Dynasty Deathmatch: Chris Godwin vs Diontae Johnson
Next up in our Dynasty Deathmatch series: Chris Godwin vs Diontae Johnson. Both former 3rd round picks, these 2 are great wide receivers that hover around the same value right now. Today, we’ll discuss why each one has an edge over the other, and ultimately decide on a winner!
Godwin is a talented and reliable receiver going into his 6th season in the NFL. He spent his first 5 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and recently signed a new 3 year contract to stay with the team. He’s had 2 1000+ yard seasons so far, and set a career high 98 receptions last year, before tearing his ACL in Week 15. Godwin had 1103 receiving yards this year and was averaging 9.1 targets per game (tied for 10th in NFL) before his injury. Godwin is often viewed as a WR2, likely from being on the same team as Mike Evans, but fun fact: Godwin has averaged more PPR points per game than Evans every year for the past 3 years! Due to some injuries, he hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2018, and won’t in 2022 either due to his ACL recovery. Although he’s missed a few games, he has finished top-15 in PPR points per game (among wide receivers) every year since 2019. In 2019 he was the overall WR2 which shows just how high his ceiling is.
Tom Brady coming out of retirement was a good sigh of relief as the Bucs would have been in QB limbo, especially going into a weak 2022 QB class. Tampa was 1st overall in passing attempts last year and with Tom returning, they will most likely go back to letting him COOK. Godwin may miss a few weeks at the start of the season but will have plenty of opportunities when he gets back, especially with Antonio Brown and Gronk (as of right now) not being with the team for 2022.
Diontae Johnson is severely undervalued. Like Godwin, he is a low-end WR1 that is priced as a WR2. Johnson is coming off a career year with 107 receptions, 1161 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Johnson is the clear alpha on the Steelers, boasting a 25.9% target share (8th highest in league) last year. Diontae is a PPR machine. He was 5th highest in receptions and averaged 17.2 ppg, which was 9th highest among wide receivers. These numbers are even more impressive when you remember that he had an ageing Big Ben as his QB. Diontae is a great route runner and is very good at creating separation. Not to mention he is going to have a new signal-caller this year.
Mitch Trubisky is coming in and he is no stranger to lasering in on one receiver. He peppered Allen Robinson with 150+ targets in both 2019 and 2020 and liked to have a true WR1 to rely on. There is also the scenario that Kenny Pickett (Steelers first round selection in the 2022 draft) eventually takes over as starting QB. Rookie QB’s tend to rely on one receiver more often than not, to help get more comfortable in the system and playing at an NFL level, and it will more than likely be Johnson. Johnson is the clear WR1 on the Steelers and has the potential to be a consistent WR1 going forward. Whether it's Trubisky or Pickett starting, Diontae is getting an upgrade at QB and will be able to build off his career year.
Godwin and Johnson are both talented receivers who can be high-end WR2 / low-end WR1 going forward. Godwin does have the advantage that he has the GOAT throwing to him for the short term, but when Tom retires the Bucs will have a huge hole at QB, and a rookie QB may not be able to feed both Godwin AND Evans. Diontae is the undisputed WR1 on the Steelers right now and even with Trubisky or Pickett he should be peppered with targets like usual and be a huge value, especially in PPR leagues.