2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 5 – 49ers 31, Browns 3
Boy, oh, boy…
The mental damage that is done from ‘what just happened last game/week’ on fantasy minds is even worse when it happens on the solo night broadcast….
Two weeks ago -- The Browns are dead…what a mess vs. the Rams.
A week ago, after throttling the Ravens -- Well, the Browns will probably win that division. Look at that!
Today -- The Browns are dead, what a mess vs. San Fran.
The Browns are not a great team but give me a break – the 49ers had two weeks (with a BYE) PLUS an extra day to prepare. And at home on a Monday night. Plus, the 49ers are a really good team and well coached. It’s why the 49ers were one of The Computer’s top picks in it’s 5-0 Blazing Five for last week. Everything was set up for the 49ers and they did what they should do. The Chiefs failed in a somewhat similar spot Sunday night, because they are poorly coached. The 49ers took advantage of all their advantages.
But the NFL analysis lives in a ‘right now’ bubble – so, the Browns suck and the 49ers are going 16-0. When the Browns clip Seattle this week…we’ll all reverse back again.
Here’s what could…what could…happen with the Browns – they beat Seattle at home this week and gets back to .500/3-3. Goes on a BYE, and then has two weeks to prepare an all new, never seen game plan and goes to New England and throttles them and deals them their first loss of the season. And then when that happens…watch the faces of all the NFL analysts. Cleveland could easily lose to Seattle and New England, but I’m just saying…Cleveland isn’t as bad as this MNF game. They play angry in a must-win against ‘lucky of late’ Seattle this week. They feel good from that, get two weeks to prepare a great/new game plan and come out and give untested by anyone New England a punch right in the mouth with their healthy defense and NE with all it’s hurt/gone O-Linemen. A then 4-3 Cleveland team will be inching towards its ‘easy’ schedule stretch on a high note. It’s there for the taking. Don’t write this team off…they can rally behind their high-end defense and just a tweak of the offense (more on that in a moment).
Cleveland is not a stable team, so I have no idea if they will go 2-0/0-2 the next two. I have feeling they win at least one (this week). We are projecting them at 9-wins…and that being good enough to win the AFC North.
The 49ers are kings of the world right now but watch them get punked in L.A. this week and then all the analysts that love them now will abandon them. We see the 49ers still coming in at 10-wins, but now that looks like it could win the division not just be a wild card. Huge game this week with the Rams – if the 49ers win, they likely win the NFC West and are a #1 or #2 seed in the NFC. Lose, and it’s back to the grind/back with the pack to try to win the division. The schedule wants them to win this division.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- OK, the Baker Mayfield (8-22 for 100 yards, 0 TD/2 INT) report…
I will now defend Baker. You will roll your eyes. Some of you will. But let me state my crimes against fantasy with Baker, to show my vulnerability, and then why I still defend Baker…
1) I had Baker rated as the highest 6pts per pass TD QB in fantasy coming into this season…a top 1-10 asset in all of fantasy for 2019 depending upon your scoring system. I believe the high-end passers have a unique value in fantasy above most all things, especially in 6pts per pass TD leagues.
I had Baker-Mahomes-Murray swapping #1-2-3 spots all August. I wanted Baker as a draft discount version of Mahomes – high-end passer with an offense that just lets him go. And I got that…except it is also an offense that has a ton of issues and it’s killing him.
My Baker promotion missed by a mile, so far. I wish I would’ve just paid up for Mahomes, but mostly I went with cheaper Baker to draft Leonard Fournette or Tyreek Hill 2nd-round (depending upon where I was drafting). I was willing to pay for Baker because I also knew my Plan A was not Baker…it was my main get QB/Plan A that allowed me to take a shot on Baker. Everywhere I got Baker, I took Kyler Murray a few rounds later…and was mocked then (and now). Baker is dying. Kyler is starting to spark to a flame. I could afford for one of them to die…I just didn’t think they would. One did/has, so far.
Baker was a bad pick…but every draft has its share of bad picks rounds #4-10. I got Kyler, and as he rises -- what Baker is doing isn’t affecting me much.
2) Do I keep Baker in redraft?
As I wrote Tuesday morning in the PIT-BAL recap…not really. I see the possible pop in five weeks with the schedule change, but that’s a long time to wait…so, I’m moving into Gardner Minshew as much as possible and have been for now two weeks…on Minshew’s talents. Now, I’m dropping Baker to do it in many places.
