1Injury recovery status
Chris Godwin tore his ACL in Week 15 of last season. As an established weekly must-start fantasy WR, Godwin’s 2022 range of outcomes hinges almost entirely on his full recovery before Week 1 and his ability to start the season in football shape. Anything short of “Godwin is a full go” could diminish his value, as the Bucs will need him more in January than in September.
2The Tom Brady effect
Last season, the Bucs led all teams in pass attempts (719), completions (485), receiving yards (5,316), and receiving scores (43). Essentially, at the age of 44, Tom Brady had one of his two greatest NFL seasons, and Godwin (9.1 targets per contest) benefited significantly in what was believed to be a fairly crowded receiving corps.
Brady’s 42.3 passes per game was No. 6 all-time. His next-highest average was 39.8 nine years earlier. Even if he averages 40 passes per game in 2022, Godwin could realistically see a half-target drop on average per game. Averaging 1.9 fantasy points per target last year, that could equate to a 6%-7% regression.
3X-factor: Russell Gage
If Godwin is forced to miss the beginning of the season, the newly signed Russell Gage could step into a prominent role. Even if Godwin is good to go, if Gage performs better than expected, Gage could establish a larger-than-expected role for the rest of the season. It’s not enough that Godwin is one of the league’s top receivers. If it were, Antonio Brown wouldn’t have frequently outperformed him and Mike Evans when the three shared the field last year. While Gage lacks Brown’s explosive ceiling, at his best, he could cut into Godwin’s upside.