2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 12: Dolphins 33, Panthers 10
Wow, talk about a team playing with little-to-no energy… What is Matt Rhule doing? I thought he was a rally-the-troops kinda head man? It may be that his schtick works better with young people in college. I’m not just taking potshots while he’s down. I bet he’s thinking that too…a lot of college-to-pro head coaches fight that. They get bored in college, to a degree…at the same time the media is hyping them up and billionaires are flying them in on private jets to wine and dine them and offer him millions – it’s all pretty alluring. It’s wonderful being ‘pursued’.
If you’re smart, as a an in-demand college head coach, you leave college for a spell…when you want to change out of your current gig/school, and you take a five-year monster deal to go to the pros…realizing you’ll likely be fired by year 3-4, but you’ll be paid handsomely to go away, and then you can go instantly from failed pro coach to become the hottest free agent coach going back to the college ranks…your ego getting massaged all over again as you abandon the criticism of the pros to go back the warm embrace of the college paying you to come over. I don’t fault the coaches for it. I’d like to ride that train.
One of the stops that his train makes is – being hated by the media at some point in your pro career, and so will the fans hate you for not going undefeated every week, month, season…and these coaches who are always the belle of the ball have not faced that, ever, in their meteoric careers. Rhule has walked on water coaching in college.
I imagine Rhule is thinking he’ll give it one more shot in 2022, not wanting to be a quitter, per se…take 2023 off, potentially, take a breather, then sign a mega-deal in 2024. Which means there will be no long-term vision for the Panthers…it will be all about 2022 for Rhule. All-in, one hail mary flailing away shot.
Rhule has done this to himself – terrible QB choices/plans/concepts since he walked into the building. One of the worst O-Lines in the league (we have internally graded it as one of the three worst pass blocking units in 2021). A big contract to a small running back. A big contract extension to mediocre Robby Anderson.
Rhule has done about everything wrong a head coach could do/advise to do/signed off to do, personnel-wise, in his first two seasons. Even his smart deals for CBs C.J. Henderson and Stephon Gillmore – they’ve had little impact, and the hidden kicker about those CB deals is -- he cut corner Rasul Douglas prior to all this to make room for his CB collection. Douglas is currently playing all-pro ball for Green Bay right now.
Rhule is on the ropes, and his team played in this game like they’ve all moved on. Rhule seems to have no impact with his players. At least not an impact befitting him as one of the highest paid coaches in the league. Egotistical (with good reason) NFL head coaches who are used to nothing but fawn fests from the media and the fans (from their college coaching days)…they won’t suffer this well. Rhule has shown no NFL talent assessment ability to solve his problem…his roster is only getting worse. The outlook here is grave…but Rhule will get paid a lot to leave, eventually, and then get a monster contract from about any big college that has an opening. He’ll be fine. Panthers fans will be picking up the pieces for years trying to fix this mess. Rhule probably would figure things out and be better if he hangs around for 7-10 years but likely he bolts in 2022-2023 and just leaves the kitchen a mess for the next occupants to clean up.
The Panthers gave up 11 QB hits, 5 sacks, 7 TFLs…completed 10-of-31 passes and had so many drops I stopped counting. This was one of the worst performances by a fairly talented NFL team of 2021. It’s only getting worse, not better, with Rhule. Miami wasn’t great as much as Carolina tanked.
Carolina is (5-7) and likely on their way to 6 wins, 7 wins tops. Week 14 v. ATL is a battle of two of the worst teams in the NFL. Why is it when Tom Brady plays in a division, the other three teams in that division become the 3 worst teams in football?
Miami didn’t do anything special besides play sound football but more just let Carolina implode. Miami has had the good fortune of playing HOU, NYJ, CAR in their 4-game win streak. They have NYG and NYJ next. They’re trying to kill my win total ‘under’ bet. They are (5-7) and I think they hit 7 wins tops and stay ‘under’…I pray. Miami is getting by on an easy schedule more than anything.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- It’s 2021…
Last week, I won games with D’Onta Foreman and Cordarrelle Patterson leading the way.
I had to seriously consider Laquon Treadwell off waivers to use this week in deep roster leagues.
