Everyone knows the talent that New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has. He is arguably the best tight end in football when healthy. At the very least, he is a unanimous top-2 TE in the game today. The only issue that Gronk has had in his career is numerous injuries.
Despite his injury concerns, you should not be scared to draft him in your fantasy league for a few reasons. First of all, he has one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and in league history throwing him the football in Tom Brady. Brady almost always looks for him in the red zone or when he needs a big play between the 20s.
He is a lock for double digit touchdowns and 1,000-plus yards if he can stay healthy for something resembling a full season. There is a very good chance that owning him can pay off huge, with him winning several matchups for you almost by himself.
His value is further heightened by his situation in New England. He has the added benefit of being in an offense with some question mark pass catchers around him. The receivers in NE will warrant the defense’s attention, but Gronkowski is by far their biggest playmaker and will always be Brady’s first read.
His doubters will point to his injury history as a reason to doubt him, but if you look closely at his injuries, you notice something very important for fantasy purposes. Many of the games he has missed have come either in the playoffs or at the very end of the regular season.
In fact, if you look at his games played, you will notice that he played 16 games in two 0ut of his first three years in the league. He missed five regular season games in 2012 and nine games in the regular season last year. The latter, quite frankly, was because of a cheap hit and cannot be attributed to him being “fragile.” It was simply bad luck.
If you do the math over his entire career, he has missed an average of 3.5 games per season in his four years. It doesn’t sound great, but most fantasy owners would be elated to have a talent like him for 12 0r 13 games.
By all accounts, Gronk is now healthy and will be a full-go for Week 1. He is healthy heading into a season for the first time in a while. Given the lack of healthy superstar options at TE this year with the exception of a few names, he is a player you should draft with confidence this year.
As long as you have a solid backup, he should be drafted as a No. 1 TE in your league this season. You could even argue that he should be the first TE off the board in every draft. He is one of the best pass catchers in football, and he plays with one of the best quarterbacks in the league as well. The upside simply outweighs the risk in his case, even if he misses a few games at some point.