Over the next several weeks, we 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 when the desired player gets "sniped" by another fantasy owner in drafts.
Senior analyst Bill Enright will be making the argument that draft Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin in the second round is the smarter pick based on talent, projections, and value. I will make the counter-argument for his teammate Mike Evans.
Bill Enright's Argument for Godwin over Evans
Heading into the 2019 season, fantasy football enthusiasts started picking up on several key factors that would 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 Godwin's phenomenal 2019 season. Despite missing two games in December, the former Penn St. star was still able to finish with career-high stats across the board, including 86 catches for 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 quarterback named Tom Brady. Considering where I have Godwin ranked compared to some of the other elite WR1, it's tremendous value given his current average draft position, which currently has him coming off the board at WR6 in the middle of the second round. This isn't necessarily an argument AGAINST Mike Evans. As Ben explains, Evans is certainly an elite option, but with Godwin, the potential to lead the league in both yards and receptions is possible.
Ben Heisler’s Argument for Evans over Godwin
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 finished with over 1,000 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons in the third round? I'm signing on that dotted line yesterday!
Evans has been as reliable and consistent as 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)?
The third round in fantasy drafts consists of names like Leonard Fournette, Amari Cooper, and Odell Beckham Jr. Evans represents an enormous draft value at his current ADP, whereas Godwin is going where he should be drafted. This is a no-brainer.
Bill Enright: Chris Godwin
Ben Heisler: Chris Godwin
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 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 if I end up with Evans in the third.