New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the signature football players of this era, having topped 1,000 receiving yards three times in his seven seasons and reaching double-digit touchdowns in five of them. He has finished as fantasy’s top tight end in three of those seasons. But other than 2011, when Gronkowski emerged as one of the best players in fantasy and did so as a mid-round draft choice, he has never been a value pick, even for the healthy seasons. And as we all know by now, every season is certainly not a healthy season.
As a result, Gronkowski is an annual staple of my “Do Not Draft” list, which of course hardly means I wouldn’t draft the player, but rather that I wouldn’t draft him at the spot I would need to in order to secure him -- which remains in the second round. It’s an important distinction, but obviously all people will presume that I don’t like the players discussed below, which is far from the truth. After all, who could find fault with Gronkowski? He’s awesome and a blast at parties! Well, I like to load up on running backs and wide receivers in the first four or five rounds, and that doesn’t leave room for a tight end or, as you’ll see, a quarterback early on.