The Cleveland Browns were close to being a contender in the AFC North, but there have been a lot of troubles surrounding the team in 2014. The team will likely lose its No. 1 wide receiver Josh Gordon to a suspension, which greatly affects the value of everyone around him. There is one player who would benefit from the absence of Gordon, and his name is Miles Austin.
Austin has been a fantasy boom-or-bust kind of player. He had two great years with the Dallas Cowboys in 2009 and 2010, making the Pro Bowl in both seasons. He combined for 150 receptions for 2,361 yards and 18 touchdowns. Austin played in all 16 games for the first, and only, time in 2010. In the next three seasons, Austin missed a combined 11 games and scored 13 touchdowns, including zero last year.
The Browns are preparing for a season without Gordon as they continue to have Austin play with the first team during practice. He has the opportunity to become a top-receiving option for whoever wins the quarterback job.
Despite the multiple injuries, Austin will have some value in deeper leagues. He is currently ranked as the 95-best receiver on ESPN’s rankings, which makes him virtually undraftable in standard leagues. On the other hand, Austin’s value will skyrocket if and when Gordon is suspended.
As you head into your draft, keep tabs on Gordon and his status. If no news breaks between now and your draft date, stay away from Austin. If a verdict does come in, then Austin is worth drafting as a WR4 at the most in a 10-team league.