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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
This was an awful way to spend a Monday night…watching this piece of trash game and listening to Jason Witten and Booger McFarland fight over whether every play was Eli Manning’s fault or not. Hey, maybe there’s a better game for Week 8, there has to be…they can’t all be nightmares, right? Oops…Patriots at Bills. Good, I was wanting to scout Derek Anderson some more anyway.
The Falcons win and jump to 3-4…thanks to the schedule gods giving them TB and NYG back-to-back, at home, and they barely won either game. The Falcons are terrible and are headed to 5-6 wins because the schedule is unkind ahead. Matt Ryan has to face real defenses now…sorry, good-bye MVP numbers.
The Giants lost and fell out of any hope of winning the weak NFC East, which just watching them at all this year was proof enough they had no chance. This team, this franchise is in shambles. It’s a re-do of 2017 only not as much hatred of the head coach because he’s new.
NYG’s purge has begun – trading Eli Apple to the Saints today and now we wait and see if Eli Manning goes. The Giants now want this year’s upcoming draft pick to be as good as possible, so they need to lose as much as possible – so I believe they’ll keep Eli to absolutely extract any Eli nostalgia out of the fanbase – a fanbase that caused this 2018 disaster in the first place by crying about Eli’s benching in late 2017. Eli will continue to help the team lose with his terrible play and the fans will utterly hate him – win-win for the Giants long term strategy.
I said the Giants schedule could lead to a 1-9/0-10 start this preseason…we’re almost there. We project 1-2 wins for NYG this season, at this stage.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- As I said last week…be prepared in case we have an Evan Engram (2-16-0/4) problem upon his return – due to Eli’s terribleness. Now, we raise the DEFCON level of the concern after this mess.
How anyone can pay money to sit in the stands and watch Eli throw dump pass after dump pass to Saquon Barkley (14-43-1, 9-51-0/10) is beyond me. I keep watching it and wonder…”Why doesn’t Arizona do this with David Johnson?” (they might be about to). If it’s not dump passes to Saquon it dump passes to Odell Beckham (8-143-1/11).
Occasionally, they remember Sterling Shepard (5-167-0/8).
They don’t seem to have a real effort towards Evan Engram. Maybe the best mismatch player in all of football…no, thanks…why use that when things are going so well on offense this season? Only Saquon is ‘generational’, I guess…
We only have three real games EE has played this year. Good looks but no great hits in Week 1, but promising. Garbage time salvation Week 2. Hurt early Week 3 and back for this junk in Week 7. I’ve not seen any real effort to make Engram a weapon…he’s more ‘a guy on the field’. I think Pat Shurmur believes Rhett Ellison is the ‘bee’s knees’ and is clueless on how Engram could change this offense.
Engram is not dead yet, but you have to…you already had to…prepare for this Eli-based concern. We’ve only had three events/games, the last one bad…now we have this recency bias/angst from this game. Let’s not get crazy over one game back – but let’s use our heads…it doesn’t look like Engram is going to be pushed and Eli probably couldn’t if he wanted to.
What to do at tight end, now? Many FFM’ers have a war machine beginning to roll…but Engram is a sore spot, a blight. How do we ‘do better’…if you didn’t take my advice on two TEs long ago?
Couple of ideas (in no particular order):
TE2s(?) *Have a 2nd TE so you have ‘one’…
Vance McDonald is starting to see TE1 targeting. He has TE1 talent. People don’t trust him. Easy to acquire or even on waivers right now in some leagues.
C.J. Uzomah…and pray his targeting increases. He’ll be a fringe TE1. Probably not better week-to-week than random Engram events.
Jordan Reed…falling off the radar for many, for good reason. His targeting has been OK. He might have a spurt.
Gronk will likely be out this week (8)…furthering people’s panic on him. He’s not the Gronk of old, but the price may be coming down enough to make a move. Wait for the ‘Gronk inactive’ news to hit. He’s not rushing back for Buffalo.
Trey Burton…had a hot week, so the price is up. What might be happening is – Trubisky has figured out his best matchups are Cohen-Burton and not Allen Robinson or Jordan Howard or any of the garbage #2 WRs the Bears try to push. Burton might start to pop a little more, just like last week.
O.J. Howard…people don’t fully trust him/love him for fantasy because he hasn’t been consistent over the years because Tampa/Winston hasn’t been consistent with him. He’s more talented all-around than Engram and NOW getting the work we wish Engram did. The real Evan Engram 2018 happening is happening with O.J. Howard, at least strong signals of it.
Jared Cook…has had some huge games this season. I’d argue he’s Derek Carr’s favorite target. He has been dull for a few weeks and then a BYE last week to forget about him more. He’s something to consider if it comes cheap.
Sellout for Travis Kelce, as I’ve been saying, if you have Mahomes+Hill and want to ‘go for the gold’ with the holy trinity. Obviously, you’ll pay dearly.
Don’t think of this as a full-scale panic on Evan Engram. He could have a renewed targeting focus next week and NYG realizes what they have, and then we’re all in love again. Just prepare for the fact that Eli is likely to screw us on this. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe Kyle Lauletta makes it work.
If you have to trade Engram, redraft, in the deal for something else/a change…go for it. I don’t see obvious signs that we need to clutch Engram…and I’m his biggest supporter. I’m not dumping him, but I’m bracing myself for the worst.
-- Saquon Barkley (14-43-1, 9-51-0/10) has been under 50 yards rushing in three of his last 4 games…and four of his last 6 games. He’s having the same issue David Johnson is with the bad offense. However, Barkley is averaging 8.7 targets per game…he’s basically a WR that runs the ball 15 times a game. The receiving numbers make him a strong RB1.
I mention this because…this is where David Johnson could be headed with the new O-C. Cross your fingers. Buy low on DJ if you want to see.
-- Julio Jones (9-104-0/12) has no TDs in his last 12 games.
2 TDs in his last 17 games.
4 TDs in his last 27 games.
It’s not an aberration, and it’s certainly not Matt Ryan under-performing in 2018 (or 2016).
Still, on then strength of the targets and other production…he’s #11 among WRs in fantasy PPG this season.
-- Wow, Tevin Coleman (11-50-1, 2-32-0/2) is not getting the touches you want from a #1 RB. Hasn’t been most of the time Devonta Freeman’s been out. He’s not crazy to keep as a nice RB2-ish RB, or trade off this game with a TD/decent FF scoring.
-- The Giants traded CB Eli Apple to the Saints as part of their purge. NYG is #14 in passing yards per game allowed (253), #22 in INTs (4), and #30 in sacks (10). A so-so, below-average pass defense is getting a little worse in their rebuild.
We’re taking up QBs/WRs facing NYG for the rest of the season on the news, and a slight tick down for ones facing the Saints…a Saints pass defense starting to get it together and now adds Apple.
Snap Counts of Interest:
37 = Coleman
28 = Ito Smith
52 = Engram
32 = Ellison
24 = Lorenzo Carter
22 = Kerry Wynn
04 = Isaiah Oliver