Fantasy Football 2012: How High Could Rob Gronkowski Go Next Year?

Daniel StackContributor IIFebruary 6, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots runs on the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

You knew Rob Gronkowski was going to play in the Super Bowl. He showed great grit and determination by hauling in two receptions for 26 yards in Super Bowl XLVI on a gimpy ankle, but alas it was for naught.

However, when it comes to fantasy play and his value heading into 2012, you have to recall the year Gronkowski just had to remember how good he was.

In 2011-12, Gronkowski was simply a beast. He smashed records (breaking the record for touchdowns by a tight end with 17) and broke the mold of how a tight end should be viewed.

But entering 2012-13, his value in fantasy circles is up for serious debate. Many are arguing over the notion if Gronkowski is worthy of being a first-round draft choice or at the least a top-15 selection next season.

I’m in the camp in believing that Gronkowski should be viewed as a potential first-round draft pick. I mean, his stats are comparable to those of an elite wide receiver.

This past year, Gronkowski had 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. He would have been the No. 2-ranked wide receiver, as he outscored the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Roddy White, Victor Cruz and Jordy Nelson.

Gronkowski also scored more points than all but four running backs (Ray Rice, Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Maurice Jones-Drew) this past year.

So, playing at a position with not much depth makes Gronkowski all the more appealing. With the success the Patriots had with its two-tight end sets, it looks like a formula the Patriots won’t deviate from in the future.

Gronkowski and a slew of other tight ends (Jimmy Graham and teammate Aaron Hernandez) have revolutionized how the tight end is used and viewed. For a guy like Gronkowski to have the speed, agility and hands as he does is truly remarkable. He really is a one-of-a-kind talent.

In future NFL Drafts, you will see teams try to scout for the next Gronkowski, with teams also trying to get those big lengthy, athletic linebackers who can defend them.

With all that said, it does not appear Gronkowski is a one-year wonder. Gronkowski has the skill-set and intangibles to make a mark in the NFL for years to come.

When it comes to drafting Gronkowski, draft with confidence, as he looks like the real deal.

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