We’re waiting, Gronk…
When on the football field, tight end Rob Gronkowski is arguably the most dominant player in all of fantasy football. Over the last three seasons, he has scored an impressive 29 touchdowns in the red zone, which is more than anyone else in football. And since 2010, he has finished as fantasy’s 5th, first and second ranked fantasy tight end. He is basically impossible to cover, serves as the most logical red zone target and puts up absolute monster numbers.
That is, of course, when he is on the field.
After undergoing multiple surgeries this offseason, Gronkowski has yet to suit up for action this year. However, as each week passes by, he becomes closer to returning to the lineup. His return could very well be on Sunday night, as the Patriots have officially listed him as questionable for Sunday night’s matchup against the Falcons. This makes for a very tricky situation for fantasy owners. I mean, after not having him for three weeks, you would obviously be thrilled if you could slide a guy like Gronkowski back into your lineup. However, there is a ton of risk in doing so.
The Patriots play on Sunday night, which means everyone else other than two tight ends will have already played; Jimmy Graham, who you obviously couldn’t pick up at the last minute, and Charles Clay, who is currently owned in 43 percent of Yahoo! leagues. If you want to take a shot on Gronkowski playing, you better make sure you go out and grab Clay. It isn’t the greatest matchup against the Saints, who are allowing the 4th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but Clay has been very busy for the Dolphins, and they will have to throw the ball a lot in this contest to keep up. However, if you can’t roster Clay, you’d be much better off going without Gronkowski for one more week. I know, it’s so tempting considering it’s Gronk (duh) and a favorable matchup. If he does play, the relationship between he and Tom Brady will resemble that of a new toy and a child on Christmas. Gronk (the toy) will receive all the attention from Brad (the child), while the other toys take a backseat. It is worth noting that Gronkowski will travel with the team to Atlanta, so there is definitely hope.
The way I look at it? Tight ends have been strong through three weeks, with guys like Jordan Cameron, Martellus Bennet and Julius Thomas emerging. With that being said, the odds of someone having a viable fantasy tight end are pretty high, so if you do own one of these guys, why bench them while they’re hot? To me, it’s just too much risk with Gronkowski this week, especially because it’s the Sunday night contest. My advice? Wait it out one more week. Guys like Heath Miller (39% owned) and Coby Fleener (31% owned) have very strong matchups this week. I think you will live one more week without Gronkowski, and when he does get back into your lineup, you will be more at ease and prepared to rip your opponent to shreds.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.