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RB Melvin Gordon - Los Angeles Chargers

6-1, 215Born: 4-13-1993College: WisconsinDrafted: Round 1, pick 15

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Photo: Orlando Jorge Ramirez, US Presswire

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs OAK 54 17 93 0 7 6 31 0 0 11.4

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 17 vs OAK (17 / 93 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 31 / 0 rec)

Gordon got in a groove during the second drive of the game before fumbling, only to have it recovered by teammate Keenan Allen, who ran it into the end zone. Gordon had substantial gains on three receptions to fuel a touchdown drive right before the half. He also had back to back big runs early in the third quarter to get the team into Oakland territory and set up a field goal. He finished a productive year strong, although he spent a lot of time on the injury report this year.

2017 Week 16 vs NYJ (19 / 81 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 47 / 0 rec)

It was a rough start against the Jets for Melvin Gordon as he was consistently stuffed on rushing attempts in the first quarter. Gordon's highlight sequence came in the third quarter with four touches accumulating for roughly 80 yards of his 128 on the day. Gordon came wide open for nearly 40 yards on a well-blocked screen pass and 20 yards to the perimeter on a run play with the defense pinned in by blockers. Gordon showed a strong cut on third-and-one to convert and ran through a defender on another occasion for a chunk gain. Gordon added a goal line touchdown on his lone scoring opportunity of the game. Gordon suffered an ankle injury late in the game with his status for Week 17 in the air as he begins the week of preparation in a walking boot.

2017 Week 15 vs KC (19 / 78 / 1 rush, 8 / 6 / 91 / 0 rec)

Gordon was the lone bright spot on an otherwise tough day for this offense. While the passing game was turning the ball over repeatedly and miscommunicating on seemingly every other play, Gordon was running hard and with purpose. He had some very nice moves at the point of attack, displaying his customary patience and vision, often waiting for his spots and then quickly darting through any openings that were there. He regularly moved the pile forward, and the team fed him work despite trailing for most of the action. He was equally effective in the passing game, leading the team in both receptions and receiving yardage (including a huge 49-yard catch and run on the team's first offensive play of the second half - he outran a linebacker on the crossing route, turned upfield, and could have gotten a few more but he stumbled when trying to shake the defensive back). Late in the first half, he caught a few passes out of the backfield to help set up a first and goal from the 5-yard line. He was stuffed on first down, picked up a few yards on second down, and finally pushed his way through the line on third down for the score. There were two defenders about to hit him untouched, but he made a quick cutback just as he took the handoff so that he completely avoided them. Late in the game, the Chargers trailed by 17 with just over a minute left. Rather than take to the air, they opted to hand off to Gordon for a couple of "garbage time" carries that ended up netting him about 15 or so additional yards (for those who own him or played against him where that ended up being the difference in their fantasy matchup). Of key importance, after the game it was revealed that change of pace back Austin Ekeler had suffered a broken hand on a reception/fumble, which likely means Gordon's workload will only go up over however many games remain in the Chargers' season.

2017 Week 14 vs WAS (22 / 78 / 1 rush, 3 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Gordon had a fairly typical game for him. He got a large workload (23 touches), didn't average a lot of yards per carry, didn't break many big plays (he had a long gain of just ten yards), but scored a touchdown to salvage his day from a fantasy perspective. At this stage of his career, it's safe to say he's not the explosive type of runner most people thought he was coming out of college. But what he lacks in game-breaking ability, he makes up for in patience and vision. He also shows good strength, as there is often not much available for him to gain and yet he still consistently falls forward. Curiously, Austin Ekeler is running behind the same offensive line and yet he consistently averages more yards per carry (12.3 in this one, as opposed to just 3.5 for Gordon). There was a flea-flicker in the second half from Rivers to Keenan Allen that put the ball at the doorstep of the goal line. Gordon took the ensuing carry up the middle for the easy touchdown. Gordon was still on the field late in the game even with the outcome having been decided, which was somewhat surprising as the team wasn't resting him to protect him from injury.

