Chris Godwin had a breakout season in 2019 under new head coach Bruce Arians, as he caught 86 passes for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing the last two games of the season. This year he will get a change at quarterback, as Tom Brady will take over for Jameis Winston behind center.
As the 2020 NFL Draft nears, DraftKings Sportsbook has given us over-under totals on passing, receiving and rushing yards for individual players. Godwin’s over-under for receiving yards in 2020 is set at 1,250.5.
Prediction: Over 1,250.5
Godwin has always been a fantasy darling due to his strong combine numbers. When Arians came on the scene and said Godwin could be a slot receiver in the range Larry Fitzgerald was for Arians in Arizona, all eyes were on the youngster to breakout in 2019. And, amazingly, the obvious projections of a strong passing offense in Tampa Bay and Godwin’s breakout, all came to pass.
Now, the questions is, can Tom Brady deliver the same kind of target numbers and production that Jameis Winston did for Godwin last season? Brady is old, that can’t be disputed, but what can be disputed is just how much he has fallen of late. His numbers tailed off but so had his supporting cast in New England. Brady’s arm strength isn’t what it once was but he also hasn’t had an elite outside receiver since Randy Moss. Most of his work of late has come with connections to his slot receiver Julian Edelman and before him, Wes Welker. That’s good news for Godwin, who played over 60 percent of his snaps from the slot last season.
Godwin averaged 8.6 targets per game last season, which would have given him 137 targets in 16 games instead of the 120 he saw through 14 games. If you extrapolate his yardage to 16 games, he would have finished with 1,523 yards. As Godwin sees shorter depth of targets than Evans, and Brady is pre-conditioned to throw to his slot receiver, I don’t see much reason to drop Godwin’s targets by a big margin in Arians’ offense.
The Buccaneers offense did need to throw more last season due to Winston’s 30 interceptions, which kept them trailing and needing to throw, but Arians’ offense threw more than the NFL average with a lead. Brady might not have the arm strength of Winston, but he is more accurate throwing short to mid-range and will give Godwin better chances to catch passes, raising his efficiency if his targets do end up dropping.
Injury is my only concern with this wager, as Brady is older than dirt and might turn to dirt before the season is done, but his injury history has been great and as long as Godwin is on the field, he’ll get enough targets from Brady to beat this over/under with ease.
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