The Tampa Bay Buccaneers avoided the biggest possible position battle as veteran quarterback Tom Brady unretired this offseason. He decided that he somehow has more left in his tank and wanted to get back out onto the field. Tampa Bay is coming off a season where they finished 13-4 and won the NFC South for the first time since 2007.
While Brady helps solidify who will start under center, there are fantasy-relevant position battles to discuss. Running back Leonard Fournette tested free agency but signed back with the Bucs, but his backup is in question. While Brady unretired, former teammate Rob Gronkowski re-retired and leaves a gaping hole at tight end for Tampa Bay.
In this series, we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project — correctly — which players will win training camp battles.
Here’s a look at our picks to win the training camp battles for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
Rachaad White vs. Ke’Shawn Vaughn vs. Giovani Bernard
Our pick to win: Rachaad White
White was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay out of Arizona State. Brady was back with Tampa Bay by this point, so it is likely the team resumed doing whatever Brady wanted to do on offense. Former backup running back Ronald Jones left in free agency and so there was a need for a new guy to back up Fournette. With the draft capital use and the talent that White has, he is my pick to get the touches behind Fournette.
It remains to be seen how White’s role in the passing game will evolve. He caught 43 passes for 456 yards and a touchdown in his senior year for the Sun Devils. Giovani Bernard had typically been the receiving back in his career, but Fournette was targeted 84 times a year ago while Bernard was targeted 29 times, and Vaughn was the recipient of only eight targets.
Kyle Rudolph vs. Cameron Brate vs. Cade Otton
Our pick to win: Kyle Rudolph
With Rob Gronkowski retiring, the Bucs needed to add to their tight end depth and signed free agent Kyle Rudolph, formerly of the Vikings and Giants. Before that signing it looked like Cameron Brate would win this battle, but Rudolph is now in the lead.
Rick Stroud of Tampa Bay Times, a long time beat writer, believes that Rudolph will get the bulk of Gronkowski’s snaps. If he does, he would become a decent fantasy football streamer at the tight end position, but we’ll see how much Brate cuts into his work.