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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
When this game started out 10-0 Tennessee, after that glorious 60+ yard catch and run TD from Jonnu Smith, I felt so smart – I picked the Titans + the points in ‘office pool’ type contests (not real bets) and that win would get a pool victory or two. Jonnu having a long TD…been on him for several weeks, ahead of the crowd -- some FFM’ers won their week on that play alone.
Jonnu would never touch the ball again, the Titans would get outscored 34-7 from that point on, and Keke Coutee’s hamstring would help lead the single worst week of FFM win% for a week across the land this season (we were due after a strong midseason run). Thanks BYE week…thanks, every player who disappeared in game en masse (Coutee, Engram Adams, Mack, Fournette).
Tennessee falls to 5-6 but are certainly not dead/dying because their schedule is coming to save them…NYJ-JAX-NYJ-WAS the next 4 weeks could jump them to 9-6 heading into Week 17 hosting Indy. We project Tennessee cannot pull that off and winds up 8-8, but 9-7 is very much on the table. 10 wins isn’t out of the question.
Houston continues its miracle run…8 wins in a row. I’d say, “This can’t keep up,” but I don’t want to be wrong again for like the 6th-7th week in-a-row. I think they’re at a real risk of losing to Cleveland this week and then Indy the next -- and thus drawn back to a three-games left race to the finish tied with Indy at 8-5. If the Texans beat the Browns…it almost over/Houston is the AFC South champs. No matter what, if Houston beats Indy, it’s all Houston. If Houston beats both Cleveland and Indy, then Houston is in the 1st-round bye discussion.
We see Houston 10-6 in the end and fighting Indy (or Tennessee) for a tie-breaker win of the AFC South…the loser is the wild card probably heading to Pittsburgh for round-one. One Houston win over CLE or IND or PHI ahead…and Houston has the AFC South – it’s theirs for the taking right now.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Thank you, Keke Coutee (2-14-0/2) for coming up ‘big’ in my time of need. The running theme of the week…hamstrings in-game.
What’s done is done. Here are my fantasy feelings on this…
1) Run from Coutee in redraft. We don’t have time for ‘will he/won’t he?’ play options. He’s not that important.
2) I still like this long-term. He’s a nice stash in PPR dynasty, and the price just dropped to junk bond status.
-- You want to trust/love Jonnu Smith (2-52-1/2) because you saw that glorious 60+ yard catch and run TD. You probably turned your attention to your cellphone to shop on Amazon soon after in the ensuing blowout. You missed that he never saw a target/catch again the next 54 minutes of the game.
You cannot trust the Titans passing game. You don’t want to. You might have to here.
The state of TE production is so bad on fantasy, that Jonnu on 2-4 targets is viable TE1 work even without 60+ yard TDs. He has a TD in three of his last 4 games. His scoring is barely over 10 in PPR with the TDs. A tight end catching 5 passes for 55 yards and no TD gets you to the same place almost.
Jonnu has upside because he is flashing very good athleticism/work after the catch for weeks. Plus, the Titans have a weak WR group…so, Smith is a legit/needed target.
Don’t fear Anthony Firkser (4-52-0/4). Three of his 4 catches were in the last 1-2 minutes of this blowout/joke. Firkser is a FB prospect from Harvard, converted to TE…but he’s slow (a 4.8+ runner). Nothing to fear here.
-- Lamar Miller (12-162-1) is a laugh. Great run for a 97-yard TD to beat some FFM’ers in the week of pain.
I had to laugh because Miller hits that run and Booger McFarland belches – that’s what he brings the superior speed and big plays! What the what? The guy can barely crack 4.0 yards per carry for the past 2+ seasons and he makes one play and Booger jumps right on his back (as Booger does on every good play). The MNF crew then immediately talks about how they joked with Miller about his low yards per carry during the week! What? Which is it?
Speaking of the MNF crew…Jason Witten has actually been better the last two weeks. I’m hearing some improvement and confidence, and what seems like a little bit of homework. His improvement then makes Booger McFarland’s drunken ramblings an even greater embarrassment. Witten and Chatbot5000 could stay if McFarland left and was replaced by anything to help the group. It’s Booger that’s full-scale killing the crew now.
-- The last couple weeks it looks like we’ve re-shifted from Dion Lewis (7-8-0, 7-31-0/7) is ‘the guy’ to Mike Vrabel’s true desire – the power run game with Derrick Henry (8-30-0, 2-14-0/3).
Dion Lewis’s value is fading to the finish, I fear…back to a split/hot hand.
-- Marcus Mariota (22-23 for 303 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) quietly completed 22 of 23 passes in this game. He’s quietly completed 77%+ of his passes the past 5 weeks. He’s quietly thrown for exactly 2 TDs and no picks in each of his last three games, where he played the entire game (exclude the one he left early with elbow injury).
Mariota is back in the stronger QB2+ discussion…an emergency QB1 in 14-16 team leagues.
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-- I don’t like the Texans-DST schedule ahead: Mayfield-Luck-Darnold-Wentz the next 4 weeks. Darnold for sure great but the other 3 are trouble.
-- The Titans-DST could be pretty nice from here: Darnold-Kessler-Eli/Lauletta-McCoy. Arguably the best next/final 4 game schedule for fantasy DST. A solid defense with a great schedule.
-- Fantasy Playoff notes from these two teams…
Week 14 vs. JAX will sit on the Titans passing game. Weeks 15-16 at NYG and then WAS is ‘OK’. The TEN offense is kinda ‘meh’ anyway, this late schedule won’t boost it any.
Houston has CLE-IND-at NYJ…also ‘OK’ but not a real boost to anything. More downside pressure on the weapons rather than not. DeAndre Hopkins is bulletproof, and Lamar Miller is Lamar Miller.
Snap Counts of Interest:
43 = Griffin
33 = J Thomas
25 = Akins
42 = Jonnu
25 = Stocker
13 = Firkser
29 = Lewis
27 = Henry