Melvin Gordon? More Like Meh-lvin Gordon, Amirite?

Melvin Gordon Sucks

Fun fact. Since 1936, there have only been four rookie running backs with more than 175 rushing attempts and no rushing touchdowns.


None of the other three accumulated more than 1475 career rushing yards.1

Since 1955, 63 first-round rookie RBs have had 175 or more attempts. Gordon and Carpenter are the only two not to score at least one rushing TD.

Looking at a more recent time frame, since 1990, 17 rookie RBs have had between 175 and 200 attempts. The average number of rushing TDs for that cohort was 4.8.

That’s…remarkable. Think of the thousands of RBs that have played since 1936. I guess you could say Gordon is in rare company.

If you drafted Gordon in a dynasty rookie draft, all I can say is “I’m sorry, John.” The early returns are crappy, to say the least.

Melvin Gordon Might Be a Buy-Low Candidate

There’s a really good chance Gordon remains a bust. On the other hand, things could get better, right? Game script and offensive line problems might be improved next year. And it seems a bit fluky that he got ZERO rushing TDs. I’m thinking that he’ll get another opportunity. He might not be great, but there’s a chance he out produces whatever his value has fallen to.

Maybe you’re looking at that last table and saying “Dude, Gordon’s per-attempt efficiency is “negative point zero five!”

I admit, that’s awful. You know what else was awful? Darren McFadden’s 2014 performance.


Wait, isn’t that the same Darren McFadden who averaged over 100 yards from scrimmage starting in Week 5 of 2015?


Yep, that’s the same Darren McFadden. Crap-tastic in 2014, borderline RB1 in 2015. There are similar examples.

In 2012, Rashad Jennings had a per attempt score of -0.07 and finished outside the top 50 PPR backs. Then he finished as PPR RB24, 29, and 22 the next three seasons. Even better, in 2010, Marshawn Lynch was -0.03 per attempt and finished as RB31. Then he posted four straight top-six fantasy seasons.

Just for fun, from the Fantasy Efficiency App.


I think some people might now be more enthusiastic about Javorius Allen and Duke Johnson. But going forward, what’s the difference? Gordon’s a disappointment because he didn’t meet expectations. But is he going to be worse than Johnson, Allen, or whomever, next year?

Maybe send out some feelers and see if Gordon is available. Danny Woodhead has never handled more than 25 percent of a team’s attempts, so I think Gordon’s workload will still be decent next year. And there’s at least some precedent for an RB to turn things around. Don’t over spend, but there’s a chance to get some value I think.

  1. Preston Carpenter did stick around for 11 years.  (back)