So, for the record…today -- horrifically failed Baker redraft pick…just like an Aaron Rodgers pick would’ve been. I’m giving up on Baker in redraft now because I don’t see any hope the next five weeks for fantasy with his schedule. And I think Minshew is moving towards a shock QB1 status.
I was wrong on Baker, and now I’ve folded my redraft Baker cards. I’m not advocating any more pie in the sky with him or even ‘wait until Week 11’. We got a better train to ride, I’m taking it. Goodbye, Baker. I’m mostly done with redraft Baker where I have Kyler #1 and can get Minshew as my #2.
I say all this so that you know I’m not trying to defend this Baker redraft pick to start the season. It failed. I agree. Not waiting around sobbing about it. Moving on with my life.
I have no pro or con reason to defend Baker, per se. The fantasy failure is in the books. But I am going to defend him – because he deserves defending. AND it’s going to matter in a few weeks and for people buying low in dynasty today. If there is value in Baker, you need to know. We need to know to make advantageous deals now.
I watched this game back, and it’s more of the same I’ve been saying for weeks. I know I’m right. I’ve been doing this too long and been too right too much to yield. Baker isn’t working, statistically, so the national analysts, who already hate him, are going to crush him (deservedly to some degree) and tell you ‘reasons’ why…like he stares down receivers, and he turns the ball over too much.
First off, bull shit…he doesn’t stare down receivers and he’s not a one-read QB. The idiots saying this are in love with Daniel Jones’s abilities, still pro-Jameis, and think Gardner Minshew is lucky with a funny mustache. The don’t know a thing. They aren’t studying it beyond watching a few games live. They are not really studying the details and making these opinions.
I watch the game live too. Then I comb back through it after the live watch looking for clues. Watching the ‘All-22’ tape. Watching plays in slow motion so I can see what’s happening for real with all 22 players. I’ve done it for years and I’m almost always right on seeing QB things before others, so I’m not thinking I’m wrong about Baker.
And if I’m not wrong…then one of the great dynasty values is underway right now (for those in need of a high-end QB/passer of the future).
The same issue here against SF as most of the season, except this is the best defense Baker might have seen. The #1 issue is Baker is dropping back to pass and there are no receivers open. How five guys can run routes, and none get open is a marvel. Why Freddie Kitchens doesn’t change everything in his playbook at this point means he is a terrible offensive coach. Some of it the same basic thing…five guys mostly going medium-deep without any crisscrossing or cleverness, and they are almost always covered and that forces Baker to bring the ball down and try to move around the pocket for more time. Yet, everyone runs these routes, stops, and just sits there like a statue. If anyone is ever open, Baker throws them a laser beam. When no one is open and everyone is deep, and no little check down option EVER for him…he has to make time and his O-Line can only do so much and he’s either sacked or throwing the ball away.
Eventually, Kitchens or a new coach will figure this out and change things…and bring Baker’s OU offense to the table. But, so far, Kitchens is in a stupor.
Some of the problem…a lot of the problem is OBJ and Landry are terribly overrated and OBJ barely looks like he’s trying. Those two are killing Baker, the team, and the payroll. They will both be gone in 2020, I guarantee it.
OBJ is about to fall to a WR2-3-4 more than an WR1-2. You’re kinda screwed on OBJ until later in the season…and that’s a ‘maybe’ that he turns things around.
My fear is the Browns lose more games than win the next five weeks and everything implodes…and a fistfight between Baker and OBJ tears the final fabric of this team (and Baker needs to do something). That’s why I’m willing to jump off now in redraft and reenter later, maybe. There may not be a ‘later’ to chase after if this team implodes.
Baker looks fine to me. Someday, he will be back to ‘star mode’ for output, but right now he is dead money with Weeks 7-10 = BYE, at NE, at DEN, BUF.
You know what’s crazy – this game started with Cleveland driving. Baker hit Ricky Seals-Jones with a laser beam for 30+ yards to convert a 3rd-down into SF territory. It was a toe-tap catch on the sidelines and Baker was half-a-second away from getting the snap off and the catch, but it was challenged last second and reversed. The Browns were about to go down for an opening 3 or 7 points. Instead, nothing.
Baker’s first drive into the red zone occurred soon after and had a near-miss TD pass, deflected last second by a great play by a cornerback. Settled for a field goal. Later, Baker hit Antonio Callaway for a short TD…that Callaway gaffed and deflected into the air for a fluky INT. Not Baker’s fault. A TD turned pick. Had Callaway caught it…down to 14-10 SF, and the Browns would have absorbed the tough 14-0 deficit to start and chased back in for a chance. It just wasn’t their night, and everything broke from there.
