The Philadelphia Eagles selected tight end Zach Ertz in the second round (35th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Since then, not only has he become an incredible weapon for them, but he has turned into one of the elite tight ends in the entire NFL.
Ertz is a fantastic route runner and tends to get open. He also has great hands that have helped him reel in over 70 receptions in each of the last five seasons. Though there are still some holes in his game.
He has had a bit of a YAC (Yards After Catch) problem. Ertz has never been one to make much of a play after the catch. Sure, there are the occasional impressive plays, but it usually tends to be catch then tackle immediately after.
His high reception totals usually make up for it all though, and everything evens out to big numbers.
This not only put Ertz in the conversation as one of the best tight ends in the league, but one of the better fantasy football options.
What are his fantasy football prospects for 2020 though? Is it a positive outlook? Or does he take a step back this year like he did in 2019?
Let’s take a look back at his past, and think about his future to try and determine what will happen in the present. What exactly is the fantasy football outlook for Zach Ertz in 2020?
2019 Fantasy Stats
Ertz had a fantastic 2019 season. The only problem is, it was actually a major disappointment when considering what he managed to do in 2018.
The tight end had such an incredible 2018 season that he was flying off the boards much earlier the next year around.
And while 88 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns is a great season, it really isn’t much compared to his 2018 year. Ertz racked up 116 receptions for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns then.
It was a truly elite season that put him right near the top of a lot of people’s “must have” list when it came to fantasy football.
That’s what makes his 2019 season so odd. It really was an incredible season.
The 88 receptions by Ertz were the third most by any tight end last season. Only Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs (97) and Darren Waller of the Los Vegas Raiders (90) had more.
Meanwhile, his 916 receiving yards were the fourth most in the NFL amongst tight ends. This time he was behind Kelce (1,229 yards), Waller (1,145 yards) and George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers (1,053 yards).
Finally, his six receiving touchdowns came in tied for fourth for tight ends. Ertz was behind Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens (10), Jared Cook of the New Orleans Saints (9) and Darren Fells of the Houston Texans (7).
So it’s easy to put Ertz safely in the top five of all tight ends when it comes to fantasy football production.
What’s even more impressive, the tight end did that in just 15 games last year.
Ertz had a bit of a consistency problem though. He had two games with just two receptions. Both of those games saw under 40 yards and zero touchdowns each.
He also had a three reception game with under 30 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. Three more games with just four receptions were recorded by Ertz last season. One saw under 30 yards and the other two were under 70. None of them had him score a touchdown.
Meanwhile, he had four games of nine-or-more receptions All had at least 90 receiving yards and all but one had at least one touchdown. So a lot of his production came from just a few of his games.
Consistency is clearly a bit of a problem for Ertz.
2020 Fantasy Projections
Ertz is set up for a big 2020. For one thing, he has a quarterback that many say is a little too obsessed with throwing the ball his way in Carson Wentz.
This was a legitimate criticism of Wentz in 2018 and 2019. Many believed that he was overlooking other receiving options, sometimes even missing open looks just to throw the ball at his tight end.
This obviously bodes well for his fantasy outlook. Ertz is going to get the ball thrown his way often. A lot of targets usually correlates to a ton or receptions.
And the fact that he has been so consistent with his numbers over the last few years should make you believe that good things will be coming once again in 2020.
Philadelphia has a bit of a disadvantage in their division though. The NFC East is one of the weakest in the entire league. But the defenses should be incredible, specifically the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football team are extremely scary in that regard.
Still, Ertz has proven he can still do damage against any defense. And in the end, his overall numbers are going to be great.
Last year was a warning to fantasy owners though. You need to be prepared for the tight end to throw out a few bad games, but he’s going to dominate a few weeks and win you some matchups almost single-handedly as well.
Ertz will once again be the top target for Wentz in 2020. That makes him one of the best fantasy football options at his position.
Look for the tight end to rack up 90 receptions for 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns. Chalk that up as another massive season for Zach Ertz.
Rank At Position
The tight end position is ripe with talent in the NFL right now.
Obviously there is Kelce and Kittle. Rob Gronkowski is back now too though. Waller enjoyed a massive breakout campaign in 2019 as well, and that pushes him into the elite tier.
Andrews has made himself into a legitimate problem in Baltimore, and Cook has done the same in New Orleans. Austin Hooper is a star and now with the Cleveland Browns he could be even scarier for fantasy purposes. Tyler Higbee had a breakout season with the Los Angeles Rams and Evan Engram is still waiting to blossom into a star with the New York Giants.
There are even more tight ends who are legitimate fantasy threats and others that are waiting to breakout. So this is not the weak position it was not too long ago.
What does that mean for Zach Ertz? Honestly, not too much. He’s still going to be one of the best in the league. A lot of those tight ends are great, but they need to take another step before they can be considered threats to his fantasy position.
Kelce is going to be right near the top, as is Kittle. After that, you could make strong arguments for a lot of people in the next few spots. Gronkowski would usually be locked in at the top, but after a year off it’s hard to tell with him.
With that in mind, you could throw Gronkowski, Ertz, Waller, Andrews, Cook and even Hooper in that three spot.
For now though, it’s hard to bet against Gronkowski with Tom Brady as his quarterback again.
However, that number four slot is looking pretty perfect for Ertz. He has proven himself for multiple years now. Waller is working with just one big season, and Andrews and Cook are sort of in the same boat.
Hooper is a threat but is also an unknown on a new team. Ertz puts up big (but inconsistent from week-to-week) numbers. And he’s going to do that once again in 2020. Don’t expect massive numbers every week but expect his overall stats to be near the top.
Zach Ertz comes in at number four when it comes to fantasy football tight ends in 2020.