2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 5: Game Analysis: Cowboys 37, Giants 34
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 thought I had this upset in the bag, early on. A quick 14-3 lead for NYG, playing energized ball…as the Cowboys were sleepwalking again…and then the next thing I know Dallas leads 24-20 with a TD right before the half.
The Giants kept getting on the verge of taking the lead but couldn’t quite get there in the 3rd-quarter. Then Dak went down and started hurriedly pointing at his leg. At my first glance of it as it was happening live…his calf looked weird, but I wasn’t sure if a pad or something was out of place or was his bone out of place in his calf area…I couldn’t process it in the first few seconds in. What was wrong? Then they did a close up on Dak grabbing his leg to move it and his foot was pointing the other direction almost – and then you knew this might cost him a year or more. Sad.
But being a heartless fantasy player and bettor…I instantly felt better about my NYG bet and any FF teams facing Dak for the week. Too soon? OK, I’m the only one who thought that way…OK, I’m the bad guy.
*Side note from this game: When Dak went down, everyone was rightfully concerned and saddened. I wanted to commend one Jason Garrett.
Jason Garrett, NYG O-C, former long-time Dallas HC…he went over to be near Dak during the time Dak was being tended to on the field. When it became obvious to everyone that ‘this was bad’, there was a moment of Garrett (standing next to Mike McCarthy) leaning over and patting McCarthy on the back in a moment of sympathy.
Two opponents on the field this day, but also McCarthy being the ‘new spouse’ married to your ex…the guy who replaced you in your top job as you took a demotion to another team (but all still millionaires, so -- how bad could it be?) – it had to be a bit awkward. But Garrett knew this was a bad moment for Dallas and McCarthy from a coaching perspective, and all that weirdness was set aside in a nice moment of compassion for his fellow man in the middle of a tight ball game involving these coaches all under fire for various reasons. Nice work, Mr. Garrett. Now, please get Evan Engram the ball more and I’ll give you a hug as well.
Dallas escapes with a win and jumps to a commanding lead of the NFC East at (2-3) but now has to try and close the deal this season with Andy Dalton. Probably not going to happen, but any team could win the NFC East. We are projecting Dallas for 6-7 wins…which seriously could win the division.
The Giants could’ve won and been a half-game out of 1st-place, and then a Dwayne Haskins-ing of Daniel Jones away from winning this division. The best defense in the NFC East may reside with NYG not Washington. Drafting Daniel Jones is going to cost this team 2020 and 2021, as they stick by him for ‘reasons’. If they’d offer a 1st-round pick in 2021, for a 2nd-round pick + Jalen Hurts…and then install Hurts as a starter to change the offense to ‘like the Ravens’ and relieve the pressure on the O-Line – they might compete for the NFC East this year…but they are stuck with Danny Demise (ohh, I just thought of that as I was typing…dibs on the trademark!!!)
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Dak Prescott is not only in jeopardy for the rest of 2020…he’s going to miss a lot of 2021 prep and maybe be really rusty, not ‘right’ for a portion of 2021 (if that ankle injury was as bad as it looked). This could affect the Dallas players related for FF for more than this ROS.
What happens now with Andy Dalton (9-11 for 111 yards, 0 TD/0 INT)?
First, Dalton is a solid NFL backup. You can win games with Dalton…but you’re putting his faded-skills into a situation with a corrupted O-Line and a terrible coaching staff and terrible defensive plan. He’s not a miracle worker. He’s not Nick Foles. Fantasy things are going to suffer.
Watching his 11 throws in this game and trying to make assumptions – we’ll not get any clues to the future. He was either throwing quick hitters against a soft zone or last minute prayers being answered by Michael Gallup. Or the other type throw was near-pick six quick hitters. But, overall, Dalton looked competent with good arm strength.
However, Dalton can’t be Dak. I’m not sure Dak could keep being Dak…their games got so crazy it set up a perfect storm for crazy FF numbers Weeks 1-4. The WRs/TEs will have to take a hit over time/as we go you’d think. But let’s just say Dalton is 70% of Dak…then the following assumptions:
Amari Cooper (2-23-0/4) goes from strong WR1 to weak WR1, possibly more high-end WR2…a #10-18 WR scorer in PPR.
CeeDee Lamb (8-124-0/11) goes from strong WR1.5 in PPR…to possibly a strong WR2 PPR name. The most typical Lamb outcome in a game this year has been 5 catches for 50-80 yards and no TDs. What’s he worth if he’s getting 4-5 catches for 40-70 yards and limited TDs? He’s not a TD producer…he’s a higher-end Russell Gage/Greg Ward event of being the slot WR and being in the biggest output volume passing game in the NFL. Now, it’s not going to be the biggest output passing game…will Lamb continue to thrive in it? He won’t die, but his name/output right now is ahead of his reality going forward (thus he was my #1 ‘sell high’ for this week).
Michael Gallup (4-73-0/4) was on his way to another terrible FF event, but two late miracle throws/catches saved his FF day late. He’s the worst option for Dalton – the deep ball connection. They will be a random event together. Gallup has five games played in 2020 and 4.5 of them were pretty FF-sad/him ignored/a decoy. How does that change with Dalton?
Dalton Schultz (1-6-0/3) fell back to reality in this game as it was. Now, he’s facing a situation where the offensive fireworks are going to dip to some degree…and it won’t help him as a beneficiary of all the WR attention by defenses. Your TE1 hope here may have just dried up and went to TE1 heaven.
