First, Tampa Bay landed Tom Brady this offseason. Shortly thereafter, the Buccaneers lured Brady’s favorite tight end, Rob Gronkowski, out of retirement. Later, in came castoff Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette.
So of course they also landed WR Antonio Brown. It all makes sense now. But how is it going to work? With a receiving corps that already includes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, not to mention Gronkowski?
First, we must try to project how effective Brown will be. Last we saw him for any extended stretch, he led the league in TDs with 15 in the 2018 season, racked up 104 receptions and had 1,297 yards. It was his sixth straight 100-catch, 1,200-yard season.
He has played exactly one game since. He is essentially a season-and-a-half removed from any real action — he was 4-for-56 with a TD on eight targets in his one game with Brady’s Patriots last season. Is he the same player now he was in 2018?
We’re confident we will find out. The Bucs didn’t add him as a complementary piece. They will be eager to see what they have. So targets will be borrowed from elsewhere to determine his capability.
Even if Brown doesn’t deliver, it still will hamper the other receivers’ production. This is most concerning for Evans. He has exactly two targets in each of the past two games. Four times this season he has gotten four targets or fewer. His floor is already lower than virtually anyone thought possible heading into this season. Now, he has another star to compete with for targets.
We’re not as worried about Godwin’s workload — he has at least six targets and five catches in every game he has played. We’re more worried about his ability to stay on the field. Though, food for thought: Our friend Howard Bender of Fantasy Alarm has more serious concerns about Godwin’s position in the future Tampa WR hierarchy. Bender is ready to bail on the entire group.
The Madman is on board with trading Evans, most definitely. We already are on the outs with slot man Scotty Miller — who burns us with dud games every time we play him then tries to sucker us back in with a solid game (like Sunday’s 6-109-1 outing).
And there is a non-zero chance Brown is still great. Coach Bruce Arians shifted gears from no interest in a “diva” this summer to now being open to Brown’s addition. Something changed his mind. And that should worry those who have Bucs receivers on their fantasy rosters.
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