Cameron Brate Fantasy Outlook Improves in Week 8 With O.J. Howard Ruled Out

Max Staley
San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Will Vragovic/Getty Images

Entering the season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard was a popular breakout candidate in fantasy football. Frankly, it's not hard to see why. Howard was on a 16-game pace to rack up 904 receiving yards and eight TDs, before an injury sidelined him for the final six games of last season. He also led all tight ends in yards per reception in 2018 (16.6).

However, Howard has far from delivered on that promise this season. He had an average draft position (ADP) of TE4, but is ranked as TE39, with 15.6 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues through six games played.

Howard's season has hit yet another roadblock ahead of Week 8, as he's been ruled out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' game against the Tennessee Titans, creating potential fantasy value for his teammate and fellow tight end, Cameron Brate.

Brate hasn't been particularly effective this season either, seeing 15 targets to Howard's 18. Even so, Howard has played at least 75 percent of the snaps in all six games, while Brate's snap share has never risen above 43 percent in 2019. However, with Howard ruled out, Brate will likely see a bump in targets and playing time, making him a viable starting TE in Week 8 of fantasy football.

Brate will be a touchdown-dependent starter this week, as he has yet to reach 50 receiving yards in a game this season. He has found the end zone twice and those TDs came while sharing the field with Howard.

If you're in a pinch, it could be worth adding Brate off the waiver wire this week, but owners should temper their expectations.

Brate has been held below 40 yards receiving in all eight of his career games played without Howard, finishing as a top-10 TE just once – and that was because he caught two TDs. Additionally, over his final six games played without Howard last season, Brate averaged 21.7 receiving yards per game.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians also seemingly doesn't use tight ends much in his offense, as Howard and Brate have combined for 33 targets, while WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have combined for 110.

Neither Brate nor Howard ranked in the top-12 tight ends of our Week 8 fantasy football PPR rankings when they were released on Monday, meaning Brate can be best treated as a TD-dependent fantasy starter against a Titans' defense that has allowed four TDs in seven weeks to the TE position.

Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.

Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.