Josh Gordon is back on an NFL roster, but should he immediately be back on your fantasy football roster?
He’s back, again. After news of his looming reinstatement last week, the Kansas City Chiefs signed wide receiver Josh Gordon to their practice squad on Monday.
Gordon did not play last season, though he seemed close to playing for the Seattle Sehawks in December before another setback with substance abuse and the Seahawks released him. In 2019, he played five games for the Seahawks and six for the New England Patriots before the latest in a long list of suspensions.
Since the end of the 2014 season, Gordon has played in 28 NFL games. He has sat out three whole seasons, and the seasons he has played were shortened significantly or interrupted. It’s amazing to know he’s still just 30 years old.
Fantasy Football: Should Josh Gordon be added to your roster?
Gordon had a fantastic season in 2013 for the Cleveland Browns, with 87 catches for a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games. He was the No. 1 wide receiver in standard fantasy scoring that year, with Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer throwing him the ball. In 2018, when he played 12 games, on a per-game basis he was WR33 in standard scoring. Three years ago is his best sample of work since 2013, which says it all.
There’s certainly a role Gordon could fill in the Chiefs’ passing game, if/when he’s called to the active roster. Beyond Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, good luck predicting which of Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson might deliver something to notice on the stat sheet. Kansas City was well-founded to take a flier, no matter what happens.
Gordon has seen a spike in ownership rates in fantasy leagues based on his reinstatement news, and subsequent signing (ownership rates as of Tuesday at around 1 p.m. ET).
ESPN Ownership: 12.2%
Yahoo! Ownership: 5%
Sleeper Ownership: 11%
I’m in a 20-team league where Gordon was added immediately on the news of his reinstatement, before he even signed with a team (I won’t disclose the blind bid that said owner levied to get him, but it was aggressive). Other than leagues of or near that size, or those of more standard size (12 or 14 teams) but with deep benches that may make it palatable, Gordon is safe to avoid until he’s at least on the Chiefs’ active roster.
Gordon is someone to keep rooting for as a human interest story. But in fantasy terms it’s strictly wait and see right now. The odds of any payoff, if he sticks, are incredibly long.