The Philadelphia Eagles will head to Chicago without one of their top targets. Tight end Zach Ertz will miss the Monday Night showdown as he deals with a shoulder injury, making way for the veteran Brent Celek to earn major playing time.
Last week, rookie QB, Carson Wentz attempted 37 passes against the Browns, connecting on 22 with eight targets directed towards the TE. With the Bears not as strong in their LB core, Celek should see plenty of action across the middle.
Celek, a 10-year vet, has been in this position before and has either met or exceeded his projected totals in Fantasy Football. He may not have the speed that Ertz has, but he’s been in the league long enough to know how to put himself in proper position to get his catches and to keep the QB in a rhythm.
If the Eagles can get Ryan Mathews going early, that will also help the production of Celek. A good ground game is vital to any TE chances on the field, especially a player like Celek. He loves to block and if Mathews can get around that corner a few times it will put the defense in an old position for following play calls.
With Mathews gaining yards that will allow for a play action in which Celek can release off the line later that usual, catching the defense off-balance. Another factor to consider for Celek’s role will be the emergence of WR, Jordan Matthews.
Matthews and Wentz connected on seven catches for 114 yards on 14 targets. How do those numbers fit into the production for Celek? If Matthews can duplicate that success, it will force the secondary to either double down on Matthews or have a safety keep an extra on him, while losing sight of Celek.
The Eagles offense looked good last week, and if they wish to continue that success against the Bears, then the veteran Celek must play a huge role this week. Celek is a must start against the Bears.