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2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 11: Browns 13, Lions 10 (By Ross Jacobs)

November 23, 2021 10:55 PM
November 24, 2021 12:54 AM

2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 10: Browns 13, Lions 10 (By Ross Jacobs)


The NFL media and fans are beyond stupid if they think this mess of a game is on Baker Mayfield. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that man other than the fact that he is playing through some outrageous injuries trying to get this team and their ungrateful fans to the playoffs. He's going to need major surgery on his shoulder in the off-season and basically is dealing with injuries to every part of his body, and yet he's out there toughing it out, giving everything he's got for this sorry franchise and all anyone can do is cry about his 2 INT's.

“See! We told you OBJ wasn't the problem!” Give me a *&$#%! break, football media. Mayfield was on point with his throws basically all night. He had some absolute laser beams, gorgeous throws that your QB would be lucky to make. And you know why he has to make those throws? Because nobody on this team is ever open. OBJ was getting open, I'll give him that, but every time Baker threw him the damn ball he dropped it.

Cleveland is about to drive out the best QB they've had in, what, 60 years at least? And for what? These idiots deserve to sink back to the bottom of the barrel that they were stuck in before Mayfield. What's that? You don't remember that you were the laughing stock of the NFL and won like 3 games over a three year period before Mayfield? I suggest you go back and study up because that's where you're headed if you let Mayfield walk.

Ok, now that that rant is out of the way, what happened here? Why was the game so close?

It's just one of those days. Cleveland was comfortably in control 13-0 at halftime. They were moving the ball well enough and Detroit couldn't do anything on offense. They also had a missed field goal and extra point that would have made it 17-0. In the second half, the Browns kept stalling out drives because of holding penalties (it happened like 3-4 straight drives, they would be moving and then get to 3rd down which Mayfield would pick up only to have it called back for a hold). Detroit got a lucky drive after they finally figured out that De'Andre Swift is their best offensive player. He ripped off a really nice 57 yard TD to cut the Cleveland lead to 6.

On a possession soon after, Baker tried to force a throw to Jarvis Landry, but a Detroit LB got a hand on the ball which was tipped into the air for an easy interception right to the defense. Detroit kicked the field goal to make it 13-10 Cleveland, and that was the final score of the game. The Browns shut down the next Detroit drive and then ran the clock out behind Chubb and Johnson.

It wasn't a pretty win for Cleveland, but it was a gutsy, disciplined win on a day when they dealt with a lot of bad luck and their QB barely able to play.

Can they keep winning? Maybe. It's a solid team. They remind me a lot of Indy and Tennessee. Power run games and solid defenses. If Mayfield was healthy I would say yes, they could catch Baltimore and snatch the division. The remaining schedule is not easy though, and Mayfield could get knocked out at any moment with one more injury. It's not off the table that they can pull things together and get maybe 4 wins to get to 10-7 and the playoffs, but it's going to be difficult. This week against Baltimore is huge. Win that and they massively improve their chances. Lose and they are probably done. 

I'm not talking about Detroit. It's obvious what they are. Untalented, badly managed, the worst team in the league by a mile.



Fantasy Notes


--Nick Chubb (22-130-0, 2-14-1/2) is the best pure RB in the league and I won't hear differently. When I say “pure” I mean the most natural runner of the ball, the best at finding a crease to plow forward for yards that don't appear to be there. What you see Jonathan Taylor doing to fantasy right now, what Derrick Henry was doing, that could be Chubb next year but only if Kareem Hunt is gone.


--You can't trust anything on the Cleveland passing game right now due to the lack of talent and Mayfield's injuries, but 2nd year WR Ja'Marcus Bradley (2-46-0/2) shockingly saw the most snaps at WR out of nowhere and might be carving out a role after he made a couple of nice grabs here. I didn't see anything special he was doing, but on a day when the passing game wasn't working, he came up with some numbers so it's possible he'll be rewarded. He looks like he could be a solid rotation guy to go along with Higgins and DPJ next year, but he's not worth stashing in dynasty yet. Let's keep an eye on him next week though because I find it awfully strange that he would suddenly lead the team in WR snaps for no reason. Of course, knowing NFL coaches, they'll completely ignore that he was the best WR on the field and will send him back to the practice squad if DPJ and Schwartz are healthy next week.


--De'Andre Swift (14-136-1) absolutely should be dominating this backfield after this game. He was ripping off big runs every other time he touched the ball, on a day where Detroit literally couldn't move the ball any other way, and yet this moronic coaching staff kept giving the ball to Jamaal Williams on 1 and 2 yard carries (7-11-0, 1.6 ypc!). It's an absolute travesty and the entire staff should be fired right now. They had a chance to win this game, and yet even after Swift gave them a chance to win by himself, they were still wasting carries on Williams.

Swift didn't even start the game! Williams did and took the first 3 carries. Eventually they shifted to mostly giving Swift the ball, but it wasn't enough, and there's no way Williams should be touching the ball at all. He's done. They ought to be giving those backup carries to Godwin Igwebuike to get him some experience and see what he's got, but nope, not a single carry here after that fantastic run last week. You can't trust this staff at all.

I was never big on Swift, but I'm a fan after this game. He was looking a little more spry early in the year, but this is the first time I've seen him look actually fast and explosive. I'm a buyer in dynasty although his coaching staff is likely to hold him back next year for some plodding, slow-ass “power” runner that they think makes the team tougher. Note: if your team hires an old-school, tough-guy head coach...run. They have no place in the modern game and are death to your fantasy teams.


--You can't start anything from the Detroit passing game while Tim Boyle (15-23 for 77 yards, 0 TD/2 INT) is the QB. It was as bad as it looks on paper. He's your typical limited backup QB. Knows the playbook, works hard, stays super late at the facilities and thus the coaches love him, but he's not a real QB. Add in that he's working with the worst collection of pass catching talent in the league, and you've got a recipe for the disaster that unfolded on the field here. Fire up the Bears defense.


--I already said it, but you can't use anything from this passing game. Maybe TJ Hockenson (6-51-0/8) since he's going to get a lot of targets and is the easiest throw for Boyle. Just don't hope for too much.


--Is there any hope for Josh Reynolds (0-0-0/3) as the top guy? Nope. Not with this boring offense and terrible QB. Reynolds is moving around fine, but he's probably more suited to be a supporting #2 guy. The good news is that he's already getting the most snaps at WR, so the staff knows they have something with him. Maybe he could be something next year, but I don't have high hopes.



IDP Notes


--You can't really use him for IDP since he doesn't get tackles because he doesn't allow catches, but I want to point out how great Denzel Ward (1 INT) is. Every time I've watched him this year he just shuts his man down. And with Greg Newsome (the 2nd best rookie corner after Eric Stokes) on the other side, they have the potential to become one of the best pass defenses in the league the next few years.



Snap Counts of Interest


55 = Ja'Marcus Bradley

53 = Rashard Higgins

48 = Jarvis Landry


48 = Austin Hooper

47 = David Njoku

31 = Harrison Bryant


42 = Nick Chubb

26 = D'Ernest Johnson


43 = Josh Reynolds

34 = Kalif Raymond

3 = Tom Kennedy


42 = TJ Hockenson

13 = Brock Wright


About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>