The Seattle Seahawks claimed Josh Gordon from waivers today after his release from the New England Patriots. While this move could have long term implications, I am going to keep my view restricted to this season, as it pertains to Gordon. With Gordon’s history looking beyond this season is a fool’s errand I don’t wish to undertake.
Josh Gordon, Tyler Lockett, and D.K. Metcalf
He won’t play this week, but Gordon should be good to go in a big Monday night tilt against the San Francisco 49ers next week. The 49ers game may not be the best game to roll him out. After that, Seattle’s schedule is more advantageous to wide receiver production. They play the Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Panthers, and the Cardinals (most league’s championship week). Per FFToday, the Eagles give up the third-most fantasy points per week to wide receivers, while the Vikings give up the 11th most, the Panthers the seventh most, and the Cardinals give up the 12th most.
If Gordon is going to produce in Seattle, he’s going to need to increase his efficiency. He’s averaged 1.52 fantasy points per target (FPPT) this season compared to the 1.92 that D.K. Metcalf averages and the 2.42 FPPT that Tyler Lockett averages. Speaking of Lockett and Metcalf. I’m not terribly concerned that the addition of Gordon will overly impact their fantasy production.
As noted by David Willsey, it’s entirely possible that Russell Wilson’s pass attempts could increase enough to support all three wide receivers. The Seahawks currently rank 27th in the league with 31.2 pass attempts per game, so there is room for growth in their pass attempts.
Here are passing #'s from the Seahawks first 1/2. I combined the wr3-5 #'s and applied josh Gordon's metrics to them. Might stand to reason that Wilson's attempts go up a little so conceivable that DK and Locketts volume not greatly affected while the other wrs get minimal work. pic.twitter.com/XtlWIrFJn7
— David Willsey FF (@willson8tor) November 1, 2019
Gordon could also see his efficiency increase. He has been more efficient in the past. In 2018 he averaged 1.95 FPPT, and though his 1.34 FPPT in 2017 (5 games) was worse than what he has done this season, context is needed. In 2017 Gordon had Deshone Kizer, who had a 53.6% completion percentage, throwing the ball to him in. Now he gets Wilson as his QB, who, besides being one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the history of the game, has a history of producing efficient receivers. Lockett ranks eighth and Metcalf 31st in FPPT this season. Lockett ranked first last season, and the remnants of Doug Baldwin ranked 28th. I understand that we are taught to fade efficiency in fantasy football. It is hard to ignore that Wilson’s wide receivers continue to put up elite efficiency numbers.
I expect Lockett to remain as a low-end WR1. Metcalf may see a dip in production but he should still be a low-end WR3 and Gordon can be slotted in as a flex.
Gordon has had an amazing run of good luck over these past two seasons. Being traded from the Browns to the Patriots last year and getting to play with Tom Brady. He wasn’t suspended to start the 2019 season, even though he ran afoul of the NFL’s drug policy/reporting again in November 2018. Now he’s been traded to a team with one of the best quarterbacks of our generation. If you still own Gordon this may be your last (this time we mean it) windows to sell him. Though I’m rooting for Gordon on a personal level, I will look to sell him in the leagues I still roster him in.
The Other Guys
If you’re looking for losers on the Seahawks roster look to David Moore, Jaron Brown, and to a lesser extent, Malik Turner. Turner has seen minimal targets and has averaged a 14% offensive snap share over the past three weeks. Once Gordon takes the field it’s likely Turner won’t see many, if any, snaps at all.
Brown has already seen a decrease in snaps since the return of David Moore in Week 3. After playing on at least 73% of snaps the first three weeks, Brown hasn’t exceeded a 59% snap share in any game since. Last week he only played on 28% of the Seahawks offensive plays and didn’t see a target. Though Brown’s snaps have decreased he was consistently targeted up until last week. He had between three and six targets every week. Moore had worked his way up to a season-high 48% snap share last week while tying his season-high in targets with four. If he sees anything approaching a 48% snap share in another game again this year then that means the Josh Gordon experiment has gone south yet again. In dynasty leagues, Moore, Brown, and Turner should be rostered in the deepest of leagues only.
Assuming Gordon doesn’t blow this opportunity, it will be hard for Carson to maintain the workload he’s seen over the past five weeks. His season started with three consecutive weeks of 15 rushing attempts. He’s since averaged 22.8 rushing attempts per game in the past five games, never seeing less than 20. Seattle averages the fourth-most rushing attempts per game with 31.4 rushing attempts per game. Carson accounts for the vast majority (76%) of the running back attempts.
If Seattle decides to throw more often it would obviously impact Carson’s production. He should easily maintain RB2 status, but it’s doubtful he’ll be able to continue to produce at his current RB13 pace with less work. His long-term outlook is still good though. He’s under contract through 2020, and after spending (wasting?) a first-round draft pick on Rashaad Penny in 2018’s NFL draft it’s hard to imagine Seattle spending significant draft capital on the running back position in 2020.
Russell Wilson is the QB3 (average weekly scoring) on the season, averaging 23.3 points per game, per FantasyPros. The addition of Gordon to his receiving options can only help Wilson. I fully expect him to challenge for the overall QB1 finish. Warren Sharp’s Tweet below shows how good Wilson has been when the Seahawks have run three-wide receiver sets. This must be something the Seattle coaching staff is aware of since they run three-wide on 69% of their plays, well above the league average of 60%.
In 11 personnel, which is what the Seahawks pass from 78% of the time, Russ is already averaging:
8.3 YPA, 16:1 TD:INT, 118 rtg
And now he's about to have the trio of:
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) November 1, 2019
Seattle already boasts an impressive passing attack. They average the 13th most passing yards per game with 252.9 yards with Jaron Brown/David Moore as their third wide receiver. The addition of Gordon puts 300 passing yards per game within a reasonable range of outcomes for Seattle on a weekly basis. Russell Wilson is so efficient that any increase in pass attempts, even just three or four attempts per game, could lead to a significant increase in fantasy scoring. Wilson is just that good.
Thank you for reading. Make sure you check me out every week on the DynastyTradesHQ podcast too. Episode 100 is coming next week! This was a free sample of Dynasty Football Factory’s content. If you found this useful please consider becoming a member today.