2021 Fantasy Football Outlook: Broncos RB Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon said he's tired of being overlooked, but what should fantasy managers expect from him in 2021?

Melvin Gordon, Fantasy Football, Broncos

Melvin Gordon’s first season with the Denver Broncos was a difficult one, with a DUI arrest in October as a low point. He acknowledged as much in a recent interview with Troy Renck of Channel 7 in Denver.

It was probably one of my most difficult seasons. I am not going to lie. Just cause a lot of fans and a lot of people weren’t too happy with me coming in and Phil wanting to get paid and everything like that. I was like, ‘Look man, I had no parts in that. I wanted to be here and they wanted me to be here. It was a mutual thing and it kind of just happened. It was tough, man, because I felt like a lot of people didn’t accept me.”

I feel like I am so overlooked. Whatever that case may be because we didn’t get a lot of TV time with the Chargers and last year with splitting the ball and the fans not being there because of COVID, I don’t know. But I get overlooked a lot and I am kind of sick of it.”

Was Melvin Gordon That Bad In 2020?

In 15 games last season, Gordon ran for 986 yards and nine touchdowns on 215 carries. He added 32 catches for 158 yards and another score. He finished, surely while you weren’t particularly looking, as RB13 in standard fantasy scoring (RB14 in full PPR).

Gordon spent his first five NFL seasons with the Chargers. Here are his fantasy finishes each of those seasons.

2015: RB53 (standard), RB48 (full PPR)-14 games
2016: RB8 (standard), RB7 (full PPR)-13 games
2017: RB5 (standard), RB5 (full PPR)-16 games
2018: RB6 (standard), RB8 (full PPR)-12 games
2019: RB25 (standard), RB23 (full PPR)-12 games
(held out the first four games)

Per-16 games for his career, here are Gordon’s averages
-1,020 rushing yards and nine touchdowns (249 carries); 50 catches (67 targets) for 396 yards and two touchdowns

Red zone work has buoyed Gordon’s fantasy value throughout his career. He has eight red zone rushing touchdowns in each of the last three seasons, with seven in 2017 and 10 in 2016. Narrowing to inside the 10 and 5-yards lines, via Rotowire, let’s look closer at Gordon’s touchdown marks and conversion rates.

2016: 29 carries inside the 10-yard line, 10 touchdowns (34.5 percent conversion); 20 carries inside the 5-yard line, nine touchdowns (45 percent conversion rate)
2017: 27 carries inside the 10-yard line, six touchdowns (22.2 percent); 14 carries inside the 5-yard line, five touchdowns (35.7 percent)
2018: 10 carries inside the 10-yard line, five touchdowns (50 percent); five carries inside the 5-yard line, four touchdowns (80 percent)
2019: 20 carries inside the 10-yard line, seven touchdowns 35 percent), 15 carries inside the 5-yard line, seven touchdowns (46.7 percent)
2020: 18 carries inside the 10-yard line, seven touchdowns (38.9 percent); eight carries inside the 5-yard line, four touchdowns (50 percent)

Melvin Gordon 2021 Fantasy Bottom Line

From a fantasy perspective, there’s comfort in knowing what to expect. Knowing what to expect with as much confidence as possible from a running back in a collision sport, anyway. Gordon is going to deliver between 1,000 and 1,500 total yards, with around 40 catches and at or near double-digit total touchdowns. Nothing less, and not a lot more. But he’s been roughly a top-12 range running back in four of the last five seasons.

Gordon currently comes in at RB22 in very early standard league and full PPR rankings for 2021 on Fantasy Pros. So there’s some value potential here to keep an eye on as draft season inches closer