Weeks 3-7 the 'sweet spot' for Rob Gronkowski's return, could make or break fantasy owners

USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski should return between Weeks 3 and 7 if things go as planned. We break down the fantasy implications.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is getting closer to returning to the team. He's back on the practice field following multiple surgeries on his left forearm in addition to back surgery this offseason, though he is primarily taking part in individual work and things of that nature.

More: For more on the Patriots, go to Pats Pulpit

Gronkowski will be on the 53-man roster to start the season, as well. That said, he won't be ready for the team's opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8. He also likely won't be ready to take on the New York Jets on Sept. 12, given that it's a short turnaround.

However, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, right around Week 3 is when you should start watching out for "Gronk." Reiss says that Weeks 3-7 are the "sweet spot" for when Gronkowski might be ready for return.

Fantasy Impact: Gronkowski is the second-highest drafted tight end after Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. This is a guy who could miss around six games this season. That's a testament to just how productive he is at the tight end position. Nothing we can say will probably change how early he's taken, and of course, there's always the chance he comes back sooner than thought. Still, if he's out for six weeks or so, it could be disastrous for fantasy owners.

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