Fantasy Football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy football sleeper for Week 2: Justin Watson if Chris Godwin is out

If Buccaneers’ wide receiver Chris Godwin misses Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, Justin Watson is a sneaky fantasy play.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin took a hit to the head in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, so it wasn’t a surprise he landed in the league’s concussion protocol on Wednesday. That remained the case on Thursday, casting his status for Sunday against the Carolina Panther into serious doubt.

If Godwin is out on Sunday, as seems more likely than not right now, the easy fantasy sleeper target is Scott Miller (five catches for 73 yards on six targets in Week 1). Mike Evans, a week further recovered from a hamstring issue, is in line for a big game against Carolina’s bad secondary. But looking a further down Tampa Bay’s depth chart, Justin Watson also becomes interesting.

Watson only played 11 snaps in the season opener, with one catch on two targets.  But Greg Auman The Athletic points to Watson playing a lot more in Week 2 if Godwin is out.

If you’re without Chris Godwin this week in fantasy football, consider adding Justin Watson off the waiver wire

Last season, Evans missed the final three games while Godwin missed the last two. That paved a path for Breshad Perriman to help win a lot of fantasy leagues. Count the game Evans was hurt early in, and he essentially missed the last four games.

Here’s what Watson did in those last four games:

  • Week 14 vs. Colts: five receptions (eight targets) for 59 yards, one touchdown; 55 percent snap rate
  • Week 15 at Lions: two receptions (two targets) for 17 yards; 56 percent snap share
  • Week 16 vs. Texans: five receptions for 43 yards, one touchdown; 96 percent snap share
  • Week 17 vs. Falcons: two receptions (four targets) for 27 yards; 92 percent snap share

As expected, Watson was on the field nearly every snap in the two games Godwin and Evans both missed. Double-digit fantasy points in Week 16 may have been helpful to an Evans or Godwin owner who took a flier on him in a deep league.

The Panthers weren’t dominated by the Las Vegas Raiders’ wide receivers in Week 1. But Derek Carr only targeted his wide receivers nine times last week (a league-low), and Tom Brady won’t be doing that on Sunday in a get-right opportunity.

Watson’s Week 2 fantasy potential is tied to Godwin’s status. But if he gets a bigger role in a good matchup, a handful of catches and possibly a touchdown is a reasonable expectation for those in deep leagues who will be looking to replace Godwin.

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