Fantasy Football Keeper: Mike Evans
Mike Evans had a terrific rookie campaign that saw him catch 68 passes for 1,051 yards and haul in 12 touchdowns in an offense that had questionable quarterback play. In year two, the dreaded sophomore slump is possible, but not probable. Mike Evans has all the physical tools, and the proper pieces around him to have an even better season in 2015.
Evans is currently being ranked and drafted outside the top 10 WRs in fantasy football, but could easily play his way into the top five. With a new quarterback and offensive coordinator, many would think a transition period could affect Evans’ numbers; however, I believe the opposite will happen.
New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will have a chance to mold number one overall pick Jameis Winston just like he did with Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Under Koetter, the Falcons and Matt Ryan finished no worse than fifth in passing yards and had at least two wide receivers rank in the top 20 in fantasy football (R. White and J. Jones).
Mike Evans’ numbers are only going to rise. Some might be concerned with a rookie QB under center, but just like Ryan in Atlanta, Winston will flourish right away. Studying draft prospects for years, Winston is one of the most polished QBs I have seen come out of college since Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. He instantly upgrades the position that struggled last year with a combination of Josh McCown and Mike Glennon.
Paired with Vincent Jackson, it will be difficult for a defense to double-team either wideout forcing one-on-one matchups every week. In dynasty or keeper leagues, Evans should be valued even higher than standard-format leagues. Winston and Evans are only going to grow together as football players, and will be a QB-WR combination similar to Ryan and Jones in Atlanta.
Heading into the fantasy football season, owners are always looking for an advantage, and drafting a WR who is valued outside the top 10, but could be a top five play is an advantage that can make your fantasy team a championship contender.
Dan Schalk covers Fantasy Football for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk