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How Rob Gronkowski Reuniting with Tom Brady Shifts Buccaneers Projections & Fantasy Rankings

How Rob Gronkowski Reuniting with Tom Brady Shifts Buccaneers Projections & Fantasy Rankings article feature image

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

With New England dealing Rob Gronkowski to Tampa Bay where he’ll reunite with Tom Brady, Sean Koerner updates his 2020 fantasy football projections for the Buccaneers.

Tom Brady

  • Projected Passing Yards: 4,260
  • Projected Touchdowns: 30.3

One of my biggest concerns with Brady heading into 2020 is that it’s going to be difficult for him to learn a new offense and build chemistry with his pass-catchers if offseason activities are severely limited due to ongoing social distancing. Having a former teammate like Gronk means Brady will have established chemistry with at least one player.

I’m only slightly boosting Brady’s his passing yards and touchdowns. We have to remember that Brady will not be inheriting “Jameis Winston version” of the Bucs offense — Winston’s aggressive playing style led to a league-high 30 interceptions last season. That, along with the Bucs’ below-average defense, forced the offense to be even more aggressive. Still, adding a weapon like Gronk will likely make Brady more efficient in the red zone and boost his floor/ceiling.

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My main concern for Brady will be if the Bucs end up trading away either O.J. Howard and/or Cameron Brate. It’s unlikely they keep all three tight ends. If they do trim down the TE depth chart — which could be very soon — it will make any time Gronk misses in 2020 problematic for Brady. Given Gronk’s injury history and returning after a one-year retirement, it’s safe to assume he won’t be able to play all 16 games this season.

I’m still treating Brady as a high-end QB1 who will provide a high weekly floor.

Mike Evans & Chris Godwin

It’s possible Gronk’s presence doesn’t impact the Bucs stud wide receivers that much. Still, I slightly lowered each of their target share and touchdown rate — there are still more dominoes that could fall with the draft just days away, and the possibility that either Howard or Brate are dealt.

I’m still treating each WR as a top-10 option heading into 2020.

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Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard & Cameron Brate

On the surface, this is an apparent blow to both Howard’s and Brate’s 2020 value. As I keep mentioning, one of them could be traded away very soon. If one of them ends up on say, the Packers, then all of a sudden, either could see their value shoot up to low-end TE1 territory.

Still, it’s way too early to be making any conclusion on these TEs quite yet.

As for Gronk, I’m projecting him as a low-end TE1 initially.

For him, it will all come down to health. He hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2011. I highly doubt taking a year off will allow him to become more durable, especially considering he’s only going to continue to decline at 31 years old. I’m guessing he will be a popular TE to draft later in on in drafts, but I’ll likely be passing on him to instead target TEs such as Mike Gesicki, Hayden Hurst, and Noah Fant in that range given they are heading into their prime.

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