2017 Week 13 vs CLE (19 / 77 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 29 / 0 rec)

The talk a few weeks ago of some sort of time-sharing situation between Gordon and backup Austin Ekeler never came to fruition, and this game proved more of the same. Gordon had 23 touches, compared to just six for Ekeler. And while Gordon was largely bottled up in the first half, he seemed to run with more purpose in the second half. In short yardage situations, the Cleveland defense rose to the occasion more often than not. But that didn't stop Gordon from rumbling through the heart of the defense to about the 3-yard line early in the second half. And while Gordon was stuffed on second down for a loss, it didn't affect much since Keenan Allen caught a touchdown on the very next play. Later in the half, Gordon picked up his best run of the game, a 29-yard gallop up the gut. He slowly worked sideways before spotting the hole, then darting through and driving through defenders by the end of it to pick up extra yardage. Gordon still lacks the consistency of some of the league's elite rushers, but he is an excellent fit for what the Chargers do. His receiving skills are a very underrated aspect of his game, evidenced by a first half reception along the sideline where he dragged his toes as well as any high-level wide receiver in the game would do.

2017 Week 12 vs DAL (21 / 65 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)

The Chargers continued to struggle with their line of scrimmage control in the run game against Dallas. Melvin Gordon was stuffed regularly on carries in the first half despite having most of the snaps over Austin Ekeler. Gordon finally found room on three notable second half carries for nine or more yards, including a solid cutback on one and breaking a tackle on another. Creating on his own has not been a strength of Gordon's this season and this week was another example. Gordon logged two carries inside the five-yard-line for touchdown opportunities, but was stuffed at the line of scrimmage on both occasions. With Austin Ekeler siphoning change-of-pace work and passing game optimized touches, Gordon's value centers on his sheer volume and finding a touchdown opportunity.

2017 Week 11 vs BUF (20 / 80 / 1 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

At the outset, Gordon found himself getting stuffed on quite a few occasions by the Buffalo front. As the half wore on, and the Charger defense continuously set up the offense with outstanding field position, Gordon started finding more room. He was running hard right at the outset. And despite the announcers making mention of a slight limp, it wasn't noticeable in any of his attempts. He began really pushing the pile in the second quarter, and was getting numerous red zone handoffs. Finally after nearly breaking loose on multiple occasions, he broke loose up the middle for a gain of 20 yards. He made one cut back and took it all the way to the Buffalo 37 yard line. Another big gain up the middle shortly thereafter started taking its toll on the defense. And finally, following a big Keenan Allen reception, Gordon rewarded his fantasy owners with a nice touchdown run. He went up the right side, stretched the play away from the defense, and used one block that sprung him to the sideline. One defender barely got a hand on him, but Gordon was otherwise untouched down the sideline for a 10-yard score. As with most offensive players for the Chargers, he really quieted down in the second half as the Bills were really unable to muster anything to get back into the game. What was of note, however, is that after Austin Ekeler's big game a week ago, he was essentially a non-factor until this game was already well in hand. In other words, Gordon's role as the bellcow appears to be very safe.

2017 Week 10 vs JAX (16 / 27 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 15 / 0 rec)

Gordon took a backseat role to Ekeler due to his ineffectiveness on the day. His longest run was for five yards and he did not make plays as a pass catcher. Ekeler got the late game snaps over him.

2017 Week 8 vs NE (14 / 132 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

Gordon was dealing with turf toe as well as a knee issue entering the game, and head coach Anthony Lynn acknowledged beforehand that Gordon was "not himself". Running out of the wildcat formation, he took his first carry for a 5-yard gain up the middle. Shortly after that, he tried bouncing a run to the outside on 2nd and short rather than his typical busting it up the middle. It could be just speculation, but he appeared to favor the run that avoided more contact. But just as the announcers began getting concerned, Gordon broke a career-long run up the right side for an 87-yard touchdown. There was some tremendous blocking on the play, both at the line of scrimmage and up the field. Gordon showed excellent vision reading those blocks, as well as tremendous patience, before hitting the hole and taking off. His previous career best was 48 yards, and he appeared to be running out of steam at the end. But just as the defender attempted to punch the ball out from behind, Gordon reached the end zone (it helped that he was watching the play unfold behind him on the video monitor high above the field). Gordon continued to run hard after that, but not with anywhere near that level of success. What was more telling, though, was the fact that he was in and out of the game so frequently. He had a huge 6-yard run to convert a third down with six minutes left to play, but that was one of the only times his name was even mentioned in the second half. Even on the potential game-tying scoring drive late in the fourth quarter, it was Austin Ekeler who was on the field and not Gordon. After dominating the running back touches in the season's early going, Gordon has relinquished a bit more work over the last few games as the injuries have begun to mount. The Chargers are off next week, so the bye week is seemingly coming at a very opportune time for him.

