The Buccaneers must love Cameron Brate - they gave him a contract that pays him $7 million guaranteed this season, making him one of the league's top-paid tight ends in 2018. Fantasy owners aren't quite as in love with him, even after back-to-back top-10 finishes. Brate is awfully touchdown dependent - in the past two seasons he has 14 touchdowns but scored seven-plus Fantasy points 12 times. He's been over 70 yards receiving five times. He might be the go-to tight end in the red zone for the Buccaneers, but he won't get every one of them with second-year player O.J. Howard also competing for looks. Howard will also take targets away from Brate, just as he did in 2017. Draft Brate real late if you think he can score in at least two of his first three matchups. Otherwise, there's really no point to picking him since his upside is limited.
Brate brought in all five of his targets for 48 yards in the Buccaneers' 26-24 preseason win over the Dolphins on Thursday. Brate paced Tampa in receptions on the night, and he came just five yards shy of leading the team in receiving yards as well. It was an excellent start to the preseason for the fourth-year tight end, whom the Bucs locked up with a six-year, $41 million contract this offseason. Brate will once again split time with 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard in the coming season, but the level of rapport he enjoys with both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston should still afford him plenty of targets in what could be a high-powered offense.
Brate is slated to catch passes from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the 2018 regular season in the wake of Jameis Winston's expected suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. The development many not exactly bode well for the tight end's fantasy prospects if his body of work with Fitzpatrick under center last season is any indication. Brate did have one of his best days of 2017 during the veteran quarterback's first taste of extended action in Week 6, hauling in six of eight targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. However, he caught only one pass in each of Fitzpatrick's three starts in Weeks 10-12, while fellow tight end O.J. Howard posted six receptions (on eight targets) for 104 yards and a score in those contests. Consequently, it remains to be seen if Fitzpatrick once again favors the 2017 first-round pick among his tight-end options if he takes the reins of the offense for the 2018 season's first three games.
The Buccaneers and Brate agreed to a six-year, $41 million contract Monday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Set to be a restricted free agent Wednesday, Brate avoided a tender and instead was granted a long-term commitment from the organization that took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He's been a nice safety net for Jameis Winston the past two seasons, accruing 14 touchdowns and averaging 7.9 yards per target among his 105 receptions (on 158 targets). Brate's contract follows Mike Evans' huge extension last week, but the tight end may continue to yield snaps to 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard (ankle) over the course of this new deal.
Brate brought in three of five targets for 37 yards in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Saints. Brate finished an up-and-down 2017 campaign in relatively modest fashion, posting three receptions for the second straight week. The 26-year-old went through a forgettable six-game stretch during Weeks 9-14 in which he posted a modest seven receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He bounced back to bring in 10 of 14 targets for 99 yards in the final three contests of the season, as he clearly seemed to enjoy a better rapport with Jameis Winston than he did with backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. In the first half of the campaign, Brate essentially provided the same caliber of production as he had during his breakout 2016, as first-round pick O.J. Howard surprisingly was utilized much more as a blocker and receiver. However, Howard did start coming on as a consistent downfield threat in the latter portion of the season before succumbing to an ankle injury in Week 15, so it remains to be seen what effect his presence will have on Brate's targets from the onset of the 2018 season.
Brate (hip, knee) is officially active for Sunday's Week 17 tilt against the Saints, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. Brate's status was fully expected after he wrapped up the week with full practice participation. The third-year pro will look to close out what has been an inconsistent season on a high note, and he should have an opportunity for a solid amount of targets with DeSean Jackson (ankle) inactive and fellow tight end O.J. Howard on injured reserve with an ankle injury of his own.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New Orleans Saints||5||5.22|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||32||10.69|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||18||6.75|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||5||5.22|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||63||43||513||6||29||11.93||87|