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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2020 Half PPR Draft Rankings
Chris Godwin Note
Chris Godwin photo 19. Chris Godwin WR - (vs . ATL)
NextGenStats tracks each player's usage and routes throughout every game, and I wish I could remember who posted it, but Godwin's routes were essentially the same exact ones that Bruce Arians used for Larry Fitzgerald back in Arizona. That's a very good thing. I want to do an exercise with you. Close your eyes and imagine Tom Brady dropping back to pass. What do you see? Do you see him muscling a pass towards the sideline? I didn't think so. I also saw him targeting a receiver over the middle of the field. Godwin played 63.4 percent of his snaps last year in the slot. He was second in the league in slot yards (838) behind only Cooper Kupp, and despite seeing 31 fewer slot targets than Kupp, he only finished with 15 fewer yards and the same number of touchdowns. Godwin's average depth of target was 10.4 yards last year while Mike Evans' was 15.3 yards. The average depth of target for Brady last year was 7.6 yards down the field. It's clear that Godwin should quickly become a favorite of Brady, who hates to take risks, as Godwin is a better separator than Evans. Believe it or not, there's a clear path for Godwin to finish as the WR1 in 2020. I don't say that about many receivers. He's in the tier immediately after Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, and Julio Jones.
14 weeks ago
Mike Evans Note
Mike Evans photo 26. Mike Evans WR - (vs . ATL)
There are a lot of people who'll point out the fact that Evans finished as a WR1 in 2019 despite missing three games. Well, I hate to break it to you, but he was not a WR1 in terms that actually matter to you, the fantasy player. Despite averaging an elite 9.1 targets per game, Evans posted WR2 or better-type numbers in just 38.5 percent of his games. That ranked 28th among wide receivers. Seriously, guys like Sterling Shepard, Cole Beasley, and Jamison Crowder had higher percentages. Now you take away Jameis Winston, someone who was more than willing to throw the ball into tight coverage all the time, and swap him with one of the most risk averse quarterbacks in football? Evans' 2.4 yards of separation at target was one of the worst marks among wide receivers, and while it doesn't tell the full story, those who watch Evans knows he uses his body extremely well to box out defenders rather than gain multiple yards of separation with precision route running. Look, he's still a good player who's totaled at least 1,000 yards in each of his first six NFL seasons, so I'm not completely writing him off, though it does help that he's seen at least 8.7 targets per game over the last five years. I don't think Brady is as bad as some think at throwing the deep ball anymore, I just don't think he does it nearly as often as Winston did/was willing to. I'm expecting a slight dip in targets and less air yards, which in turn, equals less production for a player like Evans. It's not bad if you land him as your WR2, but I wouldn't recommend him as a WR1.
14 weeks ago
Leonard Fournette Note
Leonard Fournette photo 65. Leonard Fournette RB - (vs . ATL)
Fournette signed with the Bucs after being released by the Jaguars. His contract ($2 million base, incentives based on playing time and rushing yards) suggests that he is expecting to see significant work. Still, given that he signed with the team a little more than a week before the season begins, it's going to take him time to get acclimated to the offense. Fournette can be considered a Flex play, but don't expect him to contribute immediately and, even when he does, he won't be a workhorse back given the presence of Ronald Jones.
13 weeks ago
Tom Brady Note
Tom Brady photo 89. Tom Brady QB - (vs . ATL)
The end of an era. Crazy to write Brady's name under the Bucs, but hey, this might be the least crazy thing about 2020. He's going from Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. That should help his shockingly low 6.6 yards per attempt from 2019. Not only that, but 2019 was the first time in Brady's career where he didn't have a touchdown percentage of 4.0 or above. It was also the first time since 2004 where he completed less than 61 percent of his passes. Will the upgrade in receivers help him get back on track, or are we at the end for the greatest of all-time? The Patriots offensive line was not particularly good last year, so when you combined that with Brady's inability to move at all, you get bad numbers. The Bucs offensive line hasn't been good over the last few years, though they were slightly better in 2019, and they did draft tackle Tristan Wirfs in the first round, highlighting the fact that they know Brady needs protection. They don't have a James White/Julian Edelman on the roster to be his safety valve, though I suspect Godwin will become that player to him. Will the pass attempts drop off from Jameis Winston? Probably, but know that Bruce Arians has not fallen out of the top 20 in pass attempts since back in 2010. His teams have now been top-five in each of his last three years as a coach. Knowing they don't have a running back like Saquon Barkley on the roster, we should expect 580-plus pass attempts, and if you look at the receivers on the roster, and what their career averages are when it comes to yards per target, yards per reception, touchdowns, etc., it's hard to say Brady won't finish as a top-12 quarterback in 2020. There's risk that he's just flat-out done, as well as risk of chemistry with no offseason, but Brady did workout with a lot of the skill-position players even when the NFL advised against it. He's not a top-five candidate, but if you snag him as a back-end QB1, he shouldn't lose you fantasy leagues.
