The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been an odd team for fantasy football players this season. A week one bye started the year off oddly, Doug Martin was suspended for three games, and the team has been up and down. One thing that's been obvious since the Bucs got on the field — Cameron Brate is a legitimate option, and is becoming Jameis Winston's target in the red zone.
Yes, on a team that features 6-foot-5 Mike Evans, Brate is just as productive in the red zone, and has been nearly as valuable in fantasy leagues.
Through four games Evans is the team leader in fantasy points (behind QB Winston) with 39.6 points (non-PPR) and Brate is right behind with 38.5. Desean Jackson (30.9) and Jacquizz Rodgers (26.5) are next in line.
Brate is obviously more dependent on touchdowns than Evans (Brate has 3 to Evans' 2) but Winston is looking Brate's way just as much as Evans once the Bucs get in the red zone.
Through four games, both Brate and Evans have 6 red zone targets to lead the team and tie for ninth-most in all of the NFL (Behind Larry Fitzgerald with 10; Dez Bryant, Davante Adams, and Chris Hogan with 9 each; and Jordy Nelson, DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Hurns and Keenan Allen with 7 each).
In the red zone Evans was targeted twice against the Bears, 3 times against the Giants and once against the Patriots. He caught touchdown passes of 13 and 6 yards against the Bears and Giants, respectively, and was targeted three times within the 10 yard line.
Brate, meanwhile, has a red zone target in each game so far for the Bucs, including three red zone targets in the 4th quarter against New England, one that connected for a 18-yard score. He also had a 14-yard TD against the Giants and a 15-yard TD against the Vikings. Brate has three targets inside the 10 yard line, all fell incomplete.
All of Brate's catches in the red zone have gone for touchdowns. He's currently the No. 4 tight end in ESPN standard leagues, behind Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski, and they've all had five games.
Mike Evans will always be the No. 1 option on the Bucs roster. But once Tampa gets into the red zone, Winston starts to look for his tight end. Cameron Brate is owned in 73.9 percent of leagues. If he's still unowned in your league, you should look for him, too.