A lot has happened in the last few weeks. For starters, training camp has begun. Secondly, the best running back in the league has been suspended for four games. However, that’s not the only news that has potentially affected draft boards. One of the most intriguing wide receivers has been reinstated (although he will still sit out four games to start the year) and arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history will also sit out four games. These questions linger…can we trust picking Josh Gordon? Is Brady still elite despite his suspension? Fortunately, FanTav’s Commish is here to weigh in. Lets review the market value of these NFL stars.
Josh Gordon: Heeee’s baaaacccckkkk. The often troubled WR that also loves the ganja has been reinstated with the Browns. You can’t really blame Gordon for his love of the weed considering he plays on one of the worst franchises in all of professional sports. Who wouldn’t want to be so high they can’t feel their face if they had to play along that plethora of shitty QBs throwing them the ball? However, after a strange offseason in which Gordon failed a drug test but was allowed to retake it, the Browns’ most exciting player is back Week 5. What should we expect?
When last active for five games in 2014, Josh Gordon was very solid achieving over 300 yards receiving on 24 catches. However, the year Flash Gordon is most remembered for was actually 2013, when he had 87 catches for over 1,600 yards and 9 TDs. Of course this year Gordon only played in 14 games making a case for the possibility he could have had 2,000 yards receiving for a season. Since that incredible season, Gordon has only played in 5 out of 32 regular season games. So the rust factor should be strong with this one. Add on the fact that Gordon had that badass year with pretty much none of his current teammates and that his current projected starting QB for the Browns is RG3 and you’ve got a pretty bit problem. RG3 has never been the deep threat QB that a vertical threat like Gordon needs. Hopefully by Week 5 the Browns have benched the former Redskin for the underrated Josh McCown. Where does Gordon get drafted in fantasy though?
Considering he hasn’t played in pretty much two seasons, will miss 25% of the fantasy season with a suspension, has one of the least reliable QBs in the league passing, and is on a team that has several other emerging targets (Gary Barnridge, Corey Coleman, and Duke Johnson could all have over 50 catches this season), I’d say that Gordon is worth nothing more than 10th round and after consideration. Sure you could make the argument that in 2013 he killed it despite having three different mediocre QBs throwing the ball and RG3 won’t set him back, but I just think there are too many reasons to bet against Gordon being elite this season. Perhaps you could make an argument that he is a WR#3 in deeper leagues, but I think Gordon is at best in the WR#4 area right now with the potential to be a WR#2 by the end of the season. Similar to Le’Veon Bell’s situation, somebody should go several rounds up the board to draft the troubled star hoping to rekindle his 2013 magic. Don’t be that guy.
Tom Brady: As expected, Brady will finally have to sit out four games for his deflated balls incident from a year back. Brady, who was the second highest scoring QB last year in fantasy, easily would be considered an elite QB option without the suspension, but I’d put him in the mid-to-low end QB1 options due to the considerable time he’ll miss. The good news is that we at least know what Brady can do when he’s out there judging from his excellent performance last year. And you could easily make a case that his team is even stronger this season with both the arrival of a few underrated players to target (The Black Unicorn aka Martellus Bennett and Seven-Eleven aka Chris Hogan) and also the clean bill of health for several critical pieces of the pie that they lost last year (Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman). You could make an argument that no team has as many reliable targets as the Patriots do, so once Brady returns he’s easily a top 5 option.
Good news for fantasy owners is that this is one of the most QB rich years in fantasy history. In other words, there is tons of depth at QB with other formidable options like Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, and Tony Romo out there to shelter the storm until Tom Terrific returns. Brady should be the 8th QB off the board with another QB taken a few rounds after him. For example, Brady is a nice 6th or 7th round selection and Kirk Cousins in the 8th or 9th round would be a nice pairing especially considering Cousins has an easy start to the season. I’m typically not a fan of owning two QBs, but if you lack one of non-suspended elite options then Brady paired with a young promising QB could turn out to be the right fit for your team.