2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 2 Game Analysis: Steelers 26, Broncos 21
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 Steelers led 17-3 at halftime. They had sent Drew Lock out of the game. Courtland Sutton would be lost for the year eventually. Everything that could go wrong for Denver was going wrong…and, yet, with 7+ minutes remaining…the Broncos had a couple of shots/drives to win the game at the end.
I’m not sure if it was the Steelers got lax or if the Broncos are just so scrappy (and enjoy losing closing games, as they do)…but it ended up closer than it felt watching it. Denver is scrappy. The Steelers are still a bit sloppy but might have the best defense in football…so they’ll only fade so far in a game.
Pittsburgh gets more of a test this week with Houston…as they inch closer to a Week 7 showdown at Baltimore. I don’t know how good the Steelers…I should say I don’t know how great they are. I know they are good, but are they legit Super Bowl contenders? I think they are, but we’ll get another clue this week v. a tougher/desperate Houston.
Denver has lost a couple of it’s best players, heart & soul types…and they cannot recover from it. Courtland Sutton and Von Miller out for the season, and Phillip Lindsay and A.J. Bouye missing…it’s almost a ‘win’ in this close loss because it’s a miracle they were in it to the end (or the Steelers aren’t as good as we think). Denver hosts Tampa Bay this week and that might be closer than the Bucs/the public expects too.
Denver has lost too many top players and has too tough a schedule from Week 5 on to make any noise for 2020. They should start selling pieces now. Drew Lock getting hurt was the best thing that ever happened to this team, but they don’t see it that way.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- First things first…I don’t think you fully appreciate what is happening with Diontae Johnson (8-92-1/13). Sure, you’re happy he had a big game. You’re hopeful. You like him. You’re encouraged.
You are sitting on Antonio Brown in the making…and this AB 2.0 is ALSO with Big Ben. We have a QB that knows what this means/how to use it. If it were Derek Carr/Jon Gruden + Diontae, he’d be blocking for run plays every down and having 2-3 catches a game and no one would care.
You have a WR1 in PPR with Diontae, no more questions asked this year.
If Diontae ever stops ___-ing up the first few plays of each game, it would be nice. Week 1…muffed punt and then a drop and then a wrong route – and then gold the rest of the way. Week 2…fumbled a jet sweep first play, a drop soon after, and then gold.
The Steelers WR group after two games…
14 rec., 23 targets, 149 yards, 1 TD = Diontae
13 rec., 14 targets, 117 yards, 2 TDs = JuJu
05 rec., 05 targets, 127 yards, 1 TD = Claypool (now a viable FF player suddenly)
02 rec., 03 targets, 34 yards 1 TD = Washington
The thing is…98% of the FF population would feel better if they had Chris Godwin or D.J. Moore instead. If you don’t have Diontae, you can still get him…but it will cost you. It might be a sacrifice you want to make.
I suspect many of you don’t fully appreciate the treasure you possess in Diontae…that you fully feel the full value…like someone else who struggles with valuations: https://youtu.be/xyyqoHCkw9I
-- Speaking of WR greatness…Chase Claypool (3-88-1/3) is coming on so fast it’s amazing. I projected him as future-great/top of the WR draft class type talent, but I didn’t think it could happen with this WR group in place this quickly. I’m so happy Claypool is getting a chance to shine.
He might be a week or two away from being a legit starter, especially in non-PPR leagues. Claypool and Diontae are two of the best WR talents I’ve scouted in the past 5 years…both on the same team, and Claypool isn’t starting yet, but it won’t be long now.
This is why I’ve been anti-JuJu Smith-Schuster (7-48-0/8)…he’s got too much talent enveloping him for touches.
