The 2014 fantasy football season appeared to be a battle between Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant for the honors of highest-scoring receiver, but Josh Gordon may have something to say about that.
Gordon has reportedly hired Richard Sherman‘s lawyer, who helped Sherman avoid a four-game suspension. Sherman’s lawyer apparently was able to get him off the hook because the cup that was used to collect the cornerback’s sample was apparently leaky, and it was transferred to another cup. This move seems to be generated because of the results of Gordon’s drug test, as one of his samples had actually passed. If that sample had been used, Gordon would have avoided this whole situation.
If you need a quick refresher, Gordon had a monster year in 2013 with 1,646 receiving yards, seven games with 100 or more receiving yards and nine touchdown catches. He did all of that with just 87 receptions, missing two games and catching passes from Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. Even if he misses time, Gordon averaged 117.6 receiving yards per game last season, which makes him an instant starter the first week he sees action.
The impact of Gordon’s return for a significant period can change the face of the entire fantasy season. With a lack of options at receiver, the Cleveland Browns had planned to center the offense around running backs Ben Tate and Terrance West. How involved would Tate and West be with Gordon in the lineup? Tight end Jordan Cameron has become a favorite among fantasy analysts, but he would become the second-best option in the passing attack. Receiver Miles Austin is a super sleeper, but he almost loses all his value with Gordon on the field. The 23-year-old receiver also helps to boost the fantasy value of Brian Hoyer, and he makes Johnny Manziel a very intriguing option.
This impact reaches well beyond the Browns’ players, as a solid debate will begin over which receiver should be drafted first. You can’t deny the natural talent of Gordon, and at just 23 years of age, he is just warming up. Fantasy players mainly concur that Peyton Manning will not be able to repeat his performance from last year, but every season could become a career year from Gordon.
If Gordon even sees half a season, he is a must-draft fantasy star.