Fantasy football owners have anxiously been checking their phones at the top of every hour in hopes of reading running back Melvin Gordon has returned to the Los Angeles Chargers. While this has not happened quite yet, there have been some positive signs recently.
ESPN's Eric Williams included Gordon on his Week 1 53-man roster projection for the Chargers, hinting that there may be some progress in that department. Though this sparked the following exchange, in which Williams nonchalantly noted it was only based on "a hunch".
When to Draft Melvin Gordon in Fantasy Football
The uncertainty around his contract situation makes it difficult to rank Gordon for the 2019 fantasy football season. If he returns soon like Williams projects, he carries a ton of value after finishing second at the position in fantasy points per game in 2018 .
However, assuming this one report means Gordon is in the clear leaves you open to getting burned, much like with the Le'Veon Bell situation last season.
Gordon is currently being drafted as the 20th running back (37th player overall), according to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) rankings. This seems about in line with where he should be going off the board. As an early fourth-round pick there's obviously a ton of upside if Gordon returns early, but this is also an area of drafts where uncertainty starts to creep in. He's going after safer bets like Chris Carson and Josh Jacobs, but before players with significant uncertainty but less upside, like David Montgomery and Marlon Mack.
Gordon himself agrees that fantasy players shouldn't leave him sliding too far past his current ADP.
It's not going to feel great picking Gordon that high in drafts, because there is a ton of risk involved. However, this is one of the early risks that could be well worth taking, as Gordon showed league-winning upside in the 2018 fantasy season.
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