2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 3: Game Analysis: Bucs 28, Broncos 10
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 wasn’t much of a game.
Denver did what they do…they fight hard but are so undermanned that they cannot win unless an equally inferior opponent or a lot of breaks – neither happened here. The Bucs are one the better teams in the NFL…they might be the best in the NFC before long. Tampa Bay was just too much for Denver…and considering it was on the road getting a win in the supposed ‘home field advantage’ (due to climate) – it was impressive that they beatdown the Broncos from the opening bell and it was over by halftime and they just played out the final 30 minutes and got out of town with the victory.
Denver gave it all they had. Jeff Driskel did what he could, but with this opponent and Denver’s talent surroundings…it was impossible. The joke is on Denver – if they think going to Brett Rypien is a winning move…they’re about to learn otherwise. Denver has a good chance to lose on TNF to the Jets and then be (0-7) heading into their Week 8 BYE.
Tampa Bay is gaining momentum and cohesion. They are trying to become the toughest team in the league with an intimidating, very good defense. They should be (4-1) heading into a crucial litmus test hosting Green Bay Week 6. I still believe TB will win the NFC South over the Saints, and I’m more confident after Week 3 than I was going in September pre-Week 1 making that call.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- First things first… I think a train wreck is about to happen Week 4 on TNF…the move to Brett Rypien (8-9 for 53 yards, 0 TDs/1 INT) is a bad one. It tells me they either think Drew Lock is coming back Week 5…or that they want to tank the season. Doubtful Vic Fangio would ever ‘tank’.
People are like…well, Rypien came in and went 8-of-9 so maybe he’ll be OK. Maybe he’s ready.
His ‘great’ 8-of-9 passing came with minutes remaining with the game over but Denver trying to let Rypien do garbage time work. As Tampa’s defense laid back in a prevent, Rypien hit a couple of no-read quick hitter passes underneath (and almost all off-target) and they slowly chopped their way down the field.
When Rypien got near the red zone, the Bucs had enough of Denver O-C Pat Shurmur’s utter nonsense and they started teeing off on Rypien for three straight plays to send their message.
3rd to the last Rypien play: Rypien got walloped as he tried to throw it away, but it almost got intercepted. The worst ‘late hit’ penalty in the history of organized football was called and moved them closer to paydirt (and took the incompletion away).
2nd to the last Rypien play: Rypien was hit again, coughed the ball up, but it bounced to a Denver recovery. Drive still alive but Rypien got welcomed to the NFL the last two plays.
Last Rypien play: Now Rypien was jumpy after two big hits, so he tried to throw a stare down pass over the middle to what looked open in the end zone but two TB defenders converged and one of them picked it off…ball game.
All this led Shurmur/Fangio to believe Rypien had the goods for a Week 4 start? Good luck. He doesn’t have the arm strength. He is every flimsy backup QB to ever play an NFL game.
-- Who will Rypien throw to this week on TNF? Anyone he predetermines too. I would NOT play any of those WRs for Denver if I had any other options…I don’t care if the Jets seem like a ‘good matchup’. Brett Rypien is a ‘good matchup’ for the Jets.
I’d say Tim Patrick (4-43-1/5) but Rypien has no favorite receiver besides where he is going to predetermine his throw to. It probably won’t be Jerry Jeudy (5-55-0/9) much because he won’t have time for things to develop downfield for him.
-- Round One (Week 1) of Ronald Jones (13-53-0, 2-20-0/4) vs. Leonard Fournette (7-15-0, 2-7-0/2) went to RoJo, but you would expect that given Fournette just arrived.
Round Two (Week 2) was a shocker as Jones started, as he does, but Fournette had a great 2nd-half breaking a long run and scoring 2 TDs.
After Round Two, people started thinking Fournette was the way to go, only a matter of time. Well, Round Three/Week 3 went to RoJo, clearly. Jones is starting. He is involved more all game (15 to 9 on touches for Jones, 35 to 25 in snaps for Jones). If you watched this game in a bubble, you would never think Fournette was as important or more talented than Jones.
I stick by my assessments… Ronald Jones looks better than Fournette. Jones is running much faster, more nimble, and as tough or tougher. Fournette is winning the passing game battle between them, but not by a ton.
