He was neither the first star in the position nor its best player in terms of career fantasy PPR points, but Rob Gronkowski ushered in the current era of dominance and pass-catching. His announcement on Tuesday that he intends to retire makes the position one notable name slimming in 2022.

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Looking back at Gronkowski’s remarkable career and his position among the most difficult people of all time, two things stand out: first, he got what he did in a relatively short period of time when he retired at the age of 33, and yet in 11 NFL seasons, he scored fifth among fantasy PPR tight ends (2103.8).

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It was at this level of his career that he averaged 14.71 points per game, more than any other tight end in history except Travis Kelsey (15.38).

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In terms of one game, Gronkowski has delivered fantastic 25 or more PPR points to his managers in 20 of 143 career games, trailing only Tony Gonzalez with 22. A whopping 67 of those 143 games resulted in 15-plus points.

Gronkowski seemed to consistently deliver competitive, often match-winning decent results rather than dragging his fantastic teams around. Only once has he hit 35+ Imagination PPRs, a threshold that has been reached 49 times in the tight end since 1960, 10 of them in the last four seasons alone, as his singles peak came in Week 8. 2014 (41.9 points) vs. Chicago Bears.

The second thing that catches the eye is that Gronkowski was an exceptional, high-profile scorer – a touchdown machine – when he could stay on the field consistently. Injuries really started to hold him back during his third season, in 2012, and in only three of his 11 campaigns did he appear in all 16 games as he averaged just 11.9 games from 2012-18 (seasons three through ninth).

In 2011, Gronkowski set a new benchmark in single-season tight end scoring, becoming second in the league as his fantastic 330.9 PPR broke Todd Christensen’s 28-year-old record.

In the end, Gronkowski gave fantasy managers narrow positions of 1 (the aforementioned 330.9 PPR, 2011), 14 (266.4, 2014), and 19 (255.6, 2015) overall number of PPR points in one season. He was his position’s leading scorer in each of those three seasons, and was in the top five positional scorers in those years, as well as in 2012 and 2017.

What’s more, after Gronkowski’s year-long absence from the game – his last “retirement” since the 2018 campaign – he managed to finish eighth and twelfth among tight ends in PPR scoring after Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

So, if this is indeed the end of Gronkowski’s storied career, he will go down in history as one of the best tight ends in fantasy football and a loyal Hall of Famer. But, as mentioned above, he has already retired once, so let’s see if this is really the case!

Top 10 Fantasy PPR Players of All Time Dead Ends

1. Tony Gonzalez, 3510.70
2. Jason Witten, 2970.28
3. Antonio Gates, 2827.10
4. Shannon Sharp, 2191.90
5. Rob Gronkowski, 2103.80
6. Jimmy Graham, 2067.90
7. Greg Olsen, 1966.30
8. Travis Kelsey, 1953 66
9. Ozzy Newsom, 1767.50
10. Vernon Davies, 1708.70