2017 Week 7 vs DEN (18 / 38 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

Gordon was questionable to play due to a shoulder injury, and it is possible that that contributed to his usage pattern. After dominating the running back snaps for the first six games of the season, Gordon only had 19 touches from scrimmage as compared to 11 for backup Austin Ekeler. Furthermore, it was Ekeler who caught the short yardage touchdown (after Gordon had four such scores over the past two weeks), and it was Ekeler, not Gordon, who was in the game early in the fourth quarter as the team tried to salt away the lead and grind out the clock. Even from the outset, it didn't look like it would be a good day for Gordon. After a pass interference penalty put the ball on the 1-yard line, Gordon was given four consecutive handoffs from the goal line. And he was stuffed by the Denver defense all four times! Throughout the game, Ekeler was getting entire series at a time rather than the usual change of pace or breather substitution. Gordon wasn't getting much room to run as per usual, but he also was doing a poor job of reading his blocks for the first time in quite awhile. Late in the game with the Chargers running the ball and trying to run the clock out, it was Ekeler who was getting the majority of the workload, not Gordon. Finally, midway through the fourth quarter Gordon broke free for a nice 21-yard gain at a big spot. Aside from that one big gain, Gordon totaled just 23 yards from scrimmage on his other 18 touches (which demonstrates how inefficient he was in the game).

2017 Week 6 vs OAK (25 / 83 / 1 rush, 12 / 9 / 67 / 1 rec)

He's still not efficient in terms of yards per carry (largely due to issues with the offensive line), but a case can be made that the Charger offense runs through Gordon as much as any team's offense runs through its primary ball-carrier. On 64 plays from scrimmage, Gordon touched the ball on a whopping 34 of those plays. He caught nine passes out of the backfield to pace both teams, and registered all but one of his team's running back carries. While the majority of his rushing attempts didn't go very far due to the poor run blocking, he was able to fight for extra yardage on several runs when he was given even a little bit of room. He was certainly given plenty of room on his rushing score, with the offensive line doing a terrific job of getting leverage against the defense while enabling Gordon to leapfrog in for the touchdown. He did a nice job of waiting for the right moment and finding the right spot to attack, although it was only from the 2-yard line so it wasn't the most difficult run of his career. He added a second touchdown in the second half, this time through the air (after two receiving touchdowns from short yardage a week ago). Rivers tossed one to his left on a little inside screen from the 6-yard line. Gordon had a bevy of blockers in front of him, and he waltzed into the end zone untouched until he had already crossed the goal line. In fact, the team had earlier tried getting the ball to Gordon in the end zone through the air when he was targeted in the front corner before a defender knocked it away at the last moment. Gordon has become extremely effective in the passing game, showing really good hands on one occasion on a tough pass that was thrown a bit behind him and over his head for a first down. Gordon is running fearlessly too, playing very physical in banging into defenders, leaping over the pile, and inviting contact. Late in the game, with the clock stopped and the Chargers facing a 3rd down and 3 situation and already in field goal range, Gordon got the call. He picked up six yards up the left side, and with Oakland out of timeouts, it essentially allowed the Chargers to run out the clock and knock through the game-winning field goal from short range while leaving the Raiders with no time to attempt a comeback. It was a huge run at the time, perhaps his most important of the entire game (and for that matter, the season). One item that announcer Rich Gannon picked up on is that, whenever a fullback is lined up in front of Gordon in the backfield, it's almost a "tell" that the play is going to be a handoff to Gordon. One would expect that the Chargers will need to change that up a bit in the coming weeks, so as to not advertise what the play is prior to the snap.

2017 Week 5 vs NYG (20 / 105 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 58 / 2 rec)

After being dinged up in previous weeks, Gordon looked healthier in Week 5 against the Giants. Gordon logged 26 touches, his highest usage of the season, and was a centerpiece element in the red zone. Gordon showed high effort through contact, including a highlight second half run for more than 10 yards where he ran over a defender and used a spin move for additional yardage. Gordon was too quick for a linebacker in coverage, getting to the edge on a red zone receiving touchdown in the first half. Late in the game, the same sequence occurred as Gordon came wide open in the flat for another red zone receiving touchdown. With Branden Oliver out of the lineup, Gordon rarely left the field and was the sustaining element to the Chargers offense. On the down side, Gordon logged a drop and false start penalty this week.

