A funny thing happened today: a Browns player who isn’t named Trent Richardson became relevant again.
There was another first too. My usual game watching and perusal of boxscores and various other numbers afterwards led to a game involving the Cleveland Browns being featured prominently in one of these Sunday reaction/observation/rant posts.
Let’s never speak of this again.
Josh Gordon still prefers deep receptions, or no receptions
Yawn, amirite? Just another really fast guy who only catches really long throws that require his really fast-ness. We’re aware that Gordon is that fast pony with only one trick, so it’s hardly notable when he executes that trick as he did today.
Well sort of, and not really. This game — the Browns’ 20-17 win over Oakland — featured long Gordon catches too. Just this time there was a lot of them, as Gordon had a season-high 116 receiving yards on six receptions, putting him on the other end for 31 percent of Brandon Weeden’s 364 passing yards (also a season and career high). But there was a difference with Gordon today, one that was a product of a Raiders’ secondary that’s still awful, and also likely his still growing connection with Weeden.
Earlier this year we could count on Gordon for a few sporadic bursts of long yardage, but his receptions and targets were limited. The height of that was between weeks 5 and 7, a three-game stretch that included touchdown receptions of 62 and 71 yards. He needed only seven catches to record 240 receiving yards, an incredible average of 34.3 yards per catch. Today that long-ball yardage was there, but so were the receptions, giving us a glimpse of the peak of his value.
In one game today Gordon had almost as many catches as he did during that hot three-game stretch, yet today’s output also included catches of 44, 20, and 22 yards. That means nearly half (48 percent) of Gordon’s 37 receptions this year have led to a gain of at least 20 yards.
He remains the ideal WR3, a value that will be escalated further with the fantasy playoffs starting, and the Redskins’ weak secondary teed up for Week 15 (ranked 31st, allowing 301.4 yards per game).
Why don’t you like Brandon Myers?
This has been the mystery of the 2012 fantasy football season. Why, exactly, haven’t you — the intelligent fantasy owner — given Brandon Myers more fake employment? I can understand why you might not start him as often now since bye weeks are over, therefore putting the weekly talent pool at its normal depth. Fine, whatever. But there’s no excuse for Myers’ lack of ownership, especially after today.
That’s because Myers caught 14 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, which is 57 more yards than his per game average prior to today, and it’s good for 19 fantasy points. While that’s fun, it’s quite clearly the high end of Myers’ boom ability. But it highlights the puzzling problem of his ownership, especially after two top options at the position (Rob Gronkowski and Fred Davis) have been both lost and likely lost for the rest of the fantasy season.
Myers has had at least 50 receiving yards in four of his last five games, and today was the second game during that stretch when he’s topped 15 fantasy points. Yet he still remains unowned in 78 percent of ESPN leagues, and 48 percent of Yahoo leagues. None of this makes sense.
I guess I have to start respecting BenJarvus Green-Ellis now
Last week when BenJarvus Green-Ellis went boom, I pointed to him as a pawn of sorts, and the latest example of the Raiders’ ineptitude when they’re asked to stop a running back. I also rhymed off a lengthy list of stats showing how putridity pathetic and inefficient Green-Ellis had been for much of the season prior to that game. It was great, wholesome fun, so please go back to that post and be entertained.
Everything written there remains true. The Raiders do suck, and Green-Ellis did suck. The key, though, is the past tense used on that last part. Let’s explore.
After his 118 yards on 25 carries today during the Bengals’ win over San Diego, Green-Ellis now has three straight +100 yard rushing games. For most running backs that would be really nice, but not a bounding leap forward. For The Law Firm, it’s a propulsion into the outer realms of our Earth compared to what we saw prior to Week 11. That’s when Green-Ellis was averaging 59.6 yards per game, and now over these last three games he’s averaged 116 yards. His yards per carry average has also increased, from 3.9 prior to Week 11, to 5.0 since.
There’s life here yet, but we’re still not quite sure if it’s sustainable.