You knew it would happen. All of the insiders said it was improbable. But deep down, we all knew this was the only way it would end.
The Browns sent the mercurial wide receiver to the Pats for a conditional 2019 fifth round pick. If Gordon is active for fewer than 10 games, New England will receive a late-round draft selection as compensation. But for you, dear reader, none of that really matters. What matters is ... how can Josh Gordon help my fantasy team?
The most obvious answer is that an uber-talented receiver is now in a much better offense with a vastly superior quarterback. If you held him on your roster, congrats! If you see him on your waiver wire, by all means make a move to get him. Gordon has the potential to absorb a whole lot of targets if he can master the playbook and get onto the field consistently. Through the first two games, New England's target leader is James White. The top wide receiver target is Phillip Dorsett, who is no one's idea of a WR1.
There is certainly no guarantee that Gordon walks in and gets the hang of things immediately. The Patriots went through a number of receivers this offseason, parting ways with Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell and Eric Decker before the season started -- in part because neither showed the aptitude to make an impact in the passing game. Gordon's issue won't be about talent. It'll be about fit.
Speaking of fit, this has the potential to boost Tom Brady's already considerable fantasy value. Brady is a pedestrian 14th among quarterbacks after the first two weeks but Gordon's addition, combined with the return of Julian Edelman after a four-game suspension makes an otherwise underwhelming wide receiver corps into one of the more potent units in the NFL.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland...
Gordon's departure opens things up for Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway, with the latter scoring a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Saints. Jarvis Landry remains the undisputed leader among pass-catchers on the roster but the young guys could see more balls thrown their way. Callaway should be added off the waiver wire in all leagues while Higgins is at least worth a stash in the short term.