RB Melvin Gordon - Los Angeles Chargers
|6-1, 215||Born: 4-13-1993||College: Wisconsin||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2015|
Week 7: vs Tennessee Titans
FBG says: Good matchup. The Chargers own one of the best rushing offenses in football as they are averaging over five yards per rush attempt with 137.3 rushing yards per game through six games. Melvin Gordon is having a tremendous season as he has been one of the most consistent running backs in the game, rushing at least 15 times in five of six games while averaging just over 77 rushing yards per game with six rushing touchdowns. Gordon has even risen his 2018 yards per rush to over 5.0 now, compared to his career mark of below 3.8 yards per attempt. Austin Ekeler continues to remain a threat for this backfield as well despite the success of Gordon. While Ekeler hasn't found the end zone on the ground with Gordon getting all carries near the goal one, he still has posted some decent yardage totals this season with three games of over 45 rushing yards while averaging over six yards per attempt. Even Keenan Allen got in on the fun with 41 rushing yards on four attempts last week--marking the second straight week Allen has received a carry. It was clear last week that a healthy offensive line along with Melvin Gordon firing on all cylinders can pay big dividends for this Chargers rushing offense going forward. The Titans rushing defense finally gave up their first touchdown of the season last week--two to be precise--to Alex Collins of the Ravens. This unit had been tough opposing running backs from a fantasy perspective leading into their Week 6 matchup, and they actually played well to allow just 3.5 rushing yards per attempt despite the run-heavy game script against the Ravens. The Titans allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs after six games, but they have given up Overall though, the Titans have given up the ninth-most rushing yards per game to the position. The avoidance of rushing touchdowns is what has carried this defense thus far. Jurrell Casey continues to play very well up front, but running backs have been able to find room against the Titans linebackers on a relatively consistent basis despite the lack of any big games by a single rusher. While limiting touchdowns certainly is a big deal, it is not sustainable--especially against an improving Chargers offensive line with a hot ground game right now. The Chargers own the best backfield the Titans will have faced this season, so they will be a true test for this suspect rushing defense.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36
Melvin Gordon's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 6 vs CLE (18 / 132 / 3 rush, 4 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
Gordon had arguably the best game of his young career. He started off with his first run by bursting up the middle as if he was shot from a cannon, and he never let up after that. His first touchdown came on the team's opening drive, the first time the Chargers have scored a touchdown on the opening possession since the 2016 season. Gordon took the handoff, met a defender around the 4-yard line, and then dragged him the rest of the way in before reaching the ball over the goal line for the score. Throughout the contest, the offensive line and the tight ends were opening up gaping holes through which Gordon was picking up chunks of yardage. At one point, he was stood up short of the first down marker, but he pushed the pile ahead and ended up with a 14-yard gain. It was just incredibly strong running all afternoon. As usual, he also made his presence felt in the passing game. On a late first half reception, he took a quick reception to the outside. A Cleveland defender appeared to have him sized up for an easy tackle, but Gordon simply beat him to the edge and then tip-toed the sideline for another first down. In the second half, it was more of the same. Gordon was just dragging tacklers all over the field (that is, when they actually got a hand on him). Following an interception, a perfectly-designed play allowed Gordon to take the toss up the left side and go in virtually untouched. An underrated aspect of his afternoon was his patience and vision in this game, perfectly reading his blocks and angles all afternoon. On yet another toss play to the left, Gordon slipped back inside to avoid two would-be tacklers, but again he walted into the end zone otherwise untouched. Gordon went over 100 yards rushing early in the fourth quarter, but remained in a bit longer to keep compiling yardage with power runs. There was even one run where a defender grabbed and twisted his facemask (a penalty was called), but Gordon still got out of it and turned upfield for 15 more yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, he got a handoff from the 7-yard line but was wrapped up in the backfield. On the following play, he got wide open on a slant route for what should have been his fourth touchdown of the game, but the Rivers pass came in a bit too hot and a little bit high. The ball bounced off of Gordon's hands and into the hands of a Cleveland defender for the interception. If the ball had been thrown in stride, it likely would have gone for a score.
2018 Week 5 vs OAK (19 / 58 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 62 / 0 rec)
Aside from an early 16-yard scamper early on, Gordon had a lot of trouble finding any running room on the day. His first eight carries went for just 21 yards, and 16 of those yards came on one play. But the Chargers stuck with the ground game and kept grinding it, which kept the defense honest to the passing attack. Gordon was also a big participant in that passing game, establishing himself in this one as the second option in the passing game behind Keenan Allen. On one play, Gordon took a designed screen pass 34 yards up the middle of the field. It could have gone for a touchdown, but Gordon tripped on his own blocker's foot at around the 15-yard line just as he was making his move to the outside towards the end zone. If he hadn't tripped, it appeared he had an easy score in sight. On the next play, he took a toss down to the goal line but was stopped just shy. Following an ill-advised handoff to linebacker Melvin Ingram, Gordon got the call on the third down handoff and plunged into the end zone nearly untouched. Gordon was extremely quiet in the second half, particularly late in the game when the Chargers had a big lead - they opted to rest Gordon, and ran Austin Ekeler most of the fourth quarter as they tried running out the clock. It was speculated afterwards that there was no injury, and that Gordon was simply getting some rest after such a heavy workload through the team's first five games.
