In Week 9, in reviewing the Raiders-Chargers affair, we started laying out why Kalen Ballage was the new starter for LAC and what was taking place with the Devontae Booker uprising in our weekly game notes/report. Great info to consider a week before their Week 10 confirmations/pop.
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2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 9 Game Analysis: Raiders 31, Chargers 26
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
Another game where the Chargers lead early (17-14 at the half) and then find a way to lose in the end. This time a muffed punt with 8+ minutes left to go set them back from the momentum they had just stolen, but they still had three shots at a game-winning TD in the final 0:07, and the receivers had their hands on the ball/the scores but just couldn’t come down with the legal catch multiple times.
Thank you, God, for Anthony Lynn…a team with a top 5 QB in the NFL is always winning big early and then ends up losing – my over/under win total ‘under’ 7.5 wins is getting closer to locking in. LAC is now (2-6), where they should/could be at least (7-1). I love this losing for fantasy/dynasty purposes as well – I’ll not only win my ‘under’ bet but with each loss we move closer to Anthony Lynn fired…and then for LAC to hire a coach that will aid Justin Herbert (Joe Brady, perhaps?) into the future.
Also, props to the Lord for my Raiders make the playoff proclamations in the preseason – they are now (5-3) and have a very good chance at 10 wins and a nice wild card berth.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- What about this Chargers’ backfield?
Justin Jackson was in on the first play, Justin Herbert faked it to him on a read option and took off with it…but JJax still got lit up by a tackler who thought JJ had the ball – the hit took him out of the game (I think he did return for a snap or two but basically was gone) and you got a one snap/play and out, zero FF points effort from Jackson (sounds like an FFM guy for sure!).
Josh Kelley (9-28-0, 5-31-0/5) entered the game immediately and the 1st-series ended with a quick punt.
2nd-Series for LAC, we saw rookie WR Joe Reed (2-7-0, 0-0-0/1) take a jet sweep (their version of Deebo, is Reed). Then, out of nowhere (who I forgot he was even with the team), emerged Kalen Ballage (15-69-1, 2-15-0/3) for a touch…then another…then another…then another. Joe Reed took another running play from WR spot, and the drive ended with a missed FG.
From that point on it was Kalen Ballage like he’d been the Chargers lead back for years, looking as athletic as I’ve seen him look, and he led the way with Kelley playing 50/50 snaps but not touching the ball – whereas Ballage got most of the RB work/touches.
Justin Jackson is likely out for Week 10.
Josh Kelley is in the doghouse…he was ditched for Ballage in a hot second in this game. He might be a 3-7 touches option Week 10.
Troymaine Pope will be back this week and can be the 3rd-down/hurry up offense back, an Austin Ekeler option.
But I think Ballage is going to lead the backfield this week, and next. Why? The Kalen Ballage revenge tour…
Week 10 vs. MIA…the team that started him in 2019 and then tried to trade him but then had to cut him in 2020.
Week 11 vs. NYJ…the team that tried to trade for him, but he failed a physical, then they added him to the roster and used him for a bit but then waived him as well.
Why not? It’s 2020…why not Ballage as a great fantasy option for no reason…just at the time his team is playing the teams that dissed him.
-- You’d think there would be nothing to talk about RB-wise on the other side of this game. Vegas is Josh Jacobs (14-65-1, 1-3-0/1) territory!!
Ummm…except for the part of the story where Devontae Booker (8-68-1) keeps getting a few more carries each week, playing a few more snaps, and looks more explosive than Jacobs.
Booker took a season-high 8 carries for a season-high 68 yards and a sweet 20+ yard TD run in this game – getting good work in a game that was back-and-forth, this wasn’t garbage time. Booker is only averaging 6.8 yards per carry…the best rate of any RB in the NFL with 30 or more carries this season to date.
