2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 15 – Cardinals 38, Browns 24
I was hoping for a shootout, and I got one…kinda.
62 combined points…8 combined TDs. Surely, the QBs must have flourished with these totals, amiright? Surely, not.
Baker and Kyler accounted for 3 TDs combined in mild performances. I wanted an Air Raid to break out with teams that throw a lot…instead they ran the ball a combined 58 times for 378 yards and 5 TDs – totally unlike their styles or outcomes of play in 2019, and yet…it happened…just when I needed these QBs in the fantasy playoffs.
A fitting end, where I lost playoff games this week.
The Browns with a lot to play for…a possible rise to 7-7 respectability and saving their coach’s job devolved into another sloppy game of them trying to force passes to OBJ-Landry to shut them up. Spoiler alert – it didn’t work, and it never works…but they’ll try it again next week.
Arizona is the worst coached and worst execution team in the NFL…and they just outplayed Cleveland in every facet. Arizona never trailed and played one of their best games of the season, if not their best. Cleveland…was ‘Cleveland’.
This is the kind of game that gives you hope with Arizona…if they can just protect Kyler, great things happen. Kyler Murray was the most sacked QB in the NFL, coming into this game…in this game the Browns registered 0 sacks and 0 QB hits. I’m not sure I’ve seen another game with ZERO QB hits, especially on the most QB-hittable team. Give Kyler time and he will kill you.
Arizona won’t have it so easy ahead…@SEA, @LAR. Week 17, they will probably face Bortles…so, maybe one more win. Arizona likely to finish 5-10-1 this season.
Cleveland…no hope for the future shown here. They have to gut this whole thing/franchise/roster, and that probably should include Baker (who I believe will ask for trade this year or next) as well as the GM and Head Coach. However, Cleveland is such a cesspool franchise that…’who are they going to find to replace anyone with?’ The Browns are stuck keeping the dysfunction they have or going with a new dysfunction brought in. The Browns are a surreal study of ineptitude from the top-to-the-bottom. They are 6-8 likely headed to 7-9, because Kitchens will play everyone Week 17 because he doesn’t care about any of the player’s futures besides trying to win games and stay employed, which you cannot blame him.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The Kyler Murray (19-25 for 219 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 8-56-0) report…
He looked totally fine here, maybe the best game he’s played outside of the Tampa Bay game. He was efficient. Threw his usual darts to receivers whenever they were open. Led his team to a season-high 38 points. All I wanted, for FF, was Kyler in a game where his team/offense scored 30+ points, I figured my odds with him, if that happened, would be great.
Four Kenyan Drake TDs later…
How can I get mad? I mean, I’m pissed…but, really… I played Kyler for the upside, especially if I was down to Lamar’s TNF event. I got Kyler’s team scoring 38 points and him running the ball 8 times. It’s all I could’ve expected. I couldn’t plan for him getting his team to within the goal line on several drives, setting up short Drake scores. Kyler didn’t do anything wrong; he just didn’t pile on the FF points the way I/we needed.
The big takeaway here is…and I can see it clear as a bell – if Kyler has time, he’s the most lethal passer in the league…in a debate of him v. Mahomes. You think the ‘time to throw’ matters (for the guy who had been sacked more than any QB in the league this season coming into the game)?
Check this out…
In games where Kyler has been sacked two or fewer times this season:
4-1 record, 67% Comp. Pct., 248.0 passing yards, 49.4 rushing yards, 1.4 TDs/0.4 INTs per game…20+ FF PPG (4pts per pass TD). It includes two games (CLE and NYG), where the Cardinals ran for 7 total TDs in the game.
The Cardinals scored 28.4 PPG in those five games.
In all the games Kyler has been sacked 3 or more times this season:
0-8-1 record and the team has scored just 18.7 PPG.
The sack counts/the pressure correlate to wins/losses and top 5 league scoring pace or bottom 5 league scoring pace. This offense is some front line ‘blocking’ away from being the talk of the league. Can they actually get to it? Not sure they can.
Where Kyler can go in 2020…what the Cardinals do for upgrading their blocking – two of the biggest dilemmas, opportunities to study this offseason.
-- And then there’s Baker Mayfield (30-43 for 247 yards, 2 TDs/1 INTs)…
I’ve about hit full disgust with Baker. I bet big on him this season, along with Kyler…hoping one or both panned out huge to compete with Mahomes…and Kyler did decent, and Baker flopped.