2017 Week 4 vs PHI (10 / 22 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

Gordon came into this week questionable to play due to a bone bruise in his knee. Whether it was the knee, the Philadelphia defense, the lack of run blocking by the Chargers, or just the game script (or a combination of all those factors), Gordon never really had a chance in this one. He was bottled up almost instantly by the Eagles defense whenever he got near the ball. He showed strength and determination to fight for yardage with an early run up the left side. He bounced off a couple of defenders while maintaining his balance and footwork - he could have been dragged down for almost no gain, but he kept his feet moving. Soon after, he again got some yardage that he attained just about all on his own. He wasn't getting holes up the middle, but he was finding a bit more room on the outside. However, on a couple of occasions he just couldn't quite shake the tackler that would turn a nice gain into a huge one. It's kind of been the story of his career. He's a very good runner with patience, vision, and strength. But he has never really shown that next gear that can turn a 15-20 yard gain into a 40-50 yard gain by running away from defenders.

2017 Week 3 vs KC (17 / 79 / 1 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Gordon was questionable to play the game with knee soreness, but he managed to suit up and start the game anyway. He looked good in the early going, and had a 10-yard run on his first carry of the game, which went up the left side. Soon after, he broke another nice run up the left side. He showed good strength, and a shoestring tackle was the only thing preventing it from becoming a really big run since there was only one man in the secondary left to beat. But he was a bit slow to get up from the hit, and that slow rise was a harbinger of what was to come. On his touchdown run (the only touchdown of the game for Los Angeles), he got really good blocking off the right side, waltzing in off the edge from 11 yards out. He was completely untouched for the easy score and while he did show good vision in knowing where to take the run, it was otherwise a cakewalk. On a late first half run, he made a nice cut-back and displayed that trademark vision once more by lulling the defender into lunging at him before sharply darting to the left and running away from the defender. At halftime, it was reported that he was questionable to return with a recurrence of the knee issue. He did manage to come back early in the fourth quarter, even throwing an excellent chip block on a pass play to give Rivers some extra time. But he would once again leave the game midway through the fourth quarter, this time for good. There was no immediate update on his condition after the game.

2017 Week 2 vs MIA (9 / 13 / 1 rush, 8 / 7 / 65 / 0 rec)

Fantasy owners have got to be a little bit concerned at the state of the Los Angeles run blocking unit. Against Denver last week, Gordon didn't find very many holes. But Denver is arguably one of the best defensive units in the league. Miami isn't quite in that class, yet they shut down Gordon even more than the Broncos did. He never had any room to maneuver, and it was only through his own skill and vision that he was able to gain as many yards as he did. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Gordon has become a very well-rounded player and is very active in the passing game. His seven receptions trailed only Keenan Allen's nine, and they weren't just checkdown options; he was the targeted player on several designed swing pass plays for him out of the backfield, and more often than not he did an excellent job of making defenders miss in space. He also rewarded owners with a goal line touchdown run, after fullback Derek Watt had failed to push the ball over the line on each of the two previous plays. Gordon took the handoff, spun off a defender, and kept his legs churning for a powerful run that, coupled with the receiving work, at least salvaged his afternoon from a fantasy perspective.

2017 Week 1 vs DEN (18 / 54 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 25 / 1 rec)

Granted, it was only one week. But Gordon amassed 23 touches from scrimmage on 55 offensive plays for the Chargers. Touching the ball on ten of the team's first sixteen plays, it would appear that this offense will once again run through him. His very first carry of the game was a 21-yard scamper up the middle from the shadow of his own end zone. The offensive line opened a nice hole, and he did a good job picking where to take it. His next run went up the left side and he pushed the pile for five yards. That's the good news. The bad news is that the remaining 16 carries went for just 28 total yards. There was very little room to operate after that first big gain, but fortunately he also made his presence felt in the passing game. He tied a game high with five receptions, including his first touchdown reception of the season. He circled out of the backfield, waited for the dumpoff from Rivers, and leap-frogged over and through the defender as part of a tremendous individual effort for the score. In the second half, there was even less room as the Chargers trailed by multiple scores. Facing a fourth down call around midfield down by 17 points, Gordon was met in the backfield and never had a chance. Later on the last-gasp attempt to tie the game, Gordon was given yet another chance on fourth down but this time he converted. That helped extend the drive, but the Chargers would ultimately fall short when the game-tying field goal attempt was blocked.


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