Fantasy Football: Seahawks claim Josh Gordon, giving Russell Wilson another downfield target

The Seahawks have claimed Josh Gordon following his release from the Patriots Friday. It's a bit of a surprise because it means several teams with higher waiver priority passed, but it's also a nearly ideal fit for Gordon, whose big-play ability could see him return to Fantasy relevance in Seattle. 

While Seattle doesn't throw a ton, they do go downfield plenty, particularly on plays when Russell Wilson has created some time. That fits in well with Gordon's strengths, as the athletic receiver has been on the deeper side in terms of average depth of target when he's been at his best, hitting on plays down the field. So far this season, though, his aDOT has been just 9.9, below the league average for a wide receiver, which could be a sign he's not getting open as frequently down the field or it could be a symptom of the Patriots' offense.

Last season, Gordon averaged 11.6 PPR points per game across 11 games with New England and one with Cleveland earlier in the year, with an impressive 10.3 yards per target. Over the nine games he played at least 50% of the snaps with New England, he averaged 12.4 points per game. And, notably, his aDOT with New England last year was 13.5. 

Gordon's been a bit less productive this season, but has still posted 9.1 PPR points per game across six games, and his 8.0 yards per target is still a solid figure given he hasn't seen as many looks down the field. 

While it's entirely possible Gordon doesn't fit with Seattle — and it must be noted his rest-of-season production floor is low — a move to Seattle could lead to a return to his production in New England that made him essentially a boom-or-bust WR3. There may even be room for upside beyond that if he gets up to speed quickly and earns more than the 6.0 targets per game he got in his six games with New England this year or the 6.9 per game he got in the nine-game stretch he played extensively last season.

The problem with that, of course, is Seattle's pass volume. They do have a need for another receiving option, but even lead receiver Tyler Lockett is averaging just 6.8 targets per game. And, while his weekly upside is high, he's seen more than seven targets in just two games this season. D.K. Metcalf, Seattle's only other player with more than 30 targets this season, is averaging 5.6 targets per game, although he's seen 14 targets over the past two games since tight end Will Dissly was lost for the season in Week 6. 

The addition of Gordon is not great news for Metcalf's value, though it doesn't necessarily mean Metcalf will be replaced. The two are somewhat similar as athletic outside receivers, but they could play opposite each other while Lockett could bounce inside to the slot, where he's statistically at his best. That's a trio that could make Wilson a stud down the stretch, while more slot snaps for Lockett would be a good thing for his value, although giving up anymore targets would not be ideal. 

Early reports suggest Gordon could be ready to make his debut in Week 10 against the 49ers, but he won't play Sunday against Tampa Bay. In that Week 10 game, we'll likely advise avoiding both Metcalf and Gordon given the difficulty of the matchup and the uncertainty, and we'll have to see how the pairing coexists and how much Gordon is utilized. But after a Week 11 bye for Seattle, the Seahawks have back-to-back matchups with the Eagles and Vikings, two teams who have been beat up by opposing receivers at times. Gordon could make for an appealing option those weeks. 

After that, Seattle gets the Rams, Panthers and Cardinals in the Fantasy playoffs. The Panthers are another winnable matchup in Week 15, though my initial thought is Gordon could very well draw both Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson in the Rams and Cardinals games, which would be a boost for Lockett's Fantasy playoff schedule.

Overall, while there's no guarantee Gordon will assimilate seamlessly, there's room for him in this offense. And if things do work out we're looking at even more firepower for Russell Wilson plus less defensive attention for Tyler Lockett. Here's to hoping the Seattle coaching staff decides to actually throw enough down the stretch for it to matter. 

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