*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
I bet a mini-amount on Cincy +14.0 here, just to have fun rooting for/watching Jeff Driskel more closely for my further studies of him. The Chargers took the opening drive right down the field for a TD, and upon the score I cursed the day that I was ever born to bet on football.
By halftime it was 17-12 Chargers, but Cincy had gathered itself from a tough start and SHOULD’VE been in the lead. On one particular play in the 1st-half, Driskel was a few yards away from a TD and he ran forward and dove for a TD face first, with ball extended for a clear TD. The TD was reversed because of a rule saying the QB was ‘giving himself up’ as a runner…yes, diving for the goal line, untouched by a defender; that was giving himself up. His knee hit early and then he lunged for the score like you see players do all the time, again…untouched by anyone, but they reversed it back to the spot where his knee hit. I lost my mind…as a bettor and sudden Driskel fan. Cincy couldn’t punch it in and settled for a field goal…it was that kinda game/screw job all day for the Bungles.
Cincinnati was behind all game but stayed close and scored a 4th quarter TD, pulling within two, going for the 2-point conversion…and missed it. Cincy went 0-fer-2 on two-point conversions, had a TD stolen, and was shutout on 4th & 1’s twice as well this game, AND still they had a chance to win. They outplayed the Chargers but lost 26-21. Yes, they covered my +14.0…I liked that. But now my Cincy 6.5 ‘over’ win total bet is on life support after it was money in the bank when they were 4-1 after 5 games.
Cincy has lost five in-a-row and falls to 5-8. They could’ve easily won this division had they not hired the walking football curse known as Hue Jackson – they’ve lost every game since he joined a few weeks ago. If they can beat Oakland and get to 6 wins…I got a chance to get the 7th win/beat the over. I would likely need the Steelers out of the playoffs by Week 17 for a cheap win there – and they very well might be toast for the playoffs by Week 17.
The Chargers sneak another win in – should’ve lost here and should’ve lost to the Steelers the week prior. LAC is now 10-3 and on their way to getting whacked by the Chiefs this week and thus will be the #1 wild card and they likely play the Ravens or Browns or Steelers…whomever wins the AFC North. And they will probably play it in cold weather…not historically good for the Chargers.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Jeff Driskel (18-27 for 170 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) looked fine, again. Not as great as I thought he looked last game, but still very capable and confident. Watching this game back, I felt like the Bengals are treating Driskel like he’s helpless and aren’t asking him to do much…until they need to…and then it’s too late.
Driskel is playing under control and making a lot of smart plays. He’s not trying to do too much. He’s not panicking ever. He’s playing exactly like you’d want a really nice backup to do. I think he’s flashing more skills than like a Sam Darnold or definitely a Cody Kessler, etc. There are some real building blocks to work with in Driskel. Nice arm talent, great build/athleticism…just needs more work and reps getting comfortable. I’d take Driskel as my NFL starting QB for 2019 over current starters…Keenum, JAX anything, Darnold, Allen and Winston.
Because I think that, it means no one in the NFL is close to seeing it and he has no future. He should go to Canada and become a star where they’d appreciate him. If I’m Sean McVay, I’m all over getting him to groom him behind Goff.
Driskel would have had an OK fantasy game had he not been screwed out of a rushing TD. He almost had another rushing TD as well. This week against Oakland…he might shock some people.
-- Because Driskel is under wraps a bunch, Tyler Boyd’s (3-52-0/6) upside is wobbly game-to-game with him. Boyd is definitely Driskel’s #1…but without A.J. Green, Boyd gets a lot of coverage now.
Boyd could be better for FF facing Oakland this week, but Raiders CB Gareon Conley has looked very good in top coverage the past few weeks.
College Football Metrics (CFM) 2018 subscription access ends 12/31/2018 (no matter when you joined in 2018). The 2019 subscriptions will begin/be accessible early January 2019, and you will have full access to all the 2018 and prior years of work.
So, FYI – as per usual, for the first few days of 2019, as we get set-up for the new season, CFM will be down/inaccessible and then right back up for the 2019 glorious return of another big year of scouting and dynasty work. Specific start dates in January 2019 to come.
If you need anything from CFM 2018 before the ‘dark period’, you may want to print it off, etc.
Just an FYI, so you know.
-- I wonder what moronic thing Anthony Lynn will do to put his RBs at risk this week?
There was the Melvin Gordon forcing Lynn to play him when he was all banged-up, and in that game LAC got a big lead and still had Gordon in, and then had him run a double reverse to which saw him get leg whipped and injured and missing the last 2 games.
To top that, Austin Ekeler (15-66-12, 2-28-0/5) has been battling stinger issues…so, naturally, Lynn has the diminutive Ekeler taking the goal line work here and then late in the game has him on the front line of the onside kick recover team, where Ekeler gets lit up and gets a worse stinger and will now miss Week 15.
I’m sure Justin Jackson is down in Mexico drinking water from a tap, per Lynn’s instructions, as prep for this week’s game. Here’s video of Lynn working with Justin on avoiding/dodging would-be tacklers. His methods are unorthodox: https://youtu.be/1ZXHsNqkDI4
If Justin Jackson survives the practice week, and Melvin Gordon is declared inactive for TNF…all-in on Jackson as an RB1 hopeful this week. If Gordon ‘gives it a go’…I don’t know what to tell you. They will go with Gordon 100% of the touches if Melvin is upright or breathing. Your hope would be Gordon goes out/re-injures quick and leaves 98% of the game Jackson alone.
If you own Gordon and they green-light him to play…you almost have to roll the dice with him unless your other options are so strong. Lynn will not forsake Gordon on a level that Mike Zimmer will lose his playoff spot and/or job pushing Dalvin Cook over all things.
If Gordon is inactive, Detrez Newsome would be a small risk to see touches, get hot and split things with Jackson in-game. It was Newsome, not Jackson, who impressed the coaches in the preseason and early regular season. Newsome got the ball ahead of Jackson for the team and on the depth charts early on. It’s Jackson’s game now it appears, but…
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams:
Cincy v. OAK is pretty nice for everyone involved and then Week 16 favors Joe Mixon and would kill Boyd (covered by Denzel Ward) potentially.
The Chargers go at KC, in the cold, and then host Baltimore – not cupcake defenses to face by the Chiefs game should be fine especially if KC gets up and the Chargers have to chase them. You might can use the LAC-DST Week 16 vs. BAL…not a great matchup but workable.
Snap Counts of Interest:
39 = Ekeler
21 = J Jackson
64 = Boyd
60 = Ross
33 = Cody Core (Driskel has some chemistry here, if it matters v. OAK)