The NFL features a star-studded collection of wide receivers that thrives on the game’s pass-orientated mindset. In any given year, as many as seven receivers set themselves apart as an elite class of game-changers. After two promising seasons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin joined that group in 2019, amassing the third-most receiving yards.
While Godwin separated himself as an exceptional talent last season, he also thrived in fantasy football leagues. After a breakout campaign, opinions on Godwin remain mixed. Casting off Jameis Winston for Tom Brady might help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win in real life, but it could hurt Godwin’s fantasy value.
Here’s the Chris Godwin fantasy football outlook for the 2020 NFL season.
2019 Chris Godwin Fantasy Stats
Godwin didn’t stand apart from the NFL’s throng of wide receivers during his first two seasons. As a rookie, the Penn St. product recorded around 59 fantasy football points in standard leagues. He followed up with 126 points in 2018, which ranked 25th among wide receivers.
Several fantasy football analysts hit the jackpot last year when they took Godwin with the hopes that he’d become a star. In Bruce Arians’ high-flying offensive system, Godwin and Winston connected 86 times for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. The 24-year-old receiver finished second in the NFL in receiving yards per game, only trailing Michael Thomas.
Chris Godwin’s fantasy stats also finished second to Thomas in terms of fantasy points per game with 13.6 in standard leagues. Despite his record-setting pace, Thomas only tallied 14.1 points per game. Godwin’s 190.1 total points also trailed Thomas’ 225.6, but Tampa Bay’s stud receiver only played 14 games. Kenny Golladay finished third in standard leagues with 183.0 points.
Despite missing two games, Godwin still finished second among receivers in points per reception (PPR) leagues with 276.1 points. However, Thomas led the NFL’s elite pass-catchers by a massive margin in PPR leagues, finishing with 374.6 points.
Godwin’s teammate, Mike Evans, finished in the top ten in standard leagues, amassing 165.7 points in 13 games. His 12.8 points per week ranked third.
2020 Chris Godwin Fantasy Projections
The likelihood of Tampa Bay producing two top-ten fantasy receivers this season seems far-fetched. The Buccaneers only accomplished the feat in 2019 because Winston led the NFL with 626 pass attempts and 5,109 passing yards. In comparison, Brady attempted 613 passes last year, but he finished with over 1,000 fewer yards (4,057) than Winston.
Evans and Godwin are elite receivers, but Brady doesn’t possess the same arm strength as Winston. The 43-year-old prefers shorter timing routes to Winston’s deep bombs, which resulted in the younger quarterback throwing 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions last year.
Julian Edelman was Brady’s top option in New England. However, the 232nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft hasn’t made a Pro Bowl, let alone an All-Pro team. Edelman recorded a career-high 156.3 fantasy points in standard leagues last year. In comparison, Evans scored more than 160 fantasy points in four of his six NFL seasons, and Godwin is arguably even better than his fellow Pro Bowler.
While Chris Godwin’s fantasy stats should still rank among the top-15 fantasy football receivers in 2020, he won’t finish in the top five again. Tampa Bay has too many mouths to feed, and Brady’s playing style isn’t the ideal match for Godwin’s physical gifts. However, owners can still count on between 160 and 175 fantasy points from the stud receiver.
Rank at WR Position-6th
While the NFL features plenty of star safeties and several future Hall of Fame pass-rushers, no other position competes with the league’s depth at wide receiver. In terms of pure skill, Godwin belongs among the top five receivers. However, his rank among the top fantasy players differs because of Tampa Bay’s unique supporting cast.
A ten-team, non-PPR fantasy mock draft done by ESPN projected Godwin as a late second-round pick. He went 18th overall, but five receivers heard their names called before the PSU product. Predictably, Thomas was the first receiver who went off the board (seventh overall). However, he was promptly followed by Davante Adams at eighth.
Adams is anything but a secure first-round pick in fantasy leagues. He’s one of the NFL’s best receivers, but the 27-year-old struggles with injuries. Adams missed four games last year, which resulted in him finishing 29th in standard league points. However, Adams finished third with 218.6 points in 2018. It’s the only 200-point performance of his career.
I’d also take Adams over Godwin because he’s Aaron Rodgers’ only elite pass-catcher. Meanwhile, Godwin is competing with Evans and Rob Gronkowski for targets. Fantasy players should put an asterisk next to Adams. Injuries are a regular part of life in the NFL, and Adams couldn’t shake them early in his career.
The other receivers who went ahead of Godwin include DeAndre Hopkins (WR3), Tyreek Hill (WR4), and Julio Jones (WR5). While Godwin went 18th, he was promptly followed by Evans at 19th and Golladay at 20th. Godwin fits Brady’s style better than Evans, so that’s a fair ranking. He’s also more talented than Golladay, who earned a top-20 selection based mostly on his touchdown production.
ESPN’s analysts did an excellent job with their selections. Every receiver ranked ahead of Godwin has multiple top-ten fantasy finishes while the breakout star still needs to prove he can replicate his 2019 performance. Sixth is a fair but optimistic appraisal of Godwin’s value in 2020. Pessimistic fantasy players could view him along the lines of the eighth or ninth best option.