Don’t Count on Frank Gore (Fantasy Football)

Jul 14, 2017

Will Father Time finally tackle Frank Gore?

Since signing with the Colts in 2015, Frank Gore has been the ultimate value pick for any fantasy players willing to put their faith in the aging legend. He was more often than not one of the final starting backs to come off draft boards but finished these last two years 11th and 12th in standard scoring. At this point, it might seem wise to just ride him until the wheels have visibly fallen off, because up until now he’s defied all expectations. The tail end of 2016 spelled out a dismal future for the tailback, however. In fact, one might argue that much of his success last year was something of a fluke.

Try the only fantasy football tool that syncs with your draft >>

The main attraction of RBs is their ability to score touchdowns consistently. This is magnified deeper down the rankings, where workload and opportunity become paramount to the success of roleplayers who don’t have a team centered around them. When the star backs are all taken, do you want the guy who averages high YPC, or do you want the guy who you know for a fact is going to be fed the rock at the goal line time and again? Bilal Powell averaged 5.5 YPC in 2016, and his teammate Matt Forte only had 3.7. Powell was the superior talent on a per-touch basis, but Forte got the lion’s share of the volume, especially at the goal line, allowing him to finish the year ahead of Powell in total fantasy points scored (in standard scoring, at least). LeGarrette Blount scored so many touchdowns that he finished as a top-10 back even in PPR, despite catching a grand total of seven passes for 38 yards on the season.

Red zone efficiency matters, and Gore was not efficient in the red zone. His teammate, Robert Turbin, scored three more times on 11 fewer attempts. Even worse was the direction this pattern trended – Gore scored all four of his rushing TDs before the team’s Week 10 bye, at which point Turbin had only run in a pair of scores. That’s right: Frank Gore didn’t score a single rushing touchdown in the second half of the season, while Turbin amassed five such scores. Clearly impressed, the Colts offered Turbin a two-year extension, which obviously doesn’t bode well for Gore’s future goalline opportunities. Don’t forget that the Colts drafted a prospect at the same position in Marlon Mack, either, and also signed Christine Michael, for whatever that’s worth these days.

Much of the reason Gore was able to stay viable was due to his proficiency as a pass catcher. It was his best year as a receiver since 2010, and his four touchdowns were the most he’s ever scored through the air in one season. Andrew Luck bounced back in a big way in 2016 but as good as he projects to be, it’s difficult to imagine a Colts offense where Gore is able to put up comparable receiving stats as he ages and shares more of his snaps with other players.

ESPN has Gore’s ADP at 61. At that point, you’re taking him ahead of players with tremendous upside like Doug Martin or Ameer Abdullah. Even if you’re insistent upon drafting a safe veteran, you’d be better off waiting a few more rounds and settling for Matt Forte, using the pick for Gore on a top-tier QB (Russell Wilson, Derek Carr) or TE (Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert) instead. If he falls to the 9th or 10th rounds, don’t avoid Frank Gore, because that’s good value. But remember, it’s not a value pick if you have to reach for it.


Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Google Play | TuneIn | RSS

Shane McCormack is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive and follow him @ShaneMcCormack_.


What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
Play for your share of $1m+
for FREE with first deposit
DRAFT photo
Play fantasy drafts for cash with a money back guarantee
CBS Sports photo
Serious Fantasy Football
Get our Mobile App!

Enter your phone number below, and we'll text you a link to download the app.

1Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
2Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
3Julio Jones (ATL)WR
4A.J. Green (CIN)WR
5Jay Ajayi (MIA)RB
6Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
7Mike Evans (TB)WR
8Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
9Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
10Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Ty Montgomery (GB)RB
12Michael Thomas (NO)WR
13Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
14Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
15Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
16Michael Crabtree (OAK)WR
17C.J. Anderson (DEN)RB
18Carlos Hyde (SF)RB
19LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
20Amari Cooper (OAK)WR
21Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
22Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
23Marshawn Lynch (OAK)RB
24Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)WR
25Dez Bryant (DAL)WR
26Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
27Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
28Isaiah Crowell (CLE)RB
29Jordy Nelson (GB)WR
30Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
4Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
5Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
6Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
7Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
8Joey Votto (CIN)1B
9Chris Sale (BOS)SP
10Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
 View All Rankings 
11Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
12Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
13Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
14Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
15Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
16Corey Seager (LAD)SS
17George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
18Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
19Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
20Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
21J.D. Martinez (ARI)RF
22Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
23Jose Abreu (CWS)1B,DH
24Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Ryan Braun (MIL)LF
27Yu Darvish (LAD)SP
28Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,LF
29Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
30Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
1Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG,G
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
4Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
5Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
6Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
7LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
8Chris Paul (HOU)PG,G
9Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
10DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
12Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
13Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG,G
15John Wall (WAS)PG,G
16Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG,G
17Paul Millsap (DEN)PF,C
18Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
19Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
20Kemba Walker (CHA)PG,G
21Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
22Al Horford (BOS)PF,C
23Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
24Isaiah Thomas (CLE)PG,G
25C.J. McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
27Brook Lopez (LAL)C
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
30Carmelo Anthony (NYK)SF,PF