2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 11 – Raiders 17, Bengals 10
10 days off to prepare, at home, huge game coming off a big win over LAC…all that momentum and hosting a winless team and the Raiders tried to go lay an egg and let the Bengals hang around to have chances to win…but the Raiders held them off.
The above narrative is the easy way to go with this recap, and there’s some truth in all of it…but I also want to say – the Raiders did outplay the Bengals here. They won by 7, but I scorecard judge it as a 14+ point win. I’d also say some positives came out of this closer-than-expected win.
The main positive – the Raiders kept giving Cincy chances to tie this game, all game. But every time the Bengals started creeping into Raiders’ territory or getting near the red zone – Oakland would come up big on defense. That’s a positive for this game, but more importantly – that’s two weeks in a row the defense has started to answer the bell in tough spots.
Prior to the last two weeks, we all saw the Raiders as surprisingly solid on offense and a joke on defense. The past two weeks, their defense has led the way. Granted, against Rivers-Finley…but it’s a start. Typically, bad defenses be bad defenses and they can make Sam Darnold or Ryan Tannehill look great. Oakland is starting to dial in on defense led by Maxx Crosby providing a pass rush with solid/deep DTs and all the changes Oakland has had to make personnel-wise to the DB group…they’ve shifted in to a hungry, young, enthusiastic group instead of a tired, veteran-collecting-a-paycheck group.
I’m not saying the Raiders are now a top defense, but I am saying they are not the worst anymore. A plausible defense with a solid offense = playoffs, and possible the AFC West title. It’s likely too soon, not enough firepower for Oakland to beat KC at KC in two weeks, but we do see Oakland finishing with 9-10 wins and sneaking into the wild card. 10 wins gets them there for sure. 9 wins would need help.
Will Cincinnati win a game this year? Yes, I think so. I think they will either beat the Jets Week 13 or go to Miami and try to win against a Miami team inserting Josh Rosen just in time for the key loss to move ahead of Cincy for the #1 pick (if it can happen). If Cincy beats the Jets, I guarantee Josh Rosen will start Week 16 vs. CIN. I suspect Cincy will finish 1-15, but 2-14 is possible.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I already pushed the Raiders-DST a little, but for those considering a run with them (again, for some) this week against the Jets…
The Raiders have forced 7 turnovers in the past three games, they had 5 forced turnovers the first 7 games of the season.
The Raiders averaged 1.8 sacks per game the first 8 games of the season, they have posted 5 sacks in each of their last two games.
This week they face the Jets, who are bottom five in scoring per game and time of possession, dead last in 3rd-down conversion %, and are the 3rd-most sacked team in the league…1 sack away from being tied for the most sacked team.
It’s a great set up for another solid defensive performance.
-- Just a few notes to make you FF-cry about Darren Waller (5-78-0/7) from this game…
-Caught a pass near the goal line and was trying to run it in but stopped 2-yards shy of a score.
-Carr threw to a wide-open Waller in the end zone but threw it behind him and he couldn’t secure it for the score. Another near-TD.
-Later in the game, Carr threw an alley-oop in the end zone to Waller but couldn’t connect.
-Waller had a catch-and-run 25+ yard play called back due to penalty.
It was nearly an FF-explosion for Waller in this game, instead it was just ‘good/OK’.
-- Tyler Boyd (1-0-0/3) was taken out of this game. He was never open, and I would fear that the same will happen with him against the Steelers this week. Especially, with Auden Tate out.
Alex Erickson (1-0-0/5) could be a shock play out of necessity, and Damion Willis (0-0-0/1) could be a deep-deep sleeper (for a TD to occur)…a rookie who had a nice preseason connection with Ryan Finley.
Really, Finley has a good on-field chemistry with Tyler Eifert (3-21-0/4) so far, but I don’t know if Finley vs. a good defense will matter for any Cincy weapon.
-- The Cincy weapon that looks the best of all…Joe Mixon (15-86-1, 1-17-0/3) looks terrific. I know he has no O-Line, and the Bengals never use him in the passing game enough, etc. But purely eyeball…Mixon looks like a star…an imprisoned star. He has been percolating with FF-output the last two games.
-- I can’t tell you to not play Hunter Renfrow (5-66-0/6) in PPR this week, but he’s like a lot of these slot type guys…needs a TD to be relevant and TDs are not their game necessarily. Good matchup vs. the Jets, but he also had a good matchup one here and played just 44% of the snaps and had a typical 4-5 catch, 40-60 yards game.
I mean, Renfrow is probably better than Alex Erickson this week but I’m not seeing an emerging FF-star with Renfrow no more than a Cole Beasley, etc. It might work…but it’s probably 5-50-0 most weeks. You could do worse. You could do better.
-- The first two Ryan Finley (13-31 for 115 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) starts/stat lines are not great…
1 TD/2 INTs total, 47.5% Comp. Pct., 3.5 yards per attempt.
He looks OK, to my eyes, but it’s hard to evaluate him when he’s constantly under pressure. He’s making solid decisions but he’s not in a position to succeed. You can’t sell season tickets or a future to potential free agents…with Ryan Finley, especially the Finley we’ll see here running for his life every other snap.
Finley is not a big runner/mobility guy…but he did rush for 47 yards here and 22 yards in his debut.
-- Two quick IDP notes…
OAK newest signee D.J. Swearinger (7 tackles) debuted with 60% of the snaps played and 7 tackles.
CIN rookie ILB Germaine Pratt (6 tackles) played his most snaps of the season 48/69% and is likely to be pushing 80%+ ahead to get a preview of what he can do. He’s OK, nothing great…but Cincy has so many plays run at it that Pratt may start showing up with 8+ tackles regularly.
Snap Counts of Interest:
51 = Tyrell
48 = Zay
31 = Hunter
61 = Boyd
48 = A Tate
47 = Erickson
11 = St Morgan
06 = Willis
37 = Mixon
33 = Gio