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In-season, I’m pumping out content faster than editing can keep up with. I don’t want to hold the recaps for hours waiting on perfection. We will correct errors after the fact, but for now – forgive any of my gaffes. I dictate some of my notes, and the computer software or Siri interpretation can be comical. I try to correct them all before publishing it, but I miss it sometimes…in the 50,000+ words I pen each week during the season (not including all the emails). I’m moving fast, and want to get the product out there ASAP at 98% ‘good’…vs. big delays trying to get to 99.9% craftsmanship. So here you go…
Thinking about this game afterward and into the rewatch, all I could think about was how futile it is to bet on the NFL. As far as having extreme confidence in one particular game.
I knew somebody who watched the first quarter and a half and then paused the game to run an errand with/for their kids. While he was out and about, about an hour and a half or so later, somehow the score got leaked to him – Green Bay was up 31–13. My friend was flabbergasted. Surely, there must be a mistake.
Many of us probably had the same experience – after 20–25 minutes of gameplay, you were thinking: “Oh crap, the Giants defense really is a top unit. Aaron Rodgers is really struggling. He may have met his match on this day. I knew I shouldn’t have laid the points with Green Bay.” A Hail Mary TD before half time later and the floodgates were opened. Aaron Rodgers looks like his MVP self from that point on. The Giants looked clueless.
I wonder how this game would have gone if with just seconds remaining before the half Jared Cook actually made that catch, instead of a drop, on a pass with about six seconds left. Green Bay had no timeouts left upon the throw to the middle of the field. Cook would’ve made the catch to put GB in FG range, but the Packers would’ve never been able to run another play before time expired at the half. It would’ve been 7–6 Green Bay at the half, but with everyone crowing about how the Giants thwarted the supposed MVP Aaron Rodgers so far. Instead, Cook drops the pass, the clock stops, and Green Bay is able to throw the Hail Mary TD as time expires. Obviously, all the momentum changed at that point.
How could the New York Giants looks so dominating for two quarters, and then get their doors blown off after that? It’s the madness and beauty of football. Better than any episodic TV drama or book you’ll read. Sorry, educators.
Green Bay is now headed to Dallas likely without Jordy Nelson. We’ll break down the particulars of the Green Bay at -4.0 Dallas matchup/wager this week with her handicapping group. From this particular game, I have a few notes I took relating to fantasy 2017…
— All we heard about last week was how bad the Green Bay defense was — and how the Giants might expose it. Understandable, because Green Bay has struggled with stopping the pass much of the season. They’ve also been banged up in the secondary, but regardless it has been a weak spot. One of the reasons why I bet on Green Bay was because I believed Eli Manning ()23-44 for 299 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) could not keep up with Aaron Rodgers – that Eli could not take advantage of this soft Green Bay pass defense. And that’s exactly what happened. Why? Because the Giants have an Eli Manning problem…
Eli is not dead and buried, but he is starting to wind down in his career. I pointed it out last week – several flimsy passing efforts over the last half of the season. There are so many times I watched the Giants this season and seen Eli Manning unable to make the big boy NFL throws…not like he used to. He’s not a disaster, but things are starting to slip with him. He doesn’t have the arm he used to. His accuracy is starting to wane. He relies a lot on Odell Beckham bailing him out.
I mention this because if the Giants have an Eli problem in 2017, do you then start discounting Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard for 2017 fantasy? Not that Beckham will bust, but is he in your top 3-5 overall for fantasy like he was this past preseason?
What our fantasy projection of Eli Manning is for 2017 will have a lot to do with our projection on Odell Beckham…and Eli is not getting better with age.
— Speaking of Odell Beckham (4-28-0/11 targets) – 2017 is a contract year. Do you think Beckham is going to play a lame-duck contract 2017 season? Do you believe he’ll want to have a ‘prove it’ to the Giants season? He’s pretty well established. He’s a superstar in his mind and in the media – and he should leverage that for all it is worth. It would be a slap in the face, to him (Mr. Sensitive), for the Giants not to sign him to a mega dollar, long-term deal before the season starts.
What do you do if you’re the Giants? Here you have one of the great WR talents in the NFL…in an era where there are lots of WR talents available. In an NFL where WRs are not that critical to Super Bowl championships — however, they are critical to face painting fans and TV highlight shows. Do you really empty out the vault for a diva/malcontent, but highly marketable and talented wide receiver? Do you think any of his emotional issues will get better when you stuff $100 million over five years into his pocket? It’s going to be one of the major stories and debates of 2017 – do you sign OBJ to a giant contract or do you just trade him now before it turns into a chaotic mess? There’s always door #3, which is what I’m sure the Giants will do – kick the can down the road. A contract squabble will ensue. The Giants won’t press it because they’ll see a franchise tag as an option/leverage – which will only further aggravate Beckham. I could see Odell as the kind of player that lays down when he doesn’t get what he wants. So are the Giants going to invite all that drama for the 2017 season…in 2018 with a franchise tag? To some degree, it’s a hostage standoff situation about to unfold. Again, the NFL is great TV drama!!
