Leonard Fournette Re-Signs with Buccaneers: Fantasy Football Takeaways & Implications (2022)
Shortly after the end of the 2021 season, it appeared as if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may look very different in 2022. Tom Brady announced his retirement. Wide receiver Chris Godwin, who played the 2021 season under the franchise tag and tore his MCL and ACL late in the year, was set to become an unrestricted free agent. Running back Leonard Fournette and tight end Rob Gronkowski were both headed for free agency, as well.
But then Tom Brady unretired. Godwin, who had received another franchise tag from the Bucs, signed a contract extension shortly thereafter. And now, after spending about a week on the open market and visiting with the New England Patriots on Monday, Fournette agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal to return to Tampa Bay.
The Bucs are getting the gang back together to make another run, and the smart money would be on Gronkowski signing a new deal with the Bucs soon, too.
What does Fournette’s deal mean for the veteran running back and the Tampa Bay offense as a whole? Andrew Erickson is here to break down the fantasy football implications of the deal.
It’s been a long journey for Leonard Fournette from his last days as “Fat Lenny” with the Jacksonville Jaguars earning the moniker “Lombardi Lenny” due to his brilliant play for Tampa Bay the last year and a half.
He impressed the Buccaneers front office – and a certain No. 12 quarterback – enough to earn a fat three-year deal with his old team worth $21 million up to $24 million. There’s zero doubt with his performance and contract that he will be the entrenched clear-cut starter for the Bucs, and that’s exactly the desired outcome for fantasy football.
From Fat Lenny 🍔
To Lombardi Lenny 🏆
To Filthy Rich Fournette 💰
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) March 22, 2022
Fournette ranked fifth in fantasy points and fourth in expected fantasy points per game before his Week 15 injury, leading all running in receptions (62). Upon his return to the lineup for the Buccaneers’ playoff matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, Fournette reclaimed bell-cow duties, playing 86% of Tampa Bay’s offensive snaps to go with 22 touches for 107 yards from scrimmage.
With an all-encompassing skill set at just 27 years old, Fournette possesses easy top-20 running back fantasy appeal. He slides in just outside my early 2022 running back rankings as RB14, but he could easily move up in the coming weeks if his ADP also jumps.
– Andrew Erickson
And don’t miss the rest of our takeaways from all of the recent news:
- Day 1 recap of free agent frenzy. | Day 1 Winners & Losers
- Day 2 recap of free agency frenzy
- Matt Ryan Traded To Colts
- Marcus Mariota Signs With Falcons
- Jameis Winston Re-Signs With Saints
- Robert Woods Traded To Titans
- Cordarrelle Patterson Re-Signs With Falcons
- JuJu Smith-Schuster Signs With Chiefs
- Davante Adams Traded To Raiders
- Deshaun Watson Traded To Browns
- Zay Jones, C.J. Uzomah, Tevin Coleman Takeaways
- Evan Engram To Sign With Jaguars
- Mitch Trubisky To Sign With Steelers
- James Conner Contract Extension
- Chase Edmonds To Sign with Dolphins
- Christian Kirk To Sign With Jaguars
- Tom Brady’s Return
- Carson Wentz Trade
- Russell Wilson Trade
- Calvin Ridley Suspension