Fantasy Reaction: Melvin Gordon Re-Signs with Denver (Fantasy Football)
Melvin Gordon, 29, has agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million to return to the Denver Broncos. A year ago, Gordon was a meaningful contributor for the Broncos. He rushed for 918 yards and eight TDs while averaging 4.52 yards per carry, but it’s the underlying efficiency metrics that prove Gordon was still a very good football player a season ago in Denver. Among qualifying backs, Gordon ranked 15th in PFF grade, 21st in yards after contact per attempt and 15th in elusive rating on his way to the RB18 fantasy finish in half PPR leagues. The immediate fantasy takeaway here is that this certainly caps Javonte Williams‘ upside in 2022.
Without Gordon, it was possible Williams was going to see 300+ touches, but that seems unlikely at this point. During Williams’ rookie season in 2021, the two backs operated in a committee with Williams logging 256 total opportunities and Gordon seeing 242 opportunities. In early best ball drafts, Williams is currently going in the first round, but that ADP should fall a bit after this news. Even with Gordon in town, however, there’s a strong possibility both backs are valuable fantasy assets. Just a season ago, Williams finished as the RB17 in half PPR formats.
With former Green Back Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett now in town as the head coach, it’s possible the RB tandem works in a similar fashion to that of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Both Green Bay backs were top 24 fantasy RBs a season ago, and with Russell Wilson now under center, this offense projects to be much more efficient in 2022. Last year, Denver ranked 19th in yards per play, 21st in offensive TD per game and 21st in red zone TD rate. Assuming Wilson helps to elevate the entire offense, both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams have a chance to remain highly efficient and see more high value touches around the goal line, making them both rock solid RB2s for fantasy. Williams likely has the higher upside due to Gordon’s age, but expect both to put up useful fantasy box scores.