2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 9 Game Analysis: Vikings 39, Lions 29
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 a close game. It should’ve been…it should’ve been a moment where the Lions left it all on the field to get to (4-4) and defeat a struggling Vikings team and thus stayed in the playoff hunt. They did no such thing. This was probably the game that really cost Matt Patricia his job…constant disappointment and always a bunch of ‘almosts’ with this team. They either play poorly and/or have key injuries bringing them down…they lost Matt Stafford in this game – but it didn’t matter, he was not making much difference.
Detroit is now (3-5) and fading, but with several winnable games the next 4 weeks…’winnable’ ones that they won’t win enough of. If they lose Week 10 (v. WSH) then the bottom will fully fall out of this thing. A win keeps (false) hope alive. We see the Lions ending up around 5-6 wins in the end.
The Vikings are also now (3-5) and they played sloppy and have all kinds of DB issues…but they won and are kinda climbing back into the expanded wild card race. They have 4 winnable games ahead too. If they beat the Bears at CHI on MNF this week, a tall order considering it’s a national TV game at Chicago, then they are right back in the wild card chase. Best case, they can get to (6-6) and then have a tough schedule to tackle finishing out. We see them falling short of the playoffs with 7-8 wins max.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Just to start here on the ‘I’m stupid’ train…
I never thought Dalvin Cook (22-206-2, 2-46-0/2) would matter much in the NFL. I scouted him as a very average, with flaws, RB for the NFL and been waiting for his downfall for a few years…but he keeps getting better the past two years. I thought his career might go the way of Devonta Freeman’s.
However, Cook is the best runner of the ball in the NFL right now…and an MVP candidate, because he’s carrying this team/offense the last few weeks.
I never thought he would be this good. He’s been great in 2020. Hats off to him…I’m the fool.
If/when he falters next year, I’ll be the first to say ‘see’…but I take a permanent ‘L’ here because I never thought he’d be as good as he is this season, and last. Regardless of what happens from here.
POWER TO THE 210 POUND RBs!!!
The top four PPG PPR RBs in FF 2020:
205-pound Christian McCaffrey
210-pound Dalvin Cook
215-pound Alvin Kamara
208-pound Aaron Jones
Time to re-think all my previous RB scouting models on what the best ‘size’ profile fits the NFL. It’s not 220+ pounds with great speed/agility metrics as the ‘holy ones’ anymore.
-- 215-pound D’Andre Swift (13-64-0, 3-33-0/5) is the Lions #1 back, despite not technically starting. Swift’s touch counts (rush + reception) vs. AP’s (8-29-0, 3-14-0/5) the past 4 games:
17 to 16 Swift = Week 6
13 to 12 Swift = Week 7
09 to 06 Swift = Week 8
16 to 11 Swift = Week 9
Since Week 6, Swift is the #7 RB in PPR PPG (2 or more games played).
-- Must win game for Detroit. A Vikings secondary that’s (a) terrible and (b) injured/playing 3rd-string corners too much. It was a great setup for a big game for Matt Stafford (22-32 for 211 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs)…but it wasn’t.
Coming off back-to-back 300+ yard games, Stafford played one of his worst games of 2020 and left early with concussion issues.
You want to trust him for Week 10, but Washington is #1 in pass defense least yards per game allowed and #4 in sacks among all defenses. It’s not a good matchup and Stafford has barely been good two drives in-a-row all year.
-- Irv Smith (2-10-2/4) got just two catches in this game…but both grabs for TDs. Smith is really not a big part of the passing game, especially when Cook is running wild. He’s a random TE2 you hope has a good game by some kind of luck. He’s also banged up and not 100% after this game.
-- Eric Wilson (13 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1.0 PDs) is playing some great football and producing sweet IUDP numbers, finally…as I’ve been crying out in the wilderness about him for three years+.
Since Week 2, Wilson is the #10 IDP scoring LB in fantasy. Just behind his teammate Eric Kendricks.
Snap Counts of Interest:
38 = Cook
16 = Mattison
42 = Rudolph
25 = Conklin
22 = Irv Smith
71 = Marvin J
53 = M Hall
48 = Amendola
30 = Swift
25 = Kerryon
20 = AP