2020 Week 1 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis: Jaguars 27, Colts 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.
Can you believe the Jacksonville Jaguars are in sole possession of 1st-place in the AFC South?
Do you think the Jags will be sole possession winners in the end?
Consider that logic before freaking out too much at your (0-1) start, if you lost, this week.
My first three thoughts about this game:
1) Frank Reich is trying to put himself on the hot seat. Suddenly, the Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, John DeFilippo coaching tree from the Philly Super Bowl isn’t looking so good two years later. There’s still time, but if the Colts don’t make the playoffs this year, I think both Reich and Rivers will be swept out.
2) ‘Jacksonville is tanking’ is the cry every time teams dump all their notorious players. I’m thinking there may be something to having a roster full of ‘PSH’ players instead of bloated payroll ‘stars’…PSH = Poor, smart, and hungry. Those guys tryin’ to get rich, trying to become the bloated payroll stars of tomorrow.
3) *Scratch all this #3...it was a late night watching that game to the bitter end. I lost my TEN bet -2.5...so, same difference...it;s a loss to me, so it should be for them.* You know who is the big beneficiary of this Jags win? The Texans.
If you figure HOU-IND-TEN will be in a dog fight for the AFC South title…then the Texans burned a loss in their toughest matchup (Wk1 v KC) while the other two contenders lost games people figured as ‘wins’, and Indy took a divisional loss to a supposed ‘win’. Houston was under pressure this year due to their tough early schedule…well, they did lose Week 1…but it doesn’t sting as much now that Indy and Tenn lost winnable games.
As far as this game goes… The Colts were better than the Jags overall, but two bad turnovers from Phillip Rivers cost the Colts. And credit Jacksonville…they never flinched in this game. They played with college passion/zeal. The Colts played stoically and got caught because their QB is too turnover prone…and it will be a problem throughout the year.
The Colts are in a bit of a do-or-die Week 2 game hosting MIN, but more do-or-die for MIN. The Colts could lose Week 2 and then win their next four (NYJ-CHI-CLE-CIN).
If the Jags somehow beat TEN Week 2…then watch out. MIA and CIN the following weeks.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The big news from this game: Marlon Mack is done for the year…and the Jonathan Taylor (9-22-0, 6-67-0/9) era has begun. If you grabbed Taylor in redrafts as a 3rd/4th-round flyer – you just got a certain RB1 in all formats going forward. You’ve been given a gift from the football gods. He’s better than Clyde Edwards-Helaire and, without Mack, in a better situation. If we were doing the Dynasty Rookie Draft today – Taylor might be my #1 over CEH. I knew the Colts would try to stick with Marlon Mack too long, thus my slight hesitation on Taylor for a moderate 2020 start -- but Taylor owners were dealt a gift by having Mack taken away from the Colts’ coaches. Like a kid running with scissors, we had to save the Colts from themselves…and it just happened.
Will Nyheim Hines (7-28-1, 8-45-1/8) be a factor? Absolutely. He can really be that Danny Woodhead/Austin Ekeler for Rivers now. Both Taylor and Hines will thrive in PPR. Combined, Taylor-Hines had 14 targets this game…the entire Ravens backfield had none in Week 1.
-- After one week/judging by this one week, Parris Campbell (6-71-0/9, 1-9-0) looks like the better/smoother connection with Rivers than T.Y. Hilton (4-53-0/9). It may just be the way the Jags played the two WRs, but for sure Campbell is now an every week FF starter WR2 threat consistently.
Hilton should be fine too, but the better news is – Parris has arrived as a high-end/dangerous slot WR.
-- Speaking of high end WRs… Keelan Cole (5-47-1/5) has reemerged. He looked fantastic with Minshew, very smooth and comfortable. Cole played the second most snaps of any Jags WR…just ahead of Laviska Shenault (2-10-0, 3-37-1/4).
Shenault has his place, but Cole is a legit WR…Shenault is more of a designed plays/gimmick option right now; not a legit NFL WR yet. Shenault is solid, but highly overrated…but he’s a rookie, so he’s magical…for now. He’s a WR3 flyer for FF.
D.J. Chark (3-25-1/3) got just three targets. I didn’t see anything wrong, just Jacksonville didn’t have the ball as much (time of possession 26 min) and Minshew threw 20 passes (but completed 95% of them). It wasn’t an air raid by any means.
-- Rookie James Robinson (16-62-0, 1-28-0/1) looked solid. The TV analysts were losing their minds over Robinson’s every touch at first, but that’s how they do. Enamored of the UDFA-to-Week 1 starter story, which is amazing.
Robinson started, played the most RB snaps by far for the Jags. He was very solid/capable…he’s a ‘C’ grade NFL back. At the end of the day, he is what I thought going in – ‘capable’ but behind a weaker O-Line, and he scored 10 PPR points. RB3 work. The upside is limited. As Ryquell and (maybe) Dare filter in, JRob could fade a touch. Also, if the Jags make an early season run…they might be tempted to get a real/veteran RB.
I’m a ‘sell high’ on Robinson because it’s ‘too soon’ and because he’s a rookie, he’s a magical unicorn of possibilities so you can get established players in exchange hopefully.
-- Philip Rivers (36-46 for 363 yards, 1 TD/2 INT) is becoming a version of Jameis Winston…throwing passes up for grabs at bad times and leading to mass turnovers, but also gets decent passer tallies otherwise (for FF).
In his last 13 games, Rivers has thrown 17 TDs/20 INTs with six 300+ yard games. Remind you of anyone? *(cough) Winston*
Rivers might be a sneaky thing for 6pts passing TD/300+ yard bonus leagues.
-- A few Jags’ IDPs to mention…
Josh Jones (12 tackles) started and showed why Jacksonville’s staff was so high on him (and why they traded Ronnie Harrison). Nice Jags’ debut for FF/IDP.
C.J. Henderson (5 tackles, 3 PDs) is already flashing ‘shutdown corner’ signs. Why the Lions drafted Jeff Okudah #3 overall ahead of Henderson is silly and dumb and going to get Matt Patricia and the GM run out of town at the end of the season. Okudah couldn’t win a starting job with Detroit this summer…and CJH is already a top half of the league cover corner. That’s a massive mistake by the Lions…a fatal one for employment.
I’ve never been a big Myles Jack (11 tackles, 1 sack, 3 QB hits) fan, but mostly because the Jags insisted he was an ILB. I always thought he was a way better joker/OLB/jack of all trades prospect. Well, he has been unleashed more in that role in 2020…and ‘boom’ great IDP numbers here.
-- I had a lot of stock in Indy and the Rams DSTs as bargain DSTs available late in redrafts, and I did that because of their schedules (and solid talent).
Before you cry about the Colts-DST Week 1…note, they held the Jags to 241 total yards (2nd-best in the NFL in Week 1) and racked 4.0 sacks (2nd-best in the NFL in Week 1). So-so matchup with MIN this week and then Darnold-Trubisky-Baker-Burrow after that.
Snap counts of Interest:
42 = Chark
33 = K Cole
31 = Shenault
16 = Conley
61 = Parris
59 = T.Y.
46 = Pascal
39 = Pittman
39 = Hines
26 = Taylor
11 = Mack
01 = Wilkins