Chris Godwin Could Feast in ‘Cooper Kupp Role,’ Updated 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Chris Godwin 2024 Fantasy Outlook: Could Feast in ‘Cooper Kupp Role’

Key Takeaways

  • Chris Godwin can play all over the NFL field, but is especially dominant when being used out of the slot. This is his more natural position.
  • New Buccaneers’ OC Liam Coen has pledged to use Godwin out of the slot in a role similar to Cooper Kupp
  • Chris Godwin’s slot receiver role in 2024 is expected to increase his targets and productivity, making him a key player in the team’s offensive strategy and enhancing his fantasy football outlook
  • This should make Chris Godwin a fantasy football steal at his current Round 7 price, significantly boosting his fantasy value and likelihood of contributing steady fantasy points.
Why Chris Godwin is a MUST-Draft 2024 Fantasy Football Mid-Round Target

Introduction: A Good Fantasy Football WR is Hard to Find (After Round 4)

In 2024 Best Ball Fantasy Drafts, Wide Receivers (WRs) absolutely, and correctly, FLY off the board. Years of historical data show that Zero or Hero RB is the strategy that smart drafters are deploying. Thus, drafters are scrambling to acquire “WR Firepower” faster than ever before. WRs capable of high-end fantasy points dry up incredibly fast.

Consequently, after studying the data from all four years of Best Ball Mania, Hayden Winks‘ deduced that drafting 4-5 WRs through Round 7 is “The Golden Rule of Best Ball.” Yet, by Round 4-5 in 2024 drafts, the WR fantasy cupboard starts to grow barren.

Yet, a handful of WRs still exist in the late sixth, early seventh rounds that could far outproduce their current price tag. One in particular is Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver Chris Godwin.

Expected to return to the slot this season, Chris Godwin’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook looks bright as he moves back to his more natural position. We already know Godwin’s floor is high, yet his ceiling could be far greater than most recognize.

Chris Godwin: A Fantasy Maestro in the Slot

Throughout his career, Chris Godwin has been as reliable a fantasy asset as they come. Since becoming a starter, he’s finished as the WR2, WR15, WR9, WR19 in FPPG… only to finish as the WR37 this past year. In 2019, Godwin had a standout season with 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.

Why did Chris Godwin experience such a dramatic downturn in 2023 fantasy production?

I believe Godwin’s departure from his typical slot role played a major role. Godwin was lined up in the slot or inside on 67%, 70%, and 72% of plays in the three years prior to 2023.

Godwin thrived in this role, ranking fifth in the NFL in receptions per game (6.5) and ninth in receiving yards per game (72.3). Godwin also had exceptional catch rates, hauling in 77.4% of his targets in 2020, 77.2% in 2021 and 73.2% in 2022.

Unfortunately, he played in the slot less than a third of the time in 2023. Most of those slot snaps came over the final four weeks, when Todd Bowles made a concerted effort to get Godwin back inside. In his first game with over 50% of snaps in the slot, Godwin posted 10 catches, 155 yards!

Moreover, Godwin only had three Top-12 weeks on the year, but two of them came during these final-four weeks. He averaged 17.5 PPR FPPG and was the WR7 over this span, ahead of teammate Mike Evans (WR14). Mike Evans remains a key player, impacting Godwin’s role and performance.

According to Jordan Vannek, the Baker-to-Godwin combo was lethal when Godwin was in the slot. Gowin averaged 27% targets per slot route run, and 2.4 yards per slot route. Those are ELITE metrics.

You may ask, “But Wolf… if Godwin was so elite from the slot, why didn’t they use him more there in 2023? And why should we trust them to do so in 2024?” Great questions, let’s dive into why Godwin’s 2024 fantasy outlook should be vastly improved, and much more slot-focused.

Chris Godwin in ‘Cooper Kupp Role’ for 2024, Elite Outlook with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ex-OC Dave Canales is a QB whisperer and overall offensive guru. Yet, if he had any faults, it was his misusage of Chris Godwin.

New OC Liam Coen has pledged to use Chris Godwin more inside to create plenty of “lay-up” opportunities. In fact, Coen even mentioned using Godwin in a role similar to Cooper Kupp. Coen was the Rams’ assistant WRs coach in 2019 – not Kupp’s triple-crown season, but indeed the start of his ascension. Kupp posted a 94 rec, 1161 yds, 10 TDs under Coen’s tutelage.

“You’ve got a guy [in Mike Evans] that’s 6-4 and change, 220, and can move like he does,” he said on Tuesday after being introduced to the local media. “Then you’ve got a guy like Chris that I think can be really dynamic on the inside. That’s where I envision him playing, is more on the inside, playing that ‘F’ position that ultimately Cooper played. A lot of things do run through that. So I’m excited about him.”

Trey Palmer, a wide receiver, is also competing for a starting position in the three-wide sets for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2024.

WRs coach Bryan McCLendon shared a similar sentiment about increasing Godwin’s slot usage, adding:

“Right now, Chris is going to be moved back to the slot, pretty much the majority of the time…That does not mean that you cannot utilize him in other ways, but just positionally if we went out there today, he would probably be the starting slot. . . . He is a guy that does not mind getting physical. When you have that guy, he gives you an extra gap in the run game and then when you have that guy in the pass game, he has to be good around making contested catches.”

The potential impact of free agency on Chris Godwin’s role and fantasy value cannot be overlooked, as it could significantly alter the team’s strategy.

The results in early OTAs have been noticeable. Coen’s offense has featured tons of pre-snap motion and moving pieces, and Godwin has been among the most active. Baker Mayfield has noticed a far more engaged and active Godwin as a result:

“Chris has had a ton of success in the slot,” Mayfield said. “This offense is one though that we’re going to move everybody around but this one really gives Chris a chance [do] the stuff that he’s really really good that he’s going to be doing a lot of so he’s more comfortable in it you can just tell body language wise talking to him about it he loves it so far and right now we’re just growing going through it together but it’s good to see him back where he’s best.”

Just like Kupp, Godwin is an elite route-runner with phenomenal run-after-catch skills. He should thrive in a return to this more high-volume role.

Conclusion: Chris Godwin’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

To summarize, Chris Godwin WR’s return to a slot-centric role should facilitate a major fantasy bounceback in 2024. Yet, Godwin’s WR41 price is lower than his career floor, and does not capture his incredible, raised ceiling. There’s a world Godwin outproduces Mike Evans at a 5+ round discount.

As such, Godwin is my WR37 and 68th overall player in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. He ranks 67th (+4 ECR) in my Top-200 Best Ball Fantasy Big Board.

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