It looks bad for Baker, but I’m telling you it is not. I am guaranteeing it is not. There’s fantasy value in the future for knowing that.
-- Would I trade Odell Beckham (2-15-0, 2-27-0/6)? Yep. If I could get a strong WR1.5 value out of him, for sure. Maybe even strong WR2 in a multiplayer deal. The bad schedule is bad/worse for OBJ…and I don’t know that OBJ wants to play football at a high level anymore.
-- Well, I guess Tevin Coleman (16-97-1) is ready to work and he’ll do so with Matt Breida (11-114-1, 3-15-1/4). This is going to be a split role group with Raheem Mostert (7-34-0) in the mix as well. Some weeks will be this, and then the next week 10-42-0 for two of them. There are worse things to have a working SF RB right now.
You will have maddening weeks with them…it all won’t be this simple.
-- George Kittle (6-70-1/8, 1-18-0) was overdue for this kind of week. More should be coming. He’s past his BYE. You have Darren Waller as your other TE? Next week, with Waller returning (or this week, maybe), and you have big hole(s) to fill on your FF team – a good time to trade Waller hot and rely on Kittle with no more byes the rest of the way.
Don’t sell Waller short – make somebody bleed in a deal, A lot of TE angst out there and Waller will be salvation for many the next 2-3 weeks.
-- Dante Pettis (1-11-0/3) looks like a guy who should be traded to Cleveland. Should be traded somewhere. He played the most snaps of any WR for SF and barely saw targets and butchered a couple. He needs a reboot…most likely SF holds cheap and tries to ‘fix’ him.
Deebo Samuel (1-3-0/3) is losing snaps to Pettis and has fallen from possible WR2 and #1 WR hope for SF…to a random BYE week flex flier. I’d rather hold Samuel than Pettis for the long term, I think.
-- Rookie LB Mack Wilson (6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD) has played almost every snap for the Browns the last three games. He’s become a starter and that guy…every time I watch him, he just is around the ball. I like his game, but he didn’t computer model grade well in our scouting…the tape is better. I liked what I saw from him this preseason too.
6.0 tackles, 0.67 PDs, 0.33 TFLs per game as a starter this year.
-- I know every player in the NFL…but the fill-in-for-Witherspoon, 49ers’ 2nd-year CB Emmanuel Moseley (1 PD), I didn’t’. Didn’t ring a bell. Not sure why. He should. Long arms, smooth coverage, and great Pro Day numbers…
4.42 40-time, 6.84 three-cone, 21 bench reps, 38.5” vertical.
He looked really solid here. No big drop-off or exposure without Ahkello Witherspoon was detected this game.
-- The 49ers defense showed what I was crowing about after Week 1…this an elite NFL defense in the making. Great D-Line, solid LBs, and a good secondary. The D-Line pressure is the key.
The schedule is not perfect ahead, but the 49ers D may be so good it doesn’t matter.
LAR-WAS-CAR-ARI-SEA-ARI-GB-BAL-NO-ATL to the finish. If Arizona gets clicking it might be a solid B+ DST with this schedule, but if Arizona cannot protect like so far this season…it may be more an ‘A’ DST on the talent vs. their schedule ahead.
-- The Browns-DST…
I didn’t think they looked bad despite the score. At times, they looked just as dominating as the SF-DST. They just had more things go against them and then the game just got away. I still like this defense to potentially rise from the ashes and be a top 5 defense threat in weeks to come.
Really, if you want to try against Seattle, at CLE, it might be OK. Then a BYE, and then NE…not good – really, we’re just a few weeks away.
Starting Week 9 schedule to Week 16: Flacco, J.Allen, Rudolph, Rosen, Rudolph, Dalton, Kyler, LJax.
The Browns have a top pass rush, tons of depth and they have been working without their starting corners for three weeks now. Both are slated to be back this week.
There aren’t many talents left on DST waivers…this is one of them, and you just cannot use Weeks 7-8 and then maybe game-on from there. Possibly use this week if you are feeling frisky.
Snap Counts of Interest:
48 = Pettis
46 = Goodwin
35 = Deebo
17 = Bourne
06 = James
26 = Breida
26 = Tevin
24 = Mostert
27 = Dem Harris
19 = Pharoh Brown
15 = Seals-Jones