-- Chase Claypool doesn’t go 1st-round of the NFL Draft, isn’t a starter, makes 3rd-round chump money for the next four years…and yet Jerry Jeudy (4-62-0/7), who sucks by the way, is a multi-millionaire 1st-round pick. And yet we trust the NFL analysts inherently…
In case you’re wondering, Jeudy has 4 drops this season…all on passes over the middle. I think the NFL has only tagged him with two and none in this game…but he flat out dropped two easy passes here – because he heard footsteps. That’s why he sucks. He’s S-A-W-F-T. He is quite bouncy though, and that’s cool to look at when they talk about his bounciness for 10 minutes and never address the massive drops problem he has.
Rabbitt (expert Denver analyst/fan), am I wrong here?
-- Also, one of the best WRs I have ever scouted is Courtland Sutton (3-66-0/6)…who went in the 2nd-round of his draft because NFL analysts are above reproach by guys like me…he came back from his shoulder injury like a beast in this game…and then was taken away from us with an ACL.
Saquon and CMC take the headlines, but FFM-land got crushed this week too, in retrospect…we lost Parris Campbell and Courtland Sutton. That really stings. This year is crazy…and we’re two weeks in. Never been a season start like this for me…radical FF scoring from single players against teams killing teams, plus all these injuries. That’s why you can’t panic off two tough games to start the season…there’s a lot of spasms, high-highs and low-lows and injuries throwing everything off it’s normal flow.
We’re just two weeks in.
We just have to stay in the game, make smart not panic moves, and let the luck/fortune turn our way.
-- Noah Fant (4-57-1/5) is the big winner of Courtland going out (and Jeudy sucking). He’ll be the de facto #1/go-to for Denver now. How great that is with Drew Lock remains to be seen. It won’t be bad with Jeff Driskel. It’s not got the upside we’d hope…now teams are going to start defending it.
-- Speaking of Jeff Driskel (18-34 for 256 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT), he’s better than Drew Lock…that’s not a huge compliment, it’s just a fact. Not much changes with him in and Lock out…except Driskel is better for all.
-- We got to see the debut of K.J. Hamler (3-48-0/7) in this game. There’s literally 50 WRs just like him that are backups. I don’t get the huge appeal of Hamler. He is starting and will see targets, so there’s that. He isn’t terrible…just very tiny and OJ/good not good/great…on a bad passing game.
Damiere Byrd or Keelan Cole or Darnell Mooney are more exciting/better FF WRs.
-- Was anyone surprised James Conner (16-106-1, 2-12-0/2) would not get a full push back into the bell cow role? He will have it until his next injury…+/- 2-3 weeks.
-- The Denver-DST isn’t bad. They really gave a good/efficient Tennessee offense all they could handle Week 1. They held the Steelers to 2-for-12 on 3rd-downs. They got two turnovers. They pushed a very good Steelers offense/Big Ben. They fought hard against two playoff teams.
Three of the next 4 weeks they are viable, for FF. Week 3 hosting Tampa Bay might not be bad, but it’s not preferred. If Bouye is back, it’s not terrible.
You pick them up Week 3 to have them Week 4 v. NYJ.
Week 5 at NE is shaky but doable. Week 6 against Miami at home works well.
Not a hot DST, but one decent among the rubble of the unclaimed. And one to look ahead to Week 4.
-- The Steelers are in the argument for best defense in the NFL now, but before we get too excited – they have faced Daniel Jones and Jeff Driskel, so far. We don’t know how good/great they are. Facing HOU and at TEN the next two weeks aren’t gimmies, but worthy FF plays…just not top FF plays those weeks. Week 7-8-9 is at BAL, BYE, at DAL…that’s a stretch where you need a 2nd DST. You don’t wanna get rid of the Steelers totally then but they’re fine leading up to that stretch and then we’ll see.
In this game, the Steelers had 7 sacks, 13 TFLs, and 19 QB Hits.
By comparison, Denver had 1 sack, 6 TFLs, and 3 QB Hits.
Snap Counts of Interest:
59 = JuJu
54 = Diontae
31 = Washington
24 = Claypool
50 = Conner
10 = Snell
61 = M Gordon
16 = Royce Freeman