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Josh Gordon’s Fantasy Impact

With the Seahawks claiming Josh Gordon off waivers from the Patriots, what is the fantasy impact for all parties involved?

Josh Gordon is now a member of the Seattle Seahawks after being claimed off waivers from the Patriots. The move New England elected to make here could be beneficial fantasy-wise for all parties involved. The Patriots are notorious for cutting ties with players before or right as they lose their value. I would not bet against New England’s player evaluation, but Gordon may still prove to be productive. The 6-foot-3 receiver is only 28 years old, so it is possible the Patriots let him go a year or two too early. Regardless of the eventual result, this move by the Patriots has fantasy ramifications for Gordon and the Patriots.

Seahawks’ Impact

Josh Gordon’s issues are well-documented and do not need to be rehashed here. However, taking a player with serious off-field issues out of a stable, supportive environment is always risky, as we saw in baseball when Josh Hamilton left the Rangers briefly. Putting aside this risk, Josh Gordon is still a talented wide receiver, and he should be able to contribute to Seattle if he is past his injury issues. Gordon has only 20 catches and one touchdown this season, which not impressive numbers for fantasy purposes thus far. But the opportunity is there for Gordon, as the Seahawks have seen only two receivers exceed the 20-catch mark. Gordon fills the role of a red-zone threat that Will Dissly left with his injury.

D.K. Metcalf’s fantasy value drops with this move, as Gordon fills a similar role of big-bodied outside receiver for the team. Gordon might take the red-zone targets away from Metcalf. On the other hand, Josh Gordon could draw the attention of the opposing team’s best outside corner, thus taking attention away from D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Lockett’s value should remain relatively stable with this move due to his rapport with Wilson and his role as a slot receiver. The Seahawks are remarkably balanced with 250 passing attempts and 251 rushing attempts on the year, so it might be difficult for Metcalf, Gordon, and Lockett all to have high-level volume. But with Wilson completing almost 70% of his passes and a good run game, all three might provide value in fantasy.

Fantasy Outlook – Seahawks

Russell Wilson will have similar fantasy value after this move as he did before. It is possible that he might throw more TDs with the two skilled wideouts on the side, but touchdowns are difficult to predict in fantasy.

Tyler Lockett’s fantasy value will not be impacted too much by the acquisition of Gordon.

Josh Gordon will be looked at as Seattle’s primary red-zone weapon, so he boasts value as a low-end number two receiver or a high-end flex player in certain matchups.

D.K. Metcalf’s value decreases with this move. There just might not be enough opportunity to go around. Metcalf will have weeks where he could produce enough points to be worthy of a flex play, but those will be hard to predict. He is solely a flex-matchup play at this point.

Patriots’ Impact

The Patriots made this move, as they always do, with a plan in mind. They get a reliable veteran receiver in Mohamed Sanu in a trade, and their first-round pick from this year’s draft, N’keal Harry, is back from injured reserve. Both players are big receivers who run good routes and have good hands. That made Josh Gordon’s role on the team redundant, and with his injuries this season, there were not too many reasons to keep Gordon in Foxborough. New England will be fine no matter who lines up at receiver for them. However, having players who fit their scheme and have a clear role can make for valuable fantasy players. Brady has thrown the ball 309 times this season, so the opportunity will be there for pass-catchers. With more talent on the outside now, we might see Brady drive the ball down the field more and targeting running less frequently.

Fantasy Outlook – Patriots

Tom Brady’s fantasy value could go up with the influx of wide receiver talent. His 7.3 yards per attempt should increase as well as his touchdowns with more big-bodied receivers to throw to in the red zone.

Mohamed Sanu had five targets in his first game with the Patriots. With more time to prepare and get familiar with Brady and the offense, expect Sanu’s role to increase. In this offense, he could be a reception machine and could draw the top boundary cornerback in coverage. This could make the jobs of the other offensive players easier.

N’Keal Harry is a big-bodied receiver who ran good routes and showed some skill in college. The Patriots had to see something they liked in order for them to invest a first-round pick on a position they usually do not devote high draft picks to. Assuming Harry is healthy and can adjust to the game speed of the NFL, he might have a big role going forward. Rookies are hard to predict and rely on in fantasy, so expect some ups and downs in his fantasy output. Tom Brady said that Harry has a lot of football to catch up on, but that’s the Patriots’ way of not really saying much. When gearing up for fantasy playoff weeks, Harry is worth a roster spot and a wait-and-see as to how he performs.

Julian Edelman‘s fantasy value will remain relatively the same, as he gets teammates to help free up the inside of the field for him. Edelman is Brady’s most-trusted target, and that will not change this season. Edelman will be his usual steady presence and receiver one in fantasy lineups.

Featured Photo: USATI

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