Josh Gordon Signing: Will This Time Be Different?

Fantasy Expectations for Josh Gordon Signing with the Kansas City Chiefs

The Josh Gordon story has got to be one of the biggest “snip snap” stories ever when it comes to fantasy football.  Gordon has now been suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy so many times it’s hard to keep track.  Still, every time news comes out that Gordon is to be reinstated, it generates massive hype in the fantasy football community.  Fantasy players still hope Gordon can return to that 2013 season form when he lit up the NFL with huge plays.  And yet we’ve all probably been burned by rushing to the waiver wire each time he is reinstated.  Is this time finally going to be different?  Let’s take a deeper dive into the Josh Gordon saga to determine if he is worth the add this time around.

Josh Gordon Through the Years

So first I wanted to take a moment to go through some of the stats on Josh Gordon over the last nine years since it’s been hard to keep track of what team he plays for, when he is suspended, and when he is performing well.

Here is a quick summary of his career.  * indicates years he was suspended for substance abuse.

Year Team Targets Receptions Yards Touchdowns
2012 Cleveland 96 50 805 5
2013 Cleveland 159 87 1646 9
2014* Cleveland 47 24 303 0
2015* Cleveland NA NA NA NA
2016* Cleveland NA NA NA NA
2017 Cleveland 42 18 335 1
2018* Cleveland

New England

71 41 737 4
2019* New England

Seattle

47 27 426 1

So did you follow all that?  Pretty much with every new team, he was suspended for violating the NFL’s policy.  That doesn’t bode well for the Kansas City Chiefs, but maybe this time will finally be different.

Gordon has shown he can still be relevant, especially in that 2018 season for the Patriots where he caught 40 passes for 720 yards (not including the one game for Cleveland). That was two years ago, however, and Gordon is now 30 years old and has been out of the NFL for those two years.  But we all know that Gordon is an athletic freak, so we can’t write him off just because of his age.

Kansas City Chiefs Era

Josh Gordon signed with the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad on Tuesday, but it might be a few weeks until we see him on the field.  The Chiefs are probably the best landing spot for Gordon at this time, however, I’ve personally been duped into thinking that before when he signed with the Patriots and Seahawks.

Either way, the Chiefs seem to be looking for answers after an ugly 1-2 start to the season.  The offense has sputtered, with opposing defenses locking down Tight End Travis Kelce and Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill and forcing Patrick Mahomes to look elsewhere.  With veteran Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins gone, he has had to throw to Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle, all of who have failed to impress thus far.  The Chiefs need another option to make this offense potent once again, and Gordon could be that answer.

Gordon should quickly become the number two Wide Receiver in Kansas City if he’s able to stay clean and learn the offense.

Fantasy Implications

I know I shouldn’t be duped into believing again, but I just want Gordon to succeed.  He has every opportunity, again, to do well in the NFL with the Chiefs.  If it were any other offense I’d be hesitant to grab Gordon so early, but since it is the Chiefs (and Patrick Mahomes) I’d venture to say he is worth an add in all fantasy leagues.  Gordon could quickly become a solid flex option once he takes the field, figuring he is in football shape.  It’s early enough in the season to be a speculative add that could pay huge dividends.

Mahomes has targeted Hardman, Pringle, and Robinson a combined 33 times, so Gordon should see plenty of targets once he sees the field consistently.

All that being said, Gordon has burned NFL teams and fantasy players so many times that it is a huge gamble.  I wouldn’t spend a ton of FAAB on him, but I would at least attempt to add him if you need a Wide Receiver.  Only time will tell if Josh Gordon finally redeems himself.

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