There’s no way the Raiders have the guts to start working a split here. They’re too vested into Josh Jacobs and wouldn’t want to hurt his ego – that’s the thing when you stupidly marry yourself to one workhorse back…now, you’re stuck. Now they’ll not give more touches to something really working hot (like Booker), to see if it is real and can be better (and maybe it wouldn’t if defenses played Booker like they play Jacobs), all because they don’t want to hurt Jacobs’ feelings. And some of it because they don’t want to reveal that it might have been a bad business decision to waste a 1st-round pick on an average-good RB…a top-pick RB being outplayed by someone they picked up off the streets earlier this year.
That aside, we’ll see where this is going. Like I said months ago, Booker is the Jacobs handcuff…and if JJ ever got hurt right now, Booker’s stock would skyrocket.
Let’s see how many touches Booker gets Week 10…if he gets 10+ in a real game, not garbage time or because of a Jacobs injury, then Gruden does have some guts.
The best man wins the job is what they say in the NFL every training camp – but only true if it’s not a low-profile guy working better than a high-profile skill position guy. That type of news we have to hide from the public (fake news). We’ll see which way Gruden takes this in Week 10.
-- Just a quick note, Justin Herbert (28-42 for 326 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 5-24-0) is still awesome. And an additional note, he should have had a 3rd and 4th TD pass in this game if any of his non-Keenan’s could hold onto the passes that he laid on their hands in the end zone multiple times in-game.
Since Week 4, Herbert is the #2 FF QB in PPG scoring in fantasy (Kyler #1).
-- Mike Williams (5-81-0/7) was one of the guys who couldn’t hold onto a TD pass in the end zone this game. Williams had for a moment and then lost the game winner on the second-to-last throw by Herbert. He also had his hands on another end zone shot earlier in the game, but it was about an inch too far and MW couldn’t reel it in.
I will say this – I’ve never seen Williams so active, looking so spry on the field. They are starting to move him around and not just send him deep every play. And given he’s working with the golden prospect in Herbert – the fantasy numbers are starting to get consistent.
You want the #2 WR on the team with the #2 best passer in the NFL.
Imagine when Herbert gets more experienced in the league…
-- Nelson Agholor (2-55-1/3) DID hold onto his end zone shot this game. Four TDs in his last 5 games. He is the Raiders’ #1 WR…but sadly that has meant 4-2-9-2-3 for targets since he became a starter/new #1 the past 5 games. He’s producing in the limited targets, but that’s hard to sustain for FF with such low targeting.
With such a non-interest in the WRs in general by this offense…and if Agholor is the new #1 WR…then rookies Ruggs-Edwards are all but about useless ahead. Ruggs had no catches on 3 targets in this game.
Edwards seems to be headed for a massive rise (preseason) and now a massive fall from grace in fantasy. I was his #1 fan, but I’m getting rid of him where I need to/can’t wait around. I still think he’s a talent, but I don’t want to waste time with a random WR in this offense. Hopefully, 2021 has a new QB and outlook for Edwards -- but Gruden will still be there I’m guessing?
-- From my Three Things/Five Player Report the last few weeks…
About Daniel Carlson (1/1 FG, 4/4 XP):
One of the top kickers in FF in 2020. Dropped by many, including me (but picked back up by many Week 9), for fear of the wind gusts in Cleveland Week 8…but he ended up making 3 FGs anyway. Here’s the thing…the schedule ahead is awesome for a kicker in the winter…
Week 10 = home/dome v. DEN
Week 11 = home/dome v. KC
Week 12 = at ATL/dome
Week 13 = at NYJ…unfavorable, outdoors, cold.
Week 14 = home/dome v. IND
Week 15 = home/dome v. LAC
Week 16 = home/dome v. MIA
Week 17 = at DEN altitude.
Six dome events in his next 8 games. One of the two not in a dome is in California.
-- I’m ready to quit the LAC-DST…they look amazing the first half of games and then terrible the second half. They are also dying/missing Joey Bosa and Chris Harris. When they come back, I’ll pay attention more.
I want to quit LAC-DST, but Week 11 v. NYJ could keep me around. I think Week 10 at MIA could be nice too, I just wish Bosa and Harris would get back, but that may not be until Week 11.
Snap Counts of Interest:
43 = Kelley
31 = Ballage
03 = JJackson
28 = Jacobs
13 = Booker
09 = Richard
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