New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon had fantasy football owners on Cloud 9 for a brief few moments in Week 4. While Gordon didn’t play much in his Patriots debut against the Miami Dolphins, he managed to haul in both of his targets for 32 yards and looked solid. Now, fantasy owners are left scratching their heads on whether or not to roll him out in Week 5.
On the surface, Gordon is about as risky as they come. He played just 22 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps last week, per Football Outsiders. And with Julian Edelman coming back, you’d assume he could take a bigger hit on Thursday Night Football.
But I’m going to buy into a bit of the argument on the other side here.
With Edelman returning, it could change the entire New England offense and most importantly, make life easier for Gordon and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Not only that, but Tom Brady could be primed for a huge showing in primetime.
Josh Gordon’s Unique Spot
Last week, Chris Hogan (86 percent), Phillip Dorsett (70 percent) and Cordarrelle Patterson (51 percent) all out-snapped Gordon. But if the former Cleveland Browns wideout is truly ready to go and healthy, what’s to say he doesn’t steal snaps from all three of those players?
When looking at the team’s Week 4 victory, Dorsett (four catches, 55 yards, one touchdown) and Patterson (three catches, 54 yards, one touchdown) were solid. But for the fourth-straight game, Hogan was essentially a non-factor. And apparently, Bill Belichick and the coaching staff have taken notice.
As Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal revealed, Gordon is listed as No. 2 behind Edelman on the Patriots’ depth chart for Thursday night.
If Gordon truly winds up supplanting Hogan, Dorsett, and Patterson and jumps up in playing time, this is a monster opportunity for fantasy owners.
Should You Start Josh Gordon in Week 5?
If Edelman, Gronkowski, and Gordon are on the field together for more than 40 percent of the offensive snaps, then I’m considering starting the team’s newest wideout almost everywhere. I wouldn’t go as far as using him in 10-team leagues but in 14-team leagues or larger, I’d use him with confidence.
How the Patriots approach new faces in the offense is risky, but the mediocre play from the other receivers bodes well for Gordon. Tack on the rumblings that Brady has been trying to build a relationship with Gordon, and the arrow is seemingly pointing up for the wideout in multiple ways.
The Colts have allowed 613 yards and four touchdowns to opposing receivers, and the attention Edelman and Gronkowski will draw should create a few big-play opportunities. I’d hold out on a final call until close to game time, but if we get confirmation on Gordon playing (questionable, expected to play) and any comment on him seeing more snaps, then he’s a start.
If we don’t get any word on Gordon’s potential playing time, then using him in 12-team leagues with a flex spot comes down to your other options. He’ll be a risky play, but one with tremendous upside once again.