2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 2 Game Analysis: Titans 33, Jaguars 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.
This game was 14-0 Titans 10 minutes into the 1st-quarter -- and I thought this was the Jags collapse after a lucky Week 1.
For the next 50 minutes the Jags outscored the Titans 30-19, but on a final drive to get in field goal range, which they were likely to be and possibly get a TD to win it, a Minshew pass was batted down and into a D-Lineman’s hands for a game-ending INT. The Jaguars should be (1-1)…winning this game, and losing last week to the Colts (the reverse of that happened). They had a real chance to be (2-0) to start the season.
The Jaguars represent a football theory you can run with in this particular era – gut all the bloated payroll guys and just run with a bunch of ‘poor’ (no 1st-round picks at QB-RB-WR), hungry, high character guys and let them try and outplay the bloated millionaires. It’s an odd class warfare version of football. It’s also a very coachable group who ‘yes, sir…no, sir’ the head coach…until it’s their time to be paid. It works right now for the Jags (see to: the 2nd-half of 2019 season Miami Dolphins). The Jags aren’t winning the Super Bowl, but they are not to be trifled with.
The Jaguars lead the NFL in 3rd-down conversion percentage…after facing two pretty good defenses (IND and TEN) so far this year. You don’t do that if you’re ‘bad at football’ or ‘tanking’. They are the furthest from tanking. Keelan Cole is playing every snap for his life/livelihood. Odell Beckham can’t wait for the season to be over so he can go buy more cars, houses, and yachts and take more vacations.
I swear, I’m not a Bernie Sanders’ supporter!
I will take the Jaguars and lay the -3.0 to throttle the Dolphins this week on TNF. Miami…a Dolphins team that gutted its bloated roster last year, became a winning team with it 2nd-half of the season…and then went out and spent a ton of money in the offseason to bring in new bloated payroll guys. Looks like that is working out well…
I would not be surprised if Jacksonville is not (4-2) heading into their Week 7 BYE.
The Titans are (2-0) and could very well be (0-2). The Titans are getting out to fast leads and then stalling and hanging on for wins against teams they are supposed to be better than. Another (9-7) season is coming…I can feel it. But they just keep winning, so…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s talk about the two QBs here…both are legit fantasy QB1s now.
Gardner Minshew (30-45 for 339 yards, 3 TDs/2 INTs) was one of my late redraft 2nd QBs on the roster guys (along with Burrow and Stafford)…and that’s already paid off. FFM Dynasty leagues are littered with Minshew investments as a cheap 2nd or 3rd QB when everyone else thought that was dumb back to last year. If you didn’t land Minshew this offseason in Dynasty, you were either loaded at QB already or you wouldn’t believe me. Too late now…now everyone is onto him as legit…for the NFL and FF.
He’s talented + this team will have to throw a bunch + he has really good WRs. He’s a QB1 this year, period.
-- Who I did not see coming…and who I did not believe in…was Ryan Tannehill (18-24 for 239 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT). He keeps playing great and I keep fighting it waiting for ‘you know Tannehill won’t keep this up’ to happen…but I’ve been saying that for 15 starts/games of his now. At what point will I realize I’m stupid?
This week, I might have realized it.
I mean, I used him late last year to get over in places…but I kept waiting for the rug to get pulled out every time. I didn’t believe it the whole time it was happening last year, as I was prospering from it. Now, here I am again looking past it. I’m not alone.
You wanna know how good Tannehill has been?
He took over as full starter Week 7 of last year, and logged 10 regular season game starts, three playoff games, and two games so far in 2020…15 games as a starter for TEN. His record in that time: (11-4).
His numbers in those 15 games…
271 comp./397 att. = 69.3% Comp Pct.
3,455 yards passing (230.3 per game)
33 TDs/6 INTs (2.2 passing TDs per game)
245 rushing yards (16.3 per game)
5 rushing TDs
Where does all this rank in the QB universe?
22.4 FF PPG (4pts per pass TD)…that pace would have made him the #2 QB in all FF PPG in 2019.
26.4 FF PPG (6pts per pass TD)…right with Mahomes fighting for #2 in 2019.
33 passing TDs in a season would have been tied for 2nd-most in the NFL last year.
Guess where he’s ranked for passing TDs so far in 2020? 2nd-most with Ryan-Allen-Rodgers-Minshew.
You’re not getting wild 300+ yard passing games from Tannehill, but you’re getting 2 TD passes almost every week. In his 15 Tennessee starts, he has thrown for 2 or more TD passes 13 times.
Defenses so overplay Derrick Henry to run, as they should…it gives Tannehill the clearance to throw efficiently, against limited coverage and allows him to pick defenses apart as needed.
Ryan Tannehill is a QB1 for 2020…sitting on waivers a lot this week. Available in trade for almost nothing. Why do we not care? Because the NFL is doing big stories or commercials with him. He doesn’t have a funny beard or mustache that NFL analysts judge QB talent on. He’s not a magical rookie. He’s not a runner, per se (but better than people realize) – he’s just really, really good and has been good for 15 games and we don’t care.
