2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 2 Game Analysis: Seahawks 35, Patriots 30
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.
I think Bill Belichick is a god among NFL head coaches in all of NFL history. I never want to bet against him or criticize him as if I know better than him (that prior statement allows me to now say what I want, completely the opposite of what I just proclaimed, recklessly and all).
I thought this was one of the worst game planned Patriots games I’ve seen in a long time. The Patriots have become ‘Cam save us’. I’ll get into a few more specifics in the next section, but I didn’t understand their defensive coverages or their offensive touches/rotations here…they just let Russell Wilson pretty much do whatever he wanted. I know Russ is cooking and he’s hard to stop, but you’d think Belichick would have some special sauce plan…nope. Rex Burkhead did play a lot though, if that helps. The Pats are going as far as Cam’s flirting with pick sixes will take them…sometimes he’s awesome, sometimes not.
Seattle, to me, is not as good as everyone thinks…but with Russell Wilson on fire – a lot of sins are covered. It’s a pretty bad defense in Seattle and no real run game. It’s all Russ, which you’d rather have ‘all Russ’ then ‘all Cam’ for the NFL – but Kansas City and Baltimore are way more balanced and dangerous. Not that Seattle won’t make a run, I just think they’re not as great as people think…they had every opportunity to run away with this game and were a telegraphed last play goal line stop of Cam away from being (1-1).
Seattle has a decent schedule set up ahead – DAL, at MIA, MIN. That could be three wins on the matchup, but Dallas this week is a lot like Seattle (hot offense, sloppy defense) and going to Miami is always trouble, and Minnesota should have Danielle Hunter back by then. Seattle should be (4-1) before their Week 6 bye, and then their conference games finally start.
New England played a sloppy/sluggish game vs. Miami Week 1 and won. They played an energetic/sloppy game Week 2 and lost. They’re in a good place to catch Las Vegas off that MNF game this week, but then go at KC Week 4, which they will get shredded. I think NE will be (3-2) going into their Week 6 bye…and I don’t know that they are definitely better than Buffalo for the AFC East title. But I’ll give NE grace…Belichick tends to play September as a feeling out process, and then they become lethal into October-November. A (3-2 or 3-3) start for NE is fine.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let me talk about the QBs here…
The talented running QBs are destroying (in a good way) the NFL. It’s becoming too easy. Defenses don’t know what to do. If they pressure the QB races by them. If they sit back and watch/worry about the QB run, good passing mobile QBs will shred them that way. Thus, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray for MVP…and Cam will be unable to hang with that higher end group over time.
Legalized holding in 2020 is offering more protection, advantage runner-passers. Both Russ and Cam are averaging over a nice 2.5 seconds of time in the pocket to throw.
One quick note on Russell Wilson (21-28 for 288 yards, 5 TDs/1 INT), that may mean nothing in 2020…
In 2019, Wilson was near the top of the FF PPG QB leaders after three weeks of the season. He had 7 TDs/0 INTs. He had run for 2 TDs. He logged a 300 and 400+ yard passing game.
However, from Week 4 on last season, he never threw for 300+ yards again all season. Six of his final 14 games were 0-1 TD passes in the game. He only ran for one other TD all season. In the playoffs he threw for 1 TD and 1 TD in his two games. He also fell from the top of the QB scoring to a solid #8 in PPG among QBs (4pts per pass TD)…behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Tannehill, among others.
I’m not saying Russ is bad or a fall is coming – just keep in perspective hot starts aren’t usually hot every week to the finish. Whether a player or an entire fantasy team…things have to play out over time.
Cam Newton (30-44 for 397 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) looked as good passing the ball, most of this game, as I’ve seen him in a while. He has a ton of time and finds options within it. Also, Seattle’s trying to lay claim to the worst pass coverage in the NFL. They are #1 with a bullet in most passing yards allowed so far this season. Seattle-Dallas Week 3 is going to be an ‘over’ on the points and an epic shootout of teams unable to cover or pressure so far this season (and Dallas has been crushed with injuries).
