Throughout the past week, there has been a ton of speculation about how the New England Patriots are trying to get Josh Gordon more involved.
While his 52 percent catch rate may seem low, it does not tell the full story for the Patriots receiver. Gordon has been covered tight on his slant routes across the middle with passes often thrown too high or too close to coverage rather than leading Gordon.
But where Gordon could potentially help New England most is his deep routes down the middle and on fades down near the red zone. When Gordon goes against the Redskins this week, he will likely be able to gain separation against Washington’s quick corners given his size advantage.
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Josh Gordon Matchup vs Washington
In his career, Gordon has played only once against the Redskins all the way back in his 2012 rookie season. In that game, Gordon was targeted eight times, making three catches for 27 yards in a losing effort for Cleveland.
Obviously, a ton has changed on both ends for Gordon. He is playing in a different offense and going against an entirely different Washington defense. So without taking much stock in his past, we look to Sunday afternoon.
Given Gordon’s height and vertical ability, the Redskins may choose to double cover the Patriots deep threat with one safety along with cornerback Quinton Dunbar. In his first game back last week after missing a pair of games with a knee injury, Dunbar picked off Giants quarterback Daniel Jones twice and made three tackles.
While Brady has certainly proved he can fit the ball into tight windows throughout his career, he’ll have to be careful against a tight Redskins double coverage that has shown some ball-hawking ability.
But Gordon can still do well in double coverage and has shown his own ability to withstand contact while making tough catches. He did so against the Jets and the Steelers, both at home.
Which brings us to our next point. Gordon has caught less than half the passes thrown to him during road games in his career. But he still has more receiving yards in road games albeit four fewer touchdowns.
Should You Start Gordon vs Redskins
This is an interesting question. Considering how tight Gordon has been covered, it has opened up spaces for Phillip Dorsett to get more targets and for guys like Julian Edelman to get open in the flat for short gains.
Still, Gordon has become a major part of the New England offense. The biggest concern, however, is the balance the Patriots have in their receiving game. With so many guys running routes and looking for touches, it makes it tough to dominate the stat sheets.
But for this weekend, the matchup favors Gordon and the Patriots passing game. So if you have him in your league, start him. And if you’re looking for options in your daily fantasy, go with Flash as his $6,100 price tag isn’t too expensive.