When I watch Baker, I still see a great QB. No one has vision for the field like Baker Mayfield, except maybe Kyler. The problem is – Baker rarely has anyone open, and when he does have options he’s too busy trying to force to OBJ-Landry…who, if they don’t get enough targets in a game, start crying to the coach, the media, and the heavens.
How can Baker succeed in this dysfunction? Answer…he can’t.
I thought the dysfunction might work for him for fantasy scoring like it does Jameis Winston. Nope.
This game was maybe a bridge too far. You cannot face Arizona’s pass defense and not tear it apart. Baker was good-not-great here…he should’ve toyed with the Cardinals secondary. OBJ did his requisite drop key passes, and there were other drops, but against the easiest pass defense to face in the league…Baker couldn’t even pretend to take advantage. Jameis with a broken hand tore apart the Detroit Lions.
If the circus (Kitchens, OBJ. Landry) is back next year…how can we trust them for FF? From a Baker standpoint?
If everything is changed and the circus is kicked out of town…how will they be replaced, and will that be favorable to Baker?
I thought the Baker future was exceedingly bright, for production…now, I don’t know what the hell to do with him. I cannot begin to imagine until January, when we see who the management team is or isn’t. Then by March end…who is at WR or isn’t.
I don’t think Baker is dead, but there are way more questions than answers now.
-- OBJ (8-66-0/13) and Jarvis Landry (5-23-0/8)…these are their results/outputs facing the worst pass defense in the league? You think you are stars? You are both are a joke. You’re stealing money from the Browns, but they gave you the key to their vault…so, it’s their fault more than yours.
-- The best receiver on this team by a mile is Kareem Hunt (4-14-0, 8-62-0/9). He is an RFA this offseason, which means a team can offer him a big contract and the Browns can choose to match it or lose him for a higher draft pick compensation…Hunt will be a 1st-round pick RFA tender. So, if a team signs him and the Browns do not match, they get an end of the 1st-round pick.
It will be interesting to see if the Browns match it or not. Depends upon who the GM/coach is.
-- Kenyan Drake (22-137-4, 1-9-0/1) won some folks a fantasy week, out of nowhere. The guy has been garbage for weeks, and then this event happened…he faced a garbage team and ‘boom’, now he’s a star again.
The Cardinals are probably/likely to offer Drake a nice deal in the offseason, to be their pairing with Chase Edmonds.
David Johnson (3-6-0) will be elsewhere. Tampa Bay (connection Arians), the Jets (swap for Le’Veon Bell contract instead of signing Drake), and the Chiefs (Tyrann Mathieu is already calling for it on Twitter) are in the early lead. This could also be a moment where Bill Belichick storms in if a ‘deal’ on cut/released David Johnson occurs. The Eagles and Colts would also be in-play, I believe.
-- Dan Arnold (1-6-1/1) scored a sweet TD for Arizona! The Dynasty Stash player was a promising TE/WR for the Saints, but never got consistent work and was released midseason, scooper by Arizona, and probably sticks here…which is doom for fantasy because the TE is not in a good place in this offense.
-- Christian Kirk (4-33-0/5) has been under 50 yards receiving in three of his last 4 games. He’s played 11 games this season, had a TD in just one of those games (3 TDs v. TB).
He’s the poor man’s Keenan Allen or Robert Woods’ story…lots of catches but hit-and-miss on the TDs, mostly miss. I thought he was a slam dunk WR1 for PPR in 2020, but his 2019 finish has been up and down, more down/mediocre of late.
-- Ricky Seals-Jones (3-29-0/4) was a young, Arizona TE hopeful, but the new regime cut him in 2019 (and with good reason, he’s a jerk…perfect fit for Cleveland’s locker room). He landed with the Browns. He got a ‘revenge’ game here and scored 2 TDs.
These are things important to jerk players…remember, when Jarvis Landry was hot against the Dolphins a few weeks ago? Baker is the kind of jerk that knows this and pushes it to the guys to get their stupid revenge. Hurray!
OBJ owners are like…why couldn’t the Browns have the Giants on the schedule this year!
Snap Counts of Interest:
46 = Drake
13 = DJ
00 = Edmonds
21 = Byrd
15 = Isabella
12 = Cooper
11 = D Arnold
02 = Sherfield
43 = K Hunt
35 = Chubb
07 = Hilliard