2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 4 – Patriots 16, Bills 10
A lot of ‘themes’/narratives being thrown around from this game…”The Bills are a really good team,” and “…that terrible hit to knock out Josh Allen!” My takeaway would be – I don’t think this Patriots team is as good as we think it is. The first real resistance they faced…they struggled mightily.
I mean, the Pats win the AFC East, and go to the Super Bowl and win it…but this year’s group is nowhere near in the debate of the Patriots’ best teams. This is a very beatable Patriots team. We’re jumping off a cliff on them because they beat terrible Pittsburgh, Miami, the Jets, (combined 0-9 the first three weeks) and now had Josh Allen hand them a game. This defense is really good, and deep – but give me a break with humiliating Fitzpatrick/Rosen-Falk-Allen. That’s facing garbage QBs week in and week out. And guess what! Colt McCoy, Dan Ten-cent, and Darnold are the next three.
The Patriots will have opened the season with six scrimmage games. We really don’t know how good they are…but minus two key O-Linemen, minus the AB experience, and a weak run game and no scary WRs – we may be radically overestimating this team.
I know Tom Brady is the greatest, and I know the Bills have a great defense…but Brady had no answers in this crisis. Fortunately, Josh Allen doled out picks like Halloween candy and the Pats got a blocked punt to save the day.
We’re tracking New England to finish at 13-3, on one of the easiest schedules in the history of football.
We project the Bills at 8-9 wins, but the bigger issue is – Josh Allen is hurting this team more than he helps. They may be better off with Matt Barkley and just playing an old Ravens style defense and run game and try to win every game by a 10-3 score.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- One of the biggest things that jumped out at me from this game…the advancement of my theory that Phillip Dorsett (2-10-0/9, 1-9-0) might be Brady’s guy aside from Edelman. The guy he trusts/is in sync with the most…over Josh Gordon (3-46-0/7).
The Pats have played three non-AB on the roster games, and the targeting of the three WRs in those games…
(6.7 per game) 4-7-9 = Dorsett
(7.3 per game) 4-11-7 = Gordon
(9.3 per game) 11-10-7 = Edelman
I can see Brady’s frustration with Gordon growing…42.9% of targets to Gordon have been completed. Dorsett has connected on 65.2% this season and had like 30+ in a row connected with Brady going back to last year, with the streak broken up Week 3…and then this Week 4 mess really hurt their percentages. Gordon’s misfires seem to be littered with a few Gordon drops and mistakes on routes. Dorsett’s 2 catches on 9 targets here were all uncatchable throws, but Brady was trying under duress/nonetheless.
You’re not that excited seeing Dorsett on your roster/bench (benched because of a Week 4 matchup with BUF)? You should be seeing an every week starter the rest of the season because mostly he is. That easy Patriots schedule propels this – and the tough Patriots games are with pass defense patsies (PHI, KC, HOU, BAL).
I’m starting to think Dorsett might be a shock WR1 for fantasy this season (non-PPR more likely) and maybe the best waiver move we’ll have made all year (most of you got in two weeks ago, a week ahead of the analysts waking up to it). It just hasn’t fully sunk in yet how great this is going to be. It will.
-- I never would have guessed Frank Gore (17-109-0, 0-0-0/1) to rush for 100+ yards here. Not in a million years. He’s now solidified the starting RB spot…for now.
If the Bills roll the Titans led by another big Gore effort – Gore is the man here with a 60/40 split with Singletary ahead…with Devin more the PPR back.
BUT, if Tennessee beats Buffalo this week and send them to 3-2 with another weak offensive performance…the Bills will have a BYE week to prep a change to go more all-in on Devin Singletary to try to spark this team.
I’m holding Singletary in many spots for that reason. Either a Tennessee loss or the Bills win but don’t do much/anything on offense…especially rushing. I would LOVE to spring Singletary as a FF starter Week 7 vs. Miami!!!
-- You can’t win NFL games with Josh Allen (13-28 for 153 yards, 0 TDs/3 INT) consistently. I know he’s gritty and gutty and has a few nice runs – but he is the worst passer in the NFL. No one is worse. 3 TDs/6 INTs this season against mostly a great schedule. He’s a turnover machine and inaccurate when it matters or under any pressure…or not under any pressure.
