The 2018 fantasy season has been terribly frustrating for Rob Gronkowski owners. Even when he has been healthy, Gronk’s production just hasn’t lived up to expectations. Being taken in the top 30 of most drafts, Gronk is expected to be producing as a top 3 TE and have these huge week-winning games. Even after a mediocre start to the season, Gronkowski still has an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 31st overall, according to Dynasty League Football’s October start up ADP. This is ahead of guys such as James Conner, Sony Michel and Zach Ertz. When November data comes out, I’m sure his ADP is going to drop.
If you can get a future 1st round pick or more for Gronkowski, it is definitely time to sell.
The main reason that I believe it is time to sell Gronkowski is his injury history. Since the 2011 season, Gronkowski has only had one season where he didn’t miss a game due to an injury (2014). Gronk’s previous injuries that have caused him to miss games includes a broken/infected left forearm 2x (2012 & 2013), torn right ACL (2013), sprained knee (2015), injured hamstring (2016), lung contusion (2016), lower back injury (2016), thigh contusion (2017), concussion (2017) and back/ankle issues (2018).
That is a huge list, and honestly, I may have missed one or two. There just always seems to be something wrong with Gronkowski. Largely due to these injuries, we have already heard Gronkowski contemplate retiring this last off season. I believe that it is realistic that Gronkowski will end up retiring by the end of the 2019 NFL season. If that’s the case, there will only be a very short window to get anything in return for one of the all-time greats.
Another reason for concern with Gronkowski is the drop off in production. Now, this may be due to the injuries, but Gronkowski just isn’t producing like a top tight end this season. Currently ranked as the TE 12 while playing 7 games, Gronk has 29 receptions, 448 yards and 1 touchdown. This comes out to an average on 9.1 fantasy points per game, based on .5ppr scoring.
With the price that fantasy owners had to pay for Gronkowski, they were definitely expecting more then 9 points per game. With the exception of Week 1, Gronkowski hasn’t showed the ability to produce those week-winning games that we all once loved. If Gronkowski can’t have these huge games and consistently produce as a top 3 TE, it is hard to rationalize keeping or even paying the price for Gronkowski.
End of a Dynasty?
Besides his size and athleticism, one of the main reasons why Gronkowski has been so successful in the NFL is the phenomenal landing spot. Being drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2010 NFL Draft, Gronkowski has gotten to play his whole career with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. These two have been the leaders of possibly the greatest 15 year span we have ever seen by a professional sports team.
For as remarkable the run has been, there is no doubt that we are reaching the end. Even if Gronkowski ends up playing for 5 more years, will Belichick and Brady still be around? Unless the Patriots end up pulling off a Favre/Rodgers transition, it’s hard to find a scenario where Gronkowski continues to be a top fantasy TE in a few years while the Patriots are trying to find their next QB.