2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 4 – Panthers 16, Texans 10
The Carolina Panthers are the best team in the NFC South.
When Brees returns, we’ll reassess.
When Cam returns, it’s not…and not a playoff team.
We’re just talking ‘today’.
This was impressive. The Panthers go into Houston minus a top corner and their top defensive tackle…and beat the Texans in their dome. Wow. It was no fluke. If anything, the Panthers should’ve won by more (a couple strip sack fumbles by Houston saved them a few times). Houston had their chances to win too, and it’s no blight on them…it’s just this Panthers team is really, really good…now that Kyle Allen is in with a rock solid, well-coached roster.
The Panthers should be 3-1 right now. They might have been 4-0 had they started Kyle Allen since the summer. They were a Cam Newton away from being 4-0…that’s the state of the union in Carolina. And they will mess that up when Cam can return by forcing him back into the lineup.
The season might actually be saved by Cam…because I don’t think he really cares about football anymore. I think he’d be fine to take a year to heal and collect a check for designing high-end moo-moos for himself or whatever his passions are that are clearly not football. Cam is in it for a check…but not in an evil way…more in the way that most of us will go to work every day – gotta get that paycheck and keep the personal life rolling and bills getting paid. Cam could be cut and save Carolina money now, but they would never do that. They’ll pay him to sit out and then next year he either makes $21M to play or they can cut him for $2M hit. I’d like to make a bet on how that decision turns out. Cam could/will see the writing on the wall and use this latest injury to do what Andrew Luck did – retire early and cash out and enjoy life and stop taking hits. We may never see Cam play another snap of pro football.
We project the Panthers 9-7 final record without Cam returning…and 7 wins if Cam returns after the BYE week.
Houston should be 4-0, but they almost were 0-4. It’s the same old Houston team…win followed by loss followed by win…rinse and repeat. Their season likely comes down to Week 9 in Europe versus Jacksonville. We see 8-9 wins if they beat Jacksonville Week 9, and 7-8 wins if they don’t. They are a classic 8-8 team that’s a stroke of good luck away from 9-10 wins and a division title…or 7-8 wins and missing the playoffs.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, now I’m glowing about Kyle Allen (24-34 for 232 yards, 0 TD/0 INT)…
I entered the season with a shoulder shrug on Kyle Allen. Didn’t think it was possible he’d matter with Cam around and as a lost/forgotten UDFA, but credit to Norv Turner *sorry, my computer just malfunctioned at those last keystrokes* for sticking with Allen and grooming him since back in Minnesota. Allen is ready to play. He’s confident and making smart decisions. He’s a discount Gardner Minshew – smart, confident, will beat you if the O-Line holds up and has weapons to throw to (Minshew is much better/much higher ceiling). He won’t put a team on his back and be all Aaron Rodgers-like, but he will not hurt you. He’ll run the playbook and be smart about scouting the opponent.
Add yet another guy who walks in off the street and is just fine quarterbacking in the NFL. The NFL is soooo difficult. You need so much study time and practice time and a big arm and a telephone book-sized playbook…and…what’s that? Kyle Allen and Gardner Minshew were thrown into action as ignored backups and are cruising right through NFL teams? Hmmmm. Maybe I shouldn’t give Jameis Winston a $100M contract to play for my team next season.
-- And call off all your fears on Curtis Samuel (3-32-0/7). You don’t fully trust Samuel, and you really don’t think much of Kyle Allen (because we’ve all been brainwashed into it)…so, when Samuel has a good game with Allen Week 3 – you’re cautiously optimistic/don’t trust it. When Samuel has low numbers Week 4 with Allen…you knew it was coming/you’re ready to bail. You enjoy living under a dark cloud.
It’s a ‘you’ problem. https://youtu.be/2uAj4wBIU-8
It was a problem I had as well. I didn’t love the optics either when it first happened/Allen took over.
All I can tell you is this – here’s how I know Allen is super-smart…he’s making Curtis Samuel his #1 WR…his ‘guy’. He knows where the talent is. Everyone else, besides CMC, is a pawn in his chess game. Samuel is ‘his guy’. Allen gunned three 30+ yard bombs to Samuel in this game…which is better than THE ZERO Cam Newton was giving Samuel in a season.
The first 40+ yard throw, Samuel was tackled by the DB while the ball was in the air (P.I. called). The second 40+ yard throw, hit Samuel in the hand but was off the mark. Had Allen thrown it out in front of Samuel (vs. behind, and Samuel adjusting with a DB right on him), it’s a 50+ yard TD. The third was a 30+ yard shot into the end zone but Samuel was doubled, and Allen threw it where only Samuel might get it but it was uncatchable.
Two weeks in a row, I’m WILDLY encouraged by the Allen-Samuel connection…even more so with this low number game. I fear Cam-Samuel, I like Allen-Samuel.
Dionte Johnson or Curtis Samuel ahead? As long as Allen is at QB, it’s Samuel by a mile.
-- Let me say for the 4th-week in a row: Carlos Hyde (12-58-04-6-0/5) looks like one of the 5-10 best runners of the ball in the NFL. It’s Houston, so his opportunities are hit and miss…but he’s going to be a steady RB2 week-to-week with a chance he goes on a TD binge.
Current, non-FFM, owners of Hyde see a problem. I see a cheap opportunity I’d like to swipe and stick him on my depth chart where I’m scrambling for RBs. Sure, Penny might… Singletary might… Hyde is starting and playing and producing solidly right now. He is, as of now…he’s not ‘might’. If you need a worker in BYE weeks ahead, and/or can get him thrown into a deal as a nothing add-on…I’d do it.
-- DeAndre Hopkins (5-41-0/8) is averaging 5.3 rec., 49.3 yards, and 0.0 TDs per game…on, get this = just 7.7 targets per game the past 3 weeks.
He has been a WR3-4 for three straight weeks. Is there an issue? Ramsey shut him down one of them. Carolina has a very good defense in this one. I don’t think there is an issue.
The schedule is golden the next 3 weeks: ATL-KC-IND.
It’s DeAndre Hopkins. Of course, he’ll be fine!
I mean, probably?
-- Shaq Thompson (12 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack) is fully starting now and is starting to hum – 11.5 tackles per game the past two games. A sack in each of his last two games. He’s been undervalued/underappreciated for too long. Good for him. Good for IDP.
-- The Panthers-DST...
The best pass defense (in yards per game) in the NFL. Just 4 pass TDs/4 INTs allowed this season. #1 in the league in sacks.
They are like the Packers -- great against the pass, can rush the passer, not as great against the run.
You could start Carolina-DST with confidence most weeks the rest of the season.
Snap Counts of Interest:
68 = Fuller
67 = Hopkins
40 = Coutee
11 = Stills
45 = Duke Johnson
33 = Hyde
43 = Fells
33 = Akins