Should You Start Mike Evans or Chris Godwin in Fantasy Football Week 1?

Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have a great matchup in Week 1. Which one of these two should you start this week?

Without Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, what do Mike Evans’ and Chris Godwin’s fantasy football outlooks look like? What exactly can be expected from both Buccaneers WRs in Week 1 as the Baker Mayfield era kicks off in Tampa Bay?

Mike Evans’ Fantasy Outlook This Week

Evans’ fantasy output season after season has been steady as can be. Nine seasons in the NFL, nine 1,000-yard seasons. He’s averaged over 130 targets per season, corralling nearly 76 balls and nine TDs. His week-to-week output, though, has been anything but consistent.

For reference, in 2022, with Brady at QB, Evans played 15 games. He posted two WR1 overall finishes, which were his only top-12 performances. He posted three games with finishes between WR13-24 overall and three more between WR25-36. Half of his games were WR37 or worse. Which Evans will be here in Week 1?

This week feels like an opportunity for a good Evans week. Why? For one, the Vikings are a good offense that can score. On the flip side, they allowed the second-most fantasy points to WRs in 2022 and let top CB Patrick Peterson walk in the offseason. Evans is likely to see a lot of Akayleb Evans across from him.

Akayleb Evans has a limited résumé, but what’s there is a green-light matchup for Mike Evans. On 22 targets, he’s allowed 15 catches for 242 yards and a score. That 16.1 yards per catch lines up well with what Evans does as the downfield weapon. He’s got a couple of inches on the young CB and can win in the end zone. Evans seems like a WR3 with WR2 upside this week.

Chris Godwin’s Fantasy Outlook This Week

Chris Godwin had a remarkable 2022, considering how short his recovery from a late 2021 ACL was. After tearing the ACL late in 2021, Godwin played Week 1 (he got hurt in it, but still). After returning from injury in Week 4, Godwin saw 139 targets in 14 games.

The injuries, combined with an aging Brady, limited Godwin in 2022. Godwin’s career yards per reception is 12.7 despite a 2022 mark of 9.8. That should rebound with his explosiveness and a younger QB under center, as well as a new offensive system.

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So, what will Week 1 look like for Godwin? If the preseason rapport continues, it should be more of the same. In the Bucs’ preseason finale, Mayfield went 6 of 6, including four completions and his only TD pass to Godwin. The two seem to have a strong connection, and that will likely carry over to the regular season.

The Vikings allowed the most receptions among all teams in 2022. So, for a reception machine like Godwin, watch out. The defense did get stingier in the red zone, but that’s more of a concern for Evans than Godwin. Godwin feels like a safe WR3 who also possesses WR2 upside in a plus matchup.

Which of the Buccaneers WRs Should You Start?

Honestly, fire both WRs up in a good matchup for WR scoring. Both have the security of being top options in a plus matchup. Despite the downgrade at QB, this isn’t the week to worry. Managers are unlikely to be deciding between the two WRs since most won’t draft players from the same team.

That said, with the stats allowed in 2022 and preseason rapport, Godwin feels like the safer bet to finish as the top option. He should put up a ton of points this week. That said, Evans only takes one play to be the higher-scoring player. Fire both options up with some level of comfort this week to provide a solid output and not kill your team.

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