Cleveland Browns fans finally got the news they’ve been waiting for all off-season. Josh Gordon is returning to the team and to camp. With the return of Gordon, the Browns offense takes a huge step forward not just for the NFL but also for our fantasy teams. We all know that one guy that every year has drafted Gordon or held onto him. They hoped Christmas arrives early, and he got the league winner late. Well last year it finally came true as he came back for five games. If Gordon can keep himself in good shape, he could return to being a league winner once again.
Josh Gordon has returned to the Browns. Should he land on your fantasy team? I state the case why a top-10 revival isn’t outlandish. https://t.co/46haaN6VD1
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 19, 2018
Gordon has only played in 10 games from 2014-2017. While completely different quarterbacks and offenses in between those times Gordon was still targeted 40 plus times. Which continues to show us what offensive coordinators think of him, he’s an absolute stud. In both 2014 and 2017 he played five games. Gordon put up over 300 yards in both years but only scoring last year once. While he still looked good and explosive at times, especially in the Los Angeles Chargers game last year where DeShone Kizer over threw him on multiple passes.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 19, 2018
If you go back to when Gordon first entered the league in 2012 he finished with 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns, a formidable player and finished ranked 38th at the wide receiver position. However, I don’t think anyone expected the jump he would take in 2013. He started the season suspended for two games due to the league substance abuse policy. He returned and set the league on fire with just 67 catches he racked up 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns. finishing as the number one wide receiver overall that year, with guys like Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball.
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) August 19, 2018
Fast forward to the 2018 season and what are we realistically looking at for Gordon this year. It’s really hard to predict though it sounds like he’s been in the league for decades. Gordon is only 27 and still in the prime of his career. He’s playing with the best quarterback he’s ever played with in Tyrod Taylor and has an even better one sitting on the bench. Todd Haley has turned a wide receiver no one thought would be anything in Antonio Brown into an absolute stud, and future Hall of Famer (I know Browns fans it hurt me to even write that.) While Brown obviously has the talent, Haley designed the offense around Brown which I expect he’ll do with Gordon.
While many say Tyrod is afraid to take chances with the ball, his best years came in 2015-2016 when Sammy Watkins was at his best making plays down the field. Josh Gordon at least in my opinion has more talent than Watkins. If Gordon can get open down field Tyrod will hit him. Where Gordon will likely lose out on some receptions is in the short game to Jarvis Landry. While I don’t think it will hurt him that much, as again look what he did with just 67 receptions in 2013. Reception wise puts him in the wide receiver two group. However only one of those wide receivers broke 1,000 yards with that few receptions.
Gordon is an explosive dynamic athlete he has the talent and skill to be a legitimate hall of fame player. Is biggest struggles are all off the field. He now has two weeks to get ready for the season. If he’s able to start week 1, I think Gordon will be a fantasy super star this year. Whether he’s the focal point of the offense or their dynamic deep threat, Gordon is going to be a great fantasy player this year.
Even if Taylor goes down, I trust from the limited work I’ve seen from Baker Mayfield to keep his value up. For 2018 I’m predicting Gordon to have a fantasy line close to 63 receptions for 1,100 yards and 6 touchdowns. This will likely put him square in the wide receiver two tier. However, I feel he could easily be in the wide receiver one tier as I predicted in my opinion low numbers for him in 2018. Moral of this story is Gordon’s average draft position is in the 5th round for me. He’s easily worth a 4th round pick. Drafting a wide receiver two or possible one in the 4th or later is a steal for fantasy. As a result, it leads you to winning your league.
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