If you like targets and love receptions, and you want your lineup to stand out from your league rivals, draft Zach Ertz between 20th and 30th overall. Ertz caught the second-most passes of any player last year and has regularly finished as a top-3 Fantasy tight end in Fantasy points and consistency over the last two seasons. Defenses have a hard time matching up with him and Philadelphia has become an offensive juggernaut. He's one of the safest picks you could possibly make.
Ertz believes DeSean Jackson's presence will push safeties back and create more space to operate in the middle of the field, Paul Domowitch of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "Often times, the post safety will eye me up pre-snap a lot of times and know where I am," Ertz said. "If they do that now, DeSean's going to be able to run right past him if their focus is on me or Dallas [Goedert] or Alshon [Jeffery]." While a repeat of last season's career-high 156 targets is unlikely, Ertz seems to be hinting at the potential for improvement on a career-low mark of 10.0 yards per catch. In addition to his excitement about playing with Jackson, the 28-year-old tight end mentioned that this past offseason was the best he's had in the NFL. He made a quick recovery from the nagging injures he dealt with late in the 2018 campaign, allowing him to reach some new personal bests in the weight room during the Eagles' offseason workout program. Ertz doesn't have any limitations for spring practices, nor does quarterback Carson Wentz (back).
Ertz (undisclosed) did not play in Sunday's Pro Bowl, Daniel Gallen of PennLive.com reports. Considering Ertz never missed a game and ultimately logged a career-high 91.6 percent of the snaps in 2018, it's safe to say none of his alleged injuries are severe. The tight end nonetheless told reporters he wasn't playing at 100 percent down the stretch. Ertz declined to specify his injury, so it's possible general wear and tear from an 18-game season led to his absence. In any event, Ertz has plenty of time to rest in advance of a 2019 campaign for which the Eagles will return most key players on offense. He has three seasons remaining on a five-year, $42.5 million extension that now looks like a major bargain for the team.
Ertz brought in five of eight targets for 50 yards in the Eagles' 20-14 divisional-round playoff loss to the Saints on Sunday. Ertz's final line was somewhat deceptive, considering two of his catches came on the Eagles' final pair of drives. The Saints were stingy against the tight end position all season, and they lived up to that billing once again Sunday by mixing up their coverage on Ertz between linebackers, safeties and corners. It was a relatively quiet end to a career season for the 28-year-old, who finished the campaign with a record-setting 116 grabs for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns. On the books for just over $12.1 million in 2019 as per Spotrac, Ertz nevertheless figures for another sizable role in an offense that is projected to once again be helmed by Carson Wentz (back), a quarterback with whom Ertz has enjoyed his greatest success.
Ertz caught five of seven targets for 52 yards in Sunday's 16-15 wild-card-round win over Chicago. Ertz still wasn't his usual dominant self, but this was a major step forward after he produced only 15 yards in the regular-season finale. Quarterback Nick Foles spreads the ball around more than Carson Wentz (back) did, so Ertz isn't seeing the same boatload of targets that he was before Wentz went down, but the talented tight end should still be a big part of Philadelphia's divisional-round gameplan in what will likely be a higher-scoring affair against the Saints.
Ertz caught three of four targets for 15 yards during Sunday's 24-0 win over the Redskins. Ertz merely tied for fourth on the team in targets and didn't do much with the looks he did get, as his long gain went for just seven yards. He's failed to reach 40 receiving yards in three of the last four games, but it has still been an outstanding season overall. Ertz finishes the campaign with 116 catches for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns -- all of which represent career highs. The star tight end will face a tough matchup in next Sunday's wild-card round game against the Bears.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/27||@Green Bay Packers||8||5.50|
|5||10/06||New York Jets||6||4.88|
|11||11/17||New England Patriots||18||7.37|
|14||12/10||New York Giants||19||7.38|
|17||12/29||@New York Giants||19||7.38|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||124||89||934||7||51||10.49||135|