2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 13: Eagles 33, Jets 18
Most interesting, most RC-note-worthy game of the week. I expected it to be, because I wanted to rewatch my boys Zach Wilson and Gardner Minshew, who looked like they played a good+ game here on the live watch…but I wanted to savor it/study it on the rewatch. I did, but there was so much more to drink in and ruminate on.
As far as the game itself…it’s a quick analysis.
The Jets got out of the gates quickly. The Eagles matched their spark. Eventually the tide turned, and the Eagles just started running the ball about every play and keeping it away from the Jets in the 2nd-to-3rd-quarter and forced the Jets into desperate passing mode in the 4th-quarter while Philly just pounded/grinded it away on the ground to walk out with a nice win. The Jets gave them a-go for a quarter and half, but then Philly took control…impressive performance in a game that will be dismissed because ‘Jets’.
The Jets fall to (3-9). They still have a shot at a #1 draft pick, but not likely. Week 16 v. JAX could be/will be key for draft positioning. I’m guessing the Jets will win that game and give themselves 4 wins on the season and maybe be a top 5 pick.
The Eagles have won three of their last 4 games to get to (6-7)…but we projected them with an (8-9) finish, and out of the playoffs likely -- but four division games remain and if they get hot they could get to 9 wins and have some wild card hopes.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s start with the main reason why I was so excited to rewatch this game, after the live watch Sunday (along with all the other games at the same time, so I could only focus so much…), and that is Zach Wilson (23-38 for 226 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT).
I left Sunday’s watch thinking it was the best NFL game I’d seen him play…and it looked more like the Zach Wilson I scouted as the best QB in the 2021 NFL Draft. I left the rewatch/study KNOWING it was the best NFL game I’d seen him play, and DEFINITELY like the Wilson I scouted at BYU.
How can I describe Wilson best? He has a taller, less athletic Kyler Murray vibe to his play. A rocket launcher for an arm, but also can see things developing and can fire strikes right into tight windows. Rookie Kyler had struggles…one play you’d see genius, as a passer, then the next he’d make throws that made no sense. Three years later, Kyler is arguably the best passer in the NFL…he has experience, the best O-Line he’s had (still needs work), and weapons all around…4 legit WRs to work with and now a legit TE.
Wilson has those Kyler rookie year issues right now and then some…not NFL-experienced enough, a horrific O-Line, and no weapons around him (except one, which we’ll get to in a moment). Add those things up, and you’re gonna get 2 TDs/7 INTs in his first three games.
Week 12 we saw some flashes of ‘it’ from Wilson, but he took a huge step forward in Week 13/this game…Wilson starting to get comfortable on an NFL field. He’s finally using the dump-off to the RBs to his advantage (still more work needed by him, but he’s heading in the right direction), and that short game is setting up his sizzling downfield game.
If Wilson had been throwing (by my mind’s eye/memory) 60-70% of this passes poorly the first half of the season – throwing into coverage, forcing deep plays, misfiring open receivers…then this game he was 80/20 or better on the money with his throws. The only thing that kept him from a 300+ yard game is the lack of ability to catch by some of his receivers.
Zach Wilson is the better, more svelte Baker Mayfield…the less athletic (but not a bad runner/escaper at all), taller, one notch down vision version of Kyler Murray. This was a great step forward…and he might have another dud or two before season’s end, but he is progressing.
…and he is so clearly better than Trevor Lawrence that everyone in NFL scouting that thought otherwise should be fired for not seeing it. So, if that happened…it would be like me, and Ross and a handful of other people left in the profession.
Now, is the time to buy Zach Wilson in Dynasty…as a #2-3 QB for your future, available for a price lower than it should be. And it will still be a bargain in the offseason.
The pressure on Wilson’s FF performance ahead is not on him, but can the Jets attract real weapons…and can a guy playing in that stadium/climate really thrive for FF? Josh Allen does…and Wilson is a smaller, skinnier version of good Josh Allen. Wilson has a very underrated howitzer of an arm. But Allen has WAY better coaching. His future is murky in NY, so I don’t want to pay much to take a look…you shouldn’t have to.
-- I love Gardner Minshew (20-25 for 242 yards, 2 TDs/0 INTs), but watching these two guys work…it was beyond clear that Wilson is far superior…long-term, and in this game.
That’s not a slam on Minshew…it’s a compliment to Wilson.
Minshew did a bad thing here…real bad. He won a game, looked efficient…looked like a traditional NFL QB – and has inadvertently created a QB controversy. The fans…Philly fans, especially, will scout franchise QBs based on ‘what happened last week’ with no context, just caveman…’win good, loss bad’ reactions.
