2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 13: Cardinals 33, Bears 22
I don’t think anyone is shocked the Cardinals handled the Bears, but what I was impressed with was – the Cardinals go to cold, windy, rainy Chicago with Kyler and DeAndre just returning from injuries where they were ‘questionable’ all week and not practicing in full…and they just came back out and didn’t miss a beat, especially Kyler.
Kyler was on his game, in bad conditions, and the Arizona defense toyed with Chicago (relaxing up some 2nd-half). The best football team I see week-in-and-week-out is the Arizona Cardinals…and Kyler has to be a top 3 contender for MVP.
Arizona, Green Bay, and fully healthy Dallas are the best three teams in the league, in my eyes…with Kansas City as the only AFC challenger, not because KC is playing well but because they are the most dangerous sleeping dog in all the league – their defense is rising up and they are a tweak away on offense from being the AFC Super Bowl rep (that will probably get killed by the NFC rep.).
Arizona is (10-2) and they have three really tough games ahead…Week 14 v. LAR, Week 16 v. IND, Week 17 at DAL. That’s probably the three best offensive lines in football. If Arizona sweeps them, then there is no doubt they are the best team in the NFL. Win two out of the 3, and they’re probably the best team. Lose all three, and it’s time for a new best team in football nominee.
We project that Arizona finishes (14-3) and fights Green Bay (who they’ve lost to) for the #1 seed/bye in the NFC.
Chicago falls to (4-8) with the entire city/fanbase taking a break from chanting ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ to chanting ‘Fire Nagy’ at various venues. I think Nagy will get the axe after a Week 14 loss at Green Bay, because (today, technically) the Bears could win out and have a shot at a wild card. I guess you give Nagy that chance, then when they lose to GB this week the wild card is over and you can fire him before that Week 15 MNF game, so there are no chants in a half-empty stadium on national cable television. Put the guy out of his misery, spare his family, let him go, if you have a heart, Virginia McCaskey.
The Bears will finish with 4-5 wins, a bottom 10 standing, a top 10 NFL Draft pick…which goes right over to the NY Giants for their 2021 trade up for Justin Fields. These are bad times for the Bears fans living among us.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I was shocked to see Kyler Murray (11-15 for 123 yards, 2 TDs/0 INTs, 10-59-2) jump right back in, on a sloppy field, and just throw and run the ball like he hadn’t missed any time and was playing on a clean field.
With this performance, Kyler pulls ahead of Tom Brady for highest PPG (4pts per pass TD) Fantasy scoring QB in Fantasy. You know where he ranked a year ago? #1…just ahead of Patrick Mahomes.
Right now, the best QB in all of Fantasy…is a 5’10” guy that NFL people thought Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones were better then.
-- DeAndre Hopkins (2-32-1/2) was very questionable all week, but he started and played 74% of the snaps and caught a fantastic TD bomb from Kyler early to set the tone.
Hopkins is a top 3 WR talent in the NFL but is only a WR2 for FF in 2021…not because of any talent fall-off, but more Kyler has so many options and does not lean on just one, which is another reason why he’s becoming the best FF QB in the game as well…he has the most options and he uses them with telegraphing the same looks, throws, receivers...he changes up things series to series masterfully -- might go heavy TE because you're giving it to him, then the defense adjusts, so he switches that up to go after a WR matchup that he likes. He's really doing a masterful job as an NFL QB mind with Mahomes-like ability, or better, to deliver the ball.
-- Rondale Moore (1-8-0/2) did not have a follow up moment from his last game with 11 targets/11 catches. As expected, that was just a McCoy thing of the moment in that particular Week 11 game. Moore is the #4 WR here right now, and #5-6 in the pecking order of the offense. 2021 is not his time for Fantasy.
2022 will likely see Christian Kirk gone in free agency and A.J. Green back in a further diminished capacity or retired. Then it will be Rondale time, more likely…2022+.
-- On the best offense he’s played on, James Conner (20-75-0, 2-36-1/2) is averaging a career low 3.8 yards per carry…because, of course he does.
His ineffectiveness doesn’t matter, as this offense constantly sets him up for short TDs…14 TDs and counting, so far. God love him…but I don’t. He hurts my soul every time he scores another cheap TD. Blame this offense, it’s so very good right now.
When Chase Edmonds comes back…who FF-cares? Might be Week 14, might not. He’s a ‘cuff for Conner, no more, no less. He should see more touches in these big showdowns Arizona has coming up (DAL, IND) but the RB coach is friends with Conner, so…
-- Jakeem Grant (5-62-1/7) did that thing again…the thing where he works like a quasi-Tyreek Hill and makes everyone wonder why he doesn’t get more touches? The 1-2 punch of that is…has a game like this, looks really good…and then next week he’ll have one catch on 3 targets. It’s not his fault.
Just think, Miami traded him away midseason…so they could roster Isaiah Ford. NFL personnel stupidity knows no bounds.
I hope this is the start of something for Jakeem, but I know it isn’t.
-- Cole Kmet (3-41-0/7) is continuing to get good targets…6 or more targets in a game in five of his last 6 games. The catches, the targets, the yards are all OK/improving…just no TDs this season, and none in sight.
-- Darnell Mooney (5-27-0/7) took a break from his great FF numbers of late. Not his fault…it was rainy, sloppy and the Arizona defense is not to be trifled with. Tough match up with the GB secondary Week 14.
-- Speaking of the Arizona defense. What do we do with the Cardinals-DST now?
Week 14 = v. the Rams…this is not the worst, but it’s not favorable. The Rams have a top five O-Line.
Week 15 = at Detroit…an obvious play
Week 16 = v. Indianapolis…again, not the worst matchup for such a defense as Arizona, but this is a top five O-Line. Not good for DST scoring.
Week 17 = at Dallas…another top five O-Line, not a good matchup.
You can’t use Arizona-DST with confidence in three of the next 4 weeks. For those in the playoffs, with a bye, skipping to Week 16-17…you can’t use them. You have to replace them with something better if it’s out there.
-- Matt Prater (2/2 FGs, 3/3 XPs) enjoys having Kyler back…
1.0 FGs attempted per game = Weeks 9-12 with Kyler out
2.1 FGs attempted per game = All the games with Kyler in 2021
2.1 XPs made per game = Weeks 9-12 with Kyler out
3.7 XPs made per game = All the games with Kyler in 2021
Prater’s schedule is awesome the rest of the way:
Week 14 = home/dome v. LAR
Week 15 = dome at DET
Week 16 = home/dome v. Indy
Week 17 = dome at DAL
Week 18 = home/dome v. SEA
Five dome matchups the final 5 games…you can’t beat that.
Snap Counts of Interest:
72 = Mooney
65 = Byrd
48 = JK Grant
10 = Rodney Adams
55 = Kmet
21 = J Graham
39 = Hopkins
36 = AJ Green
32 = Kirk
23 = Rondale
11 = Wesley