2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 4 – Steelers 27, Bengals 3
Well, this went as you might expect – two bad, 0-3 teams played in Week 4 and the one with the home crowd whipped up for an MNF game destroyed the other.
What I didn’t expect…the Steelers to come up with an interesting offense to save their season, essentially. How about running that offense Week 1 when you’re going in outmatched versus the Patriots? Mike Tomlin is so terrible at this, but kudos for actually changing something for once. The Steelers get the big win here.
If the Steelers lose to Baltimore this week, likely, they will lose all their momentum from this ‘big’ win and go on to go 7-9 and likely, finally end the Mike Tomlin era. Get a win over Baltimore this week and Tomlin/the Steelers have life and they pass the virus of coaching death to John Harbaugh…we’d still project about 8 wins for the Steelers if they win Week 5. Massive game for coaching futures at Pittsburgh this week.
The Bengals…what can you say? No juice. No momentum. If they can’t beat winless Arizona this week, they could plummet to an 0-8/0-9 start to the season. The Bengals didn’t seem terrible the first 2-3 weeks of the season, but man did they lay an egg here. They aren’t going anywhere whether they win or lose this week. They are headed to a 3-4-win season, at best.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, Week 3 Jaylen Samuels (3/3 for 31 yards passing, 10-26-1, 8-57-0/8) had zero touches. Then in Week 4, he’s a wildcat QB, a receiving ace, and a split carry RB? OK, makes total sense. Good to wait four weeks into this season to unleash what was obvious a year+ ago.
Like I said about Carson-Penny or Gore-Singletary – NFL teams are not addressing/changing RB problem situations until they start losing. The Steelers were playing for their lives, to some degree, Week 4…and what did they do? Used all their best players in interesting ways…and it was effective. The NFL’s coaches are so terrible at their jobs, by and large, it’s frightening how popular and micro-scrutinized this sport is and can have such out of touch coaching managing operations.
Anyway, you want to know – is this Jaylen thing real now?
I don’t know. Maybe.
You’d think a ‘win’ means ‘stick with how we (finally) won’. But it is as likely to mean…”Good, we won, now the pressure is off for a week and we can go back to what we want to do.”
We’ll see what the Steelers will do this week. It’s going to be hard to put the Jaylen-toothpaste back in the tube now. But of anyone is going to try…it’s Tomlin.
James Conner (10-42-0, 8-83-1/8) knows better about this ‘thing’ than Mike Tomlin. You saw how fast Conner started moving once Samuels came into the game and started changing the offense (for the better)? Conner stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in a contract if Jaylen comes in and robs his bank. Conner cannot afford to be out any week and allow Samuels to walk into the bank unguarded. Conner knows Tomlin is clueless to this and totally in on him…he can’t have Samuels going out there playing great and getting Tomlin’s attention.
If Conner is inactive this week – it’s a sign the Steelers are seeing the writing on the wall too…because Conner will play on crutches versus giving up his spot. It’s a millions-of-dollars issue for him.
Worse case, from here, we get a Jaylen-Conner split for a few more weeks with Jaylen getting the good stuff mostly and then Jaylen slowly becomes ‘the guy’. If Conner is out, and Jaylen blows up Week 5 and is all Le’Veon 2.0 – then we might be game-on with Jaylen from there. Conner won’t go away easily…Tomlin will see to that. At least, in 2019.
I think/I hope there is no turning back from Jaylen now for Tomlin…or in fantasy. This may be the lowest value Jaylen has to be acquired in fantasy for the next 2-5 years. Hopefully., you were already in prior to this or claimed him this week.
-- JuJu Smith-Schuster (3-15-0/4) and James Conner were featured on our preseason ‘overvalued’ list back in our 2019 draft guide. And they aren’t failing to disappoint me.
JuJu was never as good as his hype. The cool name. Secondhand smoke popularity from Antonio Brown. Nice kid. While Pizza Hut and ESPN were going nuts for JuJu, guys like D.J. Chark, Courtland Sutton, Curtis Samuel slid right past their gaze. No commercials for them. No high rankings. They didn’t know they existed.
I don’t think you’re going to get a recovery of the top 7-10 redraft fantasy WR value you spent on JuJu this year, not even close. He’s a WR2 talent at best. Under Mason Rudolph he has received a WR3 treatment.
-- One of the reasons I like Mason Rudolph (24-28 for 229 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT), he’s smart enough to know to use Diontae-Jaylen as much as he can and not get sucked into JuJu-Conner too much.
I never figured Diontae would elevate to ‘top guy’ so fast. And we’re not there yet, but he’s on his way. I knew Diontae had that talent, but I didn’t think we’d get to it so fast with Rudolph.
Also, Colin Cowherd (among others) blasted Rudolph for short/safe passing on MNF. I watched the tape…Cincy was backing off into a deep zone like they were facing Patrick Mahomes. They gave him the short stuff, and Rudolph took it. That’s what a smart QB does, right?
When Tom Brady and Drew Brees dink-and-dunk it’s proclaimed – THEY ARE SO SMART TAKING WHAT THE DEFENSE ALLOWS!
When Mason Rudolph or Gardner Minshew do it – THEY ARE BEING BABIED…GAME MANAGERS WHO WON’T THROW DEEP!!!
When Baker Mayfield guns it downfield to make things happen – BAKER NEEDS TO STOP THROWING DEEP SO MUCH AND JUST TAKE WHAT THE DEFENSE GIVES HIM. NOTHING WRONG WITH DINK-AND-DUNK!!!
When Jameis Winston closes his eyes and fires deep all the time – JAMEIS IS SUCH A GREAT GUNSLINGER, HE JUST NEEDS TO CLEAN UP THOSE TURNOVERS!!!
NFL analysts do little to no studying. They get an emotional ‘feeling’ about a player and then go find factoids that support their emotions. I don’t have time for that. I need to be right. I need to see things ahead of time. I need to see the hidden things. I need for THEM to keep being terrible at what they do so we can always be 2-3 steps ahead of them and the people who take their ‘free’ advice on football things.
-- Tyler Eifert (2-27-0/5) has to be the Cincy TE play against the Cardinals this week, not C.J. Uzomah (0-0-0/1).
Eifert’s targets in games this season (starting with Week 1)…6-5-1-5 (4.3 per game)
Uzomah’s targets in games this season…5-0-1-1 (1.8 per game)
Eifert is the much better receiver anyway, so it stands to reason this may be a sweet Eifert week for those in need of a one-hit wonder.
-- John Ross (3-36-0/6) will be out for a few weeks…shocker.
Auden Tate (4-50-0/6) will be a winner from that, and the aforementioned Eifert (especially this week).
Alex Erickson (0-0-0/0) could see some extra work and be a poor man’s Cole Beasley for a few weeks. However, late-breaking news that UDFA WR I like Stanley Morgan has been called up from the practice squad. Hopefully, he gets a shot. He should’ve been working over Damion Willis all along.
-- #26 Mark Barron (11 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD)…as I said/wrote, he will play inspired because the nation’s eyes are on him on MNF. Regular old game this week…so, he’ll go back to being hot, uncaring garbage again. It’s why you cannot trust this Steelers-DST except in perfect spots.
-- Cincy CB Will Jackson (2 tackles) is getting back to his shutdown corner ways again. He locked up JuJu here, and squashed Tyler Lockett pretty well Week 1. He’s got some money he’s playing for. Might be trouble for Larry Fitzgerald (if he covers him) this week.
Snap Counts of Interest:
38 = Conner
27 = Jaylen
07 = Snell
45 = Ross
24 = Willis
05 = Erickson
29 = Eifert
28 = Uzomah
21 = Sample