2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 7: Game Analysis: Bucs 45, Raiders 20
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’m not sure how this became a blowout. The Raiders had just scored a TD to cut the lead to 24-20 TB with 12+ minutes in the game…and then a quick turnover led to a quick TB score and nine game minutes later the Bucs added 3 TDs and it was nearly a half-a-hundred hung on the Raiders.
The Bucs went full scale Air Raid offense in this game. Tom Brady threw 45 times for 369 yards and only missed on 12 of his passes and most of those missed passes were downfield pushing down the accelerator on the offense. Brady looked like the Brady of 5-10 years ago. Soon…he’s going to get Antonio Brown on top of all of this.
The real loser in this game – Bill Belichick. Tom Brady is going to win his division, be a top passer in the league, and potentially go to a Super Bowl at age 43 basically taking a loser franchise on his back and creating a monster, while Bill Belichick suffers his worst home loss in forever and his new QB cannot complete a forward pass. In the eternal battle of – is it the coach or the QB? The answer is – it’s the QB. Pete Carroll and Bruce Arians, among others, should be tithing to their QBs. Further proof…Mike McCarthy’s resume this very day.
Tampa Bay has one of the highest functioning offenses in the NFL and is about to add one of the greatest WRs of our generation in two weeks. They have two legit NFL starting RBs. They have the best TE of our generation. They have the most menacing defense in the NFL. Arguably…this is the best team, top-to-bottom in the NFL. Week 12 hosting Kansas City is likely a Super Bowl preview. The Bucs are headed to 12-13 wins and a possible NFC #1 seed, which will be important to NOT head to Green Bay or Seattle in January.
Las Vegas just happened to be in the way of this Mack truck. It shouldn’t be held against them. They were toe-to-toe for 45+ minutes here. The Raiders will win 9-10 games and be a tough out in the playoffs.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- A week ago, people were dropping Leonard Fournette (11-50-0, 6-47-0/7). Now, he’s starting in fantasy lineups. After being a ghost for three weeks, all is forgiven…apparently.
My thoughts on Fournette vs. Ronald Jones (13-34-1, 1-2-0/2)…
1) Ronald Jones started, played the first couple series here. Fournette filtered in as the new 3rd-down back early on, a role which I had been predicting was coming for weeks. Jones wasn’t punished or overtaken, per se…just the Bucs were just Air Raiding on Las Vegas and Fournette fits that plan better.
But they may not stop Air Raiding now…
2) Fournette is 10x the receiver RoJo is, so if Brady is calling the shots…Fournette will be in every passing opportunity.
3) We’ve been head-faked before on TB things…on Scottie Miller, on Fournette taking over for RoJo from that time he had that one good 2nd-half earlier this season. Don’t be too cavalier that this one game means Jones is dead and Fournette is all the rage. You’ve been burned by that before…or have you forgotten already in a ‘only last week matters’ FF culture?
4) I’d project this to be a 50-50 split on playing time, some hot hand, Jones more when running is the right matchup, and Fournette in on all passing situations – meaning they are both RB2s with TD hopes and Fournette better for PPR most games.
You want to hold both these guys if possible…if one goes down the other is a STRONG RB1, but like CEH-Le’Veon – I don’t know how you split an RB2 and get an RB1 and RB2 out of it…or even two RB2s. I think we’re about to get an FF-nightmare of ‘guessing’ the right weeks for the right RB and then we’re always a week late on it.
-- Nelson Agholor (5-107-1/9) looks fantastic. I’ve been pointing him out for many weeks, but it’s not just ‘he’s getting the most targets’ – it’s that he’s become reborn as an outside receiver, miscast as a slot WR in Philly.
First series of this game, against a hot TB defense, he came out of the gates with a 28-yard play and a few plays later caught a 20-yard TD…he was hot from the jump.
As I’ve been saying for several weeks – he is the Raiders #1 WR. Agholor has come out of nowhere…it kills Bryan Edwards enthusiasm for the rest of 2020, and possibly into 2021.
The Raiders had an opening for a #1 WR. Edwards won it in training camp, he’s still a very good prospect and you’ll see it that soon enough – but the Raiders don’t have room to support three names in the passing game. It’s Waller-Agholor now. Ruggs-Renfrow-Edwards fighting for scraps.
