2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 13: Buccaneers 30, Falcons 17 (By Ross Jacobs)
There really isn't much to say about these two teams at this point. They are two of the most consistent teams in the entire league. You know exactly what you're getting every week.
For Tampa, Tom Brady is going to stand in the pocket all day and pick you apart with whichever option is open on a given play. They are going to crush lesser teams and can battle with any of the better teams any given week. They have to be considered one of the Superbowl favorites, especially because of that consistency. Tampa doesn't seem to suffer through some of the ups and downs that, say, the Rams or Bills do. They have a simple game plan and they execute it thanks to the robotic precision of Brady.
It's honestly kind of the same thing in Atlanta, except the Falcons are incompetent instead of very good. They have the tools to field a good offense (Pitts and Patterson), but Matt Ryan is just pathetic to watch anymore. He's under pressure quite often, but even when he's not he just can't get the ball down the field anymore. The offense literally only scores points when Patterson does everything himself.
The Falcons only offensive TD here was their first drive of the game after, you guessed it, Cordarrelle Patterson broke a big run down the field. After that Arthur Smith moved away from using Patterson heavily because we can't have too much of a good thing, and the offense obviously faltered. Their only other TD would come right before halftime when Brady threw a screen pass while backed up near his own goalline and Marlon Davidson happened to be right in the path and snatched the ball for the easiest pick 6 ever.
That score made the game 20-17 at the half, but the result was never really in doubt as Tampa just sat back and let the Falcons bash their heads against a wall.
Tampa is now 9-3 and their destiny has been set in stone most of the year. There was never a real challenger for them in the NFC South. The schedule is pathetically easy after this last game against the Bills (and possibly the Saints). They are going to cruise to 12-14 wins and a high seed in the NFC. The only disaster scenario for the Bucs is if the Packers somehow snag the #1 overall seed because then Tom has to go away from home into the cold, his only real weakness. If Tampa or even Arizona gets the top seed then he can avoid the elements. Tampa is a machine and almost assuredly will at least make it to the NFC championship game.
The Falcons fall to 5-7 (somehow still 2nd place in the South) and have no real playoff chances no matter if the math says they can still make it. They have games remaining with the Bills, Saints, and 49'ers that should all be losses. They should get a win at home versus the Lions, and they have a tossup game this week at the Panthers. Most likely they finish with 6 or 7 wins (by some miracle) and are stuck in that middle ground between needing a complete rebuild and trying for a bottom tier playoff push in 2022.
My guess is they move on from Ryan this off-season and start the rebuild with a rookie QB sitting behind some new veteran. The only real foundational piece they have on offense is Pitts (Patterson is great but already 31), and the defense doesn't have much going for it either. There's no clear path for Atlanta to build this thing back up, and it looks to me like they'll be stuck in no man's land for the next 3-4 season minimum.
--Unfortunately I have no real fantasy insights from this game. What you see is what you get. Brady is going to get Evans, Godwin, Gronk, and Fournette stats every week while running up his own stats.
--Breshad Perriman has already been elevated over Tyler Johnson for snaps, but it doesn't mean anything for fantasy. Tom peeked his way a couple of times, but there was no purposeful move to get Perriman the ball. He'll probably catch an errant bomb TD one of these days, but good luck guessing when. The 3rd WR spot doesn't matter unless/until Antonio Brown comes back.
--Speaking of Brown, I'm starting to think he might not come back, although there's still hope as the team hasn't already cut him which you'd think would be the logical move after the news broke about his fake vaccine card. What the team likely wants to do is hang onto him for the playoffs, let him get healthy for the playoff run, and then release him after the season is over. Either way I wouldn't expect him back until after the fantasy season is done.
It's a rough ending for what looked like a promising season early on. As an AB drafter myself, I feel everyone's pain.
*RC NOTE: Even if he does return Week 16…would you rush him right back into your lineups his first week back? If not, if in doubt…then we’re holding AB right now clogging up a roster spot for the hopes he’s amazing Week 17?
--I'm done with Kyle Pitts for the moment. The talent is undeniable, but if he couldn't get numbers here it's just not going to happen. My issue for weeks was that teams were double teaming him, mostly in man coverage, but the Bucs just ran a soft zone all day and weren't even worried about Pitts and Ryan still couldn't find him wide open in the secondary.
As usual, Pitts looked like he was going to have a big day coming in the 2nd quarter, but then he was inexplicably ignored after that. It's a coaching and QB issue is all I can say. I'm moving on and I recommend everyone else do so if you haven't already. If you've got room on your bench maybe you can stash him and hope for a turn in the final weeks, but I see no reason to expect that at this point.
--I legitimately have no idea how Russell Gage (11-130-0/12) ended up with 11 catches for 130 yards. It did not remotely seem like he was doing that while watching live. About half of those catches were garbage time drives in the two-minute drives, but you'll take it. This was probably an abnormal spike, but as I've mentioned before, Gage is a very overlooked ppr option at WR right now due to how bad this offense is. I'd treat him as a WR 2-2.5 for now.
Snap Counts of Interest
67 = Kyle Pitts
54 = Tajae Sharpe
53 = Russell Gage
43 = Olamide Zaccheaus
65 = Mike Evans
64 = Chris Godwin
59 = Breshad Perriman
9 = Tyler Johnson