Wide Receiver Shuffle Up: What happened to Josh Gordon?

Today we price the wideouts going forward. What’s happened to this point is an audition, nothing more. If you want to look at a list of scoring leaders, you can find that elsewhere.

Assume a half-point PPR scoring format. Perhaps it’s not the industry standard yet, but it is at Yahoo and I think we’re going there across the board.

Please don’t get hung up on the exact prices, anyway. What matters most here is how the players relate to one another, where the talent clusters and where the talent drops off. Players at the same price are considered even.

As always, I will not rank the significantly injured. I don’t see the purpose of it. I tend to be less optimistic about these types of players, but you can decide what they’re worth to you. If you want to hold A.J. Green for weeks and dream of the star he used to be, that’s your business.

Also, don’t get hung up on the tier names or where the divisions are. We like to break up the copy.

The Needle-Movers

$44 DeAndre Hopkins

$43 Michael Thomas

$42 Julio Jones

$41 Amari Cooper

$37 Cooper Kupp

$35 Chris Godwin

Too much back-class to bail on Hopkins, who’s still tied to an elite quarterback and an infrastructure that’s always unlocked him in the past. I doubt anyone would be dumb enough to sell-low on Hopkins in a competitive league, but you could pay full freight for him and I’ll sign off . . .

Thomas is still at about 90 percent effectiveness even with Drew Brees hurt . . .

Jones hasn’t popped yet, shocking when you consider Matt Ryan is on a 710-pass pace. But Atlanta’s defense might be unfixable and the running game is going nowhere; the Falcons will be a weekly carnival, and Jones is too good not to bust out shortly. Like Hopkins, I’d say buy low if I thought it was even remotely gettable. But you’re fine if you pay full market, too . . .

It was hard to know how much amp-up time Kupp would need after a major knee injury; I never could have anticipated this seamless a return. I used to think he was the bass player in the Rams offense, but he looks like Jimi Hendrix now. He’s their most important skill player . . .

I don’t see a major gap between Godwin and Evans, but Godwin’s done too much to deny him the first listing. And the team always shrugged and said these guys were 1 and 1A receiver, anyway; they’re not kissing any ring in the game planning. Follow the volume. And take heart that uber-talented O.J. Howard isn’t a part of this tree, which was extremely narrow to begin with.

Sometimes No. 1s, dynamite No. 2s.

$33 Keenan Allen

$33 Mike Evans

$32 Odell Beckham

$32 Adam Thielen

$32 Davante Adams

$31 Tyler Lockett

$29 T.Y. Hilton

$28 Robert Woods

$27 JuJu Smith-Schuster

$25 Kenny Golladay

$24 DJ Chark

$24 Tyler Boyd

Beckham’s raw talent can’t be denied, but Freddie Kitchens might be over his head in Cleveland. And Baker Mayfield remains more of a distributor than a lock-in quarterback; he’s not going to dump 12-15 weekly targets on OBJ every week, just for the heck of it . . .

Woods hasn’t been touchdown-fortunate yet, but the rest of his stats look very similar to last year’s breakout. I don’t see any reason to dramatically change your August opinion of him; in some leagues, he could be gettable under market . . .

Smith-Schuster is talented enough to succeed with anyone, but his first-round upside vanished the moment Ben Roethlisberger was hurt . . .

Boyd is a volume monster who has shown he can produce with or without A.J. Green over the past two years. And Cincinnati figures to be chasing the game more often than not. Whatever you paid in the summer, you’re headed for a tidy profit.

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Too good to sit, but not sure things

$22 Julian Edelman

$22 Will Fuller

$21 Courtland Sutton

$21 Allen Robinson

$21 Brandin Cooks

$20 Larry Fitzgerald

$19 Michael Gallup

$19 Stefon Diggs

$19 Tyrell Williams

$18 DJ Moore

$16 Marvin Jones

$16 John Brown

$16 Alshon Jeffery

$16 Calvin Ridley

$16 Jarvis Landry

$15 Josh Gordon

When Josh Gordon landed in New England, it was easy to envision the upside and downside. Maybe he’d click with a winning culture and a HOF-tracked quarterback. Or maybe he’d lose his way, like in the past, and encounter his demons again.

Did anyone see the third path? Did anyone really think an available, healthy Gordon could be this . . . ordinary?

