2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 12 Game Analysis: Titans 45, Colts 26
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.
The Titans lost to the Colts just two weeks prior…but that was a game that Tennessee was winning, then a comedy of errors ensued (missed FGs, shanked punts) and let the Colts back in…to win. This game, the Titans just put the hammer down on the Colts. It was 35-14 Titans at the half. 38-14 at the end of three. A bunch of Colts garbage got it a bit closer, but this was a Titans crush event.
The Titans are just better than the Colts, period. Judging their two matchups in three weeks – the judge’s scorecard goes strong to Tennessee. Whatever you think about the Titans strength (or not), however you would grade them – they are better than the Colts top-to-bottom, from QB to coaching, to overall team. We’d all say the Colts have a better 1-53 roster of talent…so the fact that the Titans are just better than them on the field, clearly (and in record to date) – it’s on the coaching and the QB. Neither is getting any better anytime soon. The Andy Reid coaching tree is rotting away (Nagy, Pederson, Reich/Ballard).
Tennessee is going to win the AFC South, almost assuredly. They should finish with 11 wins and walk away with the division. Worst case 10 wins and get it via tiebreakers.
Indianapolis falls to (7-4) and their wild card playoff life probably comes down to Week 14 at Las Vegas – the winner of that game is a likely wild card, and the loser is sent scrambling to get in. We currently project Indy going (9-7) and up in the air for a playoff spot…but not looking great with a loss to Cleveland already, and if they lose to Vegas.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- A very odd shift is taking place at tight end in Tennessee…a shift away from the very talented Jonnu Smith (0-0-0/0)…the early season top 2-3 fantasy TE, for 4 weeks.
Here were the TE snap counts in this game from the TEs (and the subsequent stat lines for each)…
54 snaps = Jonnu (0-0-0/0)
45 = Geoff Swaim (3-30-0/3)
20 = Anthony Firkser (0-0-0/1)
Swaim is primarily known for his blocking skills, but since he was activated in Week 5 he’s played 6 games, got hurt in one of them and left early, but started four of the other 5 games…playing 55-65% of the snaps each game. He’s on the field a bunch. He’s seeing targets now. I noticed a few pass plays with Jonnu and Swaim running routes on the same play and Tannehill going to a less open Swaim over Jonnu.
The last few weeks I was hearing a drum beat of Anthony Firkser being their most trusted receiving TE, internally being thought/said.
At the same time, Jonnu’s targets/catches/production have fallen off a cliff (and Weeks 1-4 Jonnu was a top 2-3 FF TE). When did Jonnu’s targets start falling? Week 6. When did Swaim get back on the field? Week 5.
I can’t tell you what is going on with the Jonnu decline, or which Tennessee TE is best for fantasy right now (none, is the answer). All I know is…Jonnu is being iced out of the passing game, no longer is he that guy from Weeks 1-4. In redraft, he’s droppable. He has been for a few weeks now.
-- The best FF TE to own from this game, to have on your team right now? It has to be Trey Burton (3-42-1/6), inexplicably.
In recent weeks, all I see is Rivers trying to force the ball to Burton on 3rd-downs and in the red zone/end zone. Burton looks like a shell of himself from former days, but Rivers is going there every week…who am I to turn my nose up at it?
Since getting active, Burton has had no less than 3 targets each game but usually sees 4-5 throws and he has 3 receiving TDs and 2 rushing TDs, 5 TDs total in 8 games. Most TEs will not have 5 TDs all season, Burton has 5 already despite missing Weeks 1-3.
-- Jonathan Taylor (DNP) didn’t play this game due to COVID, which is a shame because the prior week he had his big game against Green Bay…I was thinking maybe the Colts would try to ride a power run game and defense ahead – but no Taylor took that away for this game.
Taylor returns this week, hopefully. It will be interesting to see what Frank Reich does with the team/offense now -- with his job potentially under the gun if they fail to make the playoffs. You can power run over the Houston Texans Week 13, but that doesn’t mean that’s what Reich will do.
My guess is…he does what he always does – unpredictable RBBC.
-- D’Onta Foreman (4-28-0) and Jeremy McNichols (8-20-0, 0-0-0/1) both saw carries in this game…McNichols more touches and more snaps. So, does that make McNichols the proper handcuff?
I think if Henry went down, it would be a 50/50, 60/40 split the first week with Foreman taking the most carries, and McNichols working as more of the pass game back. But if Tennessee wanted to replicate Henry’s game – it would be Foreman becoming the one to own (with McNichols still having a role). He’s the guy looking like/running like Derrick Henry.
-- Michael Pittman (2-28-0/9) had another game that keeps me away from him for FF…it’s not on him, this is a Rivers issue. Rivers’ targeting has been erratic/inconsistent/unpredictable to the WRs all season. Things seem to be shifting more towards T.Y. Hilton (4-81-/1/5) of late, and that connection doesn’t look great either.
Honestly, if I had to say what Rivers’ favorite, or most forced throw is – I’d say it’s Trey Burton, oddly.
-- I’ve been warning that the Colts-DST is not as good as everyone thinks. They got whacked here. They got whacked for chunks of their Green Bay game the week prior. Indy-DST bolstered their scoring against weak offenses (NYJ, CHI) early in the season and have been fading since.
HOU-LV-HOU-PIT the next 4 weeks is not a great set up to get them back to big FF scoring either.
-- The Titans-DST is the better DST to have the next 3 weeks: versus CLE-JAX-DET. The Titans aren’t great on defense either but they’re not terrible…they’re about as good as Indy, but with a better schedule upcoming.
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Snap Counts of Interest:
38 = Alie-Cox
27 = Burton
22 = Doyle
36 = Henry
18 = McNichols
05 = Foreman