Rob Gronkowski was nothing short of amazing for owners last fantasy football season. The New England Patriots tight end amassed 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns and propelled many owners to their fantasy playoffs.
His numbers were above expectations for his average draft position by leaps and bounds last year, but weren’t entirely mind blowing considering the talent he had previously put on display.
In 2012, you can expect more of the same from this very hot fantasy commodity. The best thing that could have happened for Gronkowski is nothing—pertaining to the very few changes on offense.
Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down due to age thus far and there’s a clear connection between the two. His stats should remain relatively unchanged this season making him a low risk pick.
Gronkowski, 23, was the second-leading receiver for fantasy points last year behind Detroit Lions beastly receiver Calvin Johnson. Looking forward to 2012, Johnson will be a very early target in leagues. If the last few picks of the first round, or an early second round pick falls your way, Gronkowski is a great option to fill your team.
One of the main reasons to pick up Gronk while he’s still available is his matchup ability. With the amount of players that perform on his level week in and week out numbering less than the fingers on your left hand, it’s crucial to pick the right tight end.
With the ability to potentially draft a lucky running back or wide receiver in the middle rounds it makes sense to go with an early pick you know will perform. Every single week he is going to excel, as well as presumably dominating the stats of your opponents’ tight end while you keep things even with drafting the rest of your positions later.
With the pool being so small, it’s not uncommon to witness a few TEs take the position by storm for a period of time with a few occasional surprises, unlike the running back and wide receiver position where we have fantasy stars come out of nowhere (like Giants WR Victor Cruz last season).
The NFL.com fantasy expert player rankings have Gronkowski at No. 14, but behind Cam Newton, Chris Johnson and Ryan Matthews.
Newton, Johnson and Matthews are all risks in the first round. Moreover, Gronkowski should be drafted before any of those players. For a safe and secure, really reliable producer, Gronkowski makes the most with a late first round pick.