Josh Gordon reportedly will sign with the Kansas City Chiefs as soon as Monday night, now that his application for reinstatement has been approved by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Since fantasy football managers have until Tuesday night to decide whether or not to put in a waiver claim on the former All-Pro wide receiver, we asked Chiefs NFL Nation reporter Adam Teicher and some of our ESPN Fantasy analysts for their thoughts on what to expect from Gordon in his new surroundings, and whether he’s worth a flier.
First, we went to Teicher to ask about what he expects Gordon’s role to be.
Teicher: I would expect Gordon to be WR2 as soon as he’s up to speed on the offense. I would also expect him to get more targets than any Chiefs receiver other than Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce once that happens. The Chiefs have been trying to fill the spot with some combination of Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, but none of those players is delivering consistently.
Then, we turned to the fantasy crew.
What is Josh Gordon‘s fantasy value with the Chiefs?
Field Yates: It’s easy to get excited about Gordon’s arrival to the Chiefs, as he was once among the game’s best players and now pairs with arguably the best quarterback in the league in Patrick Mahomes. For now, I view Gordon as a deep-league consideration only, as there is more evidence to suggest he won’t be a weekly contributor than evidence in his favor. Gordon has played with outstanding quarterbacks in recent stops during his career (Tom Brady and Russell Wilson) and in neither spot was he able to carve out a prolonged, consistent role. I’m thrilled for Gordon that he has the chance to be back on an NFL field, but availability has been a struggle for him, too. Here’s hoping he sticks in Kansas City.
Eric Karabell: To me, there is very little value here, if any at all. Yes, it is the Chiefs. They have an awesome quarterback. The coach knows what he is doing and yes, this is a player who once was great. Hey, good for him for getting yet another chance. We all deserve one. However, only two Chiefs reached 60 receptions or 700 receiving yards the past two seasons, and I think it is because Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are that great. Do not blame Mecole Hardman or Sammy Watkins or others. Travis and Tyreek do not share. They will not share here, either. Ignore this.
Mike Clay: Gordon has minimal fantasy value right now and is barely worth considering for a roster spot in 12-team leagues. We saw Gordon’s incredible upside when he scored nine touchdowns back in 2013, but he has scored a grand total of six touchdowns while bouncing in and out of the league during the past seven-plus years. The last time we saw Gordon, he was playing a situational role for Seattle and failed to clear four targets, two receptions or 58 yards in any of his six most recent games in the NFL. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will continue to soak up more than half of the targets in the Chiefs’ offense, leaving Gordon (assuming he works out) to rotate with the likes of Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle. Gordon would need to take clear control of No. 2 duties in order to come close to providing consistent flex value and that’s obviously a long shot for the 30-year-old.
Eric Moody: Gordon’s 2013 season is imprinted in the minds of fantasy football enthusiasts. He averaged 22.5 fantasy points per game in 14 active games, leading the league with 1,646 receiving yards. The union of Gordon, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ explosive offense is intriguing. However, it will be difficult to trust the veteran receiver outside of deeper formats. Gordon has been active in only 33 games since 2014 due to substance abuse issues while going back and forth with the NFL on reinstatement. He has averaged only 6.3 targets, 3.3 receptions, 54.6 receiving yards and 10 points per game during that time frame. Gordon last appeared in Week 15 of the 2019 season. His addition makes Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson unusable barring an injury to Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce.
Tristan H. Cockcroft: I don’t entirely get why we hear “Josh Gordon” and “Kansas City Chiefs” and generate unfounded excitement. Sure, he scored 300-plus PPR fantasy points and was WR3 in his last 14-game season, but that was back in 2013. Would you like to know how many 20-point games he has had in his 33 since? Two. Gordon’s past heroics and the potency of his new offense do make him a worthwhile flier … but I’m talking last-spot-on-your-roster-maybe-someone’s-on-short-term-IR, like in my 12-team league where I was going to stash him Sunday morning to take him out of this week’s waivers while Tua Tagovailoa is sidelined (I didn’t wind up doing it, by the way). Frankly, I think his arrival in K.C. is more of a headache for Mecole Hardman’s managers than anything, but it’s not completely outrageous to think he could deliver a few big games later in the year. Perhaps that’s worth said flier.