Rob Gronkowski has done almost nothing through two games, and his recent comments don’t offer hope to his fantasy owners.
With two capable tight ends already in place, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers added Rob Gronkowski as another weapon for Tom Brady. The buzz about a historic offense and Gronk being a top -tier fantasy tight end again was easy.
The renditions of Bruce Arians’ offense in Arizona did not ask much from tight ends as pass catchers. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate shifted that narrative some in Tampa Bay last year, and with Brady coming in as the quarterback tight ends were sure to be well-involved.
Gronkowki had two catches for 11 yards on three targets against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, then he followed with a catch-less game on one target in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers. Even at the low end of expectations after a year out, Gronkowski hasn’t delivered.
Arians was open about the lack of targets for Gronkowski, with bluntly no concern about it.
“We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends – that’s what we have receivers for [and] that’s the way our offense is built,” Arians said earlier this week. “Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.”
Rob Gronkowski, blocking tight end?
Arians praised Gronkowski’s run blocking, and Gronk seemed to have fun with that when speaking to the media on Friday.
Gronkowski has run 42 routes on 96 snaps through two games (a solid 73 percent snap share, according to Pro Football Reference). That has yielded the aforementioned four targets and two catches.
Gronkowski gets some benefit of the doubt right now, after being out for a year with no team-organized offseason work or traditional training camp/preseason ramp up to the season. But even tongue-in-cheekily referring to himself as a blocking tight end is not what fantasy owners who believed he would recapture anything close to his prior glory want to hear.