2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 4 – Jags 26, Broncos 24
Denver had a 17-6 halftime lead, at home, and it looked like the Broncos would win their first game…and then a rookie QB outsmarted a 30+ year veteran NFL head coach and Leonard Fournette FINALLY arrived!
And my Denver ‘over’ win total bets can all go in the trash, while my Jaguars ones are back alive with a vengeance.
Denver is too good a team to be 0-4, but here we are. If they weren’t unlucky enough to lose to Chicago and Jacksonville last second, now Bryce Callahan is out for more weeks and then Bradley Chubb is gone. They might as well start selling off pieces of this team on eBay. Emmanuel Sanders to New Orleans or Cleveland or New England – watch out for it before the trade deadline.
That trade won’t happen yet/this week. If the Broncos manage an upset of the Chargers Week 5 (possible) and then they beat Tennessee at home (possible) then a 2-4 Denver can play Week 7 TNF hosting KC like it’s a Super Bowl. If they lose Week 5 or 6, any 2019 season delusion is over. If they can win their next two, the season is not totally over yet…even if they then lose to KC.
The Jags…oh, my beloved Jags! If they can split their next two (at CAR, host Brees-less Saints) they would then beat (in theory) CIN-NYJ after that and be 5-3 heading to Europe for a Houston showdown that if they win – they are winning the AFC South with ease. We’re still projecting the Jags at 9-10 wins…and me in the ‘over’ win total money.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I don’t really miss on QB scouting by too much. I’m rarely miles off, and I’m usually the only one right where everyone else is wrong on a thing…a lot. I have more confidence in my QB scouting than any position, not to insult my other brilliant scouting abilities. I’m even more confident in my scouting once I’ve done the college study and then get to see them in the pros for a few games.
With that being said, I offer you this: Gardner Minshew (19-33 for 213 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) might end up the best QB in this 2019 NFL Draft class.
I thought Jarrett Stidham would be better, and he might still. I think Kyler Murray is clearly better than all of them in raw talent but if Kingsbury gets canned…I’m not sure what happens with Murray down the line. I thought Minshew had some ‘it’ in pre-Draft scouting (his CFM scouting report is on FFM for free), but I also thought he’d never get a real shot or development.
Turns out…he didn’t need any development, and he’s got his shot. He looks utterly brilliant for a rookie. Considering his path to this point, maybe only Baker looked better among the rookies thrown into the fire early their rookie season. Minshew is playing ‘capably’, he’s working like one of the 15 best QBs in the league. I am not joking.
THEY are thinking Daniel Jones is the future. THEY have gone silent on their boy Lamar Jackson. THEY think Minshew is funny because of his mustache – and really, they are insulting him with all the mustache stuff. They are treating him like a whacky side show character who came out of nowhere but doesn’t belong and not supposed to be much more than an NFL backup – so they are treating him like a freak show attraction who doesn’t belong at their party. Heck, THEY didn’t think he’d beat out Cody Kessler for the #2 job this preseason. Now, here he is…about to lead the Jags to a division crown.
Minshew has an ‘it’ factor that’s hard to describe – I just know it when I see it. I stand by my scouting report…he’s Baker Mayfield-lite, 10% less sugar added Baker. A good+ arm. Great pocket awareness and unflappable in muddy situations. Can read defenses with the best of them. Smart feet to avoid trouble, slides and throws or scrambles if needed. He should be touted as a future star…not Daniel Jones. But Jones play in New York and was picked higher -- and that’s all that matters to the extraordinarily lazy football media. Jacksonville isn’t on their agenda of things to watch…nor anything to do with Washington State/Mike Leach.
Minshew has 7 TDs/1 INT in his first 4 games. 5 TDs/0 INTs as the full starter with a 2-1 record. He’s only throwing for 200-215 yards in games not because that’s what he does (like Jacoby Brissett will over time), but because he’s just missed on some bombs and/or had the WRs yanked down for a P.I. versus a catch. Minshew took two big shots to Chris Conley in this game…he just missed on both. He took some shots at Chark too. He’s been throwing for 200-215 yards per game, but 250+ yard games are coming. The defense’s focus on Leonard Fournette will make sure of that.
Watch these highlights from Week 4 on Minshew…there’s like 3-4 Hall of Fame level plays of vision and escape-ability in one little old game as a rookie. It’s crazy. You want to talk about crazy – the TD pass to Armstead after Minshew escapes about 15 sack attempts is surreal. And then his TD pass (about at the 1:00 mark here) to O’Shaughnessy was the best designed play 2019 potentially.
