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Chris Godwin fantasy impact with the Buccaneers in 2021

Chris Godwin fantasy impact with the Buccaneers in 2021
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14), a Middletown High alum, hauls in a long reception as Green Bay Packers free safety Darnell Savage (26), a Caravel Academy alum, defends in the NFC Championship playoff game Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field Mandatory in Green Bay, Wis. Nfl Nfc Championship Game Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Green Bay Packers

In what seemed to be the logical move all along, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed the franchise tag on WR Chris Godwin. For fantasy football, having Chris Godwin back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 means we can expect another impressive season from him and the rest of the offense as they pursue another Lombardi Trophy.

What is the fantasy impact of Chris Godwin signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

There was never any chance the Buccaneers were going to let Chris Godwin walk in free agency. Coming off a Super Bowl victory with Tom Brady at the helm meant bringing back as much firepower as possible. 

Early on Tuesday, ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had informed WR Chris Godwin that he would be receiving the franchise tag. In 2021, Godwin will earn a guaranteed $17.865 million on his one-year deal, according to Spotrac.

Related | Dynasty Wide Receiver Rankings: Top assets heading into 2021

We all have postulated our favorite landing spots for Chris Godwin and how it might impact his fantasy value. However, sometimes, there is no place like home. 

Godwin is an explosive player who operates in intermediate routes as well as anyone in the NFL. His skill set perfectly complements WR Mike Evans’s deep-threat and the conservative nature of QB Tom Brady. While we might have wanted to see Godwin land somewhere else for the fun of it, staying with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the best option for fantasy as it boosts the value of everyone else on the offense.

Where does Chris Godwin rank among wide receivers for fantasy?

Chris Godwin sits right on the borderline of the WR1 range in fantasy now that he is locked back in with the Buccaneers in 2021. The wide receiver position is incredibly deep, and at times it can be hard to differentiate amongst the top.

While Chris Godwin has all the talent in the world, as we saw in 2019, he has competition. This is where other WRs have the slight edge over him. Guys like Keenan Allen, A.J. Brown, Davante Adams, and Stefon Diggs, are the unquestioned No. 1 option on their team. Godwin has to compete for targets with another borderline WR1 on his own team. 

I would still have zero issues selecting Chris Godwin in the WR12-WR14 range in fantasy. However, we just need to keep in mind his ceiling might not be the same as some other players in the same range as Justin Jefferson and even Terry McLaurin.

What impact does the signing have on the fantasy value of other Buccaneers ‘ players?

Having a talent like Chis Godwin back on the field in 2021 elevates everyone else’s play around them, especially when the guy throwing the ball to him is the greatest to ever do it.

Tom Brady is a borderline QB1 in fantasy with Chris Godwin back with the Buccaneers in 2021

Love him or hate him, the guy knows how to get the job done. Now that he is living in the Tampa sunshine surrounded by incredible talent, there is no reason to see Brady falling off. In 2020, with no offseason, a new playbook, coaching staff, players, and everything else, Brady was the QB8, averaging 21.9 points per game.

He also did that with Chris Godwin missing four games and playing a few with screws in his finger. If we look at the games where Godwin played, Brady was even better. In those 12 games, Brady’s averaged 24.82 ppg versus 21.88 when Godwin was out. He also averaged 12 more passing yards (291.5) with him in the lineup despite throwing three fewer times per game when in the lineup.

So, in a nutshell, Chris Godwin makes people better and more efficient…who knew?

Mike Evans’ fantasy upside is hurt by Chris Godwin’s return to the Buccaneers in 2021

As I mentioned with Chris Godwin, when you have another WR1 on your team, your stats suffer, and we saw this in 2020 for Mike Evans.

In the 12 games where Chris Godwin played, Evans averaged 6.25 targets, 3.83 receptions, 55.58 yards, .75 touchdowns, and averaged 13.89 PPR points. During the four games Chris Godwin was out, Evans was a fantasy WR1, averaging 8.5 targets, 6 receptions, 80.5 yards, 1 touchdown, and 20.05 PPR per game.

Evans did finish the season as the WR11 and had his seventh-straight season over 1,000 yards, an NFL record. In fantasy, Mike Evans is a draft-day value due to his consistency but isn’t a sexy name. Each week, he brings WR1 upside and is a guy you can draft as a WR2 in the fourth round of 2021 drafts. 

How has Chris Godwin performed as a fantasy asset in his career?

He struggled to get off the ground in his rookie season, but that is a common occurrence. He caught 34 of his 55 targets for 525 yards and 1 touchdown. In his sophomore season, Chris Godwin seemed to turn the corner. He hauled in 59 of 95 targets for 842 yards and a whopping 7 touchdowns. Godwin entered the 2019 season amongst the leaders to breakout, and he did not disappoint.

Related | Top Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pending free agents in 2021

Thanks to the hyper-aggressive nature of Jameis Winston, Godwin thrived for fantasy managers. In his first year with Bruce Arians as the head coach, Godwin led the team in receiving stats. Playing in 14 games, he caught 86 of his 121 targets for 1,333 yards and 9 touchdowns. Godwin finished the 2019 season as the fantasy WR2 with 276.1 PPR points (19.7 per game). 

With Winston now in New Orleans, the question was how would he and Tom Brady work together in 2020. If you were to look at both him and Mike Evans, the sky was the limit for Chris Godwin. His route tree on short-to-intermediate routes is amongst the best in the NFL. Add in Godwin’s 4.42 40-yard time, and he is a threat on any play. 

Chris Godwin produced for fantasy while struggling to stay on the field in 2020

The issue for Chris Godwin was not his play in 2020 but staying on the field. Godwin emerged from Week 1 in the league’s concussion protocol, which cost him Week 2. Then a hamstring issue sidelined him for Weeks 4 and 5. And finally, a fractured finger suffered in Week 7 cost him one game.

Additionally, there was an unexpected challenger for targets added to the team midseason, Antonio Brown. Between the injury and Brown’s arrival, Godwin had less than 55 yards three times and more than six targets just twice during Brown’s first five games with the team.

However, Chris Godwin ended the regular season on fire.

In Week 17, Godwin had five catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons. Over the final three games, Godwin had four touchdowns as he closed out on a high note. He finished 2020 with 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns over 12 games.

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Since coming into the NFL, Chris Godwin has been fantastic. Over his last three seasons, Godwin averaged 1,005 yards, 70 receptions on 100 targets, and 7.7 TDs per season.

On any team, he is a true WR1 that we have seen work with vastly different styles of quarterback play. Every week, he is in the WR1 discussion and carries top-six upside. Even in a tumultuous 2020 season, of receivers who played in at least eight games, Chris Godwin was a Top 24 fantasy WR in 58.33% of weeks, the sixth-highest total of last year. Of those 212 players, Godwin’s 15.9 points per game were 15th last season, making him one of the safest picks in fantasy to return value.

Want more fantasy football analysis and news?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay current with all things around the NFL and the upcoming 2021 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for Pro Football Network covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.


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