One of the more interesting early fantasy picks next season with be Melvin Gordon. After a lousy rookie season, he carried fantasy teams for most of his second year, although one of the key measurables is a little suspect -- he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry. But his new coach thinks Gordon can be special.
"When I look at the tape, I say, ‘Oh my goodness, we can help him get better here and here'," says Anthony Lynn. "He’s already good. But there’s more yards [to be gained].”
As offensive coordinator in Buffalo, Lynn ran the Bills' top-ranked ground game a year ago. That included the league's top running quarterback, of course, but Lynn knows what he's doing with a ground game. In the linked article he compares Gordon to Chris Ivory, who he worked with with the Jets, and also former Titans back Eddie George.
Knocks against Gordon, besides the yards-per-carry average, is that he's been hurt in each of his first two seasons. He also benefited last year from taking on the passing-downs role after Danny Woodhead got hurt. If Woodhead returns, maybe Gordon loses some of that work.
But Woodhead is a free agent, 32 years old, and coming off a torn ACL. Even if he returns, it would likely be in a lesser role. Rookie Kenneth Farrow did not distinguish himself down the stretch.
It's early, but Gordon looks like a guy who could be a top-5 fantasy back but available a little later than the very top picks at the position (Bell-Johnson-Elliott).