Jones will continue to start and Fournette will get in on a 60/40 split and has to hope he gets hot in relief in-game to keep the touches going. Jones is the guy to own right now. I don’t see Fournette jumping in as starter for a while, and it will take an injury or major screw up by Jones to do it…more than one screw up.
Imagine three years ago someone told you Leonard Fournette would be the backup to Ronald Jones…
I wanted everyone with Fournette to own RoJo, or vice-versa, in case one got hurt – the other would spring to RB1 hopes. Well, you might get your first crack at that this week with Fournette very questionable this week.
-- I don’t even know where to begin talking about the Bucs WRs. Tom Brady does not look all that in sync with the big guys and seems more interested in getting his rickety TE-friend the ball more than working out the bugs with the WRs.
Using this game as a judge, in a vacuum, here’s who I think Brady has chemistry with (and not) and I’ll list the three candidates in low-to-high order for Brady…
#3) Mike Evans (2-2-2/4). There isn’t even an effort by Brady to make this connection happen. The two one-yard catches were not any display of ‘in sync’ or ‘pitch and catch’. If you just look at Weeks 1 and 3, Evans has 3 catches for 4 yards and 3 TDs in those two games…the most bizarre stat line in the history of star WRs.
In Week 2, Brady hit Evans deep for a clunky looking 50-yard play. Minus that one play, Evans’s season averages are…
3.0 rec. (5.7 targets), 19.3 yards, 1.25 TDs per game.
Barely a 50% connection rate. Not even 20 yards per game.
There are MAJOR issues here. Maybe they’ll get fixed as we go, but Brady is not having the same issue with the other guys (to my eye). Brady loves throwing over the middle short/medium…whereas Evans is working the wings.
#2) Chris Godwin (5-64-1/6). There’s a little more sync here but mostly off Godwin running simple crossers underneath in Brady’s vision line up the middle and he dumps it to Godwin, who then makes hay after the short catch. It’s not impressive looking, but works some.
#1) Scotty Miller (3-83-0/5). The moment Brady feels uncomfortable, or the pre-snap where Brady likes the matchup…he likes to float it out deep to Miller. He also has some Brady-to-Edelman sync with Miller…especially underneath where Brady likes it.
10 catches, 18 targets, 108 yards = Evans in 2020
10 catches, 14 targets, 167 yards = Miller in 2020
I think Miller is worth looking at as ‘a Brady guy’…one with good speed and hands and fits a mold. I can see the connection with Miller more than anyone else for Brady right now. If you think Andy Isabella is something to hope for, Scotty Miller is lesser-talented but in a better place/desire with the starting QB.
-- Can you use this Denver-DST against the Jets Week 4? I guess. It’s not white hot, but it’s something. There’s not much more than this Week 4 to use them ahead. It’s not a defensive unit on the rise at all. Maybe they’ll have an uptick when Bouye returns, but I need to see it first.
-- The Tampa Bay-DST is starting to really heat up. We were on this early when many bailed after their opening week game vs. the Saints.
The Bucs are an intimidating, deep, good at all groups (D-Line, Linebackers, Defensive backs) unit.
The Bucs are…
#3 in sacks YTD
#3 in least amount of passing TDs allowed
#5 in QB rating allowed
#3 in rushing yards allowed
#2 in rushing yards per carry
The next five weeks are mostly good…
Versus LAC is a good enough matchup Week 4.
Week 5 at CHI is good too.
Week 6 hosting Green Bay is not as good.
Week 7 at LV is OK (Carr not big getting sacked or getting picked)
Week 8 at NYG is sweet
-- I have to point out one defender from TB… Antoine Winfield (6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD, 1 sack) already looks like a Pro Bowl safety.
A rookie starter playing every snap, and he’s averaging 5.0 total tackles, 0.67 sacks, 0.67 PDs per game. He’s the #5 DB in IDP scoring and he’s an absolute ballhawk. He’s kinda playing some of the Jamal Adams role from time to time…playing all over the place. He’s a legit IDP DB…a possible top 3 to the end kinda guy, I think.
Snap Counts of Interest:
58 = Hamler
53 = Patrick
46 = Jeudy
12 = Hamilton
04 = Cleveland
39 = Gordon
24 = Freeman
35 = RoJo
25 = Fournette
11 = McCoy
63 = Gronk
33 = OJH
61 = Evans
55 = Godwin
29 = S Miller
21 = Tyler Johnson