Mike Evans 2020 Fantasy Outlook & Value

Mike Evans

2019 Recap:

Last season, Mike Evans was amongst the most productive wide receivers in fantasy football. In 2019, Evans hauled in 67 catches on 118 targets for 1,157 yards along with eight scores. As a result, he generated 232.7 fantasy points with an average of 17.9 points per game.

 Receiver rankingReceptionsReceiving yardsReceiving TDsFPTSFPPG
2019 Stats156711578232.717.9
2020 Projections77812018.7250.315.6

Team/Situation

Heading into next season, Mike Evans is going to have to adjust to a change in quarterback. Earlier this month, the Buccaneers decided to sign former Patriots legend, Tom Brady, to a two-year contract worth $50 million guaranteed. This move signals that the Tampa Bay offense will transition away from the erratic playing style of QB Jameis Winston, and towards an even-keeled Brady. While this will likely lead to a reduction in interceptions, it will also mandate a dramatic change in the Buccaneers offense.

Scheme

Throughout most of Bruce Arians’ coaching career, he has employed an aggressive, vertical scheme. This offense complemented Winston’s gunslinging playing style and set Tampa up with a prolific offense that created a multitude of explosive passing plays. As a result, this system bolstered Evans’ fantasy production with the most passing yards and third-most passing TDs last season. This offense also meshed with Mike Evans’ skill-set as a deep-threat that moves the chains with relative ease.

However, with Tom Brady taking over as the new starting QB, Arians will have to temper his offense. Due to Tom Brady’s slight deterioration in arm strength, he won’t be able to create the chunk plays that Mike Evans was accustomed to with Jameis Winston. In fact, Brady’s 6.62 yards per throw indicates that Brady’s skill-set is more tailored for a conservative game management scheme. Resultantly, Evans will need to rely on screen-plays and short routes like slants to be productive in fantasy for 2020. This won’t be an issue for Evans’ teammate, Chris Godwin, who was among the league’s best at picking up yards after the catch in 2019. However, it will be an issue for Evans considering that less than 23% of his receiving yardage came after the catch last season.

While Brady’s playing style could possibly lower Evans’ ceiling, this decrease will likely be off-set by Brady’s ability to maximize his receivers. Throughout his career, Brady was able to maximize offensive production for receivers like Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. Although even elite receivers, like Randy Moss, excelled with Brady as their QB. Therefore, there is a slight possibility that Brady could provide Evans with occasional deep plays, especially once he becomes fully immersed in Arians’ system.

Receiving game

Despite Tampa Bay’s busy off-season, Mike Evans is still projected to have a significant presence in the Buccaneers receiving game. Last season, Evans was one target away from leading all Bucs wideouts in that category despite missing three games. More importantly, he has recorded 100+ targets, 65+ catches, and 1,000 receiving yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL. His consistent success throughout the entirety of his NFL career signals that he is will likely not fall below WR2/3 status every week.

Chris Godwin and OJ Howard are currently the only two receiving threats who could poach opportunities away from Mike Evans. Godwin’s large target share, coupled with his ability to gain yards after the catch, will potentially make him the number one receiver again next season. Godwin’s 2019 fantasy season was so prolific that he averaged the most fantasy points per game by a Bucs WR in franchise history, according to NFL Fantasy Football. Although Evans’ ability to coexist with Godwin last season enabled them to flourish in fantasy in 2019.

As it relates to Howard, he could cede targets away from Evans due to Brady’s tendency to favor tight ends. In fact, New England’s lackluster tight end production has been frequently referenced as a push factor for Brady away from the Pats. Therefore it is likely that Brady intends to develop significant chemistry with the former Alabama product. However, after another underwhelming fantasy season from Howard, it’s far from guaranteed that he will establish a lasting rapport with the four-year veteran.

Upside

Due to Mike Evans’ deep-threat abilities and red zone efficiency, he is always in contention to be a WR1. However, a potential reduction in Tampa’s passing yardage, coupled with their crowded receiving corps, makes it likely that Evans will be a low-end WR1. Nevertheless, Evans’ consistent yearly output makes him one of the safer fantasy options. In fact, fantasy managers can trust Evans to regularly put up at least ten points in almost every game, with occasional breakout performances during 2020.

Floor

Despite Evans’ history of solid production, some factors could hinder his fantasy season in 2020. For instance, Evans has only played in two full seasons throughout his tenure in the NFL. While this hasn’t prevented him from putting up 1,000+ receiving yards every season, it has prevented him from finishing as a WR1 in two of his last three seasons. Therefore, another nagging injury could continue to separate him from other elite fantasy receivers.

Another aspect that could limit Mike Evans’ ceiling is his glaring drop totals. According to playerprofiler.com, Evans only ranked 84th in the NFL in terms of catch rate. With the Buccaneers expected to decrease their passing yards, Evans’ concentration drops will likely be more punitive next season relative to 2019. Especially considering that Evans will likely receive less explosive plays, he will desperately need to take advantage of every short and intermediate catch he can. Therefore, until he improves his drop percentage, Evans’ floor will be a borderline WR2.

Value

As of right now, Mike Evans is currently projected to be the seventh-best wide receiver in fantasy football. Overall, he is penciled as the 15th-best fantasy option. Despite Evans’ high projection, fantasy owners should focus on drafting a quality fantasy running back before acquiring Evans. In fact, fantasy owners would be wise to refrain from selecting him within the first two rounds of fantasy drafts. However, he would be an adequate third-round selection and an absolute steal in the fourth.

2020 Fantasy Football Player Outlooks
  

Hot Fantasy Football Stories

Free Articles & Offers