New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made his much-anticipated, highly-talked-about return in Week 7 against the New York Jets, and it became even more obvious that he'll have a huge impact both for the Pats and in fantasy as the season goes on.
Gronkowski caught eight balls for 114 yards in his 2013 debut, and was thrown to early and often by quarterback Tom Brady. He was targeted 17 times by Brady—more than twice as much as any other receiver.
The star tight end could've put a huge exclamation point on his game at the end of regulation, nearly corralling a one-handed touchdown grab that would've won the Pats the game late. He wasn't able to hold onto it, though, as he streaked into the end zone, and New England consequentially went to overtime with New York.
Once again, the Patriots' offense struggled to complete passes for much of the game with a depleted receiving corps. Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass to anyone Sunday—much less Gronkowski.
But it was obvious that Gronkowski is an added dimension that the offense desperately needs, and that will only spike his fantasy numbers even more.
Gronkowski's impact on the offense was far from surprising, but seeing it validated on the gridiron for the first time in 2013 was nothing short of a pretty sight for fantasy GMs that waited on him for so long. Consider him a rock-solid TE1 moving forward.