The second New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski stuttered his feet and launched himself into the head/neck of Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White, it became quite evident the All pro tight end would likely face a suspension. The expected news came on Monday afternoon when the NFL announced it suspended Gronkowski for one game.
Gronkowski, who is scheduled to miss New England's Week 13 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, plans to appeal the suspension. It's likely Gronkowski loses the appeal and his expected Week 13 absence becomes official.
It certainly serves as a blow for fantasy football owners who counted on Gronkowski for elite production most of the season and have felt very good about his level of play to this point, especially given his good health this year.
Assuming Gronkowski indeed misses the Week 14 game against the Dolphins, expect Dwayne Allen to start in his absence. While Allen used to be a starting-caliber tight end in fantasy, the 27-year-old drew just 13 targets and five receptions through 12 games. He will not be on the fantasy radar this week, even in DFS.
Instead, fantasy owners should turn their attention to the likes of Cameron Brate and Ricky Seals-Jones. Brate's ownership percentage dropped off significantly after he combined for 37 total receiving yards in four games. However, Jameis Winston returned in Week 13 and Brate immediately jumped back into the top-10 fantasy ranks with a two-touchdown performance. If Brate is available in your leagues, pick him up.
Seals-Jones is another quality option, especially given his continued involvement in Arizona's passing game. With five-plus targets in three consecutive games, Seals-Jones remains a core part of Arizona's passing attack. Even in a game this past Sunday where he didn't find the end zone, Seals-Jones finished with 44 receiving yards. He offers touchdown upside and the chance for 40-plus receiving yards.
Julius Thomas and Tyler Kroft are additional names to consider. While their yardage upside is limited, they are fixtures of their offenses when the team reaches the red zone and a touchdown is all a tight end needs to immediately return value.