Post Brady Era in Tampa – Fantasy Impact 

Post Tom Brady Tampa Bay. It doesn’t look very bright. Coming off the post “high” of the legendary Brady performance over the last 3 years was always expected to come to an end. Leaving everyone with the infamous question wondering – “What’s next?” for Tampa Bay. 

When you think of the Buccaneers’ offense for the past (3 years) it’s been Tom Brady under center, throwing reliable balls to the WR core. Throwing 40, 43 and 25 touchdowns in the last 3 seasons. The team now has to fill that void, and what better way to do it than with Baker Mayfield? 

This isn’t going to be a Baker vs. Trask type of article. I want to take a look at the wide receiver core here in Tampa Bay. I want to break down the possible outcomes after a rather interesting, Tom Brady dump off to the running back season. Primarily looking at the WR duo of Mike Evans vs. Chris Godwin. 

Evans left a bad taste in people’s mouths last year in whatever scoring platform you used. Granted he might have won your fantasy championship for you ultimately, but on the season you wouldn’t have felt great about him on your roster.

Godwin, gave you a little safer floor week to week. Other than rehabbing the injury coming into the season, you knew going into the week that Godwin would get his. He always found his touches and got you to fantasy relevance with his high (137) target volume on the season.

Evans on the other hand left you wondering when that big play would show up. With Evans giving you the type of season he gave fantasy managers last year…he’s being faded in the late rounds of drafts 

Let’s take a look as to why you should not roll your eyes at the player and scoop him up a whole round later than Godwin in your redraft leagues…

What Does Mike Evans Bring to the Table? 

Evans has the chance to win your fantasy hearts this year, and I believe he will do that in 2023. I mean….this is Mike Evans. He hasn’t had a single season since he entered the league with less than 1,000 yards.

Receiving & Rushing Table
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/23/2023.

Let’s also not forget the QBs that he has had throwing him the ball in that time:

  • Josh McCown
  • Mike Glennon
  • Jameis Winston
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Tom Brady

Now some of those names are not exactly like the others. Certainly playing with Tom Brady was great, and gunslingers like Winston and Fitzpatrick will bring value too. But- 11 TDs from both McCown and Glennon to go with his yardage totals? He can overcome ‘bad’ QB play- and that’s assuming that Mayfield is completely washed.

Mayfield Brings Deep Ball Upside

Baker Mayfield could bring a sort of “sleeper” approach to this WR core. With everyone completely down on Evans after the finish of WR17 in PPR scoring, he’s going a whole round later than Chris Godwin (WR19 2022) is in Sleepers average draft positions

In his rookie season, the Mayfield we saw was a big-time play type of QB in the pocket. Averaging 7.7% Big Time Throws (#2 in the NFL) with an ADOT of 9.6 on the season. 

Now, people are saying that potentially this is the best wide receiver core that he’s played with since coming into the league. If that plays true, let’s just look at his last full season with the Cleveland Browns. In 2020 Mayfield was averaging a whopping 9.2 ADOT, 6.1% big time throws (#8 in the NFL), 26 touchdowns, 3563 yards and 7.3 YPA. 

That season, the receivers he had catching the ball were

Jarvis LandryWR151017284011.73
Austin HooperTE1370464359.54
Rashard HigginsWR13523759916.24
Kareem HuntRB1651383048.05
Odell Beckham Jr.WR7432331913.93
Harrison BryantTE1538242389.93
David NjokuTE13291921311.22
Donovan Peoples-JonesWR12201430421.72
Team Total16467315370111.727
Opp Total16371396210.731

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/23/2023.

This is not me saying Baker Mayfield is the fix, he’s not the Tom Brady moving from New England to Tampa Bay. But, I am saying that you have an opportunity to draft a potential top 10-15 wide receiver in the later rounds of your draft, and sometimes later due to the horrible taste he left from the 2022 season. 

7th Round vs 8th Round ADP (Half PPR Scoring) 

On Sleeper’s platform right now, Godwin is getting drafted in the 7th round. While Evans is getting drafted a whole round later in the 8th. Godwin will get his. I understand the 63rd overall off the board in the 7th round value that you get in him. This is just as good as the value Tyler Lockett brings in the draft. One of the best sleepers, and most people forget about how consistently good these guys are. 

But, here we’re talking an entire round later. You can get a (near) guaranteed 1,000 yard receiver, averaging 9 touchdowns throughout his career per season, and a big play ability player like Mike Evans as my WR3 (or) even my WR4 in the 8th round!? Count me IN!

Things will not be all gloom for Godwin, he has great 7th-round value and coming off the injury now 2 years removed – he is one of those players that has the ability to come in to give you another top-12 WR performance as he did in 2010 (WR #2 overall). However, I believe this could be back to the boom year we’re used to for Mike Evans. Evans should be back to giving us a top 15 performance and if I can get that in the 8th round, sign me up.

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Image Credit: Geoff Burke – USA Today Sports