Wide Receivers: Terrelle Pryor, Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon
Stats: Pryor – One catch, 42 yards receiving; 3 games played; Coleman – N/A, rookie season; Gordon – N/A, year-long suspension
After boasting one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL the past few seasons, the position is now one of the Browns’ strengths. The quick transition from quarterback for Terrelle Pryor, the addition of Corey Coleman via the draft and the reinstatement of Josh Gordon from suspension are major reasons why this position group is trending up.
In the preseason, the chemistry between Pryor and RGIII was evident. The former quarterback caught four of his five targets for 122 yards and two touchdowns, with two plays resulting in at least forty yards. A player new to the position simply should not be doing that.
Though he is still raw, Pryor offers a lot of upside for both the Browns and fantasy owners. With Gordon missing the first four weeks of the season, he is likely to start opposite Coleman. Pryor’s big-play ability makes him a potential sleeper, but with so many weapons offensively, his role is far from guaranteed. As of now, Pryor is no more than a WR5 and should not be relied upon as a weekly starter.
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Similarly to Pryor, Coleman has been great for the Browns ever since they drafted him. However, he has been great in practice, as he only appeared in two preseason games due to injury. Still, there is a lot to like about Coleman and how he projects for this offense. Jackson is going to find ways to put the ball into his first-round playmaker’s hands, and his routes will be tailored to his strengths.
Since Gordon will be out of the lineup for the first four weeks, Coleman will be the de facto WR1 of the offense. This makes him extremely desirable in fantasy circles, as touches will be nearly a guarantee. For the first four weeks of the season, volume alone will cause Coleman to appeal as a WR2/flex. However, Coleman will be a WR3/weak flex upon Gordon’s return in Week 5.
Speaking of Gordon, the 2013 receiving yardage leader has not appeared to have lost a step following his year-long suspension. In the third preseason game, Gordon caught both of his targets for 82 yards, including a touchdown that brought out Vintage Flash. For the first time since college, Gordon appears to have a legitimate option at quarterback, which just so happens to be his college quarterback, Griffin.
Gordon’s suspension will keep him out of the first four games, but he is still going to play a big role for the Browns and fantasy owners this season. He looks like the old Josh Gordon, and the only thing that can set him back would be more trouble with the NFL. As long as he keeps his nose clean, Gordon is likely to open his season as a strong flex in Week 5, but he could prove to be a top 15 wide receiver down the stretch.
Next: Tight Ends