When Javonte Williams suffered a season-ending ACL tear, Melvin Gordon had ample opportunity to seize the Broncos backfield. But Gordon’s 2022 journey has been much different than his 2021 season when he posted over 1,100 yards from scrimmage. His 2022 season began with the team letting him walk in free agency to find a permanent home with a more significant role.
Like a high school graduate who went out to find themselves in the south of France or Baltimore, Gordon longed to be a lead back somewhere, anywhere in the world. Instead, like a young whippersnapper (I said it) who came to find that the world was in fact not his oyster, Gordon returned to Denver. And like supportive, yet secretly disappointed parents, the Broncos took him back into their home, as long as he promised to help pay 1/3 of the bills, and did 1/3 of the house chores.
Unfortunately, Melvin’s been too occupied gaming online with some Kyler dude while the dirty dishes are getting moldy. Through his six-game stretch as Denver’s starter, Gordon only produced 29.8 rush yards-per-game, at 3.37 yards-per-carry, with one touchdown. This past weekend versus the Raiders, he had a fumble that may have reminded the Broncos’ front office of his early season fumblitis, and catapulted their decision to release him.
In his stead, 32-year-old Latavius Murray‘s play has been rather uninspiring, but he hasn’t been faring any worse than Gordon. Having begun the season unable to make an NFL team’s active roster, Murray has a volume-dependent chance to be an RB1 rest-of-season.
THE QUESTION OF CHASE EDMONDS
Even if Chase Edmonds lands on the lighter side of a high ankle sprain and is back in 3-4 weeks, his career arc has been one of the more disappointing ones in the fantasy community.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Edmonds had what it took to be a starting running back in the NFL in 2020. So it was a bit of a head-scratcher when the Cardinals brought in James Conner that next season and didn’t hand Edmonds the reigns.
Then over the offseason, a perfect storm seemed to be brewing. Edmonds joined the Dolphins, was already known for his success in zone running schemes, and was a fantasy darling in metrics like EPA (Expected Points per Attempt).
It looked like he was set up fantastically for success, and was the likely front-runner, with Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel as his competition in the RB room.
Those high hopes weren’t met, and it wasn’t close. He tallied more than seven carries in only one game, at only 2.9 yards per tote. There’s nothing that says the third team will be the charm in Denver.
So, the Sleeper cult will remain alive and well for at least one more season as Marlon Mack is slated to be Latavius Murray’s backup, with Devine Ozigbo active as well.
Be careful. Melvin Gordon was set to carry the load after Javonte went down, and that train derailed after it barely got started. It looks like Murray’s job to lose, but don’t rule out involvement from Mack or Ozigbo, in what has been an unstable backfield all year in Denver.
Murray’s roster percentage is set to skyrocket this week (currently 11.8% in NFL.com, 23% in Yahoo, and 34% in ESPN). So has his FAAB value. This may be the time to blow the rest of it. Continue to monitor the Rest Of Season Big Board for further insight into Murray’s rising fantasy value as the Broncos’ workhorse.