2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 13 Game Analysis: Saints 21, Falcons 16
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 Saints were definitely the better team here, but it was a lot closer than the last time these two met…and the Falcons had a shot to win it late but blew it.
Everything to know about this game happened with just under 2 minutes left…
Falcons with the ball, down 21-16, 2nd & 2 from the Saints 13-yard line at the two-minute warning. Also, note that Todd Gurley missed last week’s game and was limited this week with a knee injury…and he didn’t start this game or play much until they got near the red zone. The work that he did do was pretty sad to that point – Gurley looks like he’s operating at 50% capacity favoring/worried about his knee. Anyone watching could see there was a problem.
Got all that? Atlanta can win this game converting 2nd & 2 and going on to score a TD. They’re back in the playoff picture if they can get this 1st-down/then TD from 13 yards away.
2nd & 2…run with Gurley, no yards. Everyone was like…why run Gurley there knowing the issues?
3rd & 2…run with Gurley, he tries to kick it outside…which…’the knee’…he ends up taking 3rd & 2 and losing 7 yards to create 4th & 9 from the 20-yard line. The Falcons don’t convert, turn it over on downs…ball game.
NFL coaches are inexplicable. Gregg Williams’ play call/coverage at the end of the Jets-Raiders fiasco might have not even been in the top five of stupidest things coaches did just this week. These back-to-back rushing attempts with wounded Gurley…dumber than the Gregg Williams stunt.
The Saints survive and go to (10-2), holding the lead for the #1 seed over (9-3) Green Bay. Week 15 vs. KC looms. (13-3) is their likely finish but (12-4) is as likely, in which case they might hand the #1 seed to GB – and teams having to go to Lambeau field in January vs. to the dome in New Orleans…it changes everything, more for the Saints than any other NFC team.
The Falcons find a way to lose, again, and fall to (4-8). Five wins by the end is the best they can hope for…they have at LAC this week, and then TB-KC-TB to finish.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The aforementioned Todd Gurley (8-16-0, 1-4-0/1)…seriously, it doesn’t look good. Why they insist on pushing him out there in his condition is ridiculous on several fronts…
1) The guy is going to get himself hurt worse trying to run gingerly away from getting hurt. He’s a wounded/hindered gazelle among the herd trying to runaway from the hungry speedy cheetahs.
2) The season is lost. Gurley will be a free agent. Why not see what Ito Smith and Brian Hill (and Qadree Ollison) have to offer? Raheem Morris wants an opportunity to show what he can do in this lost season, but won’t afford others the same?
I think it is very possible Todd Gurley gets shut down for the season now that Atlanta is all but out of it. If not this week, then next – which means the alternative ATL RBs could have meaning ahead…something to consider for Week 14 bye teams looking to sit on a situation that could fall into their laps.
But do you go Ito or Hill?
Brian Hill (5-18-0) started this game, but then played the least number of snaps…two games in-a-row he’s had a golden opportunity and done nothing with it.
Ito Smith (8-36-0, 1-0-0/2), for the second week in-a-row played more snaps/looked better…fresher…more determined. This was the last stand game for ATL for the playoffs, and Ito led the RBs with 24 snaps…Hill 11 snaps. You have to say Ito is the main guy if Gurley goes down and out.
If Gurley is active…Ito and Hill won’t FF-matter/you won’t use them. However, if Gurley is put on IR this week or next…it’s Ito lead and Hill trying to chase into work. Both have everything in the world to play for to show good tape for their future.
Sadly, Week 15…Ito vs. Tampa Bay is a bad matchup if it comes down to it. Week 16 at KC is better.
Qadree Ollison? Raheem Morris doesn’t seem to care.
-- It’s not looking any better for Hayden Hurst (1-9-0/4). He got nicked up Week 10-11 and hasn’t been the same since. Two of his last 3 FF game results have been a disaster. Matt Ryan is dying. His throws to Hurst were useless in this game. You have my blessing to seek other TE relief if needed/desired.
-- Taysom Hill (27-37 for 232 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 14-83-0) is likely making his final start at QB Week 14. Just a note on something to consider with him…
Once Brees is back, if Taysom reverts to TE designation (as he should, it’s ridiculous leagues that can’t wait to designate him a QB but then won’t acknowledge him playing TE otherwise) – he’s not a bad hold/use as one of your TEs.
He’s a TE1 potential playing his limited snaps as it is at TE -- but he may see more snaps at QB, when Brees is back, while playing his TE, subbing in for Brees more because Taysom is so integrated now at QB…no longer just a gimmick. Taysom could get a lot of TE work between the 20s and then a lot of QB work in the red zone…with the FF-bonus that in-game Brees gets hurt and Taysom drops back into QB while starting as your FF TE.
-- Three starts for Taysom at QB, so far…
Alvin Kamara (15-88-1, 2-9-0/3) has three catches for 7 yards total in those three games. What happens to AK’s value if Taysom is the Saints starting QB in 2021?
-- Where the H did ATL DE Steven Means (3 tackles, 2.0 sacks) come from? He is a very long-armed, relentless pass rusher off the edge. A menace that was unblockable half this game…but he was rotating in and out all game. If I were the Falcons, I would never take him off the field…he IS their pass rush now.
His last three games…he’s averaging 4.3 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 0.67 forced fumbles per game.
2012 = 5th-round draft pick out of Buffalo by Tampa Bay
2013 = Tampa Bay backup/warm body
2014 = Cut by TB, signed by BAL
2015 = BAL, to IR, cut…signed by HOU…signed away by PHI
2016 = PHI
2017 = PHI signed to a 1-year extension
2018 = Cut by PHI, signed by ATL
2019 = ATL puts on IR
From 2013-2019, six teams played for and 36 game appearances over 7 years with just 3.0 sacks/27 tackles total. Means has as many sacks the last two games as he had the prior 7.5 years.
He was a pretty good pass rusher in college. He looks really good on this week’s tape. We’ll see if he keeps it up.
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Snap Counts of Interest:
24 = Ito
22 = Gurley
11 = Hill
42 = Hurts
24 = Stocker
48 = AK
32 = Latavius
42 = Josh Hill
28 = J Cook
27 = Trautman