Fantasy football season is almost here, so it’s time to start talking mock drafts and future drafts. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the best value picks in all of football, so naturally, this player is the best fantasy football value pick on the Buccaneers as well.
At the request of Tom Brady, who at this point is essentially the Deputy General Manager for the Buccaneers, the team went out and plucked Russell Gage from the division rival Atlanta Falcons to bring into Tampa Bay. Brady’s excitement for the addition was palpable, to the point where Gage thought it was a joke when Brady called to inform him that they are now teammates.
The excitement should now be palpable for both Bucs fans and fantasy football fans as well, because Gage is in a prime position to have himself a monster season.
In 2021, Gage caught 66 balls for 770 yards and four touchdowns, as the de-facto number one receiver for Matt Ryan in the absence of Calvin Ridley. He, Kyle Pitts, and to a lesser extent Cordarrelle Patterson were basically all Ryan had to work with.
Those numbers were good enough to rank him as the number 45th, 39th, and 38th, wide receiver in standard, half-PPR, and full-PPR respectively.
That was as the top wide receiver on a bad team though. Gage’s scenario with the Buccaneers is much different.
Gage will now be taking over the Antonio Brown spot as the number three wide receiver. In that role, AB was ranked as the number 57th, 58th, and 60th, wide receiver in standard, half-PPR, and full-PPR respectively. The thing is though, Brown only played in seven games, but managed to haul in 42 balls for 545 yards and four touchdowns. Gage might not have the natural talent of AB, but he should be able to at the bare minimum match his production playing in hopefully a full season.
The other factor in all this is Chris Godwin. Godwin is coming off of an ACL injury and is expected to miss time. This will allow Gage to step in as the number two receiver for a while to get acclimated to the offense while soaking up targets. By the time Godwin returns to the fold, Gage and Brady should have a strong rapport when he goes to the number three receiver. Remember, this was all Brady‘s idea, so there’s already some sort of connection there between the two.
Where the value comes in is with Gage’s ADP (average draft position). Gage is currently ranked as the number 49 wide receiver in all formats and the number 119th overall. His average draft position is 120th overall. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTIETH. That’s a double-digit round pick. That kind of value when everything is taken into account is certified lunacy.
Fantasy football managers need to jump at the chance to draft Russell Gage, especially if you’re a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looking for the double whammy of fandom. It’s worth it even if you have to reach for him a round or two early. If you can stack him with Brady? LAWDY. One thing at a time though.