2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 9 – Panthers 30, Titans 20
This was kind of a Carolina blowout, and it kinda wasn’t…but it was, I guess. Carolina led 17-0 at the half and everything seemed well at hand. Then they started trading TDs back and forth in the 2nd-half…Carolina couldn’t put Tennessee away, but they answered every score the Titans put up. Tennessee scored a late TD to make it 30-20 Carolina with 2:49 left and then the Titans did get the ball back to try for that late FG-then-onside-kick-into-a-TD prayer shot, but they missed the field goal attempt with 0:52 left and…ballgame.
Carolina seemed in control all the way, somewhat on Tennessee’s offensive dysfunction, but it ended up closer than it seemed it should’ve been.
Carolina is now 5-3 but it feels like the ‘good times’ are coming to an end…that the Panthers just don’t have the juice the be a strong NFC playoff team. Their defense is good but showing cracks. Kyle Allen is nice but it’s not enough. Five games with 2019 playoff-level teams in their next 8 games. This looks like an 8-9-win Carolina team desperately trying to get into the wild card but with no quality NFC wins yet. They need to beat Seattle Week 15 for sure. We project 9 wins with 8 or 10 still possible.
Tennessee falls to 4-5 and plays for its life Week 10 vs. KC…tough sledding. It’s too tough a schedule ahead regardless, and this team isn’t very good and lost CB Malcolm Butler for the season in this game. We see Tennessee 5-7 wins with 6 wins most probable at the end.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Two players I want to point out just how talented they are, regardless of FF numbers and then two backups to re-remind you to consider. First the two ‘great looking’ players…
1) Curtis Samuel (3-64-1/6) is a fantastic NFL WR. He has high-end speed, but he also is just a great catcher of the ball…he’s good at what he does. Teams are starting to respect him with their coverage. Kyle Allen is looking to Samuel in all the tough spots (he uses D.J. Moore a lot too because Samuel has more coverage heat). Bombs go to Samuel. End zone preference goes to Samuel.
We tend to see Samuel as some WR3 rando for FF, but since Week 2 he’s right at #24-25-26 in PPR PPG. He’s scoring (PPR) ahead of D.J. Moore, Robert Woods, Tyrell Williams, John Brown, Tyler Boyd, Alshon Jeffrey, Terry McLaurin, JuJu, Diontae, Calvin Ridley, and OBJ among others since from Weeks 3-9 this season.
For Samuel, since Allen took over at QB…4 TDs in six games working with him (1 rushing).
After his cold/windy game at GB this week, three of his final 6 games will be a dome (all his road games), the other three home games should be manageable temperatures. He’s a legit WR2, back-end play the rest of the season, I believe…the talent will win out here and not kill you. He’s pacing for a 10-TD season (in a 16 games measure) working with Kyle Allen.
2) Jonnu Smith (3-18-0/5) has been one of the top 3-5 ‘catches my eye’ players of the last few weeks. He’s hampered by the Titans offense/Tannehill, I know this. I just want to point out…his recent tick higher in production is not off ‘being there’ like a Jacob Hollister or Vance McDonald. Smith is really working like a star receiving TE, like a real weapon – only Tennessee is too blind to see it and Tannehill can’t make it happen consistently.
I repeatedly watched Jonnu Smith run routes and burn Luke Kuechly every time. Smith is so quick and so agile in his cuts when he lines up as a quasi-flanker TE on passing plays – he could help save this Tennessee offense a little, but I GUARANTEE as soon as Delanie Walker can use a walker to get back out on the field, he’ll be jammed right into the starting role. Old school NFL coaches LOVE old, crafty TEs.
FYI, Jonnu is a free agent after 2020. Maybe, he’s going to be a star somewhere in 2021? That’s why he has nice Dynasty Stash numbers/rankings for us currently.
-- Re-reminder on two players…
1) If you have Christian McCaffrey, you HAVE to have Reggie Bonnafon (3-6-0, 1-7-0/1) in the hole/on the bench/as a handcuff. I don’t think Carolina would change their offensive philosophy much if they had to go to Reggie.
In this game, CMC scored his 3rd TD, on an unsuspecting that McCaffrey would get the ball Titans defense and landed hard on the back of his head and was held out the final few minutes of the game. They are running CMC to death; he’s taking a ton of punishment. If he goes down for whatever reason…Bonnafon would be an RB1-1.5 instantly.
Bonnafon is a Matt Forte reincarnated. He has skills.
2) After weeks of not many touches, Dion Lewis (4-20-0, 5-33-0/5) got good work this game. Part of it because the team got down 17-0 and were throwing a lot 1st-half (then they ran Henry down Carolina’s throats 2nd-half and came back). Lewis looked normal…he’s good. He works…if Derrick Henry goes down for any reason. You own Henry, you have to start thinking about Lewis paired with him.
-- Is this the end of Cam Newton in Carolina? I think so. I also believe he’ll retire from football next year. He has made a ton of money in his career (was one of the last #1 picks pre-slotted salaries). He has a ton of interests/businesses outside of football. I think he’ll retire gracefully and not become a Tennessee Titan or do something vain or stupid like that to his legacy.
He’s a Panthers’ legend, and a Hall of Famer…no Super Bowl, but everything else. I believe he will leave with dignity after this season.
Cam will never get credit for paving the way, being the original Lamar Jackson-type of highly mobile QB that wasn’t a surgeon as a passer, but their gift is making plays. Cam was a bit too early…he came along when everyone wanted ‘next Brady’. Cam was more ridiculed for years by analysts, like me, for what he wasn’t…and us same analysts will then be talking about how wonderful and dangerous Lamar Jackson is for the next few weeks/years. Cam was the better Lamar Jackson, but the NFL didn’t fully embrace it with him…and he still had a helluva career. There has been no QB built like him in the league to this day.
I only wish I had realized it more as it was happening instead of trying to judge him with a Tom Brady measuring stick…but we all do that to every QB in existence, so I’m not alone.
Snap Counts of Interest:
65 = Olsen
05 = Ian Thomas
61 = McCaffrey
08 = Bonnafon
52 = Jonnu
20 = Firkser
11 = MyCole Pruitt
38 = Henry
34 = Lewis