2014 Fantasy Football Early Sleeper: Zach Ertz
Slowly but surely, the tight end position is becoming deeper each year. The gap is closing between Jimmy Graham and the rest of the field. There were plenty of emerging tight ends in 2013, including Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and Jordan Reed. All finished in the top 20 in fantasy among TEs.
There was one player who finished as the 21st-best tight end, despite not being the No. 1 option for his team. That player was No. 2 tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, Zach Ertz. He was drafted in in 2013 and played his part well throughout the season. Ertz finished with 36 receptions for 469 yards and four touchdowns. He caught four passes for three scores in the red zone.
In a day and age where more and more teams are using two-tight end sets, Ertz will fair well as the No. 2 option with the Eagles. The New England Patriots kicked it off by using Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Now, other teams are following suit. The Cincinnati Bengals have Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham and out west the San Diego Chargers used Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green.
With Nick Foles likely to be the starter in 2014, Ertz provides Foles and the Eagles with another weapon that defenses need to worry about. In the 2013 season, Ertz was sometimes used in the slot as the No. 3 receiver. If the Eagles can’t get re-sign both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, Ertz’s offensive presence will be greater this upcoming season.
Despite being the second option in Philadelphia, he is someone to keep tabs on throughout the offseason up until the regular season. Ertz is someone to be drafted towards the end of drafts, right before your defense and kicker. He is a good No. 2 fantasy tight end in deeper leagues and would make a decent bye-week fill in.