Wide Receiver Showdown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin

The staff at Footballguys determines which Tampa Bay receiver will lead the team in 2020

These two Buccaneers receivers are often found back-to-back in people's rankings. In our PPR rankings, Godwin is WR6 and Evans is WR7. In non-PPR, Godwin sticks at WR6 while Evans moves up to WR5.

Which wide receiver do you prefer this season? How much does the scoring system matter? Are they both worthy of these high rankings? With Tom Brady's arrival, how sure are we of each receiver's role? Is one more of a sure thing?

Jason Wood

It's scary thinking about two receivers projected in the Top 8 playing for the same team, with a brand new quarterback, in a pandemic era where they've been unable to build chemistry. However, the excitement is palpable because Mike Evans has proven time and again he's able to be a fantasy WR1 regardless of who throws the ball, and Godwin delivered a classic "third-year breakout" last season. I think trying to definitely say one is better than the other is problematic.

Evans is more experienced and has been the better player, to date. But Godwin is only 23 years old and seemed to overtake Evans last year in some scouts' eyes.

Since Godwin joined the Buccaneers in 2017, he's averaged 3.9 receptions for 58.7 yards and 0.4 touchdowns. Evans, over the same span, has averaged 5.1 receptions for 83.7 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. Evans' catch rate (55%) is markedly lower than Godwin's (66%), although that's as much about the routes they're asked to run as it is their respective abilities.

Godwin's career average depth of target is just 11.4 versus Evans at 14.8. Many believe Godwin's role is surer under Brady, as the former Patriot generally thrives by throwing underneath routes. While that's been true, Brady has been highly effective when throwing deep -- he just hasn't had the deep threats on the roster.

I don't think you can go wrong with either, but history tells us one of them (or both) is probably going to fall short of their lofty ADPs. Godwin seems to be the hotter name in drafts, so I'll probably defer to Evans particularly if their respective ADPs widen further.

Jeff Haseley

I fully echo what Jason says, but I'll add some additional dialogue. Based on Chris Godwin's tendency and strength of playing in the slot I lean Godwin as a more productive fantasy wide receiver than his teammate, Mike Evans. One, Tom Brady loves to utilize his slot receiver, and two, Brady arguably has better accuracy and propensity to throw over the middle of the field, rather than attempt difficult throws to the sideline, where Evans has made a career. If Evans falls far enough past his ADP, he becomes a value. I'd rather spend a fourth-round pick on Evans than a second-round pick on Godwin. It's difficult to ignore six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, especially when you include the greatest quarterback in NFL history, or at least this era, into the equation.

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