It's time for our next installment in the “Who Deserves Your Rose?” In this piece we will discuss the top two options in the Browns receiving corp in Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon. One has shown to be a consistent fantasy value for owners, while the other has been on a roller coaster of a career and has taken fantasy owners with him for the ride. Each will have a different role in this offense this upcoming year. Before we make a decision we must know what we have to work with as fantasy owners, so let’s break down each “bachelor” to see what he brings to the table immediately and what value he holds for you long-term:
Landry is coming off a historic start to his career by catching 400 passes in his first four seasons. He brings his impressive resume to Cleveland after the Browns acquired him from the Dolphins in exchange for a 2018 fourth round pick and 2019 7th round pick. This means, much like Carlos Hyde, he is very much a part of there immediate and future plans. They made sure of it by signing Landry to a five-year deal. He will be the odds on favorite to be the number one receiver in this offense, the question remains though what does that mean for you as a fantasy owner?
To answer this,we must look at the most important position on the field and who is in place in Cleveland. As of now both the present and future will consist of Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield for the team. Taylor was able to support Sammy Watkins on a consistent basis when Watkins was healthy helping him finish as a WR20 in 13 games and a WR90 in 8 games in the 2015-2015 seasons. Landry has something that Watkins doesn’t though and that is the benefit of playing 16 games every year of his young career. Landry’s production has been so high that I am not sure that a passer like Taylor will be able to sustain the massive numbers Landry has accumulated season after season. While I expect his ceiling to be around WR1 he will have a floor of a WR2, this means that he can be a safe choice for consistent fantasy value for this year and years to come.
The biggest thorn in fantasy owners sides for the past several years has been the career of Josh Gordon which has more roller coasters than a season of One Tree Hill. Gordon busted the doors open to his career with the insane season he had in 2013 when he finished as the WR2 in PPR formats while only playing in 14 games and having passers like Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer. Now that he has the best quarterback he has ever played with in Taylor. Which should mean that those number can have a chance of somewhat coming back, key word is should.
Taylor has never been able to support more than one receiver with consistent numbers in fantasy, and I worry that trend continues this season. We haven’t seen what Baker Mayfield can do yet, or how he can support a receiving corps in the NFL. So with what little history we have to go on, I must caution fantasy owners in their Gordon shares. He can be a solid WR3 for a team or maybe even a WR2. The only thing stopping his production is a consistent passing game. It’s hard for me to want to buy a lot of Gordon this draft season until the quarterback situation becomes less murky and we see him on the field for a whole season.
With all this information in mind, the time comes for the rose ceremony. I think we all know that you want a relationship which has potential for the future and with less baggage, Jarvis Landry has the long term security that five years and $75 million gives while not even having as much as a Ziploc bag worth of baggage. He remains the safest choice for both the immediate and future of the Browns and your fantasy team.