2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 6: Game Analysis: Steelers 38, Browns 7
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.
Remember back to a time and place far, far away when the Browns were the apple of analyst’s eye and had finally turned the organizational ship around and were going to be a playoff team and Baker Mayfield had been ‘fixed’ and his wide receivers were now ‘fixed’ too? Ahh, a week ago…those were the good old days.
Exactly one week later, every football analyst has turned a 180 on the Browns…and Baker Mayfield being benched is a discussion, and where he should be traded to is a neat radio show topic.
That complete change of direction/analysis happened all in one week?
Football analysts are as bad as Fantasy GMs…whatever happened last week is the future for forever…or at least until next week.
The Browns are never going to go forward until they: (a) get rid of OBJ, (b) and get rid of Jarvis Landry at the same time as OBJ, and (c) either change the offense to fit Baker’s specific skill set or just trade him…and we’ll get into Baker in a bit.
As far as this game goes…it was as bad as the score indicated. It was over before it started. I opined the prior week that the Browns had confidence currently, a bounce in their step after that Dallas game – but that when they started losing that they’d sink right back into their pouty hole and roll over and lose and WR chaos would reappear. Well, ta da. It took a week…actually it took about 5 minutes into this game before the slumped shoulders and defeated faces appeared on the Browns side of the field.
The schedule begs the Browns to win 9 games, but you know they won’t. If they lose this week at Cincy, and I think they very well could, then this season is going to go flushing down the drain. We see the Browns at 7-8 wins right now at season’s end.
The Steelers are undefeated, but they haven’t really played anyone either. Their first tests are this week at TEN followed by at BAL. The schedule is going to help a good-not-great Steelers team to get to 11-12 wins and a probable top wild card unless the beat the Ravens Week 8…then the Steelers are in a driver’s seat for a 12 win season and a possible division title. We’re thinking 11-12 wins and the #1 wild card.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I mean, you can’t write a Steelers Game Report without talking about his majesty…Sir Chase Claypool (4-74-0/4, 2-7-1/4). Yeah, I went ahead and knighted him…it was time…it was a secret ceremony.
The only CC takeaway here was – Ben only had to complete 14 passes in this win…and just 4 to Claypool, but two of those 4 had Claypool diving near the end zone for potential scores…two TDs within reach but just short (story of my 2020 Week 7). CC did get his TD run to push a solid fantasy week.
Imagine the frenzy of Claypool scored 3 TDs here after the 4 TDs the week before.
If you didn’t think NFL coaches were dumb enough…the Browns didn’t have Denzel Ward shadow Claypool all the time, and thus Claypool was burning Terrence Mitchell. Good job scouting, Browns’ staff! It must still be 2018, when JuJu Smith-Schuster (2-6-0/4) was still ‘a thing’ people thought about…because I saw Ward on JuJu more than a few times. Better keep that great JuJu weapon contained.
JuJu hasn’t been relevant since Antonio Brown left and took all the double teams to open up the field for JuJu with him. I wonder what stupid team is going to pay for JuJu in free agency like he’s a great NFL WR. Enjoy the Jets, JuJu!!
What’s going to happen to Claypool when Diontae comes back this week? The question is…what’s going to happen to Diontae when he returns, and Claypool is now the team’s star? I don’t know, we’ll see. No way to know…there’s no precedent. Eventually, it will be great for Diontae (as CC takes attention in coverage off Diontae)...but whether that starts this week, I don’t know. You don’t know either. We’ll find out together.
James Washington (4-68-1/7) is going to be a distant memory in 2020. Not his fault, just Diontae and Claypool are too good.
-- Speaking of things cool in 2018, ‘remember when…’ on Baker Mayfield (10-18 for 119 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs)?
Remember when Baker set the rookie passing TD record in 2018, took the league, the Browns by storm? He did that with a revolving door of WRs. He had overrated Jarvis Landry, nothing-but-trouble Antonio Callaway, and Breshad Perriman. He made Callaway relevant as a rookie and he made Perriman a rich free agent.
2018 was so long ago.
Now, Baker looks like a fool playing QB.
I don’t know if it is the ever-changing offensive philosophies and/or head coaches and/or OBJ spoiling everything and/or all the commercials – but Baker is a shell of himself. He’s stuck in Cleveland purgatory…and if he is moved or leaves in free agency – who is building an offense around him? Baker’s star has fallen all the way to earth and penetrated the surface and buried itself deep in the Earth’s inner crust.
This is why I’m a little fearful of what the Bengals organization is going to DO TO Joe Burrow. If Baker can go from taking the league by storm to stooge two years later…it could happen to Burrow, potentially.
How did Ohio and New York football get so bad at having football teams?
*Also…Case Keenum (5-10 for 46 yards, 0 TD/0 INTs) is not the answer for CLE, because the problem is the WRs and organization more than the QB.
-- You know Ben Roethlisberger (14-22 for 162 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) hasn’t thrown for over 240 yards in a game in his last 3 games, right? Just checking.
Also, not over 240 in four of his 5 games this season…you knew that, right? Seems a little weird…too tiny. I thought he had these great WRs?
11 TDs/1 INT and not forcing everything…the new Big Ben. However, he hasn’t had to force much because they’ve led in games or not played a powerhouse opponent yet. Let’s see if TEN and BAL the next two weeks draws him out of his shell…and what happens when all the Steelers’ WRs are healthy/playing with Claypool now an established god.
-- Since Week 3, Austin Hooper (5-52-0/6) is the #8 TE scorer PPG in PPR.
Five catches in each of his last 3 games, averaging 5.0 rec., 47.7 yards, 0.33 TDs per game in that span. That’s nice work for the TE market today.
David Njoku (1-7-0/3) will be traded soon. He’s a bad TE like an Eric Ebron…good for some receiving from time-to-time but drops a lot of passes too and can’t/won’t block. So only a team that’s delusional/using mainstream scouting from 2-3 years ago would make this move…and it has to be a playoff contender.
Could be Washington as the most obvious. Green Bay, maybe.
-- PIT ILB Devin Bush is done for 2020. In his place, UDFA Robert Spillane (6 tackles, 1 TFL) took over and played his heart out.
Spillane is a UDFA who has been cut, picked back up, cut, etc. Up and down he goes as a special teamer and backup afterthought. Well, he got his chance here and looked good. The guy plays a hundred miles and hour. He’s a great hitter/tackler. He’s going to have IDP value because he’s high effort and playing for a career and will get run at now…especially by the Titans.
I like Spillane as an ILB, but he’s the kinda guy I like but the NFL turns up their nose at. We’ll see if that happens here. The Steelers don’t have many other options unless they go trade for someone, which I would guess they would…this is a Super Bowl threat team, and a UDFA middle linebacker is not a good problem to have going against the big boys.
Nick Vigil from the Chargers in a trade? They’d know Vigil from his time in Cincy, and he’s buried in L.A.
Jarrad Davis from Detroit, a free agent to-be who has a name people liked at one-time.
Snap Counts of Interest:
51 = Claypool
43 = J Washington
42 = JuJu
40 = Hooper
23 = Njoku
21 = H Bryant
30 = Hunt
17 = D’Ernest
07 = Hilliard