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Fantasy Buccaneers: Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson

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Previewing Tampa Bay’s starting receiver duo and evaluating their fantasy relevance.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a talented group of wide receivers. Arguably the most talented in the NFL, and definitely tops in the division.

But, which ones should be on your draft board entering your fantasy football draft?

*Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus

Player: Wide Receiver, Mike Evans (WR17 in 2017)

2017 Fantasy Football Statistics:

- 71 receptions

- 1,004 receiving yards

- 5 touchdowns

- 1 fumble

- 200 PPR points (.34 points per opportunity)

Evans is obviously going to be a draft target for many fantasy football enthusiasts in 2018, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge his WR17 finish one season ago is a bit discouraging.

Simply put, Evans was not immune to the offensive deficiency experienced by the team in 2017, and just how much we all believe the unit can improve this season is going to be a big factor in this decision.

2018 Fantasy Football Projections:

- 81 receptions

- 1,171 receiving yards

- 8 touchdowns

- 1 fumble

- 248.8 PPR points (WR9)

Obviously PFF has some confidence Evans can bounce back and regain his Top-10 status in the fantasy football world.

So, do I. Unless you’re in a ten-team league or larger, this puts the Buccaneers receiver squarely in WR2 territory which is good place to put him as we all wait to see just how this season shapes up.

2018 Fantasy Football Outlook: WR, Mike Evans

Best Match-Up: Week 9 @ Carolina Panthers

Worst Match-Up: Week 1 @ New Orleans

Where to Draft: 2nd Round

Fantasy Playoff Potential: Two of Evans’ three playoff match-ups are against Top-10 defenses. If he truly rebounds, you may be able to survive it, just make sure you game plan to have a receiver with softer match-ups if you do.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Wide Recevier, DeSean Jackson (WR43 in 2017)

2017 Fantasy Football Statistics:

- 50 receptions

- 668 receiving yards

- 3 touchdowns

- 0 fumbles

- 139 PPR points (.31 points per opportunity)

Jackson is one of those receivers who probably shouldn’t be drafted because the volume of production simply isn’t there enough in most fantasy formats.

However, his explosiveness and the possibility of finishing every snap in the end zone keeps him relevant and almost always sees someone draft him.

This year will be different. Not only did he and Jameis Winston simply not put together a strong showing, the quarterback is going to be out for the first three games and the emergence of another Buccaneers receiver is threatening to take some targets away from the veteran speedster.

2018 Fantasy Football Projections:

- 47 receptions

- 732 receiving yards

- 4 touchdowns

- 1 fumble

- 156.2 PPR points (WR48)

At first glance, more yards and more touchdowns mean improvement. Fewer catches though means less consistent performance, and that’s a problem.

Jackson wasn’t a reliable fantasy option in 2017, and if these numbers hold up, he won’t be one in 2018 either.

2018 Fantasy Football Outlook: WR, DeSean Jackson

Best Match-Up: Week 9 @ Carolina Panthers

Worst Match-Up: Week 1 @ New Orleans

Where to Draft: Undrafted Hand-Cuff Option

Fantasy Playoff Potential: With two tough defenses scheduled for playoff time it’s going to be hard to justify keeping Jackson on your roster. Hand-cuffing wide receivers isn’t a very popular strategy, but if you have an open spot and Evans on your roster, maybe think about stashing Jackson until a better free-agent comes available.

Poll

Is Mike Evans being undersold as a fantasy receiver in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Yes
    (46 votes)
  • 31%
    No
    (24 votes)
  • 7%
    He’s being overrated
    (6 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

Mike Evans is clearly the only Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver with legitimate fantasy implications, although the team has three strong receivers with potential including Chris Godwin. Adam Humphries still figures to be in the mix, and simply put, there’s only one ball to go around.

Jackson presents some interesting streaming possibilities when facing teams like the Carolina Panthers who could be gashed by this group. Outside of a few streaming spots, Jackson is a non-starter.