The consensus top 5 redraft picks for 2021 are all gone and/or hurt and/or useless and/or major disappointments as we sit in Week 13.
It’s been a bizarre season…which is why Fantasy Football is so engaging, so fluid.
So, when I slip in this following comment it should come as no surprise in the UpsideDownWorld of Fantasy 2021: I’m really enjoying Tua Tagovailoa’s (27-31 for 230 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) work right now.
…I’m enjoying watching it. I don’t want it for my FF teams. I don’t want it long term in Dynasty. But I am fascinated by what’s happening with Tua. He’s running an offense I’ve never really seen before. It’s like a combination of the West Coast Offense on an overdose of amphetamines mixed with Tua as Penny Hardaway distributing passes, dropping dimes to all the right players quickly, efficiently. https://youtu.be/GFACsK9lQ68
Tua is virtually unstoppable in games of late. He throws passes in a blink…all within 0-5 yards of the line of scrimmage usually. And when the defense tries to guess who he’s throwing to, he quick changes to another option. I have never seen an offense like this and I’m not sure it is by design, more it’s what Tua can do, he’s limited otherwise…he’s taken his limitations and runaway from them, instead playing to what he is good at, and it’s working.
The last two games, Tua has completed 54-of-64 passes (84.4%)...above 80%+ both games. He’s at 70.5% Comp. Pct. overall for the season.
Honestly, it’s a joy to watch…it’s refreshing. It’s different. I’m not sure it will last because good+ defenses are not fooled, but bad defenses appear to have no answer right now.
Tua splits 2021:
46-of-83 (55.4%), 1 TD/2 INTs = Tua v. BUF 2x, NE, BAL
119-of-151 (78.8%), 9 TDs/4 INTs = Tua v. JAX, ATL, NYJ, CAR
The Giants defense will be a big test for him Week 13, because Tua is getting slicker and slicker in this offense, but the Giants mimic more of the Bills defense and then some. If Tua blows through NYG, then I’m going to believe this Miami team could be headed to the playoffs.
Only one QB has a lower depth of target/intended air yards per pass attempt than Tua, and that’s Jared Goff. For everyone who thinks they’re super smart quoting air yard targets for QBs and WRs as mic drop debate enders or thinking you;ve found FF scouting gold, (a) you’re wasting your time thinking it is some kind of talent metrics, it isn’t, and (b) Tua is breaking the mold of what we think QB play, and downfield throwing must be. He’s literally slicing NFL defenses right now with the ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’ offense, or my trademarked ‘BTO’ (Baby Throw Offense). They know it’s coming, and they can’t seem to stop it…it’s simplicity is it’s complication and Tua is running it like a robot magician.
Most NFL teams would keep forcing Tua to play ‘real QB’ and take deep drops and throw the passes the playbook says. Credit Miami, they’ve ditched that…or Tua just does what he wants…and they’re playing ‘their own way’.
The NFL might figure this out quickly and then Tua is doomed because he can’t play any other style, but baby it is working now. You can’t target him with your DST for FF because he’s getting rid of the ball so fast, so efficient and quick you can’t sack him or get picks off him like you used to.
-- On the other side of the field, was the opposite of Tua…heavily sacked, typical drop back passing with bad drop back passers. The Panthers QBs combined for 32.2% completed passes in this game. Cam Newton (5-21 for 92 yards, 0 TDs/2 INT) was benched and P.J. Walker (5-10 for 87 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) came in for garbage time.
Is there a QB controversy? I dunno. Your choices between these two QBs is death by being thrown into a pit of Cobras or death by being thrown into a Lion’s Den. These two QBs are awful, but we also have to acknowledge how bad the Carolina O-Line is and how awful their WRs are. Cam was under constant assault just trying to get passes off.
Matt Rhule will jet off to a big college gig in a year and take all his guaranteed money with him…while he ruined O-C Joe Brady’s career. The answer to whether it was Ed Orgeron or Joe Brady who made LSU in their title season…the answer is Joe Burrow.
You no longer blindly target Tua/Miami with your DST…but you DEFINITELY target Carolina’s offense.
