Multiple sources around the NFL have reported that Josh Gordon’s suspension will be reduced, but the exact number of games has varied (8-10 games seems to be the general time frame we are looking at). The past seven days, and the future months, have and will be tough on Roger Goodell, so I’m going to take one thing off of his plate: the Fantasy free agency of Josh Gordon.
I’m of the school of thought Gordon should have been drafted in all formats, as the length of his suspension was not announced until after your draft (August 27). That being said, I’m sure there are a fair amount of leagues out there that have Gordon as a free agent and are wondering exactly what the fairest way of placing him on a roster is. You could simply place him on waivers, but is that really the right call? In theory, all draft slots should have an equal chance of landing you the best roster (something I agree with 100 percent), so why should the owner with the latest pick and therefore top waiver priority automatically get a player that, when active, likely would have been drafted in the Top 20?
First, let’s deal with the player himself: Josh Gordon is a must add. In leagues of all sizes and scoring structures, he is a game-breaking talent that is worth stashing on your bench for the next 2-3 months. Let’s say that the most common report is the accurate one, a 10-game ban. This would put him in the Browns starting lineup on November 23rd for a game in Atlanta against the high-flying Falcons … potentially with Johnny Manziel calling the shots. Other than an absolute media mêlée, this is a pretty good matchup and he should have no problems producing immediately. Consider this: you’re spending a waiver (unless you league follows the creative outline below) now for five weeks of action, the most important five weeks of the Fantasy season no less, from an elite talent. Where do I sign? Gordon’s WORST five game stretch last season was from Weeks 4-8 … he totaled 436 yards and two scores. Project that pace for a 16 game season and he would have produced 63 more receiving yards than the best season of DeSean Jackson’s career and more touchdowns than Andre Johnson scored last season! And that’s the WORST five game streak of last season. During that stretch, he played with three different quarterbacks and was targeted less than 10 times on four occasions, something that happened only once in his other nine games.
Go ahead and scan your waiver wire for somebody with a “floor” like that. Hell, you might not be able to find that sort of floor on your roster, let alone the undrafted. Unless you play in a league with no bench, Gordon is worth every penny of your FAAB budget, even if $0 bids are not allowed. Some hot pickups this season have been Andre Caldwell, Jake Locker, Justin Forsett and recently Matt Asiata. Seriously? How can you justify not attempting to move heaven and Earth for Gordon when people are adding those type of players with no concrete evidence that they are going to be useful? I’m not suggesting you need to use him as a role model for your children or even need to agree with him being reinstated, but the fact remains that he is a valuable asset that can improve your squad, and that’s the name of the game.
Sure, he is going to miss the majority of the season, and a waiver claim is not the end of the world, but I don’t think it’s the best way of handling this unique situation. No, you need to earn the services of arguably the most talented receiver in the game. You need to separate yourself from the pack. You need to convince your league mates that you deserve to call Gordon one of your own.
How you ask? Well, there are all different types of leagues out there, so I’ve got not one … not two … not three … but four solutions.
- The waiver process has the right idea, but it simply doesn’t go far enough. Instead of sacrificing your claim priority, I propose that to acquire Gordon, you must sacrifice a player. A good player. The exact mechanics of how you want to handle this idea are up to you, but I’ve got two ways to make it happen.
One, you could hold a blind player auction. That is, each owner identifies (without the other owners knowing the selection) one player that they would give up for the rights to Gordon. Due to the early nature of the season, we use the number value of the draft pick as his “value”. The owner who was willing to sacrifice the best player (the player drafted the earliest) acquires Gordon and forfeits the rights to his sacrificed player. The same process then takes place for the dropped player, thus avoiding the problem of a waiver wire claim being more valuable than it should be. This process continues until the player being sacrificed is no longer of interest to any owner.
The second option is similar, but not blind. The last place owner kicks off the “bidding” by naming the player in which he is willing to sacrifice. The other owners in the league must then decide if they want to “bid” a player that was selected before the nomination. Again, the owner willing to part with the best player (or at least the highest selected player) wins the rights to Mr. Gordon and cuts the nominated player. The process continues until that point is reach when the player being dropped is no longer desirable.
How bad do you want him?
2.Straight cash homie. Exactly how much is Gordon worth to you? How much is the league worth to you? My guess is that it means more than you think to at least one owner in your league. This too could work in a “blind” setting (more entertaining in my opinion) or in an auction format. You’re not going to win creativity points for this option, but there will be no argument that the Gordon owner is deserving of his services, and that is the name of the game if you want to avoid using the waiver system.
3. Adding Josh Gordon the way he would want to be added … having a good time! You wanna pick up Gordon? You’ve got to pick up a girl (or guy). The entire league goes to a bar or club out to see who has the most “game”. Each owner is given 20 minutes to score a phone number, but not all digits are created equal. An unbiased spectator (presumably a DD that is agreed on by all involved) is present and will be the final verdict when it comes to evaluating “the talent”. The owner with the most attractive phone number has a nice night ahead of him/herself … and a date too!
4. If you’ve played Fantasy with the same group of people for a while, you’ve likely had debates as to who knows the most about football. Whether it’s the NFL, the CFL, or your sons Pee Wee football league, we need to be the smartest person in the room whenever that funny shaped ball is involved. Let’s end the debate … for now at least. Who knows the most about Gordon? Worried about who creates the quiz, fearing that they could skew the questions a certain way? No excuses. I’ve got you covered with a 10 question exam that will weed out the weak (see what I did there?). To know Gordon is to own Gordon. If you like this idea, the questions are below and I can give the answers on Twitter @unSOPable23
2.The letter in which his middle name starts (bonus point awarded for getting the name correct).
3.Rivals.com grade coming out of high school … 5 star scale
4.Fast food chain in which Gordon was found at, asleep, for his first collegiate drug bust
6.Number of targets in first game of 2013, according to ESPN
7.Year in which Gordon’s first contract will expire
8.Josh Gordon vs AJ Green 2013 aDOT
9.True/False: over the last decade, only one player has recorded more receiving yards in a single season than Gordon did in 2013
10.Name the player that was targeted less than half as many times as Gordon but scored more touchdowns in 2013
Tie Breaker: How many more 20+ yard receptions did Gordon have than runner up DeSean Jackson?