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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: MELVIN GORDON RB LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

You knew this was coming right?  Ever since the summer when I first began to hedge about drafting Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, I knew at some point he would be featured here.  While Gordon was a popular first round pick in fantasy football drafts this summer based almost solely on an expected heavy workload for the Chargers to at least begin the year, we are now seeing the red flags that have always emanated around him begin to overwhelm the picture here.  As we look ahead to a very important Week 11, it is now crystal clear that Gordon is nothing but a below-average running back who has yet to average a modest 4.0 yards per carry as he moves further into his third year in the league.  Throw in constant injury flare-ups and the fresh presence of super-speedster Austin Eckler and we have a full blown crisis on our hands with the fantasy football playoffs approaching.

So how did we get here?  Well honestly we have always been here with Gordon who has now averaged 3.5, 3.9, and 3.8 yards per carry his first two-plus years in the NFL which is a terrible collection of numbers that have never gotten enough attention in fantasy football circles.  Throw in the injuries that have once again hobbled Gordon on a weekly basis and he is becoming a gigantic headache and question mark moving forward.  Then of course there is Eckeler who shot right to the top of waiver adds this week coming off a big Week 10 performance where he rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries, while adding 5 catches for 77 yards and two scores.  Eckeler has tremendous pure speed and was arguably the fastest offensive player in the 2017 NFL Draft but his Western State background in college left him well off the radar.  That is not the issue no longer and what we have here is a guy with Alex Collins speed (another mid-season popular waiver add) but with terrific receiving hands that his Baltimore counterpart doesn't have.  While the sample size is small, Ecekler is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and has caught 19 passes in a backup role.  That role should grow as the Chargers clearly have a talent on their hands that needs to be looked at more closely.  This of course comes at the expense of Gordon who has now fallen into high-end RB 2 value.  But you knew trouble was coming anyways right?  

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