Rob Gronkowski & Cameron Brate Fantasy Outlook Surge Following O.J. Howard Injury Update

Max Staley
Rob Gronkowksi and Cameron Brate become interesting fantasy football options without OJ Howard.
Rob Gronkowksi and Cameron Brate become interesting fantasy football options without OJ Howard. / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pass-catching group has taken yet another hit. And this one is the worst of the bunch. The team reportedly fears that O.J. Howard has ruptured his Achilles, which would sideline him for the rest of the season if confirmed.

It's a bummer for Howard, who was just starting to hit his stride with Tom Brady. If he is looking at an extended absence, though, Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate would suddenly become interesting options in fantasy leagues.

Rob Gronkowski Fantasy Outlook

Don't get too carried away with Gronkowski, though. While his role is likely set to increase he clearly looks nothing like the old Gronk. He's turned just 14 targets into 9 catches for 88 yards, good for 6.29 yards per target. That's the worst mark of his career by a significant margin. Prior to this year, he had never posted a yards per target mark below 8.6.

With Howard and his 4.8 targets per game likely out of the mix, though, Gronk could be in for an uptick in usage. And in his defense, Brady has missed him on a few wide-open throws this year. He's worth monitoring, but don't go out and blow your free-agent budget on him.

Cameron Brate Fantasy Outlook

Brate is a solid, underrated player. But he's not too much more than that. He has only seen 2 targets on the year, but one did go for a 3-yard touchdown on Sunday.

He'll be a reliable red zone threat for the team, as he had 20 receiving TDs in a three-season stretch from 2016-18. With Howard out, Brate would be a TD-dependent tight end, though he'd really only be worth a look in deeper leagues or as a potential streaming option.

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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.