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Chris Godwin, Jameis Winston Fantasy Playoffs Outlook After Mike Evans Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard (80) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

As Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans deals with a hamstring injury that ended his day in Sunday's matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, the fate of the team's passing attacks now falls into the hands of Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and Co. 

And that figures to have big implications on not just the Buccaneers, but for fantasy football owners as well.

A third-round pick in 2017, Godwin took a big step forward last season, increasing his yardage output from 525 as a rookie to 842. Most notably, though, he hauled in seven touchdown catches after being held to just one score the previous year.

He got off to an especially strong start in 2018, finding the end zone in four of the first five games.

Godwin finished second on the team to Evans in both yards and touchdowns a season ago. And he's been a fantasy superstar thus far this season, coming into Sunday with 74 receptions for 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns. He's locked in place as a high-end WR1.

Howard, meanwhile, should become a more valuable tight end option, though trusting him is tough. The 25-year-old is coming off a season that saw him record 565 yards on 16.6 yards per reception and five touchdowns in 10 games.

Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL

How good has O.J. Howard been since joining the Buccaneers? The 24 year old led the tight end position in both yards per target and yards per reception during each of his first two NFL seasons (min. 40 targets). https://t.co/QqmyMlzLIU

As Pro Football Focus noted, there weren't many pass-catchers better in the slot last year than Howard:

PFF @PFF

Before injury, O.J. Howard was doing big things, especially when lined up in the slot last year in Tampa https://t.co/fJBo8bSkwE

Unfortunately for him, though, foot and ankle injuries landed him on injured reserve, putting an end to his breakout season. And he's been unable to replicate that level of success this year, coming into Sunday with just 23 catches for 294 yards and a touchdown.

Keep him on your bench as a TE2 consideration. 

As for Winston, he's about as inconsistent as it gets. In standard fantasy leagues coming into Sunday, he offered four weeks with 20 or more fantasy points and five weeks with less than 15 points. He remains a low-end QB1, but one who is tough to trust. 

Losing Evans hurts him, though the Buccaneers will continue to throw the ball around given the mediocre run game.

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