2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 4 – Bucs 55, Rams 40
I watched this live, and then again for study purposes…and I’m still not sure what I just witnessed.
I just watched Jameis Winston’s best game I’ve ever seen him have, technically, stats aside. The best Ronald Jones event I’ve ever seen. And the Rams, Wade Phillips’ defense, look like one of the worst 3-5 defenses in football.
We can have to assess this one of two ways…
1) This is the new normal. Bruce Arians has fixed everything. The Bucs are a playoff threat. The Rams might not make the playoffs.
2) This was just one of those games that makes no sense and we don’t read too far into it. Like last year, when the Jags beat the Patriots with Blake Bortles at QB. Or when Tennessee smoked the Patriots midseason last year. Or when Dallas-New Orleans had a later season showdown and neither team could score. Or when the Bears dropped 50+ Week 4 on Tampa Bay and then the offense didn’t really follow through in subsequent weeks. Or when Ryan Fitzpatrick was league MVP for the first 3 weeks last season.
Sometimes things happen and they cannot be explained, and then normal returns soon after.
I’m going to assume the Bucs just had ‘one of those days’. I’m going to assume Winston and Jones just didn’t magically figure out how to be great at the same exact time. I’ve seen Winston have moments before, get everyone excited, and then be a total disaster within a few weeks.
I want to blame the Rams defense, but that’s a defense that was pretty solid in wins over the Saints and the Browns the prior two weeks – holding their last two opponents to 11.0 PPG combined. Then this mess. It was like the keystone cops out there.
If someone wants to believe that THIS is the turning point…that the Bucs are fixed/great and the Rams are doomed, you go right ahead. You might be right. I’ll assume this is more in the aberration arena, but I’ll be watching for confirmation, one way or the other, next week.
I have a feeling the Rams are going to make Seattle pay for this on TNF Week 5. If they don’t…then the Rams may be headed for quite a fall…led by a collapsing defense. We are tracking the Rams at a jittery 10 wins this season.
This is the same Tampa team that got embarrassed by Daniel Jones the week prior. A Tampa team that could have very easily been 0-3 coming into this game. We are tracking the Bucs with 6-7 wins, but if they beat the Saints this week…everything gets turned upside down. The schedule is not TB’s friend the next 3 games with at NO, CAR (U.K.), BYE, at TEN.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I have never typed or said that Jameis Winston (28-41 for 385 yards, 4 TDs/1 INT) has ever played a good game in the NFL. He’s either been bad or lucky, in my book. But he looked good this game – his best game ever. Nothing special I saw – same firing passes to predetermined receivers, but guys were wide open, and the Rams pass rush was mostly nonexistent. Winston, to his credit, dropped back in the pocket and threw some darts, along with some he got away with…but a lot of smart darts.
The worst Wade Phillips defensive plan/execution I’ve ever seen…lay back in a zone and hope Winston throws it to you. For three quarters, Winston hit everything in sight. The Rams started locking him down in the 4th-quarter and had him throw one of the stupidest interceptions you’ll ever see, which nearly gave the Rams an improbable comeback. But too little, too late.
The best Winston I’ve seen…for about the first 45-50 minutes, and then he started becoming his old self the last 10 minutes and nearly gave this game away.
Winston had racked up 21 TDs/14 INTs in 13 games prior to his last two games. Week 3 he lit up the Giants, but so does anyone not-named Dwayne Haskins. Week 4, Winston had this mega event. I just don’t believe ‘he’s fixed’. We’ll see this week. Could be we have a Rams D issue.
-- Same for Ronald Jones (19-70-1, 1-12-0/1)…we’ll see. If you ask me now, I say…don’t trust it.
Jones looked wonderful. Fast burst with the ball. Nice lanes to run through. Mostly I see Jones running straight through open space. Not creating, just running straight with nice blocking. That works. He also does some spinning away from a few tackles and broke a few this game. It’s like a whole new Jones played.
In fact, Jones left another 75+ yards rushing on the field due to unrelated penalties. He had a 50+ yard TD run taken away due to an illegal shift prior to the snap.
The Bucs line was brilliant here…or the Rams really suck, or both. Jones looked like a god…or he took advantage of a playing soft defense. I’ve never seen Jones like this, so I assume it’s not real. But if this is the O-Line gelling…it can work OK.
-- Jared Goff (45-68 for 517 yards, 2 TDs/3 INTs) might be getting ready to rack FF numbers…because if this team cannot play solid defense and it cannot run the ball – they’ll need a lot of Goff.
You know, the Rams got crushed here and no one is blaming the defense or the planning by McVay/Phillips or sad Todd Gurley. No, it’s Jared Goff is not a real QB. How is that? The guy was down 21-0 and had a arm-hit-as-he-threw pick and then a bad pick during all that, but then got up off the mat and outscored the opponent 40-34 over the final 51 minutes of play, throwing for 500+ yards and having a chance to tie at the end on a final drive – but somehow Goff sucks is the storyline? I don’t get it, but I totally get it because it’s the football media doing the same tired thing they always do.
-- Todd Gurley (5-16-2, 7-54-0/11) borderline sucks now, but you don’t hear that in the analysis. All excuses for him. It’s probably Goff’s fault Gurley sucks now.
Gurley is a solid RB2, possible RB1 because he gets great workload still. But the old weapon of mass destruction Gurley is long gone. He’s like David Johnson running the ball -- Gurley can’t hardly get past the line of scrimmage. Maybe it’s him/them, maybe it’s the O-Line. Whatever it is, DJ and Gurley…2016-2017 was a long time ago.
-- I knew Robert Woods (13-164-0/15) was due for a bounce back, but I didn’t expect this heroic event. It was a crisis, and Goff needed to make things happen…and he went to Kupp 16 times, Woods 15 times, and Cooks 9. That’s why I am ‘sell high’ on Cooks. He’s a very good 3rd-wheel here.
Goff threw two games worth of passes and yards here…you almost take Woods’ output and cut in half to see his normal game 5-6-7 catches for 70 +/- yards and no TDs. If you want to sell this event hot, I wouldn’t stop you.
-- Gerald Everett (5-44-1/8) had a nice game, but nothing is developing here. At a certain point Everett was pretty much left alone and Goff used him to get the offense moving and then as everything else clicked he forgot about Everett.
-- As the pinball game was going on, Jameis Winston went to Cameron Brate (3-36-1/3) three times, and O.J. Howard (3-33-0/3) three times.
There is no deader money at fantasy TE now than O.J. Howard. Been true every week this season. 2.5 catches per game and no TDs in 2019, so far. Wow.
-- The more I look at it, the more I see an issue with the Rams-DST...some signs of the 2019 Broncos/Chargers -- great reputation, can't get to the QB, and have weak linebackers, and have one good and one bad corner...and the bad one gets exposed too much.
I said I might grab if someone ditches them...I'm moving off that Monday statement.
Snap Counts of Interest:
74 = Gurley
24 = M Brown
36 = Ron Jones
21 = Ogunbowale
19 = Barber
70 = Godwin
67 = Evans
35 = Bobo Wilson
08 = Scott Miller
05 = Perriman
02 = J Watson