The news fantasy owners were dreading has finally come out. Cleveland Browns all-star wide receiver Josh Gordon, the leading fantasy scorer among wide receivers in 2013, has been suspended for one full year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy after a lengthy appeals process. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport detailed the decision on Twitter:
The news hurts fantasy owners who took a late-round flier on the talented youngster, as well as those who own other Browns. Ben Tate and Terrance West will be leaned upon to carry the load in what figures to be a run-first offense. Don't get caught reaching for them if your draft is still to come, however, as they figure to face plenty of stacked boxes. And if you're still drafting later this year, DO NOT take Gordon.
The Browns will need Brian Hoyer (or potentially Johnny Manziel later in the season) to spark an aerial attack that keeps defenses honest. Right now, that doesn't seem likely. Tight end Jordan Cameron is the only option to target in the Cleveland passing game, and if you've already drafted him, don't fret. He was averaging seven catches and over 100 yards per game last year before Gordon returned from a two-game suspension. He'll once again become the primary option for Hoyer, and should still produce as a TE1.