For all those fantasy football owners who had Josh Gordon in their lineups Sunday morning, there was some brutal news which came shortly after. Not only was Gordon not starting for the Cleveland Browns (which was known), but it was also reported he would play “roughly 20 snaps” by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
While Gordon exceeded that number in a major way, he still had an ineffective showing, aside from a touchdown catch which saved fantasy owners who stuck with him. But ahead of Week 2, Browns fans and fantasy football owners received some good news when the team’s depth chart was revealed Tuesday.
As you can see, Gordon is listed as the starter opposite Jarvis Landry for their Week 2 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. We’re going to take a look at the impact this move has from a fantasy football perspective, and on the surface, it points to Gordon as a must-start.
Josh Gordon’s Week 2 Fantasy Football Value
Based on how Week 1 played out, there may be no more appealing matchup on the board than the Browns wide receivers against the New Orleans Saints. While the Saints were picked apart in brutal fashion by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, they struggled mightily to cover the team’s wide receivers specifically.
During the Saints’ 48-40 loss, the defense allowed 18 receptions for an absurd 361 yards and four touchdowns to the likes of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries. For good measure, tight end O.J. Howard tacked on 54 yards, but it was the production of Evans and Jackson which really benefits Gordon.
The talented young wideout will be taking on a role somewhere between Evans and Jackson, who totaled 147 and 146 receiving yards, respectively. The duo also combined for three of the four touchdowns. With Gordon’s big-play ability and potential to dominate in a variety of ways, all signs point to a monster game for fantasy owners.
There’s more good news as well, as Gordon was originally expected to play just 20 snaps, but as Scott Petrak of The Chronicle-Telegram revealed, that wasn’t the case. Instead, the 27-year-old was on the field for 69-of-89 offensive snaps and played almost every play in the fourth quarter.
While Gordon finished with just one catch on three targets for 17 yards and a touchdown, it’s worth noting that Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor only completed 15 passes, largely due to consistent rain and 20-30 MPH winds. Cleveland’s Week 2 game will be in a dome, making life much easier for the offense and pointing to all Browns players being far more appealing from a fantasy football perspective.
As Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal revealed, Browns head coach Hue Jackson offered a strong statement on Gordon ahead of Week 2.
“Josh [Gordon], when he’s going like we know he can, he has an opportunity to make plays. He’s got to continue to work to be in the right spot. We’ve got to give him opportunities, and I think we’ll do that.” Jackson stated.
Jackson’s ringing endorsement doesn’t tell the story of how the connection with Tyrod Taylor and Gordon will be, but there’s no question the two should have opportunities for big plays. The upside is there, the snaps are there and now it seems the focus on getting him the ball is there as well.
Gordon is safe to roll out in all formats this week in fantasy football.
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