Saturday, 20 July 2019 00:00

Is Zach Ertz too expensive in 2019?

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Is Zach Ertz too expensive in 2019? Keith Allison/Flickr

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In this pod, George spitballs about the Eagles tight end situation and why Zach Ertz might be overpriced at his current ADP.

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Ertz was only consistent part of Eagles offense last season. He was the definition of Wentz's safety blanket. Wentz targeted Ertz a ton.

Zach Ertz finished 2018 with 116 receptions, 1,163 yards, 8 touchdowns.

While it was his most prolific season for catches, Ertz averaged just 10 yards per catch which is the lowest in his career.

The Eagles offense was inconsistent throughout 2018, and Ertz was more of a safety blanket. The Eagles also blew a lot of leads because they were one dimensional on offense at times and struggled late in games.

Eagles also couldn't run the ball much, and with Wentz coming off that ACL tear and not being able to use his legs as much to escape pressure, he likely targeted Ertz more out of necessity.

That will likely change this season. The Eagles replenished their backfield adding Jordan Howard and drafting Penn State rookie Miles Sanders. They also recently signed Darren Sproles to a one-year deal.

Don't think the Eagles are going to want to target Ertz as much as they did. Pederson will want to spread the ball around more, similar to the way the Eagles won the 2017 Super Bowl.

Another interesting aspect is a stat I read recently from Warren Sharp. By the way if you haven't checked out Warren Sharp's 2019 Football Preview definitely check it out.

There was a stat in there that shows teams that operate out of that two-tight end set should actually pass the ball more because it's more effective. And the Eagles have probably the best tight end duo in the league right now. So if they heed Sharp's advice and start passing the ball more, we could see like an Aaron Hernandez/Rob Gronkowski situation.

Hernandez and Gronkowksi had their best statistical season in 2011 when they combined for over 2,200 yards receiving.

Per Football Focus, they ranked third and first in fantasy points scored at their positions, respectively. But aside from that, no TE2 has ranked Top 10 at his position since 2000. And only five times in that span has a TE2 ranked inside the Top 15.

But no other team in the league has another Pro Bowl talent like Dallas Goedert at tight end. So it's not out of the question that maybe Goedert pushes for more snaps, Ertz sees less targets as a result, and Goedert squeezes into the Top 15.

Even so, there are better tight ends to target in redraft and barring an injury to Ertz, Goedert has little TE1 upside.

Ertz will probably still regress given his volume was insane and the Eagles have a much more talented, healthier roster heading into 2019. This could lead to Ertz having less than 1,000 yards receiving (which he's not really known as being a 1,000-yard guy anyway). But he'll still hover around 800-900 yards and 5-6 touchdowns.

Plus, there really isn't any considerable upside TE worth drafting behind Ertz. He's the safest TE before there's a big dropoff where you have unproven guys like O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and Hunter Henry going after him.

So think of it this way when drafting Ertz, he's probably not going to blow the doors off again this year, so avoid him if you want to go get another position and save your TE for some steady late guy. I'll be avoiding him for that reason. But he's not a bad pick at that spot and will definitely give you some solid production without a huge regression.

Last modified on Sunday, 04 August 2019 17:28
George Banko

George Banko started talking about fantasy football shortly after graduating college. He started as an intern at before working as a staff writer for Fantasy Knuckleheads. He currently contributes to the Fantasy Hot Read podcast, which is available on itunes. He also educated himself on player evaluation and is a graduate of The Scouting Academy in 2015, which is an online course run by former NFL Scout Dan Hatman. He started Fantasy Football Helpers as a blog in 2011 and converted it to a full-scale website in 2014. Read more.

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