14 weeks ago
Ronald Jones II Note
Ronald Jones II photo 100. Ronald Jones II RB - (vs . ATL)
Jones' value was ascending right up until the Bucs signed Leonard Fournette, after which it dropped significantly. Fournette's contract suggests he's going to see (or at least he signed expecting to see) significant playing time, which likely moves him into a rough timeshare with Jones. Both Fournette and Jones can be drafted as Flexes, but Jones is more likely to contribute earlier in the season while Fournette gets comfortable with the offense. Draft Jones if you need someone immediately, but Fournette if you're taking a longer-term view.
13 weeks ago
Rob Gronkowski Note
Rob Gronkowski photo 107. Rob Gronkowski TE - (vs . ATL)
The fact that Tom Brady won't have a full offseason with his new receivers, you have to wonder if he'll gravitate towards his old friend Gronkowski. During Gronkowski's career, he posted top-five-type numbers in 40.9 percent of his games, which is easily the best of all-time. In fact, the closest tight end, Travis Kelce, has posted those numbers in 31.6 percent of his games. While Gronkowski isn't the young stud he once was, but he should be a consistent presence while on the field with Brady.
14 weeks ago
O.J. Howard Note
O.J. Howard photo 193. O.J. Howard TE - (vs . ATL)
One of the more talented tight ends in the league, but also someone who is going to play second fiddle to Rob Gronkowski. The Bucs have said they'll be running a lot more 2TE sets, but it remains to be seen. With the other receiving options they have ahead of Howard, it's tough to see a path to consistent production. If Gronkowski were to miss time, Howard would jump into the TE1 conversation.
14 weeks ago
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Note
Tampa Bay Buccaneers photo 216. Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST - (vs . ATL)
Ke'Shawn Vaughn Note
Ke'Shawn Vaughn photo 248. Ke'Shawn Vaughn RB - (vs . ATL)
During the scouting process, I felt like Vaughn was just a guy, not a difference maker. That's not to say he wouldn't be able to produce if given the opportunity, but I don't think opportunity will simply be given to him. Don't forget that David Johnson saw just 161 touches his rookie season under Bruce Arians, and that was while he was extremely efficient. Interestingly enough, he was also a third-round pick. Then, once you hear the Bucs signed Leonard Fournette, you were able to cut bait and move on from Vaughn in redraft leagues.
13 weeks ago
LeSean McCoy Note
LeSean McCoy photo 283. LeSean McCoy RB - (vs . ATL)
Ryan Succop Note
Ryan Succop photo 310. Ryan Succop K - (vs . ATL)
Cameron Brate Note
Cameron Brate photo 312. Cameron Brate TE - (vs . ATL)
Brate has plenty of talent, but has now become known more as second fiddle to O.J. Howard. Now, with Rob Gronkowski added, Brate is unlikely to be relevant even in tight end-premium leagues, particularly in Bruce Arians' system. Absent a trade, forget about Brate on draft day.
24 weeks ago
Scotty Miller Note
Scotty Miller photo 333. Scotty Miller WR - (vs . ATL)
Justin Watson Note
Justin Watson photo 380. Justin Watson WR - (vs . ATL)
Antonio Brown Note
Antonio Brown photo 402. Antonio Brown WR - (vs . ATL)
Tyler Johnson Note
Tyler Johnson photo 405. Tyler Johnson WR - (vs . ATL)
Greg Joseph Note
Greg Joseph photo 423. Greg Joseph K - (vs . ATL)
Josh Rosen Note
Josh Rosen photo 543. Josh Rosen QB - (vs . ATL)
Blaine Gabbert Note
Blaine Gabbert photo 558. Blaine Gabbert QB - (vs . ATL)
Antony Auclair Note
Antony Auclair photo 619. Antony Auclair TE - (vs . ATL)