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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
I had a feeling this was coming, after studying things on these two teams/this game last week – that Denver minus top CB Chris Harris was a problem and then the enthusiasm the 49ers had been playing with, and their better record at home…Denver was ripe for the picking.
20-14 SF was the final and that seems close, but really the 49ers were the dominant team (this day). It was 20-0 SF at the half. It kinda went like this…the Broncos started asleep, the 49ers were fired up, SF took control and knocked Denver down, but after the half the Broncos realized they were the better team and tried to fight their way back, shutting out SF in the second half, but Denver didn’t have the juice and the 49ers played scrappy all day and had lady luck with them as well.
Denver would have really been in good shape in the wild card race with a win but fumbled it away. However, everyone else of note above them lost so Denver has some life but needs help. The Broncos are 6-7 and would need to win out to even have a shot at a wild card, but quite frankly…they aren’t very good, especially without Chris Harris. There’s almost no way they run the CLE-OAK-LAC table. We see them finishing 8-8/7-9…depends if LAC needs that Week 17 game or not.
The scrappy 49ers are about to get scrapped to a three-game losing streak ahead…SEA-CHI-@LAR to finish out should end them at 3-13 and a shot at the #1 draft pick.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- What happened to Courtland Sutton’s (2-14-0/6) big day I projected? Well, after the live watch, I thought it was that Case Keenum sucks, but there was another reason – Sutton got hurt and was either out or limping around most of the 2nd-half…thus the big game from the other receivers.
I’m not ready to say Sutton is droppable in a normal redraft, but he’s not start-able…he may not be able to go this week (haven’t seen any prelim injury reports). I’m OK if you want to drop, but there was at least a reason for some of this dud. Like last time…you drop him and then he goes off. He’s the #1 WR for an NFL team…don’t dismiss that because of one bad game, one he missed a third of.
As Sutton ended up a decoy in the second half, two others WRs stepped up…and I wouldn’t trust either because of Case Keenum – and I’m beating that horse for a reason. Keenum really has no business starting in the NFL. He’s a backup talent that gets micromanaged into a ’plausible’. He’s a coach’s wet dream because of ‘film study’ and ‘knows playbook’ and ‘first guy in the building’ and all the other related bullshit that glosses over the fact that he is taking a team nowhere. He’s one step above Sam Bradford…he’s the never injured Bradford.
DaeSean Hamilton (7-47-1/9) is the talent among the non-Sutton’s. He’s who I would play if I played a non-Sutton WR next WR. So good…but talent means nothing when you have Keenum delivering a TD pass and 200 +/- yards in a game. You’re better off hoping Josh Reynolds or Chris Conley gets some scraps from the top offenses.
Keenum has 12 TD passes in his last 12 games…and has been under 210 yards passing four-straight games…and under 60% Comp. Pct. in that stretch as well.
Tim Patrick (7-85-0/10)…he’s a warm body that could have 7-85-0 if he saw 10 targets against SF playing prevent with a big second half lead. There’s no big upside here. Remember when Maurice Harris had that one good game…
The best Broncos WR to use ahead would be ‘none’.
-- Jeff Wilson (23-90-0, 1-6-0/2) got the number of touches I planned for…I just thought there would be more targets in there. He had TD chances near the goal line…he couldn’t produce.
Wilson was OK, not great…as I have scouted. I just thought this was a spot for a lot of touches and maybe a 20+ point PPR event. Didn’t get it.
If Breida is out this week, I’m good with more Wilson gambles…except vs. SEA-CHI the next two weeks is not a great set up. He’s an RB2 ahead, at best, without Breida…and then we’ll all forget him next year.
-- Just FYI…nice job Denver… Were you not aware George Kittle (7-210-1/7) was a top target for SF? The guy was like open without anyone in camera shot of him the first half…then Denver woke up about 150+ yards in the 1st-half in and started covering him. Nice job, Vance!
-- Nick Mullens (20-33 for 332 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) must have a guardian angle looking out for him. I swear, he should’ve had 4 interceptions in this game, at least. That’s been true of most his games. It’s going to catch up to him at some point. It has in some.
Seattle-DST remains a solid option against him Week 15, just not as easy being Seattle off MNF and going to SF, where the 49ers have been better. Still, Mullens is overdue for a 3-4 pick game. I can smell it. He dealt Seattle a pick six Week 13 in their last meeting.
-- The end of Marquise Goodwin (2-20-0/2) as ‘a thing’ feels like it’s running its course…not just this lost season but for the future too. He had a window…that window is closing.
Dante Pettis (3-49-1/7) is the one closing the window – he’s going to be the 49ers #1 WR of the future and is Mullens’ top guy right now.
Once I studied Pettis deeper for the NFL Draft, I realized how special his feet were…and how that could make him a great NFL WR combined with his hands and instincts. It’s his feet that are key. Think that’s a snooty, generic, scouty thing to say. You watch this (he’s bottom of the screen) play/his TD Sunday and tell me I’m crazy…
-- I think San Fran DB D.J. Reed might get more playing time ahead after his first real heavy snap count game…only 12 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 1 FF, 1.0 sacks in this game.
Reed is a rookie out of Kansas State, a 5th-round pick – 5’9”/188, 4.51 40-time at the NFL Combine, a 6.82 three-cone at his Pro Day.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes for these two teams…
You want to like the ‘game’ (of late) 49ers offense but facing SEA and CHI the next two weeks is more trouble than opportunity. Not loving much for Pettis or Breida/Wilson…or even Kittle, but you have to hope and pray with Kittle no matter.
Denver has CLE-OAK the next two, and that looks good…but CLE and OAK have been playing inspired football of late. I don’t see a great opportunity for their Chris Harris-less DST. Maybe against Oakland? However, you like the run game/Phillip Lindsay these next two weeks. What’s to like in their passing game?
Snap Counts of Interest:
72 = D Hamilton
64 = T Patrick
51 = Sutton
19 = Holmes
48 = Lindsay
09 = R Freeman
62 = J Wilson
04 = Alf Morris
61 = Pettis
43 = Bourne
24 = Goodwin
23 = Tr Taylor
04 = Richie James