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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Zach Ertz in Week 9?

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Going into the season, Zach Ertz was drafted as a mid-level fantasy football TE1. In week one, he went down with a rib injury after posting six receptions and 58 yards. Since his return, he has not been an incredible fantasy option. There was much hope that Doug Pederson would be a massive Andy Reid disciple and use Ertz as his own Travis Kelce, feeding him relentlessly and letting him get production through volume. This week the Ertz Experience travels to New York as the Eagles take on the Giants in an NFC East showdown.

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While Ertz started the season with an incredible seven targets, his targets after his rib injury have been nothing to write home about. He has 3, 3, 3, and 4 targets in the four games since returning, which is an obscenely low number of targets for fantasy production, even for downfield threat wide receivers. As a tight end, it’s a special talent to turn such low production into massive yardage, and fantasy points. There aren’t any DeSean Jackson’s running around at TE, so a low target volume usually leads to poor production. If you transfer those targets onto a tight end, they are still obscenely low. His 13 targets through four games pace out to a 52-target season. That pace puts him below the pace of the two Giants Tight Ends and squares onto complete fantasy irrelevant tight end Garrett Celek. He’s simply not getting the targets to produce.

Even if Ertz had been getting the targets to produce since his return from his rib injury, the matchup this week is not conducive to his production this week. The Giants boast one of the best secondaries in the NFL and are bottom-ten in the NFL for tight end production. They’ve done it against a decent mix of opposing tight ends so far this year, including Pitta, Reed, Fleener and Witten. They’ve shut down all of them so far this year, excepting a Rudolph touchdown tossing him over the seven-point TE1 threshold. Throw in that they are one of the best against quarterbacks, and that Carson Wentz has struggled recently, and you get a bad matchup.

Zach Ertz has a bad matchup this weekend as he takes on the Giants. They do a great job of neutralizing opposing tight end matchups. Even if he was in a good situation, he has not gotten the target opportunity to do anything of value this year. He was supposed to be a TE1, but at this point, he isn’t worth a start this weekend, and probably isn’t even worth a roster slot.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]