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Why Draft Kenny Golladay When This WR is Cheaper?

Are you the kind of shopper who happily snaps up the the dented can of the brand name item that’s been marked down? Then this is the series for you.

After all, why pay more when you can get the job done for less?

That’s the thinking in using arbitrage in fantasy football, a concept first discussed years ago by the Fantasy Douche.

The idea behind using an arbitrage approach in your fantasy drafting is that you’re looking to keep the same upside, while reducing your risk. – Fantasy Douche

Some of arbitrage plays we talk about will be the next Marvin McNutt, and some will be last year’s Mark Ingram, a player we insisted brought as much upside as many of the backs in front of him. We won’t win them all, but the wins will outweigh the losses when the cost to acquire these players is so much more economical.

I offer a cheaper alternative to fantasy Twitter’s official breakout favorite, Kenny Golladay.

Like Kenny Golladay But Younger And Better

Our discount play was selected 12 picks ahead of the Golladay in the 2017 NFL draft. He’s three years younger and outproduced his elder counterpart as a rookie.

There is a case to be made that Chris Godwin is not only the better value some 40 to 50 picks later, but is also the better bet to outright score more points in 2018.

Our historical projections don’t foresee much of a difference based on what we’ve seen from them so far.histpergame

Golladay’s red zone prowess gives him a touch more upside, but Godwin’s 124-point median projection for a 15-game fantasy season is 11 percent higher than his counterpart’s.

15 game

Their range of outcomes is similar enough that if you believe a Golladay breakout is coming, you should probably be picking up all the Godwin in the late rounds, too. They find themselves in very similar situations as their teams’ tertiary receiving options. Both hope to ascend to No. 2 status.

But while Godwin only needs to depose of DeSean Jackson, he of just just 668 yards last season, Golladay finds the perennial 1,000-yard pairing of Golden Tate and Marvin Jones standing in the way of the targets he needs to truly break out. Maybe he’s good enough to force more playing time and potentially overtake one of the guys in front of him, but so is Godwin.

Golladay v Godwin

Godwin played four more games than Golladay, but that’s a little misleading, as he was barely used at all through the first 10 weeks, racking up just eight catches in his first eight games. However, once the Buccaneers fell out of contention, they wanted to see what they had in their third-round pick, and he responded with an 884-yard pace over the final half of the season.

download (1)

And the fact that he was able to produce in his 21-year old rookie season also gives him a massive edge over Golladay when it comes to long-term NFL projection.

Who was the Better Prospect?

The pair produced similar numbers over their collegiate careers. And while Golladay carries the reputation as the big play threat with a nose for the end zone, it was Godwin who posted a yards per catch figure in both of his final two years that was better than Golladay’s best season.1 He also scored more TDs in his final season.

 School  Conf Rec Yds Avg TD
Godwin 2014 Penn State Big Ten 26 338 13 2
Godwin 2015 Penn State Big Ten 69 1101 16 5
Godwin 2016 Penn State Big Ten 59 982 16.6 11
Golladay 2015 Northern Illinois MAC 73 1129 15.5 10
Golladay 2016 Northern Illinois MAC 87 1156 13.3 8

As a bonus, Godwin faced much tougher competition, and did I mention that he did it at a much younger age than Golladay?

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, but if you took away the names and asked me to bet the house on one of these players breaking out in the next few years, their profiles would objectively push me towards Godwin. Breakout age is one of the most predictive factors we know of when it comes to WR projection, and in this area, it’s no competition.


They had similar numbers in college, similar numbers as rookies, and are in similar situations heading into 2018.

The price difference is not huge, but it’s enough that you could draft a potential league winner like Nyheim Hines instead of Golladay and then grab Godwin essentially for free a few rounds later.

Both make nice anti-fragile options as No. 3 WRs whose values could skyrocket if things fall right. One just happens to be cheaper… and better.


  1. Yards per catch is an indicator of NFL potential.  (back)

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