Chris Godwin Fantasy Outlook: Should you draft Buccaneers’ WR amid injury concerns in 2022?

By | September 5, 2022

Chris Godwin had one of his best seasons as a pro in 2021, posting 98 receptions (127 targets) for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns. The former Penn State star became one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets, which only increased with the departure of Antonio Brown. However, Godwin had his regular season ended abruptly with a torn ACL and MCL sprain in his right knee. Godwin will look to bounce back in 2022 and once again be a playmaker in a loaded Bucs’ wide receiver unit.

Fantasy owners might be concerned about Godwin’s knee injury, along with the additions of Russell Gage and Julio Jones heading into this season. We know that if healthy, Godwin will be one of the best WR2 in fantasy. Below, we’ll take a look at Godwin’s fantasy outlook and where he stands in ADP.

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Chris Godwin Injury Update: How long will Buccaneers’ WR be out?

UPDATE: Godwin practiced on Sept. 5 without a knee brace, which would seemingly indicate he’s close to 100 percent entering Week 1.

Godwin returned to practice earlier this month after the Buccaneers opted not to put the veteran wideout on the PUP list to start training camp. Throughout the offseason, new head coach Todd Bowles made it a point of emphasis to not put an exact timetable on when Godwin will play. However, the good news for the Bucs and fantasy owners is that Godwin did 7-on-7 work over a couple of days last week, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. At this point, it’s almost a certainty Godwin will be ready for Week 1, and Draft Sharks’ exclusive Injury Predictor tool tabs him as “low risk” for injury heading into this season.

When Godwin returns to the field, he’ll be Tampa Bay’s No. 2 wide receiver behind Mike Evans. The 26-year-old plays in a pass-happy offense where everybody will see a healthy amount of targets throughout the season. Godwin can line up either in the slot on the outside and could have a noticeable impact season despite the additions of Gage and Jones. If Jones can stay healthy and Gage builds off what he did last season in Atlanta, defenses will have a tough choice of figuring out who to defend.

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Chris Godwin fantasy ranking and ADP

SN Fantasy has Godwin ranked 31st in standard formats and 30th in PPR formats heading into this season. When Godwin is healthy and in a zone, he’s one of the better receivers in the league and is a PPR monster with the number of targets he sees during the season.

Last season, the former Nittany Lions standout had five games with 100-plus receiving yards and six games with 10 or more targets. Godwin drew a 21.3-percent target share in 13 healthy games last year, which was 3.5-percent higher than Mike Evans, according to Draft Sharks. He also had eight games with double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues and 11 games with 10 or more fantasy points in PPR formats. His PPR production might decrease this season due to the injury, but he still provides a ton of value.

Meanwhile, FantasyPros has Godwin’s ADP at No. 56 overall and WR22, which makes sense given the nature of his injury. However, it would not be a surprise to see Godwin outscore some of the other wide receivers projected around him — Courtland Sutton (WR20), Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR21), Brandin Cooks (WR23), and Marquise Brown (WR24). All of these wide receivers are in favorable situations, and some are the top receiving options. However, none have Tom Brady throwing to them, which makes a considerable difference regarding fantasy football.

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Chris Godwin’s fantasy outlook 2022

When healthy, we can expect Godwin to at least average seven targets per game. The Buccaneers will be looking to replace the targets left by tight end Rob Gronkowski (89) and Antonio Brown (62). We should expect Jones and Gage to take some of those looks and for Godwin to add on what he did last season. Over the past three seasons, Godwin is averaging 110.7 targets per year. If he can come close to that total, the Buccaneers and fantasy owners will be in good shape.

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Along with the target share, we should look out for Godwin being a factor in the red zone, especially with Gronkowski now retired. Last season, Godwin was ranked fourth among wide receivers in red-zone targets with 25. The three wideouts listed ahead of Godwin were Davante Adams (27), Stefon Diggs (34), and Cooper Kupp (37). We sometimes forget how much of a weapon Godwin was in the red zone last season.

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With the way that Godwin is progressing from his injury, we should be getting ready for his return to the field sometime soon. If he returns in September, Godwin will only be 10 months removed from his ACL and MCL injuries. However, there won’t be a ton of expectations for him to be the player we saw in 2021 immediately. As we previously noted, the Buccaneers have Gage and Jones at receiver and will look to feature Cameron Brate more at tight end. It would not be a surprise to see Godwin outperform his ADP by the end of the regular season. Additionally, if he’s still available in the fifth round or later, Godwin is worth taking a flier on.