As we inch closer to the 2023 season, it seems evident that Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are outcasts to the dynasty world. Two players finished as top 20 receivers in fantasy football last season. Now that Tom Brady is retired, the dynasty world wants nothing to do with these two elite receivers. Are we overreacting to this offense, or should they be outcasted from your dynasty teams for 2023 and beyond?
Why Are They Being Outcasted!?
The apparent reason is that Tom Brady is no longer the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are left with a one-year deal with Baker Mayfield and second-round pick Kyle Trask. Trask hasn’t proved anything at the professional NFL level yet, with just nine pass attempts in his career. Mayfield is the likely Week 1 starter of the season.
Everyone has a sour taste with Mayfield after a terrible 2022. In 12 starts with two different teams, Mayfield had a receiver go over 75 yards in just three games. He didn’t have a single game over 250 passing yards and just two games with more than one passing touchdown. I’d imagine everyone’s thought processes to have three games where Godwin and Evans produce over 75 receiving yards. The quarterback position is a significant flaw for both receivers to be outcasts.
Outside of their quarterback situation, Godwin and Evans have their own concerns. Godwin continues to miss games every year, which can be an issue of trust for dynasty owners. He has missed eight games over the last three seasons, especially later in the season. Godwin’s touchdowns have decreased each year to where he only had three in 2022.
Evans’s biggest issue is age, as he will be 30 during the 2023 season. We all know a cliff is coming for Evans, as many elite receivers can fall around that age. Evans has a history of hamstring injuries, a growing concern as he ages. The lack of consistency for Evans left a lousy taste where he had 37% of his total fantasy points come in just two games last year. That means Evans gave us too many poor performances, making him unattractive for dynasty owners.
What Have They Done?
Godwin has emerged as a strong WR2 in fantasy as a slot guy. He has three of the last four seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards. He has top 20 finishes in those three seasons over 1000 yards, and one was the WR2 finish in 2019.
Evans has just been Mr. Underappreciated and Mr. Consistent in fantasy football for the last nine seasons. Evans has 1,000 yards in each season over these nine years. He also had six of nine seasons with eight-plus touchdowns being a dominant focus in the red zone.
Over the last five seasons, the duo has caught passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, and Tom Brady. They have been reliable WR2s in fantasy football for a while now.
Can They Prove Haters Wrong?
Too often, folks look at the situation rather than the talent of these receivers. Folks didn’t blink when older receiver talent gets traded to new teams, but their name value carries them. Evans is an elite talent and arguably has the best career than other receivers from the draft class, like Davante Adams and Odell Beckham. Evans still has deep threat ability to make big plays downfield. He was third in deep targets and top 12 in air yards in 2022. Brady was 17th in deep target accuracy, while Mayfield was sixth. Evans can continue to be the downfield threat, and camp reports say he is being used in the slot more often. That could give him a higher reception share which is excellent for PPR leagues.
Godwin has been an excellent receiver in his prime years in fantasy football. He needs to be used in the slot more often than not. He has been a much more efficient receiver than playing on the outside. Godwin was sixth in YAC last year, so all the quarterback needs to do is get the ball in his direction and allow him to work. Let’s not forget that Godwin hurt his hamstring early in 2022, so he played hurt for most of the season. From week 12 to 18, Chris Godwin was WR9 down the stretch.
They have a new OC in Dave Canales, who helped jump-started Seattle’s rebuild into a surprise season with Geno Smith and company. As the quarterback coach, Canales was a big part of turning a former bust into a solid quarterback. If Canales can get Mayfield or Trask to that level of performance, that will help benefit the Bucs duo.
Mayfield has the playing experience and has shown he can help produce elite receiver numbers if Canales can get Mayfield back to his 2019 season, where he had two 1,000-yard receivers. Mayfield was 10th pass attempts which means more targets, and he was a great deep ball thrower. Their division allows them to stay competitive all season and a run game that is unknown if it will be successful.
Dynasty Values Start-up/Trades
In reality, Evans is a 30-year-old receiver and is only valuable to a contending dynasty team. He is being drafted in round 10 in start-up drafts, whereas a player like Davanate Adams, in a similarly bad situation, is going in round four of start-up drafts. Godwin is still a prime receiver, a round-seven player who should have a few more seasons of strong receiver production that a contending team would most likely want.
- Miles Sanders for Chris Godwin
- JSN for Chris Godwin & 2024
- Michael Pittman for Chris Godwin & 2024 2nd
- Rashod Bateman for Mike Evans
- 2024 2nd for Mike Evans
- Jahan Dotson for Mike Evans
Here is a list of recent trades for both of these receivers. It seems to be very league opinionated. I’d give up Michael Pittman for Godwin out of the Godwin trades. The Sanders one is interesting, but you likely need that RB to succeed. I could see Godwin lasting longer than Sanders does.
For the Evans trades, give me Evans over Bateman or a 2024 second-round pick for a contending team. I’m a big believer in the Commander’s offense, so id hate to give up Dotson, but it’s fair to say it’s a decent trade for both sides. I firmly believe that both of these players have low value right now. If you are a contender, Id be looking around to acquire them on the cheap.
I wouldn’t outcast these receivers. The Bucs’ offense will not be a total train wreck in 2023. Mayfield can surprise many after being in two bad situations last season. The Bucs are an excellent organization that will give Mayfield an opportunity back bounce to help this duo. Evans is an older player and likely has one more year of elite production. His up-and-down game-by-game does make me nervous, so I’m only buying if I can get him cheap.
Godwin should be looked at as more of an option for contending owners. He is a prime receiver that should see 120 targets in an offense. Godwin is still a strong dynasty option, only 27 years old. He should be considered better, and if not, buy low on the receiver.
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