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What to do with Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard in Week 3 fantasy football

Will Gronk rise again and, if so, where does that leave O.J. Howard?

NFL: AUG 30 Buccaneers Training Camp Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In an offseason that saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers land six-time champion quarterback Tom Brady, the team’s acquisition of former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski seemed like an afterthought. Brady’s connection with Gronk helped catapult the Patriots to multiple Super Bowl appearances, but the latter spent 2019 away from football and appeared poised to become a wrestling star rather than seriously ponder a return to the NFL.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers’ incumbent at the position, O.J. Howard, fought off another wave of trade rumors while he reasserted himself as the lead tight end in Tampa.

Fantasy Football analysis: Bucs TEs Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard

Through two games, Gronkowski has managed just two catches, neither of which came during last week’s matchup with the Panthers. While the Buccaneers offense should continue to gel as Brady spends more time on the field with his new teammates, the fact that he hasn’t connected more frequently with Gronk suggests that the future Hall of Fame tight end doesn’t have much left in the tank.

As for Howard, the ceiling appears higher given his superior production (five catches on nine targets for 47 yards and a score) and fit with head coach Bruce Arians’ vertically minded passing attack. Brady’s passes will gravitate toward wideouts Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, and both look likely to suit up this week. But behind those two, Howard can realistically garner enough looks to produce under the right circumstances.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Gronk might liven up any party, but he doesn’t have a place in your lineup right now regardless of format.

Meanwhile, consider Howard as an emergency option in season-long fantasy leagues and avoid him in DFS.