Of the Eagles’ pass catchers, Zach Ertz made the biggest impression during three scrimmages with the Patriots this week.
Most of the tight end’s work came against the second team defense. But when the Eagles went with two or three tight-end sets against New England’s starters, Ertz got open nearly as much.
His play through all of training camp -- which ended with Thursday’s light practice -- and the first preseason game has suggested that Ertz needs to see more time with the first team.
But whether Eagles coach Chip Kelly needs to see improvement in the second-year tight end’s blocking, or he doesn’t yet want to promote him over veteran Brent Celek, or he’s waiting to unveil an offense that is heavy with two tight ends, Ertz will have to wait.
This is our primary concern with Ertz -- playing time. He averaged 2.8-32-.56 over the final nine games of the season (including the Eagles' sole playoff game) and that included two goose eggs in Week 10 and Week 14. That equates to 6.6 fantasy points per game, which is what Martellus Bennett averaged as the #10 TE in fantasy football. With Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson gone, Ertz could play a lot in the slot, though the arrival of WR Jordan Matthews may limit Ertz’s snaps there. If he can take a step forward in the blocking department, it will help his overall fantasy outlook.