Melvin Gordon is RB5 overall, up three fantasy spots from his breakout sophomore finish; it's not like he's mired in some slump.
Yet Gordon was our RB1 overall bold prediction this offseason largely because of his new marriage with Anthony Lynn and an offensive line receiving serious additional horsepower on the heels of Gordon's Year Two climb.
Before the bye, Gordon ripped off the longest run of his career — an 87-yard scoring eruption — in Foxboro. And while I hate doing this, I'm compelled to point out that play boosted his average per carry on the season from just 3.4 to a more-respectable (and career-high) 4.0.
Can Gordon, who managed just 45 yards on his other 13 Week 8 carries, use that run, the bye week and an enticing second-half schedule beginning at the Jaguars as a springboard?
We'll see, but this trip to Jacksonville, where teams simply don't do business through the air on the Jaguars, is close to an ideal place to start. Gordon has dealt with plenty of bumps and bruises, too, so it should be as fresh as we've seen him since Week 1.
Thanks to the disappointing Raiders and Broncos and a Chiefs club unable to sustain its early-season dominance, the Bolts still have some life in the West. But Lynn's run-centric offense, just 25th in yards and 27th in attempts, must be the catalyst.
We've seen Lynn ride his backs hard in the past before, and while Gordon is on pace for a career-high 324 touches (262 carries and 60 grabs), he's reached 25 handles just twice — the same number of times he's been below 15.
We wrote before the season the only thing missing from his resume was a bit more consistency. Gordon has already been great for fantasy owners. He might be poised to begin reaching even greater heights.
* Editor's note: we've purposely omitted the Cowboys' running backs from our early rankings, as Ezekiel Elliott's hearing in front of the Second Circuit Court is Thursday. As you've been doing all season, stay tuned.
1. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers at Colts
2. Todd Gurley, Rams vs. Texans
3. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars vs. Chargers
4. Melvin Gordon, Chargers at Jaguars
5. LeSean McCoy, Bills vs. Saints
6. Jordan Howard, Bears vs. Packers
7. Mark Ingram, Saints at Bills
8. Carlos Hyde, 49ers vs. Giants