chris-godwin-1400-us.jpg
USATSI

The only way you're going to avoid an uncomfortable decision with Chris Godwin this week is if he doesn't play. That's at least partially due to all the mixed signals we've receiver about his Week 1 status. Even Wednesday's practice report was confusing, with Godwin being listed as a full participant even though he went through practice in a non-contact jersey.

Godwin was comfortable enough to ditch his knee brace recently, but he's also said that it's not about Week 1 and the most important part of the season is the second half. To this point it might seem like an easy call to bench Godwin even if he's active, until you remember his upside.

Godwin ranked as WR9 on a per-game basis in 2021, three spots higher than teammate Mike Evans, and that includes Week 15 when he only played 22% of the snaps. The year before he was WR15 per game, again besting Evans.  

Playing with Tom Brady, there's a legitimate chance Godwin could produce a top-12 week even if he's on a pitch count. He could also play a handful of high-leverage snaps as a decoy and give you a goose egg.

Further complicating this mess is the fact that Godwin plays in prime time on Sunday night, so we may not know his status when most of the action kicks off Sunday. If that's the case, you can hardly risk him unless you have someone like Russell Gage, Julio Jones, Jalen Tolbert, or Tyler Lockett to cover your tracks. if he's cleared before Sunday morning then I'm likely starting him, but your decision should be based on risk tolerance and how good your best replacement option is.

If your replacement option is Gabe Davis or Allen Robinson, then it's a pretty easy call to start them on Thursday night.

As for the rest of the Bucs receivers, Mike Evans is a must-start no matter what. Unless Godwin has been ruled out, I'm viewing Russell Gage and Julio Jones as deep flexes. If Godwin is ruled out early, then they'd be bumped up to boom-or-bust No. 3 wide receivers.

Here is the rest of the Week 1 WR Preview:

Week 1 WR Preview
WR Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 1 at this time. Here's what it means:

