Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon Fantasy Outlook Climbing Following Impressive Preseason Play

Jason Schandl
Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Heading into the offseason, it looked like the New England Patriots might be really thin on receiving options. Josh Gordon was suspended (again), Rob Gronkowski was retiring, and Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson (third, fourth and fifth in targets among their WRs in 2018) were all set to become free agents.

In true Patriots fashion, that situation seemed to turn around pretty quickly, as the team signed former Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas, re-signed Dorsett, and Gordon was reinstated.

Both Gordon and Thomas suited up for the Pats' final preseason game on Thursday, and the two impressed.

Josh Gordon 2019 Fantasy Value

Gordon picked up right where he left off in his return to the field. He has a low floor for fantasy production this year — he hasn't played more than 12 games in a season since 2013 — but his upside is tough to ignore.

He averaged 11.8 fantasy points per game across 11 contests with the Patriots, and he averaged 8.0 targets per game in the four he played without Gronkowski.

Gordon is a risky pick in fantasy football drafts, with an average draft position (ADP) of WR29 (69th overall) per, but he has the potential to be a featured piece in one of the league's best offenses, which gives him much higher upside than you'll usually see in the sixth round of drafts.

Demaryius Thomas 2019 Fantasy Value

Until we saw him back on the field, Thomas looked like a player to avoid in 2019. Recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, even his activation from the PUP list didn't seem like a surefire sign that he was healthy.

He showed that he has healed up nicely on Thursday though, starting alongside Gordon and exploding for seven receptions, 87 yards and two TDs on eight targets.

Like Gordon, Thomas has a low floor. He likely solidified his spot on the New England roster with that big game, but he's still going to be third (at best) on the Pats' WR depth chart.

He's basically free in fantasy drafts right now (WR86), and that makes him an interesting late-round pick in deeper leagues. Gordon's status is always surrounded by question marks, and if he misses any time this season, Thomas could step up and play a significant role in New England.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.