The Nine

Don’t be tempted by Josh Gordon’s return


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Don’t do it. We know you’re going to be tempted, but don’t. Just say no. Do not pick up Josh Gordon.

The troubled Seahawks receiver was given clearance to return to action the final two weeks of the NFL season. He had been suspended since Week 15 of last season for PEDs. He is eligible to return in Week 16 this season.

This should be obvious, but we feel like we must state it anyway. First, he hasn’t played all season. He played just five games for Seattle last season, and caught just seven passes. He has totaled — totaled — just 110 catches since 2014. That encompasses every year since his lone fantasy standout season in 2013.

Plus, you will get him for exactly one game. Why waste a roster spot on someone who hasn’t produced in more than six seasons? And play him in fantasy championship week? In his first game back?

No way, no how. Just don’t do it.

But Gordon isn’t the only trap to avoid as we head into the last week of the fantasy regular season. There are others who might even tempt you to use them this week.

Don’t play Giovani Bernard. With the quarterback problems in Cincinnati, it makes it too easy for teams to focus on the run. Though Samaje Perine did not have a carry last week, we’re not convinced he has disappeared for good. He got virtually equal work and outperformed Bernard the previous three games. Don’t be surprised if he is back in the mix Sunday, cutting into Bernard’s touches. Just don’t do it.

Even if Todd Gurley is in the Falcons’ lineup Sunday, don’t put him in your fantasy lineup. The Saints are the stingiest defense against fantasy running backs. If Gurley doesn’t score, he is a drag on your fantasy team, failing to reach double-digit PPR output this season when he does score. He has just one 100-yard game all year. The Saints have allowed a league-low five rushing TDs all season. Just don’t do it.

Don’t bench Jonathan Taylor. The rookie Colts RB has given us fits all season. We anticipated a slow rise, but Marlon Mack got hurt and Taylor was thrust into action early. As soon as we started to get comfy, his production took a nosedive, and Jordan Wilkins began cutting into his work.

Yet, Taylor re-established his role with a strong game two weeks ago against a poor Packers defense. He missed last week because of close contact with COVID, but did not have the virus himself — so there is no reason to fear any slowdown. And he gets to face a soft Texans run defense. Expect he will get the lion’s share of touches among Colts RBs. Don’t bench him. Just don’t do it.

Don’t gamble on a Patriots wide receiver. New England has trouble passing with Cam Newton at QB, and particularly Damiere Byrd and N’Keal Harry have tough matchups with Chargers defensive backs. Just don’t do it.

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