The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a sizable void to fill at the tight end position in 2022, but Cameron Brate should be confident in leading the position. After Rob Gronkowski retired in the offseason, Brate steps in as the unquestioned Buccaneers TE1 with experience at his advantage. Though he will have to compete for targets among the rest of the receiving room, his chemistry with Brady should be to his advantage as they prepare for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.
Fantasy Football analysis: Bucs TE Cameron Brate
Although Brate averaged just 4.9 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues last season, he averaged 8.2 yards per reception when Brady looked his way. That was while playing behind Gronkowski, who is not only a premier talent but a longtime reliable option for Brady. Now with Gronkowski out of the picture, Brate’s volume of targets should only increase from his 57 last season.
Tight ends play an important role with Brady under center, and Gronkowski was on the field for an average of 76 percent of the Buccaneers' offensive snaps last season. For comparison, Brate was on the field for 40 percent of the snaps. Given Brate’s experience advantage over newcomer Kyle Rudolph, he should confidently bump up his snap percentage count, which opens up more opportunities for him, particularly in the end zone.
Start or sit in Week 1?
When looking at their projected totals for Week 1, Brate fits the bill as a potential contender to overperform, given the added role he’ll play for Tampa Bay. He should easily surpass his 4.9 fantasy point average with more than a couple of targets headed his way on Sunday night, and the Buccaneers' willingness to throw the ball means he should consistently be involved. If you have an open roster spot, start Brate on Sunday against the Cowboys.