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Fantasy News: Chris Godwin Returns to Practice

Less than nine months removed from an ACL tear, Godwin is practicing during Bucs training camp.

Fantasy fans rejoice! Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin is back at practice, which is a great sign for his Week 1 prospects. For those who need a quick refresher, the former Penn State receiver tore his ACL and sprained his MCL in Week 15 last season. It was already promising that Tampa Bay did not place Godwin on the physically unable to perform list and was cleared fully for training camp.

If the season started today, would he be playing? That’s unlikely. Will he be 100% for Week 1? I don’t believe so. But I love the Godwin-Tom Brady connection and fantasy managers should expect his ADP to rise steadily as news comes in about his continued camp involvement.

Last year, he ranked sixth in overall yards after catch (YAC) and fifth in YAC per reception among wide receivers with 100-plus targets. His 77.2% catch rate was second for players with 100 or more targets. The real secret sauce to Godwin’s play style and success is his short-area quickness. This allows him to find open spaces a beat faster than most and when you pair that with Brady’s anticipation, it’s fantasy magic.

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To get into the weeds, Godwin’s clearance for training camp was a very aggressive move. To use the reserve PUP designation to start the season (which requires a player to miss the first four games of the season), a player must be on the active PUP list at the start of training camp. Therefore, the Bucs apparently believe he can play at or near the start of the 2022 season.

Godwin’s ADP is around 58, making him a late fifth-round pick and the 21st receiver off the board. I expect a quick jump to the mid-teens, placing him closer to D.J. Moore, Jaylen Waddle and Diontae Johnson. However, I don’t believe he’ll climb much higher without some snaps played in a preseason game.

While these developments and his return to practice are all promising, I still keep tempered expectations. I would want Godwin as my WR3, which means a WR-heavy start to your fantasy drafts. It’s not as though this is all a ruse to use him as a decoy to start the season. That said, Tampa Bay has a bevy of options and Brady is already well-known for his propensity to spread the ball around. I believe Godwin won’t really hit his stride until midseason to help your team make a big push to the fantasy postseason.

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