If they trade Beckham in the off-season – how will that affect his fantasy standing? He owns the New York coaches and playbook? What if he winds up in Buffalo or Cleveland? What if he winds up in Pittsburgh?
— I would argue Jordy Nelson (1-13-0/1 target), when healthy, is the wide receiver I’d rather have on my NFL franchise than Odell Beckham. I absolutely agree that OBJ is the more talented specimen…probably the most talented WR in the entire NFL. I also suspect that I know where OBJ’s mind is at – and it’s a problem in the big picture. The Miami party scene hanging out withJohnny Manziel is probably a good glimpse into where his heart and head are at. I don’t suspect you’d see Jordy Nelson doing the same before the playoffs. Jordy may not be as flashy, but Nelson came off a serious injury last year to put up just as good a numbers as Odell.
97 catches for 1,257 yards and 14 TD = Jordy 2016
101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 TD = Beckham 2016
Wouldn’t you rather have Jordy Nelson over Odell Beckham if you owned an NFL team?
With that being said, it’s a serious blow for the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl hopes if Jordy Nelson is seriously hurt and cannot return to normal play. Aaron Rodgers certainly helps the equation, but Jordy Nelson has been a special wide receiver since college. Always overlooked whether it was by Dez Bryant when they came out in the same draft year or against guys like Odell Beckham today. The NFL pushes Odell Beckham types as a star because they provide great highlights and wonderful talk show fodder…while Jordy Nelson just quietly does his job on the Hall of Fame level.
If I asked you whether you prefer Odell Beckham or Jordy Nelson for your dynasty franchise…your first reaction, I’m sure, would be ‘Odell Beckham‘… But then you’d pause and have to really think about it for all the reasons I just mentioned. That might mean it’s time to revaluate Beckham ownership in dynasty.
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— I can tell you this from my scouting — I saw where Aaron Rodgers talked about how Geronimo Allison (1-8-0/2 targets) can step up for Jordy. I’ve scouted Geronimo Allison – he’s no Jordy Nelson. Not even close.
If your dynasty waivers are still open, I’d be wary of diving in on Allison if Jordy is out for the playoffs. Unless you’re doing so to try to sell him off quickly. Allison is every backup WR talent in the NFL. If Jordy is out, I highly doubt Allison is going to be a shock performer who steps up.
I’m sure some people are going to make one more clamor for Jeff Janis if Jordy Nelson is out. Remember that one time he had that one good game in the playoffs once? Can’t we all agree I was right on Jeff Janis from day one?
— Last week, I wrote about Jared Cook (5-48-0/9 targets) being a bit of a sleeper because all Aaron Rodgers was doing was talking about how much he loves Cook. Keep in mind, there’s a pattern here with Rodgers – I think he’s claimed everybody on his receiving corps was going to be the greatest in recent years. Remember when Richard Rodgers was going to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL according to Rodgers/the Packers?
I think it’s a smart leadership tool for Rogers to pump up his guys. It’s what good leaders do. He’s done it with Davante Adams(8-125-1/12 targets), and Richard Rodgers, and Jeff Janis…and now Geronimo Allison and Jared Cook. As dynasty owners, what we need to do is not get suckered in by the loose talk when it’s thrown around all the time.
— You know, for all the excitement about WR turned RB Ty Montgomery 11-27-0, 3-41-0/4 targets), he sure hasn’t done much statistically with the opportunity. There was like that one game that one time…and that’s been about it. I thought Green Bay would more explore him more as a wild receiving option out of the backfield…given his WR nature. He really has been an afterthought in the offense for most weeks since becoming ‘the’ RB. A limited running back talent forced into touches and not used much as a receiver. I’ve not been impressed with Montgomery as the starting running back. I’m sure the Packers are going to be in hot pursuit of an all-new backfield in 2017 — via the draft or free agency…likely the draft knowing the Packers.
— Paul Perkins (10-30-0, 3-27-0/5 targets) is another RB who I’m not impressed with. In the offseason, most will see Perkins as the de facto starter for 2017…a guy to covet in fantasy. I think NYG will sing and/or draft RBs to compete with/push aside limited Perkins.
— Jake Ryan (12 tackles, 3 PD) led the Packers with 12 tackles and played a very nice game overall. Not only did he have 12 tackles but he also had an impressive three passes defended.
Ryan got banged up and had an unspectacular finish to the regular season, but in his first eight games of 2016, before he got hurt, he averaged 7.4 tackles per game. He’s a legit candidate as a top 10 LB for IDP in 2017.