2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 8: Game Analysis: Falcons 25, Panthers 17
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 must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
When Carolina took a 14-6 lead in the early 2nd-quarter, after Curtis Samuel’s second TD of the game…I thought this was in the bag for the Panthers. God love ‘em…the Falcons never fail to do the opposite of whatever I feel with them. When I endorse them, they lay eggs…when I think they’re going to get crushed – they win. Heck, how many times have any of us said/thought this year mid-game…well, there’s no way the Falcons can blow this lead in this game!!
If there is a team in the NFL I despise more, because I can never figure them out, than the Falcons…I don’t know who it is.
The Falcons on a solo night game are like fingers on a chalkboard for me. Hard to watch live…hard to watch back on tape. But they won here and kept their playoff hopes alive. If the Falcons win Week 9 hosting Denver and get to (3-6), there will be some enthusiasm for a week…and then they will get destroyed the rest of the way. Four games with the Saints (2) and Bucs (2) ahead…and KC, LV, LAC in-between for good measure. They may lose out starting Week 11…which means I just thought something bad about Atlanta, which means the opposite is true, which means Atlanta will win out, go (10-6) and go on to win the Super Bowl.
Or…they’ll finish (4-12) more likely.
One or the other. Oh, and Matt Schaub was the Super Bowl MVP in that upside scenario.
The Panthers blew a golden opportunity to stay in the playoff race. This loss was probably terminal…at KC, TB the next two weeks means they’ll be (3-7) heading down the stretch. A 6-win season is where we project them. Three close losses in a row the last three weeks has derailed this Cinderella story.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I should start off by talking about the ‘WTF’ Todd Gurley v. Brian Hill situation, but I’ll save that ‘til next because I have more important matters to discuss…
You know what I’m about to discuss.
Can I get a witness – is Curtis Samuel (4-31-1/4, 3-23-1) not better than, and more important to the team than D.J. Moore (2-55-0/6)? As I have been trying to promote for two years now! Samuel is more talented and has now become more productive and critical to operations by midseason 2020.
Besides my self-congratulation, I have to also mock everyone who thought otherwise…
1) How was Curtis Samuel not being used as a running back, a real RB, SLASH real wide receiver before all this? Does he not look great running the ball? I don’t mean as a lead back, I just mean 3-7 carries and 3-7 targets a game – like get the ball in his hands!!
How stupid are…
And how stupid was the current staff in weeks 1-3 of this season? But mostly the staff before them were the dummies. THE GUY WAS A TALENTED RUNNING BACK IN THE BIG TEN…how did it not dawn on anyone to use him as a Swiss Army Knife weapon…one of the most unique, dangerous weapons in all of football…as he lied generally dormant for 3+ years.
Did the football analysts crow about it all along? Did they want Curtis to cook? No…they rushed D.J. Moore to the high-end of fantasy draft rankings and talked about how bad a camp Curtis Samuel had and whether they should cut/trade Samuel.
I’ve sounded like a lunatic about Samuel for three years, questioning my own sanity some days…giving up on him for FF because I thought the NFL had ‘won again’. Beaten me down…broke my spirit.
I’m rarely wrong about football assessments/scouting – just temporarily ‘not right’ for the moment. I might not know what weeks to play Samuel or Diontae Johnson or maybe I favor WRs who always get hurt on their first touch of games in 2020 – but I know scouting, talent, and I put in the work to keep watching all games to stay in tune – don’t question my ability to see talent. Question the NFL’s ability to see it.
Next stop on this ride…we’re about to cross over into a debate on Curtis Samuel as being more important/better than Robby Anderson (5-48-0/8). Robby has scored 1 TD this season…Week 1. Samuel has 3 TDs in his last two games.
Touches the last three weeks (rushes + catches combined):
23 = C Samuel
15 = Robby A
11 = D.J. Moore
It’s game-back-on with CSam for fantasy!!
-- So, Todd Gurley (18-46-1) started…was terrible…and then all the sudden Brian Hill (11-55-0, 2-9-0/3) came into the game with a spark and it seemed like a change at the top of the depth chart was under way.
But…this is the NFL. They are allergic to success. They are slaves to ‘names’ and the ‘draft pick number’ and ‘what we had planned’, so Hill disappeared down the stretch and Gurley ended up taking 18 mostly useless carries (2.55 yards per carry) but did fall into the end zone.
Why does Gurley keep sucking, but scoring TDs? Because I don’t own him in fantasy. I can’t get David Johnson into the end zone if I took a Uzi and deployed it on the defense, at the snap, on a goal line handoff to DJ by the Texans (he’d trip over a fatally wounded Defensive Tackle at the goal line and fall backwards, slipping on blood and guts…I imagine) but Gurley can’t not score a TD every week.
If the Falcons don’t dump Gurley before the NFL deadline, the NFL is another level stupider than previously thought. Gurley is averaging 3.8 yards per carry, for the 2nd-season in a row, and is no impact in the passing game – but somehow has 8 TDs in half a 2020 season. Leonard Fournette has 5 TDs in the past two years combined.
Brian Hill has FF value if the Falcons pull the trigger on rebuilding, but they’re so stupid – they think they’re in the playoff hunt now.
-- Calvin Ridley (3-42-0/4) may miss a little time. Christian Blake (2-44-0/2) played the snaps in Ridley’s place.
Is Blake an interesting get while Ridley is out? https://youtu.be/C6YfJZ9hxLQ
I’ll look at something else besides Blake for Week 9.
…which means, Blake has 19 catches for 448 yards next week.
-- Hayden Hurst (5-54-0/7) becomes more of a ‘winner’ with Ridley down. Hurst has 50+ yards in a game in four of his last 5 games. He’s a real midrange TE1.
-- Matt Ryan (21-30 for 281 yards, 0 TDs/1 INT) has a 4 TD/0 INT game in Raheem Morris’s first game as ATL head coach. He’s had 1 TD/1 INT total in 2 games since. Ignoring the 4 TD/0 INT game of Week 6 vs. the disaster that is the Vikings pass defense, Ryan has 2 TDs/3 INTs total since Week 3…5 games…two TD passes…he’s been more joke than FF-helpful.
-- Teddy Bridgewater (15-23 for 176 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 5-30-0) missed a critical drive with a hit to the head and lost out on key snaps for more FF output. It started raining too, putting more downward pressure on his FF tally. A great matchup…and it was unfulfilled.
-- How great has rookie Jeremy Chinn (10 tackles, 1 PD, 1-28-0) been this season? He’s likely to be in the top 12 among DBs in PPG in IDP after this week…bolstered by his 10-tackle game here PLUS a fake punt for a 28-yard jaunt.
Hmmm…now, who was it who said the Arizona Cardinals were idiots for not taking an Offensive Lineman in the top 10 and then just taking the similar/better Isaiah Simmons prospect in Jeremy Chinn in the 2nd-round? I can’t remember…
Oh, wait…Simmons played 5 whole snaps in an OT game last week, so he’s special. He can’t even get on the field for the injury-decimated Cardinals, as a ‘holy’ top 10 draft pick. Talk about a bust/wasted draft pick. Again, never question the NFL…they know more than us common fans. And, yet, the analysts still talk about Simmons and don’t even know Chinn exists or know he’s doing what he is doing – a Defensive Rookie of the Year potential candidate.
Snap Counts of Interest:
48 = DJ Moore
45 = Robby A
41 = C Samuel
58 = Julio
39 = Gage
38 = Blake
23 = Ridley
09 = Zaccheaus
36 = Gurley
25 = Br Hill