Rob Gronkowski rewarded fantasy football owners in Week 1. Gronkowski led the New England Patriots’ offense with three touchdown catches on Thursday night (September 10), helping his team beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-14 to open the season. The All Pro tight end made quarterback Tom Brady look really good in the first game since his suspension was overturned by the courts.
ESPN did pick Gronkowski as the tight end to own in fantasy leagues against Pittsburgh. All the analysts went with him ahead of Jimmy Graham of the Seattle Seahawks, Greg Olsen of the Carolina Panthers, and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a good decision for any fantasy owner that selected him early in 2015 drafts, especially with the payoff he has provided in Week 1 match-ups.
Rob Gronkowski was targeted eight times in the game, which yielded five catches for 94 yards and three touchdowns. Those three touchdowns provided him some amazing numbers in fantasy football, pushing him up to 27.4 points in standard leagues. In PPR leagues counting receptions as 0.5 points, he had 29.9 total points, and in PPR leagues counting receptions as a full point, he finished with 32.4 points on the night. The possibility is there that he scored even higher for some formats, as Gronkowski even had a fumble recovery at the goal line.
Gronkowski wasn’t the only fantasy football star from this game, as the Patriots had two other guys putting up huge Week 1 numbers. Tom Brady completed 25-of-31 passes for 288 yards and four touchdowns, Julian Edelman had 11 catches for 97 yards, and reserve tight end Scott Chandler caught a touchdown pass of his own. Running back Dion Lewis was used for only 14 carries, but he put in 66 yards on the ground. Lewis also had four catches for 51 receiving yards.
On the other side of the ball, DeAngelo Williams rushed for 127 yards and Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Will Johnson scored the only other touchdown for the Pittsburgh Steelers, running the ball in when the team got into the red zone. In PPR leagues, Heath Miller may have rewarded some owners with his 84 yards on eight catches. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 26-of-38 passes for 351 yards, a touchdown, and an interception
The New England Patriots play in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills. The road game takes place at 1 p.m. ET on September 20, with Rob Gronkowski getting a chance to show what he can do against an AFC East division rival. Tom Brady and Gronkowski will be must-start players for this Week 2 match-up.
[Image Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]