2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 9 Game Analysis: Giants 23, Redskins 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 must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
I had forgotten the Giants led this game 20-3 at halftime. The Giants ‘stormed’ out of the gates and Kyle Allen got hurt early and it seemed like NYG was going to run away with things. Then Alex Smith led a comeback despite throwing 3 interceptions and with 10+ minutes left it was 23-20 NYG.
The two teams battled with good defense and general offensive ineptitude for the final 10 minutes with neither team scoring and NYG holding on (or given the game by Smith) for a ‘huge’ win to draw them into the NFC East title hunt with a massive game Week 10 vs. Philly.
The Giants are (2-7) and sit one win/3 losses behind the Eagles (3-4-1). If NYG can beat Philly Week 10, they’d close the gap to one win away from jumping past Philly into 1st-place. If the Giants lose this week, they are done. If NYG can win Week 10, I see a path to (6-10) and that could beat out Philly for the NFC East title. The Eagles have a tough schedule ahead.
Washington is actually still in this race too, but they need NYG to beat the Eagles Week 10 and then for NYG to fall apart from there…as the Giants hold a tiebreaker over Washington with this second head-to-head win over them. Washington has a path to 6 wins as well.
None of the NFC East teams are good, and Philly is in the best position, but any one of the four teams can still win it.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Alex Smith (24-32 for 325 yards, 1 TD/3 INT) looked shaky, but then had moments of the old/solid Smith...he threw for 300+ years here, so that’s impressive…but also had 3 picks, and nearly/should’ve been 4-5 picks, and that’s not like him. What do we make of this?
I think Smith is still a bit ‘off’ from all of his time away, and he’s looked more jumpy than not in his two appearances this season -- but there were signs of his old self starting to show through as this game wore on. Maybe he just needs another week or two to get back into a groove. And him in the groove isn’t anything special for FF, but it’s better than Haskins-Allen and it does help all the surrounding weapons.
Still, my vision/memory of Smith this season of play is a guy skittish and just throwing passes to avoid contact and making mistakes doing it. Smith used to not go a season and throw 3 picks…he had 3 this game and was lucky to not have 4-5-6 of them.
Weapons report for Washington:
1) Terry McLaurin (7-115-1/8) caught an ill-advised Smith pass throw into coverage that caused two defenders to knock into each other and McLaurin slipped out of the chaos off the medium throw/catch to race away for a 68-yard TD. The pass should’ve never been thrown. It should’ve been picked. It should’ve been a 10-yard pass at best…but it became a huge play that juiced all the numbers.
McLaurin was fine before Smith and is fine with Smith.
2) J.D. McKissic (9-65-0/14) is a huge winner…14 targets!! Smith LOVES dumping passes to the running back and that’s what McKissic was built for.
Just note, in this game…McKissic was in-line for a 10th catch but tripped on his route and fell as the pass was heading his way. An easy 1.5 points lost. Also, one of his catches was a catch-and-run tightrope breakaway run down the sidelines for a TD but it got called back for stepping out of bounds, but on the replay it looked fine/too close to call…but it went against him. 8 more points lost by a hair. He nearly had a 20+ PPR event here.
Given the state of FF RBs, McKissic could be a PPR RB1 going forward with Dump Pass Master Jay, Alex Smith (who has thrown 35% of his 2020 passes to McKissic). I feel like I’ve written about McKissic’s hidden value since August (big discussion on the Podfather’s podcast) – and now finally the national analysts are talking about it.
McKissic is 4th in catches by an RB (34) this season and is likely to finish 2nd to Alvin Kamara by season’s end. Since Week 4, he’s averaged 6.0 catches per game.
3) Cam Sims (3-110-0/4)…I take back my Monday dismissal of him. He was a near ‘wow’ player in this game.
Sims has bounced around Washington’s practice squad for years. Never making it to the big club but for a couple cups of coffee, and then he’ll have a play that gets people excited and then he doesn’t follow it up with anything. He’s been a preseason star but not an NFL one. Unreliable hands.
However, he’s 6’4/220+…he looks like a tight end playing WR. He’s a physical presence. But I saw in this game an extra bounce in his step I had not seen prior. His work after the catch was inspiring for his size. He was pulling away from people and cutting/juking away from them.
Honestly, I was stunned watching this. He looked fantastic. He looked like Mike Williams (LAC), if Mike Williams had better foot speed.
Sims made all his catches and some tougher ones. No gaffes that have haunted him prior.
I don’t know where we go from here, but he looks like someone that is ready to be the #2 here…and with McLaurin getting all the attention in coverage…Sims can pop like he did here. Sims started this game, so Ron Rivera must have some faith/hope.
