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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why WR Mike Evans is Bucs “have to have” fantasy player

Florida Football Insiders



Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the first of three quick looks at the rosters of the three NFL teams in Florida and for fantasy football purposes. The premise of the “have to have” is that if there is one skill player on the roster who is worthy of being considered in the first three-four rounds of any draft in any size league.

In the Buccaneers case, it’s pretty clear who that player is: receiver Mike Evans.

Evans is entering his fifth season with a brand new contract extension in March making him one of the highest paid receivers in the league.

In 2016, he was a Pro Bowler with 96 catches and 12 touchdown catches and the obvious “go to guy” for Jameis Winston. However, he’s also coming off disappointing statistical season in 2017. With 25 less catches for 300 less yards and seven less TDs in 2017, Evans clearly wants to get that production back to where it had been.

Last year Winston’s shoulder was injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced him for parts or all of five games, and there was never the chemistry that needed to be there between passer and receiver.

Now, Winston is suspended to begin this season, and it’s back to the veteran Fitzpatrick for the first three games.

The good news for the offense and Evans’ fantasy stats is that Tanpa Bay has had all training camp to get ready for this scenario. And the Bucs offense is loaded with receiving talent with signs in preseason that they are falling into place.

DeSean Jackson has already shown his deep threat abilities on a couple of occasions this August. Second year receiver Chris Godwin is coming into his own and has two TD catches. Plus, the Bucs have dual pass catching weapons at tight end with veteran Cam Brate and O.J. Howard to open things up in the middle and even, downfield.

Yes, the Bucs have a young, hungry slashing runner in Peyton Barber, who was impressive as the starter against the Lions last Friday and  is poised to get a lot of touches and chances to score on the goal line.

Still, the Buccaneers most talented, best proven offensive weapon is Evans.

And, like Tampa Bay coming off a disappointing season as a team wants to get it corrected right away, so too, does their one “have to have” early round fantasy guy.

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