Ladarius Green is getting a lot of hype heading into the 2014 season, and he deserves every last bit of it. He has an absurdly high Phenom Index score. In fact, he has the second highest PI score for a TE since 2006. If you play around with the AYA App you’ll see that Philip Rivers has an adjusted yards per attempt of 14.91 when targeting Green. Last year, Rivers’ AYA when targeting Green was 15.03 on 29 targets. If you take a look at Green using the College Career Graphs App, you might notice that he posted a dominator rating1 of 0.42 in his junior year, which would be great for a WR, but is absurdly good for a TE. We have probably dedicated as many words on RotoViz to Green as we have to any other player.
What I’m getting at is that Ladarius Green is a bad, bad man. Don’t let him get you into trouble.
Here We Go Yo, Here We Go Yo:
Here are some possible scenarios for Ladarius Green in 2014:
- Green outperforms his average draft position.
- Green finishes as a TE1 in fantasy.
- Green finishes as the TE1 in fantasy.
A scenario that’s not possible? Ladarius Green makes Antonio Gates irrelevant in 2014.
Gates didn’t provide Philip Rivers with an AYA over 15, but he did help him to a respectable 7.96. You might recall that I mentioned Green received 29 targets last year; Gates led the team with 114, almost four times as many.
Many people expected the Chargers to add a high profile receiver in either the draft or free agency, but they did not. This could be read as an indicator that they plan on increasing Green’s role in 2014. It must be read as an indicator that they are going to continue to rely on Gates.
Of course, you don’t have to pick between Gates or Green, and I’m certainly not advocating for Gates just because he’s a safer pick. I love upside just as much as anybody. But I also love a deal. According to My Fantasy League, Ladarius Green’s ADP places him in the 9th round. Gates’ ADP places him near the end of the 13th. So the guy who is safer not only comes four rounds later, but he comes so late in the draft that safe talent is largely gone at the WR and RB positions. If you’re going to draft Green, you should probably draft Gates as well. I’m not suggesting you handcuff Green with Gates, for the record – I’m suggesting you handcuff Gates with Green. If Gates misses time, Green will get the opportunity to prove how immensely talented he is.
If you draft Green, you’ll probably feel pretty cool about it, and you get all the excitement and optimism that comes with drafting a high upside player. If you draft Gates, you’ll feel pretty boring and your leaguemates will likely think you’re living in the past. Gates is as cool as that picture at the top of the article makes him look, you know, the one where he looks like he’s constipated.
Antonio Gates is the kid who is willing to help you with your homework, that your mom wants you to spend more time with because she thinks he’s a good influence. Ladarius Green is the kid who tries to peer pressure you into smoking a J in the school restrooms.2
Think about your future, kid.