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The Crew Is Back: Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans Back With The Buccaneers

The Crew are back on board and set to challenge for the NFC South once again. @ReflipeWThenuz covers the recent free Agent ramifications of Mike Evans & Baker Mayfield returning to the Buccaneers.

Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took one of the more interesting gambles in the league when they brought in former No.1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. The former Heisman Trophy winner had been unceremoniously dumped in Cleveland before flaming out in Carolina. His brief audition with the Rams at the end of 2022 convinced the Bucs to take a shot on the mercurial signal caller.

While all this was playing out, Tampa was preparing for the final season under contract for All-TIme franchise great Mike Evans. Long story short, both players succeeded in spectacular fashion, and the team brass has decided to put the band back together. For this article, we will look at how the return of both players helps stabilize the Tampa offense. 

Baker Mayfield

As we discussed in the opening, the signing of Mayfield in 2022 was a gamble for the Buccaneers. Many on the outside saw this as a low-risk, high-reward gamble where the team was playing out some of the contracts assembled for the Tom Brady Super Bowl run. Few expected Mayfield to succeed in the manner he did. 

Mayfield not only revived his career with Tampa but also set career highs across the board. He hit new high marks in nearly every metric you can think of. Mayfield immediately connected with his top targets, helping direct Evans and Chris Godwin to 1,000-yard campaigns. Mayfield even led the Bucs to a playoff win over the defending Conference Champion Philadelphia Eagles in a moment that must have been bittersweet for Browns fans. 

Passing Table
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% 1D Succ% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk Yds Sk% NY/A ANY/A 4QC GWD AV Awards
201823CLEQB614136-7-031048663.83725275.6142.917146.0717.77.512.0266.193.751.2251734.96.956.773410AP ORoY-2
2023*28TAMQB617179-8-036456664.34044284.9101.818844.7757.17.311.1237.994.6402326.66.296.471213AP CPoY-3, PB
4 yrsCLE605929-30-01185192461.614125924.8562.968145.5897.37.011.9235.487.81348896.56.436.106745
1 yrCAR761-5-011920657.8131362.962.94936.0756.45.611.0187.674.4191268.45.284.613
1 yrLAR541-3-08212963.685043.121.64541.1396.66.510.4170.086.4179111.65.205.13113
1 yrTAM17179-8-036456664.34044284.9101.818844.7757.17.311.1237.994.6402326.66.296.471213

Mayfield routinely displayed the confidence that helped him win the Heisman trophy and set NFL records as a rookie starter. With the proper weapons at his disposal, he could unleash his gifts properly. His report with Evans and Godwin was on display throughout the season. 

On the heels of his regular and post-season success, the Buccaneers front office rewarded Mayfield with a multi-year extension to keep him in Tampa for the next three years. This contract gave him some security but didn’t link the two sides together perpetually. The length of the contract will keep Mayfield on his toes and ensure that he plays his best ball. The arrow is pointed up for him.

This deal will solidify Mayfield as a perfect QB2 for your Superflex leagues. With the types of weapons he currently has at his disposal, Mayfield should remain one of the best values in Superflex. Grab him while you can, and confidently slide him into your QB2 role.

Mike Evans

As we covered earlier, Evans had a fine 2023 with Mayfield at the helm. Evans even had better numbers with Mayfield under center in 2023 than he did with Brady the previous year. His catches, yards, and touchdowns were all up. Evans also managed his historic tenth consecutive 1,000-yard campaign to begin a career. His 13 touchdowns were also one shy of a career-high. 

Receiving & Rushing Table
Games Receiving Rushing Total Yds
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Succ% Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Att Yds TD 1D Succ% Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV Awards
201421TAMWR13151512268105115.5124646.7564.570.155.7%8.606815.510511208AP ORoY-3
2016*23TAMWR13161617396132113.8128253.2456.082.655.5%7.609613.8132112010AP2, PB
2023*30TAMWR13171713679125515.9135453.7754.673.858.1%9.207915.9125513011AP2, PB

For dynasty purposes, Evans has entered that grey area where his value in your lineup far outweighs his market value. Evans finished with 282.5 points in standard PPR leagues, which is good for WR7 overall. That is impressive production for a soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver. With the ability to still go up and get the ball combined with fine speed, Evans should remain a WR2 at a minimum for the foreseeable future.

Evans currently represents one of the best values for a win-now dynasty squad. His recent decision to sign back with the Buccaneers assures that he will play his entire career for the Pewter Pirates. Do yourself a favor and plug this man into your lineups. He is the perfect WR2-priced player who will give you WR1 production. 

Final Thoughts

Evans and Mayfield entered free agency with a great deal of uncertainty. It doesn’t always work out when players move from one team to the next. Mayfield’s experience in Carolina confirms that.

With both extensions in place, each player has stabilized their dynasty value. Mayfield will provide a high-floor veteran quarterback for his NFL and Dynasty squads. Evans seems to have maintained much of the dominant skill set that made him a first. He has been guaranteed 1,000 yards every season in the league. Barring injury, I expect that streak to continue in 2024. Do yourself a favor and get these players on your team. Their continuity with the team and each other makes for a smooth rollover to 2024.

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little; why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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