The legend of Josh Gordon continues to grow week by week. He established himself as an elite receiver all the way back in 2013 when he exploded for over 1,600 yards in only 14 games. However, off-field issues kept him from living up to his true potential. This time a year ago, many wondered if he would ever see the field again. His magical season began to feel like a mirage that was too good to be true. Then, it happened. He was reinstated with the Cleveland Browns and started the first game of the season.
Still, he looked to be stifled by a perpetually poorly run Browns organization. Until somehow, the stars aligned as if a prophecy had come to fruition, and he was traded to the New England Patriots. Now, he has Bill Belichick to guide him, and Tom Brady to toss him dimes all game, rewarding his patient fantasy owners with the points they need to win their games.
All involved knew there would be a learning curve. Results would not be immediate. But now is finally his time to shine.
Start Josh Gordon for the Remainder of the Season in Fantasy Football
Still Working on Getting In-Sync With Brady
Gordon had his best game of the season last week against the Green Bay Packers catching five passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. The craziest part of that game was that he could have put up even bigger numbers. Gordon saw 10 targets but was only able to come down with half of them. Two of those missed targets were in the red zone.
But it wasn’t necessarily his fault that he didn’t convert on his red-zone looks. Those watching the game saw that he and Brady were just a fraction of a hair off on their timing. Remember, the Patriots traded for Gordon early in the season. This means he hasn’t had much time to work on chemistry with Brady. To make things tougher, Gordon has been dealing with a minor hamstring injury which has cut into valuable practice reps.
In fact, when comparing Gordon’s metrics with that of longtime Patriot Julian Edelman, Gordon has only had 73.2 percent of his targets actually be catchable. Compare that with Edelman, who has 81.8 percent of his targets as catchable. Granted Gordon’s targets will naturally be a bit lower than Edelman’s since he works downfield on lower percentage plays, but by the end of the season, he and Brady should be operating like a well-oiled machine.
Dynamic Threat Patriots Need
The Patriots started the season 2-2. One argument for the Patriots slow start was that their receiving corps was not very dynamic. Last season, the team had Brandin Cooks to stretch the field on the outside. He had 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski had a few more receptions and yards than him, but with Edelman missing the season with injury, those two were the only receiving threat that Brady had.
Edelman missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension, and Cooks was shipped out to the Los Angeles Rams for a first-round pick in the off-season. Gronkowski has never been the most reliable player due to his injury history. But he showed the team even when he is healthy, he isn’t enough to get them where they need to go alone. Brady couldn’t top 300 yards receiving in any of the first four games, even registering a dismal 133 yards against the Detroit Lions in Week Three. He also threw an uncharacteristic four interceptions during that span.
Since Gordon has been in the lineup, Brady has thrown over 300 yards three times, and at least 275 yards in every game. Obviously, Edelman plays a role in this, but Gordon also deserves credit for making the offense much more versatile. As Gordon continues to the learn more of the playbook, he is only going to make this offense more and more dynamic.
Patriots Love Him
Finally, the biggest reason why Flash Gordon needs to be in fantasy owners’ lineups for the remainder of the season is that the Patriots just plain love him. The biggest evidence of that was how he was treated week eight against the Buffalo Bills. Apparently, Gordon was late for a meeting and was supposed to be benched for about a quarter of the game. Except that he wasn’t. Gordon didn’t miss a snap, seeing his second-highest snap count of the entire season at 91.4 percent.
Brady loves him too. Sure, it is expected that he says good things about Gordon to the press when prompted. But check out his genuine, unprompted praise for Gordon in the locker room after their win against the Patriots:
“How do we feel, about taking down the Pack-attack?”
Awww yeah. pic.twitter.com/k65v4jwkDG
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 6, 2018
Last Word on Josh Gordon’s Fantasy Outlook
Brady hasn’t had a receiver like Gordon since Randy Moss. While it would be ridiculous to expect similar numbers from Gordon as Moss put up that record-shattering season, it doesn’t mean fantasy owners can’t do it anyway. What all this means is that Gordon is back, and he is ready to body any defender who attempts to guard him for the rest of the season. Don’t trade him. Don’t bench him. Don’t look back.
Opposing teams have been put on notice.