The Case For Josh Gordon
Queue the “Flash Gordon” theme song everyone, he’s back. The former league-leading receiver is primed to shock and surprise everyone once again heading into this season. He will be the focal point of the receiving game on a team that will be consistently playing catch up.
His Mind Blowing 2013 Season
In 2013, Gordon literally came out of nowhere to lead the league in receiving despite missing the first two games of the season. He averaged 117.6 receiving yards a game, the second highest in the Super Bowl era.
From Week 11-14, Gordon posted a record-setting four games. After Week 10, Gordon got double-digit targets in every single game.
He burst back onto the scene in 2014 with a successful first game against the Atlanta Falcons. Although his yard totals dropped off, he was still heavily targeted through his short season.
Despite missing the first four games of the season, head coach Hue Jackson is fully committed to Gordon. In his latest press conference, he said he was giving Gordon the chance to hit the restart button. Between confidence from his head coach and his undeniable talent, Gordon has the opportunity he needs to thrive again.
Doesn’t Matter Who’s Throwing the Ball
The Cleveland Browns had a revolving door at the quarterback position during Gordon’s 2013 run. Jason Campbell, who was way passed his prime, started 8 of those games. Brandon Weeden, a below average quarterback, started 5 games, and journeyman Brian Hoyer started 3. This trio gave Gordon his remarkable season. It seems like it didn’t matter who threw the ball, he performed.
This year, Josh McCown and Robert Griffin will be competing for the job, and each has a perk for Gordon. McCown loves his WR1. In 2014 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Evans averaged 12.75 fantasy points per game in the last 8 games with McCown under center. When filling in for Jay Cutler in the 2013 season, either Alshon Jeffery or Brandon Marshall had at least 80 yards in every game. When he finds a receiver he likes, he sticks with them.
Griffin, on the other hand, has ties that go deeper with Gordon as the two were college teammates. In 2011 when the two played at Baylor, Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and 7 touchdowns in 13 games. With familiarity already, Griffin will be able to trust Gordon right off the bat.
No matter who wins the job, they will shower Gordon with targets.
The Garbage Man Can
At 3-13, it’s no secret that the Cleveland Browns struggled last year. Allowing the fourth most points per game, the team found themselves down in almost every game. Having to play catch-up, the Browns finished 11 in the league is passing attempts per game at just over 38.
The outlook doesn’t look much better for the Browns this year as they are projected to finish near the bottom of the league once again. Gordon will shine in garbage time when the team is down and you know what’s great? Garbage points are just as good as normal points in fantasy football. Head coach Hue Jackson will have to wait a year to implement his run-heavy offense as his team will be playing catch up all year.
Currently going in the 8th Round, Gordon’s upside could be an absolute steal. He’s a proven NFL talent that is hungry for another shot in the league. He is absolutely worth the risk in this year’s draft and the numbers are there to prove it.