Rob Gronkowski Turns Back the Clock, 2021 Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook Explodes as Top 5 TE - Roto Street Journal
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Rob Gronkowski Turns Back the Clock, 2021 Rest of Season Fantasy Outlook Explodes as Top 5 TE

It’s been a while since Rob Gronkowski looked like the unstoppable Gronk again, but after NFL Opening Night, it appears his body is fully recovered from the beating it took in New England. Tom Brady and Gronk turned back the clock to 2011 against the Cowboys, with Gronk racking up eight receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. Most importantly, the future Hall of Fame tight end looked athletic after the catch, created separation downfield, and was unguardable in the red zone.

The Tampa Bay target totem pole is loaded with alpha target hogs, such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown, but Gronk has clearly risen above the Tampa tight end committee that boasts Cameron Brate and OJ Howard. Gronk out-snapped Brate 57 to 19 and Howard 57 to six. In total, Gronkowski played 57 of the team’s 65 snaps — a percentage he has not seen since his prime days with the Patriots.

“Gronk’s a hell of a player,” Bruce Arians said. “Gronk is in the best shape he’s been in, in a few years. They have that history. He doesn’t have to be looking, Tom is going to throw it at the back of his head, and [Gronkowski] knows it’s probably coming there. It’s unbelievable chemistry that they have for a long time.”

On the tight end’s second score of the night, the tandem’s incredible rapport came to life. Not to mention Gronk notched his 100th career touchdown reception at that time to join Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison as the only QB-receiver tandem with 100-plus touchdowns.

“Tom made a great call,” Gronkowski said. “I was actually on a route, and then he checked me into blocking, and then he checked me into blocking and releasing. He just sees it all on the field. It’s impressive. I mean the guy’s been playing for like 80 years, seen every defense, seen every play.”

While there is a chance Howard and Brate see increased snaps to keep the veteran tight end fresh, Gronkowski should be a top-seven weekly tight end.

Gronk shot up to TE5 on The Wolf’s 2021 Rest of Season Fantasy Football Rankings & Big Board, in the middle of Tier 3 with George KittleTJ HockensonMark Andrews, and Kyle Pitts.


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