Mike Evans the Ideal Buy-Low Candidate in Fantasy Football

Mike Evans
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 06: Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in action during a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on October 06, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has had a strange start to the 2019 season. After two underwhelming performances to start the year, Evans bounced back with two elite performances against the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. However, he followed that up by failing to record a catch in Week 5’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. This inconsistency is probably frustrating the Mike Evans owner in your fantasy league, and smart fantasy football owners should pursue Mike Evans and buy low while you can.

Fantasy Football: Buy Low on Mike Evans

Explaining Mike Evans Slow Start

As of this posting, Evans has 18 receptions for 368 yards and four touchdowns, making him the WR14 in standard-scoring formats. While this is slightly below his ADP, it’s still a respectable stat line for a player of his caliber. However, 12 receptions, 279 yards, and all four of his touchdowns came in a two-week period. More often than not, the Mike Evans owner has regretted putting him in their starting lineup.

Fortunately, it’s easy to explain away his underwhelming production. Evans came down with an illness prior to Week 1, and he clearly wasn’t at full strength through the first two weeks. Once he returned to health, Evans transformed into an elite fantasy football weapon.

Nobody expected Evans to drop a goose egg in Week 5, but sometimes those things just happen. Nobody is immune to a bad performance, even a player as dominant as Evans. Evans is too talented to continue to put up underwhelming fantasy numbers. As long as he’s seeing volume, he’ll return to being a locked and loaded WR1.

Why He’ll Get Better

Even with his inconsistent outings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still doing everything in their power to incorporate Evans into the passing game. Through the first five weeks of the season, Evans actually leads the league in air yards. Air yards, for those who aren’t familiar with Josh Hermsmeyer’s work, is the vertical yards on a pass attempt from the line of scrimmage to the targeted receiver. Essentially, the Buccaneers are giving Evans a high volume of deep targets, which is obviously fantastic news for his fantasy football future.

Through five weeks of action, Evans’ has 235 more air yards than actual receiving yards. This differential is the fourth-highest in the league, which means Evans is overdue for a massive performance. For those questioning the model, this method has accurately predicted several huge performances throughout the young season. Last week, Will Fuller was near the top of the air yards buy low model before exploding for 14 receptions, 217 yards, and three touchdowns. One week earlier, the model expected Jarvis Landry to have a big game. Lo and behold, Landry went off to the tune of eight receptions and 167 yards.

Football is an inherently unpredictable game, and no model can accurately predict breakout stars 100% of the time. However, Evans’ combination of opportunity and talent suggests he’ll bounce back in the coming weeks. Make sure to try to take advantage of a frustrated Evans owner and get an elite fantasy weapon for pennies on the dollar.

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