2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 11 Game Analysis: Saints 24, Falcons 9
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.
This should’ve been the game the Falcons played their best game of 2020. Had they won this game, they would’ve climbed to (4-6) and had some playoff life still intact. Instead, they play their worst game under Raheem Morris and lost…and their season is essentially over.
The Falcons led 9-3 with 2+ minutes left until halftime, and they were scuffling around with a bunch of field goals but winning…while the Saints looked disjointed with their new QB. However, the Saints pulled it together to score a touchdown before halftime and took a 10-9 lead. Anyone’s game…in a game not being played all that well.
From halftime on, Taysom Hill got his legs underneath him and turned into Lamar Jackson 2019 and Falcons never scored again, as New Orleans just manhandled Atlanta to earn a 24-9 victory.
The Falcons fall to (3-7), and honestly, after watching this performance…this season, and last…how, the owner could continue forward with Matt Ryan at QB is beyond me. However, they are way overinvested in him and are essentially financially stuck with him for another couple years unless they take a total write-off…which I assume they do not have the guts to do. The Falcons should lose out (very tough schedule ahead) or win one more and finish with 3-4 wins and earn a top 10 draft pick.
The Saints are now winners of seven in-a-row. Credit to them, they’ve grabbed several lucky wins early in this win streak and are now starting to pound opposing teams. The Saints are hitting their stride again. They project anywhere from 12-14 wins depending upon the QB situation. A favorable schedule ahead. #1 seed potential is in play as Green Bay starts to slide.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, Taysom Hill (18-23 for 233 yards, 0 TDs/0 INT, 10-51-2) had the type of output I expected. He’s not a bad QB, and he has Lamar Jackson-ish type traits/abilities as a runner-thrower. Not a perfect pocket passer, but defenses have to respect his run ability so much he gets more time in the pocket to work with. Overall, after a bumpy first 20 minutes, Hill got his sea legs under him and played well the final 40 minutes. The offense had a spark, an enthusiasm like or better than when Drew Brees 2020 heads it up.
Before everyone gets all excited over Taysom’s breakout performance, we have to consider two things:
1) ESPN has already announced they are pulling Hill’s fantasy TE eligibility for Week 12 forward/as long as he is the QB. Other leagues will likely follow.
It was great while it lasted. It got several people a nice spread of TE scoring Week 11. It was a gift. Enjoy that we even got it, as they take it away this week.
It’s the right thing to do by ESPN, and others.
2) Taysom did look very good here but consider that this was against the terrible pass defense of the Atlanta Falcons. With a week of tape, and against a better defense to face this week (Denver) at their home/altitude – it could be a minor fall back to earth.
Once that depression sets in, consider two more things…
1) When Drew Brees returns, Taysom is likely to gain his TE status back in leagues where he had it prior…BUT he could see even more time at QB to spare Brees, or just because he is so integrated. He could be a TE1 once Brees returns with a mix of TE play AND QB play.
Claiming/holding Hill as your QB2, might have benefits again later.
2) I LOVE listening to all the pregame people crying about how they were so sure that Jameis Winston was going to be the starter, I mean…how couldn’t he? These media people worshipped the ground JW walked on and told us incessantly that he was a generational QB talent. So, of course they ignored Taysom as an option early in the week…they didn’t even know much about Hill because they didn’t care, it was Winston’s time to show everyone how smart the analysts were all along. The mainstream is so chapped by Winston not getting the start that I heard some low-key racism ‘wonderings’ on national coverage/talk shows as to why someone as talented as Jameis could sit for the lowly Taysom Hill.
Then Taysom went out and played ball…and now they all had to put a sock in it.
Don’t worry, they’ll take that sock back out of the pie hole and start being wrong again…they’re just waiting for Taysom to lose a game, throw a pick, etc. They are going to try and destroy Taysom for daring to usurp the coronation of the great Jameis Winston. You watch. It’s disgusting how the NFL analyst class operates.
I couldn’t be any happier about it.
It’s been a bad week to be an awful-at-football-analysis NFL media type, which is to say…it’s a bad week for ALL the major media football analysts…
Winston didn’t even start and Taysom looked great, and THEN their new golden boy, Tua, got benched because he borderline sucks. The football media class had a rough week, which means they will have to rip things they hate to shreds to get their status back – they’ll be trying to get bad coaches fired during this week’s discussions to have a distraction away from your realizing they suck at football analysis…while they wait for their time to strike/re-love Jameis and Tua.
OK, here’s the Taysom-effect for fantasy…as we know it after one whole game…
-- Michael Thomas (9-104-0/12) had his best game of 2020, by far…he looked reborn with Taysom. It might have been he was just shedding rust the prior few games, as to why he underperformed upon his return. It might have been the Falcons can’t cover anyone.
We’ll see if it holds up, but the connection looked like they’ve played together as starters for years. My bet is…the targets are going to hold up, for sure. Against Denver, we might all do a 180 on this on Hill and/or Thomas.
-- Emmanuel Sanders (4-66-0/5) also looked the best he has as a Saint in 2020. Again, it could be for the ‘Falcons’ as the reason that helped it along.
-- One player that wasn’t a winner…Alvin Kamara (13-45-1, 0-0-0/1). No catches…on one target.
The Saints aren’t going to let AK drift away in this offense, but he will lose a little to Taysom’s style. I don’t think we’ll get the gaudy 7-15 pass catches/targets in games, but we will get more targeting than this and he’ll be productive otherwise.
Running QBs tend to:
a) Keep the ball themselves near the goal line to run for scores.
b) Not live to check down passes to RBs…they are more look downfield for things, and then run if needed.
I suspect Sean Payton will groom Hill to know that a pass to Kamara in the flat is a weapon/asset, not a compromise.
Latavius Murray (12-49-0, 2-36-0/2) maybe fits Taysom better…the power runner to fake/handoff to up the middle on the read option, but they will not-not be Kamara-centric on offense (unless Taysom becomes the centerpiece by sheer force/his play).
-- Jared Cook (1-6-0/1) was not a winner. Worse than the low targeting (and Cook got two other targets that were negated to penalty) – Adam Trautman (1-19-0/1) played more snaps than Cook here.
I’m not sure if a TE shift is underway, or it was making Taysom more comfortable with a better blocker TE, or what…but it happened, and Jared Cook might be in memoriam as a TE1 – after being a TD machine with the Saints going back to last season, Cook hasn’t scored a TD (or FF-mattered) in three straight games.
-- Oh, and the Falcons played in this game.
I’m not going to single out any player here because every FF player’s numbers, except Calvin Ridley’s ((5-90-0/5), was atrocious/unlike their norms. I’d be buying Hayden Hurst (0-0-0/2) after this event, not running from him.
Julio Jones (2-39-0/2) got hurt, and is questionable for this upcoming week…if he’s out – Olamide Zaccheaus (1-10-0/1) gets a bump for FF…he had 100+ yards in the game Week 10, and virtually ignored Week 11 as a backup…and, inexplicably, Christian Blake (2-28-0/4) playing a lot of snaps in Julio’s stead.
-- Was it the Falcons crapping themselves or the Saints defense is getting ‘that good’? The Saints have just shut down TB-SF-ATL in order, holding all of them to less than 15 points, and two of them under 10 points. I guess the Saints are a hot DST play.
The schedule the next three weeks sets up nice for it…at DEN, at ATL, at PHI.
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Snap Counts of Interest:
32 = Trautman
25 = Cook
19 = G Griffin
33 = Latavius
32 = Kamara
51 = Ridley
49 = Gage
37 = Blake
22 = Julio
13 = Zaccheaus
26 = Brian Hill
23 = Gurley
06 = Ito