I’m usually not in great need of a QB. I already got an ace at the top and Minshew/Burrow/Stafford in the hole…but is Tannehill better than Stafford right now? Or better than Minshew or Burrow? It’s not as crazy a question as you might think.
At Minnesota this week…that should be sweet/solid too.
Versus PIT-BUF Weeks 4-5 is no good, in theory, but he seems to always do fine…but then Week 6 HOU, Week 7 bye, Week 8 CIN is back to good opportunities v. HOU and CIN.
-- When Tannehill is working, he doesn’t tend to lean on one receiver. He spreads it around. He’s hard to figure out for FF…what receivers to chase with him.
A.J. Brown is his guy, but with AJB out…Jonnu Smith (4-84-2/5) is more his guy. But remember, Tannehill is just efficient and tossing TDs…not a ton of yards/completions. Thus, Jonnu is now deemed a star because of his 2 TD game, but outside of that: 4.0 rec., 60.0 yards, 6.0 targets per game YTD…that’s not high-end TE1 activity. Not enough targets/action on a regular basis, but definitely TE1 material.
If you think Corey Davis (3-36-1/5) is rising up without AJB…it’s not really happening. Davis is likely to score a TD with AJB out, but still lowly targeted (for a de facto #1 WR with AJB out). Davis is a random option in a low volume/high TD passing game. Better for non-PPR as a flex/flyer.
When Davis has to be a #1, like this game – high-end rookie CB C.J. Henderson easily shut him off most of the game. Davis operates better in the shadows but is not Tannehill’s #1 or #2 or even #3 look most drop backs.
-- What’s wrong with Derrick Henry (25-84-0, 0-0-0/2)? Nothing. Teams are stacking him (as they do), and he hasn’t had his moment yet. He will. He’ll be fine. He’ll be an RB1 ranked PPG producer soon despite the slow start.
-- James Robinson (16-102-1, 3-18-0/4) still looks very pedestrian on tape to me. But he’s fine. He’s not terrible…but the beauty is – when you get all the touches, good FF things tend to happen.
I don’t know if Ryquell Armstead makes any dent in touches upon a return or not. But it looks like James Robinson all the way for the near future. We’re all excited about him, but the moment he has like two 15-55-0 games in a row, people will turn on him/treat him like an RB3.
I like to dangle JRob out in deals now with a so-so WR to land a Joe Mixon, etc., in a deal,
-- This Jaguars WR group is really humming…
D.J. Chark (4-84-0/4) looks totally fine. I don’t know why the targets are so down (just 3.5 targets per game so far), but he looks fine/open/is making plays.
Minshew doesn’t have to lean on him for everything, so we’re getting low targets…at the same time DJC gets the best coverage. If he has a big Week 3…all will be deemed fine. I am concerned that it’s two games with low targets. One low game can be a blip. Two makes me pause. I’m not buying or selling Chark right now…I’m holding and seeing where this goes. I’d be a buyer more than seller. Chark is too good to be 4 targets a game guy.
He’s going to have a 7-150-2 game soon, and everyone will be back on board again. Thursday night vs. MIA might be the spot for reemergence if Byron Jones is out.
Also, consider… Minshew is so efficient, he’s not going to have a ton of targets because he has a ton of completions. Chark (or others) might get only 5-6-7 targets in a game but catch 5-6-7 passes, and that’s what you want…catches not targets. Unconnected targets/lofty target levels can be misleading. You want connections/completions.
Keelan Cole (6-58-1/7) is playing beautiful football, but he’s risen to FF-power on a TD in each of his first two games…the moment he has a 4-47-0/6 game, he’ll be less than Cole Beasley for people. No one really believes in him, so I’m happy to have him now…or wait for him to be on waivers again if taken this week.
I was really impressed with Laviska Shenault (3-35-0/4, 5-37-0) this game. I’ve been on the sidelines on Shenault this whole time because I didn’t see him being athletic enough to really pop with these ‘unique’ touches he’s getting. That he would be fine, but Curtis Samuel is getting in the same range of touches but he isn’t deemed as exciting because he’s not a magical unicorn rookie.
7 carries, 47 yards rushing, 6 rec. (8 targets), 72 yards receiving, 61% of snaps played = Shenault YTD
5 carries, 31 yards rushing, 7 rec. (10 targets), 51 yards receiving, 72% of snaps played = Samuel YTD
I was impressed with Shenault’s catching ability in this game. He’s really made hay on some errant/off-target/only-where-the-WR-can-get-them throws. He’s a legit WR3/flex kinda option. I don’t know that he can consistently go much higher than that.
-- Some Jags IDPs of note…
C.J. Henderson (6 tackles, 1 PD) gives this Jags defense a shutdown corner immediately…so, beware on Preston Williams AGAIN this week drawing top cover corner #3 in-a-row.
Andrew Wingard (9 tackles) is the new safety and he is a tackle machine…a linebacker mind playing safety. He’ll do well for IDP as a Jags’ starter.
Snap Counts of Interest:
54 = Jonnu
50 = Corey Davis
34 = Batson (wow)
34 = Humphries
28 = Raymond
59 = Chark
51 = Cole
43 = Shenault
34 = Conley
08 = Collin Johnson
38 = James Robinson
31 = Chris Thompson