The first thing that should be written here is that Chris Godwin is good at football. He may even be great and there’s a chance he’s elite. Unfortunately, the founding fathers of our game decided not to reward actual skill, but rather on field production in real games. Of course, this is a 101-level point to make, but it’s worth remembering. A tremendous amount of buzz is building for Godwin and recently an article was published entitled Why You Should Worship at the Altar of Chris Godwin. Now, this is not intended to be a rebuttal to that article in particular but more a sensible tapping of the breaks as draft season approaches.

The Bruce Arians Effect

The architect of the Larry Fitzgerald reboot is back and ready to run the Tampa Bay offense. This has many excited for big things but consider the 2018 Bucs attempted 625 passes (4th most in the league) and had more passing yards than any other Tampa Bay team in the last decade. It is likely that Arians will actually reign in the passing volume in 2019 if history tells us anything. Since 2008, Arians-led offenses have averaged 563 attempts and only twice has he called over 600 passes in a season. Drafters are licking their chops at the 179 vacated targets (via Adam Humphries and Desean Jackson) from a year ago, but as described above, overall passing volume may shrink.

Godwin’s Role

Despite his talent, Chris Godwin will be the second option for Jameis Winston on most afternoons. Mike Evans is only 25 years old and just completed his 5th straight 1000 yard campaign in as many professional seasons. Barring injury, Godwin has little to no chance to be his team’s primary receiving option. This inconvenient truth makes it difficult to project a path for Godwin to exceed his draft position. Examine how the second pass catcher has fared in an Arians offense over the past 10 years:

 

WR 1 REC

WR1 Yards

WR 1 TD

WR 2 REC

WR2 Yards

WR2 TD

2008

PIT

OC

81

1043

7

55

821

5

2009

PIT

OC

79

1248

5

95

1167

6

2010

PIT

OC

60

1257

10

59

755

5

2011

PIT

OC

72

1193

8

69

1108

2

2012

IND

HC

106

1355

5

50

861

7

2013

AZ

HC

82

954

10

65

1041

5

2014

AZ

HC

47

841

6

63

784

2

2015

AZ

HC

109

1215

9

65

1003

7

2016

AZ

HC

107

1023

6

80

879

4

2017

AZ

HC

109

1156

6

29

508

2

Averages

85.2

1128.5

7.2

63

892.7

4.5

 

The second option in an Arians offense has historically produced an average line of 63-892.7-4.5. That is a total of 179 PPR points and a finish of WR33 using 2018’s WR point totals. However, it would be prudent to note that in 2017 the Cardinals employed Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton at QB for 9 games. Therefore, when throwing out that travesty, a 66-935-4.7 line can be projected. These numbers would result in 187.7 PPR points and slide in as the WR 24 last season. Razzball projections fall somewhere in between, assigning Godwin 67-894-5.9 and a positional finish of WR 29.

Best Case Scenario

There is a chance that the 2019 Bucs produce two 1000 yard WRs as Arians has surpassed this illustrious threshold 4 times. Should that event transpire, an average WR2 from those 4 teams arrived at a 73-1079-5 line, good for PPR WR 20 in 2018. That would be a breakout season for Godwin and undoubtedly would make Arians, Winston, and Buccaneers fans very happy. However, fantasy players are probably dreaming of more by selecting Godwin at his current price.

Conclusion

Godwin’s ADP is sitting at WR20 which feels steep considering that is in line with his highest range of outcomes. If his production falls to merely an average WR2 in an Arians offense, drafters can expect a negative return on their draft day investment.

Follow me @whataBOOF

  1. westly says:
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    Would you trade Micheal Thomas for Hilton and Fournette in a 16 team Dynasty? I only have Bell at RB. Keenan Allen at other wideout. Flex is Landry but will probably drop him in search if RB. Half point ppr

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      General answer: I don’t think I would. I don’t see Fournette as a great dynasty asset and MT is better now and also younger than Hilton.

      Would try and get a RB in the rookie draft or trade a lesser asset than MT for a RB

      That being said if a RB2 is the only thing holding you back from a serious title run, then it may be worth the risk and leaving future value on the table.

  2. Phil B. says:
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    Love this counterpoint. I was thinking he’d be a good flier late, but at WR20, no thanks. Also that chart of how Arians treats #2 WRs is gold.

    Also, is Mike Evans in the discussion for top WR (I’ve seen he’s top 5 most cases)

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      Evans could be. I’d personally have him somewhere between WR 5-10 but he has league leading TD upside. In PPR he may not have the catches to get all the way to WR1

  3. Lockwood says:
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    Dear WhataFart, Please consult your editor. “It is likely that Arians will actually reign in the passing volume in 2019 if history tells us anything.”

    Do you mean reign over the passing volume? Do you mean rain down the passing? Or is it rein…more like using the reins on a horse rather than the reign of Henry the 8th?

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      Wow! Thanks for the read. You’re right it should be rein as in a domesticated horse. Good catch, I hope you’ll keep reading

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