Not only did Minshew win a game, but he showed a style more like a traditional QB, so now the next time Jalen Hurts loses/looks bad…everyone will call for a Minshew change and speak glowingly about the need for a traditional QB. With fans, Philly fans especially, whatever is the opposite of the bad thing that just happened is what they want that moment – football fans are like petulant children who are never disciplined. When their team has a stiff QB not winning every game, then they all talk about how the NFL is a moving towards the highly mobile QB and how their team needs to get one, and thus Liberty College’s Malik Willis is a top mock draft pick, despite that being idiotic on every level (Willis is not a top pick QB talent). When a fan’s team DOES get the highly mobile QB, and he doesn’t win every game, then all the ‘we need a next Brady type’ of talk dominates. You can never win with the fans, but that’s why they love the game – never-ending ‘shoulda’ talk.
And part of the stupidity of weekly changes in QB-need philosophies that are based on ‘feelings’ and ‘emotions’ from last week’s game is also the core of NFL team management. How else do you explain a team (Philly) built for traditional passer QB play being led by a purely mobile QB? Minshew playing well, even though it was against the Jets, has opened the door for an alternative…no different than Wentz v. Hurts 2020-21.
I think the Eagles will go with Hurts…UNTIL the media and fan pressure are too much. Hurts will have his Eagles (and probably entire) career ruined by the media and never-satisfied fans. Hurts won’t get benched this season, no matter how bad the pressure (unless Hurts is a disaster) – but who the QB will be Week 1 of 2022 will have a lot to do with how Hurts finishes 2021. Hurts has the locker room, but anything-not-Hurts has the media and fans backing. Drafting a QB is on the table as well.
Minshew did fine here. He wasn’t as good as Wilson, but he was good…and then handed off mostly the final half.
-- Alright, I liked my scouting ahead on Wilson in Jan. 2021. I liked my Minshew scouting back in Jan. 2019 before his draft. Now, scouting I’m not pleased with…
I’m starting to think Elijah Moore (6-77-1/12) IS the better ‘rookie Moore WR’ from 2021…not Rondale. I’ve been boasting of this great Rondale Moore to be unleashed in the NFL, and it’s been…not that exciting, so far. Nothing unleashed quite yet. Elijah…I thought I saw some minor issues on tape that conflicted with his Pro Day elite speed/agility times, but I think those times are more real than not now…and I know he has great hands. He looks like this year’s best WR prospect to me right now.
I was going heavy Rondale all preseason, when I should’ve been going Elijah. I think that now, there’s still time for Rondale to take the lead (in my heart) back in 2022, when he’s a starter with Kyler. It’s not a slam of Rondale, just that Elijah is playing so well.
I’ve watched many established NFL WRs get gobbled up by Darius Slay this season. I just watched Elijah Moore (via Zach Wilson) go spank Slay several times in this game. If Wilson is going to start clicking, then Moore is going to keep rising. Wilson was a problem for Moore a few weeks ago, but now Wilson might be turning the corner. But I think teams are going to go double Elijah now in response, so we’ll see where the FF output heads to the rest of 2021.
Bottom line…Wilson is the best QB from this raft, and Elijah might be its best all-around WR. The Jets done good.
-- Speaking of ‘top things’…we finally saw THAT Dallas Goedert (6-105-2/6)…the Goedert that can be the best TE in the NFL. He just needed Ertz gone and a non-run-first QB at the helm. This was the best I’ve seen Goedert look. Sadly, for him, he’ll have Hurts back Week 15 and Goedert goes back to being a random TE1 hopeful, not a top 3 TE…like he should be.
If the Eagles change QBs to something more traditional in 2022, then Goedert is a top 3 Fantasy TE in 2022.
-- Minshew wore out Goedert, but not DeVonta Smith (2-15-0/4) or Jaelen Reagor (1-7-0/1). Minshew didn’t need to. The Goedert thing was money…and then they just ran the ball a ton and got out of there.
Smith looks fine, he just can’t get into any rhythm in this passing game of low targets, inaccurate but playmaking Hurts isn’t a pass game booster at all.
-- Miles Sanders (24-124-0, 3-22-0/3) had a big day…but note that we had a switch to a traditional offense, and they were facing the Jets. Sanders is fine/OK, but he’s been bleh with Hurts at QB.
Boston Scott has been so good for weeks…so, of course, zero touches this week but was returning kicks. NFL teams stick with their pick at RB and will not change unless injury forces it.
-- A running back who didn’t hold his starting role for long, Tevin Coleman (11-58-0, 3-19-0/4) has it back due to Michael Carter injury. TC looks solid/good and I don’t think Carter is coming back this week or maybe even next, so Coleman still has some legs here as at least getting 10+ touches a game.
BUT…Coleman has a concussion issue right now (as of this writing) – he may be out Week 14 and Ty Johnson/Austin Walter may take the reigns for a week. Against the Saints run defense, I want neither.
-- Corey Davis (2-15-0/3) is done for the year with a core muscle injury. He was a bad idea as a #1 WR anyway.
Denzel Mims (1-4-0/1) is still buried.
Jamison Crowder (4-62-0/4) may have a little run coming up if Elijah Moore starts getting doubled.
Snap Counts of Interest:
28 = Ty Johnson
23 = Coleman
08 = Walter
68 = Goedert
28 = Stoll
27 = Tyree Jackson
41 = Sanders
27 = Gainwell
03 = B Scott