Dynasty Update: Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers
Always Be Closing
Let me have your attention for a moment.... ‘Cause you're talkin’ ‘bout what? You're talkin’ about ... bitchin’ about some draft pick you shot? Some deal you can’t close? Some son of a bitch GM don’t wanna buy what you’re selling? Some GM you’re trying to screw and so forth.... Let’s talk about something important.
Ladarius Green has as much upside as any tight end you will find this side of Jimmy Graham. Do I have your attention now? Good.
The Chargers need to develop a second weapon in the passing game to go with breakout rookie Keenan Allen. If the third year tight end out of Louisiana-Lafayette can make a jump in 2014 like the one he made in 2013, he could be that second weapon. Green could also become TE1 for fantasy purposes, and this could materialize quickly. In dynasty and long term formats, the time to add Green is now. If you don’t, I have no sympathy for you.
Chargers GM Tom Telesco had positive things to say about all of his tight ends when he met with the media at the combine, and he acknowledged what makes Green special. “Ladarius is a great complement. He still has room to grow, and he's still getting better. But as you saw this year, he's got the chance to make some plays downfield.” That’s putting it mildly. Not only did Green show downfield ability, he showed solid blocking ability--both in-line and out in space.
We project his snap totals to rise even more in 2014 and that could lead to TE1 viability in 12-team leagues. In fact, we think he’ll be a TE1 at some point next year if not right out of the box. This offseason is key for Green’s development and we’ll have our ears to the ground.
Just to put a cap on Green’s potential value in 2014 and beyond, let’s take a look at his positives.
- Prototypical receiving TE - Ladarius is 6’6” and weighs over 240 pounds. He also runs a sub 4.5 40, which is crazy fast for a receiver his size.
- Improvement - Green has gotten better each year so far and if that trend continues, he could approach or even eclipse double digit touchdowns in 2014. Year three is always a big year for receivers and tight ends, and we expect a breakout for Green.
- Quarterback - Not only is Rivers a big QB (6’5”), which works well with Green’s 6’6” frame--creating an always on connection of sorts, Rivers is also a QB that knows how to throw the deep ball and he looks for his tight ends. It’s a near perfect situation for a young tight end.
- Balance - The Chargers have a nice array of weapons and Green will not be leaned on by the defense due to a solid ground attack and the presence of Keenan Allen in the downfield game. Green will be able to exploit a fair amount of single coverage and there are few defenders out there who can handle him man-on-man.
Here’s a nice highlight reel of Ladarius with the Chargers.
The upside is obvious when you see the film. Green has the potential to be a touchdowm machine and Rivers knows how to use big targets. This has been proven over time. Still, some people will be scared that Green failed to build on his outburst of productivity during weeks 11-13. They will point to his late-season fade and his paltry catch totals over his first two years in the league. Let them. And understand that Green changed offenses in 2013. He now has a full offseason to absorb Mike McCoy’s scheme.
Future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates is officially more of a possession option at this stage of his career. We’ve also seen that San Diego likes the 2TE set as part of their base offense. It’s hard to imagine Green playing less than 50 percent of the offensive snaps in 2014. I’d say that’s his floor. His ceiling is full time monster. We expect him to end up closer to the ceiling than the floor. Ladarius is a serious breakout candidate, but with only moderate buzz right now. This is the time to get him at a nice price.
People are out there just waiting to give you Ladarius Green. Are you gonna take him? Are you GM enough to take him?
Always be closing
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