Over the past four weeks Tom Brady has been slowly settling into life in Tampa Bay, scouting retirement communities and getting to know his new Buccaneer teammates. On Monday young tight end O.J. Howard ate Brady’s spinach, arugula and GOAT cheese salad out of the team fridge while complaining about the lack of tomatoes. Howard then violated the quarterback’s 6-foot radius of personal space before coughing without covering his mouth. Enough was enough, it was time for Tom to dust off his trusty Gronk signal and shine the big man’s light into the balmy Florida night sky. And Rob Gronkowski wasted no time in answering the call of his old friend. By Tuesday afternoon Gronkman had been traded from the Patriots with a 7th-round pick in exchange for the the Buccaneers 4th-round pick.

Gronk battled injuries from 2016-2018 missing 13 games over his final three seasons prior to his early-retirement. He also looked quite slimmed down during his 2019 public appearances. That said, you can’t help but root for the big boy, and a year of rest and relaxation likely did his overworked body some good. Off the bat, I’ll pencil him in as my #7 tight end behind Kelce, Kittle, Waller, Ertz, Andrews and Hooper. And I’ll give him an initial projection of 50 receptions for 700 yards and 6 touchdowns with lots of upside (and downside) from there. Anyway, here’s what other news I saw around the league for 2020 fantasy football: 

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Quarantine Day 27:

Hey all you cool cats and kittens. Did you see the story about the tiger at the Bronx Zoo that tested positive for coronavirus? Very sad. I blame Carole Baskin. Not just for the infection of this poor feline, but for the entire COVID debacle. Speaking of which, the CDC just released some new guidelines and in order to receive a COVID-19 test in the United States you must now meet at least one of these requirements:

     a) Politician

     b) Professional athlete (Major League Soccer doesn’t count)

     c) Movie star (Porn does count)

     d) Valued tiger at the zoo

And if you check all four boxes the CDC even throws in a free roll of TP. So far only one man has cashed in on that free roll of one-ply: my preferred 2020 presidential candidate, Darren Waller. Anyway, here’s my top 15 dynasty tight ends for 2020 fantasy football:

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This is a little different than the D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett post. Neither Metcalf or Lockett produced the yardage that Godwin or Evans did. Metcalf and Lockett are also not in quarterback limbo going into the new decade. Jameis Winston led the league in passing yards in 2019, but he also threw 30 interceptions and capped off the season with an overtime pick six. That’s not exactly the way garner a lot of confidence from your coach and front office in a contract year. 

Bruce Arians’ January comments didn’t scream that the Bucs want to give Winston the big long term deal that he desires. But honestly, what better choice do the Buccaneers have in free agency? Philip Rivers is pretty much the same quarterback as Winston without the upside. Tom Brady is as old as dirt. Teddy Bridgewater also doesn’t have the ceiling that Winston has. The Buccaneers might as well franchise tag Winston and see what he can do in the 2nd year in Arians’ system. Chances are, that’s what the decision will be, but hey, I’ve seen way dumber decisions be made by franchises. 

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As the season winds to a close it’s time to stop flirting with the transition to 2020 and dive in. This isn’t to say I’m done with 2019, not even close. I’m planning an upcoming long form article with an entire season review, but writing only a single article this week I thought it would enjoyable to provide my early .5 PPR first-round rankings for 2020. I’ve been searching around for others who have engaged in this exercise and it looks like I might be the first brave soul to assuredly be laughed at next summer. For those of you that are here for week 16 nuggets, congrats! You are either loyal readers, or trying to win a championship! Don’y worry, I’ve still got you covered at the bottom.

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With the start of the fantasy playoffs already underway, we’ve got a bunch of players in prime spots to help us get to next Sunday. Now is not the time to get cute with our lineup decisions, we’ve got to make accurate and educated moves to help us advance.

We’ve got to dance with who brought us here, so let’s bust some moves.

Let’s get into this week’s Starts and Sits.

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Patrick Mahomes made his triumphant return to the Chiefs’ lineup on Sunday and he did not disappoint. On his first throw he didn’t look like he was moving around very well and threw what looked like an interception, but it ended up getting overturned to a completion. After that, he looked like the same ol’ Patty. Andy Reid was not at all shy about his usage either. Mahomes attempted 50 passes and completed 36 of them for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns.

It really helps to have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to throw to. Tyreek Hill saw a remarkable 19 targets and caught 11 of them for 157 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce caught all 7 of his targets for 75 yards. Mecole Hardman absolutely turned on the burners for his 63 yard touchdown catch. Having two of the fastest wide receivers in the league is paying off for the Chief’s offense. Unfortunately, we have the Chief’s defense, and we also have the turnover prone running backs on this roster. While Damien Williams did reach over 100 total yards, he had a costly fumble that might have put him in the doghouse with Andy Reid. I’m not quite sure what his other options are though.

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After the NFL Scouting Combine this past year, much was made of D.K. Metcalf’s rippling muscles. My boss was talking up the Ole Miss product’s biceps. My girlfriend was enamored with his bustling chest. Even Momma-Donk called to ask about D.K.’s glutes. But what nobody talked about were his bulging calves. That is until week 9, when the Buccaneers defense was hypnotized by Metcalf’s leg beef.

The entire Seahawks offense took full advantage of this calf-muscle-induced hypnosis with Russell Wilson going 29/43 for 378 yards and 5 touchdowns—he now has 22 passing touchdowns on the season—Tyler Lockett snagged 13 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns—he now has 6 touchdowns on the season—and the sexy calved beast himself, D.K. Metcalf, hauled in 6 catches for 153 yards and his 5th touchdown. The Buccaneer defense will attempt to snap out of the trance before gazing into Kyler Murray’s sparkling eyes next week. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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A clash between defenses surrendering the 2nd (TB) and 6th (SEA) most receiving yards per game carries the highest point total for week 9.

Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Jameis Winston ranks #1 in average completed air yards and #1 in average intended air yards. Winston and Head Coach Bruce Arians offense likes to push the ball down field. Tied for 3rd in the NFL in completed passes over 40 yards, Jameis gets his shot against a Seahawks defense that ranks tied-for-10th in most completed passes allowed over 20+ yards. Despite his league leading 12 interceptions, Jameis Winston is a viable starter in all formats. Jameis is Rudy’s projected QB6 in week 10.

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