Rob Gronkowski's Updated Fantasy Outlook After 2 TDs in Bucs' Opener

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 10, 2021

TAMPA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 09: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates his touchdown  against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium on September 09, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

If you started Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Rob Gronkowski in Week 1, then your 2021 NFL season got off to a nice start.

The five-time Pro Bowler caught eight passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Brady to Gronk… AGAIN 🔥<a href="https://twitter.com/brgridiron?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@brgridiron</a><br><br>Their 100th touchdown connection <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLBrasil?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLBrasil</a>)<a href="https://t.co/9kZ4byZRPV">pic.twitter.com/9kZ4byZRPV</a>

Tampa Bay's opener could lead to some overreactions.

Gronk's days as an elite tight end—at least on the level of his peak years with the New England Patriots—are almost certainly over given the mileage he has put on his body.

The Bucs don't need him to be a high-volume pass-catcher either. Antonio Brown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have 11 combined Pro Bowl appearances between them. Tom Brady isn't lacking for options.

Gronkowski averaged 2.8 receptions and 38.9 yards per game in his first year with Tampa Bay, his lowest figures in both categories since his rookie season. His 77 targets were third-most on the team, and he would've been fourth if Brown (62 targets) had been available for the entire year.

When it comes to his fantasy return, Gronkowski's value in a given week will hinge largely on whether he finds the end zone. He's good enough to be a regular starter in standard leagues but won't come close to challenging Travis Kelce for tight end supremacy.

In daily fantasy formats, Gronk is a good streaming option because he's unlikely to come at a high cost relative to Kelce and the top-end players at the position.