2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 10 – Dolphins 16, Colts 12
The Dolphins fumbled the ball away on the first series of the game, setting up the heavy favorite Colts at midfield…where they raced right down the field and Brian Hoyer threw a TD pass to Eric Ebron, who then has the ball taken from his hands as he and the DB crash landed in the end zone…a fluke TD-turned-interception. It was that kind of game for the Colts…everything that could go wrong did. Eventually, the 10+ favorite Colts, at home, off a BYE, lost to lowly Miami (not so lowly anymore).
At least we can now stop the stupid media/fan narrative the Dolphins were ‘tanking’…if they were/are, it’s the worst tank job in history. You don’t swap from Rosen-to-Fitzpatrick if you’re tanking. You swap to Dwayne Haskins if you’re tanking. Miami has been playing better ball since Week 3 against Dallas. They are 2-7, could easily be 3-6, and is on their way to at least two more wins. They are not ‘Miami’ (and then chuckle/lick chops)…not on offense nor on defense.
The Colts went from my respect and my Frank Reich vote for Coach of the Year, to making me shake my head and take away my (crucial, I’m sure) support for COY based on the last two games/losses. The Colts did three things in this game all go on the coach/GM. Three things Bill Belichick wouldn’t put up with…
1) The Colts are the most recent ‘suckered by Brian Hoyer fairytales’ team in the NFL (the Pats cut him this preseason). No QB has burned more teams since Sam Bradford. The Colts would have been better up with Phillip Walker or Chad Kelly as a backup. Instead, they grabbed the veteran Hoyer, because of course they did…everyone is always fighting over him. He went out and laid an egg in a critical spot…against injury-depleted Miami defense.
2) Eric Ebron whined about his touches mid-week, and thus the baby got his pacifier…two INTs on passes thrown to the wildly overrated Ebron, as Ebron led all receivers with 12 targets and the next closest Colts receiver had 7 targets. Go ahead and feature Ebron and see what you get…you get-got. Reich should’ve punted Ebron’s ass off the team for complaining about his ‘role’…instead, they reward him with extra work, and he catches 42% of his targets and has two turnovers thrown his way.
3) Keep Adam Vinatieri even longer…and let him blow more games. You want to show a little patience, fine. But guess how many Practice Squad kickers the Colts have ‘just in case’? Zero. Why get a young kicker ready in development? Oh, you think that’s a waste of a PS spot? Hmmm, I’m looking at Indy with THREE open PS squad spots open. You can hold 10 PS guys and they have 7 per the report I’m looking at. It’s unbelievable the way these teams are run.
The Colts fall to 5-4, they should be 7-2 or better. They face three tough interdivisional tests ahead (JAX-@HOU-TEN) and maybe without Jacoby Brissett at 100%...and facing the possibility of dropping out of the division title and playoff scene. We are projecting Indy with an 8-8 finish. Week 11 vs. JAX…the loser is probably toast for the wild card/division going forward.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- OK, an interesting twist in the Miami backfield soap opera…
Yes, Kalen Ballage (20-43-0, 4-2-0/4) started and Miami went ‘all-in’ on him as you can tell from the touch counts/snaps, but before you close the door on the non-Ballage options (something I was ready to do post-game)…I saw something on the re-watch that gave me (false) hope.
So, basically the RB flow was like this all game: Ballage starting, but then Patrick Laird (2-4-0, 2-15-0/2) popping up on 3rd-downs early (and getting me all excited), but then Laird disappeared for most of the rest of the game. Myles Gaskin (1-0-0/1) played a few snaps and had a red zone flare pass he couldn’t do anything with and then he was a ghost.
Laird-Gaskin made brief appearances early and then gone. All Ballage most of the game. And then something weird happened…
Down 12-10, Miami was about to embark on a 6-minute drive with 11+ minutes left in the game…a crucial drive. Ballage touched the ball five times on this critical drive. His yardage in those five touches: 1-0-2-1-5…the 5-yards on a 3rd & 19 draw, that led to a field goal. The entire game, the same Ballage as for two seasons – running to nowhere. 2.2 yards per carry this game with a long run of 7 yards. He is a joke. Miami kicked a field goal to take a 13-12 lead.
The Colts immediately throw a pick and Miami has the ball back with 5+ minutes left with a chance to ice the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick is pulled from the game for a concussion check…from something that happened a few plays prior on the last drive. Brian Flores loses his $#!% and Josh Rosen has to go in. They run the ball so as not to throw with Rosen. Play #1, run Ballage…1-yard. Ballage, who had played about every snap the past 2.5+ quarters was then pulled for Patrick Laird to take two running plays. A super-critical juncture, and Laird came in.
Was it because Rosen would be more familiar with Laird to handoff to?
Was it because Ballage was literally killing the Miami offense all game and Flores finally had enough?
If they’re sick of Ballage’s nothingness…Laird seems to be the alternative. Probably not great for FF even with 10 touches in a game -- but some kind of hope anyway?
But it also could signal a deeper look at De’Lance Turner this week. Patrick Laird is a nice satellite back…Danny Woodhead 2.0. Turner is a more ‘real’ NFL lead RB. A bulldog runner with some breakaway speed tendencies and good hands in the passing game. If Miami gives Turner a chance, I guarantee they will like it more than the Ballage experience.
I’m not sure what will happen in Week 11, but I’m a little interested to find out…especially on Turner, who could be a revelation for them.
-- Brian Hoyer (18-39 for 204 yards, 1 TD/3 INTs) played a terrible game. Last week, he filled in and didn’t look any different than Jacoby Brissett…Hoyer was comfortable and effective. Here, he was uncomfortable and outmatched by Miami’s upstart defense.
If Hoyer starts Week 11…I love the Jags-DST.
Brissett about 55/45 to start this week, but not a 100% Brissett.
-- This was supposed to be a Zach Pascal (2-26-0/7) FF breakout moment…instead he was manhandled by Miami, and especially by UDFA sudden-starter CB Nik Needham (6 tackles, 3 PDs). I’m done with any gambles on Pascal. Nice guy to flex in desperation when Hilton-Campbell are playing to take the real coverage and let Pascal operate in the shadows for a random good game here and there.
A.J. Bouye will destroy him Week 11 if Hilton isn’t back.
-- No Preston Williams, so where did Fitzpatrick go? DeVante Parker (5-69-0/10).
Mike Gesicki (3-28-0/6) went back to normal…slow and ineffective.
Jakeem Grant (2-15-0/2) was a non-factor.
Parker or bust, I guess…but he’ll be shut off by Tre'Davious White and Denzel Ward the next two weeks. You want Parker for Weeks 14-16…@NYJ, @NYG, CIN…or you don’t want him at all.
-- You see that Weeks 14-16 schedule for Miami…@NYJ, @NYG, CIN? Suddenly, the Miami-DST isn’t terrible. They've booted the lazy veterans and are running with try-hard young players. The past 5 games, they’ve allowed 16-24-27-18-12 points in games. Less than 20.0 per game. Just noting…
-- The Colts-DST has held opponents to 13-23-13-19-16 the past 5 games, as they’ve gotten healthier. Foles-Watson the next two weeks isn’t great, but Tannehill-Winston Weeks 13-14 could be something.
Snap Counts of Interest:
69 = Pascal
56 = Marcus Johnson
35 = Rogers
03 = Dulin
32 = Mack
30 = Hines
07 = Wilkins
07 = Jon Williams
54 = Ballage
08 = Laird
05 = Gaskins
63 = Dev Parkers
59 = Hurns
35 = Al Wilson
15 = Jakeem Grant
40 = Gesicki
31 = Smythe
07 = Walford