Just imagine what Josh Gordon could have done in a full season last year. The Cleveland Browns wide receiver played in 14 games after dealing with a two-game suspension and took the top spot among wide receivers. He finished the season with 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He beat out Demaryius Thomas as the top fantasy scorer by one point. He is a one-of-a-kind receiver that very little secondary players can cover.
The Browns made a lot of offseason moves to improve their offense. They brought in former Houston Texans running back Ben Tate and drafted superstar quarterback Johnny Manziel. Gordon succeeded with sub-par quarterbacks like Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. If Gordon can rack up over 1,600 yards with those quarterbacks, he can do much better with Manziel.
Brown ran a 4.52 40-yard dash and is listed at 6-foot-4. With that kind of speed and height, he is a very tough receiver for the defense to cover. Gordon easily breaks away from the secondary and the ball just seems to find Gordon’s hands, which fantasy owners love.
It’s an obvious one, but the full-season suspension could hinder Gordon’s fantasy value just a bit. And by just a bit, I mean a lot. Many fantasy websites have already accounted for the Browns missing Gordon for 2014. ESPN.com has him listed as WR38, which is still higher sophomore DeAndre Hopkins and breakout receiver Riley Cooper. The Browns are preparing for the loss of Gordon as they signed Miles Austin and Earl Bennett.
If Gordon does get suspended for the full 2014 season, he would serve no purpose on anyone’s fantasy team in a standard, redraft league. In a dynasty league, he is still a top-tier wide receiver. However, until news breaks that Gordon is suspended, he should rank as a top-five receiver. Gordon could easily break 2,000 receiving yards or he could be sitting at home for the 2014 season. Keep tabs on his suspension (or lack thereof) for this year.
Bye Week: 4
Projected Round: 10
Auction Value: $3 (via ESPN)