Predicting and drafting wide receivers can be hard. Drafting a WR1 can be even more difficult. But, what if there are two WR1’s on the same team? What will be the strategy ahead of your draft? Rounds three to six present the biggest challenge in redraft leagues this year. That is because wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns) will be sitting there waiting for you to pick them. If you wanted to, I guess you could take both, but taking two wideouts from the same team isn’t ideal. You could skip over them completely because of the various weapons and questions marks on the Browns roster. One of the biggest might be the newly acquired Tyrod Taylor under center, who needs to adjust to his teammates’ route-running habits. So, who are you taking? Allow me to break both Landry and Gordon down to help you make a better decision.
Landry is coming over from the Miami Dolphins this year and is tied with Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants) for the most receptions in the last three years. Those catches should carry over to the Browns, as I believe he will be running a lot of underneath and short yardage conversion routes. He may get a few deep balls thrown in there, but not too many. In a PPR league you will want to get his 7-10 catches a game. Coming in as a former WR1, Landry will now be called on to take on yet another heavy workload based on weekly matchups. It is highly likely that Gordon will see double-team coverage over the top from opposing defenses, which will force Taylor to target Landry underneath more often.
However, Landry will see his far share of double teams too, which in hindsight should free up Gordon. Landry is 5-11, 206 but plays much bigger because he can position himself to catch the ball over defenders. His numbers from last year will go down a few ticks because of all the weapons they now have on offense. Last year he put up 112 catches, 987 yards and 9 TDs, this year I think it will dip down to 95 catches, 900 yards and 6 TDs. I would still draft him as my WR2 or flex depending if you go receiver heavy in your draft. Right now he carries a 6.01 ADP, which to me, isn’t too bad of a spot to get him. If he is there and I need to fill my second receiver spot, I’m taking him.
Gordon will be starting the season on the team’s active roster for the first time since 2014. He missed the next two and half seasons thanks to a suspension. Last year he came back and played five games and put up 18 catches, 335 yards and a TD. Those should surely go up from his last full season in 2013 (87 catches, 1,646 yards and 9 TDs). Gordon will have an advantage over Landry because Taylor is a scrambling quarterback that keeps plays alive. This will help Gordon be able to continue to fly down the field or make a quick cut back to make the catch. He still has the speed to burn past the first defender, but will get hung up most games at the second level because teams will start double-teaming him more this year. He is 6-3, 225, which is great for jump balls deep down the field and in the end zone. I see him ending the season with 85 catches, 1,300 yards and 7 TDs. He currently holds a 3.07 ADP. From the onset, it’s way too high for a potential low end WR1 and quite possibly a WR2 in fantasy when the season wraps up. I’m not going to be drafting him that high — if at all. If he falls beyond the sixth round closer to Landry, then yes I’ll take him.
When all said and done, Landry is the guy over Gordon. For me, Landry will be more consistent each week and won’t have to rely on the deep ball or big play to get points in your fantasy matchups. Landry is a solid number two wideout on your team that you won’t have to question matchups too much and you know he will be on the field. As far as Gordon goes, he is still rusty from the last time he played. We don’t how much the double teams will have an impact on him. Gordon to me is a solid flex or bye week filler week-to-week. There are too many questions that come with him. Will he stay healthy? Will he fall back to his old ways that got him suspended? His question marks are too big when compared to Landry. So if I was you, play it safe with a week in week out player, draft Landry.