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For years, the San Diego Chargers have had a running back that goes quickly in every fantasy draft.
For a long time, it was LaDainian Tomlinson with the #1 or #2 overall pick. Then, it was somewhere in the top 5-10 picks, as people predicted that it was "finally the year that Ryan Mathews becomes a breakout star." Now, people are jumping on the Melvin Gordon bandwagon.
This may seem crazy, but it's not. The Chargers have a strong offense every year, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates get them down the field regularly, and they're going to have a RB with a bunch of TDs because that guy gets the ball in goal-line situations....right?
Sort of. This was true with Tomlinson, but when Ryan Mathews started losing touchdown carries to Mike Tolbert, everyone got confused.
Then, last year happened. The Chargers' offensive line was so bad that they couldn't run the ball consistently, and running became a bad option in the red zone. Instead, they just threw short passes to Eddie Royal. Branden Oliver and Ryan Mathews ended up tied for the lead in rushing TDs on the team, each with 3.
So, is it worth drafting a Chargers RB? I think so! Just not the guy you think.
Melvin Gordon's touchdown numbers in 2015 is a guessing game. I hate guessing. However, Danny Woodhead scored 8 TDs (6 of them as a receiver) in 2013. Coming back from injury, he'll be Rivers' favorite "emergency valve" target for the first month of the season (as Gates serves his suspension). He's also insanely valuable if you're in a PPR league because he can probably catch another 76 passes this season, as he did in 2013.
Branden Oliver would be an okay option, but only as the last pick in your draft, because you're betting on him getting a lot of touches and that just doesn't seem like it's going to happen.
Look for Stevie Johnson and Danny Woodhead to take a lot of those TDs that Eddie Royal was getting last year, and for them to be better fantasy options than Melvin Gordon this season.