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Fantasy football implications of Melvin Gordon joining the Broncos

Melvin Gordon ended up getting less money than the Chargers offered in 2019, but he is now a Bronco and will have fantasy value. How will his presence impact the rest of the Broncos fantasy players?

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon runs the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon is signing with the Broncos this week, and that will impact the skill position players greatly — but for good or ill? We’ll take a look at the Broncos fantasy players for the 2020 season.

Melvin Gordon

We all know Gordon lost money by not taking the Chargers offer last season and sitting out for four games instead, but that won’t impact his fantasy value as he moves on with his new team. The Broncos had a losing record last season but still ran the ball the 13th-most of any team. Gordon has shown himself as a capable runner between the tackles and useful receiver while with the Chargers while the Broncos were not happy with Phillip Lindsay’s receiving ability and Royce Freeman’s rushing ability last season.

Broncos longtime beat reporter Mike Klis, believes the team will use Gordon as their “bell cow.” That makes sense if they like his overall ability better than Lindsay and Freeman’s combined ability. Lindsay always seems to find a way to win work throughout the season, so I don’t expect him to go away, but he should start the season as a backup more than committee member. With a young quarterback and two strong runners, the Broncos will likely lean on the run and Gordon should have a high floor for fantasy.

Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman

Lindsay could be a better runner than Gordon but we’ve seen over and over again that the Broncos aren’t in love with him as the main back. Lindsay, as the No. 2 back, has room to cut into Gordon’s workload, but expecting another 1,000 yard season is fool’s gold at this point. The Broncos are going to ride Gordon until he proves he’s not worth giving the ball to and Gordon is good enough to stay ahead of Lindsay with varied touches on the ground and through the air.

Freeman could be gone with this signing, but there haven’t been any reports of that possibility yet. Even if he isn’t, he’s off the fantasy radar as the No. 3 back.

Drew Lock

Gordon is an average pass blocker and receiver, but he’s seen a good amount of work as a receiver and put up strong numbers through the air. He does drop quite a few passes, with 16 over the last three seasons according to Pro Football Focus, but Gordon’s being paid to be the every down back, so he should get work as a receiver like he did in L.A.

Lock will need help all around the field. Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant have a ton of upside, but a reliable outlet will be needed. Gordon should provide that outlet, giving Lock some help with yards after the catch as well. Gordon ranked first in YAC per reception for backs with more than 35 targets last season.

Courtland Sutton

The Broncos are weak at receiver but Sutton is a legitimate star in the making. Getting some help on offense around him can only help the receiver. The Broncos offense was poor last season and limited in the number of drives that got into the red zone. Gordon should be able to help the offense as a more all-purpose back than Lindsay.

Gordon’s presence may give Sutton a bump, but another solid, but not as good receiver would probably help more.