Ladarius Green is a talented tight end who has spent his four NFL seasons slotted firmly behind future HOF, Antonio Gates, on the Chargers’ depth chart. In 2016, he’ll be the No.1 tight end in a finely tuned, Pittsburgh offense.
Between 2011 and 2015, Ben Roethlisberger targeted his main tight end an average of 100 times a season. That’s not bad usage for a TE in an offense loaded with other options. However, over the course of the last three seasons, Heath Miller managed to accrue only 2 touchdowns per season.
In the five game sample, in which Green played and Gates did not, Ladarius averaged approximately 12.5 PPR points per game and 2.2 per touch. This pace would yield a 198 point season, inclusive of 10 touchdowns. In 2015, that production would have made Green a top 6/7 fantasy tight end.
Let’s assume that it’s fair to say that Green has the skill set and talent level required to receive opportunity similar to the levels enjoyed by Heath Miller. Under this guise, Green would be projected to score approximately 220 PPR points during his first season in the Steel City. However, it’s important to note that a 10 touchdown season is unlikely, based on the amount of redzone targets Steelers’ tight ends have seen the last couple of years. A five TD season feels a lot more reasonable. This would yield Green a top 7 or so finish at seasons end.
So in short, our cursory analysis projects Green as a 6-8 fantasy tight end in 2016. His ceiling is likely TE5 and floor TE11. At his current ADP of TE12, Green represents a pretty decent value. That ADP is surprising and it will be interesting to see if it rises as the season draws closer. If it doesn’t, Green will be a nice later round TE option equipped with the potential to beat his price tag by a fair margin.