After pretty much every Tampa Bay Buccaneer smashed in Week 1, can you trust the one guy that didn’t, Mike Evans, in your fantasy football lineups?
Mike Evans is a known quantity
Evans has been in the NFL since 2014, and he’s the only wide receiver to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in every single season since then. He’s still just 28 years old, and we have no reason to think a decline in ability is imminent.
The Bucs’ talented group of pass catchers make this a difficult fantasy football puzzle to solve
I hate the cliché that there are “too many mouths to feed,” but… there are too many mouths to feed in Tampa Bay.
Tom Brady looks as good as ever, which is great for his pass catchers. Unfortunately, Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski can’t all hit every week. Someone is going to end up left out. In Week 1, that guy was Evans.
What happened to Mike Evans in Week 1?
A reporter asked offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich about Evans’ lack of targeting in Week 1. Leftwich explained that the Cowboys’ game plan was to take away Evans. Rather than force the issue, Leftwich elected to utilize the wealth of the talent on the Bucs’ offense and exploit other matchups.
“I’ll put it like this – I think he left this game with more catches than he did a year ago (in Week 1),” said Leftwich. “So, it’s improvement. I don’t view it that way. Mike doesn’t see single [coverage]. There is no one guy following him around. I haven’t seen that really in a while versus anybody. There’s really never one guy following him around. We hope we get that at some point.
“Mike knows more about the team. All Mike can do is get himself in position. We’ll move him around and get him in position to allow him to make plays, but I wouldn’t freak out after one game [for] anybody. That’s just football being football.“
Should I start or sit Mike Evans in Week 2?
You’re starting Evans in Week 2. You likely drafted Evans in the third or fourth round. Almost every player in fantasy football will have down weeks. When that week happens to be the first week of the season in a high-scoring game where everyone else on that player’s team did well, it feels worse than it is.
Evans will be a better fantasy asset this week
Evans saw 6 targets in Week 1, catching half of them for 24 yards. He scored just 5.4 fantasy points in PPR formats. While those numbers are discouraging, Evans played 94% of the snaps, significantly more than Brown (65% snap share).
Based on Leftwich’s comments, we now know what happened with Evans. It’s unlikely to happen again. The Falcons’ passing defense might not be as bad as the Cowboys’ defense, but it’s certainly not good. They just let Jalen Hurts light them up for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns.
I do not expect the Falcons to be able to scheme away Evans the way the Cowboys did. Additionally, I doubt they are interested in mimicking the Cowboys’ defensive game plan — erasing Evans allowed Tom Brady to torch them with Godwin, Gronk, and AB. Start Evans with confidence as a WR2 in Week 2 fantasy football lineups.