What can we expect from Brandon Tate?

New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) charges upfield on a kick return in the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on November 8, 2009. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 27-17. UPI/Matthew Healey Photo via Newscom

Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network writes that second-year Brandon Tate is poised to become a big contributor in the Pats’ offense:

And BrandonTate will be the deep threat for the Pats, and he is really an explosive talented player who will become a major contribuator now

I did one of these “what can we expect” posts for Bruce Gradkowski, so let’s take a closer look at Tate and try to estimate what kind of numbers he’ll put up the rest of the way.

After four games, Tate is 4th on the Pats in targets (14), but of all the team’s receivers, he figures to see the biggest boost in snaps since he’ll be replacing Randy Moss in the starting lineup. Let’s say that, in addition to his current 3.5 targets per game, he gets two-thirds of Moss’s targets (5.5 * 0.67). That’s about 7.2 per game. He’s currently converting 79% of his targets into receptions, which is unlikely to continue since he’ll probably be running deeper routes. Let’s say he converts at 60% and averages, say, 14.0 ypc (he’s currently averaging 12.3 ypc). That works out to 4.3 catches for 60 yards per game. So in a PPR league, he’s already at 10.3 points, and I’ve been pretty conservative in my estimates. And we haven’t even accounted for touchdowns or his explosive return game yet.

I asked our NFL guru, Anthony Stalter, what he thinks of Tate and this is what he said:

he’s lean, but has good size…good quickness, but not overly fast…he’s not that great of a route-runner at this point in his career and relies too much on athletic ability…he can be elusive, but like I said – he’s more quick than fast…soft hands, good body control…Davone Bess is a good comparison, although I think Tate may be faster straight-line.

Projecting out 4.3 catches for 60 yards and let’s say 0.3 TD per game, and Tate looks like a 69-960-5 player over a full 16-game season. Last season, those were WR22-type numbers in PPR leagues.

In other words, pick him up.

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