2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 1 – Ravens 59, Dolphins 10
I watched this live, with 7 other games going on, very loosely. It was out of hand fast so fast that I stayed watching the other/more realistic games. Obviously, it was like a video game event here. I wanted re-watch this just to see what the H happened. How could a team (Miami) be so bad Week 1…getting drilled through the air by one of the worst passing QBs in the NFL?
Watching it again…I don’t even know what to say. Either they (Miami) are the worst collection of players in the league (possible) or they just don’t care (apparently, as that Tunsil trade did hurt the morale and the players perceive Miami is tanking) or they have the worst coaches in football (possible)…or all three (possible).
We cannot even judge the Ravens properly because of this backdrop. If the Ravens played the Bears or Patriots…you could care less about 2 catches for 21 yards Marquise Brown, you’re considering dropping Mark Andrews, and Lamar Jackson would be discussed as ‘all that offseason work and still can’t pass properly’. However, put it up against the upside-down world Patriots…the Dolphins…and everyone is a Hall of Famer and the top of the fantasy rankings for Week 2.
Those who lost their fantasy Week 1 and are in total despair…it’s just one week of NFL to judge by. You didn’t have a lot of Ravens Week 1 (besides Tucker…and Marquise on the bench) in FFM-land, and the dials lined up for this Week 1 explosion for Baltimore. Those weeks are going to happen. Our guys will be playing the Miami type teams soon as well. Have some patience.
This game was a total joke from the first play on, so all I can do is try to bring some ‘calm’ down to you…and try to find hidden things within the noise. Remember (you won’t) last year, the Ravens beat Buffalo 47-3 in Week 1 and the Ravens were thought to be all that…and then they go get popped by the Bengals the following week (which then everyone jumped on the Cincy 4-1 bandwagon…and later their head coach would be fired for his terrible season). Several weeks later (from Week 1), Joe Flacco would be replaced…it all started with crushing 47-3 win in Week 1.
Just when you want to blow this Week 1 off for all the Ravens’ fantasy stars…they play Arizona and Kansas City next. Two of the worst pass defenses in the league. We might see more of the same the next two games.
A side note…
Baltimore was fake punting and going for it on 4th-downs late and running this thing up. You wonder why? The Miami staff is ex-Patriots south. This was a fun little message from John Harbaugh. Wait until New England comes to Baltimore Week 9. I bet Belichick knows what happened here too. He already doesn’t like Harbaugh, so buckle up for that one.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- What to make of Marquise Brown (4-147-2/5)?
A superstar is born?
A guy got fortunate against a joke opponent?
He only played 14 snaps, so (per ESPN) he’s a risky start Week 2?
My general scouting take on Brown – he is very DeSean Jackson-like. Small, thin-frame, quick, and bouncy. Better hands than I gave him credit for. Hard to get over the moon on his college work with the luxury of Baker and Kyler throwing to him. I don’t know if he’s a future star. Young DeSean Jackson was good like for two seasons out his first 5-6-7-8. He was more memories than reality as time went on, but there was a hot start (before he got ‘paid’).
Brown is capable of a hot start in the league, but we also have to keep in mind – Lamar Jackson is not a good passer. He’s not Mahomes-Mayfield-Rodgers-Brady, etc. He’s running a run-game offense that had the opportunity to play street ball against a defenseless opponent. Brown played just 14 snaps and made the most of it.
About the 14 snaps… Sure, just 14 snaps. But when he was in the game – that’s where Jackson was going. I don’t need to be a rocket surgeon to know that’s Lamar’s guy. It looked like Brown was pulled just to keep him safe when things really got out of hand. He didn’t start. I think it was series three that he entered with ‘a bang’. A few series later, and plenty of work done, he was out for maybe the whole second half. I cannot imagine the Ravens saw all this and plan to keep him sidelined ahead. He should play half+ of the snaps ahead…and when he’s in the game -- it’s for the pass game.
How did he look in this game? Not as great as I thought. Why? His first TD was a simple slant, caught and broke a tackle and just ran untouched for a 47-yard TD. Miami couldn’t tackle and they left the middle of the field open all game. The next TD was the 83-yard bomb…Brown got three steps on the DB, and LJax hit him in stride (which is a rare occurrence) and Brown caught it and ran and when he was about to be tackled…he broke the diving grab attempted tackle because he zigged just as the defender was closed in and he got half-hit and kept upright and kept going. The next target was a 50-yard bomb where Brown was blanketed by Xavien Howard…LJax still tried to get it to him on a bomb thrown too far (and he was too covered). The next target was Brown a short toss near the goal line and he almost shucked and jived into a score but too many defenders around. He later was wide open on little crosser from 5-yards out headed to the end zone and LJax had already locked on another receiver and missed the gift TD.
In another world, Brown has 4 TDs in a game he played 12 snaps.
However, I was struck by…for supposedly how fast he is. He was caught from behind, covered, or had a DB closing ground every time he had the ball/ran a route. He was not pulling away from people. In another world, his slant TD he would have been tackled for a short gain. His long TD, he would have been tackled halfway in potentially. He might have had 4 catches for 70 yards and no TDs, and no one cares all too much.
Where do we go from here? Well, people love a rookie and all-things Ravens right now. Brown is desired but people aren’t willing to pay the price most likely for you to move him. Why trade him? He’s Jackson’s #1 look, he has a cool nickname, he’s a hot rookie, and they play ARI-KC the next two weeks. He’s not someone to move because his value is going from WR1.5-2.0 to WR4 in two weeks…and you’re trying to sell fast (it’s not impossible, but not likely). You do that with A.J. Brown…not Marquise Brown.
ESPN called him fantasy risky on Tuesday…so, the masses have their marching orders. You probably cannot make a good enough deal to sell yet. I want to see, but I feel like there is room for the price to run higher.
-- Lamar Jackson (17-20 for 324 yards, 5 TDs/0 INT)…what’s his value? Well, let me ask…
For a million-dollar prize if you are right – who has more TD passes the rest of the season? Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson? Who has the most between them if you count Week 1 in the tally? You might still go Baker…I would.
That’s Jackson’s value. They are making him out to be a star already…a passing star, from one great game against a nothing defense. I like Jackson for fantasy, as a runner, not a passer. If you took him as your QB2 in 4pts pass TD leagues, as I often did – I’m selling but not forcing it. He’s going to have a good fantasy run because of his feet. It may perk up his passer numbers a la young Cam…teams afraid he’ll run. He’s not throwing for 30+ passing TDs this season…unless he books half of them Weeks 1-3 with that schedule.
-- I don’t like Mark Ingram (14-107-2) all that much, so you could hold that against me…but I’m not buying this fantasy superstar story at all.
Ingram started the game with a 49-yard run…a simple off-tackle where 2-3 Dolphins ran into each other trying to tackle him like some Three Stooges bit. From there he had a boring 13 carries for 58 yards against this non-defense.
He had two rushing TDs, but the first goal line carry was to Gus Edwards (17-56-0), who fell short and then Ingram came in and punched it in. It looked like a great game, but it was close to being ‘meh’ on a number of levels.
Edwards took carries a lot as the game was out of hand. I’m sure Ingram will be fine…I just don’t believe he’s a lock RB1. Before things got out of hand, this was a true rotation of backs right away.
Oh, and if you’re in PPR…my big fear all along for fantasy -- all this scoring…all this RB rotation…the three RBs combined for 0 targets.
-- I don’t buy Mark Andrews (8-108-1/8) either. I mean, he’s fine…but no way a tight end in a bad passing game is going to be sweet for FF. He was barely targeted as this game was unravelling…and then he was getting a bunch of dump garbage from 42-10 on. His TD catch was from RG3.
He’s not terrible…I just don’t trust the surroundings to catapult him to FF goodness when they play real teams. However, against Arizona this week…probably another awesome event.
-- OK, the Miami backfield…
Kalen Ballage (5-0-0, 1-13-0/1) started but then disappeared, and was obviously ineffective. Kenyan Drake (4-12-0, 2-15-0/3) played more snaps but mostly because Miami was all-throw at a certain point.
I don’t want either of these guys, but if I had to have one…it’s Drake. I really don’t want either.
-- Preston Williams (3-24-1/5) started. Let me repeat…Preston Williams, rookie UDFA STARTED…and it was a two-WR set to start!!
The first play was designed for Williams, but he thought it was a running play and was blocking as the pass flew errantly away to where he was expected to be. We didn’t see him for a bit after that, but he was back soon enough and the QBs are always looking for him.
He caught a beautiful 40+ yard pass TD…jumping up for the grab, coming down in the end zone but the oncoming safety drilled him and as PW cashed to the ground the ball wobbled loose. So close to a TD. He got one later…a brilliant back of the end zone tight rope TD.
He’s Miami’s #1 WR, period. As long as Fitz is in the game…he’s going to see mad, desperate bombs. He’s a WR3 or better threat every week with Fitz. With Rosen…more spotty but workable.
This…I was right about weeks ago!
Snap Counts of Interest:
38 = DeVante Parker
35 = Hurns
30 = Jak Grant
21 = Preston Williams
27 = Drake
20 = Ballage
52 = Seth Roberts
50 = Snead
32 = Chris Moore
18 = Boykin
13 = Marquise Brown
43 = Boyle
43 = Hurst
42 = Andrews