Ah, yes the “Gronk spike” following a Rob Gronkowski touchdown. We have seen this many of times throughout his eight-year career – 76 to be exact.

Gronkowski to me, and likely everyone else who watches the NFL, is the most entertaining of tight ends. He’s a hell of a player. He can block, catch – despite the robotic-like machine that is attached to his arm – and he has a knack for finding the endzone as you just previously read.

The stats that Gronkowski routinely puts up as a tight end make him a sure-fire positional difference maker for those of us who play fantasy football. Gronk has been a key component to fantasy football championship teams I’ve had in the past, but enough about me and winning championships, let me help you with selecting the league’s top tight end in this fantasy football player profile.

2017 Review

Coming into the 2017 season Gronkowski was being drafted at the 2.06 or 18th overall in 12-team PPR leagues as the top overall tight end. He came close to finishing the season as the No. 1 tight end, but was barely edged out by Travis Kelce. Despite not leading all tight ends in fantasy scoring, he still put up very solid numbers, playing in just 14 games, finishing with 69 (haha) catches, 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

With six out of the 14 games he played in (42.8% of his games) resulting in 20 or more fantasy points, Gronk was there to carry you to victory in nearly half of the games he appeared in. Keep in mind that you were getting this type of production from someone you were getting in the mid-second round.

It was once again another fantasy fairy-tale as Gronkowski had a dominating season. Being able to start someone with the stats of a low-end WR1/ high-end WR2 in your TE slot is such a positional advantage, especially when tight ends are just weak in general once you get out of the “top three” at the position.

Gronkowski had another solid season in 2017 thanks in part to Julian Edelman going down during the preseason with a torn ACL. Once again it was Gronk’s time to shine and he did.

During the fantasy playoffs (weeks 13-16) Gronkowski had 27 receptions, 382 yards and a touchdown. Furthermore, in the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl, Gronkowski put up 16 receptions, 213 yards and three touchdowns (albeit, Gronk’s Super Bowl stats made up for 58% of his total playoff production).

Being dominate at his particular position is why Gronkowski is selected within the first couple rounds of fantasy drafts, and when he stays healthy, seems to always give great return on your investment.

2018 Preview

During the offseason we have been hearing many rumors surrounding the Patriots. After New England lost to Philadelphia in the Super Bowl, Gronkowski was heard to be “considering” retirement and going to the WWE or becoming an actor. There were also rumblings going around about Bill Belichick and Gronkowski not getting along and the possibility of a trade involving Gronk.

Gronkowski clarified he was coming back for another season, Tom Brady is coming back for another season and Belichick is once again friends with Robert Kraft, because oh yeah, that thing between them never happened.

Training Camp is getting ready to start and the New England Patriots are going to have to go into the first four weeks of the 2018 season without their catch machine in Edelman. This is once again going to be Gronk’s time to shine as we’ve seen him do in the past, and more than likely, be Brady’s go-to receiver.

Last season, Gronkowski lined up in the slot 53.5% of the time and should continue to do so as a 6’7″, 265-pound freight train. This size mismatch gives defensive coordinators nightmares as Gronk is too big and physical for your typical nickle cornerback, while he has too much speed and athleticism to be covered by your every-day linebacker.

Final thoughts

Gronkowski, as we’ve come to expect from a fantasy perspective, is once again being selected as the first tight end off the board. He is going just a little bit later this year than he did last year as a late second/early third-round pick.

If his ADP remains the same, or somehow drops a little lower, you will be receiving some of the greatest value you can find. I feel this year is going to be his year where he could return first-round value.

If you possess a top-five pick this year, I would definitely grab him at the end of the second round if he is available. In the event you are nervous or afraid of selecting a tight end that high and decide to select a wide receiver or running back with hopes of grabbing Gronkowski early in the third, don’t hold your breath as you may have waited too long.


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Ryan Miner is a featured blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast.  Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook