2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 9 Game Analysis: Falcons 34, Broncos 27
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.
This wasn’t as close as the one score game it ended up. The Falcons punished the Broncos. It was 20-3 ATL at the half. 27-6 after three quarters. 34-13 with 9+ minutes left. The Broncos scored some garbage in the hurry up to make it closer than it was. The Broncos were missing two starting corners, which crippled them and Atlanta took advantage.
Denver had to win this game…and they failed miserably. A win would have put the Broncos (4-4) and kept wild card talk alive for weeks. Now, they’re pretty much done. They were anyway, but at least hope is fun for a while into the season. All hope is about gone in Denver.
Atlanta should be winners of their last four games, but they have won three of the four to crawl back into a long shot playoff discussion. They have played good+ ball under interim HC Raheem Morris. Their season comes down to Weeks 11-13.
Let’s play pretend…
Assuming the Saints win this week (over SF), they’ll be (7-2) and the Falcons are currently (3-6) and on a BYE. Atlanta plays NO twice (Weeks 11 and 13) ahead, and let’s say they sweep the Saints, as well as beat the Raiders in-between, let’s be far-fetched, then Atlanta would get to (6-6) with the Saints at (7-5) or (8-4) and the Falcons owning a tiebreaker over the Saints. Suddenly, the Falcons would be in the wild card and still in the divisional race.
It’s all too much of a long shot, but the table is set…if Brees gets hurt or whatever gives them some long shot hope – the Falcons at least have a path of dominos to knock down to get into the expanded playoff hunt. I think their schedule is the hardest of any NFL team Week 11 on, so we project Atlanta to win 5-6 games tops.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Re-watching this game…I just can’t.
I can’t stand Drew Lock (25-48 for 313 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT, 7-47-1). I can’t use him in good conscious for FF this week. He’s so bad.
Sure, he had some numbers here…but it was garbage-time, which I’ll take, but he’s so bad I don’t know if you can be assured of good garbage-time with him. He’s so inaccurate and so just forcing things where there is no reason to force too. The Broncos are going nowhere with him, nor our fantasy teams…but this week with so many QBs in question or on bye, you may have to walk this lonely road.
-- Tim Patrick (4-29-1/9) is Lock’s best WR weapon, but look at the numbers – it’s indicative of their problem all year…just forced, low probability connection throws you hope Patrick makes a great play/catch on. Patrick is a flyer Flex option this week. And then the schedule is ugly the next three weeks/ROS and you will never use him.
Jerry Jeudy (7-125-1/14) had his best game…still just a 50% connection rate this game, against one of the worst secondaries of the 2020 season. It can work against bad coverage, but the schedule isn’t kind ahead.
K.J. Hamler (6-75-0/10) has a little window to maybe produce as a Flex flyer in all this…with attention to the outside WRs, Lock can play some pitch and catch in deficits/garbage time ahead. This week v. LV and Lamarcus Joyner is a great opportunity for Hamler to be the best Broncos FF WR option.
I’d love to play Noah Fant (3-34-0/3) with extreme confidence, but he is not 100%. He had a sweet catch and run 30+ yard play right off the bat but got hit low and limped off right away. He played the rest of the way but was more window dressing than weapon…I think because he’s lost his wheels some due to the injuries, for the moment. He’s not fully 100%. Still, if you don’t have Kelce-Waller…what better option do you have than the talented Fant?
-- The Broncos’ RBs did nothing in this game, but you have to note the Falcons are the #7 run defense (by yards per game allowed) in 2020. They’re pretty strong against the run, and it helps that teams just throw all over them as the alternative.
It will be interesting to see if they hold Alvin Kamara down in Weeks 11 and 13…or whether the Falcons just get exposed by the AK experience. Atlanta has held down RBs more than not…but more on the rushing side, not the pass game side.
-- You hate Todd Gurley (19-53-1, 2-2-0/2), I hate Todd Gurley…he’s boring and not anything like he used to be. However, we need to respect him. In this era where every RB sucks/is in some kind of weird RBBC/hot hand or hurt…Gurley has played every game and is the #12 RB in PPR PPG (5 or more games played) this season. An RB1.
Gurley is ALWAYS the lead and is always finding the end zone with his boring rushing totals. That’s better than boring rushing totals and no TDs like most all other RBs.
Only Dalvin Cook (12) has more rushing TDs this season than Gurley (9).
-- With Calvin Ridley out, Olamide Zaccheaus (4-103-1/6) had maybe his best game of his career…not ‘maybe’, he did.
He had a one-handed catch for a big 1st-down conversion early. Soon after, a bomb 51-yard TD, a little later almost another 50+ yard TD but he got tripped up by his shoestrings for just a 40+ yard gain.
It was his best game as a pro, but actually we could say it was his best half ever. All his damage came in the 1st-half, then Matt Ryan inexplicably went to sleep on it. Zaccheaus gives the Falcons more firepower but Matt Ryan is constantly looking for Julio or Calvin and everyone else is a random event.
-- Matt Ryan is looking more for Hayden Hurst (7-62-1/6), as we’ve been noting for several weeks.
On the season, Hurst is now the #7 PPR PPG TE scorer in fantasy.
Since Week 6, Hurst is #4 in PPR PPG among TEs…just behind George Kittle (who is now gone)…and Just ahead of Gronk and Waller.
-- Foye Oluokun (10 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 TFL,1 PD) is always doing something to get our IDP attention. Not only 10 tackles here, but 4 QB hits…his first 4 of the year, as Morris unleashed him that way this game. A new wrinkle…which led to his first sack of the season.
Since Week 2, Oluokun is the #8 DB in PPG among LBs this season.
The Falcons-DST has really been solid under Raheem Morris, but you cannot use them for FF at all the ROS…they face a murder’s row of QBs/offenses the rest of the way: Brees, Carr, Brees, Herbert, Brady, Mahomes, Brady.
Snap Counts of Interest:
44 = Gurley
19 = Br Hill
63 = Julio
52 = Zaccheaus
44 = Gordon
28 = Lindsay
57 = Fant
15 = Albert O. (ACL/done)