Zach Ertz flew south for the winter last year and transformed into a different bird. He began the 2021 season as a Philadelphia Eagle, battling with Dallas Goedert for the top tight end role. He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in the midseason, where he would experience a career renaissance. Not only did Ertz finish as the TE5 on the season, but he helped stabilize the Cardinals’ offense without DeAndre Hopkins. Something that he will have to replicate this year.
2021 in Review
As I said above, Ertz finished as the TE5 on the season. This dramatic rise in production, combined with the fact he was likely on many contenders’ rosters, helped make him one of the more popular players to be on championship rosters. Ertz would’ve had a very different season if he stayed with the Eagles.
On the season, Ertz finished with 112 targets, 74 receptions, 5 TDs, and 763 yards. With the Cardinals, Zach Ertz had 81 targets, 56 receptions, 3 TDs, and 574 yards over 11 games. If we extrapolate those to an entire 17-game season, Ertz was on pace for 125 targets, 86 receptions, 5 TDs, and a huge 1,179 yards. Those would’ve been insane numbers for a supposed over-the-hill TE. Ertz is no elder TE. He had a great 2021 season at only 31 years old.
2022 Season Outlook
The way that Ertz plays football leads to an expectation he should have a longer-than-average career. He doesn’t have any significant injuries in his history. Ertz re-signed with the Cardinals on a three-year deal worth 17.5 million dollars. This signifies that Ertz plays a vital role in the season/s to come. Due to Hopkin’s six-week suspension, Ertz will be Kyler Murray’s #2 target in a powerful offense. Murray loves throwing to Ertz, as evidenced from 2021. Due to that and the fact that Ertz is fully established in the offense, I gave him another TE1-caliber season in my projections.
I project Ertz to finish as a TE1 in 2022. His stats in a PPR form equal 11.9 pp, which is pretty good for a TE. Ertz is on pace for the Hall of Fame. He will seek to finish his career with the Arizona Cardinals. Ertz should play in all 17 games. That will allow him to be a steady stream of points for your dynasty team. Even when Nuk returns, I don’t see Ertz’s play dropping off.
Should you trade for or away Zach Ertz?
If you’re focusing on winning now, you should trade for Ertz. He can provide a stable source of points every week. If he’s your TE2, then you have the best TE room in your league. In a TEP league, you must have Ertz. Trust in him to help you win now.
However, due to his age (31), I can see why you would trade him away. If you’re rebuilding, I would trade Ertz for a high-second. He will not help your team enough when it’s ready to compete. Get a good draft pick to help your team rebuild. Ertz is the type of player that is a clear buy/sell for both sides of the dynasty equation.
Ertz will be a TE1 for the next few years. While Trey McBride will push Ertz as Goedert did, I see no reason to doubt Ertz’s ability to remain a top TE over the next couple of years. He is a precise route runner and understands how to play TE. He has the skills to age gracefully and continues to have a long career.
If you need a TE in a dynasty, you could do far worse than to trade for Ertz. I’d love to have Ertz on my roster if I’m a contender. While rebuilding, I understand trading him as he won’t be elite by the time your team is ready to compete. Ertz is the Cardinals’ present, while McBride is the Cardinals’ future. Also, yes, Ertz will be an elite TE in 2022.
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