2013 Fantasy Football Preview: Is New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski Worth The Risk?

By Daniel Schmelzer
Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski was the hardest player for me to grade in my rankings. The upside is obviously huge when it comes to the New England Patriots‘ star tight end, but with the constant injuries that he has dealt with this offseason, he is a very risky pick.

If he ends up being healthy and playing a majority of the season, you have probably made a great pick and he will help lead you to fantasy football glory. On the flip side, he could easily continue to have injury issues and not play much this upcoming season. Somebody is going to take a chance on the upside that Gronkowski possesses, and I think it will be me in a lot of my drafts.

Gronkowski is currently rehabbing from back surgery and he has also had multiple surgeries on his forearm this offseason. Because of this, there is very obvious risk involved with the player.

That being said, the only tight end in the league that puts up similar production to Gronkowski is Jimmy Graham, who is currently going two rounds earlier than Gronkowski. Drafting either Graham or Gronkowski gives you a huge advantage at the tight end position.

I think that Gronkowski has even more upside this season than usual. Tom Brady has always been a quarterback that likes to spread the ball around and usually has plenty of options to do so. This season, Brady’s usual receivers are all gone except for Gronkowski.

With Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez no longer with the team, Gronkowski is the receiver that Brady will feel most comfortable with. I think that Brady will look to Gronkowski early and often when he is on the field.

Gronkowski is currently not being selected until the fourth or fifth round. I understand the injury concern, but with his elite talent and opportunity at such a shallow position, I think that is too late. Depending on your early picks, I have been starting to consider Gronkowski in the late third, but absolutely love him any time in the fourth.

He is a huge risk, but even if he only plays around 12 games, I guarantee that he will still be a top scorer at the tight end position.


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Daniel is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer and add him to your network on Google.

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