2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 1 – Vikings 28, Falcons 12
Sometimes I go into a game re-watch, with the live watch in mind and box score reviewed, sensing it will be a boring event with no FF-gold nuggets found from my attempted panning of it. Usually, when I have that attitude, that means I get my comeuppance and it ends up a great watch with all kinds of nuggets.
I went into this one with a bad attitude too. Unfortunately, my pre-attitude was correct. Not much here. Almost not worth your reading time, so I’ll make this quick and try to blow past the obvious.
Minnesota wasn’t as great in this game as I first thought. It was one of those things where it’s opening day and the stadium is loud, the energy is up, the ball bounces the right way and all the sudden the momentum is soul crushing as the loud home crowd gets even louder.
Minnesota blocked the first punt, pushed down a short field for a quick TD. Next series, a pick for the Vikes and a follow up score – 14-0 Minnesota 6+ minutes into the game. The Vikings were sky high and the Falcons cowered into their bad luck. The Falcons first trip to the red zone to cut the lead in half was fumbled away by Devonta Freeman. It was that kinda game.
21-0 Minnesota at the half. 28-0 into the 4th-quarter before allowing some junk scores late. Minnesota was good here, but a lot of it was egged on by the early momentum. After a 14-0 lead, Minnesota did the Mike Zimmer/old school coach ‘sit on the lead, afraid’ routine…it was Vikings 14-12 the final 54 minutes of the game.
The energy of the Vikings was impressive, but their overall play…I’m not sure how good they are…or if this was just a good moment for them in the friendly confines with things all going their way so fast.
The reverse for the Falcons. I don’t know that they are bad…or it was just a few body blows early, and then they punched back some but just couldn’t catch a break and they took a dive.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- After the live watch, Sunday, I felt like the Vikings defense played amazing ball and really caught my attention. Re-watching it… They are good, but I am leaning more this game was just super-hyped up, super energy, early breaks to get a good start, the crowd, the momentum. It took a good thing (the Vikings D) and energized it to great.
Maybe the Vikings defense is great, but I’d want to see more proof.
Xavier Rhodes did shut down Julio Jones (6-31-1/10), as he does, but then Julio got some garbage late.
-- I don’t know whether to stick by/promote Austin Hooper (9-77-0/9) more or run for the hills.
Hooper does this. He’ll get a 9+ catch game (and 9 seems to be his number, he had back-to-back 9 catch games last Week’s 5-6), and that’s great, but then mediocre yardage and no TDs to go with.
In this game, Hooper had his first catch late 2nd-quarter…it’s like he’s not even there. And then when Atlanta is down…Hooper catches a bunch of dump/safety valve passes. He was a target monster when the game was 21-0/28-0 Atlanta way down.
Here’s the thing…
From Week 5 to Week 14 last season (ignore Weeks 15-17 because he was hurt/hobbled) + this 2019 game, Hooper is averaging 6.1 catches on 7.3 targets and 50.9 yards with 0.3 TDs per game.
12.8 FF PPG PPR, but just 6.9 non-PPR.
He’s safe in PPR, for sure.
-- I have said that Dalvin Cook (21-111-2. 2-9-0/2) reminded me of Devonta Freeman (8-19-0, 3-12-0/4)…RB styles I didn’t love. I think there are plenty of backup RBs in the league as good/better than Cook or Freeman in their primes.
I used to compare them, but in 2019 that comparison is out the window. Cook looks energized and as good as I’ve seen him look…and Freeman looks old and slow and like those sad RBs that hit a wall/have injuries/get paid and one season they are notorious and universally beloved, the next year they are on operating on their name and failing, the next year they are bouncing around the league as a crafty free agent in places where the on purpose RB got hurt and they need something to fill in. It all happens so quickly with RBs (that’s Zeke and Gordon were smart to try/do what they’re doing).
Let’s see if Minnesota was just too much for Freeman or not next week against Philly. If he fails there, Atlanta has a massive problem.
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-- Mike Zimmer may have found a new love…rookie RB Alexander Mattison (9-49-0). He loves Cook but he has a fill-in love if/when Cook goes down again.
Mattison looked really good, energized here as well.
If Minnesota’s Week 1 performance/energy is real, something that will sustain 17+ weeks…they will win the Super Bowl.
-- If Devonta Freeman is shot, the Falcons have Ito Smith (6-31-0, 1-9-0/1), I guess…not as exciting. In deeper leagues, you may want to take some cheap stock in him as a default.
Ito out-snapped Freeman 38-36 and in a key goal line/red zone push, the second time they had knocked on the door…it was Ito not Freeman in. The first time Atlanta was in the goal line area, Freeman fumbled one away.
-- I can't speak about the Vikings passing game or whether to worry about anything...I can't imagine all their upcoming games will go like this...with the Vikes jumping out quick on blocked punts and picks and the other team fumbling near the end zone and then are able to just throw 10 passes for the entire game and just run/sit on the lead.
Snap Counts of Interest:
36 = Cook
12 = Mattison
02 = Boone
53 = Rudolph
26 = Irv Smith
62 = Sanu
57 = Ridley
50 = Julio
21 = Hardy
38 = Ito
36 = Devonta
33 = Deion Jones
23 = Oluokun
26 = Jaleel Johnson
26 = Mata’afa
11 = Kazee
07 = Eric Wilson