If you are like me and drafted Melvin Gordon, you are ripping your hair out of your head. The question you have to be asking yourself now after last week’s disaster is what you do with him.
The problem with Melvin Gordon isn’t that he is struggling in a pretty high-octane offense. He is a rookie, and for every Adrian Peterson, there is a Ricky Williams (who ran for a lackluster 3.5 yards per carry and fumbled five times his debut season).
No, the problem was where he went in most drafts. I took him in the third round and when I did so, I screamed an expletive and made it known that I hated the pick by saying out loud I hate this pick. Why? Because when I think of Wisconsin record setting running backs, I think of Ron Dayne and Montee Ball. They didn’t translate very well to the NFL game, did they?
I went Dez Bryant with my first pick (11th overall) and Odell Beckham, Jr. with my second pick. I needed to lock down a back. There wasn’t much on the board anyway. I did pass over Chris Ivory, but was he a third round pick? I passed over Frank Gore, but snagged him in the fourth round with my comeback pick. The only real value I left out there was an injured Todd Gurley and Arian Foster, both a which I felt were too big of a gamble to invest in that early in the draft.
It turns out that Gordon was that same problem. My running back stable is not pretty, so I — like so many others — feel so compelled to start him, based purely on value of draft selection. Right now, that doesn’t matter, he is not playable.
Gordon bombed in his first game, rushing for a measly 3.6 yards a carry and fumbling. He looked impressive in his second game, totaling 88 yards on the ground on 5.5 yards a carry while adding a reception for ten yards, but since then it has been down hill. His yards per carry dropped over the next three games (3.6 to 3.2 to 3.8) and just when he looked back on track last week reeling off 4.1 yards per carry, he fumbled twice and was benched.
There is no way you can start him this week. The Raiders haven’t allowed 100 yards rushing since week one, and in two games, they didn’t even allow 50 yards. They have the number three rush defense in the NFL, and right now Coach McCoy is being vague in his comments surrounding the Gordon situation. You can be sure Danny Woodhead gets a healthy dose of the RB touches this week, with Branden Oliver sharing some passing down work. Gordon will see touches, but I can’t foresee him getting the same work load he has the past few weeks.
What about moving forward? It’s not too early to give up on Gordon, but I think there are some positives. He is the only true running back on the Chargers roster, so you can bet they want to see him succeed. Woodhead is a great back, especially in fantasy, but he is not an every down back. Gordon should have every chance to establish himself as a first and second down back again this season.
I think letting Gordon ride the pine until he has the eye opening performance is the best thing to do. Like I said, he isn’t in that undroppable category, but if you have room for him, stash him. He will get his chances to succeed, but even if he sees them this week, it is not a favorable matchup.