2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 2 Game Analysis: Rams 37, Eagles 19
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 have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
The Rams stormed out to a 21-3 early 2nd-quarter lead and it looked like a blowout was at hand. However, the Eagles climbed back into – cutting the lead to 24-19 early 4th-quarter. The Rams stepped on the accelerator again and put Philly away 37-19.
The Rams are just playing fundamental football. Jared Goff is being smart. The Rams defense has been solid. They are getting up quickly in games and letting the opposing team make the mistakes. They are not great, but they are good…and winning. A hiccup might come this week against another sound team – the Bills. Buffalo is not likely to be outsmarted or outhustled by the Rams.
The Eagles are playing for their lives this week. If they lose to the Bengals and fall to (0-3) there may be a different kind of rioting in Philadelphia. They face at SF, at PIT, BAL Weeks 4-5-6. The Eagles are staring at a 1-5/0-6 start. Get your Jalen Hurts lottery tickets ready to go.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let me talk about the five RBs involved in this game, and I’ll list them in reverse order of best-talent-to-worst-talent…so, we start with the least talented. This doesn’t mean worst/least for FF…just my scouting eye best and worst on-field talents…
#5) Cam Akers (3-13-0/5) – He’s not terrible, but he’s very inexperienced and making the least impact right now. He may miss a week or two with his rib injury.
#4) Malcolm Brown (11-47-0) – Solid, experienced but his FF-value goes up in smoke when Darrell Henderson got his shot.
#3) Miles Sanders (20-95-1, 3-36-0/7) – He’s a perfectly fine RB but he’s not a stud or star…he's a guy getting carries for emotional reasons. They ‘love’ him. The media has pushed him so hard everyone just assumes he’s great. Every time I watch him, I walk away unimpressed. Not that he isn’t worthy of the NFL, but he should not be the centerpiece of an NFL offense. The Eagles have done this to themselves.
Sanders will be fine, probably great for FF because the Eagles have nothing else. They’re all-in on a ‘C’ grade RB.
#2) Boston Scott (4-19-0, 3-24-0/3) – He should be in a 50/50 split with Sanders but isn’t. Every time I watch an Eagles game and see Scott running inside, I wonder why Scott isn’t the clear starter over Sanders. Scott, for his size, is a tough runner…but also very fleet of foot, really fleet of foot. I’d almost consider him #1 here.
The Eagles don’t see him that way so all you can do is hold/wait for a Sanders injury. Scott is the kind of back that will get overlooked forever, only given a chance if injury forces it.
#1) Darrell Henderson (12-81-1, 2-4-0-0/3) – Speaking of the kind of back that gets overlooked forever…
It was a good week for my scouting career…we saw Kyler and Diontae really come into their own Week 2 and show that they are real. I went back and looked and saw my CFM scouting grades re-remembered we had Chase Claypool as the #1 most talented/highest-graded NFL WR prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft…and no one else would have had him close to that, and it seemed silly a few weeks/months ago. How about now? Then there was the unplanned emergence of Darrell Henderson here. It’s been a good week even if all my fantasy players are getting hurt/gone for the season.
If Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown don’t get hurt here…Henderson stays buried. But they both got hurt, and Henderson finally got extra work…and a quasi-star was born. Henderson has some of the traits of Boston Scott, only Hendo is bigger and stronger/tougher. Henderson is like if peak Devonta Freeman was a great athlete too – smaller/compact brick wall runner but with speed and hops.
Henderson had big/long runs in this game, he had nice screen pass plays, he caught long passes down the field, he blew up defenders for second chance yards (and for his TD). He did it all in 29 snaps (42%) of the game played.
In a normal world, this would mean Henderson is in line for more work or the starting role going forward. But this is the NFL, and Cam Akers is supposed to be a magical unicorn rookie…and the Rams can’t have you knowing they valued Akers more than Henderson to start 2020. So, you think this is the beginning of a DH uprising…but we’ll see. It will be eventually…just not willingly or quickly.
If Akers plays, Henderson might get 3-4 touches and comments after the game that ‘we gotta get Henderson the ball more’ (the kiss of death). If Akers is out, then Henderson gets another serious shot to steal all the gold here and force the Rams to make him the main guy (whether he starts or not).
Henderson’s day is coming, but how fast depends upon Akers’ ribs. I’d guess the Rams would hold Akers out this week…why wouldn’t they? If so, get excited for DH…except Buffalo has a high-ranked run defense…except they’ve played the two worst run teams in the league to get there so far. My Henderson rankings are based around Akers playing or not.
