2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 14 – Browns 27, Bengals 19
Not much to say about this one, the game itself… The Browns played their usual garbage game…games filled with drops, penalties, and red zone failures. The Bengals played their usual game…plucky but they suck. Cincy led 13-7 halfway through the 2nd-quarter and then the Browns kinda muscled their way past them and held on for the victory.
The Browns get to a 6-7 record…with a win over equally poorly coached/executed Arizona in Week 15, the Browns would be a shocking 7-7. The Browns are likely going to finish 8-8 this year…and considering they were 2-6 at the halfway point, and with all the national scrutiny and OBJ and Baker issues/focus…if they finish 6-2 to get to a final 8-8 record – how do you fire the coaching staff? You expected, what? 9-7? 10-6? They fell one-two games short of it under bizarre circumstances. You can’t be the worst coach ever if you can take this circus with all their penalties and issues and get to 8-8 with a win over Baltimore?
Regardless, there will likely be a change…and change to an old-school disciplinarian head coach. Tom Coughlin, maybe? Some older tough guy with an ego, and no other options…that this would be their last job/paycheck on the way to an end of a career. Ron Rivera would be a perfect hire for them, but with Washington and the Giants (among others) needing a coach…Rivera is a quality coach who has options. Anyone with options is not going to Cleveland because of the owner. Rivera may end up with the Giants if they cannot get Josh McDaniels. If I were the Browns, I‘d pay Rivera huge to take the job right this second and fire Kitchens (since they are anyway) and get the jump on the other teams. But they won’t. They’ll think they can attract a top hot name, and they won’t, and it will kill them. For fantasy, I’d like to see John DeFilippo there.
Cincinnati is a preview of the Browns if they don’t hurry and grab Rivera now… No one wanted the Cincy job last year, no one who had options, and they ended up with Zac Taylor, which is ridiculous. Cleveland needs an old school guy who Baker can get along with and change him as a leader – Ron Rivera would be perfect.
The Bengals have been playing hard most every week, I’ll give Taylor that credit. But they are still 1-12. They are the likely #1 draft pick for 2020 with a 1-15 finish.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- You thought this would be a great Baker Mayfield (11-24 for 192 yards, 0 TD/2 INT, 2-13-1) fantasy moment, considering they were facing the Bengals, but it wasn’t.
A few Baker notes…
1) I’ll keep saying it…Baker looks fine on tape. That’s worth noting because the sentiment is so bad. Carson Wentz and Mitch Trubisky don’t look good on tape to me, but Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray look stunning despite the issues around them dragging them down.
When Baker drops back, has time and any open receiver – he throws laser beams to receivers. He gets himself in trouble when he tries to force things to (rarely open) OBJ and Landry.
2) Two INTs this game…adding to a terrible INT season, so he’ll be mocked for it. But the picks here were kinda typical to this season…
#1: Njoku leaps to catch a pass, falls to the ground on his back with the ball, the defender falls to the ground with him and rips the ball away as once they’re on the ground. First, it was a catch and tackle…but called a bang-bang pick. Replay is doing God knows what each week in every game and they don’t reverse the call…and then this is Baker’s fault/a turnover for him.
#2: Baker throws high to a receiver downfield, a nice jump and catch…except it ends up a jump and clank off the hands right to a DB.
Neither was any egregious throw, just crap luck. I’d say half his picks this season began as passes that hit his receiver’s in the hands first.
3) Baker talking about the medical staff and how they handled OBJ’s injury…probably a bridge too far. I’m usually with Baker, but this was totally unnecessary and not what a leader does. I get he’s defending his teammate and maybe Baker is 100% right, but do you say it out loud in-season after a game? OBJ has done him no favors all season…and he is leaving, so why bother? Bad judgement on speaking, worse judgement on backing Odell the awful player this season.
It also might be what a guy says who has had it with this whole franchise, as I have been theorizing for a few weeks. Baker wanting out of Cleveland after the new coach is hired is a potential bombshell of the off-season. Baker is not shy about making waves…
-- Odell Beckham (2-39-0/5) will not be on the team next season. He will be cut. He doesn’t have any real trade value, but maybe some deal is worked out for trinkets. He’ll be cut (or traded) and wind up on the Patriots.
OBJ dropped two passes here that a #1 WR needs to catch but he is giving little effort on anything that puts him at risk and he’s just a shell of himself. I don’t know how he turns it back on, but Belichick is a miracle worker.
If Jalen Ramsey can force his way out of Jacksonville…then any player can. We’ve seen it with Antonio Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick this season…it’s the new way of the world. And I don’t disagree, but it’s going to start a wave of this happening…the moment divas are unhappy, they’ll start pulling stunts to get dealt. OBJ is next…and Baker after that, you watch.
The NFL should embrace it because it’s good off-season TV.
-- Watching it live, it sure looked like Kareem Hunt (9-28-1, 2-40-0/3) was more important to Freddie Kitchens than Nick Chubb (15-106-0, 1-11-0/1). They played about the same amount of snaps.
Hunt is like their best receiving threat anymore…better than OBJ or Landry. Hunt’s playing with the most energy. They need to get him more pass game work and have been but not as many this week.
-- David Njoku (1-4-0/3) played just 21 snaps in this game. He’s missed a chunk of the season. How much do you want to count on him to take advantage of the Arizona TE pass defense Week 15? It’s scary. I couldn’t do it unless I had limited other options.
The ARI-CLE game is at 4pmET. Maybe you add Njoku as a 2nd TE for your starter if your starter is a lower upside 4pmET or SNF/MNF TE like (Hunter Henry v. MIN, Rudolph v. LAC, Witten?)…and if you’re down bigger after TNF/1pmET games…then maybe you throw the Njoku hail mary that he rips off a big game.
We don’t even know if Njoku will start or play most of the snaps.
Ricky Seals-Jones (1-22-0/1) was cut by the new Cardinals coaching staff…he has an axe to grind. I bet he gets some extra juice this week…he might be the TE to own going against the Cardinals Week 15.
-- Andy Dalton (22-38 for 262 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) has 1 TD/1 INT in two games upon his return. He’ll get the Patriots this week and get killed. Then it’s Miami Week 16, and that might look good for Dalton for FF…but that will probably be Ryan Finley again…against Josh Rosen.
-- Auden Tate (1-16-0/4) is not likely playing this week after getting hurt here. He might miss a few games. You don’t like anything against NE Week 15, but then Week 16 at Miami might be something for John Ross (2-28-0/3) or Alex Erickson (5-45-0/7), if Dalton plays. We’ll see when we get there.
Snap Counts of Interest:
39 = Chubb
35 = Hunt
41 = S Carlson
21 = Njoku
11 = Seals-Jones
60 = Erickson
56 = Boyd
38 = Ross
29 = Tate
23 = S Morgan