Ezekiel Elliott (19-91-2, 14-14-0/2) is going to be fine, as always…but maybe a bit less fine. He’s about to play with the worst O-Line and QB he’s ever had to play with…and the worst coaching staff. No-Dak is not a boon to his output upside.
-- Andy Dalton is better than Daniel Jones (20-33 for 222 yards, 0 TD/0 INT).
About anything is better than Danny Demise (trademark pending). Watching this tape is masterclass in how not to play quarterback in the NFL. Actually, it’s a cautionary tale – if your QB is constantly backpedaling, fading backwards on his throws even when there isn’t much pressure (in NFL terms)…if you never see him stepping forward into throws in the pocket – you know you got a major problem. It’s the problem I saw with him at Duke, and it’s here in full HD now. Sure, he can throw a 3-step drop, no-look slant/quick hitter and look good/zippy. He can make a throw scrambling because no one is in front of him to scare him most times. But, unfortunately, for him and Sam Darnold and Dwayne Haskins and all the other failed QBs in history…you can’t always roll-out on every play.
In the 4 games since Saquon has been gone, and Saquon was the thing that took heat off Danny to have less pressure, Jones has 0 TDs/3 INTs passing in those 4 games…and all passing games under 250 yards in games, half of them under 190 yards.
It’s time for the Giants to put on big boy pants and make the tough decision, but this was the owner’s decision to draft Jones…in part, because Eli and Peyton recommended him. It’s over. https://youtu.be/TfAYz6p-mlw
Because it’s over, but no one will admit it…we have 11 more weeks of this mess. You have to adjust accordingly for FF…
Darius Slayton (8-129-0/11) – nice, promising WR…sell high off this event. Schedule rough the next five weeks. This is a nice week to sell off.
Sterling Shepard/Golden Tate – don’t even bother with.
Realize we’re talking about the Giants as the single worst passing game on the NFL planet since Saquon got hurt. Not a ‘bad’ passing game…it’s devoid of output. You’re trying to get a slice of a pie that’s all crust, no filling.
…which is why, I sadly have to part (kinda) with Evan Engram (2-9-1, 1-16-0/2). I am demoting him to TE2. There’s still some usefulness in that he’s an explosive starting NFL TE, but my days of thinking he can be a top 5 fantasy TE…that died when Saquon died which forced Daniel Jones to die. Engram is now downgraded to erratically ‘useful’. I’ll be starting Jordan Akins most places this week over EE.
The thing is, Engram scored a TD here…off a running play. He also scored a TD off a slick fake punt, but it got called back for nonsense. They stole a TD/6pts from us, because that’s how my fantasy weeks are going this year…watching near-miss TDs and real TDs called back for penalty for 10 hours on Sundays. It’s ‘fun’!?!
If Engram is going to play in a high scoring game with a bad pass defense opponent and get two targets…buh-bye. If he got 5-6 targets a game, it’d be OK. But Daniel Demise is the bubonic plague of NFL passing. The worst contact tracing ever. Engram gets exposed to the illness every Sunday.
-- I’ll walk back my Devonta Freeman (17-60-1, 2-27-0/3) mocking from a week+ ago…although, I did say he just might be rusty. Devonta looked much better this week, obviously he just needed some time to get up to speed.
Now, he’s also an RB on the worst pass game ever…so, he has limited upside. But the way they are talking about him – you’d think he’s Jason Garrett’s Ezekiel Elliott. I’m not going to fight delusional coaches.
Wayne Gallman (5-24-0, 2-0-0/2) popped in and provided a spark but was quickly removed so as not to make the signing of Freeman look even worse than it is.
Freeman is the one to own now.
-- I’ll hand out another apology…Jaylon Smith (14 tackles, 3 TFLs, 0.5 sacks), who I often mock, played the RB passing game very well this game. It’s almost like he knew the plays were coming. And you can’t convince me that a Princeton grad O-C like Jason Garrett would ever be so dumb as to use the same exact plays he always does/always used in Dallas that Smith would’ve seen ten thousand times the past five years and known where to be/what to do most times by the pre-alignments. That could never happen.
-- If someone used Kyler Fackrell (3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT/TD) this week in a deep IDP, and he helped win you a game with his pick six…and we helped you by keeping Fackrell’s memory alive the past year or so, and it paid off here – let me know so I can enjoy the little things in life!!
I really like Fackrell’s game. I love the way this NYG defense can work…just Dan Demise is providing zero support for it to keep gelling/emerging.
-- This NYG-DST had Dak playing his worst (statistical) game of the year and they got a pick six and they looked like they were about to get their first win, but then a bunch of prevent garbage yards/FGs happened late and made it look worse than it was (also note one score was a Dallas D TD). This was another small step for this defense…it’s a good unit, I swear.
Ahead for NYG-DST:
Week 6 = Kyle Allen
Week 7 = Wentz/the bad O-Line
Week 8 = Tom Brady
Week 9 = Kyle Allen/Alex Smith
Week 10 = Wentz/the bad O-Line
It’s a deep sleeper play to consider the next few weeks.
Snap Counts of Interest:
37 = D Freeman
12 = Gallman
64 = Gallup
42 = Amari
36 = Lamb
21 = N Brown
15 = Wilson