Melvin Gordon Fantasy Outlook Updated: Not the Bell-Cow Broncos Expected? - Roto Street Journal
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Melvin Gordon Fantasy Outlook Updated: Not the Bell-Cow Broncos Expected?

With the Broncos, Melvin Gordon seemed destined to become fantasy’s most treasured commodity: the elusive bell-cow.

New OC Pat Shurmur is a consummate bell-cow breeder. Local beat whispers labeled him “bell cow.” Gordon’s annual $8 million price tag, with a 1,000 yard Pro Bowl Rusher already in the stable, all but guaranteed it.

Until… it didn’t.

2020 Training Camp has not been kind to Gordon, or his fantasy football stock.

First, Gordon openly admitted to “struggling with the altitude.”

Then, he suffered a rib injury that has kept him out of full practice for over 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, Phillip Lindsay continues to thrive, with yet another chip on his shoulder, as he’s done ever since entering the league as an UDFA.

More concerningly for MGIII, Lindsay’s especially impressing as a pass-catcher:

Despite thriving as a runner in his brief career, Lindsay has struggled as a receiver. Consequently, Gordon at least seemed locked into these invaluable touches (receptions are worth 2.73x more value a carry), even if Lindsay ate into the “empty calories” rushing work.

Now? Gordon’s stranglehold seems to be weakening:

Gordon’s late 3rd / early 4th pricetag made plenty of sense a month ago, when he was ticketed for the majority of work, including almost all of the fantasy gold (rec + TDs). Hell, I was actively targeting him — the third RB to my trio of Bessies to open all drafts.

But now, with his bell-cow workload and ability to sustain it in far greater question? Forget it.

Jonathan Taylor has become my Round 3 Smash Button when available. If gone, give me one of those upside WR1s (Allen Robinson, DJ Moore, Adam Thielen), since you’ve started RB-RB (right?). Or, if I really want an RB, how about Chris Carson‘s high floor? Todd Gurley‘s one-year prove it bonanza?

Amidst Gordon’s fall (now RB21 & 51 overall, -18 ECR) Lindsay deserves a modest bump up. He was already a beastly pure runner, and any pass-catching progress should not be overlooked. Gordon has missed time in four of five seasons now, and Lindsay would warrant RB1 consideration if he inherits a true bellcow role at any point. Most likely, Royce Freeman would become involved, but the scenario at least exists.

Ultimately, and unfortunately, the already shallow bell-cow pool seems to have lost a potential top member in Gordon. This makes hammering RB RB all the more important in the early rounds.


  • 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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