2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 11 – Cowboys 35, Lions 27
This game started off with an Ezekiel Elliott fumble setting up the Lions on a short field and they drove down for the early 7-0 lead. Dallas then outscored Detroit 24-7 the rest of the 1st-half for a 24-14 lead. The Lions kept putting up a fight in the 2nd-half, but Dallas scored a TD with 7:56 left in the game to take a 35-21 lead. All seemed in hand for Dallas, but then Detroit went down and scored a TD to close it to 35-27, then stopped Dallas, and then had a chance to tie it with 3+ minutes left and were getting close but ultimately could not convert when they needed to. Dallas escaped. Second week in a row the Lions were down to the wire with a chance to win a game as an underdog.
Dallas is being knocked for ‘barely beating’ the Lions, but this was a game played at Detroit with an early give of 7 points off a turnover and then Dallas quickly wrestled back control of the game while the Lions kept scrapping but Dallas was just too powerful. It was an efficient win for Dallas, not one to be scoffed at. It’s underselling an always tough out Lions team this season.
Dallas is 6-4 and everyone is down on them, but I think they are going to New England and blowing the Patriots doors off potentially (and then falling flat vs. BUF the next week, probably). We see Dallas 9-5 going to 8-6 Philly for the NFC East title showdown.
Detroit has lost six of its last 7 games to fall to 3-6-1…a 5-10-1 finish is in order. They really had a chance to be a 7-8 win team but they just don’t have any ‘it’ factor. Not good enough to be a playoff team, not bad enough to blow everything up and rebuild from scratch…just stuck in the middle.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The new Detroit backfield…
Rewatching Bo Scarbrough (14-58-1) here…it is a poor man’s Derrick Henry situation. Bo is the spitting image in size and style to Henry.
The problems are: (1) The Lions have no run blocking; every RB has failed here in 2019. (2) Like Henry, he can’t catch. (3) The offense wasn’t built for him like it is with Henry in TEN.
The upsides: (1) This is Darrell Bevel’s dream RB…a big power back from Alabama. (2) He’s a more accomplished between the tackles runner than Ty Johnson. (3) Scored a short TD, nearly had a 2nd TD (halted at the goal line).
The offense will be Scarbrough-led the rest of the season…a 1st/2nd-down back. J.D. McKissic (3-13-0, 3-40-0/4) will be the satellite, 3rd-down back. Ty Johnson (2-6-0, 1-0-0/1) is dead until further notice.
Scarbrough is going to be sweet vs. Washington this week and then he runs into a CHI-MIN-TB gauntlet the following weeks. He’ll be an RB2-3-ish type RB, mostly for non-PPR.
-- Jeff Driskel (15-26 for 209 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 8-51-1) looks so damn good this season with Detroit. I liked what I saw in 2018 and was pushing for him in 2018 when he took over in Cincy, and now he looks even better, more comfortable in 2019.
He’s got size, mobility, a nice arm, and is so comfortable in the pocket and reading defenses. He’s one of the 25-30 best QBs walking the NFL planet. There is almost no drop-off from Stafford to Driskel, and Driskel is good for FF because he is a nice runner.
This week vs. Washington…I really like Driskel. And I’m looking at the potential for the Lions laying points to Washington as one of my bets of the week/season. The line is -3.5 DET, but once Stafford is officially ruled out it could go to -3.0 or even -2.5. Part of this is Driskel is good, really good and no one really believes it (‘he’s not terrible’ is the best compliment he gets)…and Dwayne Haskins IS terrible.
-- If Jeff Driskel is so good…why is my Kenny Golladay (1-34-0/5) dying?
It was a good+ Dallas defense this week in pass coverage. Detroit tried to control some clock/play it close to the vest and only completed 15 passes. Driskel will go to Golladay to bail him out or to make big plays, but he doesn’t blindly force it to him if they are doubling KG…but he will blindly throw it to him in a crisis situation. In better matchups, you like Driskel-Golladay…like Weeks 14-15.
-- Amari Cooper (3-38-0/8) is not 100%, but if he’s playing you’re almost forced to use him…except it’s a tough call with him hobbled vs. Stephon Gillmore. I think Amari will be somewhat of a decoy this week.
Michael Gallup (9-148-0/13) is killing it as a #2 in easy matchups…I’m interested to see how he does vs. NE.
Randall Cobb (4-115-1/7) is quietly tearing it up lately. He’s been a top 20 fantasy WR on average the last 3 weeks. Again, it’s been favorable matchups. It’s about to get tough for Dallas to the finish. Cobb is doing well, though. He may be the bailout throw vs. NE this week.
-- Tony Pollard (2-12-0, 4-44-1/4) looks so good and they are finally starting to incorporate him as a jet sweep, quasi-WR and sometimes straight up RB. He should be getting 5-10 touches a game as a unique weapon to confuse defenses. He’s starting to head in that direction.
He’s not a bad stash in redraft if something happens to Zeke, but now starting to get into the RB3-4 discussion on limited touches.
-- Dak Prescott (29-46 for 444 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) is rolling. I love ‘everything that happened last week is forever’ football analysis. Two weeks ago, Dallas lost to Minnesota and Dak/Dallas was a failure. The following week Dak throws for 400+ yards to beat a terrible pass defense in Detroit and now everyone is ‘Dak for MVP!’ Dak is killing the worst defenses and struggling/muted against the better defenses. He’s a great player, a franchise QB, but he’s not having an MVP season.
He might single handedly beat NE this week, and then we can start talking MVP. So far, he doesn’t belong in the top 5 conversation.
-- Darian Thompson (7 tackles, 1 PD) has had to start at safety for Jeff Heath the past two weeks, and he’s averaged 6.0 tackles, 0.5 PDs per game in his brief stint. He may be starting again this week vs. the Patriots.
-- The Dallas-DST is no good v. NE this week, bit then hosting BUF and @CHI and v. LAR are three reasonable weeks. Not great, but not bad.
Snap Counts of Interest:
32 = Scarbrough
19 = Ty Johnson
15 = McKissic
64 = Witten
23 = Jarwin
66 = Elliott
13 = Pollard