Antonio Brown was on the Patriots for 11 days. That’s it. With everything that surrounded the wideout’s time in New England, you wouldn’t be blamed for assuming it was a longer stretch. However, it was more than enough time to seemingly kill Josh Gordon’s fantasy value. Or so it would appear on the surface. While its obviously undeniable that Brown’s exit will benefit Gordon from a volume perspective, the 28-year-old’s dud of a Week 2 could easily be blamed on matchup as much as a crowded receiving corps. I mean, if you were Tom Brady, would you be picking on Xavien Howard - tasked with shadowing Gordon last Sunday - or the undrafted rookie attempting to cover Brown? Sort of a no-brainer, right?
The matchup won’t be nearly as daunting for Gordon this weekend, as the Patriots square-off with the Jets. Trumaine Johnson, New York’s $72 million corner, might not even play. The veteran was benched for all but four snaps of the Jets’ Monday Night loss to the Browns and it appears he’s found a spot in Adam Gase’s always populated dog house. Considering New York currently finds itself as one of only 10 teams surrendering more than 200 yards per game to opposing WRs, I’d speculate that this decision could be a questionable one for the Jets’ head coach.
Fantasy Impact: There are a lot of things going in Gordon’s favor as we inch towards kickoff in Week 3. First and foremost, New England’s implied team total is well over 30 points and is the second-highest figure on the slate. That’s an environment in which big performances are birthed. Yes, Gordon has accumulated a paltry nine targets through two contests, but Brown owned a team-high 28.6 percent target share against the Dolphins. He’s gone and Gordon will help fill in the gaps.