DET Detroit • #9
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Williams begins the year on IR and is one of the best stashes if you have an IR slot in your league.
TEN Tennessee • #10
Age: 31 • Experience: 11 year
Hopkins is suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season.
DAL Dallas • #18
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Jalen Tolbert should get a chance to get off to a hot start as the team's No. 2 wide receiver.
WR Preview
Numbers to Know
  • 81 -- Darnell Mooney received the fourth-most targets in the league from Week 11-18.
  • 100.3 -- Elijah Moore scored the second-most Fantasy points by a wide receiver from Week 9-13.
  • 42.3 -- The Vikings surrendered the most PPR Fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers in 2021.
  • 48.4% -- The Eagles had the second-lowest target rate directed toward wide receivers in 2021. This should change with A.J. Brown on the roster.
  • 80.4% -- Hunter Renfrow caught 103 of 128 targets last season, the second-highest catch rate by a wide receiver with at least 100 targets since the stat was first tracked in 1992.
  • 439.5 -- Cooper Kupp broke the WR single-season PPR Fantasy points record in 2021 with 439.5 points last year. 
  • 265 -- The Chiefs have 265 targets to replace at wide receiver in 2022, the most in the NFL.
  • 8 -- Deebo Samuel had eight rushing touchdowns last year. Regression and Trey Lance should halve that at least
  • 3,525 -- D.J. Moore has 3,525 receiving yards since the start of 2019. Only Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Travis Kelce have more.
  • 29% -- Targets per route run for Kadarius Toney in 2021, which ranked fifth at the position. If he can stay on the field, he's a breakout.
WR Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
IND Indianapolis • #11
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU IND -8 O/U 46
OPP VS WR
18th
PROJ PTS
15.8
WR RNK
8th
2021 Stats
REC
88
TAR
129
REYDS
1082
TD
6
FPTS/G
14
NO New Orleans • #13
Age: 31 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL NO -5.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS WR
21st
PROJ PTS
14.5
WR RNK
39th
2021 Stats
REC
0
TAR
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0
KC Kansas City • #2
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs KC KC -4.5 O/U 53.5
OPP VS WR
30th
PROJ PTS
16.5
WR RNK
18th
2021 Stats
REC
91
TAR
146
REYDS
1008
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.1
CIN Cincinnati • #5
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs PIT CIN -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
20th
PROJ PTS
14.4
WR RNK
15th
2021 Stats
REC
74
TAR
110
REYDS
1091
TD
6
FPTS/G
15.7
CAR Carolina • #19
Age: 33 • Experience: 11 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB GB -1.5 O/U 47
OPP VS WR
17th
PROJ PTS
11.8
WR RNK
22nd
2021 Stats
REC
67
TAR
95
REYDS
726
TD
10
FPTS/G
15.4
ATL Atlanta • #5
Age: 22 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NO NO -5.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS WR
14th
PROJ PTS
9.8
WR RNK
43rd
WR Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 1 Adds (WR Preview)
HOU Houston • #12
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs IND IND -7 O/U 45.5
OPP VS WR
NR
WR RNK
43rd
ROSTERED
56%
2021 Stats
REC
33
TAR
60
REYDS
446
TD
1
FPTS/G
6
Collins was under-drafted all offseason, so it's no surprise that he's under-rostered in September. He's the clear No. 2 option for a Texans team that should be chasing the score in Week 1. He ranks as a borderline No. 3 wide receiver for me and a good flex in full PPR leagues where you start three wide receivers.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN TEN -5.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
NR
WR RNK
NR
ROSTERED
14%
We're expecting Robinson to play the slot role as Sterling Shepard continues to recover from the torn Achilles he suffered last year. That's complicated by Sterling Shepard saying he's good to go this week, but we expect him to be very limited in his first game back. This is the position Daniel Jones has targeted most often, and with the way Kenny Golladay has looked this preseason, Robinson could be second on the team in targets behind Kadarius Toney.
ATL Atlanta • #4
Age: 23 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs KC KC -6 O/U 53.5
OPP VS WR
NR
WR RNK
NR
ROSTERED
45%
2021 Stats
REC
54
TAR
64
REYDS
435
TD
1
FPTS/G
7.8
Moore is off the injury report and the coaching staff has signaled they want to use him a lot more this year, so I'd expect a decent role in Week 1. The team is already without DeAndre Hopkins and Zach Ertz missed practice on Thursday. If Ertz is out, Moore has significant target upside in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs that should go up and down the field.
Stashes (WR Preview)
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -7 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
24th
WR RNK
NR
ROSTERED
59%
Wilson is one of many rookie wide receivers I wouldn't start in Week 1 but I absolutely want on my bench. He's at the top of the list, but it also includes Jahan Dotson, Romeo Doubs, Jalen Tolbert, Jameson Williams, and Christian Watson. Williams is the easiest to stash if you have an IR slot. Just add him, put him on the IR, then add another rookie pass catcher.
WR Preview
DFS Plays
Top DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #2
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CLE CAR -2.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS WR
6th
PROJ PTS
12.7
WR RNK
12th
2021 Stats
REC
93
TAR
163
REYDS
1157
TD
4
FPTS/G
14
Did you expect anyone else? Not if you've been following me this offseason, you didn't. Moore is priced like a mid-range WR2 and I view him as one of the top-eight options on the slate, regardless of price. I expect Moore to crush his career high in touchdown receptions with Baker Mayfield, and Week 1 against Mayfield's old squad is a great place to start.
Contrarian DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
DAL Dallas • #3
Age: 30 • Experience: 11 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs IND IND -8 O/U 46
OPP VS WR
16th
PROJ PTS
15.3
WR RNK
16th
2021 Stats
REC
90
TAR
134
REYDS
1037
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.5
Cooks is a borderline No. 1 wide receiver who has been drafted in Round 5 or Round 6 on most sites, so I wouldn't expect his Week 1 roster rate to be very high at all. In the only game Davis Mills started and finished against the Colts last year, Cooks scored 17.9 PPR Fantasy points without a touchdown. He has massive upside chasing the score in this one.
WR Preview
Heath's Projections