There may not be a worse wide receiving core in the NFL right now. Thats right, I'm looking at the Cleveland Browns. By now you all know that Josh Gordon is likely to be suspended for at least part of the 2014 season. Without Josh Gordon the Browns wide receivers hold no fantasy value in my eyes. None.
In fact, the loss of Josh Gordon will downgrade my rankings on fellow teammates Jordan Cameron and Andrew Hawkins. I loved Jordan Cameron in 2013 and rode him most the season, which was a smart and foolish move at times. In 2014 his fantasy value has nowhere to go but down at this point. Defenses are going to be locked in on Hawkins and Jordan Cameron, taking away many of their big play opportunities and stifling their potential fantasy football production.
Adding a Receiver Without Adding Fantasy Value
Of course there will be games where at least one of them scores a few touchdowns and puts up a nice fantasy day, however it's not a risk I'm currently willing to take. The Browns knew about the impending suspension of Josh Gordon prior to the NFL Draft, and they chose to ignore the position. Instead they added Miles Austin, who was drawing zero interest around the league prior to this opportunity. In 2013 Miles Austin has 24 catches for 0 touchdowns with Tony Romo as his quarterback.
Regardless of your feelings on Tony Romo, I can't in good conscience say that Austin has moved into a situation with a better quarterback. I think he's just another body on the Browns who will catch some balls, but his fantasy value is limited.
Let's not forget that the Browns also just released Greg Little. Sure he wasn't in the same category as Josh Gordon, but he sure did have the skills to at least present a threat to defenses. I absolutely hate the move to cut him because I honestly think the Browns can use all the help they can get.
The Fantasy Draft Fallout
Prior to the news of Josh Gordon's potential suspension he was going somewhere between rounds 1 and 2 of 2014 mock drafts. Now he is sliding into rounds 6 and 7 as we await the news of his suspension. If the suspension is a lengthy one you should expect to see him tumble further. He is clearly a talented player, but he can't be too many strikes away from being out of the league for good. You can justify spending a high draft pick on someone who might not be around a few games later.
It's a Cleveland Wasteland
Piecing all of this together brings me back to my original thought, the Browns wide receivers are a fantasy wasteland. I personally don't believe it matters who the starting Quarterback for the Browns is in 2014. I think they'll find difficulty finding anyone open downfield, which means losses in the NFL and more importantly, no points for your fantasy football team.
Take the time to study your fantasy rankings, reading fantasy experts articles and following the latest NFL news. It's possible that Josh Gordon returns in 2014 to provide another miraculous season, I just wouldn't bet the house on it. In fact, I'd much rather find another receiver to gamble on.
The photo above is an original and is courtesy of Cleveland.com