Had I told you in September that Tampa Bay was going to have three players ranked among the top-15 in fantasy points through nine games this year, you would have probably laughed at me. It would have taken OJ Howard a massive effort to get there, Jameis Winston should be playing lights-out, and Mike Evans is Mike Evans, so that’s okay. For one, Winston hasn’t been incredible, but he’s churning fantasy performances. Howard is an afterthought. And the real deal in Tampa is no other than third-year WR Chris Godwin!
Although Godwin has come down to earth after Tampa’s bye week after his scorching start to the season, he’s still producing like a league-winner this year. Godwin has only had two performances under 13 fantasy points and has reached 25 or more four times. His target numbers are massive (72, nine per game), and in his last two games, he’s caught 11 passes for 104 yards. He’s on a bit of a touchdown-drought as he hasn’t scored since Week 5, but that could easily change this weekend.
Now about Mike Evans, what could I say you don’t already know? He’s one of the best receivers around, and it’s showing. He’s second in receiving yards (842), sixth in targets (83), 11th in receptions (50), and leads the league in touchdowns with seven. He’s on a two-game streak of 11-plus receptions for 180-plus yards and has scored three touchdowns combined in that span. If you leave him on your bench any day, you’d be committing a serious crime.
Fantasy football analysis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans, Chris Godwin
I can summarize Mike Evans’ decision in two words: matchup-proof. If Mike Evans plays, you play Mike Evans. And if Mike Evans plays Arizona, then I don’t even know. The Cardinals rank 20th in points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers. Six players have caught at least seven passes against them, and five of them even reached 100-plus yards in those games. Evans is the no. 1 option in the Bucs offense, and as you see, a big game is coming.
That doesn’t mean Godwin will be left out in this matchup, though. The second-most used receiver in games against Arizona also receives his fair amount of chances and puts up nice numbers too. Evans will probably draw CB Patrick Peterson in shadow coverage, and that could open other avenues for Godwin to exploit. And no matter what, this game looks like a potential shootout with an O/U of 52—the highest of the weekend—and the Bucs just favorites by 4.5 points. While Mike Evans is a lock, Chris Godwin should have himself a day too.
Mike Evans: Start
Chris Godwin: Start