Over the course of the first two weeks of the NFL season, the Cleveland Browns will be without second year wide receiver Josh Gordon. He was suspended for two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and the Browns will undoubtedly miss him.
Fortunately for underachieving wide receiver Greg Little, there will be an opportunity for him to step up and finally prove he’s worthy to be a viable option in their offense — which they desperately need him to do.
In Gordon’s first year, he established himself as one of quarterback Brandon Weeden’s go-to guys. Gordon is a deep threat with tremendous speed.
Little, on the other hand, has disappointed in his first two years with the Browns. He’s caught 114 passes for 1,356 yards and six touchdowns. While that doesn’t sound terrible, it’s not necessarily what was expected of him early on. As a second-round pick three years ago, Little was looked at as having the size and ability to be the number one guy on their offense.
Without Gordon, Weeden will have to throw more to Little in the first couple of weeks. With knowing he’s somewhat on the hot seat and needs to perform, Little should be a decent fantasy sleeper during that time. Maybe, just maybe, he can even establish him as a legitimate option for once.
I would call Little a solid play at maybe a WR4 or WR5 in standard leagues, and if you’re in a deep league (12-18 teams) he might be worth the risk at WR3, especially when the Browns don’t face any stingy defenses within the first two weeks. Yes, that means I’m labeling the Baltimore Ravens’ pass defense as ‘not stingy.’ You can debate all you want, but I believe Peyton Manning may disagree as well.
Look for Little to make a play at becoming a bigger part of the offense as he will be counted on much more early on this season. He might be worth picking up in hopes that he develops in his third year.