2018 Week 4 vs SF (15 / 104 / 0 rush, 10 / 7 / 55 / 1 rec)
There wasn't a ton of room for Gordon to work on the ground early on, and the team quickly found itself on the wrong end of a 14-0 game. So the game script called for the Chargers to take to the air a bit more, which was fine for Gordon because he's a heavy part of the passing game. He picked up a swing pass to the sideline for 16 yards, then added a two point conversion late in the first half (again through the air). Rivers hit him to the outside, and Gordon broke one tackle to get into the end zone for the conversion. In the second half, he had perhaps the signature play of this game. He powered over, around, and through multiple 49er defenders en route to a 13-yard pickup on the ground. He broke all kinds of tackles on the play, and simply refused to go down. Unfortunately for Gordon, he dropped a would-be touchdown on the very next play. The throw from Rivers was a bit low and if it had been thrown in stride, it would have been an easy score. As it was, he couldn't bring it in. On the bright side, Rivers looked his way again right away and this time, the two did connect for the touchdown. Much like the two point conversion, he got open out wide and did the rest himself. Later in the half, he tried fighting for extra yardage again near the end zone. While spinning away from a defender, he had the ball jarred loose. It was recovered by the Niners, but one player was touching the sideline prior to touching the ball, so it was ruled to go back to the Chargers. Another big gain by Gordon early in the fourth quarter set up a first and goal. Once again, the Niners appeared to have him dead to rights multiple times. But again, Gordon broke tackle after tackle en route to big yardage. He really dominated on the ground in the second half, slipping tackles, breaking through people, and just showing incredible strength. In the process, he picked up the sixth 100-yard game of his career.
2018 Week 3 vs LAR (15 / 80 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Considering the Chargers trailed throughout this game, it's pretty impressive that Gordon's numbers are as good as they are. He constantly ran strong, going over and through defenders throughout the game. He had an incredibly impressive run early on, hitting the left side and leaping over a would-be tackler's head. To make it even more impressive, Gordon maintained his balance upon landing and kept running straight ahead without missing a beat, to pick up another ten yards or so. On his touchdown run, he headed up the left side behind some very good blocking by his teammates. As he got to the 4-yard line, a defender met him and appeared to have an angle to take him down, but Gordon simply brushed it off and slipped by en route to the score. Gordon's second half was much quieter as the Chargers took to the air to try and mount a comeback, but he did manage to pick up his longest run of the game, a 23-yard scamper, late in the contest. Austin Ekeler was on the field for much of the fourth quarter and was the recipient of several passing targets during that time.
2018 Week 2 vs BUF (9 / 28 / 1 rush, 7 / 6 / 38 / 2 rec)
Gordon thoroughly dominated the first half, even though there wasn't really a ton of room for him to actually run the football. He did most of his damage through the short passing game, hauling in two receiving touchdowns in the first half (and added another one on the ground for good measure). After being bottled up on his first few carries, he took one off the left tackled and absolutely waltzed into the end zone untouched. The announcer made a comment that the entire defense had been fooled and had run the wrong way, but replays showed that wasn't the case. At least two defenders weren't fooled at all, but two terrific clear-out blocks were the catalyst to spring Gordon for the end zone. His first receiving touchdown was nearly as easy as the rushing score; he hid in the backfield momentarily before leaking out into the flat, where Rivers fired a pass in stride and he walked in for the score without a defender in sight. Late in the half, he briefly left the game and apparently had a little bit of an issue with his right knee. But he soon returned to snag an emergency shovel pass and take it down to the goal line. Then with a defender all over him, RIvers fired a perfect pass at the back shoulder to a spot where the defender couldn't make a play on the ball. Gordon showed excellent concentration in bringing the pass in for his third score of the half. In the second half, Gordon didn't get much work as the Charger offense couldn't get out of its own way. When he did finally see a handoff, the defense swarmed him and he appeared to take a hard hit to the back of his head and neck area. He was helped up to his feet and walked off under his own power, later being shown holding his neck while talking to the staff about the injury. He did return to the game at around the 9-minute mark for one play, and soon exited again for good. The fact that he was able to return suggests it won't be a serious lingering injury this week.
2018 Week 1 vs KC (15 / 64 / 0 rush, 13 / 9 / 102 / 0 rec)
The Kansas City defense was bottling up Gordon consistently in the very early going. But once he hit the hold for his first big gain, it really softened them up and he started running wild. Gordon used the full bag of tricks in this game, showing nice moves in the open field, power up the middle, and his trademark excellent vision. He also dominated in the passing game, leading all players with nine receptions (though he did drop a pass in the flat in the red zone). He picked up chunks of yardage late in the game as the Chargers furiously tried to come back with multiple dumpoff passes over the middle. Gordon didn't find the end zone for a touchdown, but he did get a handoff on a two point conversion attempt. The Kansas City defense appeared close to bottling him up, but he found just enough of a hole to maneuver through and get in for the conversion.
Latest NewsChargers | Three touchdowns for Melvin Gordon (Sun Oct 14, 04:25 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. He also caught two passes for 18 yards during the game. link to story Chargers | Melvin Gordon piles up yards (Sun Oct 7, 11:26 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon rushed 19 times for 58 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 62 yards in a 26-10 win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 5. link to story
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|7||vs Tennessee Titans|
|8||--- BYE WEEK ---|
|9||@ Seattle Seahawks|
|10||@ Oakland Raiders|
|11||vs Denver Broncos|
|12||vs Arizona Cardinals|
|13||@ Pittsburgh Steelers|
|14||vs Cincinnati Bengals|
|15||@ Kansas City Chiefs|
|16||vs Baltimore Ravens|
|17||@ Denver Broncos|