Fantasy Football: Rob Gronkowski, Worth the Risk?

Rob Gronkowski

I have mixed feelings about Rob Gronkowski in terms of dynasty value. In my opinion, I think that Gronkowski’s value is contingent on whether you are participating in a start-up draft or are in an existing dynasty league.

Within the last month I decided to join two dynasty start-ups.  These new leagues provided me with a break from the monotony of Wisconsin’s winter and insight on player value as we head into the offseason.

During these drafts I was a not surprised to see that Rob Gronkowski was still the first tight end off the board.  The January ADP from Dynasty League Football, compiled by Ryan McDowell, lists Gronkowski at 22 overall for standard dynasty leagues without a superflex spot or tight end premium.

Given his current ADP I feel that it is wise to pass on Gronkowski in start-ups.  If you feel the need to draft a tight end in the early rounds I would recommend Travis Kelce, whose ADP is 38.  Kelce is coming off of an 85 reception 1,125 yard season. He, like Gronkowski, is 27 years old but he does not have the extensive injury history.  

At this point in his career I feel that Gronkowski carries too much risk to warrant a selection at the end of the second round in a start-up draft.  This seems like an odd statement to make considering the dominance we have seen from the New England tight end since entering the league in 2010.  However, Gronkowski has only played an entire season once, back in 2011.  Since that time he has sustained a variety of injuries, including the most recent herniated disk in his back.

Gronk1

Don’t get me wrong, when healthy Gronkowski puts up numbers that are ridiculous.  He provides an edge at the tight end position. In 2014 and 2015 he averaged 12.3 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.  Providing a weekly advantage of a couple points over his counterparts.

That being said when drafting Gronkowski at his current ADP, it means that you are passing up a chance to grab a younger or healthier asset.  I am by no means saying the players that follow Gronkowski in drafts hold more potential value.  I am simply saying that given the recent string of injuries, I would personally pass on Gronkowski at his current price in start-up drafts.

Players I would prefer to select over Gronkowski would be; Jarvis Landry, Stefon Diggs, Corey Coleman, and Demaryius Thomas.  All have an ADP after Gronkowski.  Landry and Thomas have proven to be consistent fantasy contributors while Diggs and Coleman have shown promise moving forward.

I believe there are plenty of viable options if you wait to select a tight end.  Two tight ends I would target in the middle of the draft include Zach Ertz and Kyle Rudolph.  Ertz can be drafted in the middle of the seventh round and Rudolph can be selected in the top half of the tenth.  In addition, Cameron Brate can be drafted in the middle of the 12th round.  While none of them provide as high of a ceiling as Gronkowski, they do provide you with top ten tight end production later in the draft.

However, for those in existing dynasty leagues this is an ideal time to attempt to buy Gronkowski at a discount.  If you have the potential to contend next year, he could be the piece that puts you over the top.  Send out a trade offer and see what happens.  Hurry, it is likely his price will increase the further we get into the offseason.  If he stays healthy, he is worth the risk.

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