Fantasy Football Would You Rather: Chris Godwin in the 2nd? Or Mike Evans in the 3rd?

SI Fantasy analysts Ben Heisler & Bill Enright debate the better fantasy draft pick between Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in a spirited game of, “Would You Rather?”
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Over the next several weeks, the SI Fantasy team will be taking a look at two different players; either on the same team as part of a desirable fantasy offense, or two players close in ADP (average draft position). The goal is to answer the following question: “Would you rather take Player X at this ADP, or Player Y at that ADP?”

This exercise is particularly helpful in fantasy football drafting to help prepare in real-time for when the desired player gets “sniped” by another fantasy owner in drafts.

In our opening installment of fantasy “Would You Rather?” SI Fantasy analyst Bill Enright will be making the argument that Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin in the second round is the better overall pick based on talent, projections, and value. I will make the counterpoint argument for his teammate Mike Evans in the third round.

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin

Bill Enright’s argument for Godwin over Evans based on ADP:

Heading into the 2019 season, fantasy football enthusiasts started picking up on several key factors that would help boost Godwin’s production. DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries both left the team that off-season which vacated 175 targets from the previous season. Then, head coach Bruce Arians made a bold claim saying the third year wide receiver would be very close to the 100-reception mark. 

The increase in targets combined with Arians’ pass heavy approach led to a phenomenal season for Godwin in 2019. Despite missing two games in December, the Buccaneers playmaker was still able to finish with career-high stats across the board including 86 catches, 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. It resulted in a 19.6 fantasy points per game average, second only to Michael Thomas.

Now that we are gearing up for 2020, Godwin won’t have Jameis Winston under-center but rather the uber-efficient and slot-receiver-loving Tom Brady. Considering where I have Godwin ranked compared to other elite WR1's, it’s actually a tremendous value given his current average draft position (ADP) as the WR6 in the middle of the second round. 

This isn’t necessarily an argument AGAINST Mike Evans. As Ben will detail below, Evans remains an elite fantasy option as well. Ultimately, Godwin has the potential to lead the league in both yards and receptions which gives him a decisive edge for me.

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans

Ben Heisler’s argument for Evans over Godwin based on ADP:

So just to be clear... I now get to draft a stud wideout who finished third in PPG in standard leagues in 2019, seventh in touchdowns, and has finished with over 1,000 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons IN THE THIRD ROUND? I’m signing on that dotted line yesterday!

Mike Evans has been as reliable and consistent as fantasy receivers get over the course of his six-year fantasy career, and he’s still only 26 years old.

Evans has finished as a WR1 in four of the last six seasons. He averages eight touchdowns a season. And up until this year, Mike Evans was catching passes from Mike Glennon, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jameis Winston.

Chris Godwin is a terrific receiver and the fantasy universe is ecstatic that Tom Brady gets a younger, faster, more athletic Julian Edelman in Godwin playing out of the slot. But did you know Evans saw only three fewer targets than Godwin last year? Or were you aware that Evans led Godwin by almost two more yards/reception (17.3 to 15.5)?

Right now, the third round in fantasy drafts consists of names like Leonard Fournette, Amari Cooper, and Odell Beckham. Evans represents an enormous draft value at his current ADP, whereas Godwin is going where he should be drafted. This is a no-brainer.

FFWC Rankings

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Would You Rather? Chris Godwin or Mike Evans?

Ben Heisler: Chris Godwin (second round)

I may have dove headfirst into the filthy lagoon that is “embrace debate,” but I do think Godwin is the play over Evans. Systematically, he fits how Brady operates and generates open opportunities in the middle of the field. Bruce Arians recognizes that and realized that Godwin is an exceptional mismatch in the slot. After Julian Edelman finished fourth in the NFL in targets last year with Brady, it’s not hyperbole to anticipate Godwin being able to be in the conversation with Michael Thomas for the league’s most thrown-to wide receiver. I’ll ultimately side with Godwin in the second, but I won’t be disappointed one bit if I end up with Evans in the third.

Bill Enright: Chris Godwin