The Cleveland Browns decided they were ready to move on from Josh Gordon, and you'll never guess who stepped in to help them out. The Patriots and Browns have agreed to a deal that will send the talented wide receiver to New England in exchange for a conditional fifth-round draft pick, as first reported by Adam Schefter.
This is exactly the type of thing the Patriots have become known for.
While it is old hat for the Patriots, it's a tumultuous time for Fantasy owners. A variety of players are affected by this move, and it will be some time before we know exactly how. Here are the most important takeaways:
- Gordon has an opportunity here to take the next step as an elite receiver, but there are a variety of hurdles. He has to stay out of trouble off the field, stay out of Bill Belichick's doghouse (showing up late for meetings won't cut it) and learn the Patriots offense. There's no guarantee he does any of those things. If you're fine with the risk, Gordon now has as much upside as any receiver in the league. If you're not, this is the perfect time to deal him. The hype is about to get out of control because people forget Chad Ochocinco and Reggie Wayne, but no one forgets Randy Moss.
- If this works out, it is a huge boon for Tom Brady, who is dealing with the worst receiving corps of his career. A focused Gordon would make this offense virtually unstoppable. If Gordon does everything he's supposed to do, he'll dominate targets with Rob Gronkowski, James White and (soon) Julian Edelman. This will put Brady back in the conversation as the No. 1 quarterback in Fantasy.
- This kills the value of Phillip Dorsett, and it definitely hurts Chris Hogan. Since the latter just caught two touchdowns against Jacksonville, I'd be asking around to see if anyone will give anything for him. Because a Patriots team with Gordon, Gronkowski, Edelman and White all healthy doesn't have much room for targets to Hogan. If everything works out the way the Patriots are hoping, Hogan will be waiver wire fodder by Week 6, and they quickly released Corey Coleman, another former Brown who was added just last week.
- In Cleveland, this is a blow to the upside of Tyrod Taylor and the future upside of Baker Mayfield, but maybe not for long. Antonio Callaway has a similar profile as an extremely athletic, high-upside deep threat with a history of off-the-field problems. Callaway isn't as polished as Gordon, but he made a big statement in Week 2 and should .
- Jarvis Landry already has 22 targets in the first two weeks of the season. Without Gordon we should expect him to see close to 160 targets and set a career-high in yardage, because Todd Haley is using him more downfield than the Dolphins did. Landry is a top-10 receiver in PPR and top-25 in non-PPR with this move.