Zach Ertz (TE) – Rookie

08/10/2013 11:26 am by in Fantasy Football Expert Analysis, Rookie Spotlights


With the third pick in the 2nd round of this year’s draft, the Eagles took tight end Zach Ertz out of Stanford in hopes of making him a serious contributor in their passing game. He will need to improve his blocking if he wants to become an all-around impact player in the NFL, but it’s his pass-catching ability that caught coach Chip Kelly’s eye. In fact, during the 2012 Stanford season, Ertz doubled Coby Fleener’s production from the season before.

Two of the last four years we have seen current starter, Brent Celek, come close to 1,000 yards receiving, as he has been the quick dump-off guy when the Eagles’ offensive line is breaking down. During this four year span, Celek was targeted an average of 94 times per season. For a player like Ertz, who is a very sure-handed receiver, he will be hauling in most passes thrown his way.

This offseason, Philadelphia also signed ex-Houston TE James Casey, and he should also get some looks, but not on the level of Celek or Ertz. Current word out of Eagles’ camp is that Zach Ertz has looked great, and should finish the year with more catches than Celek or Casey. Under Chip Kelly’s offense, Brent Celek will be used more as a blocker than a receiver, which reduces his value greatly. But this is also the same reason Ertz’s value is beginning to climb.

What we could expect to see out of Zach Ertz this year, due to Jeremy Maclin’s recent injury, is about 85 targets, resulting in 60-70 catches for about 750 yards, and 2-3 TDs. These numbers would be pretty good, especially for a rookie, but Chip Kelly will put Ertz in a position to get pretty close to these kinds of stats. Look for Zach Ertz to be a very solid TE2 for most fantasy teams, with the potential upside of a TE1 in deeper leagues.

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4 Comments so far

  1. takbax August 12th, 2013 10:17 pm

    With all this eagle talk lately am i to think you’re an eagles fan? hahah

    Great write-up, scotty… Celek got catches, but, never enough TD’s to bring him into the top 10. It seems now there are so many strong TE’s as compared to a few years back. Maybe i’ve just forgotten about them. In fact, in one of my dynasty drafts w/Flex, i’m actually carrying 3 TEs. Never have i before tried this strategy. So we’ll see what i’m saying December…

  2. Scotty August 12th, 2013 10:52 pm

    Ha! Far from it….I am a lifelong Cowboys fan. Go figure…here I am writing articles on Eagles! :) I am an equal opportunist!
    Ertz was a stud in college. If he has a chance to shine in the next few years, I think he will (but the Cowboys fan inside of me is hoping that he doesn’t!).

  3. Tavaner August 13th, 2013 5:30 am

    You feel Ertz is a top twelve TE? The reception percentage is just over 70% of his passes, and that’s with a 60/85 reception/target split. That’s Witten, Gonzalez, Miller, Gronkowski territory last season.

  4. Scotty August 13th, 2013 6:28 am

    I do think Ertz will get darn close Tavaner. That’s why I label him TE2 with the upside of a TE1. I think under Kelly’s offense, and coming from behind in most games, he will be Philly’s leading (TE) receiver.

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