2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 10 Game Analysis: Saints 27, 49ers 13
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
Because it’s 2020, I just watched Jameis Winston ‘lead’ (very loose quotations there) the Saints to a victory over Nick Mullens.
Welcome to the most bizarre season of football in my lifetime.
Not much to report about the game itself here… The 49ers put up a fight for a bit, but you can only go so far with Nick Mullens. The Saints took a 17-10 halftime lead, then Drew Brees got hurt…but the Saints just held on as the 49ers fumbled and muffed punted their way to a two-score loss led in part by 4 turnovers…and mostly key/killer ones.
The Saints rise to (7-2), winners of five in a row…but all those good vibrations are negated by the loss of Drew Brees…maybe more negated by the reality of a Jameis Winston ‘dark winter’ possibility ahead. We’re looking at 2-3 games missed and possibly a couple losses with Brees returning in time to go at Philly then host the Chiefs. The road ahead, without Brees is not easy. The Buccaneers just got some life breathed back into an NFC South title hope. We loosely project the Saints to finish with 10-11 wins and if they get to 11 wins, they will win the NFC South.
The 49ers have had a ‘dark winter’ since September…mounting injuries have all but wiped them out for 2020. They are now (4-6) and on a bye. Before you count them out, if they beat the Rams Week 12 to get to (5-6), getting Mostert-Deebo-maybe Jimmy G.-Sherman, etc., back – they got a shot to sneak into the wild card. We project them falling short with 7-8 wins. They’d have to stay perfectly healthy to pull this off, on top of getting a big win streak going – it’s almost too much to ask. Lose to the Rams Week 12, and it is over.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, who will the Saints QB be in Week 11?
Two competing thoughts:
1) Jameis Winston (6-10 for 63 yards, 0 TDs/0 INT) is terrible and looked terrible here in his brief appearance. Jameis…you are no Teddy Bridgewater. My first thought is – it can’t be Winston. He was so bad that Taysom Hill finished out the game late to try and run the ball/control clock and put SF away for sure/good.
2) It’s never Taysom Hill (0-0, 8-45-0). Anytime Brees has gone down…it’s never Taysom. The Taysom as the Saints’ future QB thing, I’m beginning to believe it is a total fraud. Use for a couple gadget plays, sure. Start-to-finish starter at QB…never has happened non-Week 17. They barely let Hill throw passes all year, or last year…and the second Brees goes down here, they go right to Winston. Last year, right to Teddy.
If I had to bet, I’d lean Winston to start Week 11.
Two thoughts from here…
a) Hill is going to take elevated snaps at QB now, in-game, so if he qualifies as a TE in your FF league – he’s as much a TE1 potential as any non-Kelce/Waller.
b) Winston could flop, and Hill play half a game at QB…and then Hill starts the following week by attrition.
I’ve been talking about it for weeks…in this era of TE desperation, Hill was slowly starting to become a legit TE1 hope on increased touches he’s been getting. Week 11 might be the most touches he’ll have in a game in years (non-Week 17 play).
-- So, who will start for the 49ers at QB their next game?
I’m guessing Kyle Shanahan is getting tired of watching Nick Mullens (24-38 for 247 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs) flail away, but his heart seems to be with Mullens. However, he may be at a point to give C.J. Beathard a shot to see if it changes their fortune.
Jimmy G. is eligible to return Week 14 at the earliest.
Just noting again…Beathard has some FF potential because he is a really good runner of the ball, and a better passing QB (to me) than Mullens.
-- JaMycal Hasty (3-13-0) went down for the season with an injury in this game, and Jerick McKinnon (18-33-0, 1-13-0/3) failed again…and Mostert-Coleman-Deebo-Wilson slated for return Week 12.
I don’t know that there’s a reason to hold McKinnon in a redraft the next two weeks, if one or more of Mostert-Coleman-Wilson returns.
-- Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill…either will have a negative affect on the Saints-related passing game.
Michael Thomas (2-27-0/7) looked out of sync with Brees and looked 10x more out of sync with Winston. I know if Winston starts, he’ll throw it to Thomas blindly a lot…so Thomas might survive as a WR2
With Taysom Hill…everything declines in volume as Hill will run the ball a lot and not lean on any one receiver.
Jared Cook (0-0-0/2) is in some trouble with Winston but might be as randomly plausible as any non-Kelce/Waller…but in bigger trouble with Hill, when Hill runs heavy and needs a blocking TE to help.
-- The best WR on the field this game…Brandon Aiyuk (7-75-1/14), he’s really become a great rookie WR right under the radar, to a degree, because the 49ers are so boring/ignored with all their injuries and Nick Mullens.
Aiyuk + Deebo are going to be a great 1-2 punch in the future…for whatever QB Kyle Shanahan deals with in 2021. It won’t be Jimmy G., or Mullens, or Beathard. It will likely be a veteran signing/trade and a rookie drafted to develop.
Just a pure guess…not Matt Ryan or Carson Wentz due to their contracts, but I’ll throw a dart and say Gardner Minshew acquired. A baseless guess. The most likely thing is a rookie QB, since they’re all walking into the league and doing just fine right off the bat.
-- Aiyuk was the best WR on the field here, I didn’t say best ‘receiver’ on the field…because that might have been Jordan Reed (5-62-0/6).
This was a spry/quick as I’ve seen Reed in a while. He also was the second-most targeted, 2nd-most productive receiver for SF here – and he made some terrific catches and sweet shiftiness after some of his catches. Very impressed.
I think he’s got a shot to be a strong PPR TE1 ahead. He’s my new favorite TE gamble, along with Taysom.
-- The Saints-DST logged another solid game, but note it was the injured/depleted 49ers and some muffed punts, etc. All good things, but I didn’t necessarily see some shift to greatness with this D. Now, they’ll lose some offense without Brees. The Saints-DST vs. the Falcons two of the next three weeks does not excite me. Week 12 at DEN should be good.
Snap Counts of Interest:
46 = Mk Thomas
34 = Emm Sanders
21 = D Harris
27 = Trautman
21 = Cook
69 = James
68 = Aiyuk
41 = Bourne
37 = Dwelley
31 = Jo Reed