What if I told you there was a tight end who was a top-10 fantasy tight end each of the last five years. That same tight end has 178 yards and one touchdown through six games this year (TE16 in full PPR). That tight end, as you might have guessed, is Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.
Volume has not been the issue for Ertz, with 45 targets and two 10-target games so far. Maybe he’s been less than 100 percent healthy, maybe defenses are focusing on taking him away due to the lack of proven weapons around him. But a 53 percent catch rate, 7.4 yards per catch and 4.0 yards per target isn’t cutting it.
Ertz suffered an ankle injury against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6, as he finished with four catches for 33 yards (10 targets). An original 3-4 week timetable has now been extended to 4-6 weeks, and the Eagles have placed Ertz on IR. He’ll miss at least three games then, but 4-6 weeks is still the better bet.
When will Zach Ertz be back?
The early end of Ertz’s new timetable puts him at a Week 11 return against the Cleveland Browns. Six weeks is Week 13, Dec. 8 against the Green Bay Packers. So Ertz might be out for the balance of the fantasy regular season. If he does return in Week 11 or Week 12, he’ll be hard to rely on based on his body of work this year. There’s also the faint prospect he’ll be declared out for the season at some point.
With the 3-4 week timeline to return, stashing Ertz in an IR spot was easily done by his fantasy managers. It could still be done now, with an optimistic notion he’ll be a factor in the fantasy playoffs. The dearth of good fantasy options at tight end is also a thing to drive keeping him. But even the idea he’ll be out until Week 13, and that you won’t be starting him confidently when he gets back on the field, brings outright dropping Ertz into the equation.
Ertz has been dropped in a big chunk of Yahoo! leagues already (75 percent owned as of early Thursday afternoon), and he’s on a similar downward trend in ESPN leagues (83.5 percent owned). This is a situation to leave aside the name, resume and where you drafted someone in August. In most re-draft leagues with normal-sized rosters, Zach Ertz can be dropped without regret.