-- Tom Brady (33-45 for 369 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT) is a no brainer QB1 ahead. When they get Antonio Brown, he’ll have an all-star team to throw to. When A.B. joins, here’s what I think the pecking order will be in Brady’s heart/eyes/targets:
1) Antonio Brown – No question. The only question is…how long before it’s fully up to speed? It may hit right away. It may not really start popping until Weeks 10-11.
2) Gronk (5-62-1/8) – 5.0 rec. (8.0 targets), 70.0 yards, 1.0 TDs per game. Gronk looks better here than he did his last 2-3 years with Belichick. Another sign that Belichick didn’t have the vision for general offense like Brady…and that Josh McDaniels is not a real head coaching candidate. McDaniels held them back. Yet, some owner will shove him $50M to be a head coach next year.
How many times does the QB have to prove they are the ‘the reason’, not the O-C?
It will be the A.B. and Gronk show…and then everyone else fights for big scraps that will be out there.
3) Chris Godwin (9-88-9) – When defenses shift to AB-Gronk, Godwin is going to work with the lesser coverage. If Brady is going Air Raid, he can support AB-Gronk and Godwin.
After the top 3…everything else is as-needed any moment, but not ‘a plan’.
4) Scottie Miller (6-109-1/9) is going to be lost in coverage a lot and Brady seems to have a nice connection with him.
5) Mike Evans (2-37-0/2) – How Evans could fall from grace so fast in this is mind boggling if you think about it. But he’s been a nobody all year with Brady.
2.7 rec. (4.3 targets), 29.3 yards, 0.33 TDs per game = Evans’s last 3 games
1.7 rec. (3.0 targets), 24.0 yards, 0.67 TDs per game = Tyler Johnson’s last 3 games, playing part time two of the games.
6) Tyler Johnson (2-4-1/2) – Nice #6 WR to have! He could matter this one week only (Week 8) with Godwin out.
-- Josh Jacobs (10-17-0, 3-14-0/4) had a nothing FF game, but you knew it was coming vs. TB’s run defense.
Jacobs has yet to run for a 100+ yard game this season.
Jacobs is the #26 RB in fantasy since Week 2…just behind David Montgomery and Darrell Henderson…and just ahead of Jeff Wilson.
The more I look at this, the more I say you should trade him in redraft. I was asked about trading him in our Video Q&A Tuesday Night show and I kinda balked…I was wrong. Trade him as a RB1 value, his name carries weight.
Don’t trade because he’s been a weak performer, but that’s true. No, trade because he’s been a weak performer AND the schedule is about to kill him off more, every other week.
His schedule ahead by least rush yards per game allowed…
Week 8 = #5 CLE
Week 9 = #15 LAC
Week 10 = #9 DEN
Week 11 = #30 KC
Week 12 = #6 ATL
Week 13 = #20 NYJ
Week 14 = #3 IND
Four of his next seven games with top 10 run defenses is going to add to his general issue.
-- Daniel Carlson (2/2 FG, 2/2 XP) is the #6 PPG PK on the season to date…just one extra FG away from being #2. I’m a big fan. But just note – he kicks outside Week 8 at a windy, potentially rainy Cleveland this week. Be careful streaming him this week if your FF life is on the line this week.
-- The Tampa Bay DST is starting to become the best defensive unit in all of football, and you can probably just run them out there every week with some confidence, but…
Weeks 9-13 could be disappointing…
Week 9 = v. NO is not great.
Week 10 = at CAR should be good
Week 11 = v LAR is probably OK
Week 12 = v. KC is trouble, potentially.
Week 13 = BYE
Weeks 9-13 might have 1-2 confident plays in 5 weeks in a key time in FF.
Snap Counts of Interest:
51 = Agholor
49 = Ruggs
35 = Renfrow
32 = Jacobs
19 = Richard
15 = Booker
62 = Evans
59 = Godwin
43 = Miller
29 = Tyler Johnson
40 = Fournette
31 = RoJo
55 = Gronk
12 = Brate