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Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Date of Birth:  09/18/1992
Age:  29
Height  6'6"
Weight:   270
College:  Notre Dame
Drafted:  2014 | Round 2 | Pick 52
Depth Chart:  3rd string

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE


WOLF SPORTS ANALYTICS

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WOLF SPORTS PROJECTION

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

The Buccaneers have signed tight end Troy Niklas.

Niklas was released by the Patriots last July and didn't land with another team during 2018, but he's back in the league with new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. Niklas spent each of his four seasons in Arizona with Arians to start his career, so he has familiarity with his offense. However, the former second-round pick isn't on the fantasy radar at the moment, with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate currently ahead of him on the depth chart in Tampa Bay.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

The Patriots released tight end Troy Niklas, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

It's a bit of a surprise the 2014 second-round pick of the Cardinals has been released so early in camp, but the Patriots are probably happy with their other tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski. Niklas shouldn't have much trouble finding interest elsewhere.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

The Patriots are signing tight end Troy Niklas, according to Ian Rapoport.

It's a one-year deal according to Rapoport. Niklas spent the first four seasons of his career with the Cardinals after he was selected with the 52nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The big tight end dealt with injuries throughout his career thus far, but he had only 11 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown in 15 games last season. However, Niklas is clearly a talented player, and the Patriots might be the perfect spot for him. All-Pro Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen are both in the mix, but Allen contributed more as a blocker in 2017, so don't be surprised if Niklas is utilized in multiple tight end sets near the red zone. Tom Brady throwing passes will be a major plus.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas caught three passes for 41 yards in Sunday's loss to the Redskins.

Niklas also committed a key drop down the seam in the fourth quarter in a close defeat. The Notre Dame product isn't a fantasy option over the final two weeks of the season, even in a really good matchup against the Giants on Christmas Eve.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas catches one pass in Week 14.

Niklas gained seven yards on his lone reception, and he's not on the fantasy radar right now.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas caught two passes for 22 yards in Sunday's win.

Niklas isn't a fantasy option behind Ricky Seals-Jones and Jermaine Gresham. The Cardinals take on the Rams in Week 13.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas catches one pass in win over the 49ers.

It went for 16 yards. Niklas isn't a fantasy option, especially with Carson Palmer out of the lineup.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas scores in Week 6 win.

Niklas caught a 14-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and he finished with two catches for 20 yards. He's talented, but not currently a fantasy option.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas catches ten-yard pass in Week 3.

It was his only reception of the game. Niklas is not a fantasy option at the moment.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas catches lone target in Week 2.

He had 16 yards on his reception. Niklas has upside as a player, but he's not a fantasy option at the moment.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Troy Niklas catches touchdown in preseason game against Oakland.

Niklas caught two passes for 14 yards and got free in the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter after Drew Stanton scrambled and found him. He likely won't have much fantasy value with Jermaine Gresham there in Arizona.

Troy Niklas | Buccaneers TE

Bruce Arians says tight end Troy Niklas is a starter with Jermaine Gresham.

The Cardinals are relying on Niklas, a former second round pick that's battled injuries throughout his career, to step up to the team this season. Niklas is still only 24-years-old, and has a lot of ability. Through three seasons, Niklas has missed 22 games and has only eight receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Head coach Bruce Arians says Niklas is having great OTA, and it's worth noting that Jon Gruden told Arian Niklas looked like a great player last season (but he got hurt). Even with Jermaine Gresham, who just signed a new contract this offseason, the 6"6" Niklas could be a breakout player this season. We're pulling for him to stay healthy.