The most impressive WR that I saw the past two weeks, on the ‘out of nowhere’/low on the radar type of WRs…not DeMichael Harris (IND) or Denzel Mims or Marvin Hall, etc., it was Cam Sims this game. Of the battle of Steve Sims vs. Cam Sims…now, the Sims I want is Cam Sims.
Welcome to 2020.
Where we go from here is a mystery -- this could've been a little blip that doesn't have any follow through, or this Week 9 was the beginning of something WR3-nice with upside. Sims has never been projected as a consistent thing, so Week 10 will be a fresh clue how this might go. I think Washington may be onto something...but this passing game is not great.
-- I take back my Monday dismissal of Cam Sims, but I reserve the right to reapply it next week…but, honestly, I am intrigued by what I saw with Cam Sims/2020. However, I’m not taking back my Austin Mack (4-72-0/5) dismissal.
Mack is OK…but being OK behind Shephard-Engram-Slayton working with Daniel Jones will get you nowhere fast in fantasy. He started because Golden Tate was benched. Tate comes back and Mack goes back to #4 WR status.
-- You hated on Evan Engram (5-48-1/10) early in the season but guess what? He’s now a TE1 in PPR PPG YTD (#12 in PPR PPG among TEs with 5+ games played).
Over the past three weeks, he’s the #3 TE in PPR PPG…ahead of Darren Waller.
Great matchup with Philly Week 10!
-- Speaking of Giants things that you don’t trust…
FYI, Wayne Gallman (14-68-1, 1-9-0/2) is the #9 non-PPR PPG RB in fantasy since Week 7 (2 or more games played)…which is his time period since he became a ‘starter’. He’s scored a TD in three straight games.
Devonta Freeman is not able to get back/healed still, so Gallman goes for four-in-a-row for TDs scored in Week 10. In the broken-down state of fantasy RBs…Gallman has been a strong RB1 for three weeks running.
-- IDPs of note…
Jabrill Peppers (6 tackles, 5 PDs) is playing fantastic football of late. 6.6 tackles, 0.8 PDs, 0.3 TFLs per game his past 6 games. He’s become a DB1 in that span. On top of that, as I’ve mentioned for a few weeks now, he looks terrific on tape. He’s playing at another gear…like a player wanting to be paid in the offseason.
He’s been in the league 4 years, but just turned 25 years old last month.
Rookie SAF Kamren Curl (11 tackles, 1 sack) seems to be a new starter option for Washington. Lots of tackles, but I didn’t see any wow factor here. I’m not sure he’ll be a starter for long.
My man, WAS LB Cole Holcomb (7 tackles, 1 TFL) – 3rd start in a row, played a season high 90% of the snaps. He’s averaging 6.0 total tackles and 1.0 TFLs and 0.3 PDs per game in his three starts…and he’s only getting better! Please, Ron, don’t take him IDP-away from me again!!
-- What about these DSTs? I stick by my guidance for most of this season – these are top 10 defensive units working with horrible offenses but have a lot of schedule gold because they have to play the other NFC East teams a bunch.
Season-to-date…Washington is the #11 PPG scoring DST. But the Giants are #9.
Since Week 4, Washington is #10 in PPG among DSTs. But the Giants are #6.
Washington has the elite D-Line/pass rush, but the Giants have the better overall defensive unit. Which all doesn’t really matter because it’s more ‘who are they playing?’ that matters.
The Giants schedule turns dark after Week 10…no more NFC East teams to face until Week 17. The Giants are an OK start v. PHI, and then you’re done.
I like Washington-DST better. You know why? Because of the sneaky pairing that is available the ROS…pairing with, of all DSTs, Seattle.
Week 10 = WSH at DET
Week 11 = WSH v. CIN (burrow, but bad O-Line)
Week 12 = WSH at DAL or SEA at PHI
Week 13 = SEA v. NYG
Week 14 = SEA v. NYJ or WSH at SF
Week 15 = SEA at WSH
Week 16 = not great matchups for either, we’ll get one ahead for tricky Week 16.
Scared of Seattle’s DST? Don’t be (or do, but be scared of all DSTs) – most all that matters with DST is the opponent, not what you think of their roster. If they get a key injury, like with any DST, we’ll have to re-assess…but SEA has at PHI, NYG, NYJ, at WSH four weeks in a row from Weeks 12-15, which is AMAZING for FF. AND I’m seeing Seattle-DST dropped in a lot of places now.
Seattle is going to get some secondary healthy ahead…just got Jamal Adams back…and traded for Carlos Dunlap, who had some impact last week.
Get in ahead on SEA before FF analysts magically discover this…if you don’t have a great plan ahead at DST otherwise.
Snap Counts of Interest:
53 = McLaurin
40 = Cam Sims
16 = Steven Sims
45 = McKissic
25 = Ant Gibson
44 = Gallman
17 = D Lewis
16 = Alf Morris