HARTVIGSON – GORDON
IS NOT THE TOP WR HEADING IN TO 2014
So Jim is going to convince us Josh Gordon will be the No. 1 WR in 2014? I know, from experience, Jim is a numbers guy. He’s going to dazzle you with Gordon’s league leading 17.6 points per game, despite missing the first two weeks of the season. He’ll remind us, beyond Calvin Johnson, the next closest wide receiver is Demaryius Thomas at a distant 13.9 points per game. This feat is even more amazing considering the quarterbacks throwing him the football (Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell).
However, I’ll remind you, before Gordon’s Week 10 bye, he was ranked 11th in points per game, meaning he lacks the consistently to be trusted as a top-5 pass catcher. Don’t get me wrong. Gordon will finish inside the top-10. But here are the guys I’m taking over Gordon in 2014.
Calvin Johnson is a physical beast. Like Jim Brown in his prime, the big man is physically more gifted than any other player at his position. Under OC Scott Linehan, and with Matthew Stafford under center, the Lions will remain a pass first team in 2014 locking in Johnson as the top wideout in fantasy drafts.
2) AJ Green
It’s hard to argue with consistency as Green has been a top flight WR each of his first three seasons in the league. Like Johnson above, the Bengals offense is led by a former quarterback (Jay Gruden) who strongly adheres to a pass-oriented offensive system. Green is my early choice for the No. 2 spot.
3) Demaryius Thomas
Thomas is a physical specimen who has unlimited upside with a first ballot Hall-of-Fame QB. The lone knock is the timeshare in Denver, but as the lead pony in a high octane offense he is a safer bet to remain a top-5 WR.
4) Dez Bryant
I could make a case for Julio Jones or Jordy Nelson at the No. 4 spot, as both were killing Gordon before the dreaded injury struck. Personally, I’m sticking with Bryant at my number four spot due to the physical nature in which he plays the game, a strong passing offense and a solid quarterback throwing him the football.
To say I know Josh Gordon is like saying the Pope knows Catholicism. I own Gordon in three of my four leagues and have watched him like a child all season. Believe me when I say this young man is a super stud in the making, certainly worthy of drafting in the 3rd round. However, with the QB woes, and a lack of alternate weapons on the Browns’ roster, I’m skeptical we will see a repeat of 2013.
BUKOWSKI – REBUTTAL
First off, thanks Eric. It appears that I don’t even have to write my side of the argument anymore as Hartvigson feels comfortable playing the role of my wife and telling me what I’m going to write/say. But just like with her, just because you know what I’m going to say, that doesn’t make it wrong.
Oh Eric, here you go again, refusing to let go of the past. It was only four months ago that you touted Arian Foster as the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy drafts. Where is he now? Where are the teams that drafted him? Sadness, indeed.
Johnson will play in less than 16 games for the first time since 2009. He dealt with a knee injury in training camp then suffered a different knee injury in Week 4 vs. the Bears. He rarely practiced early in the week and was limited when he did on Thursdays and Fridays.
Eric talks about consistency, well, Johnson has been in the league seven seasons, including this year, and has 12-or-more TD catches in four of those seasons, meanwhile, he has five-or-less in the other three.
Give Gordon another off-season to get fully acclimated to Norv Turner’s offense and we will be looking at the NFL’s new No. 1 wide receiver.