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Dynasty-Fantasy Football Analysis – 2017 Preseason Wk 2: Ravens v. Dolphins

September 8, 2017 1:04 AM
August 18, 2017 12:09 PM

With Ryan Mallett as a starter, who is awful, the Ravens are 2-0 this preseason…two wins by a combined 54-10 score. It’s more because of Josh Woodrum (8-10 for 110 yards, 0 TD/0 INT…3-15-2), but really more because of the Ravens defense. One of the best ‘things’/units I’ve seen this preseason – the Ravens 2017 defense.

Jay Cutler (3-6 for 24 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) played for a moment and looked like normal Jay Cutler…throwing against mostly soft, vanilla coverage. It only got worse from there as the Ravens just slow drubbed Miami the whole game…19 carries for 46 yards rushing for Miami and 14-of-30 passing for 74 yards total. Sweet.

The Ravens look like that ‘last playoff team in‘ type of unit and Miami no longer being that team (like last year), and more like ‘can you believe they made the playoffs last year?’

Don’t worry, Miami Dolphins Twitter fight seekers/anti-R.C. forces, who are reading only this recap all week…those who took up arms in defense of their beloved DeVante Parker last week – I’ll be breaking down ‘your boy’ special at the end. I have more evidence “Why I don’t believe”, so get ready to tweet GIFs of that one good catch he had that one time as your defense.

Player notes…

 Jay Ajayi (2 carries for -2 yards, 1-11-0/1) was not great in his two carries, but blame the Ravens D and a mishmash O-Line. Ajayi is nothing special and he needs Miami’s full O-Line in order to ‘activate’. He doesn’t have that here, so you have regular, boring Ajayi…in other words – Matt Jones/WAS.

Ajayi is going as far as the Miami O-Line takes him. He’ll get all the carries so he’s FF-viable for sure. How effective? It’s all on the O-Line.

— Danny Woodhead (1-2-0, 0-0-0/3) was used in an odd way in this game.

Because the Ravens are ‘hip’, ‘with it’, and ‘doing what the cool kids do’…they are pretty smart. They are going to try to use Woodhead as an all around pass-game threat out of the backfield – like what other teams are starting to do. Not using him primarily like he was used successfully in San Diego and New England, on all safety valve dump off passes. No. The Ravens are lining up the 32+ year old off two ACLs as a split out flanker some and sending him on intermediate routes. Linebackers/coverage easily tracked with Woodhead in this game…three targets, no catches.

— The best player I saw in this game, the most encouraging let’s say – Michael Campanaro (1-11-0, 4-35-0/4). I already knew he was very good, potentially great…but I’m encouraged by his usage in this game. Exactly the way he should be used – throws to him right over the middle in a zone and catching passes in a danger zone and trying to make hay after the catch…and absorbing the hits that come with working over the middle. He’s ‘money’ on every throw to him in blind spots in the zone coverage because of his hands. In addition, he got a slick handoff…an 11-yard run. Campanaro got three carries last year, all for 10+ yards each tote. Add another one in this game.

‘Stock up’ for Campanaro from ‘likely ignored’ by the O-C to ‘maybe not’ based on the preseason work so far – he’s getting nice targeting after two games.

Please don’t get hurt again.

— Ravens rookie IDP Tim Williams (2 tackles, 1 sack) out of Alabama…I’m not a fan. Just watched him for about 10 plays, not my cup tea. Runs with his arms flailing about and spent some time standing around/half-speed running on plays away from him. Many of these Alabama defenders are so used to being a part of an all-star team that they tend not to give 100% all the time…they could get away with it in college, but not so much in pros.

Have more big-name defenders from Alabama gone to the NFL and failed or thrived the past 3-4 years? Every year, Alabama guys start out at the top/top 3 draft rankings at every position…has it worked out as such once they hit the pros?

IDP Top 100 picks in the NFL Draft of late from Alabama…

2013: Dee Millner, Nico Johnson

2014: C.J. Mosley, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

2015: Landon Collins

2016: Reggie Ragland, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Cyrus Jones

I guess Landon Collins is pretty good…a good player trumpeted as the greatest safety ever because ‘Alabama’. Byron Jones is 10x the safety that Landon Collins is…and the mainstream could care less.

C.J. Mosley and Ha-Ha are OK, but worth what it cost?

— Dolphins DT Vince Taylor (4 tackle, 1 TFL) had a really nice game. Taylor was better in this one game than Alabama high pick DTJarran Reed has been or will be in the NFL. But no one cares about Taylor. On one play, Taylor blew the right guard about 4-yards back off the snap and then lassoed the nearby ball carries for a big loss. It was a terrific, impressive display/play.

Ravens game announcers immediately chimed in – “Wow, what a great play from Ndamukong Suh!

Taylor showed flashes of dominance at Oklahoma State — Miami looks to have a great value pick here.

— If Ravens 2nd-year IDP Kamalei Correa (2 tackles) is going to be a starting ILB…I’d like him to do something to make me notice him. I go through live watches not even knowing he played.

— OK, DeVante Parker (1-16-0/4)

You know it was a big game when the Roto-blurbs fall all over themselves to point out the 31-yard catch by Parker that was called back for holding. Yes…wonderful…Cutler escaped pressure because of the hold, extended the play, coverage started breaking down and he threw a back shoulder pass behind Parker who stopped/turned and caught it. As a back-shoulder guy, you do like Parker.

Here’s where “I don’t believe in him“…

Right after the non-play, the penalty made it was 3rd and 26. What does Miami call for? That bubble screen to Parker like they did last week…the one I tweeted and later DeVante got a burr in his saddle on…as did his ‘You da man‘ Twitter minions. Parker, lined up as a flanker/wide out, took a jab step, and then came back towards Cutler as two blockers set up a wall for Parker. Cutler fired a pass thigh high, Parker bent to grab it in stride…did initially but then he also looked up to see what scary monsters were coming and the slippery bar of soap dropped to the ground.

Why does Miami keep running bubble screens to Parker? They are testing him. To me, he keeps failing each test. How do you butcher a simple bubble screen with the defense playing way back on 3rd and 26? A drop can happen to anyone, but this is also deeper-meaning with who it is we are discussing. I submit for discussion that DeVante Parker, who I liked coming out Louisville, is a scared wide receiver in the NFL…and the team will have to use him as such. No bubble screens. No slants in tight coverage. Throw him jump balls and back shoulder stuff…anything to keep him from looking/fearing a hit coming.

DeVante Parker is not ‘a beast’ nor is he the faster Alshon Jeffrey. They may look the same, kinda, but he’s not faster and he’s definitely not tougher than Jeffrey. Jeffrey has caught many a pass in the NFL with people all over him and smacking him after the catch…that’s not Parker’s game. The pass he did officially catch in this game — he grabbed it and then tried to avoid all the defenders/run past them instead of putting a shoulder in when it was obvious that was all that was left. Instead, Parker tried to run almost backwards to avoid defenders after the catch and had his legs wiped from underneath him because he’s too slow going east-west with defenders chasing him.

Parker is not a bust. He just is what he is…a 3rd wheel WR, not a primary. Not a beast. Will have good output because he can catch and will see targets. He will never be a #1 WR or Pro Bowl level player…and for a 1st-round pick, that’s a huge letdown.

I should have altered my “Here’s why I don’t believe in DeVante Parker” tweet to “Here’s why I don’t believe in DeVante Parker will ever be a star in the NFL – no heart, too finesse. I hope I’m wrong.” You can put ‘Donte Moncrief‘ and ‘Jeff Janis‘ in similar buckets, but I have more hope Parker can change his ways. At this stage, I see no signs he has.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>