Shark Bites

1 month ago

Chip Kelly said Friday that TE Zach Ertz will miss the entire preseason because of a core muscle injury, according to Jimmy Kempski of That'll make it difficult for Ertz to grow his role in the offense, especially early in the season. Kelly did say that they expect him to be ready for Week 1, but what kind of shape will Ertz be in after limiting work on his core strength over the next 3 weeks? This is enough to move Ertz down your fantasy football draft board at a deep position. He does remain an upside prospect, though, especially at a likely reduced ADP.

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6 months ago

Speaking to reporters Wednesday during the NFL owners meetings, Eagles HC Chip Kelly shared some optimism regarding TE Zach Ertz. "I still think there's a big jump that can happen between Year 2 and 3," he said, per Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Ertz, of course, is heading into his 3rd pro season after failing to reach fantasy football starter level each of the past 2 years. The former high 2nd-round pick hasn't seen as much playing time as many of us expected so far, and a 15-catch Week 16 inflated his overall numbers last year. But this will be just Ertz's 2nd full offseason in the NFL, thanks to graduation rules that kept him out of OTAs in his rookie season. And an Eagles offense currently looking at Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper and Josh Huff as its top 3 WRs might need the athletic, young TE more than it did before. We'll be tracking reports on Ertz's role and performance through the spring and into training camp. He certainly carries top-8 fantasy upside.

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Eagles TE Zach Ertz continues to seem destined for significantly more work in 2014.  HC Chip Kelly told the Philadelphia Inquirer recently that "I think Zach can have a huge role."  Ertz missed much of the offseason because of Stanford's later-running school calendar and then played just 41% of the offensive snaps during the regular season.  He has reportedly worked to reshape his body this offseason, however, adding muscle.  Ertz says he wants to become a more complete player, particularly improving his blocking.  That would certainly make it easier for Eagles coaches to get him on the field.  The position -- and receiving group overall -- remains a bit crowded in Philly, but Ertz could see his receptions climb from 36 last year into the 50s.  He'll be an interesting fantasy football candidate for 2014, as long as expectations don't push his ADP too high.

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Eagles TE Brent Celek was written off this offseason after the team added free-agent James Casey and rookie Zach Ertz.  But Celek will enter Week 1 as Philly's starter and a will be a "big part of the Eagles' passing game," according to insider Paul Domowitch.  Celek leads the team's TEs with 7 catches and 70 yards this preseason.  "I love this offense," he said. "Just from a communications standpoint. It's amazing how fast you can execute it."  It'll be difficult to rely on any of the Eagles' TE as weekly fantasy starters.  And Ertz's raw ability makes him the most intriguing target.  But Celek is worth grabbing late in Draft Masters leagues.  He figures to have a few big games this year.

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Eagles TE Brent Celek played all 21 snaps with the 1st-team offense in the team's preseason opener.  Per insider Jeff McLane, Celek lined up next to the OT on 12 snaps,  in the slot 4 times, out wide 3 and in the backfield 2.  Celek blocked on 11 snaps and went out for a pass on 10.  He finished with 2 catches on 2 targets for 14 yards.  Rookie TE Zach Ertz, meanwhile, blocked on just 9 of 22 snaps.  He was targeted 3 times, hauling in 2 for 10 yards.  Celek's experience and blocking ability figure to have him lead Eagles TEs in snaps this season.  But we still like the more athletic Ertz to pace the group in receiving.  TE James Casey, by the way, didn't get a single snap with the starters.  It looks like he's 3rd in the pecking order.  We just updated our projections for the Eagles TEs.

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The ACL victims keep piling up.  Per team beat reporter Jeff McLane, Eagles WR Arrelious Benn will miss the entire 2013 season after tearing his left ACL Tuesday.  This loss thins the shaky Eagles WR corps, which was already leaning on a number of unproven players.  Benn tore the same ACL in 2010 with Tampa Bay.  He wasn't looking like a major contributor in Philly, but it's a tough break for a team that already lost a WR to an ACL.  The Eagles appear ready to rely heavily on their TE group this season thanks to the inexperience and lack of depth at WR.

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Eagles insider Zach Berman believes the TEs will be the biggest beneficiaries of WR Jeremy Maclin's season-ending knee injury.  He says it might now be a "TE-centric passing game."  Berman specifically highlights rookie Zach Ertz, who's capable of playing in the slot or even out wide. "Don't be surprised if he's among the Eagles' leading receivers," Berman writes.  Ertz has made a big move up our TE rankings.  The rookie is an upside TE2 to target in fantasy drafts.

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According to Eagles insider , Brent Celek is considered a blocking TE in Chip Kelly's offense.  Zach Ertz and James Casey, on the other hand, are "primarily receivers."  TEs need to be able to block and catch the ball in order to stay on the field in Kelly's  offense.  But it sounds like Celek will be doing more of the former.  The coaching staff called blocking his greatest asset earlier this offseason.  Meanwhile, Casey calls Kelly's offense a "perfect fit" for him.  Ertz is excited too.  "I don't think this could have been a better scenario for me personally," he said. "[Kelly's] got a heck of an offensive mind, and I know he'll put us in position to be successful."  None of these guys are likely to emerge as weekly fantasy starters. but Ertz and Casey sit above Celek in our TE rankings.

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