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Josh Gordon Traded To The Patriots- The Fantasy Impact

NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday afternoon that the Browns ‘were getting close on a deal’ with the Patriots for receiver Josh Gordon.

The report came on the heels of Rapoport’s report on Good Morning Football Monday morning that the Browns were expected to trade Gordon before 4 pm Monday.

Initially, Browns General Manager John Dorsey announced Saturday night that the Browns would release Gordon Monday, perhaps baiting teams to send their best trade offers, after he questionably injured his hamstring Friday night.

The Patriots jumped in the Gordon sweepstakes, closing the deal with a 5th round pick, and though the Browns questioned how Gordon injured his hamstring Gordon’s MRI ‘came out fine’, according to Rapoport.

With the likes of Albert Wilson and Paul Richardson commanding $8 million a year on the open market during free agency, it’s understandable why teams would rather trade for the former all-pro Gordon’s services. Gordon’s on a one-year $790,000 deal, and he’ll be a restricted free agent in 2019. The Patriots, who historically haven’t shelled out big money to players, will have control of Gordon’s services for the next two seasons for pennies on the dollar.

Gordon started and played in 78 percent of snaps week 1 for the Browns, catching one of three targets for 17 yards and a touchdown. Gordon didn’t play week 2.

The Impact On The New England Patriots’ Receiving Corps

Chris Hogan

Hogan played in 90 percent of snaps week 2, and caught three of five targets for 42 yards and a touchdown running routes mostly in the middle of the field. In addition, Hogan had one catch for 11 yards week 1.

Back-to-back weeks Hogan’s played in over 90 percent of snaps, but he’s only commanded six targets. Hogan plays in the slot, so his game is different from Gordon’s. The impending return of Julian Edelman is more worrisome to Hogan owners than Gordon. When Edelman comes back week 5, Hogan could be come useless in fantasy with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman in the slot, with Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett on the outside.

Phillip Dorsett

Gordon’s trade may signal the end of the line is near for Dorsett’s fantasy value. Dorsett’s snap count percentage spiked from 76 percent week 1 to 92 week 2, while he commanded seven targets back-to-back weeks. Based on the first two weeks, Tom Brady likes to target one of his outside receivers a lot, then pivot between Gronkowski and Edelman in the middle of the field with James White and Rex Burkhead working out of the backfield.

With Gordon in the mix, the Patriots’ receiving corps (and Gronkowski) pecking order is the following: Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett (for now) and Gordon. Talent wise, Gordon’s the best receiver on the Patriots and he’ll have a chance to move up the pecking order, but it’s not a sure thing.

The Impact On Josh Gordon

Remember, veteran receivers such as Reggie Wayne and Eric Decker retired in the preseason after signing with the Patriots, while Chad Johnson struggled in one season with the team. On the other hand, you have Randy Moss, who set league records while on the Patriots. However, talent wise, Gordon’s closer to Moss then the other aforementioned three.

Gordon’s worth a spot on your bench, as his transition into New England’s offense takes place. Consider Gordon a speculative add with top-15 upside if you pick him up, as Brandin Cooks was WR15 last season with the Patriots, though he had a full off season to transition. And if you already had Gordon, consider him a WR3 or flex at the moment, but bench him until his role is defined in New England.

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Joshua Kellem is a Slippery Rock University graduate with a BS in Journalism. In addition, he is the creator of fantasy football website fftalk.org

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