The Eagles boast one of the best tight end rooms in the league. With established threats Zach Ertz consistently finishing within the top fantasy TE’s and promising back up Dallas Goedert demanding more playing time and targets, the position group is strong in Philly. But how do the Eagles best utilise their talented TE’s?
According to SharpFootballStats.com, no team in the league ran 12 personnel last year more than the Philadelphia Eagles and this is key to answering that question.
So what exactly is 12 personnel? And why do the Eagles rely on this personnel group most often? Read on to learn more about how the dangerous duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert can best exploit its advantages in Fantasy Football.
Ertz, Goedert, and 12
In referring to personnel groups, the first digit signals how many running backs are in the backfield, while the second digit signals how many tight ends are lined up as eligible receivers. So 12 personnel is the grouping that puts one running back, two tight ends, and therefore two wide receivers on the field. To learn more around ‘12’ and other personnel groupings, here is a very helpful USA Today article.
12 personnel can be very advantageous pre-snap because of how easy it is for offensive coordinators to mask whether a pass or run play is being called. With two tight ends, you have two larger bodies that can double as effective blockers in creating more lanes for a running back if a run play is called. If these two larger bodies can be considered threats in the passing game as well, it becomes increasingly difficult for defensive coordinators to match defenders up effectively in the personnel chess match.
Arguably the most difficult part of this chess match is acquiring the dynamic pieces needed for your tight end room to be difference makers as both blockers and pass-catchers. The Eagles have done that effectively by drafting Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, both with second round picks, five years apart (2013, 2018).
Last year, Zach Ertz ranked fifth among tight ends, with 127.6 points in standard scoring. He started 15 of 15 games played, catching 88 of 135 targets (65%). He just missed the 1,000 yard mark, logging 916 receiving yards, and scoring six times.
Dallas Goedert wasn’t too far behind, ranking tenth, showcasing how 12 personnel can impact production coming out of a single team’s tight end room. He started 9 of 15 games played, catching 58 of 87 targets (67%). Goedert turned those 58 catches into 607 yards and five touchdowns. Neither player recorded a rush on the year.
Depth chart comparison:
Zach Ertz has had a firm grasp on the TE1 spot in Philly since entering the league, and much of the same should be expected in 2020. Although it should be noted that Dallas Goedert poses much more of a threat as TE2 compared to Ertz’s past running mates.
|2013||Zach Ertz||Brent Celek|
|2014||Zach Ertz||Brent Celek|
|2015||Zach Ertz||Brent Celek|
|2016||Zach Ertz||Trey Burton|
|2017||Zach Ertz||Trey Burton|
|2018||Zach Ertz||Dallas Goedert|
|2019||Zach Ertz||Dallas Goedert|
|2020||Zach Ertz||Dallas Goedert|
2020 Fantasy outlook
Based on personnel grouping rates mentioned above and past production from Pro-Football-Reference.com, the Philadelphia tight-end duo can be projected to contribute the following to fantasy lineups in 2020:
Zach Ertz: 123 targets, 86 catches, 944 yards, 6 touchdowns, 130.4 fantasy points
Dallas Goedert: 92 targets, 65 catches, 712 yards, 5 touchdowns, 101.2 fantasy points
What to expect
Zach Ertz is a premium tight end in a league and system that are both trending towards leveraging him more. He is currently being drafted as the TE4, typically within the first 50 picks, which should be seen as reasonable value. A word of caution should be noted around the amount of playmakers that Philly added at receiver in the draft, which pushes the possibility that Ertz could be overvalued. Can he maintain the same level of targets with a plethora of young talent around him?
Dallas Goedert is also a premium tight end in a league and system that are both trending towards leveraging him more. He is currently being drafted as tight-end fourteen, which should be seen as very much undervalued. The same warning can be heeded around more targets going to more proficient threats at wideout, but Goedert is a top ten tight end again this year.
The final word…
Any tight end that can score at least 100 fantasy points in a season typically places in the top ten for tight end scoring at year-end. Drafting Ertz is selecting one of the league’s best at the position, and you’ll need to pay a requisite price. Drafting an undervalued Goedert will be a better bang for your buck, but both of these players are certainly worth the selection.