Where Will Melvin Gordon Land in 2020 NFL Free Agency? Predictions & Ideal Fantasy Fits - Roto Street Journal
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Where Will Melvin Gordon Land in 2020 NFL Free Agency? Predictions & Ideal Fantasy Fits

With Austin Ekeler now locked-in as the Chargers top back, former workhorse Melvin Gordon seems destined for new pastures. Our No.2 Free Agent RB behind only Derrick Henry, Gordon remains one of the NFL’s premier three-down threats. In the right new home, Gordon will still possess Top-10, or even Top-Five fantasy upside.

But which teams would offer this type of upside? What is the latest rumored interest and expected turnout?

Melvin Gordon: A True Three-Down Threat

Gordon’s early 2019 was nothing short of a disaster. After rejecting $10mil a year, he held out until Week 5. He then sputtered to 112 yards and 1 TD on 44 carries (2.5 YPC) over his first four games.

Once the rust was shaken off, Gordon looked largely like his regular self, finishing the year with 204 touches (42 rec), 908 YFS, and 9 TDs — on pace for 272 touches (42 rec) 1,210 YFS, 12 TDs over 16 games.

Because of his blemished 2019, people seem to be forgetting what a monster MGIII had been for three years prior. In that span, Gordon had finished as the RB7, RB5, and RB8 in fantasy, while ranking second in touches and third in YFS and TDs.

He is a slippery, tackle-breaking beast even in congested situations; he earned PFF’s only 80+ grade when rushing against 8+ men in the box with a 23.4% missed tackle rate in 2018. Plus, he’s a monster at the stripe and an excellent pass-catcher, racking up 12+ TDs and 400+ receiving yards in three straight years.

In short, he’s an ideal three-down workhorse.

Ideal Spot: Chiefs

Sure, Damien Williams once again flashed his upside throughout the playoffs, trailing only Raheem Mostert with 4 TDs. He remains a size-speed freak with the pass-catching chops to thrive in Andy Reid‘s offense… when healthy.

Yet, that’s the rub here. Williams has never lasted when given a featured role, and Reid much prefers a central, reliable backfield figure to keep his offense unpredictable. Despite Reid’s endorsement of Williams at the 2020 Combine, don’t be shocked if The Walrus seeks out a sturdier piece.

That could be Gordon.

With his versatile skillset, Gordon couldn’t ask for a better Value Hole than KC’s backfield. Even without Patrick Mahomes for a handful of the season, the Chiefs trailed only the Ravens in scoring (29.9 PPG). This offense is a TD-bonanza that relies on a do-it-all horse, with Reid funneling pass game looks to his RBs.

Sure, this line leaves a lot to be desired as run-blockers, with three sub-60 graded starters according to PFF. Still, the offense as a whole is so explosive under Mahomes’ direction that Gordon would push for the Fantasy RB Crown here.

Predicted Spot: Dolphins

No teams have been concretely linked to MGIII yet, so this is pure speculation.

But what better guess than the team with both the NFL’s biggest backfield need AND most cap space ($88mil)?

Last year, Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team with a pathetic 243 yards and 4 TDs. Embarrassing. There’s simply no chance they enter 2020 with Kalen Ballage atop the depth chart.

Yes, the Dolphins have been linked to multiple rookie runners, including Jonathan Taylor and JK Dobbins. Still, they have so many glaring holes that every pick will matter. If they can land themselves an elite three-down horse and save the draft capital for other needs, they will likely leap at the chance.

Gordon would be a perfect fit for Chan Gailey‘s spread attack. Sneakily run-heavy, Gailey funnels the offense through a three down horse. CJ Spiller had his one monstrous explosion under Gailey, while Fred Jackson was on pace for 2,100 total yards in this offense.

The upside may seem limited in Miami, but it’s very real for a talent like Gordon, especially if the Dolphins beef up the line.

Wildcard: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Fond 2016 Memory of Bruce Arians riding David Johnson for 373 touches (80 rec), over 2100 yards and 20 TDs may be distant… but can’t be forgotten.

Especially because DJ is far from the only back to succeed under Arians, even if the most stellar. Rashard Mendenhall, Willie Parker, and even Andre Ellington all posted 300+ touches and RB1 value under Arians. Sure, Arians’ has coaxed some disgusting RBBCs, including last year’s backfield disaster. But he had a glaring lack of backfield talent to work with in each of these seasons.

Shockingly, Tampa Bay ranked 7th in PFF’s end of season line rankings. Yes, this was more for their stellar pass protection. But they’ve taken massive steps forward in the past two seasons up front. Arians offense also lit up scoreboards, as the Bucs ranked fourth with 28.6 PPG.

Also, with TB connected with… TB12, Gordon’s receiving upside would be even higher here. Few QBs lean on their RBs quite like Tom Brady, who would undoubtedly pepper MGIII similar to his usage of James White.

What other Free Agent RBs do you need to know about? Also, check out our Whole 2020 NFL Free Agency Preview Podcast to get caught up on every position.


  • Founder of Roto Street Journal. Lover of workhorse backs, target hog wideouts, and Game of Thrones. Aspiring to be the "Brady" and "Leo" of the fantasy universe.

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