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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Bucs WR Russell Gage suffered an apparent leg injury in practice on Wednesday. Gage limped off with team trainers, per beat writer Rick Stroud. We’ll pass along an update when we learn more.

Buccaneers WR Scotty Miller says he added 10-15 pounds of muscle this offseason, looking to rebound from an injury-derailed 2021. "I've always been undersized, so this year I really focused on gaining a couple pounds to show the coaches I can do a lot of different things in the offense," he told Pewter Report. "I just feel more explosive and really fast. The fastest I've ever been." Miller will have trouble reaching fantasy relevance, with Julio Jones joining an already loaded top 3 at WR: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage. But he flashed with Tom Brady in 2020 and count present enough versatility to earn a roster spot. At 25, Miller is heading into his 4th NFL season.

Insider Jordan Schultz hears that the hamstring injury Bucs WR Mike Evans suffered in Friday's practice is "minor." We'll see when he's able to get back on the field, but we haven't moved Evans in the WR rankings.

Bucs WR Mike Evans "tweaked" a hamstring in Friday's practice, HC Todd Bowles said. This doesn't sound like a serious injury, but we'll keep an eye on it. Evans has dealt with hamstring trouble in 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin participated in positional drills on Friday for the 1st time since tearing his ACL last December. Here's video. "Very positive sign, but as one source says, not surprising," ESPN's Jeff Darlington tweeted. "This is 'on schedule' in terms of Godwin’s own plan for himself." It's still unclear if he'll be ready for Week 1, but we're expecting to at least see Godwin at some point in September.

Bucs HC Todd Bowles complimented the play of TE Cade Otton. “Cade’s a very cerebral player. You won’t see all the speed and power, but you look up and he’s always doing the right things, always in the right place. He has great hands and he understands how to play the game,” Bowles said. “I think a lot of young players don’t have that. He has that coming in, so that’s going to benefit him going forward.” Bowles noted that Otten needs to improve his play strength — standard language for a rookie. The 4th-round pick figures to see limited action alongside Kyle Rudolph and Cameron Brate, but he’s a name to monitor in dynasty circles.

Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles on Friday highlighted WR Russell Gage as a consistently strong performer so far in training camp. "Gage has really been the one to stand out," he said, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. The report also mentions WRs Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden as early leaders in competition for what might be the final 2 spots on the depth chart. Gage is locked into the top 4 with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones. We'll continue watching camp reports and preseason signals for specific roles within 1 of the league's top pass offenses.

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette showed up to training camp in "great shape," HC Todd Bowles said. "I don't know too many players in the offseason that are going to stay in shape year-around," Bowles added. "As long as they're in shape in training camp. He ran great in the test yesterday – he’s explosive, he's quick and we're happy with him." So the Fat Lenny Era is officially over. Fournette never moved in our RB rankings and is a nice pick at his late-2nd-round ADP.

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette is down to 245 pounds and "back in shape," per insider Doug Kyed. Fournette's belly made headlines in June, but it sounds like he's back to playing weight. We'll keep an eye on his conditioning over the next few weeks, but Fournette looks safe to draft at ADP.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Buccaneers are signing WR Julio Jones to a 1-year deal. He joins a WR corps that added Russell Gage on a 3-year deal in free agency and is not putting Chris Godwin on the PUP to open training camp. We'll see about Godwin's status through camp and preseason. We'll also see how the team plans to sort out a crowded WR depth chart. The Jones signing is clearly bad news for the 2022 outlooks on players such as Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson, Jaelon Darden, Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin has been cleared to practice at training camp. He surprisingly avoids the PUP list despite being only ~7 months out from ACL surgery. While he won’t be a full practice participant, look for Godwin’s WR32 ADP to rise immediately. Also note: Tampa Bay just added Julio Jones on a 1-year deal.

The Bucs are "cautiously optimistic" that WR Chris Godwin (knee) will be ready for Week 1, insider Greg Auman said on SiriusXM radio Monday. "But the Bucs aren't set on him being ready just yet," Auman added. Godwin tore his right ACL and MCL on December 19 and had surgery on January 3. Week 1 is just a little more than 8 months after that surgery, which would be an extremely aggressive timeline. We'll continue to monitor Godwin's progress but still aren't projecting him to be ready for the opener. That said, there's still plenty of upside on him at his 6th-round ADP in recent FFPC drafts.

