In the first article, I talked about whether Deandre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, and Hayden Hurst would succeed in their new situations or not. In this article, I will discuss three other players - Melvin Gordon, Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski - and whether or not they will "boom or bust" heading into next season.
On paper, the situation is far from ideal. He joins a Broncos offense with a crowded RB room already. Lindsay has already said he won't lose the starting job without a fight. However, I think its already Gordon's too lose. He is getting paid $8 million a year, with $13.5 million of his $16 million contract guaranteed. That money doesn't necessarily scream backup.
He now joins what is the best offensive line in his career on the Broncos. Pat Shurmur is his OC, and he has historically stuck with one "workhorse" running back. It isn't a coincidence Saquon Barkley was drafted while Shurmur was the head coach there.
Yes, there is concern about no longer having Rivers and his checkdown passes. But the reality is, the Broncos targeted the running back position plenty last season, with a 23.3% target share to running backs last year (8th highest in the league). While I do not think Gordon will be a consistent top-5 RB, I see him as a high-end RB2 at worst and could crack RB1 numbers. This is a value in the fourth round.
Those of you already following my Instagram page know how I feel about Tom Brady heading into next season. I love him. Last year, he finished as a back-end QB1 despite having limited weapons. In fact, in the one game he had weapons he put up 24.66 fantasy points (week 2 with Antonio Brown on the team) for a QB4 finish of the week.
The Buccaneers have a VERY fantasy football friendly offense, especially for a QB. Jameis Winston finished as a top-3 QB last season, despite throwing 30 interceptions. In the last 4 seasons, Tom Brady has thrown 29 interceptions. Brady threw for 4000 yards and 24 TDs, so I can only imagine what he can when he gets Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and OJ Howard, arguably the best receiving corps in the league. In the seasons Brady has had his best weapons, he has finished as the QB1, QB4, QB9, QB2, and QB3.
On paper, there are concerns. He is old, and many might think he is washed up. But Arians took a 35 year old Carson Palmer, who was also thought to be washed up, and turned him into a top-5 QB. If that can happen, I see no reason why Brady cannot do it as well.
I am going to make it flat out clear: the only value in Rob Gronkowski is simply his name value and upside. While their are reports it is Brady's offense to run, Arians' offenses have simply not been very tight end friendly. Arians' last 12 offenses since 2007 have had an average target share of 17% to the tight end position. Not to mention that OJ Howard and Cameron Brate are still there.
Even if they weren't, there is still concern. In Gronkowski's last year in football (2018) he finished as the overall TE11, scoring a mere 10.1 point per game in PPR formats. That same season, OJ Howard averaged 12.1 points per game. Next year, with Arians, OJ Howard averaged a mere 6.0 point per game. Over a 50% decline in points per game production. Heading into next year, Gronk should not be drafted anywhere near his ADP and I would only consider him a high upside TE to take in one of the last rounds of your draft. Do NOT trust him as your TE1 next season.