Cam Newton looks like a guy trying to get a $100M+ contract, so he’s going to take all the TDs he can get…especially rushing. I am totally in on Cam for fantasy 4pts per pass TD.
-- Let’s talk about the WRs here on both sides. Important info…
Julian Edelman (8-179-0/11) looked fantastic in this game. Stunning. Cam-to-Edelman looks better than Brady-to-Edelman of the past few years. It may have been the Seattle defense…but wow are these two working well together. But, caution – Cam is usually a low volume passer, so Edelman may get catches but be erratic on yards/TDs. There could be a lot of 8-55-0 games coming, but also some 10-100+ games too. I’m ‘in’.
This is important…N’Keal Harry (8-72-0/12) looks terrible to me. I mean…I think I see a bust. Imagine if Davante Parker wasn’t as good an athlete…that’s Harry. He plays S-A-W-F-T. I can see it a mile away. He plays confused and scared. He has some talent. He can hang in the NFL, but future star – I’d bet against it hard, and I’d sell this week right here, right now.
Can he turn it around? Yes, but when I watch all the young and current rookie WRs over and over and see their movements and tendencies – Harry stands out as something is wrong. Too slow a foot, too much of his hand extended out, trying to pattycake push (not aggressively stiff arm) people away, too easy to tackle.
Because Harry is a SAWFT bust and because Julian Edelman is going to get a lot of attention and because the Pats have no threat at TE and because Damiere Byrd (6-72-0/9) has history with Cam and he is a pro WR, it’s Damiere Byrd as the sneaky #2 WR here for fantasy. In good matchups for Cam, Byrd is going to outperform Harry over time. He’s the WR to watch in all of this as a useful WR3/flex to work with here and there. Not a star, but just a useful name in a pinch in a good matchup.
Damiere Byrd is going to beat cheating-up-too-much/looking-run-too-much CB Damon Arnette for a deep ball play at least once Week 3…the question will be, can Cam get it to him.
I was sure Belichick was going to double Tyler Lockett (7-67-1/8) and play off/give space to D.K. Metcalf (4-92-1/6) and force him to him to work short instead of his constant deep ball routes.
Well, watching this game. I see Lockett covered by linebackers a bunch and basically allowed to roam free…thus his good game. Then I see Stephon Gillmore pressing up on Metcalf and then getting boat raced deep by him.
When will the NFL learn what SEC CBs knew? Metcalf is going deep every play. He literally does whatever at first off the snap and then he ends up sprinting deep. There is no reason to worry about his stutter step or fake to the inside…assume he’s going deep every time like you’re playing him as if you Marty McFly -- and you know history before it happens. DKM is a Greek god of a physique, so why do you think you can jam him off the snap and he won’t swat you away and then out-run you in a sprint from there? Just play back and start backpedaling before the snap, and force him into underneath routes that he drops constantly…or go back into centerfield waiting for him to run deep to you…he will. Nope…Gillmore right up in his face and Metcalf blowing right past him.
The Patriots earned this loss, this air raid on themselves. I’m really starting to wonder if the Pats defense was ever near as good as anyone thought because of that hot 1st-half last year? I mean, when they aren’t facing the Jets-Dolphins-Bills…it’s not been that special, no?
-- Rookie SAF Kyle Dugger (6 tackles) played 11 snaps Week 1 with no stats but jumped to 54% of the snaps here and had a solid showing. He’s a talent and might be about to ‘start’ for the Pats in weeks to come.
-- The NE-DST…
Weeks 1-8 of 2019: 22.6 FF PPG (FPros system) and the #1 FF DST by a mile
Weeks 9-17 of 2019 (when the schedule turned away from easy): 6.9 FF PPG and was the #14 FF DST.
The 2020 schedule isn’t cupcake like it was last season. Week 5 v. DEN, Week 9 v. NYJ look good, but not so hot all the other weeks in fantasy. I’m not very excited by this DST play in 2019.
Snap Counts of Interest:
45 = Olsen
31 = Dissly
40 = Carson
15 = Hyde
62 = Byrd
61 = Harry
52 = Edelman
15 = Michel