Outside of that…take a bow – Darrell Henderson is no longer a ‘concept’. He is real. It really happened Week 2…and he’s still inexperienced/has upside, much upside to run.
-- So, speaking of nice FFM moments…Tyler Higbee (5-54-3/5) scored 3 TDs this week. I didn’t predict Higbee would be a star coming out of college, I was just willing to take the ride Higbee was showing us he could go on late last season.
Five breakout performances last year + his two games this year…Higbee’s last 7 games:
7.3 rec., 88.0 yards, 0.58 TDs per game
12.2 FF PPG/19.5 PPR PPG for fantasy in that time span – both these FF PPG numbers would have been #1 with a bullet in the 2019 season among TEs.
So far this season, he’s #3 in non-PPR, #5 in PPR PPG among TEs…pushed by the huge Week 2.
But what about the low targeting? Targeting is nice, but I like completions/catches better. Sometimes a lot of targeting is just a lot of errant throwing. I’d like high catches AND high targets, but I don’t want to thumb my nose at good/high catches/yards/TDs because I’m whining about targets. Logan Thomas gets more targets, but will he score for FF off them because of Haskins misfirings?
Higbee is a strong TE1 this season, we’ll see how strong as we go.
-- I was wrong about Van Jefferson (4-45-0/5). I thought he’d struggle to transition to the NFL more than he has. I thought he might be a bit too soft as a receiver. I think he might struggle with better coverage/attention but he’s getting to be the under-the-radar guy for LAR and it works OK.
Jefferson’s rise takes food out of the mouths of Woods-Kupp, just enough to throw back to WR2s not WR1s.
-- Jared Goff (20-27 for 267 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) numbers since the Higbee uprising/offensive change to the passing game:
14 TDs/5 INTs…2.0 TDs per game and 312.1 yards passing per game.
This is a guy the media/fantasy experts have hated for years. I don’t know why.
There are better FF QBs for sure, but Goff is not a dud or anything.
…and if anyone has a question of the better QB/draft pick…Goff or Wentz (26-432 for 242 yards, 0 TD/2 INT) – then you’re a fool.
-- If/when I’m right about Jalen Hurts going to QB over Wentz, several things are going to change/happen that will shake some FF landscapes.
If the Eagles fall to (1-5) or possibly if they lose to Cincy this week, and Hurts takes over whenever, then…
1) Hurts becomes an interesting QB in 4pts per pass TD leagues…like a 200 +/- yards passing, a passing TD, 15 rushes for 50-80 yards and TDs a game type of QB for FF. A small-scale Lamar.
This change could happen just to save the O-Line issues…it’s not fair to Wentz to try and work behind it and their terrible WRs.
2) We don’t know what WRs, if any, would be viable with Hurts. Reagor would have made the most sense.
3) If Philly goes down, Zach Ertz could be traded…and his value then drops for FF.
Dallas Goedert would be a winner from Ertz gone, for sure, except Hurts is not going to be a high-volume passer. Goedert might be a junior Mark Andrews for junior-Lamar…but that’s better for non-PPR, shakier for PPR (at a high level).
If Philly loses to Cincy this week, buckle up for the fireworks and winds of change starting to blow.
4) It won’t help Miles Sanders reach new heights as Hurts takes ground game and short TDs away. Hurts is better built to be an NFL tail back than Sanders.
-- Micah Kizer (15 tackles, 1 PD, 1 FF) looks solid for LAR as their new ILB. He works fine. But for FF it was aces last week. He’s averaging 11.0 total tackles per game so far and is #4 in IDP PPG among LBs so far this season.
-- The Rams-DST has allowed 17 and 19 points to opponents so far – that’s good…3rd-best in the NFL. But for FF, they are #21 in sacks and are #18 in yards allowed. They are playing safe/sound football without a lot of FF scoring fireworks so far. The Philly matchup was supposed to be fireworks for sacks but they got none (and no TFLs)…and just 3 QB hits.
Snap Counts of Interest:
67 = Ertz
63 = Goedert
60 = Reagor
55 = DeSean
23 = JJAW
13 = Ward
03 = Jalen Hurts
55 = Sanders
13 = Scott
59 = Higbee
59 = Kupp
59 = Woods
42 = JReynolds
26 = Van Jefferson
37 = M Brown
29 = D Henderson
03 = Akers