The best fantasy football wide receivers, No. 8: Mike Evans
Many misinformed fantasy owners believe Evans was a disappointment last year. If you look simply at Evans’s cosmetic numbers and compare them to his rookie year, you can spin an argument supporting the theory that he let his owners down last season. That theory, however, is based entirely on the fact that he had three touchdowns after hitting paydirt 12 times as a rookie. It also conveniently ignores the reality that receiving touchdowns are among the most volatile, hard to predict statistic in football. Just ask Andre Johnson, who has never had a 10-touchdown season. Or Calvin Johnson, who had five or fewer touchdowns three times in his career, including his record-setting 1,964-yard season. Evans set new career highs in receptions (74), yards (1,206), yards per catch (16.3) and targets (147), He was the only 1,200-yard receiver with fewer than six touchdowns last year. The two receivers nearest him on the yardage leaderboard—Larry Fitzgerald (1,215) and Johnson (1,214)—both found the end zone nine times. Evans’s lack of touchdowns was an anomaly that will correct itself this season. It’s only intuitive that as Jameis Winston matures and improves as a quarterback, Evans’s fantasy prospects will brighten. His size makes him a lethal red-zone weapon, and that’s the final piece to the puzzle. Evans has legitimate top-five upside at the loaded receiver position.