2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 14 – Falcons 40, Panthers 20
This was a big ‘who cares?’ game of the week, but actually…one of my favorite rewatches of the week, if not the single most interesting. Not the game itself, I mean – who cares about these two teams? But the fantasy notes, the players I got to see work for the first time in certain roles this week in the 2019 season…it was cool.
As far as the game went, Carolina is pulling a Jacksonville…quitting on the season. It was 30-10 Falcons after three quarters and 40-13 at one point before a late/junk TD. No contest…Falcons trying, Carolina not. And Carolina has Master of Disaster, Norv Turner in an advisory role…so, if things weren’t bad enough…
Atlanta has now swept the season series with Carolina and are closing in on sending the Panthers into a last place finish. We project Atlanta with 5-6 wins by the end (4-9 currently) and Carolina will likely not win another game and end up 5-11 on an 8-game losing streak. Another implosion to end the season for Carolina.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The first note is just an FYI…
I’m hearing (as of this writing) that Devonta Freeman (17-84-14-10-0/4) is in some jeopardy of not playing this week due to a knee issue. If there is an issue, and Freeman has to miss Week 15…and maybe the rest of the season (why not shut him down?) – Brian Hill (9-62-1) would be a prime position to face two weaker run defenses, of late, for the next two weeks in SF and JAX.
OK, now the fun stuff. Three fun items…
-- (#1) Ian Thomas (5-57-1/10) was terrific in this game.
An old school bully TE with better-than-average athleticism. Several plays where Thomas just got a short pass and trucked people in his way after the catch. He’s so much more dangerous as a TE weapon than Greg Olsen, it’s embarrassing that he hasn’t played more on passing downs…but, you don’t lose a ton of games and the head coach gets fired in-season (and the rest will be fired in a few weeks) because you’re doing a bang up coaching job.
Ian Thomas is a TE1 every week…as long as Greg Olsen is out. I assume Olsen will fight his way back to active Week 15 because he’s such a gamer…and the non-caring about the Panthers’ future coaching staff will push Olsen to have a victory lap because he’s done in Carolina/the NFL after the season most likely…finally.
2020 season…Ian Thomas, TE1 projection…with a real QB.
Week 15, with Olsen back, Ian Thomas is a TE3.
-- (#2) OK, Scottie (Norv Jr.) Turner got to sit at the grown up table this game, his first time as the official O-C, definitely not helped by his dad to get into the NFL at the upper-middle (instead of the bottom).
I want to make fun of Great Scott but, maybe he’s not a chip off the old block – because Scottster actually said that he wanted to use Curtis Samuel (2-25-0/4, 3-17-0) as a runner more because of his college work – and then he actually half-tried to deliver on it…Samuel was lined up TWO times in the backfield as a tailback and took carries. Maybe there’s hope for Scott after all, just do the opposite of what your dad thinks, and you could have a career.
Samuel also had yet another game where he was wide-open on bombs and the great Norv Turner project/Kyle Allen missed once/twice again. First one, not Kyle’s full fault…Samuel was tracking a 50-yard TD but then was tackled by the CB for a pass interference because he knew he was cooked (but I think it was overthrown again). Later in the game, Samuel had 2-3 steps flying downfield and Allen missed him for a 50+ yard score by a yard overthrown.
In that rare fantasy scoring system of just-missed TD bombs because the QB sucks – Curtis Samuel is the #1 draft pick for 2019.
Just remember that in 2020, when I push Samuel again and you’re all…that guy was such a letdown in 2019…yeah, I know…and I know why. The fact is – the opportunity is there, and it is golden.
Samuel still has more TDs than Alvin Kamara, so give him a break.
-- (#3) Falcons UDFA Olamide Zaccheaus (1-93-1/2) had a sweet catch and run, long TD. 3rd & long from their own 9-yard line and Matt Ryan just heaved deep…underthrew it with Zaccheaus 5+ yards ahead of coverage. O.Z. (we’ll just go O.Z. to save typing)…adjusted to the pass, and then pulled away from the defender and left him in the dust.
Zaccheaus had such a nice preseason and is a really promising ‘poor man’s’ Deebo Samuel type of WR. If he’s starting this week (with Calvin Ridley done for the season) – he’s a legit FF WR3/flex option, but I don’t know if we’ll know if he’s really starting/playing heavy snaps or not until the game is underway.
I’m way more excited about O.Z. than I am Russell Gage (2-17-0/4).
-- You’d think Carolina would turn to Will Grier to see what they have but remember – Norv Turner is in charge of the team, essentially as ‘advisor’. His guy is Kyle Allen, so that will never happen. Norv will ride Allen all the way until the owner stops him or in Week 17 they might do Allen a half, Grier a half. Norv does not care about the Panthers, just himself…and I cannot blame him. Norv will be fired, for the umpteenth time, in a few weeks. The owner did this to himself.
Grier is not bad. I just know there is no way the Turner’s did anything with him since they’re so head-jammed-up-the-ass of Allen. They may not know Grier by sight when they bump into him in the building/at the team cafeteria. Grier probably has to reintroduce himself every time they run into each other.
You think I’m kidding, but I could tell you stories from backup QBs in the NFL who talked to me about how head coaches can ignore various players…especially 3rd-string or practice squad type guys. Not mean spirited, just they’re busy…and the sad part is you’d think they’d know everyone and their capabilities, but coaches spend time game planning, managing minutiae and don’t have time to scout 50-100 players at each position every offseason nor watch ALL the teams every week in-season…they don’t have time.
-- Maybe the most important note on here…maybe…
Did you know that Younghoe Koo (4/4 FGs, 4/4 XPs) began kicking Week 10 for the Falcons…and since that time he is the #1 scoring kicker in PPG in fantasy?
FGs in a game, in his five games since joining the Falcons: 4-3-3-2-4.
My prior week’s projections keep saying the circumstances can’t keep it up…but it/he does.
Are you rocking an up and down kicker for Week 15 playoffs? Koo has been the Ryan Tannehill of kickers of late, FYI…
Snap Counts of Interest:
45 = Freeman
14 = Hill
10 = Ollison
55 = Julio
36 = Ridley
35 = Gage
21 = Zaccheaus
12 = Blake
12 = Hardy
70 = McCaffrey
02 = Bonnafon