Mike Evans

Mike Evans

WR - TB
Height: 6-5
Weight: 231 lbs
Age: 30
College: Texas A&M
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2023 Season Outlooks

Evans enters the season with the least confidence Fantasy managers have had about him since he first broke out. An uncertain quarterback position is one of the problems; going from Tom Brady and the excellent rapport they'd built to a veteran retread like Baker Mayfield or a mid-round dart throw like Kyle Trask is troubling. What's more troubling is how far Evans' production fell off in 2022. He earned just the 37th-highest target share and the 22nd-most red-zone targets in the league. And it's not like he should've gotten more targets - he was just 33rd in yards per route run. Evans feels like a name-inflated WR3 who is going off the board in Rounds 7-8.

Evans has continuously produced, through QB changes.
But he’s getting about the biggest possible downgrade this season, from arguably the greatest QB of all time to the “winner” between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.
And Evans’ target shares have stunk the past three years.
Although he’ll always be a high-ceiling player, it’s tough to bet on volume or efficiency favoring Evans this season. It’s OK to take shots on him as a WR3. But don’t overrate the name.
What We Learned Last YearEvans topped 1,000 receiving yards for the ninth straight season. His 5.1 receptions per game marked an increase over the first two Tom Brady seasons, as did his yards per game.Evans’ catch rate dipped vs. 2020 and 2021, but his 60.6% still came in higher than his career rate of 57.6%.He posted the three shortest average target depths of his career over the three seasons with Brady, though last year’s 14.1 marked a rebound from 2021’s career low of 13.1.Evans’ production was down through most of the year. He was averaging just 4.8 catches and 65.5 yards per game before a monster Week 17.That 10-catch, 207-yard, 3-TD performance accounted for 21.6% of his total PPR points for the season.An 8-103-2 receiving line against the Chiefs in Week 4 accounted for another 13.4%.Evans finished those weeks first and second, respectively, among fantasy WRs. He posted three other top-16 finishes. Only one other week found him inside the top 25. Evans finished his other nine games 34th or lower, including four outside the top 50.Evans has always been a volatile weekly scorer, but the table below shows fewer high-end scores than in the previous two Brady seasons:Evans’ metrics don’t indicate any personal drop-off. His Pro Football Focus receiving grade actually improved slightly last year vs. the previous two seasons. His yards per route have finished in the 1.74-1.77 range each of the past three years. He ranked seventh among WRs in air yards.What to Expect in 2023The Buccaneers are probably about to pass a whole lot less. They led the league in pass attempts each of the past two seasons. They ranked sixth in 2020, fourth in 2019 and 2018, and third in 2017.New OC Dave Canales is expected to have an “added emphasis on establishing the run.” Canales said in the spring, “The marriage of the run and pass, that is our identity.” He was specifically referring to not giving away what’s coming with the formation. But Tampa will obviously need to run at a rate much higher than league-low if it wants to keep the defense guessing about what’s coming.A drop in passing volume adds risk to Evans, who ranked just 43rd among WRs in target share last season. He ranked an even worse 60th in 2021; 48th in 2020.The target shares were better before Brady. His ADOTs were also deeper, and his yards per route were stronger before Brady as well.What among those numbers can we expect to rebound with Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask throwing passes?Trask is a total unknown. Mayfield has set new lows in PFF passing grade each of the past two years.

Evans has finished all nine of his NFL seasons as a top-25 fantasy WR, but that streak seems to be in doubt as he enters his age-30 season with major QB uncertainty. Despite Tom Brady setting the single-season completion record last season, Evans finished 21st among WRs in receptions and 17th in fantasy points. The latter is a bit misleading, as he finished outside the top 30 in 60% of his games but was bailed out by a late-season 207-yard, three-TD game (48.7 fantasy points). Evans saw a career-low 10 end zone targets and was limited to six TDs after totaling 27 during Brady's first two seasons. With Brady retired and Baker Mayfield and/or Kyle Trask under center, Evans' upside appears limited. The vertical target is best valued as a WR3.

2023 Fantasy Football Rankings

Standard

#63

PPR

#71

Half-PPR

#64

Superflex

#84

2023 Fantasy Football Draft Projections

Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD
66.5 957.2 6.1

2023 Average Draft Position (ADP)

Standard

#76

Pick 7.04

PPR

#78

Pick 7.06

Half-PPR

#70

Pick 6.10

Superflex

#91

Pick 8.07

Injury Risk

Injury Risk:
High

Depth Chart

Strength of Schedule

Easy Season Ahead
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Fantasy Playoffs
15
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