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NFL fantasy football check-in: Melvin Gordon III

Melvin Gordon III has been solid for fantasy football owners in 2020.
Melvin Gordon III has been solid for fantasy football owners in 2020.
ANALYST
Modified 21 Oct 2020, 06:05 IST
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From a fantasy football perspective, Melvin Gordon III's first season with the Denver Broncos has been a success.

Signed to a two-year, $16 million deal in March by the Denver Broncos, former Los Angeles Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon III joined the team with the idea that he would be the bell-cow of the backfield.

Before missing Denver's Week 6 game against the New England Patriots due to strep throat, Gordon had been everything fantasy owners could’ve asked for, scoring at least one touchdown in three out of the four games he played. He also carried the ball at least 15 times in three out of the four games he was active.

Despite the relatively smooth sailing Gordon's fantasy football owners have experienced, his fluky illness notwithstanding, it would behoove us to take a look at what’s in store for the Broncos' RB1 moving forward.

Gordon was charged late last week with driving under the influence (DUI) in Denver, which could have fantasy football (and legal) ramifications. According to the NFL collective bargaining agreement, a mandatory suspension of three games is triggered if a player gets a DUI.

In theory, Gordon could still play if/when the league hands down a suspension should he decide to appeal, but that’s risky business for fantasy football owners. There’s no way of knowing when the suspension will actually take effect, meaning owners could be without their RB2 (or even RB1 if a 0 RB strategy was utilized) during the fantasy football playoffs. That level of risk is awfully difficult to come to terms with, so it might be best to trade Melvin Gordon now for 70 cents on the dollar.

Fantasy football trades to consider for non-RB’s, using Gordon as the focal point, could be:

Will Fuller (WR)

Terry McLaurin (WR)

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Mike Evans (WR)

DJ Moore (WR)

Cooper Kupp (WR)

Odell Beckham (WR)

Jonnu Smith (TE)

Darren Waller (TE)

Hunter Henry (TE)

The contrarian view would be to keep Gordon on the roster regardless of what ends up happening with his potential suspension. That would also be risky. Recall the statement earlier where Melvin Gordon scored a touchdown/had a comforting amount of carries.

The one game that didn’t happen was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Denver found themselves down 23-3 at halftime. The Broncos having to throw the ball a lot to catch up hurt Gordon in that game, and that scenario may re-appear more often than Broncos fans and Gordon owners would like.

In the next seven weeks (through Week 13), Denver plays the Kansas City Chiefs twice, the Las Vegas Raiders once and the New Orleans Saints once. An argument can be made that Denver could reasonably find themselves trailing by a wide margin in each of those games, therefore hindering Gordon’s ability to tote the rock 15-plus times a game out of the backfield.

Bottom Line: All things considered (potential suspension, concerning upcoming schedule), the recommendation would be to trade Melvin Gordon III sooner rather than later. His fantasy football value may only diminish the closer we get to the NFL handing out a suspension (which seems more likely than not), and owners should receive more value for him now than in a few weeks when his asset is devalued.

Published 21 Oct 2020, 06:05 IST
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