2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 15 – Pats 34, Bengals 13
The Patriots stormed right down the field to open the game with a quick 7-0 lead. I saw that watching it live and thought…’of course’. What I didn’t expect was for the Bengals to push their way down the field with their first drive , in response, and power run the ball all over the Patriots and immediately tie the score 7-7. Then I really didn’t expect the Bengals to be thwarting the Patriots on offense and Cincy moving the ball and taking a 10-7 lead with 2 minutes before the half.
But, because God is a Patriots fan, the Bengals were holding down the Patriots before half, forced them to punt with under two-minutes left and with enough time for Cincy to maybe get down and score before the half – and then the Bengals muffed the punt, set up the Patriots for an easy field goal to go into halftime with a disappointing, but fortuitous 10-10 tie.
The Andy Dalton pick festival began in the 2nd-half, and the Patriots pulled away and started playing backups to finish off a 34-13 victory. Looked like a blowout, but for the 1st-half the Bengals were pushing the Patriots around…they just started with the turnovers and killed themselves off.
Cincy is now 1-13 and has a big game against Miami Week 16…lose the game, and they can lock down Joe Burrow (who, if I were him, I’d refuse to go there, but that’s discussion for January). The Miami-Cincy game is a pick ‘em. I’ll project a Cincy loss and thus the #1 pick should be headed their way.
The Patriots are now 11-3 and face a huge game with 10-4 Buffalo. The Patriots need to win out to hold a #2 seed. If they lose to the Bills this week, everything comes unraveled…the Pats would lose the edge for the #2 seed, and Week 17 is still live for the AFC East title. Pats lose out and Bills win out…the Bills are the shocking AFC East champs and possible #2 seed!!!
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- My biggest takeaway here...the Patriots are trying to push N’Keal Harry (2-15-1/4, 2-22-0). Somewhere between desperation and just needing to get him ready, and the Cincy game a scrimmage-like event, we saw more Harry here.
Two jet sweeps in this game.
Just 4 targets, only 2 catches but did connect for a TD, and did have a sweet 32-yard catch called back for an offsides.
Given Julian Edelman (2-9-0/5) is very banged up and hanging on by a thread to be able to play Week 16…the Pats need Harry-Sanu to pick it up. The problem with that for FF is…facing the Bills Week 16 is not a great opportunity to break out or shine.
*FFM Schedule for the rest of week…
12/19 THU = Projections update around 9pmET (no TNF game this week)
12/20 FRI = Projections update around 8-9pmET planned
12/21 SAT = Projections update around noonET. No video Q&A (not enough news happening pre-1pm kickoff)
12/22 SUN = Video Q&A show as usual. Projections update 12:30pmET +/-
-- My other big note here…Joe Mixon (25-136-03-20-0/3) had his way with the Patriots defense running the ball, especially early in the game when it mattered.
Mixon has looked so good running the ball the 2nd-half of the season, doing so on a bad team with a dreadful O-Line.
He faces the 2nd-worst run defense in the NFL Week 16 vs. Miami.
-- Tyler Boyd (3-26-0/7) got locked down vs. Stephon Gilmore.
No catches in the 1st-half. Dalton tried to force it to him quickly to open the 2nd-half and Gilmore picked it. Next series, another force to Boyd…and Gilmore got a pick six.
Boyd is a very good, underrated WR and was fighting to the end, but Gilmore was better…and Dalton is no help. This week against Miami, Boyd should be good/great.
-- Andy Dalton (17-31 for 151 yards, 1 TD/4 INTS) has started three games since returning to the starting lineup…2 TDs/5 INTs…less than 58% Comp. Pct. – but only sacked 3 times in three games.
Andy Dalton is mailing it in.
He got benched…so, I’m sure he’s not 100% committed to this 1-3 rookie head coach. He is not returning to Cincy in 2020. He’ll never start again, after Week 16, on purpose, in the NFL. He’s made a ton of money. He can be cut in the offseason for $0 due/cap hit. He’s not likely going to go serve as a backup somewhere. He might be an emergency midseason guy for a contender that sustained an injury…but we are probably seeing the last NFL games of Dalton, and he doesn’t want to be touched/hit on the way out for this sad team so he’s just chucking quick and hoping it lands…and planning his retirement. Week 16 is probably his last NFL game.
Snap Counts of Interest:
56 = Sanu
40 = Edelman
38 = N’Keal
09 = Dorsett
07 = Jakobi
44 = Mixon
22 = Gio
27 = Michel
25 = White
20 = Rex