Last week Rich Tandler posted a series of tweets from NFL writer Evan Silva after the Pro Football Talk and Rotoworldmaven reviewed Leonard Hankerson's game tape fromlast season.Silva kept the analyst hat on and the film projector (OK, probably a DVD or laptop) humming as he looked at two of Pierre Garcon'sgames fromlast season.Silva chose specifically tough matchups against the Chiefs talented young corners - including new Cowboys' addition Brandon Carr - and the Titans. Garcon finished with a season-high 13 targets againstTennessee' solid secondary. The highlights..."Garcon was Indianapolis' Z receiver on every snap, with Reggie Wayne aligned at X. Garcon lined up on the right side of the offensive formation, routinely squaring off with Chiefs LCB Flowers in the Week 5 matchup and Titans LCB Jason McCourty in the Tennessee game.""Garcon is fun to watch on screens because he is very quick in a short area and tough to tackle post-catch. The fact that a coaching staff is calling a screen for a particular receiver also suggests that wideout has an elite evaluation from his own team. The coaches have designed a specific play to get him the football. They want it in that guy's hands, because he can make big plays happen.""Looking ahead, I think it's notable that Garcon will transition from Z receiver in the Colts' offense to X in Washington's. The positions aren't all that different, though. As we learned in the Leonard Hankerson column, the Shanahans' X receiver has a vast array of route assignments and is the featured skill-position player in the offensive scheme." "If Garcon performs like he's capable, I have no doubt that he will lead the Redskins in 2012 receiving. Garcon plays with a sense of urgency whenever he gets the football, flashes vertical tools on the perimeter, and is a very tough tackle."Just how much 2012 production Garcon cobbles together will be strongly tied to Robert Griffin III's readiness as a rookie passer."Interesting points. In addition to RG3's readiness, I would ad Garcon's adjustment to the Shanahansystem and Santana Moss' role will also factor into the new guy's 2012 production.
With the preseason off and running it is finally time for fantasy football leagues to do the same.
For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:
By far the deepest position in fantasy football, wide receiver is also the hardest to predict. Statistics will yield trends in terms of matchups and volume, but can't account for injuries, whether or not the player is heavily targeted in one game or the next, or if a player in a good situation gets moved to an iffy one (see Golden Tate) or vice versa (see Amari Cooper). Some opt to select their wideouts later than others, but some wideouts (see DeAndre Hopkins) will put up just as good numbers as the best halfbacks that you can't afford to miss on them if you are selecting towards the back end of your draft.
TIER 1: First-round talent
1. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
2018 Stats: 115 Receptions, 1,572 Receiving YDS, 11 Receiving TD, 2018 WR1
Previous Ranking: 1
2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
2018 Stats: 111 Receptions, 1,386 Receiving YDS, 13 Receiving TD, 2018 WR2
Previous Ranking: 2
3. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
2018 Stats: 125 Receptions, 1,405 Receiving YDS, 9 Receiving TD, 2018 WR6
Previous Ranking: 4
4. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
2018 Stats: 75 Receptions, 1,005 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR19
Previous Ranking: 3
5. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 113 Receptions, 1,677 Receiving YDS, 8 Receiving TD, 2018 WR4
Previous Ranking: 5
TIER 2: Borderline WR1's
6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 87 Receptions, 1,479 Receiving YDS, 12 Receiving TD, 2018 WR3
Previous Ranking: 13
7. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Stats: 111 Receptions, 1,426 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR8
Previous Ranking: 8
8. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 106 Passing YDS, 2 Passing TD, 77 Receptions, 1,052 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR15
Previous Ranking: 6
9. Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders?
2018 Stats: 104 Receptions, 1,297 Receiving YDS, 15 Receiving TD, 2018 WR5
Previous Ranking: 12
10. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
2018 Stats: 97 Receptions, 1,196 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR12
Previous Ranking: 9
11. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 113 Receptions, 1,373 Receiving YDS, 9 Receiving TD, 2018 WR7
Previous Ranking: 7
12. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
2018 Stats: 76 Receptions, 1,270 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR14
Previous Ranking: 17
13. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 86 Receptions, 1,524 Receiving YDS, 8 Receiving TD, 2018 WR9
Previous Ranking: 11
TIER 3: High-end WR2's
14. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 40 Receptions, 566 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR50
Previous Ranking: 10
15. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 102 Receptions, 1,021 Receiving YDS, 9 Receiving TD, 2018 WR10
Previous Ranking: 16
16. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
2018 Stats: 57 Receptions, 965 Receiving YDS, 10 Receiving TD, 2018 WR16
Previous Ranking: 20
17. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 157 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 86 Receptions, 1,219 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR11
Previous Ranking: 15
18. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
2018 Stats: 74 Receptions, 850 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR20
Previous Ranking: 29
TIER 4: On the cusp
19. Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 80 Receptions, 1,204 Receiving YDS, 5 Receiving TD, 2018 WR13
Previous Ranking: 18
20. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 70 Receptions, 1,063 Receiving YDS, 5 Receiving TD, 2018 WR21
Previous Ranking: 19
21. AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals
2018 Stats: 46 Receptions, 694 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR43
Previous Ranking: 14
22. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 59 Receptions, 842 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR27
Previous Ranking: 21
23. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
