The Duel

Mike Evans & Chris Godwin Fantasy Outlooks Plummet After Antonio Brown Signs With Buccaneers

Max Staley
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both see their fantasy values dip after Antonio Brown joined the Buccaneers.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both see their fantasy values dip after Antonio Brown joined the Buccaneers. / Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense could look a whole lot different in the next few weeks. Antonio Brown has just signed with the team, reuniting him with Tom Brady. Assuming Brown can keep his head on straight, this move significantly raises the team's offensive ceiling.

However, Brown's presence could take a lot of targets away from Tampa Bay's other pass-catchers, namely Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski. In all likelihood, this move will significantly hurt all of their fantasy football outlooks once Brown is eligible to return in Week 9.

Chris Godwin Fantasy Outlook

Godwin might be looking at the biggest dip in value of the three. Even though he was in and out of the lineup due to injury issues, he was pretty clearly establishing himself as the top dog in this passing game.

Godwin has essentially played three full games with Brady, racking up 20 targets in that time. Notably, that doubled the 10 targets Evans saw during those same three outings, and it also put him ahead of Gronkowski (18). Those looks hadn't translated into that much success quite yet, but it always felt like Godwin was on the verge of breaking out.

Adding Brown throws a wrench into that. It's not time to hit the panic button quite yet, but his fantasy managers should adjust their expectations. The days of Godwin being a no-doubt WR1 are probably over, but he should settle in as a mid-to-low-end WR2 if he can stay healthy.

Mike Evans Fantasy Outlook

It's almost impossible to know what this move does to Evans' value. Then again, it's been pretty difficult to figure out what's been going on with Evans this year in general.

Evans is averaging just 46.8 receiving yards on 3.8 receptions and 6.2 targets per game. Those numbers would set new career lows across the board. For reference, Evans' previous career worsts were: 66.7 receiving yards, 8.13 targets and 4.53 receptions per game.

It's been tough to figure out whether Evans' drop in production is due to lingering injury issues or if he's just struggled to develop chemistry with Brady. Whatever the case, adding Brown means Evans' numbers could fall even further.

However, Evans has more-or-less salvaged his value thanks to his 6 TDs. That touchdown upside should mean he'll remain an every-week starter, regardless of what Brown does. Even if the yardage continues not to be there, the 6-foot-5 WR has 5 red zone TD grabs on the year already (T-No. 2 in the NFL). Theoretically, the addition of Brown should give him even more scoring opportunities.

It's probably safest to view Evans a TD-dependent WR3, which is fine, but it's not what fantasy managers drafted him to be.

Rob Gronkowski Fantasy Outlook

Following the trend, Gronkowski's fantasy outlook will take a hit as well. It's a shame because Gronk was just starting to heat up.

OJ Howard tore his Achilles in Week 4 and that allowed the future Hall-of-Fame TE to take on an increased role in the offense. In the two games since Howard went down, Gronk had set new season highs in receiving yards in back-to-back games, turning 7.0 targets into 4.0 catches for 65.0 receiving yards per game with 1 touchdown during that span.

He turned back the clock with a couple athletic grabs in Week 6 as well. But like Godwin and Evans, his volume will almost certainly take a hit once Brown gets integrated into the offense.

Thanks to his unrivaled rapport with Brady, Gronk does have a shot to maintain low-end TE1 value going forward, but he's probably best viewed as a streaming option for now.

As for the rest of the team, Brady is looking at a potentially massive spike in value, and the addition of Brown shouldn't impact Ronald Jones too much one way or the other. But the rest of Tampa Bay's semi-fantasy relevant pass-catchers, like Scotty Miller, Cameron Brate and Tyler Johnson, can all safely be dropped going forward.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.