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Matt Lacosse 2019 Outlook


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Running with the first team offense and making plays early in camp. Potential 4 week band-aid (until Watson is back) and/or potential sleeper material? If I punt on TE this guy's on my radar as a end of draft dart throw.

 

 

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Finally someone started this thread.  I'm paying attention.  

Here are my thoughts on the subject.  

1. The Patriots really don't want to have to abandon the system they created with Gronk.  

2. Gronk was not Gronk last year.  Then again, that last catch in the Super Bowl was quintessential Gronk and that catch was his nail in his proverbially historical coffin (but he will be back :)

3. Pats really didn't have a Gronk TE last year - they had a dude who blocked really well was a huge target, and made some critical catches here and there.  He was critical in keeping the defense honest. 

4. We have see Lacosse ball out.  We know that he has some capabilities.  Why can't they grow and get better.  He is a mammoth body and can effectively do what Gronk did last year.....and....that is all that really needs to be accomplished.  I expect last year Gronk numbers to be his ceiling but ya never freaking know!!!

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https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/patriots/2019/07/26/matt-lacosse-works-his-pitch-for-tight-end-role/OTKXJ9RuKVuhVllnbGW9xH/story.html

With LaCosse in the tight ends’ room are Watson, Lance Kendricks, Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson, and Andrew Beck, fighting for probably three spots on the regular-season roster.

LaCosse, who entered the league in 2015 as an undrafted rookie with the Giants, showed Friday that he can play a little football. He had one of the highlights of the day when he perfectly high-pointed a deep seam ball from Brian Hoyer, who was delighted when the 6-foot-6-inch, 255-pound LaCosse secured it for a touchdown.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not a lot of news:

https://www.sbnation.com/2019/8/19/20800804/new-england-patriots-tight-end-matt-lacosse-breakout-2019-gronk

Quote

LaCosse suffered an ankle sprain in that first preseason game and then missed the next one, but it doesn’t appear to be a major injury. Hopefully, he will be able to finish the rest of the preseason strong.

https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/patriots-matt-lacosse-returns-from-ankle-injury/

Quote

LaCosse (ankle) returned to practice Monday, Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal reports.

He is in an interesting position. He will need to carve out a role with Watson absent, and then who knows what can happen afterwards.

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2 minutes ago, Sivaro said:

I can see Brady with his age wracked arm strength having to rely in this guy.   Lacrosse is very intriguing.

 

:)  I don't think it has anything to do with Brady's arm.  It has everything to do with Brady's trust.  Brady is the ultimate trust-monger.  Target shares are going Edelman, White, Gordon, and then whomever else (including this guy).  It all depends on if Lacosse is earning that trust, which there is nothing out there exemplifying that.  

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28 minutes ago, lolcopter said:

He flashed in Denver when he was here, but just too healthy overall for that group I guess. There is talent there, and as an idiot who's only TE currently is Jordan Reed, I'm intrigued.

 

Join the Reed Team.  There is a few of us wandering the Fantasy landscape for our next TE.  I have Herndon in my IR slot and I picked up Eifert for the time being.  Reed is now Probable.....whatever 

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FYI here's an in-depth write-up on LaCosse - credit Fantasy Pros and RC Fischer.

Why isn’t anyone paying attention to Gronk’s replacement?

R.C. Fischer discusses deep sleeper candidate, Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, in Season 4 of his Very Deep Sleeper series for FantasyPros.

You are probably in agreement with all the experts, who don’t believe Matt LaCosse is going to be the Patriots’ starting tight end in Week 1 of 2019, and frankly, don’t seem to care whether that happens. LaCosse is currently sporting an ADP of 50+ among all fantasy tight ends, as of this writing. The illustrious Geoff Swaim is tracking ahead of LaCosse on FantasyPros’ latest TE rankings…as is Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who, unlike LaCosse, isn’t even on the Patriots’ roster anymore.

Why no fantasy-love for Matt LaCosse?

Start preparing for your draft now with our NFL Draft Simulator >>

Maybe, we’re all just tired of fool’s gold, non-Gronk Patriot tight end fantasy options. Anyone remember when Zach Sudfeld flew from UDFA rookie to fringe TE1 ADP in the 2013 preseason? Or when Martellus Bennett was supposed to be a TE1 hopeful working along with Gronk in 2016… or the same with Dwayne Allen in 2017? Everyone was looking for the ‘Gronk gets hurt and now this guy is a TE1 in his place’ option. But in the end, ever since Aaron Hernandez left, whether Gronk was playing or Gronk was out…no Patriots ‘other’ tight end has ever really stepped in and become true fantasy gold.

Now, today, finally, Gronk is gone! Shouldn’t we all fistfight over his successor…since we’ve been looking for them for lo these many years?

Wait…you think it’s Ben Watson?

…or a tight end to-be-determined?

Anyone but Matt LaCosse, right?

Let’s walk through the history of LaCosse’s journey to New England and see if we can make a case for LaCosse as the New England tight end who matters for fantasy in 2019. I think you’ll find parts of his journey eye-opening.

LaCosse was former star high school quarterback who went to Illinois as a tight end…a nearly 6’6″ prospect who could move well (4.64 40-time at his Pro Day). LaCosse didn’t play much his first two college seasons, then began to break out a little in his junior year (2013). In 2014, his senior year, he caught 3 TD passes in the first 7 games of their season…but then LaCosse got hurt and missed the rest of the campaign. He was unlucky, because in those 7 games he worked with a terrible QB, who would get benched soon after and replaced by a future fringe NFL prospect (Wes Lunt). With Lunt, LaCosse’s numbers may have ‘popped’ more; gotten him more NFL attention. Instead, LaCosse was a decent receiving option for a college team that wasn’t very good throwing the ball – thus he flew under everyone’s radar.

