In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
Sometimes fantasy managers make fantasy football more difficult than it needs to be. Even when consistent, high-end production over a large sample size is staring us in the face, we overthink it and come up with reasons that stretch of production will end. When Tom Brady took his talents down to Florida this past offseason, managers were rightfully curious about what would happen with Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. As we saw in Week 16, specifically with Evans, he has more than enough talent to post elite numbers regardless of his quarterback situation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans caught 10 of 12 targets for a season-high 181 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 47-7 win over Detroit. Evans was at his best in this one, as evidenced by his first-quarter, 27-yard touchdown, where he turned Lions’ corner Darryl Roberts the other way on his route. He later caught another score from backup Blaine Gabbert in the third quarter for his 13th touchdown reception of the season, a franchise record. It remains to be seen if Tampa Bay will play their starters next week against the Falcons with a playoff berth now locked up. If Evans plays, he’ll be well-positioned against a Falcons secondary that has yielded the second-most fantasy points per game to wideouts this season.
New Quarterback, Same Evans
Evans’ prevailing narrative this offseason was the transition from gunslinging, no-fear quarterback Jameis Winston to conservative, aging Brady. Winston had zero regard for who caught the passes he threw, as shown by his 30 interceptions in 2019, but he was also great for fantasy, as demonstrated by his 5,100-plus passing yards and 33 touchdowns. Right from the start of this season, it was clear that Brady would be more than capable of supporting Evans in his quest for another dominant season. Evans reeled in six touchdowns through his first five games and now sits on the precipice of an incredible accomplishment.
Evans is 40 receiving yards away from hitting the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the seventh straight season to open his career. He’s already hit the 105 targets and 65 receptions threshold this season, just as he’s done every year he’s been in the league and his 13 touchdowns in 2020 represent a new career best. At only 27 years old, Evans could be entering his prime as an elite wide receiver in the league.
A Potential Dynasty Buy
Fantasy managers will want to pay attention to Tampa Bay’s offseason narratives as we wind down this season and prepare for 2021. Brady has made it apparent that he wants to continue playing as long as he can do it at a high level, and we’ve seen no indication of him slowing down. He’s quietly posted over 4,200 passing yards and sits on 36 touchdown passes this season, the most since 2015. One more touchdown pass from Brady in Week 17 will be the most he’s had since 2011 when he dropped 39 on the season. For Evans, there are zero reasons to think he’ll slow down. If other managers in your leagues are worried about Brady’s age and perceived lack of arm strength, add Evans to your dynasty squad and enjoy another few seasons of elite production.