Antonio Brown Fantasy Outlook With Bucs: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin Fantasy Fallers - Roto Street Journal
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Antonio Brown Fantasy Outlook With Bucs: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin Fantasy Fallers

There’s no stranger bromance in the NFL than Tom Brady and his pet project, Antonio Brown. From sleepovers at Tom and Giselle’s Brookline mansion, to begging Robert Kraft to keep Brown on the team after he publically shit on the owner, to now orchestrating his new team to sign the mental case, TB12 has a thing for the crazy wideout. While the Hall of Fame talent is off the charts, it could cause a rift on a team that’s loaded with unlimited egos.

Anyways, we don’t really care about the impact that AB will have on the locker room. We care about Antonio Brown’s 2020 fantasy outlook and his impact on Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and the rest of the Bucs offense.

ANTONIO BROWN FANTASY OUTLOOK

Looking at Brown, he’s not someone who’s been out of the league for years and I would bet some good money that he’s not washed up. For all his negatives, his work ethic has never been a question and we all know he’ll show up in Tampa in outrageous shape. Even though he hasn’t played in multiple games since the 2018 season, where he put up 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns on 104 receptions, he played one game with the Patriots last year before being thrown into the nuthouse.

In his lone game with Brady, he was peppered eight times and came down with four of them for 56 yards and a pretty touchdown. With barely any practice, Brady looked AB’s way early and often, and all over the field. He was peppered in the intermediate areas, had a carry on a jet sweep, and caught a long touchdown pass.

 

Although Brady’s weapon cabinet is full, the two had an immediate connection in New England and it should continue early on in Tampa. From a fantasy perspective, one would think it makes sense to wait a week to see how AB gels with his new team. But, Arians was the Steelers’ OC for Brown’s first two seasons in the league and he should have an early grasp of the playbook right away.

While Brown would have been a better fantasy fit in Baltimore or somewhere else where he could be an alpha WR1, AB will be a weekly WR2 or WR3/Flex play with weekly blow up upside.

FANTASY IMPACT ON BRADY, EVANS, GODWIN, ETC.

If there’s one major fantasy winner here, it’s obviously Brady. Less than a year ago, Brady was throwing to the Patriots JV team. Now he’s peppering the likes of Evans, Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, Scotty Miller, and now AB. That’s the definition of a super team. Don’t look now, but old man Tom is second in the league in touchdown passes (18) and is only four away from Russell Wilson. People with big brains (me) could be looking to cash a +1700 MVP ticket if everything clicks the way it should.

Now, this is where things get sketchy.

Mike Evans looks like he’s on the outs with Brady. Although he might set an NFL record for the most 1-yard touchdown receptions, he’s not the type of wideout that Brady loves to target on a consistent basis. He’s a big-bodied monster, but he doesn’t run precise routes and doesn’t get great separation. He has two targets in his last two games and has seen four or fewer targets in four games this season. Now Evans has to compete with Brown for deep targets? No thanks.

Although it seems like Chris Godwin has the best connection with the quarterback, notching at least six targets and five receptions in every game he’s played this season, Brown can most certainly eat up targets in the middle of the field. I feel much, much better about Godwin’s rest of season outlook than I do about Evans’, but his target share will ultimately take a bit of a hit.

For the other pass-catchers, Scotty Miller’s streaming upside is shot now, which could be a good thing since he’s Mr. Inconsistency. Gronk? It seems like he’s not running with a piano on his back anymore, but there won’t be much of a role change.

Then there are both running backs, Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, who should benefit due to defenses focusing on the perimeter weapons. Hopefully, it’s Jones, but that’s a conversation for another day. Either way, whoever’s at running back will be running against lightboxes, which should result in major problems for opposing defenses.

LOOKING FORWARD

Once Brown is eligible to play Week 9, the Bucs open up with the Jets, then run out the remainder of the fantasy season against the Ravens, Texans, Cardinals, Chargers, Rams, Dolphins, and Bills. Sounds pretty favorable to me.

Barring a 2019-esque mental episode from AB, he should be a fantasy lineup lock from the day he steps on the field.

All-in-all, Godwin leads the way at WR15, Evans comes in next at WR29, and Brown checks in at WR32 on The Wolf’s Rest of Season Big Board. Brady also gets bumped up to QB8.

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