2018 Stats: 172 Rushing YDS, 55 Receptions, 788 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 2018 WR36
Previous Ranking: 22
24. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
2018 Stats: 76 Receptions, 1,028 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR17
Previous Ranking: 26
25. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 43 Receptions, 664 Receiving YDS, 10 Receiving TD, 2018 WR32
Previous Ranking: 39
26. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Stats: 65 Receptions, 843 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR26
Previous Ranking: 32
TIER 5: Best of the rest and late-round finds
27. Josh Gordon, New England Patriots
2018 Stats: 41 Receptions, 737 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR47
Previous Ranking: NR
28. Will Fuller V, Houston Texans
2018 Stats: 32 Receptions, 503 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR68
Previous Ranking: 23
29. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 81 Receptions, 976 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR18
Previous Ranking: 25
30. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
2018 Stats: 65 Receptions, 891 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR28
Previous Ranking: 35
31. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 64 Receptions, 821 Receiving YDS, 10 Receiving TD, 2018 WR22
Previous Ranking: 38
32. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
2018 Stats: 55 Receptions, 754 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR39
Previous Ranking: 28
33. Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 35 Receptions, 508 Receiving YDS, 5 Receiving TD, 2018 WR62
Previous Ranking: 27
34. Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 40 Receptions, 519 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 2018 WR63
Previous Ranking: 24
35. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
2018 Stats: 1 Passing TD, 69 Receptions, 734 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR25
Previous Ranking: 30
36. Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears
2018 Stats: 33 Receptions, 423 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR59
Previous Ranking: NR
37. Devin Funchess, Indianapolis Colts
2018 Stats: 44 Receptions, 549 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR58
Previous Ranking: 31
38. Robby Anderson, New York Jets
2018 Stats: 50 Receptions, 752 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR38
Previous Ranking: 37
39. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 41 Receptions, 774 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR41
Previous Ranking: 40
40. Golden Tate, New York Giants
2018 Stats: 74 Receptions, 795 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR29
Previous Ranking: 34
The NFL conditionally reinstated Patriots receiver Josh Gordon Friday and the former Baylor star will be able to rejoin the team Sunday.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter dropped the biggest bombshell of the day, reporting that the troubled receiver that has struggled with substance abuse over his NFL career will be getting another chance.
The Patriots acquired Gordon early last season from the Browns and it appeared Gordon was meshing nicely with the receiving corp until he was suspended indefinitely after violating the league's drug policy.
Gordon has shown time and time again that when active, he is one of the most dynamic receiving options in the National Football League.
NFL’s statement on Josh Gordon’s conditional reinstatement. Gordon has been scheduled to meet with the commissioner this past week. Apparently it went well. pic.twitter.com/adDKw5HdnN— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) August 16, 2019
After coming into the league in 2012, Gordon appeared to be one of the league's next great receivers.
In his rookie season with the Browns in 2012, Gordon recorded 50 receptions for 805 receiving yards and five touchdowns in sixteen games.
The following season, Gordon blossomed into a star, recording 87 receptions to lead the NFL with 1,646 yards and grabbing nine touchdowns en route to being named First-Team All-Pro.
In August of 2014, the NFL suspended Gordon for the entire 2014-15 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
In February of 2015, the NFL suspended Gordon for one year for again violating the league's drug policy.
He was reinstated by the league in July of 2016 before being activated by the Browns the next month.
In November 2017, the Browns announced that Gordon had been fully reinstated from his suspension.
In April of 2018, the team re-signed Gordon to a one-year, $790,000 contract before trading him to New England with a conditional 2019 seventh-round draft pick on September 18 in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick.
In 11 games with the Patriots, Gordon recorded 40 receptions for 720 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
On Dec. 20, 2018, the NFL suspended Gordon indefinitely yet again for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
On April 23, the Patriots re-signed Gordon to a one-year, $2.025 million contract.
Gordon has played five seasons total out of a possible seven. He's played 52 games out of a total 112, but when's he's at his best, he is one of the best athletes the NFL has to offer.
With Rob Gronkowski no longer with New England, and Julian Edelman the only proven option in Brady's arsenal, the team opted to select N'Keal Harry in the first round of April's draft.
Edelman is projected to be a top-20 receiver in 2019. Harry is a sleeper and isn't expected to contribute much.
Gordon is the ultimate wild-card.
If he's active for all 16 regular-season games, he could easily finish as a top-25 fantasy receiver in PPR.
That's just the thing though.
Gordon will not be drafted amongst the NFL's top tier receivers in fantasy drafts leading up to the season. Once the early rounds finish up, however, he possesses the best upside of anyone available.
Would I draft Gordon ahead of up-and-comers like Seattle's Tyler Lockett or Carolina's D.J. Moore? Absolutely not.
But would I roll the dice on Gordon ahead of players like Kansas City's Sammy Watkins or Houston's Will Fuller V? Without a question.
Gordon joins the list of high-risk, high-reward options in fantasy football. He could easily be a league winner just as likely as not even taking the field.
The NFL wants Gordon to succeed and they've shown that on multiple occasions. The question is whether this will be the year he puts it all together.