Remember in The Hangover when Alan started out as a one-man wolf pack? Then his sister brought Doug home and his wolf pack grew to two. Later Doug introduced Alan to Phil and Stu. And Alan found himself in a four-man wolf pack; four wolves running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine.
Zach Ertz reminds me of lone-wolf Alan. In 2016 Ertz’s sister—Doug Pederson—brought home Carson Wentz and introduced the young QB to Ertz. And Ertz’s wolf pack grew from one to two. Then along came Dallas Goedert in 2018, and it became a three man wolf pack; three wolves running around Philadelphia together, looking for Cheesesteaks, strippers and cocaine.
But younger wolves in a pack never have quite the same connection as the original wolves. They have to work hard to prove themselves to the pack and gain their trust; even if they’re much more gifted at finding strippers and cocaine than some of the older wolves. And such is the life of Dallas Goedert.
The Eagles 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft, out of South Dakota State, Goedert was arguably the top tight end in his draft class. Mr. Goedert landed at #101 on my Top 200 Dynasty Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football. He’s a mountain of a man, listed at 6’5″ and 256 lbs—built in the Rob Gronkowski/Travis Kelce mold. And he’s slowly but surely gained the trust of Wentz and the Eagles coaching staff.
Physically, Goedert isn’t all that different from pack-mate Ertz, who stands at 6’5″ and 249 lbs. But while they’re listed at nearly identical sizes, Goedert sure looks a little bigger to me. And there’s another level of athleticism here with the youngster. Ertz can’t match the explosion and agility Goedert brings to the table.
On the stat-sheet, this Goedert athleticism jumps out in a couple columns. First, Yards After Catch (YAC), where he turned 58 catches in 331 YAC. In comparison, Ertz posted 255 YAC on 88 receptions.
On average Goedert was also given less cushion from defenders at the line of scrimmage (5.6 yards vs. Ertz’s 5.9 yards) and was still able to create more separation from defenders at the time of the catch (average of 3 yards separation vs. Ertz’s 2.7 yard average). The two finished with the same number of broken tackles (5) despite Ertz hauling in over 50% more catches. Goedert is the better blocker to boot, although this isn’t necessarily a perk for his fantasy numbers.
With all this said, you might be wondering why I ranked Ertz up at #63 in my dynasty rankings, nearly 40 spots ahead of Goedert. I find myself asking the same question right now! While Ertz’s production feels a bit safer for the next year or two, his upside is now capped with Goedert nibbling away at the pie. And Goedert is a full four years younger. If I re-ranked them today, these stud tight ends would both land somewhere in the 80 to 90 range.
Looking to the future, Philadelphia has an opt out clause in Ertz’s contract after the 2020 season (seems unlikely they’ll opt out if he’s healthy) and he’s an unrestricted free-agent after the 2021 season. Either way, the pack will soon be thinned by one. Goedert has the upside of #1 overall fantasy tight end if he’s the only game in town. Buy now before it’s once again a two-man wolf pack in Philly.
All statistics sourced from ProFootballReference.com & NextGenStats.NFL.com