*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
It’s like this game was over before it got started. Maybe it was just ‘MNF’ in New Orleans. Perhaps, it was the Brees record-setting night potential that had the Saints all jacked up. Whatever it was – the Redskins were like road kill and New Orleans was driving Mack Truck with a Steamroller attachment in the front from the first snap. I don’t even know if you can takeaway a ton from this game, for fantasy, because it was such a lopsided blowout.
The easy thing to do is mock and crucify the Redskins for being bad at football. Hey! They ran into an MNF at NO buzz saw and fought for a half but couldn’t hold off the tidal wave. The Redskins are bouncing from playing well to playing poorly, randomly each week – welcome to the Alex Smith era Washington!
If the Redskins takedown the Panthers this week…not only is their ship ‘righted’, for a week, but get this – Washington would then be tied for first place in the NFC East and hold an advantage over likely wild card contender Carolina. Washington’s entire season, to a degree, hinges on winning AT HOME against Carolina this week. Additionally, if they beat Carolina Week 6…they might win four or five of their next five after that (DAL, NYG, ATL, TB, HOU).
The Computer says if the Skins beat the Panthers Week 6, they will finish 9-7 +/- one win -- and be in the wild card hunt with an edge over Carolina and over Green Bay (would have beaten them both), plus 9-7 could win the NFC East anyway. Redskins fans…this season is not over by a long shot. Just a bad week.
New Orleans is now 4-1, should be 2-3, could have been 5-0. They are in the driver’s seat in the NFC South and they are on a collision course with the Rams for the NFC representative for the Super Bowl. They also play LAR in Week 9...hosting them, and likely as a favorite. The Computer said Rams and Saints, either, to win the Super Bowl this year – and that’s working out. Also, our Saints ‘over’ 9.5 wins summer bet is looking like gold. The Computer literally spit bars of gold into your pockets this summer with the over/under win totals…hope you are cashing in (CHI, CIN, NO).
The Saints are on their way to 11-12-13 wins, per The Computer. If they beat LAR in Week 9, it might mean the home field…at New Orleans all playoffs is a huge boost/keeps the Saints from the outdoors in the winter, which is their kryptonite.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Mark Ingram (16-53-2, 2-20-0/3) was back and got his normal usage patterns…15-20 touches and cheap, short TDs. This is the quintessential game for Ingram…and the Saints want to be a running team primarily.
I wouldn’t worry about Alvin Kamara (6-24-0, 2-15-0/4) at all. I see some mild fear on Kamara after this game, and some ‘buy low’ alerts from analysts. I’m not sure what Kamara owners are panicking off one game, but if they are for some reason – be a buyer. This game was a blowout so quickly that there was no need to push/over use Kamara.
The only risk on Kamara is the Saints blowing teams out and not having to target Kamara 20 times in a game like they were when they were struggling Weeks 1-2-3.
-- The RBs on the other side of this contest didn’t have a great fantasy week either…
The Adrian Peterson (4-6-0, 2-36-0/3) ‘revenge’ narrative blew up when he had his knee hyper-extended on one of the first touches of the game. He missed snaps…and then when the blowout ensued he was not needed in the heavy pass-game comeback attempt.
Chris Thompson (8-17-0, 6-45-0/8) got the touches you want from him (14) but he didn’t do much with them…missed a couple TD shots, and hurt his ribs. He’s still a ‘buy low’ for me in PPR and the ‘low’ is like RB 2-2.5 in some places. He’s a mistrusted PPR back…one of those guys that people bail on the first sign of trouble (like James White, etc.). Instead of chasing Smallwood-Clement-Lynch-Kerryon types in PPR, you can do just fine over time with the Thompson’s and White’s, and they’re usually easily available off bad games/people panicking.
-- Another step forward for Cam Meredith (5-71-0/5). He might be a week or two away from ‘happening’ on a consistent basis. He’s still not starting and played just 40% of the snaps here.
His targets have gone from 1-4-5 in his three games this season. His yards have risen from 11-32-71.
He’s caught 9 of 10 targets this season.
He’s getting there…next stop WR3/flex, and I’m not sure he’ll go much further than WR2.5 in PPR this season.
People think Tre’Quan Smith (3-111-2/3) is the way to go because of this game’s numbers…but he stared/played most of the game and got just 3 targets and was basically left alone in coverage for his scores. When Ted Ginn returns, Smith might be below Meredith…but probably splitting with Cam and Ginn.
-- Maurice Harris (3-47-0/8) got the start in this game for Josh Doctson. The Redskins make a lot of noise about ‘they love this kid’ on Harris, but it’s the same nonsense they yammered on Ryan Grant for three years prior. Harris is mostly meaningless for FF.
-- Drew Brees (26-29 for 363 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) had a night to remember, but the signs of his FF issues were showing in this game. He’s still great on the field, but with Ingram back they’ll run more and Ingram getting the short TDs…PLUS Taysom Hill (5-23-1/6) is really becoming the goal line area default QB option.
In a sea of great fantasy QBs…Brees has several things biting off chunks of his FF-scoring opportunity. He may be a terrific ‘sell high’ option right now coming off this gem.
-- Even Booger McFarland agrees with me…Quinton Dunbar (6 tackles, 1 PD) is the best cover corner on the Redskins now. Credit to the Redskins coaching staff converting Dunbar from failed WR to a legit cover corner. Credit to me pointing this out a year ago.
-- What about the Redskins-DST? Got killed here but was a top defense in many metrics prior to this game.
Weeks 7-12 they get DAL-NYG-ATL-TB-HOU-DAL…you can use them a lot there.
Weeks 14-16, one of the best FF playoff schedules…NYG-JAC-TEN.
They are not to be discarded so easily. Looking at their entire remaining schedule, they might be a DST you could use from Week 6 on in some places…just a few bumps in there but no elite QBs to face and many bad O-Lines to work against.
-- What about the Saints-DST?
Here they come… Why does this keep happening? I predict a wild card DST top 2-3-4 overall before the season, they get crushed out of the gates, we all run from them…then 2-3-4 weeks later we’re like, ‘oh, yeah…they’re good’.
The Saints got smoked by Ryan Fitzpatrick Week 1, everyone bailed…they’ve held three of their last 4 opponents to 19 or fewer points.
The schedule isn’t friendly ahead. Weeks 13-14-15 with DAL-TB-CAR look decent but they’re all road games.
The Saints-DST is rising but the schedule keeps them from being used with confidence week-to-week.
Snap Counts of Interest…
51 = Thomas
44 = Tre Smith
30 = Meredith
14 = Carr
36 = Ingram
31 = Kamara
40 = Thompson
13 = Peterson