Mike Evans Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2021
The transition from Jameis Winston to Tom Brady went seamlessly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they went from laughing stock of the league to Super Bowl Champions. And no one enjoyed working with Tom Brady more than Mike Evans. Evans has been one of the best deep-threat receivers since being drafted in 2014, but he was frustrated with the lack of wins. And who knows more about winning than Tom Brady? Everyone around the NFL knew Tampa Bay was coming, and they still couldn’t stop them from winning it all. Brady, Evans, and company defeated many a foe in 2020 and will look to replicate their success in 2021 as every starter from that championship team is staying with the Bucs.
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Mike Evans had a fairly average year by his standards in 2020. And that just shows how dominant he’s been over the past seven years if your standard is over 1.000 receiving yards and over 70 catches a year. Evans did record his career-high in touchdowns, 13, which resulted in his highest fantasy scoring year as a pro. Evans is more on the consistent side of scoring, but he does have a little boom or bust to his game. He scored 35.1 points against Detriot and 21.7 points against the Chargers, but he only scored 1.5 points and 4.7 points in back-to-back weeks against the Packers and Raiders. Evans was hot out of the gates as he had 22 catches for 271 yards and 6 touchdowns in his first 5 games. He was then steady throughout the rest of the season, scoring a respectable 12.7 fantasy points per game. Evans had a great season in 2020 and has a Super Bowl ring to show for it.
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This Tampa Bay offense is going to soar sky-high again in 2021. And Mike Evans will be a direct benefit of it. Evans has only had mediocre at best quarterbacks throwing to him, so Mike Evans was foaming at the mouth for the chance to get to play with the greatest quarterback who ever played. Before this season, Evans was most known for his one-sided battles with Marshon Lattimore, and this season didn’t change the fact that Lattimore owns Evans. However, Evans got the last laugh by helping to beat the Saints in the playoffs on their road to winning the Super Bowl. Evans has the perfect blend of size, speed, and hands to make him a great #1 receiver for Tampa Bay. Evans is one of the premier receivers in the league and is a boom-or-bust player worth taking a risk on.
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: 40, Rounds 3-4, WR14
Auction Value: $22
Right now, Mike Evans is ranked as the 14th best receiver in fantasy. This means that people view him as more of a WR2 rather than a WR1, but golly, is he the best WR2 an owner can get. Evans is surrounded by other borderline fantasy WR1s like Julio Jones and Robert Woods, which is not a bad place to be. Both of those receivers will score similar numbers to Evans, but Evans might be the best option out of the three because of his red-zone presence his touchdown scoring ability. He scored more red-zone touchdowns than the other two combined and by a wide margin. Julio scored 0 last season, and Woods scored 4, while Evans caught a whopping 9. Evans will look to continue his hot streak in 2021.
Mike Evans is a boom or bust player with a fairly long injury history. In his seven seasons with Tampa, Evans has suffered from groin, hamstring, ankle, and head injuries. All of those injuries are susceptible to come back and with little warning. Evans is also one of the most famous boom-or-bust fantasy players. Throughout the years, Evans will have out of this world’s games by scoring 30+ points, but then he follows those games by having dud games by scoring 2 or fewer points. But even at his worst, Evans will pull through when you need him, and the lowest he will fall is to a WR3 or FLEX player.
Mike Evans is still the #1 receiver on the Buccaneers and a star in the NFL. He might be getting older, but you wouldn’t know with the way Tampa was throwing him the ball last season. Mike Evans had 109 targets last season, which was a career-low for him but he was still 25 more targets than the next closest receiver. Evans also had the most receiving touchdowns on the roster, with the next closest players, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, scoring 7 each. Evans was the 7th highest targeted player in the red zone at 23.1%, so he gets his touches when Tampa Bay needs a touchdown. Mike Evans might not break any of his personal records in 2021, but he will be able to reach the sky-high numbers fantasy owners expect of him.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense
This is as dynamic and explosive an offense a team could ask for. This team scored 31 points in the Super Bowl, so I think they are pretty good on offense. The Buccaneers truly have a plethora of weapons on offense, and the band is getting back together for the 2021 season. They have the greatest quarterback to ever play, Tom Brady, on their team, as well as the protection and receiving threats necessary for him to do what Tom Brady does and win a lot of games. The Bucs got Brady’s friends in Gronk and Antonio Brown from free agency as well as dynamic and shifty receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scottie Miller. The Buccaneers also have a top 5 offensive line in the league and solid running backs in Ronald Jones Jr. and Leonard Fournette. All of this accumulated into the Bucs having the 7th most yards and the 3rd most points in the NFL last season. And now this same team gets a real offseason to practice together. Oh boy, the NFL better look out for the scoring storm that is going to take place when defenses play the Tampa Bay offense.
Strength of Schedule
You would think that a Super Bowl champion team would play a difficult schedule the next season? That’s what I thought before writing this article, but after looking into it, I was surprised when I found that the Buccaneers actually have one of the easiest schedules next season. Next year, the Buccaneers have the 29th hardest strength of schedule, which is preposterous for a Super Bowl-winning team. Their easy schedule is due to them playing the AFC East, the NFC East, and the Colts, Rams, and Bears. This is not a stacked schedule as the NFC East was comically bad last season, and the AFC East isn’t the greatest division in football either. Their hardest games are against the Rams, Bills, Dolphins, Colts, Bears, and Patriots. Their most interesting game is also their Sunday Night primetime game against the Patriots, as it will be the first game that Bill Belichick will play against Tom Brady. Knowing the 20-year history between these two, this will be the game of the season. Other than that, the Bucs should sleepwalk to another first-place finish in the NFC South. The Saints are not what they used to be without Drew Brees, the Falcons are cursed, the Panthers are not ready yet, the NFC East is bad, and the Jets are the Jets. Expect another deep playoff run from Tampa Bay in 2021.
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