The Arizona Cardinals trading for multi-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz on Friday sent immediate shockwaves throughout the NFL. The franchise has sent a message that they’re serious as Super Bowl contenders and after losing Maxx Williams to a season-ending knee injury, they decided to part ways with a few assets to add another valuable tool to their arsenal.
This move will also have a ripple effect in the fantasy football world, where there will be plenty of beneficiaries and losers from this trade.
At the top, Ertz himself will see his value shoot up as he’ll go from an inconsistent offense in Philadelphia to a high-powered, Kyler Murray-led attack in Arizona. Before his injury, Maxx Williams’ usage in the passing game paced far behind the receivers as he commanded just 17 targets in five games. With an upgrade in Ertz on the field, Murray will surely check for his tight end more, especially in red zone situations.
In Ertz’s absence, Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert becomes a potential TE1 that fantasy managers should cling on to with dear life. Goedert had less targets than Ertz through five games, but outpaced him in yards. With the Eagles at a crossroads point of the season at 2-4, he suddenly becomes a primary target for Jalen Hurts.
Similar to Goedert, tight end Tyree Jackson now has the opportunity to finally step as an important role player in the Philly offense and a potential fantasy sleeper. The QB-turned-TE was turning heads in training camp before going down with a back injury. With Ertz gone, the former XFL QB could get his first significant taste of NFL action.
Switching back to Arizona, Murray is currently the sixth-ranked quarterback in fantasy per Fantasy Pros, but could see his value rise even more with another receiving option in his tool box. Running back James Conner will also see a boost in his value as a red zone back as well. The presence of Ertz will allow the Cardinals to spread the field out in tight situations, potentially allowing for Conner to take handoffs up the middle for easy scores.
As for their receivers, someone like DeAndre Hopkins will always be the top target no matter what, so Ertz’s inclusion in the offense doesn’t affect Nuk being a perennial WR1. It’s secondary targets like Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, and A.J. Green that might see a gradual drop in the number of looks. The rookie Moore is averaging less yards per catch than Green and Kirk, so his ability haul in intermediary grabs may be impacted by the presence of Ertz.