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How Low Could Mike Evans Sink?

Oh, Mike Evans. I think this could be the year where you finally lose your 1000-yard season streak – but it won’t be your fault. It’ll be the fault of the Buccaneers' front office, leaving you to melt in your creamsicle jersey in the flames of the raging dumpster fire of a QB room they’ve assembled to fill the shoes of the actual goat.

All dramatic prophecies aside, Evans is staring at a tall challenge to keep his streak alive this season, but if anyone is going to overcome the presumptive abomination the Bucs are content to label QB play, it’s Chris Godwin, not Mike Evans.

Godwin is a bona fide target earner, and that’s evidenced by 11 straight weeks of 8 or more targets last year from Week 6-17 when he drew in 127 targets total. The production levels weren’t always as high as Mike Evans, but he also went 13 straight games with at least 10 PPR points on a Buccaneers offense that wasn’t very good at all last year.

Evans also got a bunch of targets, 112 to be exact, but he caught much fewer of those targets than Godwin did (he registered just a 61.6% catch rate vs Godwin’s 74.8% rate in that span). He had spike weeks in that time frame, but they were few and far between - he finished as a top-10 receiver just three times all season, but finished outside the top-30 on nine separate occasions, with a WR29 finish sprinkled in there as well.

Which player would you rather have on your fantasy team as your WR3? That’s the range that both Evans and Godwin are being drafted, and it’s obviously no question that Godwin is the better fantasy receiver, but there’s a point to be made about Evans potentially slipping well outside the top-40 WRs on a bad Buccaneers offense.

I think a lot of people would agree that Evans might have lost a step last year, and he’s entering his age 30 season… and it took a 200 yard receiving performance in his last game of the year to hit 1000 yards on the league’s highest-volume passing offense. If Evans struggled to meet that mark in 2022 with Tom Brady at QB, it’s going to be a rough ride for him in 2023 with Baker Mayfield, at best, under center.

And that’s not even accounting for Rachaad White’s projected role in the receiving game!


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