Fantasy Alert: Melvin Gordon Expected to Be Broncos' RB1 over Phillip Lindsay

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 22: Running back Melvin Gordon #25 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

With the Denver Broncos officially announcing they signed running back Melvin Gordon, NFL Network's James Palmer reported the expectation is that "Gordon will be Denver's bell cow" out of the backfield. 

That would mean Gordon leapfrogs Phillip Lindsay, who has run for 2,048 yards and 16 touchdowns through his first two seasons.

Gordon, on the other hand, watched his stock fall precipitously in 2019.

He blinked first in his contract standoff with the Los Angeles Chargers, reporting to the team in September without securing a long-term extension.

The 26-year-old was then outplayed by Austin Ekeler on the field, running for 612 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games. His 3.8 yards per carry were the second-lowest of his career.

The Chargers re-signed Ekeler to a four-year, $24.5 million extension, while Gordon got $16 million over two years from the Broncos.

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio discussed his team's new-look backfield on Wednesday.

"Exactly how that will look remains to be seen," Fangio said (h/t Broncos Wire's Jon Heath). "But it's pretty common right now in the NFL that most teams have two backs that do a bulk of the ball-carrying or playing the running back position, divvying up the third-down responsibilities."

Palmer's report and Fangio's comments highlight why fantasy football owners should demonstrate caution when the time comes to drafting either Gordon or Lindsay.

Balancing the workload between the two could be Denver's best move but limit their individual fantasy returns.

Plus, it's tough to gauge how good Gordon will be in 2020. He averaged 1,457 yards from scrimmage between 2016-18. With the benefit of a full offseason to practice and prepare for the regular season, the two-time Pro Bowler could enjoy a return to form.

In general, steering clear of Lindsay or Gordon on fantasy teams might be advisable, especially until it gets closer to the season.

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