As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each fantasy football season, you’ll always find some new/less familiar names near the top of the list. “Introducing” will be a series that features these lesser known players who are expected to begin the season in heavily featured roles for the very first time. Never shy away from players just because they’re yet to make a name for themselves … yet.
Mike Evans — WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ok, so Evans may already be your hero if you played him during any of Weeks 9-11 last season, but it was a really weird year for the rookie. That means we need to dig deeper into exactly who this guy is.
Nearly HALF of Evans’ 2014 production came in just three weeks — 21 grabs for 458 yards and five touchdowns in the span mentioned above. That was good for 43.6% of his yards and 41.7% of his touchdowns on the entire season.
Everything about this guy screams “boom-or-bust,” AKA you’re either going to be very happy or very angry on the weeks you use him. Those three games with seven catches a piece were each tied for his season high (his next highest was five catches on two separate occasions), and his season high in yards was just 78 when you discard Weeks 9-11. In Evans’ defense, he did produce a 4/45/2 line in Week 14, so I guess you can say he had four good games overall.
With that said, Evans did prove he’s the better option over Vincent Jackson in Tampa’s passing game. V-Jax was even more inconsistent than Evans, catching only two TDs on the season (his last one coming in Week 4) Vs. Evans’ 12 TD campaign. Jackson also only had three 100-yard games, like Evans, but didn’t score in any of them (whereas Evans produced a 200+ yard/two TD game during his streak).
What makes Evans even more scary is the fact that he’s going to have a new QB running the offense for the Bucs this season — Jameis Winston. Who knows what Winston’s capable of this season, but he’s likely going to go through some struggles at times in his rookie year … everyone does.
If you haven’t gathered it by now, I’m not wild about Evans. You may feel different — If you like taking huge risks, you probably love him. But there are too many inconsistencies there to even be able to tell when Evans has a shot at a big week.
All the physical ability is there, there’s no doubting that. Evans has the potential to be the top scoring fantasy WR on any given week. Those types of games can be what puts you over the top on certain weeks. That fact can’t be ignored when giving him consideration. But considering Evans’ history, and the state of Tampa’s QB situation, it’s going to be really tough to play him with any confidence.
I see Evans having a very similar season in 2015. If you’re the type of fantasy player that can pick those big time weeks, more power to you.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow
Want to read more from the “Introducing” series? Find all the players covered below.