He went undrafted in 2015 and was signed by the Giants. NYG cut him in the preseason when he hurt his hamstring. The Jets grabbed him after that, and then cut him shortly after…and then the Giants re-signed him to the practice squad. He eventually was activated to the 53-man roster that rookie season and played Week 16-17 — catching 3 passes in a game in Week 16.

He was in the mix as a surprise candidate to start for the Giants in 2016, having a great training camp, but then a knee injury in the preseason cost him – he went on I.R. for the season.

In 2017, 1st-round draft pick Evan Engram arrived and LaCosse fought his way to the 53-man roster as a 4th tight end for the G-Men, but was released midseason and then signed back again by the Giants to their practice squad.

The Giants stuck by LaCosse for years, through multiple coaches and coordinators. However, in December 2017, the Broncos poached LaCosse from the Giants practice squad to squat on him as a ‘futures’ prospect.

LaCosse made the Broncos’ opening day roster in 2018. He played sparingly but then the Broncos started losing tight ends left and right and LaCosse was forced into the starting lineup Week 11 last season. In Week 12, he caught 3 passes and scored his first NFL TD. His last two games of 2018 – 4.5 catches and 38.0 yards per game.

I was impressed watching LaCosse in his forced-starter role, while re-watching/scouting the previous week’s games in-season and when I watched Denver games during the final few weeks, I’d make note of LaCosse moving better than I remembered (or was even aware of) and noting how well he was playing as a receiver in general. I pitched him to my subscribers late in the 2018 season as a sleeper tight end fantasy option to use in a pinch and I thought he’d rollover to the next season to be a Dynasty sleeper candidate for the Broncos’ 2019 starting tight end job.

And then this story took a turn that I did not expect…

I figured the Broncos would try sign/keep LaCosse well ahead of his free agency. However, they had him as a restricted free agent option but declined to tender him. That was odd enough, but when free agency opened up – the Patriots pounced with a solid contract offer.

With Gronk retired the Patriots didn’t land/really pursue any bigger-name tight ends in free agency or trade in March 2019, instead they signed LaCosse and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. With no Gronk and no exciting names on the tight end depth chart, you figured the Pats would draft a tight end in April 2019. Nope. Were they really going into the 2019 season with ASJ and LaCosse?

They were not.

The Patriots had enough of Seferian-Jenkins – cutting him right after the post-Draft training camps started. It left Matt LaCosse and Jacob Hollister as the top guys on the tight end depth chart. Soon after, stories of how much the Pats ‘liked’ Hollister began to surface. Excellent reporting…because then Belichick shocked everyone by trading Hollister to Seattle for almost nothing.

What were the Pats left with at tight end? Matt LaCosse and Stephen Anderson.

Well, New England then signed Benjamin Watson…the 38.5+ year old tight end coming out of retirement and suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season. We have Watson and LaCosse as the current top tight ends on the depth chart, which means LaCosse will get a ton of work in the preseason and he will start in Week 1 (and 2-4).

I know you still don’t believe that LaCosse will start Week 1. You’re thinking that Belichick will cause some magical tight end to fall out of the sky for the Patriots, because…well, because Belichick. I get it. But, who? What tight end is he going to get/find?

Will it be a released veteran tight end like Vernon Davis or Delanie Walker? Could it be a possible released-for-cost tight end Jordan Reed (if that were to happen…he makes $9.7M this year or can be released for $3.6M hit)? Doubtful that it’s a low-level rookie or some other young tight end because they wouldn’t pop up available until the 53-man cuts right before the season – not enough time to unseat LaCosse for Week 1.

If Washington retains both Reed and Davis, and Tennessee keeps Walker (likely)…the Patriots have no choice but to start LaCosse Week 1…and Weeks 2-3-4. How much is the season starting tight end on the Patriots worth for fantasy? At least, a TE2 valuation…not a #50+ overall tight end option.

But what if LaCosse uses all the experience he’ll get in the preseason and through the first 4 weeks of 2019 to establish himself as the receiving threat tight end for New England…what is that worth? Do you think aged ben Watson returns Week 5 and plays 90% of the snaps and is ‘the guy’ going forward? What if, given a fortunate boost to start the year, LaCosse becomes the starting tight end by attrition (Watson plays limited snaps until later in the season/he’s there for the playoff run) most/all of 2019?

I could name a lot of young backup, 3rd-4th-string tight ends on NFL rosters I like better than LaCosse, as a talent, but none of them are sitting in the driver’s seat to start Week 1 for the best team in football with the great Tom Brady still running the show. I imagine a (near) 6’6″ target will come in handy in the red zone some this season for Brady minus Gronk?

Today, LaCosse is a fantasy bargain – he’s not being seriously considered for anything fantasy-wise.  But by mid-to-late August he could fly into the top 15-20 ADP tight ends in redraft and he’ll potentially be a Week 1 TE1 ranking for many experts.

Low cost, potential flash value in a few weeks – value to use or trade on the hype that non-Gronk New England tight ends seem to garner every preseason. LaCosse could go from Very Deep Sleeper to very in-demand in just a few short weeks. The cost to see it play out is virtually nothing today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just lost Hunter Henry for the foreseeable future,

If LaCosse plays, you think he's worth rolling out against MIA? 

Maybe with all the scoring NE is expected to do, he may end up with a TD and 20-30 yards.. I would be content with 10-12pts from him. 

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