Matt LaCosse heads to New England this season, where he's expected to compete for the starting tight end job in place of the retired Rob Gronkowski. His main competition will come from Benjamin Watson and Stephen Anderson. None of those tight ends will produce like Gronkowski -- maybe collectively. But LaCosse is someone to monitor in training camp in case he emerges as the starting tight end and a valuable weapon for Tom Brady. LaCosse has never been a standout receiver, and his best production came in 2018 with the Broncos. Still, in 14 games, he had just one with double digits in PPR points. Only if he's the starting tight end in New England should he be drafted with a late-round pick in deeper leagues, although that seems like a longshot with Watson on the roster.
LaCosse has regularly been working with the Patriots' first-team offense during spring practices, Doug Kyed of NESN.com reports. LaCosse was an unheralded free agent signee back in March, but events since then -- starting with the Rob Gronkowski's retirement -- have put the former Bronco in line to have a key role in the Patriots offense to start the coming season. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins having been released Tuesday and Ben Watson slated to serve a four-game suspension out of the gate, the 6-foot-6, 255-pound LaCosse is currently on track to work as the team's Week 1 starter at tight end. It's still conceivable the Patriots could bolster the position down the road, but for now, LaCosse has some early season appeal in deeper fantasy formats.
LaCosse is the favorite to start at tight end for the Patriots in Week 1, Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald reports. With Ben Watson set to serve a four-game suspension to start the regular season and New England having released veteran tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins so he may attend a personal matter, LaCosse profiles as the team's top available option for Week 1. That said, more moves could be made, but as it stands, LaCosse does have a prime opportunity ahead of him after signing a two-year deal with the Patriots.
LaCosse has signed a two-year deal with the Patriots, worth up to $4.8 million, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. If he plays in 2019, Rob Gronkowski will continue to top the Patriots' tight end depth chart. Either way, though, LaCosse adds solid depth to a unit that also includes Jacob Hollister, Stephen Anderson and Ryan Izzo. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound LaCosse caught 24 passes for 250 yards and a TD in 15 games for the Broncos in 2018.
LaCosse finished 2018 having caught 24 of 37 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown. The fact that LaCosse was even on the roster Week 1 was somewhat of a surprise, the product of rookie Troy Fumagalli (sports hernia) being lost during camp and some nice grabs by LaCosse by the preseason. A wave of additional injuries in the Broncos' tight end room, with Jeff Heuerman (ribs) and Jake Butt (ACL) heading to injured reserve, eventually pushed LaCosse up to the top of the depth chart. The Illinois product responded well and improved as the season wore on, ending with nine catches off 14 targets in his final two outings. The Broncos will surely work toward improved depth at the position in 2019, but LaCosse -- who will be an exclusive-rights free agent -- offers a solid underneath option at No. 2 or No. 3.
LaCosse (ankle) doesn't have a designation for Sunday's contest against the Chargers, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports. After he was held out of a Week 16 loss in Oakland, LaCosse was limited both Wednesday and Thursday by a right foot injury. The aforementioned cap in his workload did wonders, though, as he returned to full participation at Friday's session. LaCosse has been productive at times this season, but in a Week 11 meeting with the Chargers, he gathered in just one of his two targets for nine yards.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||New York Jets||6||4.88|
|6||10/11||New York Giants||19||7.38|
|7||10/22||@New York Jets||6||4.88|
|14||12/08||Kansas City Chiefs||31||9.56|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||19||12||125||0||6||10.42||12|