2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 12 Game Analysis: Falcons 43, Raiders 6
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.
Wow. Just wow.
Why I even bother to try to figure out what team will win/cover what game each week is a colossal waste of my time.
Coming into this game, Las Vegas was the team almost sweeping the Chiefs and playing good football overall. The Falcons played a game like this (on the losing end) just last week…falling out of the playoff picture (for the most part) and rolling over on their interim coach (because they got their original coach fired) in a bad loss to the Saints.
So, of course the bad team with nothing to play for beats the really good team with a lot to play by 37 points.
This game was just 6-3 Atlanta with 4+ minutes before halftime. Atlanta lined up for and missed an easy field goal, but a Raiders’ defender rolling out of control ended up hitting the kicker well after the kick…penalty called…1st-down…soon after a TD. From the moment the Raiders had stopped the Falcons via missed field goal with 4+ minutes ‘til halftime, but then the penalty was called – Atlanta then went on a 37-3 run from there for a blowout win.
For Las Vegas (6-5) it is a crushing blow to their season/playoff hopes. This was a gimme win…and they lost…in extreme fashion. They should’ve won and had a path to 10 wins and a for-sure wild card berth…now, they will have to scramble to get to (9-7) and hope they own a tiebreaker among the 9-win cluster to get in. Week 14 vs. Indy might be the season for both of those teams…the loser being out of the playoffs in the end.
Atlanta gets to (4-7) and kinda creeps back into the playoff picture on a long shot basis. Two games behind Arizona. But their schedule ahead will crush them, and they’ll finish with 4-5 wins.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The biggest player news from this game is the leg injury to Josh Jacobs (7-27-0). My early guess is he misses Week 13. If it were the playoffs, maybe he tries to get back but he got hurt pretty good…and Week 13 is at the Jets – they don’t need him to reaggravate/push himself…just use the time as like a bye week.
If Jacobs is out, then Devontae Booker (5-6-0, 1-0-0/4) is going to be an RB1 threat for Week 13 vs. NYJ. Booker has been great in relief of Jacobs in spots/spurts all season. It’s not a guaranteed home run, but Booker has been solid+ all season and the Jets are a nice matchup.
It doesn’t appear Jacobs will be out longer than a week, but we’ll see what the word is Wed-Fri this week on that front. My guess is one week, for now.
-- Booker elicits the same cautious FF-optimism…like when we all found out Todd Gurley was out, and Brian Hill (13-55-0, 0-0-0/1) was drawing the start. I thought Hill was a nice pickup for a possible shot at an RB1 last week, as we all did.
The RB who did become an RB1 here was not Hill, but Ito Smith (12-65-1, 4-10-0/5)…outta nowhere. Hill started and was the obvious lead, but Ito sprinkled in early as a 3rd-down back of sorts. When it was a game for the 1st-half, everything was bottled up for either RB. When it got out of hand, Ito was running well and they just kept rolling with the little used back through the blowout and a good FF-game resulted for Smith.
Is it Hill or Ito next week?
I’m guessing a split/hot hand approach, where I still like Hill…Atlanta has favored Hill over Ito all season with both head coaches, so no reason to think good Ito numbers in a blowout changes that – BUT it’s on the table/a worry for Hill now after seeing this result.
-- After his Week 11 ‘zero’, Hayden Hurst (4-48-0/8) bounced back with a solid game. Good target counts, but man…watching Matt Ryan (22-39 for 185 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) throw to him is painful.
Hurst has probably lost out on at least 10 catches and 2-3 TDs this season to date from Ryan misfiring to the wide open TE.
All you can do is keep rolling with Hurst…unless you got Kelce-Waller.
Hurst played less than 50% of the snaps here…but he was questionable all week (ankle), and this was a blowout, so he got pulled out for his own good it appears.
-- The state of the Raiders’ WR Union:
Nelson Agholor (5-54-0/6) is still the #1 WR look for Carr, and sometimes he gets a TD with his 3-5 catches for 30-60 yards in a game, and sometimes he doesn’t. He didn’t here.
Hunter Renfrow (7-73-0/9) had a nice FF game here (PPR), but these types of games are too few and far between – Renfrow is a Pro Bowl slot WR talent waiting to happen but Derek Carr isn’t going to make that happen.
Henry Ruggs (3-56-0/5) is flashing moments, but everyone outside of Agholor at WR is usually a bystander getting 1-3 targets a game to work with. I’m not seeing any uptick with Ruggs on the field.
Bryan Edwards (1-15-0/2)…I can see some of the athletic ‘it’ in his limited work/targets. I know why he was a Week 1 starter out of nowhere, and why people thought he was the best WR in camp – he has the goods. He’ll not get to display them in 2020, sadly. 2021 is a big question mark too, but there’s hope for 2021…hope that Edwards is too good to keep bottled up.
-- This was a game/matchup where Derek Carr (22-34 for 215 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) needed to put the hammer down and wreck the Falcons and have us all saying ‘Carr is not so bad, you could win a Super Bowl with him’. Instead, Carr crapped the bed with 3 sacks (against a team that doesn’t rush the passer well), 3 lost fumbles, and a pick.
This may have been the game the Raiders start to wonder if Carr really is their future. You cannot flop like this in a must-win game over an inferior pass defense.
-- Weeks 8-10, the Raiders defense held the Browns to 6 points, beat the Chargers holding them to a respectable (in 2020) 26 points, and then beating Denver holding them to 12 points. You forgive them for allowing 30+ to KC Week 11.
With all that, I thought Week 12 at ATL might not be bad for the Raiders-DST…instead, it was a nightmare. A good chunk of it was on Carr losing 3 fumbles. The Falcons only had 304 total yards…185 yards passing and just 3.9 yards per carry with their 125 yards rushing. It wasn’t an Atlanta offensive explosion, just a Las Vegas comedy of errors.
This kinda-sorta wasn’t what it looked like for the Raiders-DST. I have some faith in them against the Jets Week 13…although it got reduced a bit seeing this. In reality, it wasn’t as bloody for the defense as it looked/appeared.
*Regular Tuesday Video Q&A moved to Wednesday, at the normal time (8:00pm-9:30pmET)
Snap Counts of Interest:
39 = Br Hill
28 = Ito Smith
37 = Hurst
34 = Stocker
25 = Graham
38 = J Jacobs
22 = Booker
42 = Ruggs
42 = Agholor
41 = Renfrow
19 = Br Edwards