Oh, and yes…the Jags have a Nick Foles issue. This is Minshew’s team. He is the future, and the future is now…BUT they have so much money into Foles for 2019-2020. Foles is a good guy and would not make waves – but he deserves to start in the NFL. Jacksonville can’t trade him this season. Likely, Foles takes back over when he returns, and then is dealt in the offseason. It’s a great issue to have – two top 20 in the league talents on the same roster right now. The easier management decision is to play Foles and let cheap Minshew sit/grow, but the moment Foles loses a game people will lose their mustaches over him playing ahead of Minshew. I know how this works – Foles is to be hated at all times. Now, the football media can get him again…get him booted out of Jacksonville.
I suspect Foles will get traded or start for Jacksonville in 2020 but be under constant Minshew pressure. He will get cut by a team in 2021 and get paid a nice chunk of change to leave and then he’ll quietly retire. He’ll be done with the NFL. He’ll get $40M+ from 2019-2021 from the NFL as a parting gift. Not bad. What might have been…but forces beyond his control do not want him to be on the field it seems.
-- Speaking of trades…I’m waiting to see what the Jags do for a trade for Jalen Ramsey. Had they face planted and gone to 0-4 by now…they’d take picks, but now with Minshew/Foles and a real chance to win this division walking away – they can win this division and all save their jobs. They would only trade Ramsey for players if they are ‘going for it’ in 2019. Picks do nothing for them right now. They can trade Ramsey for picks in the offseason.
Philly has what they want – Dallas Goedert and Al Dillard, but the Eagles are too chicken to pull the trigger…despite the fact that Ramsey is what could save their season.
Kansas City doesn’t have the players Jacksonville needs. Nor does Arizona. Nor does Baltimore. The Saints won’t part with Erik McCoy in a deal to do it. The Rams don’t have what the Jags need/want. Only the Eagles have the perfect offer of players they aren’t using much for exactly what they need (Ramsey)…and Philly is the most desperate for corner team among all the contenders.
The Eagles are trying to send Ertz instead, but the Jags want the young tight end not the older, expensive one. I expect players to be added to each side and a deal to be done between them at some point. The Eagles could have this done…it’s up to them. Maybe the Jags would add Foles?
-- Each team in this game have new era #1 WRs…future WR1s in fantasy with good QB play, but one has that QB play and the other not so much…
D.J. Chark (4-44-0/8) caught his 4th TD in 4 games here, but (of course) called back for a penalty. Chark battled Chris Harris all game and did pretty well against him. As well as Courtland Sutton (6-62-0/9) did the week prior.
Chark is clearly Minshew’s guy, because Minshew is smart…and because Chark is playing at a Pro Bowl level. He’s just not luckily open or getting a ton of targets – he’s making professional catches all over on good coverage corners. A star is born.
Sutton had 2 TDs here, Ramsey out opened things up, and he looked so graceful doing it. He’s going to score 10+ TDs this season. I love Sutton just as much, BUT the Drew Lock factor looms over the future and that scares me a bit/a lot because Lock sucks worse than Dwayne Haskins.
-- Finally, Leonard Fournette (29-225-0, 2-20-0/3)!!! Fournette looks great. The schedule is nice ahead. Please…please…please don’t get hurt.
You want me to shock you? Fournette is just 6 yards rushing away from Dalvin Cook’s 2019 rushing total this season. Now, Len…we need TOUCHDOWNS.
-- All this hype and my new/old love child Phillip Lindsay (9-53-0, 1-7-0/2) seems lost in the rubble. Nothing like the ace I glowed about last week. My bad. I’m still on the Lindsay train. I want him for RB2-2.5 money/exchange. I want him as a deal in PPR. An undervalued guy among the RB hell we all live in.
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-- Did you see that Noah Fant (2-31-1/4) TD? Sweet catch over the middle and then just blasted off like Evan Engram and raced past/through everyone for a 25-yard TD. A fantasy star will be born someday. Useful during bye weeks this year for hope for some.
-- Two defenses heading south/going bad…Denver and Jacksonville.
Denver finally got to the QB, five sacks in this game, but lost Bradley Chubb (6 tackles, 1 sack) for the season in the process. This really kills any hope in their DST for 2019.
The Jags are headed to becoming the new 2019 Broncos – a ‘name’ but can’t get to the QB. No sacks and just 3 QB hits in this game. No Ramsey…and this Jags’ defense goes from possibly great to potentially good, maybe. Weeks 7-8 with CIN-NYJ work, in theory.
Snap Counts of Interest:
34 = Royce
25 = Lindsay
25 = Mq. Lee
10 = Cole
38 = Josh Allen
34 = Justin Hollins
24 = Malik Reed
12 = Taven Bryan