During last season, Josh Gordon caught 87 balls for 1,646 receiving yards and 9 receiving touchdowns for the Browns. Now Gordon is in serious danger of missing the entire 2014 season due to suspension. This article is going to look at how the Cleveland Brown’s offense will replace Gordon’s production and which fantasy players will gain or lose value in his absence.
Wide Receiver Change Up:
If I asked you to name a wide receiver other than Gordon on the Browns, you would probably have to think about it for a while. The wide receivers below Gordon on the Brown’s depth chart are Miles Austin, Nate Burleson, and Andrew Hawkins. These are all names fantasy fans are familiar with, and for good reason. This is a talented receiving core. So to suggest that the Brown’s pass attack will collapse in Gordon’s absence is downright foolish. Miles Austin will be the new number 1 WR in Cleveland if Gordon is gone. Austin is a very talent WR when healthy. Unfortunately, health has been his fantasy downfall the last couple of years. Austin is a strong sleeper pick that could a WR 2 for fantasy teams this year in Gordon’s absence. Hawkins will be a strong presence in the short passing and screen game. He should be drafted as a WR3. Burleson will be a deeper sleeper on draft day. All Browns WR’s are worth watching as the season develops.
Cameron is set up for another really good year in 2014 with Gordon’s absence. Cameron is the best replacement to Gordon’s physical strength and size in the Clevland pass game. Miles Austin, Nate Burleson, and Andrew Hawkins will not be able to bring that red zone threat that Gordon gave the Brown’s pass game last year, but Cameron will. I believe Cameron will increase his 2013 touchdown total of 7 in 2014. Cameron has a good chance to beat his already high 2013 fantasy value in 2014.
Whether it is Johnny Manziel or Brian Hoyer starting for the Browns in 2014, Gordon’s presence will be missed in the pass game. Gordon not being able to play will lower these quarterback’s fantasy value. However, the starting quarterback for the Brown’s will have weapons to use in 2014. A collection of receiving weapons that consists of Miles Austin, Nate Burleson, Andrew Hawkins, Jordan Cameron, and Ben Tate is nothing to get too worried about.
Not having Gordon will make the Browns a less productive passing team this year. From a fantasy perspective, wide recievers like Austin and Hawkins will gain significant value. Cameron's role will also increase in Gordon's absence making him an elite fantasy TE in 2014. The Brown's rushing game is still up in the air, but Ben Tate has proven himself a capable pass caughter as well. The quarterback position for the Brown's takes a fantasy hit this year though. It is a good idea to hold off on drafting a Cleveland QB until late in your fantasy draft.