in Denver. Gordon enters a favorable offense with Pat Shurmur taking over at offensive coordinator. 

Of course, the presence of Lindsay and Freeman certainly complicates things. Lindsay is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, though his efficiency certainly tailed off last year. Freeman, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to meet his initial fantasy hype and has played second-fiddle to Lindsay over the last two seasons.

On paper, Gordon is the best back of the three, but that’s not to say Denver won’t try to use all of them. The team could also look to move Freeman in a trade. For now, Gordon slots in as a front-end RB2.

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