After weeks of agonizing, waiting and strange twists and turns, the New England Patriots‘ Rob Gronkowski has finally been medically cleared to play and is set to make his debut this Sunday against the New York Jets. The road to his return was a massive headache for his Fantasy owners, who had to deal with odd new pieces of the story being revealed each week. Nobody really knew who did or didn’t want him playing and why or why not but all will be forgotten shortly. Gronkowski will have an immediate impact on both his team and the countless Fantasy teams relying on him.
I imagine Tom Brady hasn’t been able to stop smiling since he heard the news. The season’s been somewhat of a struggle for Brady as he’s had difficulty dealing with all the new faces on offense. He hasn’t been able to strike up a consistent rhythm with rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola has barely been on the field more than five minutes, incomprehensibly getting hurt non-stop. The only familiar weapon Brady has had at his disposal is Julian Edelman and he’s not talented enough to be “the guy” so Tom Terrific will be overjoyed to have his old pal Bobby Gronk to throw to once again.
Gronk has proven to be borderline unstoppable when fully healthy. He’s the epitome of a matchup nightmare, especially in the red zone where he’s Brady’s favourite target. Through his first three seasons in the league he scored an astounding 38 touchdowns in 43 career games, seemingly cementing himself as non-human. He hasn’t scored less than 10 touchdowns in any season in which he’s played, amassing 11 last year in just 11 games. Simply put, he’s a freak of nature. He’ll now step into an offense that’s bottom-five in the league for red zone scoring and pick up right where he left off.
Make no mistake here — Brady will be looking for him at every opportunity and there’s absolutely no way he won’t be the favorite target when he’s on the field. He should produce from the get-go and regain top-two tight end status within his first two games back. If he’s on your team, don’t even think about sitting him this week.
Gronk will be his usual lethal self for the rest of the season.