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2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 12: Patriots 36, Titans 13

November 30, 2021 10:04 AM
November 30, 2021 10:02 AM

2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 12: Patriots 36, Titans 13


Yes, the Patriots were the better team here.

Yes, the Patriots are potentially the best team in the AFC.

Yes, Bill Belichick gets all my votes for Coach of the Year (today).

But rewatching this back – a lot of little things went the Patriots way, and against the Titans. Little things like dropped picks for the Titans…I mean gifts right at them and they’d drop them. The Titans fumbled five times, and lost 3 of them…the stumbling, bumbling ball seemingly placed perfect to the Patriots for recovery. Missed kicks off the goal post for Tennessee on top of everything else. The Patriots were better, but this game was sloppy/tight with the score just 19-13 NE mid-3rd-quarter, and then D’Onta Foreman reeled off a 30-yard run pushing TEN into NE territory and rolling -- but then he had the ball chopped out of his hands at the end of the run…and the ball spit out with speed rolling towards the sidelines and then just died to not go out of bounds, Patriots recover and halt what might have been the go-ahead drive.

The Patriots and Titans play the same brand of football (run game + defense), only Tennessee lost Derrick Henry, so the teeth are missing for the run game (despite 270 yards of rushing for TEN here). The Pats have a better set of runners in their backfield duo, a better O-Line, which leads to the better QB play, and the Pats have the better defense and kicker – and, thus, the eventual New England beatdown. The Patriots are the better version of Tennessee across the board/in every facet now.

Tennessee has lost two in a row to fall to (8-4) but Indy (6-6) losing late against Tampa keeps them with a cushion in the AFC South. The Titans get a bye then the Jags and Steelers…two very winnable games, but this Tennessee team is not that good without Henry, so the next two games are not gimmes. We’re projecting Tennessee to finish (10-7) and sneaks away with a division title, just in time for Henry to return for the playoffs.

The Patriots have a MASSIVE showdown game with the Bills on MNF Week 13…the winner is not only the odds-on favorite for the AFC East, but also for the #1 seed in the AFC. I laughed at the notion of NE beating Buffalo a week ago, but now that the Bills have lost Tre’Davious White…I’m not laughing anymore. It’s going to be a real battle of two very good, flawed teams.

If the Pats lose at Buffalo on MNF…no one will blink. If the Patriots go and beat Buffalo in that marquee matchup, it could ruin the Bills run for the foreseeable future. It could knock them permanently off their top dog AFC East perch for the rest of Josh Allen’s career, as long as Bill is coaching the Patriots. Probably the most excited I’ve been to just watch a game this entire season.



Fantasy Player Notes…


 -- I’ve been very confident that D’Onta Foreman (19-109-0, 1-3-0/1) was the hand’s down lead RB here, despite Dontrell Hilliard starting the very first snap (and then Foreman in the next few snaps), but upon further watching/studying this game…I’m not so braggadocious.

There was a lot of in-out-in-out with Foreman-Hilliard. And when Hilliard had a good run or two, he stayed in. Foreman always felt like he needed to prove something to stay in…and he did in spots. It’s kinda weird to try and explain. Foreman got the first goal line touches, but then Hilliard would see snaps around there too. Foreman felt like the better/real RB, but Hilliard kept popping in and out.

I want to see the Titans lineup and go punch the opponents in the face with Foreman acting like Derrick Henry 2.0. And there are times it looks like that is happening, but there is way more rotating than I’d expect…leaving hot hand on the table so one or the other back might get left out for a game if the other one gets hot. Mike Vrabel does not seem a slave to either back. Foreman does dirty work, while Hilliard is in most every passing down.

Foreman runs and plays the way Vrabel would want, but Hilliard isn’t running poorly either. Foreman is likely to lead the group in carries, especially if they can get a lead and try and sit on it. Hilliard will get his touches and see more targets, especially if they’re down and trying to scramble back in it.

When Jeremy McNichols returns, I think he barely plays…Hilliard has pushed past him, unless Hilliard makes some mistake and gets punished. In this game, both RBs had key fumbles…and neither was punished for it, like you’d expect to see.

We’ll see what Tennessee does out of their bye after looking at the tape. The offense is better with Foreman controlling the ground with tough yards, and maybe Vrabel will go with it even more…but we’ll see Week 14. Foreman is fine, but I want more…I might be about to get it Week 14+, but Hilliard is lurking too much for me to be full scale confident of heavy Foreman all the time.


 -- The Patriots are using a three-headed monster RB, which is great for their winning ways…but bad for FF projecting.

Damien Harris (11-40-1, 1-12-0/1) is no longer the obvious lead dog, but he is the lead dog in a near 50-50 RBBC split between he and Rhamondre Stevenson (9-46-0, 0-0-0/1). If one or the other gets hot, then they could have a big week…then have the reverse the next week. They’ve split each other into RB2s with RB3 leans more than RB1 events.

Brandon Bolden (4-54-0/4) is taking on the James White role to suck PPR away from Harris-Stevenson…to make matters more FF-confusing/FF-worse.


 -- Mac Jones (23-32 for 310 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) has become what Ryan Tannehill was in 2019-2020 and early 2021…hiding behind a top run game and being super-efficient and effective with a short/controlled passing game.  

While Ryan Tannehill (11-21 for 93 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) has become worse than a rookie without Henry. Tanny has 4 TD passes and 6 picks in his non-Henry games. 10 TDs/7 INTs with Henry in 2021.

Mac Jones is completing 70.3% of his passes this season, a stunning number, and has an efficient 16 TDs/8 INTs total passing this season. Jones nearly has more TD passes than Lawrence-Wilson-Fields-Lance combined. That rookie group has combined for 17 TD passes and 28 picks by comparison through Week 12.


 -- Jones is being super-efficient and effective and Kendrick Bourne (5-61-2/6) is becoming his favorite WR. Jakobi Meyers (5-98-0/8) is right there too.

Bourne has 3 TDs in his last 3 games. He’s caught 24 passes his last 6 games (4.0 per), while Jakobi has caught 23 passes in that same span.


 -- For whatever it is worth, it looks like the Patriots might be making another run at getting Jonnu Smith (3-49-0/4, 1-9-0) going in some way. This was his best PPR output since Week 4.

At the same time, Hunter Henry (2-16-0/5) is hitting a dry spell with the constant TDs. No TDs his last two games after he had 6 TDs in the 6 games prior.


 -- The Titans-DST wasn’t terrible here. Their team’s offensive turnovers didn’t help. Having 2/3rds of their LB group out again isn’t helping. The Patriots are also becoming a great/efficient offense…so this wasn’t a good matchup either.

The good matchups lie ahead. After their Week 13 bye, they face: Lawrence-Ben-Jimmy G.-Tua-Mills For the finish. All favorable matchups except the SF one being neutral.

The Titans should be getting their key defenders back after the bye, plus some offensive help. More at full strength and with a favorable schedule…this DST might be good for a ride.


 -- For whatever it is worth, I’d say Tannehill’s favorite WR in this game…Cody Hollister (2-24-0/4), out of nowhere. It wont amount to much but if AJB returns, and Julio doesn’t…he might have some action as the uncovered/barely covered #2 WR no defense cares about.

Hollister is like a skinner Ed McCaffrey, from back in the day, if that rings any bells.  



Snap Counts of Interest:


22 = D Harris

20 = Stevenson

19 = Bolden


32 = Hilliard

31 = Foreman


52 = Westbrook-Ikhine

48 = C Hollister

15 = Rogers

12 = Dez Fitz


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 >>