2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 14: Broncos 38, Lions 10
I don’t think anyone was shocked by this outcome. I thought Detroit might be able to hang close/within the big spread, but then the Lions lost several players to COVID on top of just generally sucking and a 28-point beatdown ensued.
Detroit falls to (1-11-1) and could win Week 16 v. ATL to get to two wins and their tie, and that be a devastating win to allow the loser of this week’s JAX-HOU matchup to possibly slip into the #1 pick spot ahead of Detroit.
The funny thing is -- all three coaches of these bottom feeding teams are motivated to win by whatever delusions play out in their heads. Dan Campbell and David Culley think ‘wins’ build momentum…like field goal attempts do when you’re losing 47-0 (hey, at least we didn’t get shutout! What momentum!!). And then there’s the new Jags O-C, the kiss-of-death to any head coach…assistant coach Darrell Bevell – he thinks winning a game could land him a head job! Ha!!
These three guys…when they need to win, they lose. When the smartest thing they can do is lose…they’ll go and win and ruin the draft positioning.
Denver is now (7-6), and they might fulfill my June-July-August preseason wild card prediction. Their fate may hinge on Week 15 hosting Cincinnati…a game they’re favored to win, but I think they will lose. Win Week 15 and they should be able to get to a minimum of 9 wins. Lose Week 15 and it’s going to be a tough road to 9 wins, and then allowing Cincy to have a tiebreaker over them might come back to haunt them if they all end up with 9 wins. Huge Week 15 game this week for Denver…and the future of Vic Fangio.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Godwin Igwebuike (8-25-0) started in this game, but was (shockingly, to me) quickly rotating in and out with Craig Reynolds (11-83-0, 2-16-0/2)…who was just activated off the practice squad for this game.
The two backs were switching in and out every few plays, but when Igwebuike was in he would not see the ball, but Reynolds would come in and get a hand-off…and he’d gash the defense for 5-10+ yards…then they’d rotate, then they’d rotate back again with Reynolds gashing the defense again.
I was shocked and somewhat appalled to see Reynolds getting such work via the box score on Sunday – why wasn’t Igwebuike getting more of a push after what he’s done the past few weeks? But watching this game back, I ended up appalled that they’ve kept Reynolds on the practice squad and didn’t give him 20+ touches here. He was clearly the better back and making things happen, but because Detroit is Detroit…they pulled back the reins on any success happening.
Assuming Swift is out again this week, I’d assume a Jamaal Williams ‘start’ and then Reynolds taking a split workload and eventually outperforming Williams…whatever that means, via 2nd-half garbage in a 20+ point deficit. But, who knows the mind of Dan Campbell?
-- I know what the trend says…I know there’s good garbage time with Lions players…but I just can’t get strongly behind Amon-Ra St. Brown (8-73-0/12).
His last two games: 9.0 rec. (12.0 targets), 79.5 yards, 0.50 TDs per game = it should be exciting, but every time a Lions receiver has a good junk-time game or two, then they pull the rug out from under you.
I’m the one probably in the wrong, but this week vs. Byron Murphy is not good…but then again opponents are usually playing backups 2nd-half in a 20pt+ lead, so…you should probably be OK with ARSB.
-- T.J. Hockenson (DNP) is now done for the year…I knew they were covering up or hoping against hope on his injury the past week or so. Any viable FF replacements for the Lions?
Brock Wright (3-20-0/5) is a stiff who will catch a couple passes by being ‘available’.
Shane Zylstra (2-18-0/6) is an interesting convert to TE, a former WR…a D3 star…but he looked like a scared, skinny TE in this game…but that’s to be expected. He did lead the Lions in snaps at TE? Maybe he shakes off the jitters and comes on a bit as we go? 6’3”/220+, big wingspan and hands, unknown speed/agility (2020 rookie in the COVID offseason of no/low testing).
-- Let’s finish out the Lions’ notes with an IDP…
Linebacker Josh Woods (13 tackles, 2 TFLs) got his first start, due to injuries/COVID and landed 13 tackles. He played half a game Week 13 and had 8 tackles. I watched him a bunch in this game…undersized/needs more muscle/bulk but is a decent athlete and he moves around to the ball well. He was patrolling the middle…which is a good place when you’re on DET with teams running out big leads there.
If Alex Anzalone is out again, and I think he will be – Woods could be in for double-digit tackles again this week.
-- Noah Fant (4-51-0/4) hasn’t scored a TD in six games. He’s basically become a TE2 with Albert O. (5-41-1/5) rising up to TE2.
The past 6 games:
3.4 FF/7.2 PPR PPG from 3.8 rec. (4.8 targets), 33.7 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = Fant (last 6 games)
4.5 FF/7.7 PPR PPG from 3.2 rec. (3.7 targets), 35.0 yards, 0.2 TDs per game = Albert O. (last 6 games)
-- So, this game began with a tribute to the late Demaryius Thomas. It was touching. Courtland Sutton (1-9-0/2) stayed off the field the first play to do a tribute…a 10-man huddle. Denver was penalized for it, but Detroit declined. Then Sutton came in solo to a rousing applause…Sutton being close with DT and Sutton a team leader. It was nice.
…but that’s why it was even more confusing to see Sutton get just 2 targets and one catch…a continuation of the total nothing he is producing for the team anymore besides a downfield decoy. It’s not him, it’s Teddy. If there was any game you were gonna plan to get Sutton going – versus Detroit in this emotional scenario would be it…and yet nothing.
That’s my cue, our cue to totally bail on Sutton for FF 2021.
He’s a buy low for 2022 right now, but pure unreliable FF-garbage for 2021 ROS right now.
Snap Counts of Interest:
59 = Sutton
52 = Patrick
41 = Jeudy
10 = Hinton
50 = Fant
38 = Albert O
40 = Zylstra
35 = Brock Wright
29 = Reynolds
28 = Igwebuike
03 = Jermar Jefferson
**College Football Metrics 2022…new season signups coming in January 2022**
The new season of CFM will be starting up in January, as always. A little different schedule this year as the NFL extended their season by a week and the Senior Bowl was bumped back a week as well. We should have a Senior Bowl, NFL Combine…it looks like it will be a normal scouting year!
The NFL Draft, Dynasty Rookie Draft, and regular season ahead rookie analysis all gets started through CFM in January with our usual season starter -- the past two years/2020-2021 Mock Rookie Draft re-do, along with in-depth Senior Bowl analysis, and full QB scouting reports and much more as we build towards the NFL Combine and all the other positional scouting reports. Football study never ends…
Thank you for your support of CFM for the past decade now…wow, time flies.