Gordon has a mediocre 54.3% catch rate in 2019, nothing special when linked to a 14.7 YPC (a healthy 2.5 below his career mark). He’s scored one piddly touchdown. He’s yet to finish better than WR28 in any game this year. This deep into the season, we’re justified to wonder, “Is this all there is?” He’s not even the team’s No. 1 target — Julian Edelman holds that role. We’re not in it for the names or the past performances, we just want today’s numbers. Gordon is not an automatic play for me in any format.

I have some Sutton shares this year, but I pine for more. The fear of Joe Flacco loomed over everything, but Sutton has at least seven targets in every game and has three touchdowns in the last two weeks. That 10.6 yards per target number jumps out at you, and he’s turned into the team’s featured receiver, eclipsing Emanuel Sanders . . .

Moore has no problems getting open, but often times Kyle Allen doesn’t see him or can’t pull the trigger. The Panthers are winning without Cam Newton, but let’s not kid ourselves — the offense would be much better off with a healthy Newton . . .

A narrow tree is helping Williams in Oakland, and maybe Derek Carr is better than we initially thought. Say this for Jon Gruden, he prioritizes getting the ball to his best talent.

Sunday coin-flippers

$14 Marquise Brown

$14 Curtis Samuel

$13 DK Metcalf

$12 Mike Williams

$12 Robby Anderson

$12 Terry McLaurin

$12 Sammy Watkins

$11 Emmanuel Sanders

$11 Dede Westbrook

$11 Mohamed Sanu

$9 Christian Kirk

Anderson becomes a weekly starter the moment I’m sure Sam Darnold is completely healthy again . . .

McLaurin’s breakthrough is remarkable, given all the discord around him. And it sounds like Case Keenum returns for Week 6; by default, he’s the best answer Washington currently has . . .

Watkins was lovely in Week 1, but the idea of him being a WR1 and a league winner was always misguided. He’s into his sixth season and has given us plenty of tease moments and recurring injuries. Lucy always talks a good game, but she never holds the football for long . . .

Westbrook is a capable possession guy, but Chark is the juice receiver in Jacksonville, the downfield guy, the full-route guy. Chark also has a more developed rapport with rookie QB Gardner Minshew. Westbrook won’t be more than a WR3/4 this season . . .

Sanu sneaks into the weekly flex discussion, as byes pile up and the Falcons keep passing to set up the pass.

Good luck timing the market

$7 A.J. Brown

$7 Golden Tate

$7 Sterling Shepard

$6 Marquez Valdes-Scantling

$6 Preston Williams

$6 Auden Tate

$5 Corey Davis

$5 Jamison Crowder

$5 DeVante Parker

$5 Diontae Johnson

$5 Keke Coutee

$4 Demarcus Robinson

$4 Phillip Dorsett

$4 Darius Slayton

Any wideout tied to Aaron Rodgers used to be a cheat code, but it hasn’t worked for MVS or Allison this year. Name brands die hard. The Packers are just another offense . . .

Davis constantly fails the eyeball test, the idea that someone with his draft pedigree should look like a monster once or twice a game. And Marcus Mariota certainly isn’t a kingmaker at quarterback . . .

Coutee is a handy player until the next injury, which is never far away . . .

Robinson and Hardman are difficult ranks, given the current gridlock and injury uncertainty in Kansas City. It’s a crowded tree, too. And maybe Patrick Mahomes won’t be healthy all year; the ankle has been an issue ever since the treacherous Jaguars game Week 1.

Longshot Lounge

$3 Cole Beasley

$3 Kenny Stills

$3 Geronimo Allison

$2 Demaryius Thomas

$2 Deebo Samuel

$2 Willie Snead

$2 Adam Humphries

$2 Mecole Hardman

$2 Byron Pringle

$2 TreQuan Smith

$2 Nelson Agholor

$1 Danny Amendola

$1 Randall Cobb

$1 Duke Williams

$1 Chris Conley

$1 Marquise Goodwin

$1 Taylor Gabriel

$1 Ted Ginn

$1 KeeSean Johnson

$1 Dante Pettis

$1 Miles Boykin

$1 David Moore

$1 Parris Campbell

$1 Anthony Miller

$0 Paul Richardson

$0 James Washington

$0 Albert Wilson

$0 Zach Pascal

$0 Trey Quinn

$0 Rashard Higgins

$0 Antonio Callaway

$0 DaeSean Hamilton

Unranked until they return

NR Tyreek Hill

NR A.J. Green

NR DeSean Jackson

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