The 2018 season has been a rough one for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski has battled through a series of injuries all season long and is expected to miss Week 10’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans. His underwhelming performance has made him one of fantasy football’s biggest disappointments and some owners may be fed up with production.
Despite all the injuries, fantasy teams in contention for a championship should try to buy low on the big tight end. Between his laundry list of injuries and a Week 11 bye, you might be able to acquire Rob Gronkowski for pennies on the dollar.
If you’re looking for a move to win in the short-term, this isn’t it. Gronkowski is still on the mend and won’t play until Week 12 at the earliest. However, history shows that Rob Gronkowski will be a reliable fantasy target from Week 12 until the championship.
For one, Rob Gronkowski has still been good this year. Entering Week 10, Gronkowski was the 11th-ranked tight end in standard scoring despite missing two weeks of action. Even if he’s hobbled the rest of the way, he’s still capable of being a mid-level tight end. The main reason for the fantasy frustration is that he has the ability to be so much more.
Buying low on Gronkowski, at the very least, means you’re getting a decent start for the remainder of the season. However, he still has significant upside, and it’s pretty likely he reaches it.
Gronkowski Rest of Season
Injuries have always been a part of the deal with Rob Gronkowski. Ever since entering the league, the big tight end has dealt with a varying array of health ailments that have affected his availability. He’s appeared in all 16 games just twice in his professional career and hasn’t done it since 2011.
That said, his current injuries are rather minor relative to what he usually deals with. He played through his ankle injury for the majority of the season and tried to play through his back injury in Week Eight against the Buffalo Bills. He finally rested his injuries the past two weeks in hopes of getting healthy for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Gronkowski has dealt with both ankle and back injuries throughout his career, and he’s managed to look like his dominant self after giving his body enough time to heal. Having played just one game in the past month, his body should have all the rest it needs moving forward.
If he’s capable of finding his old form, he should be able to play up to his ceiling the rest of the way. The only question is if Gronkowski is capable of finding his old form. The human body can only deal with so much punishment, and nobody has taken more punishment since entering the league than Rob Gronkowski.
Can Gronk Be Gronk?
Despite his underwhelming season, Gronkowski has shown over the season that the dominant tight end can still be special. Gronkowski looked like his vintage self back in Week One, recording 123 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions. Unfortunately, he also suffered his ankle injury in this game, which basically led to his disappointing performances the remainder of the season.
However, even with the ankle injury, Gronkowski has still shown flashes of greatness. Against the Kansas City Chiefs, Gronkowski recorded three receptions for 97 yards, two of which came in the biggest moments of the game. In the final two drives, Gronkowski recorded 81 of his yards, including a 39-yard gain which set the Patriots up for the game-winning field goal.
Earlier in the season, Gronkowski was probably playing when he should have been resting. The reason for this stems from his contract frustrations. After a long offseason in which Gronkowski threatened retirement, the Patriots added several playtime incentives to his contract. Gronkowski stood to earn upward of 3.3 million if he exceeded his 2017 total in touchdowns, yardage, receptions, or snap percentage.
Obviously, Gronkowski had every reason to try to play through his injuries and get these incentives. However, when it became clear that he would never reach these marks, the Patriots started resting him. He should return from his bye week more-or-less healthy and ready to dominate defenses the rest of the way.
Last Word On Rob Gronkowski in Fantasy Football
Rob Gronkowski has not performed up to his lofty standards in 2018, but that should change moving forward. The big tight end is finally rested and healthy and should look like his old self for the remainder of the season. He showed in Week One that he’s still capable of being the best tight end in the league when healthy and he might available for pennies on the dollar.
Winning a championship is all about making savvy moves and taking the right risks. Rob Gronkowski offers a superstar ceiling and a safe floor on the off chance he can’t recapture his old form. If the trade deadline hasn’t passed in your league, call up the Rob Gronkowski owner in your league and see if they’re willing to sell.
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