Even if two of his last four seasons left owners disappointed, Mike Evans remains one of Fantasy's most prominent wide receivers. Certainly 2017 was one of those disappointing seasons as Evans clawed his way to 1,001 yards and five touchdowns despite averaging an attractive 9.1 targets per game. Armed with a rich contract extension this offseason, Evans will still operate as Jameis Winston's No. 1 guy in an offense with just enough threats to keep regular double-teams from happening. But he must improve is his red-zone efficiency - he caught just 5 of 19 targets inside the 20 for a 26.3 percent catch rate, tied for dead last among receivers with at least 13 red-zone targets. We're hoping a mostly favorable schedule mixed with an offense that should throw a lot will lead to more yards and scores for Evans, whose red-zone work really has nowhere to go but up. That's why he's still among the first 10 receivers worth picking on Draft Day. Bank on him getting swiped right around 20th overall in standard and PPR formats.
Evans is slated to catch passes from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the 2018 regular season in the wake of Jameis Winston's expected suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. The development may ultimately not result in much of a downturn in opportunity for Evans, as the towering wideout saw a robust 31 targets over the four games in which he and Fitzpatrick played together last season. However, the fifth-year pro was only able to parlay those looks into 14 catches (one touchdown), a 45.2 percent success rate that leaves plenty of room for improvement. Evans' best chance at consistent production naturally comes when Winston is under center, but it appears that the Bucs' No. 1 receiver will have to make do without his starting quarterback over the first three games of the 2018 campaign.
Evans and the Buccaneers have agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million extension that includes $55 million guaranteed, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Evans struggled through the least productive season of his career in 2017, but he nonetheless reached 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time in as many years, and the Bucs wisely are betting on a rebound with the help of a healthier campaign from Jameis Winston. The new deal tacks five seasons on top of Evans' fifth-year option, running through his age-30 campaign in 2023. He turns 25 in August and may still have his best football ahead of him, perhaps even this upcoming season if the Bucs sufficiently address their shaky offensive line during the free-agency period and/or draft.
Evans brought in five of 13 targets for 55 yards in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Saints. He also caught a two-point conversion pass. Evans was far from efficient with his targets, but he managed to still reach a memorable milestone in the season-ending victory. Per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com, the former Aggie eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive campaign to start his career with his Week 17 haul, joining Randy Moss and A.J. Green as the only players to accomplish the feat in NFL history. Evans got there by just two yards -- leaving him with his lowest tally of his four campaigns -- but he did manage to improve his YPC from 13.8 to 14.1 in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick's 13 targets were also a season high and marked his seventh game with double-digit looks on the season. Evans is on the books for nearly $13.3 million in salary in 2018 in what will be the final year of his rookie contract, and he'll undoubtedly once again serve as a pivotal component of the air attack.
Evans brought in six of eight targets for 107 yards in Sunday's 22-19 loss to the Panthers. Evans paced all pass catchers in receptions and receiving yardage on the afternoon while generating his first 100-yard effort of the season. The 24-year-old's reception total was also his best since Week 12, and his production leaves him just 55 yards short of hitting the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season. With fellow wideout DeSean Jackson potentially set to miss the season finale due to his ankle injury, Evans could be in for another solid workload versus the Saints in that contest.
Evans caught five of eight targets for 79 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 24-21 loss to the Falcons. Evans was frustrated by two offensive pass interference calls on him -- one of which negated a deep touchdown -- but made up for those by rising above two defenders for a 42-yard score during the third quarter. In doing so, Evans found paydirt for the first time since Week 7. Although he's been inconsistent lately and is yet to top 100 yards in a game this season, Evans at least enters his Week 16 matchup with the Panthers coming off his best performance in a while. He was serviceable against them last time, catching five passes for 60 yards in Week 8.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||25||20.75|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||23||20.38|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||152||80||1176||7||66||14.70||161|