Tom Brady’s receiving corps was bolstered Monday with the trade of wide receiver Josh Gordon from the Cleveland Browns to the New England Patriots for a conditional fifth-round draft pick.
Gordon, when healthy and on the field, has proven to be a very productive wide receiver. Unfortunately for the talented wideout, staying healthy and on the field both have been issues. Injuries and off-the-field problems have limited Gordon to just 11 games played since 2013.
However, it looks like he could make his debut as soon as Sunday night when the Patriots play the Lions in Detroit.
Gordon broke out during the 2013 campaign, catching 87 passes on 159 targets for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He even torched the Patriots in December of that season for seven receptions, 151 yards and a touchdown.
So, the question for fantasy football owners is can Gordon produce anywhere close to those numbers with the Patriots? Well, if he can learn the offense, which is no certainty given New England’s complex playbook, he should be fairly productive.
For starters, he’d be playing with an elite quarterback in Brady, who can make any type of throw. Gordon also is the type of down-the-sidelines, deep-threat wide receiver that Brady has not often had, and Randy Moss might’ve been the last wideout in this mold to play for the Pats. At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Gordon has all the physical tools needed to make tough catches all over the field. His hands, speed and quickness all are fantastic, and he’s not afraid to go over the middle.
It’s possible Gordon can be the deep threat that Brandin Cooks was supposed to be for the Pats last season. Check out some of these highlights from Week 17 of last season:
Gordon probably wouldn’t face too many double-teams, either. Defenses are more likely to spend the majority of their attention and focus on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. And when Julian Edelman comes back from a four-game suspension, he’ll be a real issue for defenses as well. Chris Hogan has proven to be a capable third option in the Patriots passing attack, too.
If Gordon does see the field with the Patriots, it might take some time for him to get up to speed with the playbook and in earning Brady’s trust. But if he even becomes the third or fourth option in this offense, he’s very much worth owning on your fantasy team, especially as a potential high-reward flex play.
Phillip Dorsett fantasy owners shouldn’t panic, not yet anyway. He wasn’t too productive Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s still the third option in the passing game while Edelman is suspended. Dorsett still has decent value in deeper leagues as a flex play.