Chris Godwin and Tyler Lockett are two wide receivers who each have some high expectations on them for this upcoming season, not only in the real world but from a fantasy perspective as well. They both had similar seasons on the field, with Lockett recording 965 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns and Godwin snagging his own 842 and 7.
With ADPs that are nearly identical (WR20 for Godwin and WR22 for Lockett according to FantasyPros), the choice of which one to draft will be one that comes up a good amount. If faced with this choice myself, I am going with Lockett every single time for three main reasons: their usage, quarterback situation and track record.
The main issue I have with Godwin being chosen over Lockett is that Lockett is the clear cut first receiving option on his team while Godwin is not. Not only does Godwin have to compete with arguably top-10 wide receiver Mike Evans for targets, but up-and-coming tight end O.J. Howard is a legitimate threat as well. As for Lockett, well, his biggest competition is second-round rookie D.K. Metcalf, and even though he has some great potential, he has never caught an NFL pass.
This season Lockett will also get to work out of the slot much more, where he is more effective. When Doug Baldwin was on the field last season, he ran 62.3% of his routes from the slot according to playerprofiler.com. Now that Baldwin is out of the picture, not only will he get more targets, but he will be able to get them in a role that better suits him. There’s also the added bonus that he is frequently used as a return man, and while most leagues don’t reward you for yards there’s always the chance that he breaks one off for a score.
Lockett is also in a much better spot when it comes to who is throwing him the ball. He will have one of the best in the game to work with, as Russell Wilson is truly an elite quarterback. As for Godwin, well he’s got the often inconsistent and mediocre at best Jameis Winston. At times Winston looks like he could be a franchise QB, but also sometimes plays bad enough to get benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Add in his slew of off the field issues and incidents, and you get one mess for Godwin to deal with all season long.
Ultimately, Lockett simply has a better track record as well. He beat Godwin last year in both yards and touchdowns despite getting over 20 less targets. Now with his targets expected to go up a good amount, the ceiling is sky-high. Godwin on the other hand, already saw a large number of looks, and as was previously stated there are just too many other mouths to feed in that offense.
It’s nothing against Godwin, he’s still a great receiver and has a ton of potential in Bruce Arians’ offense. He will probably finish top-25 like last year, but Lockett has the potential to finish top-15. In fact, he already has, ending last year as WR14 in half-ppr scoring, while Godwin was WR24. Who knows, there’s a chance we might even get a top-10 season out of Lockett this fantasy season, and as someone who is being drafted in the 20s, that’s something to get excited about.