Mike Greenberg, known as “Greeny” of Mike and Mike in the Morning, is in an NFL fantasy league with his son, and they selected New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski in the ninth round of their draft. Greeny is a huge New York Jets fan, and he has refused to take Patriots QB Tom Brady in previous fantasy drafts, but he allowed his son to select Gronk this year. Given Gronkowski’s injury history and that he is currently trying to get back to 100 percent after tearing his ACL last season, Greeny and his son are crazy to have taken him, right?
It’s understandable that some fantasy owners would be a little worried about taking Gronkowski, because he has missed 14 games over the last two seasons. That has caused Gronkowski to have an average draft position of 3.04. That is definitely a bargain price — few players are as dominant at their position as the Patriots’ tight end is; in the 50 games he has played in his first four seasons he has scored 42 touchdowns. If it wasn’t for the injuries, Gronkowski would be the first tight end taken in all fantasy drafts. Yes, Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints is an amazing tight end and he is more than worthy of being drafted in the first round of all fantasy drafts, but when Gronkowski is healthy, he is the best tight end in the NFL.
All offseason, Gronkowski has hoped to be fully recovered from his ACL injury in time to play Week 1 when the Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins on the road on Sept. 7. Even if that’s not the case and he ends up missing three or four games, he will probably still lead all tight ends in scoring this season. He is too big for cornerbacks to cover one-one-one and too fast for linebackers to cover one-on-one, which makes him a great target, especially in the red zone. It also helps that he has one of the best QBs in the NFL, Brady, throwing passes to him, and that the Patriots wide receiving corps lacks a true No. 1 receiver.
When Gronk is healthy, Brady and the Patriots’ offense will be looking his way in all parts of the field, but especially in the red zone. Expect Gronkowski to put up big numbers this season.