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What to do with Rob Gronkowski in the 2021 NFC Championship

We go over the fantasy football and DFS outlook of Rob Gronkowski ahead of the Bucs matchup up against the Packers in the NFC Championship.

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches from the sidelines prior to the game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on January 09, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Despite some early season hype and a few flashes in the middle of the year, tight end Rob Gronkowski’s mostly been a bit player in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense down the stretch. Last week against the Saints, he had just one catch for 14 yards, which was also his first reception in two playoff games this month. However, it’s harder to pin down his fantasy outlook for this weekend’s NFC Championship game against the Packers.

Fantasy Football analysis: Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski, $3,200

The last time these two teams met, a big Week 6 win for the Bucs, Gronkowski caught five passes on eight targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. Things have changed a bit since then. Gronk’s targets have declined. Last week, he and Cameron Brate shared an almost equal number of reps on pass routes. And the Bucs have used Gronk more as a pass blocker than a receiver in the postseason.

Green Bay’s defense is ranked fifth against tight ends, the best of any team still in contention. Only two opposing tight ends have had more than 50 yards against the Packers since Gronk’s Week 6 outing, and they’ve only allowed four touchdown to the position since then.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

I’d fade Gronk this week. Brate has had a bigger role to play in the passing game for Tampa through the playoffs, with 50 yards last week and 80 the week before that. It’s not a great matchup for either one.