Ladarius Green was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ top free agent signee of the offseason, inking a 4 year/$20 million contract to become their starting TE and replace the retired Heath Miller in one of the league’s most powerful offences.
Many had Green as a top “sleeper” pick at TE heading into 2016, especially with Big Ben throwing him the ball, as he spent the first 4 years of his career stuck behind TE Antonio Gates in San Diego.
However, since then, it’s been all downhill in the relationship between Green and his new team. He is yet to practice and has been stuck on the PUP (physically unable to play) list with what was originally thought to be an ankle injury, but now has been confirmed as chronic headaches caused by concussions (which he has had 3 of in the last calendar year).
If Green doesn’t come around quickly, it could substantially hinder his fantasy value, especially when you consider reports that he could either retire or have his contract terminated by the team, leaving him with no fantasy value at all.
We had Green in spot #8 on out top fantasy TEs heading into 2016, however now that his future is uncertain, that would effectively take Green off that list. It is probably not worth taking a chance on him with any pick other than a 15th due to the complexity of the situation.
As of now, Jesse James, the 2nd year product out of Penn State, is 1st on the Steelers’ depth chart at TE. He is expected to stay there and start in Green’s absence if the headaches continue, giving him some fantasy value. James is still unproven however and my not warrant a draft pick just yet.