The Bills would go farther with Matt Barkley, and we may see that before long. It depends whether Stone Cold Sean McDermott wants to make the playoffs and possibly win a game -- or kiss the GMs/fans asses or not.
-- We talked a bit about Dawson Knox (3-58-0/3) last week, and he stepped forward again this week. He made a game-saving/winning catch followed by Incredible Hulking through several tackles in Week 3. He had another monster catch in this game. He looks pretty promising…a hidden gem because his college team never really used him right or much at all in the passing game.
He’d be a fantasy sleeper if he wasn’t linked to Josh Allen. However, Knox might be a decent safety valve because Allen loves to throw quick/short. He might enter the backend TE1 conversation…but not score many TDs…and he might have to fight off a returning/expensive/waste of money Tyler Kroft for snaps too.
-- Oh, I’ll stream any old DST…they don’t matter!!!
Did you say that during your redraft prep?
FYI, the Patriots DST, currently, would be the #1 scoring non-PPR RB this season.
In PPR, the Pats-DST would be top 5 among RBs, WRs, TEs, and QBs.
We were on this Patriots-DST in the summer, then I started leaning/mixing in some Denver at the end of the process -- if you got NE…you’re cruising in 2019, if you went with Denver you’ve been scuffling in a sense. Defenses and kickers matter.
-- How can you compete with the Patriots or Bears DST? The Buffalo Bills-DST may be an answer.
You already know they are a very good defense, but two other things to consider…
1) They went on waivers in a lot of leagues last week because they were facing the Patriots. They are available in 35-40% of redrafts on average.
2) Their schedule, and defensive talent, is such that you could start them the rest of the year…BUT there are two problems on the horizon. (a) a Week 6 BYE. (b) Week 8 vs. PHI may be their toughest matchup until Week 13 (DAL).
If you get them, you gotta deal with issues Week 6 and 8 and use them Weeks 5 and 7. Where’s the big opportunity?
It might be in carrying two defenses for the next several weeks. One being Buffalo, the other being a random group of bad DSTs (on the surface), and the first on…wait for it – is Washington. If you get the Washington D this week to go with Buffalo. Here’s your next couple of weeks of matchups and a way you MIGHT can play this…
Week 5 = BUF v. Mariota (grab WAS-DST this week)
Week 6 = WASH v. MIA…one-time usage (drop WAS-DST after, grab PIT-DST early)
Week 7 = BUF v. MIA…a Dolphins double-dip
Week 8 = PIT v. MIA…a Dolphins triple play (ditch PIT after)
Week 9 = BUF v. Haskins, hopefully
Week 10 = BUF v. CLE…a very sackable CLE in November in the cold potentially (pick up PHI DST very early)
Week 11 = BUF v. MIA…FOUR Miami plays in 7 weeks!!! (pick up PHI DST early)
Week 12 = BUF hosting DEN (possibly drop BUF, grab NYJ defense)
Week 13 = PHI hosting MIA…FIVE Miami plays over a 9-week stretch (Drop Philly, possibly grab NYG DST)
Week 14 = NYJ hosting MIA in the NY cold…SIX Miami plays over a 10-week stretch.
Week 15 = NYG hosting MIA in the NY cold…SEVEN Miami plays over a an 11-week stretch.
If you need to make up ground off a slow start to the FF season, instead of carrying 19 RBs hoping an NFL team’s current starting RB dies and you luckily sat on the handcuff all year – why not use an extra roster spot for something that will for sure matter to points every week – two DSTs rotating trying to attack the Miami offense like piranhas?
Now, if the Miami offense gets good for some reason it’s a problem…but, seriously? Let’s attack the Dolphins with Buffalo but also a bunch of terrible DSTs no one will want unless it is Miami week…but you got them 2+ weeks prior?
Snap Counts of Interest:
45 = Yeldon
38 = Gore
62 = Edelman
58 = Gordon
40 = Dorsett
04 = Meyers
34 = White
29 = Michel
12 = Burkhead
05 = Bolden