Bucs TE Cade Otton (ankle) has been cleared for the start of training camp, according to The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud. The rookie missed OTAs and minicamp after undergoing ankle surgery in November, putting him a bit behind the 8-ball. We'll see if Otton can push TE Cam Brate and newly signed TE Kyle Rudolph for snaps.

The Athletic’s Greg Auman believes QB Tom Brady will attempt fewer passes in 2022 than he did in 2021. Brady led the league with 719 attempts — 47 ahead of 2nd-place finisher Justin Herbert — so it’s not a bold prediction. Auman is also taking the under on Brady’s sportsbook yardage prop (4,624.5); the over on his TD prop (35.5). His 22nd season might start a bit rocky, depending on the status WR Chris Godwin (ACL). But across 17 games, Brady still projects as a top-12 fantasy QB.

11:00pm EDT 7/20/22

The Buccaneers have agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Kyle Rudolph, according to multiple reports. The veteran managed just 26 catches for 257 yards and 1 TD across 16 games in his lone season with the Giants after Minnesota released him following the 2020 season. It marked the 3rd straight year in which Rudolph's receptions per game declined. Obviously not a threat for big numbers in a season that will find him turning 33 in November, Rudolph still clouds the TE target picture for an offense that (at least for now) must go without Rob Gronkowski. We weren't excited about Cameron Brate or Cade Otton in any format before this signing, which certainly doesn't help either player.

We're not done hearing about RB Leonard Fournette's offseason weight gain. Here's what Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times had to say on the subject this week, via the Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: “Coaches were not happy, and that’s an understatement, when (Fournette) didn’t participate in the OTAs, but then he shows up at the mandatory minicamp weighing damn near 260 [pounds]. And that’s not a good sign for a guy that you’ve just spent a three-year contract on.” There's certainly still time for Fournette to get into shape ahead of the regular season. This is a red flag worth keeping in mind, though, given Fournette's history of lower-body injuries and his Round 2 ADP.

"I'm done with football," TE Rob Gronkowski said Tuesday, adding that he wouldn't return even if QB Tom Brady called to ask. The interview made headlines -- but we wouldn't expect Gronk to say anything else less than a month after announcing his retirement. We still believe there's at least a small chance he returns to the Bucs at some point this season.

Speculating on the team's replacement plan in the wake of TE Rob Gronkowski's (2nd) retirement, Scott Smith of the team website highlights the potential of 4th-round rookie Cade Otton. Smith says "there is the potential for him to be the one tight end the Buccaneers keep on the field most often," with receiving skills that "many draft analysts" believe exceed his college usage and the fact that he's "already considered an above-average and very willing blocker." Smith goes on to say that there might not be a "single clear answer" and that the Bucs could just blend Otton, fellow rookie Ko Kieft, vet Cameron Brate and perhaps 1 more player. Otton is primarily a name to know for dynasty usage, but this also serves as a reminder to temper fantasy expectations for Brate. He's likely the team's best receiving bet at the position with Gronk gone. But Brate has also played less than 40% of Tampa Bay snaps in 3 straight years. Just 2 of those included Gronkowski, and he missed 5 games in 2021.

The Athletic's Greg Auman confirms that Bucs WR Chris Godwin is a candidate to open the season on the PUP list. That's not a surprise considering Godwin is working his way back from a mid-December ACL tear. "There have been encouraging reports on Godwin’s progress, but the Bucs have made a big investment in him long-term, so the priority will be getting him back to his old self rather than getting him back right away," Auman writes. Note that new NFL rules require a player placed on the PUP list to miss a minimum of 4 games, rather than the previous 6-game minimum. We're tentatively projecting Godwin to make his 2022 debut sometime in October.

TE Rob Gronkowski tells NFL insider Jordan Schultz that he's retiring. It's only June, of course, so there's plenty of time for Gronk to change his mind. In fact, he "retired" back in 2019 before eventually returning with QB Tom Brady and the Bucs in 2020. So we're not completely ruling out another season from Gronkowski. But he'd be tough to draft as more than a last-pick flier right now. Losing Gronk would be a big blow to a Bucs offense that lost WR Antonio Brown and has WR Chris Godwin iffy for the start of the season after tearing his ACL in December. TEs Cameron Brate and rookie Cade Otton are next up on Tampa's depth chart.

Update: Gronkowski confirmed his retirement on his Instagram. But his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, isn't totally buying it. “It would not surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call," Rosenhaus told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "This is just my opinion but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back during the season or next season.”

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