2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 1 – Patriots 33, Steelers 3
I kinda thought this was going to happen. I had been saying it for weeks, and that it could/would have fantasy implications – that the Steelers new non-AB/Le’Veon offense with the vastly worse Conner/Moncrief replacements would get their heads handed to them by a months-to-prepare Belichick.
And it’s exactly what happened.
Also, part of my theory…
The Steelers would get their arses kicked and that would set off a Mike Tomlin panic and an anti-Tomlin sentiment among fans and among upper management. What are we even doing here if with months to prepare, taking away the two key players you gave him, he gets beat 33-3 by the Pats? It wasn’t even a game. Tomlin has been coaching this team down for years, but he’s got some weird respect like he’s a great coach/motivator. Funny how unmotivating it is to not have Bell-Brown to just chuck it to; arguably the two best players at their position in their prime in the last decade.
When the panic fully sets in, Tomlin is going to have to reach for changes to fix things. What they are is what is key to fantasy ahead. If the Steelers roll Seattle this week…delayed on ‘my changes’, likely. If Seattle goes in and beats the Steelers at Pittsburgh – fast-forward button on the full-scale panic attack plan I am proposing.
I think the Steelers might be a ‘best bet’ for a win/cover this week, but for fantasy…I want them to get rocked.
And, note…the Patriots are awesome. There is no shame in this loss, but it will not be taken that way. If the Ravens had played the Patriots here, we’d spend the whole week talking about how Lamar Jackson is not a real QB. Instead, he’s the league MVP today.
It’s just one-week folks!! Who played who…matters…in the NFL and for your fantasy results. 1-0 fantasy teams don’t get too full of yourselves either.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- If Antonio Brown becomes normal, I think he’d play Week 2 or Week 3, sparingly…and by Weeks 3-4-5 be fully integrated as Brady’s new #1 ahead of Edelman (maybe 1a and 1b).
Brown would be a top 5 fantasy WR from that start point, and so would Brady be top 5 at his position. If you see my ROS numbers on the two right now…you’d see the big jump.
However, I published those TUE projections before the Antonio Brown news hit on the rape allegations. Today, I have to scale it all back. You’ll see that in the updated projections today.
I have no idea whether AB is guilty of the charges, but this one doesn’t look good…and I saw his texts to one of the women – not a good look for the Patriots organization. Going to be hard to stick by him. That + AB going off his rocker prior…I think we’re closer to Brown taking 2019 off and going into hiding/rehab for mental issues than we are seeing him as a fantasy WR1 from Week 5 on.
The story is fluid, so we’ll have to see.
If Brown is done for weeks or the season…Josh Gordon (3-73-1/4) is still a WR2, but Phillip Dorsett (4-95-2/4) is the biggest winner…a legit WR2-3 as a starter the rest of the way. Missing Tyreek but waivers was cleared out of your faves? Dorsett might be the guy to plug in for 2-3 weeks while Hill is gone…and if AB is gone. ONLY if AB is gone/confirmed not playing this week (or longer).
Tom Brady (24-36 for 341 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) goes from QB1 top 3-5 to QB1 #8-12 with AB hopes gone.
-- I trust Big Ben (27-47 for 276 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) more for fantasy numbers without AB than Brady without AB going forward, but both are talented and legit. Ben’s just going to have to throw a lot more…good for fantasy purposes.
-- Like I theorized…
James Conner (10-21-0, 4-44-0/4) looked like a slug running the ball. He’s not a bust, he’s just shouldn’t be starting for an NFL team as the primary. If they push him the ball 20+ times, he’s an RB1 threat on volume…like Devin Singletary, Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones, or any decent back…C.J. Anderson, Carlos Hyde would be.
But, there is one HUGE problem with Conner’s travels ahead…his backup is vastly superior talent to him in every way. Jaylen Samuels (2-4-0, 1-2-0/2) IS the Le’Veon Bell that can help Tomlin save his job…or, his lack of use being the (unknown to all but me) reason Tomlin gets the axe after this season.
Another loss this week and/or another Conner slug-life work…Jaylen Samuels is coming to the rescue even sooner.
I don’t see it happening for a while. Mostly because Tomlin is too stupid to use him…as witnessed by not having him on five-wide passing downs in a big deficit here when he’s the 2nd-best receiver talent on the team.
…but when it happens – RB1 for sure.
-- The best WR on the Steelers is in a better situation to make his move soon…Diontae Johnson (3-25-0/5) played a lot more than I expected here. You can see it…Ben knows. He knows what even Tomlin looks like he might suspect. Diontae is the new AB just waiting to be unleashed. On a team that knows what that means and how to use it.
A few notes here on Diontae…
DJ was in the game a lot more than I expected (24 snaps)…and he was in early and saw good targets.
Also, note…he had two targets taken away by penalty…or he would have had a solid 7 targets in 25 snaps played.
Also, note…his one target taken away was all you need to know about Diontae. In the red zone, DJ took off on a short slant to the interior goal line but then planted his foot and spun back the other direction toward the end zone/sideline…doing it so fast, so adeptly (because he might have the most gifted feet of any WR in the NFL) that the Patriots defender had his ankles broken, was falling helplessly to the ground, and had to grab at Diontae to stop the easy TD. A safety smartly read the play and came over to bat the pass away from being an easy TD.
That was a planned play, which means Ben knows ‘it’…and the Steelers know ‘it’…and no one else on the team could’ve run that route and broke those ankles. Take that JuJu crap somewhere else…Diontae is the future here.
I don’t know when it’s coming…but it’s coming with Diontae as a star WR…a future WR1 and possible AB-like numbers.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (6-78-0/10) would benefit big time from Diontae being AB. He could go back to being sweet 2nd-fiddle circa JuJu 2017-18.
Donte Moncrief (3-7-0/10) sucks so bad, as I’ve said for 5+ years now…that his sucktitude helps bring on Diontae faster. James Washington will be the 3rd-wheel deep threat. Moncrief played scared and dropped passes…in other words, a normal Moncrief game when elevated to prominence.
*The FFM Lineup Optimizer for DFS (Daily Leagues) is now available. See home page for more info on this tool – our 2nd-year partnered with Advanced Sports Logic (ASL) and at a lower entry price this season to allow you to test run to see how you like it. My projections + ASL’s programming to find the best spend of your DFS budget in a variety of ways! Ask me questions on it, if you desire. – R.C.*
-- Patriots RBs…
I don’t know what that was from Sony Michel (15-14-0) but it’s why I wanted you to avoid it all preseason/in redrafts. You cannot predict this backfield and Michel is zero in the passing game.
I wouldn’t get chummy with Rex Burkhead (8-44-0, 5-41-0/8) either. Slow but stable and usually fantasy boring. If Michel falters, it will bring Damien Harris to the forefront…Rex is always a complimentary piece.