In this edition of the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Dalton Del Don explains why the Buffalo wide receiver has more fantasy value over the Tampa Bay wideout.
MATT HARMON: Will any Tampa Bay wide receiver outscore Mike Evans?
DALTON DEL DON: So I don't know about that. Probably not. But I do have some shade to throw your guy, Mike Evans. I know you've been drafting him aggressively. This is where you really go crazy on me. But just for the content, I officially moved Gabe Davis ahead in my ranks and your guy Mike Evans. So here are my counters for you. This is--
MATT HARMON: Dalton!
DALTON DEL DON: Mike Evans-- yeah. I was the person who I looked at the Godwin injury in summer and I'm like, yeah, Mike Evans is-- no Rob Gronkowski. Evans is a late first round fantasy pick right now. I can get behind it. But as of now, I'm pretty much on the opposite side here. This is a player entering year nine that's seen his yards per route run drop three straight years, his targets per route run drop three straight years.
Do you know his target share last year, including the playoffs, was 16%? I understand that Evan Silva likes to say he was put on this Earth to catch touchdowns, and I get it. Touchdown equity should be there with Gronkowski gone, especially. But they added Russell Gage. What if Julio Jones isn't washed? Mike Evans has already suffered a hamstring injury.
We talked to-- we see these tissue injuries very much could recur. Chris Godwin's got some healthier reports. So one has a quarterback who's 45 years old. Gabe Davis has a quarterback who's 25. Basically, 25 years old, 26 years old and is going to be taken first in fantasy leagues. So that's where I stand.
I'm worried about Mike Evans. Again, 16% target share. 16%. It was not even top 75 among wide receivers last year. And they added Russell Gage. They added Julio Jones. Chris Godwin is healthier than expected. I'm worried if you're spending a first or early second round pick on Mike Evans now.
MATT HARMON: Well, you shouldn't spend a first-round pick on Mike Evans. And I think he's like--
DALTON DEL DON: OK, second round. I'm worried if you're taking him in the-- I'm even worried if you're taking him above DJ Moore.
MATT HARMON: I mean, the Gabe Davis thing. Listen, you and your Gabe Davis fanboys are all going to be like dancing in the street with your pants off if Gabe Davis becomes like 75% of the player Mike Evans is. That's how far we have to go from Gabe Davis being that good. Mike Evans is an incredible player, who's lost nothing. He's only gotten better as his career has gone on. Mike Evans is a better route runner now than he was three years ago. He's still--
DALTON DEL DON: Tell that to--
MATT HARMON: --explosive.
DALTON DEL DON: Tell that to the stats. Tell that to his yards per route run.
MATT HARMON: Well, that's because he's been playing with a lot of great players around him. And now one of those great players is Chris Godwin. He's hurt. Look, I am dead scared that I'm going to be wrong about Chris Godwin. Because Chris Godwin 100%-- I said this with Scott. He's in the RP ring of honor. He is one of the series' big hits. I love Chris Godwin.
But I don't care about all the positive reports. He could still start-- he could still not be fully ramped up until October. I think that's still possible. And Russell Gage is a nice player. I like Russell Gage a decent bit, but he's not taking targets away from a guy that's as good as Mike Evans.
And Julio Jones, I'm still totally on "we'll see" in terms of where he's at. So, yeah, the reason his yards per route run has dropped is because Gronk was there, Antonio Brown was playing with him.
DALTON DEL DON: Those are-- yeah. Yeah.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, like that's-- yards per route run is a great metric. But your yards are going to decline when you're sharing the pie with all of these other great players. And I think Mike Evans is now sharing the pie with a bunch of fine players. The fine players being an 80% Chris Godwin, Russell Gage is fine. I think Julio Jones--
DALTON DEL DON: Who's hurt, too, by the way. Russell Gage suffered a hamstring injury, too, I might add. But I think part of this-- sorry to interrupt-- is me realizing that Julio Jones may not be totally washed. I completely wrote him off when he was first signed and stubbornly drafted Gage and whatnot.
But maybe he's not washed. His yards per route run was pretty good last year. Again, whatever. Not a perfect metric. But he's reportedly impressed, so maybe I worry about him being a thing. But maybe that's off base. But that, I think, is definitely factoring into my decision here.
And you mentioned LordReebs. Let me repeat a tweet of his. Gabriel Davis ranks in career target distribution among the top 100 wide receivers in current ADP. Red zone, first. Inside the 10, first. End zone, first. So is that good to have a career target distribution first in those categories? Is that good or bad?
MATT HARMON: It's good.
DALTON DEL DON: He's going to see more volume this year. OK, all right.
MATT HARMON: It's good. I just-- listen, I'm a centrist on Gabe Davis. I'm not a Gabe Davis hater. It's just you extremists on the other end of the aisle in the pro Gabe Davis camp. Ranking him ahead of Mike Evans. I mean, Dalton, you should be ashamed of yourself is all I'll say about that.
DALTON DEL DON: I knew you'd hate this one the most.
MATT HARMON: I hate this. I hate this more than anything I've heard on this podcast feed the last two months. [LAUGHS]