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Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Land Rob Gronkowski (2020 Fantasy Football)

Apr 21, 2020

The NFL universe became a little more exciting Tuesday with word that the New England Patriots have reportedly agreed to send tight end Rob Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a fourth-round pick. With Gronk’s one-year retirement officially over, let’s see how our analysts feel about the reunion of Gronk and Tom Brady from a fantasy football perspective:

Q1. What is the fantasy football impact of Rob Gronkowski landing with the Buccaneers?

The impact is that O.J. Howard may have died and gone to tight end heaven. Or… he’ll be traded. We can only hope, because Gronkowski is going to get peppered with targets when on the field. Knowing he’s only worked with Brady over the course of his career, there’s no question he’ll be targeted. Injury concerns are real, which should prevent you from drafting him as a top-five tight end, but he’s certainly in the top-10.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

Let’s put some cool (not cold) water on this move. Gronkowski missed all of last season and has dealt with significant injuries throughout his career. The chances of him making it through a full season are remote. With that said, given his talent, upside, and connection with Brady, Gronkowski immediately jumps to borderline top-5 status. He may need to share targets more than he had in the past and he’s unlikely to be close to what he was at his peak, but he won’t need to be in order to be a tight end to target in all fantasy drafts.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Gronk is back! After a year away from the game, Rob Gronkowski is coming back to play football! He is being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be reunited with Tom Brady, which is a solid addition for the Bucs. Gronk will need to add weight back on and get back into football shape, but a year away from football may be beneficial for him and his long-term health. Gronk won’t jump back up to a Top-3 option at the position, but if you’ve held onto him in Dynasty leagues this long, you should be very happy. He’ll be a streaming candidate each week with tremendous TD upside.
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

I am not convinced playing with Tom Brady is actually better for Rob Gronkowski’s fantasy stock than playing with Jarrett Stidham, Andy Dalton or Jalen Hurts would have been. With that said, any production from Gronk is better than non at all had he stayed retired. Let’s remember that the struggling 2018 version of Gronk was battling through a myriad of injuries. Now that his body has had a chance to recover, we may see him return to that top-tier fantasy tight end. I won’t be projecting it because of the risk associated with being away from the game and splitting targets with both Evans and Godwin, but let’s not forget that he is 5 months older than last year’s #1 fantasy tight end, Travis Kelce.
-Bobby Sylvester (@BobbyFantasyPro)

Q2. Who else is impacted by the Gronkowski trade from a fantasy perspective?

As mentioned above, I’m expecting some fallout from this trade with O.J. Howard, as the Bucs arent going to retain Gronkowski, Howard, and Cameron Brate. While it’s possible they move on from Brate, they wouldn’t get anything for him in return. No matter the case, Howard and Brate are not draftable with Gronkowski on the team. This also puts a dent in the share for targets between Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. This might be a better offense in real life than in fantasy.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

EVERYONE. Obviously, the move helps Brady, giving him a third (potentially) dominant target in the offense. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin see their stock drop ever so slightly because of their reduced target share, but they’ll still put up outstanding numbers and can be drafted as No. 1 wide receivers. As for O.J. Howard, it seems unlikely he’ll remain with the Bucs, so his value is TBD at the moment, but he certainly has the talent to be a top-12 tight end if he lands in a remotely competent offense. If he remains in Tampa Bay then he, like Cameron Brate, will be irrelevant for fantasy purposes.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

O.J. Howard is essentially being shipped off at this point. It hasn’t worked out for him in TB up to this point and he’ll have to restart his career somewhere else as soon as they trade him. Cameron Brate had some potential upside if Howard was going to be traded, but that’s now essentially put to rest. The only potential would be to hold Brate in deep Dynasty leagues in case Gronk doesn’t come back fully healthy.
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Everyone has already talked about Howard and Brate obviously with Evans and Godwin seeing fewer targets more than likely. While this does boost Brady’s stock, it is only from my QB14 to QB12 (just behind Wentz/Brees/Ryan). The player most impacted, however, is Ronald Jones II. With Tom Brady in town, it seemed likely that he would see a spike in targets, but history has shown us that when the tight end position sees increased targets (and it will), the biggest hit always happens at the running back position. The two are tied by a string to one another.
-Bobby Sylvester (@BobbyFantasyPro)

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