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2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 4: Game Analysis: Saints 35, Lions 29

October 9, 2020 12:59 PM
October 10, 2020 10:29 AM

2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 4: Game Analysis: Saints 35, Lions 29


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.


After the Sunday games end, I start putting together a tentative board of the games just played to prioritize what games I want to analyze first and second and so on for the upcoming week. I rank them by the games I see the most questions/revelations, general FF-interest in and go from there.

As I put the Week 4 board together, sliding the games back and forth into buckets and ranks…the Saints-Lions game started at the bottom on the first pass, and stayed their on the second pass, and never budged from there as the week unfolded – the least interesting, least things to learn game of the week was what I thought it would be, and now that I’ve re-watched it – it was just that.

Consider what just happened here, and it’s breathtakingly bad for Lions fans…

1) The Saints walked into this game missing two of their best players…Michael Thomas and, more importantly, Marshon Lattimore. Not to mention their other starting CB (Janoris Jenkins) was out among other Saints players banged up. This was a wounded, depleted Saints team going into Week 4.

2) At the same time, the Lions started getting back injured corners and their ace WR returned to action last week. The Lions health-o-meter was on the rise, and they defeated Arizona last week to make a stand for the 2020 season.

3) The Lions looked sharp and jumped out to a rapid 14-0 lead. Watching it live, I was thinking – the Saints are too wounded, I knew this would happen, why did I pick the Saints in this game? It looked like a bloodbath was underway.

It was.

4) The Saints then scored the next 35 points over the next two quarters, and shut down the Lions as they went. The Lions scored a couple of meaningless TDs with under 6 minutes to go to make it look semi-close, and Detroit actually had a chance late (down one score with 4+ minutes left)…but ‘it’s the Lions’, so of course they didn’t come back.

Spotted a 14-0 lead, at home, facing a wounded Saints defense and ever-increasing rickety Drew Brees without he favorite WR and TE – the Lions then got blown right out of their own building.

You know what the 2020 season will be known for, looking back? The downfall of all the Belichick assistants who were desperately grabbed as head coaches. Will the NFL ever learn?


Brian Flores (1-3)

Matt Patricia (1-3)

Joe Judge (0-4)

Bill O’Brien (0-4) *Fired already

You think any of these teams are headed to the playoffs or ‘in the right direction?’


There’s not much to learn here for Fantasy because this was a game unlike these teams will have ahead. The Saints won’t be missing all their corners and Michael Thomas. The Saints will change back to a Thomas-based offense and the Lions will continue to suck…that’s the short version. Here’s the longer version of things I noted:



Fantasy Player Notes…


 -- So, the Saints have been struggling a bit on defense coming into this game as it was – allowing 23, 34, and 37 points Weeks 1-3. In this game, that same defense was missing all it’s starting cornerbacks. This should have been an air raid on them.

Given that context, Matt Stafford (17-31 for 306 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) only completing 54.8% of his passes is an utter embarrassment. He got numbers late to salvage it for FF.

How can anyone have any faith in this offense for Fantasy? You only have ‘garbage time’ hope. They want to run the ball with power behind a hundred-year-old running back they picked up off waivers…the passing game is a last resort.  

Four weeks of results, plus having this very favorable matchup, we can determine the following on the Lions’ offensive players for 2020 FF…

1) Matt Stafford is not a QB1. He can have QB1 moments in garbage time, but he hasn’t been all year until here. His stellar 2019 for half a season…gone. No carryover to 2020.

‘Time’, this new era, has passed the Lions offense by.

2) Marvin Jones (1-9-0/2) has all but been ignored for four games with/without KG there, with/without a good matchup (on paper). He’s dead to me.

Why is it that I hate older players my entire FF career, but then watch them defy age over and over, so I adopt them in 2020 to use at WR this season, as middle round value picks in redraft – and now they all get old and suck?

RBs get better with age.

TEs are desired with age by NFL coaches.

QBs are going to thrive until age 50.

All 30+ year old WRs potentially suck/can’t keep up with the new breed.

…this is the mantra playing in my mind right now. Whether true or just me being a baby.

3) If the offense sucks/is overrated, then any slick T.J. Hockenson (2-9-1/4) hopes by people are misguided. I never liked him anyway. Now, he’s the poster child of the Lions…not athletic enough, overrated from day one, useless for FF.  

4) D’Andre Swift (4-22-0, 4-30-1/4) is Theo Riddick 2.0 in this offense.

5) Kenny Golladay (4-62-1/8) will be fine but not as glamorous as we might have hoped. I mean, if he can’t destroy the Saints backup CBs, at home, in a dome in a game Stafford throws for 300+ yards…then when is he blowing up? Still, he’s the guy to own.

My goal is to purge my redraft rosters of all Lions, except Golladay. I’m chasing into the Bills and Chargers and Bengals players instead, to catch the new wave of passing games to find FF numbers from hidden places.


 -- Drew Brees (19-25 for 246 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) looks increasingly worse than ever, but he’s still very good…just not ‘great’ anymore (and I worry what it will look like in December+). But he’s fine now…and better than Matt Stafford for the NFL, but for FF…we’ll see.

The Saints have smart, savvy offense…the Lions do not. That’s the difference. Brees is carried a bit by his surroundings some, Stafford is held back.


 -- The Saints’ WR report…

If Michael Thomas is out, Sanders-Smith can be FF good. Once Thomas is back, they are all useless.

End of report.


 -- No Jared Cook for this game, on top of all the other NO injuries…and the magical unicorn rookie TE Adam Trautman (0-0-0/0) played 19 snaps and had no targets.

Backup TE Garrett Griffin played 22 snaps, and honestly…I thought he was out of football.


 -- Is it me or does it seem like every time the Saints try to use Taysom Hill (3-6-0, 1-8-0/1) for something he fumbles or messes it up in some way this year?

Hill has fumbled in each of his last two games…and he only gets 3-4 touches in game anyway. He’s run the ball 10 times for 33 yards this year…3.3 ypc.

Like with many players I see nowadays…that huge new contract seems to have slowed him down/taken away the aggression a little bit. Just my theory.


 -- NO DE Romeo Okwara (3 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 4 QB hits) had 4 QB hits in this game and registered his second sack in his last 2 games. He’s a really good pass rusher when given the playing time. 7.5 sacks in 2017 as a part-time player for DET. He started this game and responded nicely.



Snap Counts of Interest:


27 = AP

23 = Swift

11 = Kerryon


47 = AK

29 = Latavius


62 = Tre’Quan

51 = Emm Sanders

15 = M Callaway (had his 1st NFL catch)

14 = Deonte Harris

10 = Fowler


About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>