Rob Gronkowski Injury Status & Fantasy Value for Week 3 vs. Texans

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After missing the first two weeks of the NFL season, New England Patriots dominant tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) appears to be nearing a return.

Gronk, who has been practicing on a limited basis, is set to play Thursday night against the Houston Texans:

That said, as far as his fantasy value goes, there are a lot of reasons to still be apprehensive.

First, it’s unlikely he’s at 100 percent, as he wasn’t healthy enough to play just four days ago. Expecting a player who missed pretty much all of preseason and the first two games of the season to be completely up to speed in his first return to action is unfair, and to add to that, it looks like he’ll be on a snap count:

Second, the Patriots’ QB situation is, well, less than ideal. It’ll be either Jimmy Garoppolo, who was “struggling to lift his right arm” as recently as Tuesday, or third-round rookie Jacoby Brissett, who has very little experience and likely not much established chemistry with Gronk.

Martellus Bennett had a nice second half with Brissett last week, but that was mostly Bennett doing work after the catch, as Brissett’s average throw was one yard down the field. Seriously:

In other words, Gronk is a big-play threat, but Brissett is someone who won’t likely be taking a lot of big-play shots, something that stunts the former’s upside even more.

For all of those reasons, I’m staying away from Gronkowski in DFS, where he’s the third-most expensive TE on FanDuel ($7,300) and the most expensive on DraftKings ($6,800).

Of course, with all that said, Gronk is Gronk. Even at 75 percent, he’s a physical mismatch for most defenders. In season-long leagues, you drafted him as a first- or second-round pick for a reason, and that’s to put him into your lineup without thinking twice about it.

While I’m downgrading him a bit for this week, he’s still in the mid-tier TE1 range. As long as he’s playing in real life, he’s too good to keep on your fantasy bench–no matter the circumstances.

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