2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 15 Game Analysis: Cowboys 41, 49ers 33 (Short Report)
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 normally 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.
SHORT REPORT is an attempt at ‘just the facts’ report on this Week 15 game with a Week 16/title week focus for conveying what we need to know.
A sloppy game between two teams clinging to playoff hopes coming in, and Dallas rides a wave of non-Zeke-playing-exuberance/effectiveness on offense and pulls out a 41-33 win. It was really Dallas’s game all along. The Cowboys never trailed, and when the 49ers scrambled back into it late…Dallas returned an onside kick to go up by 14…but then the 49ers hit a Hail Mary on the final play to make it an 8-point margin. Dallas just felt like they had this game all along and they got the win.
Dallas (5-9) can still win the NFC East. If they defeat the Eagles Week 16 and Washington and NYG loses…suddenly the Cowboys could be a Week 17 win over the Giants away from a shocking NFC East win. I don’t think they can win both of the next two games – they’re not better than PHI or NYG right now. I think they’ll fall short.
The 49ers are also (5-9), but they are not in the NFC East…so, their playoffs hopes are long gone. What might have been if not for all the injuries. They’ll be a playoff team in 2021, assuming they’re not crushed with injury again…and how high they go depends upon who their QB is – and I do not believe it will be Jimmy Garoppolo.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW FOR WEEK 16?
-- Tony Pollard (12-69-2, 6-63-0/9) made the most of his spot start…turning in the most energized RB performance by a Dallas RB in about two seasons.
A few things to consider about this situation on Pollard…and Zeke…
1) This is a bad Dallas O-Line. There’s trouble with it/running behind it. Sure, Pollard had an awesome FF week…but he didn’t necessarily make you forget Zeke as a runner.
Pollards popped that 40 yarder early, but in his other 11 carries, 29 yards rushing…not good. Not Pollard’s fault, it’s the O-Line (the same issue Miles Sanders and James Conner and David Johnson, among others have had this season).
Pollard would feel like a slam dunk FF start if Zeke is out again Week 16, but it’s not an automatic RB1 event – but the projections will be hopeful it is, but it’s not a given because of the Dallas O-Line.
2) Pollard is a WEAPON in the passing game, and thus they threw him 9 targets and he had a great receiving game. Why aren’t they using Pollard somewhat like this WITH Zeke playing…a pass game weapon? Pollard had 9 targets in this game…he’s had 9 targets total in his last 6 games – and he’s played like 33% of the snaps during it. Why not design more pass game plays for him...like 4-5 of them in the rotation with Elliott playing?
Why…that would require logic…why should we expect the Dallas coaches to know Pollard was a receiving back ace in college and is truly gifted that way? Gotta make Zeke twist his hand and wrist in a circle repetitively even more, I guess.
3) Will Pollard move in on taking over for Zeke in 2021?
Absolutely not. There is no way, unless Ezekiel Elliott dies and they cannot find the body in order to try and still play/feature the corpse of Zeke.
-- Will Jeff Wilson (16-60-1, 0-0-0/4) get all the gold this week with Raheem Mostert out? I wouldn’t bet heavy on that thought.
The 49ers have not leaned on one RB in a game all year except one (when three RBs went down in a week and they had to). They run an RB rotation/duo…no matter who that duo is. So, in Week 16 it will be Jeff Wilson as the lead but still getting his 12-15 carries and 1-2 catches with Jerick McKinnon (2-22-0/2) playing a split role and Tevin Coleman (3-11-0) taking carries as well…maybe even 7-10 carries for Tevin. If he gets hot…maybe more/cutting into Wilson.
-- C.J. Beathard (5-7 for 100 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) is mistake-prone but he’s also more physically talented than Nick Mullens, and CJB is a swashbuckler…he will push the passing game and throw downfield. He’s the opposite of Mullens. Beathard will go on the attack…and that might be good or it might be multiple picks thrown.
Beathard can also run the ball well, so he adds that risk/wrinkle for the defense.
Beathard might be a top 10 QB this week…or bottom 5. He’s a boom-bust player.
ANY 2021 FUTURE THOUGHTS (Dynasty Offseason or Stash Items):
-- Who is going to the starting RB for the 49ers in 2021?
1) Kyle Shanahan does not believe in a one back system. It will be a duo+ rotation.
2) Coleman and McKinnon are free agents. Hasty and Wilson are restricted free agents. Contractually, it will be Mostert-Wilson-Hasty. Mostert (approaching 30 years old by season end 2021) and Wilson splitting is the most likely outlook, unless the 49ers sign or draft a big name into the mix. They likely won’t…not in this era of RB economics, but RBs may be so cheap and plentiful that they get an interesting name and jumble up the rotation and let Mostert go.
-- CBs Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown were back healthy for Dallas, and it didn’t lead to any great showing here by the Dallas defense, per se. Dallas is obviously better with Diggs and Brown. They squashed Nick Mullens here and gave up garbage time to Beathard.
The suddenly re-deep Dallas secondary is a bit of a hit to the Jalen hurts upside, in theory.
SNAP COUNTS OF INTEREST:
52 = Pollard
08 = Dowdle
39 = J Wilson
25 = Mostert
06 = Coleman
2021 Dynasty Offseason Material Coming Soon…
As the 2020 season ends, the 2021 Dynasty offseason becomes a focus along with the incoming rookie class scouting.
We’re coming back with our offseason program in January:
-- Dynasty top 500 offensive player and top 300 IDP player valuations/rankings (updated weekly). First report for 2021 posts after the Super Bowl is booked.
-- Special reports all offseason…on players, strategies, buy low/sell high, inside information I get from sources (which saved us in 2019 with the Tyreek scare).
-- Some new items we will debut this season.
Sign-ups begin in January and the material starts to flow early-January through to August (the entire offseason).