Zach Ertz was drafted as a fantasy football starting tight end, but a rib injury derailed a large chunk of his season and he is just now returning to form. This week he takes on the Packers after getting you TE1 numbers last week against a much tougher Seahawks secondary last weekend. Ertz was on the injury report this week with a hamstring issue, but he practiced full and is expected to play this weekend, so his injury should not be an issue, but the question remains whether he will produce an effort worthy of starting.
Over his last three games, Ertz has ended the week as a top-ten tight end twice, and this is after not getting higher than TE20 in the three weeks prior. He’s been a head-scratching proposition, and he was drafted as a tight end that was supposed to quell those head-scratching issues. While Ertz struggled to find targets when he returned (13 targets in the first four weeks back from his injury), there is a clear delineation when Doug Pederson and the offense decided that Ertz had fully rounded into shape. After getting those 13 targets over four games, Ertz has gotten 8, 7 and 11 targets over his last three. The Eagles are clearly deciding to go to Ertz more (and this is likely due to Nelson Agholor falling quickly out of favor and no wide receiver taking his spot). Ertz’s target volume is up there with Matthews and Darren Sproles, and no other wide receiver is particularly close.
This week the Eagles take on a Packers squad that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, and they’ve done this while only allowing four touchdowns to the position this year. Instead, they’re giving up a bunch of yardage to tight ends, which is giving them a solid floor to produce. Ertz will get the target volume to get you near-TE1 numbers even if he doesn’t get a touchdown (only Jason Witten had eight or more targets without getting at least six fantasy points). A lot of this occurred before the Packers started hemorrhaging talent on the defensive side of the ball. The Packers aren’t going to be able to put up much of a fight against Ertz, which means that not only will his targets lead to a good amount of yardage, but that he is also a great bet to find the end zone. Ertz will be a great bet to return TE1 numbers and is a player worth getting into your lineup.