This offseason, the TFW guys want to bring you the most useful content to help you during your draft. The goal is a fantasy championship but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun along the way. In our player face ff series, we will debate the merits of two players that are similar in ADP at the time or are likely to be two players you choose between in your drafts this fall. We will flip a coin for the rights to that player and then build our case below. At the end, we will give our final takes which are not limited to the player we initially got assigned. For even more fun, head on over to YouTube and watch us debate these players right on the show.
Big Travy’s Case for Zach Ertz
I won’t be surprising anyone with my take on Zach Ertz here. The dude is as consistent as they come at the tight end position. He has a talented, young quarterback that loves force feeding him the ball, and the Eagles have struggled to keep consistent pass catcher talent on the field outside of Ertz. Maybe you are reading this and Carson Wentz’s injury history has you a bit shook. It shouldn’t, especially when looking back at Ertz’s play regardless of quarterback over the past half-decade. Ertz has finished as a top ten TE in 5 straight seasons, regardless of quarterback. Additionally Ertz has been a top five TE in the last three seasons consecutively. There should be very little concern in your mind when selecting Ertz in your drafts this fall as you know exactly what you are going to get: consistency.
Johnny “Game Time” Hicks’ Case for Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews was a huge breakout player at the tight end position last year. If you happen to follow us last year during our Mock Draft Marathon, then you know how much we loved getting Mark Andrews super late in drafts. Andrews broke out in a huge way last year, getting the 5th most targets (98) at the tight end position. He turned 98 targets into 64 receptions, 852 yards and 10 touchdowns. And he did all of that all while only playing on 43.2% snap share.
We don't want to fall into the trap of saying the great season last year guarantees a great season this year. One thing that we do know, is that past success doesn’t always dictate future success. But here is why Mark Andrews' situation is different: Hayden Hurst has been traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Hurst accounted for 39% of the snap share in Baltimore bringing in 30 receptions on 40 targets and 349 receiving yards. If we took the majority of targets that went to Hurst and gave them to Andrews, you’d be getting into the territory of Kelce-like targets. If Mark Andrews gets that kind of volume on a team that we know is going to be in the red zone a lot, sign me up.
Big Travy’s Final Word
Johnny, as always, makes a fantastic case for Andrews here and honestly I have to give this one to him. Where Ertz has the consistency, I think the upside that Mark Andrews provides is too good to pass up. We have seen that a nagging injury and a crowded tight end room in Baltimore still equated to Andrews finishing as the second best TE in all of fantasy football last year. Johnny mentioned the exit of Hayden Hurst and it’s also worth noting that Andrews played much of last year on an ankle/foot injury. And with that, plus a diluted snap count, Andrews was still a favorite target of one of the hottest QBs in the league in Lamar Jackson. The final aspect of this argument has to be based on what looks to be an inevitable improvement in Jackson’s throwing ability going into 2020. Either of these studs is likely the right answer but Andrews really has the TE1 overall upside this year.
Johnny “Game Time” Hicks’ Final Word
Zach Ertz has been a pillar at the tight end position for a few years now. A lot like Andrews, I was able to carry Zach Ertz on my fantasy team during his breakout year in 2017. But when I’m thinking about these two players for 2020, I can't help but to look at the situations that they are in. When I see Ertz, I see someone that is getting more into a timeshare at his position with Goddert there. I also see a lot of new weapons coming in to help this offense because they couldn’t get it done last year. On the flip side for Mark Andrews, I see more opportunities, and less targets to compete with. The decision between these two TEs is an easy one for me, I will take Mark Andrews over Zach Ertz but I can understand why people want the comfort of the track record with Zach Ertz.