Chris Godwin: Buy, Sell or Hold?

Bruce Matson

Sometimes the prospects you fall in love with during the draft process don’t fall to you in rookie drafts. However, not obtaining that player during the rookie draft could become a blessing in disguise, because that prospect’s dynasty value could drop during their first year in the league. Players who don’t produce during their inaugural rookie seasons tend to drop in trade value during the year, making them discounted assets on the trade market.

There are many examples from last year’s rookie class, but Chris Godwin is one of those players who stands out in bright lights. He was garnered as one of the top prospects in last year’s draft before falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round. Godwin was considered an early second round pick in last year’s rookie drafts, making him a highly sought-after asset among most dynasty-leaguers.

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Unfortunately, his lackluster rookie season left a bitter taste in the mouths of impatient dynasty owners. Some of these owners are ready to abandon ship on Godwin simply because he only caught 24 passes for 316 yards during his rookie season. This happens every year like clockwork. A highly touted young prospect doesn’t initially produce during their rookie year, leading them to be forgotten about amongst many fantasy football enthusiasts. This creates a buying market for dynasty owners who still believe in that player’s talent.

Godwin was a playmaker at Penn State. He caught 154 passes for 2,421 and 18 touchdowns during his three-year collegiate career and owned a 26.90 percent market share of Penn State’s passing game during his junior season.

We all know Godwin has a lot of talent, but the major question is how will he fit in Tampa Bay’s offense in the future. The Buccaneers already have Mike Evans, one of the top wide receivers in the league and someone who will command the large market share of targets during the duration of his career. From there, things kind of get a little bit murky.

They have DeSean Jackson on the roster, but he’s aging and his skill sets are slow withering away. Tampa is also stacked at tight end with Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, but Godwin has the talent to siphon away targets from them. He’s in a great opportunity to take over as the WR2 in Tampa’s offense in a few years. Godwin will rarely experience double coverage, because he’s playing on the opposite side of the field of Mike Evans. If anything, Tampa Bay’s offense is a grand opportunity for Godwin to prove his worth.

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From an ADP standpoint, Godwin has held his value pretty well during the season. Most rookies tend to be age-insulated during the first couple of years of their career. However, this doesn’t reflect the buying price on the trade market, where you can sneak away with talented young prospects as throw-in pieces in trades.

He had an ADP of 181.83 in February of 2017 and right before the draft, and his ADP bolstered to a 116.5 in April. Since then his ADP has hovered around the 120 range during most of the year. It took a slight dip in July, August and September, but his value is currently holding steady. His value in startup drafts should hold about the same through the off-season, but his value on the trade market could be an entirely different story.

The mindset of a lot of dynasty owners will change once rookie fever starts to set in. Draft picks will start to increase in price, while older and non-productive players start to drop in value. Quite frankly, a large portion of most dynasty leagues will begin to chase the shiny new toys and forget about the toys they acquired during last year’s rookie draft. This is when you can acquire a player like Godwin for less than what you could have paid for him last year. The off-season is the time to take a chance on those prospects who slipped through your fingers a year ago.

BUYERS

His trade value will become more palatable in a few months when the draft community starts pumping up the stock of a lot of these draft prospects. The trade value of some of the current players in the league will slowly dilute during this time period, creating discounts for a lot of talented players. The goal here is to try and land him in a trade at a generous price point. Not all owners are going to sell him on the low, so don’t be surprised if you have to get a little bit creative during trade negotiations.

SELLERS

I’m standing firm here and I’m not dealing for anything less than what I initially paid for him. He’s still a very talented prospect who has the potential to breakout within the next two seasons. It would be hard to let a player like him go just for pennies on the dollar. Unless it’s an offer I can’t refuse, it’s going to be impossible for me to let him go.

WIN-NOW TEAMS

The season is almost over and we won’t need to acquire pieces to make a championship run until the middle of next season. Right now, Godwin is a strong hold for win-now teams, because he’s not going to fetch much on the trade market to help your chances at winning a title this year. It’s too early to trade for veteran players that are hovering around his price point, because those players could incur a major loss of value by the time next season even starts. Godwin’s value should hold steady throughout the off-season in most leagues, making him a safe asset to hold on your roster.

REBUILDING TEAMS

Godwin is the perfect player to try and buy right now. He’s a high-upside talent whose price point won’t break your bank account. If your team is in the middle of the pack or worse, then you need to take a stab at trying to acquire his services via trade. If he hits, you have a young player that can carry your team for years. If he busts, you’re not out much. You have nothing to lose here.

After reviewing DLF’s Trade Finder it’s easy to see that Godwin is currently being used as a throw-in piece during trade negotiations. A lot of dynasty owners are using him as an additional asset to get deals done. This makes a lot sense, since he’s a young prospect who currently carries a second to third round pick value. He’s also been traded straight up in separate deals for second round picks, Jimmy Graham and even Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

I’m one of those owners who couldn’t land Godwin in last year’s drafts and now I’m looking to buy at a discount in the near future. I’ve been a Godwin fan for a few years and I was very confident in his talents during the draft process. He should eventually be able to develop to become a dependable player at the NFL level and for fantasy. Godwin may never become a perennial WR1 in fantasy, but he has a enough talent to be a dependable WR2 for years to come.

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bruce matson
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