Both fans and fantasy football players alike are anxiously awaiting wide receiver Josh Gordon’s New England Patriots debut. There’s a chance it could come in Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, but Gordon is currently listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. It did seem as if the former Cleveland Browns receiver was close to playing last week, so there’s reason for optimism about his availability.
Assuming Gordon does play, there’s no question he makes for an interesting fantasy football option in this matchup. The Patriots offense has struggled over the past two weeks, scoring 30 combined points and just 10 during their Sunday Night Football loss to the Detroit Lions.
On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed Gordon is active for Week 4.
Tom Brady needs someone to step up and the Patriots need to find answers. While Gordon is somewhat of a risky play in what would be his first game with Brady and Bill Belichick, it’s hard not to love the upside.
Josh Gordon’s Week 4 Fantasy Value
If Gordon has learned the playbook and Brady feels comfortable with him, he could be a game-changing play. On the flip side, if he’s active and we’re going in without any idea of his knowledge of the offense or rapport with Brady, then it could be a disaster waiting to happen.
With all that being known and understood, the lack of production from Patriots wide receivers the past two weeks has been painful. Over that stretch, no wideout has tallied more than 44 receiving yards and in Week 3 only two receivers even caught passes (Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson).
Gordon’s playmaking ability is needed right now for the Patriots, and if healthy, that may be the biggest selling point for fantasy owners.
Should You Start or Sit Josh Gordon?
To note, all of this is under the assumption that Gordon does indeed play. I’ll update this post as any information on his status is revealed.
As things currently stand, I have no issue using Gordon in 12-team fantasy leagues with a flex spot or 14-team leagues. The only reason not to use him in those spots is if you have very good wideouts, players with exceptional matchups, or a great flex option.
Based on how poor the Patriots passing attack has been, Brady may look to Gordon early and often. At the very least, they have to try and get him involved as it’s a great way to potentially fix these offensive struggles. And while Brady has struggled at times this season, he’s had some big games against the Dolphins in his career.
Things change on a season-by-season basis, but the Patriots quarterback has thrown 57 touchdowns in 31 games against Miami, per StatMuse. That’s just under two touchdowns per game, and if he’s able to toss two scores in Week 4, I can see one of them going to Gordon.
So, the final word is (if healthy) to start Gordon in 14-team leagues and 12-teamers with a flex. In 10-team leagues, you likely have safer options to roll out this week.