Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, it is with heavy heart I write this article since Dez Bryant is no longer a Dallas Cowboy and this article is not about him. However, I know that y'all get your fair share of hot takes, mock drafts and think pieces from other sources so I will stick to what I do best, numbers.
Today I will be looking at Mike Evans and Devin Funchess. After the first Head-2-Head article with DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown I wanted to look at two Receivers that scored close to eachother but that also played in the same division. This lead me to these two guys, one who was drafted as a sure thing and another that we still are not sure about. Let's dig in!
These are some heavy targeted deep zones. Two zones with over 12% is extreme for a Wide Receiver and I guess if anyone should have those kinda stats it should be Mike Evans together with Jameis Winston throwing him the ball. He is lacking a little bit in his shorter zones which is why I find him somewhat unreliable. A player like Antonio Brown that performs well over the entire field will always be more trustworthy than someone that rely on chunk plays, even if those are nice.
His catch rate is above the 60% in all but 1 short zone and if you have read any of the previous articles that is the baseline I am looking for, so seeing him on the 60 mark with one zone below 60 is disturbing. Evans catches the ball much better in the deep zones which is to no surprise as that is what he is known for.
Looking at the yards per catch is where things get somewhat confusing. He is behind players like Robby Anderson, Stefon Diggs and Jarvis Landry when just looking at the deep zones. If he is supposed to get his fantasy points from deep targets I expected higher numbers. However, he outperforms everyone I have looked this year in the shorter zones, even Antonio Brown. So maybe if the Buccs moved some of his deep targets towards passes 15 yards or shorter he would rack up more yards over the season?
Funchess have a much more evenly distributed target history. He has somewhat of a standard distribution with one side being dominate, in this case the left and with only one deep zone with over 12%. With this we now have two big Receivers totally different targeting, they are used very differently even though they are the same height, 6-4 and weight 225 and 236.
His catch rate in his most targeted deep zone is god awful. If they are going to throw the ball to him on 13% of all targets to the deep left he gotta catch more than 26%! Imagine 100 targets going to Funchess over the year, 13 of those to the deep left, that is only 3 catches, for 93 yards. If they moved it to where the deep right would get 13 targets he would have gained 147 yards. From a statistics standpoint this is not good. Furthermore, Funchess has 2 short zones with below 60% catch rate.... not good at all....
HIs yards per catch is fantastic, he gains a lot of yards from each catch, he just don't catch the ball. This is on him and on Cam but it really does impact his numbers and make me less interested in him as a fantasy player.
Comparing their usability there is a clear winner in my mind and that is Mike Evans. He had 5 WR1 weeks while Funchess only had 2. Sure, FUnchess had 6 WR2 weeks to Evans's 2 but getting those 3 extra WR1 weeks outweigh the consistency from Funchess. I am not attacking Funchess in any way, since he can get 8 top WR24 weeks he is a very good fantasy Receiver, but not great.
Funchess is somewhat an anomaly when it comes to scoring patterns, he score more points on average while playing on the road which is very rare for Wide Receivers but also very interesting. If, in DFS, you can get Funchess on a week where he plays on the road vs. an AFC team with an above 500 record he might just go off and get you a good chunk of cash!
Evans has more standardized numbers in the Home vs. Away split with home dominating. The really good part of Evans's scoring patterns are the numbers from AFC vs. NFC. Since he plays in the NFC he will face more opponents from that conference, scoring that much more on average against the NFC than AFC will make a difference over an entire season. His optimal game would be playing at home vs. a NFC team with an above 500 record.
My Pick: With no ADP to go off I would pick Mike Evans due to the potential of having more WR1 weeks, abilitiy to score high numbers within the conference and superior catch rate pretty much in all zones compared to Funchess.
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The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD