Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said on Thursday that 12 personnel will be their base offense in 2020, per Greg Auman of The Athletic. The 12 personnel offensive grouping brings in two tight ends, one running back and two wide receivers. In that scenario, Rob Gronkowski and either Cameron Brate or O.J. Howard will take the other tight end spot.
Not many teams use 12 personnel, instead gravitating toward 11 personnel, which has three wide receivers, one tight end, and one running back. It makes sense, as the league is more pass oriented, but 12 personnel has shown it can be extremely effective.
Over at Sharp Football Analysis, this tidbit is illuminating:
Last season, teams averaged 8.08 yards per attempt, 0.15 Expected Points Added per attempt, and had a positive play rate (the percentage of plays with positive EPA) of 54 percent from 12 personnel, per Sports Info Solutions. From 11, those averages were 7.16 yards per attempt, 0.03 EPA per attempt, and a positive play rate of 49.5 percent. There is a sample size discrepancy there because there were significantly more pass attempts from 11, but that’s kind of the point. Teams really should throw more from 12.
So, overall, this looks like a good move for the Buccaneers offense and Tom Brady’s fantasy upside, but it does move Chris Godwin out of the slot, which could hurt his numbers slightly. The question for tight ends is if Howard can win the majority of snaps over Brate. If so, he would still have some fantasy value, but with Gronkowski as the likely top tight end target, Howard will have an uphill battle to gain fantasy relevance.