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Fantasy Football: Rob Gronkowski’s retirement announcement leaves big questions for Buccaneers (for now)

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Throughout the offseason, Rob Gronkowski has been fairly consistently selected in the fantasy football draft despite not actually being listed yet. But it looks like these elections will end up being wasted as The future Hall of Famer announced on Tuesday that he is retiring. – again – instead of returning to the pirates, as many of us expected.

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Of course, as Gronkowski’s longtime linemate Tom Brady reminded us earlier this offseason, retirement announcements aren’t set in stone. In fact, Gronkowski himself retired after the 2018 season, only to return to Brady when he went to Tampa during the 2020 offseason, eventually playing two more years. Will the 33-year-old return despite this latest announcement? According to his agent Drew Rosenhaus, do not completely discount the possibility.

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“It wouldn’t surprise me if Tom Brady calls him during the season to come back and Rob answers the call,” Rosenhaus told ESPN shortly after Gronkowski’s announcement. “It’s just my opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob comes back this season or next.”

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All this suggests that it is not worth tearing apart the best lists of players just yet. And don’t just sign Cameron Braith as TE1 for the 2022 season. Gronkowski may decide to come back during or even before the season, so let’s think about how we should approach the Buccaneers’ passing game, especially their tight ends.

Because this attack now looks very different than last season. Gronkowski left, as did Antonio Brown, although that happened towards the end of last season. OJ Howard, the No. 2 tight end, also fell out of the spotlight after signing with the Bills, while Chris Godwin, the expected top pick on offense, is in big question in the first week as he continues to recover from the January ACL. operation. He may be cleared by the start of the season, but it looks like he’ll at least open training camp on the disabled list.

That leaves Mike Evans and Leonard Furnett as the only returning Pirates to have caught at least 40 passes and are likely to be ready by week one. Russell Gage, who is signed to a free agent, will play a prominent role in offense, likely as the No. 2 option next to Evans, and it’s not out of the question that he could become a must-have fantasy starting option, at least at the start of the season. Gage had a career-best performance for the Falcons last season and has averaged 15.6 points in PPR scoring in the last eight games, numbers he could match as Brady’s second wide receiver.

Cameron Braith also seems like a likely beneficiary of Gronkowski’s absence, especially given Howard’s absence. Brayt was largely out of action during the Brady era, but in the past he was a viable option for Fantasy. He just needs to be much better than last season – he only had 245 yards on 30 interceptions and 57 goals. Turning 31 in just a few days, Braith’s growth potential is probably limited, but he could be attractive as a budget fantasy starter.

There still seems to be a hole in this crime, at least until Godwin recovers. Evans will have many goals, as will Gage, but they were the most active team in the league last season, with five players averaging at least 4.6 receptions per game. There are plenty of opportunities for someone else like Tyler Johnson or Cyril Grayson, or maybe rookie running back Rachaad White, who caught 43 passes in 11 games at Arizona State last season. Any of these players can be a viable target late in the round, especially in deeper formats.

Or maybe Godwin is healthy by the first week and Gronkowski actually decides to come back, in which case the status quo should continue. At the moment, neither seems like the most likely outcome, but it’s entirely possible that Gronkowski simply doesn’t want to go through another training camp, but will soon decide to return to the team. After all, he had already done it once.

For now, the Buccaneers are entering the season with some confidence – they’ll be passing a lot, with Evans, Gage and Leonard Furnett likely to be at the top of the pecking order – and probably just as many questions. These questions leave plenty of room for potential fantasy sleepers to emerge, but there is also plenty of time for these questions to be answered in other ways.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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