The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Sunday, and as they celebrated, they were also eliminated from postseason contention.
That's to illustrate how the rest of the season doesn't entirely matter when it comes to competing. But at the same time, it undoubtedly does for those attempting to preserve jobs -- and for those with Mike Evans on their fantasy rosters.
The Buccaneers receiver is dealing with a hamstring injury that makes his participation in Week 15's contest at Detroit uncertain. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Evans is undergoing an MRI on the hamstring Monday, but it appears to be a longshot for Evans to play against the Lions, per a source informed of the situation who described the injury as "just not good."
Evans has been a primary target of quarterback Jameis Winston in one of the most volatile offenses in the NFL. With Winston's frequent interceptions and resulting deficits come frantic comeback attempts on a near-weekly basis. Evans is usually a key contributor and beneficiary of such desperate offensive explosions.
Sunday was the latest, with the Buccaneers erasing a 14-point second-half deficit to win 38-35. Winston threw for 456 yards and four touchdowns (three interceptions) to propel the Bucs to a win. But it was achieved largely without Evans, who left early with the injury.
Evans' absence leaves a substantial statistical void, worth 67 receptions, 1,157 yards and eight receiving touchdowns in 13 games this season. That's a massive hole for those relying on Evans for consistent fantasy points. Per NFL.com's fantasy scoring leaderboard, Evans ranks fifth among all receivers this season with 232.7 total points, an average of 17.9 points per week.
The good news for the Buccaneers: Evans' teammate, Godwin, ranks second among all receivers with 259 points (19.92 points per week). They'll be all right. But fantasy owners will closely monitor this story in the thick of the playoffs.