-- Making Carolina’s offensive outlook worse is the loss of Christian McCaffrey (10-35-0, 0-0-0/1). Again, Matt Rhule decides to build everything around one smaller RB and does nothing to ensure he has a great Plan B running back that’s similar behind him. That’s a Matt Rhule problem/mistake. No different than Mike Vrabel having Jeremy McNichols as his #2 RB behind Derrick Henry. How could people be so stupid with so much on the line? But NFL teams/head coaches are constantly terrible at planning and pre-planning and scouting.
Chuba Hubbard (2-6-0, 0-0-0/1) will get the push with CMC out because Matt Rhule’s wife was the lead scout on that one. However, he’s been so ‘meh’ that Ameer Abdullah (2-4-0, 2-20-0/6) is getting in more and more, and he might be the real answer for FF…with both being not much of an answer.
Carolina Week 14 could roll out a starting offense led by P.J. Walker and Chuba Hubbard. Good luck with that.
-- Chuba Hubbard is so nothing that he makes me excited about Myles Gaskin (16-49-2, 2-3-0/2) by comparison, and I can’t stand Gaskin (as a purposeful starter while so many more talented guys are backups on other teams…can you process A.J. Dillon is a backup and Myles Gaskin is a feature? I can’t).
Phillip Lindsay (12-42-0, 0-0-0/0) is instantly better than Gaskin, one week into his arrival…but there is NO way Brian Flores (or any NFL head coach, except Bill Belichick) will change his RB rotation settled on in August/June (unless injury forces it).
Lindsay got good touches here, but most of it later with the game well in hand.
-- You noticed what Durham Smythe (5-32-0/5, 2-3-0) has been doing lately?
Back-to-back games with 5 targets, 4 and 5 catches in the two games…oh, and he had two running plays this game? I wish the Giants were as creative with Evan Engram as the Dolphins are with non-athlete Durham Smythe, who sounds like the millionaire villain in a Lifetime movie made for TV.
Check this out, this might blow your mind (in a minor way)…
You know how I was saying Tua was great against bad defenses? It was four games with JAX, ATL (then Tua got hurt/finger) Weeks 6-7, and then the past two weeks. In those 4 isolated games…
4.3 rec. (5.0 targets), 41.3 yards, 0.0 TDs = Smythe
The past two games:
4.0 rec. (4.5 targets), 33.5 yards, 0.0 TDs = Gesicki
4.5 rec. (5.0 targets), 34.5 yards, 0.0 TDs = Smythe
Things are shifting, without warning, from Gesicki to Smythe. Why? I have no idea, but don’t question Tua’s distribution right now.
- Jaylen Waddle (9-137-1/10) is PERFECT for the BTO offense. He’s so quick, he gets the ball in his hands and just goes. The offense you’d like to see for Tyreek Hill…Miami is running it with Jaylen Waddle (and Durham Smythe).
Since Week 6, Waddle is the #6 PPR PPG WR in FF.
As long as Tua isn’t getting figured out, this will continue to PPR-prosper.
-- Speaking of Miami rookies starting to contribute…EDGE Jaelen Phillips (4 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 PD, 4 QB hits) had a whale of a game. Not sure how much was him and how much was the Panthers lack of blocking or caring. But Phillips is up to 6.5 sacks for the season…not bad for a rookie. Better than Chase Young is producing in the NFL on a per game basis in the NFL.
Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel (2 tackles, 4 QB hits) had several ‘meet you at the QB’ events this game. 8 QB hits between them. Van Ginkel has 17 QB hits this season. Chase Young has 16 QB hits in his two NFL seasons.
Miami-DST vs. NYG Week 13…yep.
Miami-DST vs. NYJ Week 15…yep.
Miami-DST vs. NO Week 16…maybe.
Miami-DST vs. TEN Week 17…probably.
Panthers-DST the rest of the season? Week 14 v. ATL and that’s it.
Snap Counts of Interest:
66 = Smythe
59 = Gesicki
24 = H Long
55 = Waddle
35 = A Wilson
19 = M Hollins
27 = Abdullah
20 = McCaffrey
11 = Hubbard