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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

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Joey Knight of The Tampa Bay Times writes that WR Russell Gage could enter Week 1 with a “prominent role.” It’s a reminder that Chris Godwin — who tore his ACL in December — might miss the early portion of next season. Gage has quietly pulled in 138 receptions across 2020-2021 (30 games).

Despite the addition of 3rd-round rookie RB Rachaad White, it doesn't sound like the Bucs plan on altering RB Leonard Fournette's role much this season. “Why it’s tough to get Lenny off the field, he’s a three-down back,” OC Byron Leftwich said. “He’s a smart guy, and he and Tom [Brady] can play ball. They can play ball together when it starts moving on them and things are changing and things have to happen, Lenny and him can play ball. They’ve been in these situations. That’s why it’s hard to really get him off the field because of what he brings and the connection him and Tom have. I think it’s unique. It’s not that we’re forcing him on that field. It’s because he’s the best in what we’re asking him to do." Fournette averaged 13.1 carries and 6.1 targets across 14 healthy games last season. Perhaps White cuts into those numbers a tad, but we're expecting the rookie to be more handcuff than standalone fantasy option this season. Fournette checks in as a top 10 RB.

12:14pm EDT 4/30/22

The Bucs added Washington TE Cade Otton with the 1st pick of Round 4. The 6'5, 247-pounder totaled just 91 catches for 1,026 yards (11.3 YPC) and 9 TDs across 4 college seasons and doesn't look dynamic on tape. Otton is also already 23 years old. This is an intriguing landing spot, especially if TE Rob Gronkowski doesn't return for 2022. But don't overrate Otton in your dynasty rookie drafts.

The Bucs added Arizona State RB Rachaad White in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. White spent the past 2 years at Arizona State after transferring from Division II Nebraska-Kearney. White posted nice per-game production in a mere 4-game, COVID-shortened 2020. He broke out as a senior, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 10.6 yards across 43 receptions – with 16 total TDs. He reminds us of a poor man’s David Johnson. White figures to sit behind Leonard Fournette for at least this season but has the upside to eventually develop into Tampa’s lead back.

The Buccaneers grabbed DL Logan Hall with the 1st pick of Round 2 in the NFL Draft. Hall enjoyed a breakthrough final season at Houston, tallying 47 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. At 6'6 and 285 pounds, Hall can play the edge and inside positions. He figures to play DE in Tampa Bay's 3-4 base defense and will likely be more of a tackle collector than big-play source for IDP leagues.

RB Giovani Bernard is re-signing with the Buccaneers on a 1-year deal for the "veteran salary benefit," according to ESPN's Jenna Laine. That means just less than $1.3 million for the 10th-year veteran. Bernard carried just 8 times while adding 29 targets over 12 regular-season games last year, losing 4 to hip and knee injuries late in the season. He's expected to work behind Leonard Fournette and Ke'Shawn Vaughn on the depth chart.

The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud believes there will be more of a "commitment to run the football" from the Bucs under new HC Todd Bowles. Tampa ranked 2nd in pass rate and 3rd in situation-neutral pass rate last season, so there's certainly room for more running. But we're not expecting a massive shift with QB Tom Brady and OC Byron Leftwich back in the fold.

Bruce Arians announced Wednesday that he's stepping down as Bucs HC and moving into a consulting role in the front office. He finishes his tenure as Bucs HC with a 31-18 record and a Super Bowl. DC Todd Bowles has been promoted to HC with a new 5-year contract. It'll be his 2nd go-around as a HC after struggling to a 24-40 record with the Jets from 2015-2018. OC Byron Leftwich will remain in the same position this season. And, with QB Tom Brady back, we're not worried about Arians' departure impacting the offense.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus said he told the Bucs that TE Rob Gronkowski is "truly undecided" about whether he'll play in 2022. We wouldn't expect Gronk to commit to another season in March. But we're ultimately expecting him to make another run at a Super Bowl with Tom Brady. Gronkowski is worth taking some shots on at his current 9th-round FFPC ADP. That'll climb at least a few rounds if and when he announces that he's playing this season.

The Buccaneers are re-signing RB Leonard Fournette to a 3-year, $21 million deal that could be worth up to $24 million. We'd bet there's some fluff built into that contract to inflate the overall numbers, but even in that case it's a much more significant commitment than the 1-year, $3 million pact that brought Fournette back for last season. Expect the 27-year-old to open the year as Tampa Bay's lead back and potentially continue operating as a true workhorse. For fantasy, expect Fournette's ADP to now work inside the top 4 rounds.

Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the contract includes $11 million in guarantees, which should make it at least a 2-year deal.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Logan Ryan has agreed to terms with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay still has its top 3 CBs from last year -- Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean -- under contract. So Ryan's most obvious fit would be at safety, where the team watched Jordan Whitehead walk in free agency. We'll watch for confirmation, though, as Ryan could just settle in as a swing/rotational player. Mike Edwards is the potential incumbent candidate for the safety vacancy.

Giants DB Logan Ryan seemed to indicate via Twitter Thursday that the team is releasing him. It's a salary-cutting move for a guy who had a $3 million guarantee set to trigger, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Ryan spent the past 2 years as a full-timer for the Giants, seeing action at safety and corner. We wouldn't be surprised to see the 31-year-old land a gig elsewhere, but Ryan is no lock to do so.

The Buccaneers and WR Chris Godwin have reached agreement on a 3-year, $60 million deal that includes $40 million in guarantees, according to multiple reports. Godwin had received the franchise tag, so we knew he wasn't going anywhere. This locks him in for the next 3 seasons and sets him up to hit the open market ahead of his age-29 campaign.

The Bucs re-signed WR Breshad Perriman to a 1-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Perriman appeared in 6 games for Tampa last season, catching 11 balls for 167 yards and a score. He'll battle the likes of Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson and Jaelon Darden for scraps behind Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage this year.

Former Falcons WR Russell Gage is expected to sign with the Buccaneers, according to multiple reports. That ensures Atlanta will lose its 2nd leading receiving from last year and likely delivers Tampa Bay's new slot man. Gage went from running out of the slot on two-thirds of his routes each of the previous 2 seasons to just half the time last year. WR Chris Godwin, meanwhile, has seen his slot rate grow every season. According to Pro Football Focus, he spent 70% of pass snaps in the slot last year. So we'll see whether the Gage signing pushes Godwin back outside or injects Gage into Antonio Brown's spot (about 21% slot). That could depend, in part, on whether Godwin's torn ACL allows him to start the 2022 season on time. Either way, Gage's arrival challenges the target-share ceilings for Godwin and Mike Evans vs. what they might have been with Brown gone and a lesser replacement.

Update: ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that it's a 3-year, $30 million deal with $20 million guaranteed.

CB Carlton Davis and the Buccaneers have agreed to a 3-year $45 million deal, according to multiple reports. Davis has played in 51 of a possible 65 games in 4 years since arriving as a 2nd-round pick, starting all but 1 of those contests. He has topped 1 INT just once among his 4 seasons but averaged 1.3 passes defensed per game over the past 3 years. Davis has also been a solid tackle collector for the position. He should be drafted in most CB-required leagues and is even worth a look in plenty of formats with generic DB slots.

7:15pm EDT 3/13/22

Tom Brady isn't ready to retire after all. He tweeted Sunday evening: "These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG." Brady's decision removes what had been a huge question about who will QB the Buccaneers. He'll return to an offense that will still have WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. We'll see now about TE Rob Gronkowski's decision -- though we'd bet, at the moment, that he'll also return to the Bucs.

The Bucs have officially used their franchise tag on WR Chris Godwin. It's his 2nd straight year getting tagged, so he's currently set to make a little over $19 million this season. The 2 sides are reportedly working toward a long-term deal, though, which would presumably lower Godwin's cap hit. The 26-year-old has finished top 15 among WRs in PPR points per game in 3 straight seasons. But he sits much lower than that in our early 2022 rankings because of his December ACL tear and Tampa's QB question.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that the Buccaneers are working on a long-term deal with WR Chris Godwin. She adds that if the 2 sides don’t reach agreement by today’s 4 p.m. franchise-tag deadline, the team is expected to tag the WR. For fantasy football purposes, you should expect Godwin to remain with Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future. His end-of-season ACL tear, of course, challenges his 2022 outlook

Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said Tuesday in a couple of ways that we shouldn't expect to see QB Tom Brady play for another team in 2022. When asked about the possibility of Brady changing his mind on retirement and asking to be traded, Arians said, "That ain't happening. That's not Tom Brady." But would the Bucs trade him if Brady did make such a request? "Nope. Bad business," Arians said, adding that it would take "Five No. 1's" to acquire the QB. For now, we're assuming Brady sticks to his retirement and not taking him in early best-ball drafts.

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