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.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 11, 2018
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.
#Browns Josh Gordon played 69 of 89 offensive snaps (78 percent). Playing time went on as game went along. Played nearly every snap in 4th Q and OT
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) September 10, 2018
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.