Will 2014 Be Ladarius Green’s Breakout Campaign?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s one thing to wait on tight end, but it’s another to completely roll the dice and simply hope your bet pays off. The investment you would have to make on The Chargers’ Ladarius Green is so low he would be easily replaceable off the waiver wire. Does that make him a gamble to take, though?

No one is going to question Green’s upside or athleticism. Brad Evans if Yahoo! sports recently wrote an article (click here to view) looking at Green and Jordan Reed. I’m regards to Green he described him as:

“a 6-foot-6 athletic specimen that ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in ’12”

That’s obviously a scary combination and Green began showing flashes of his upside late in 2013. He had 3 TD over the final six games of the season, showing that he could be a huge red zone threat. However, as the Chargers were pounding the ball on the ground with Ryan Mathews in December, it’s important to note the targets Green received:

  • December 1 – 6 targets
  • December 8 – 0 targets
  • December 12 – 0 targets
  • December 22 – 0 targets
  • December 29 – 2 targets

In the team’s two post season games he totaled 6 targets (5 catches for 41 yards and a TD). Does he have the arhleticism? Absolutely. Does he have potential? You bet. Is he a lock to produce in 2014? Far from it.

While we would expect the torch to start being passed from Antonio Gates a bit more, we can’t completely ignore his presence on the depth chart. It’s not like Green is suddenly going to become the go to tight end with Gates simply becoming a forgotten man.

You also have a receiving corps led by 2013 breakout Keenan Allen and includes a host of others who can make an impact.

How about Mathews himself, as well as Danny Woodhead and the newly signed Donald Brown? The team showed in December that they can be successful leaning on the running game and it’s hard to imagine them completely abandoning that strategy after the success that they had.

Maybe Green does flourish, because he certainly could. I wouldn’t bet on it for 2014, however. He’s a much better dynasty stash, or a late round flier for those with deeper benches. If you wanted to “gamble” on your TE1, I’d be much more apt to do so with someone like Zach Ertz. If you enter the season depending on Green, you could put yourself in a hole from Day 1.

Sources – ESPN, Yahoo!

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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings:

Could There Be Any Value In Carolina's Questionable Receiving Corps?
Early ADP Notes: Wide Receiver Edition (Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Rookies & More)

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