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2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 15: Colts 27, Patriots 17

Date:
December 23, 2021 8:36 AM
December 23, 2021 8:33 AM

2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 15: Colts 27, Patriots 17

 

This was a perfect opportunity for the Patriots to put a stamp on their sudden rise to AFC dominance…but instead they laid an egg. Indy took a 14-0 lead right away, aided by a blocked punt TD. The Colts were fired up, well-planned, and subdued the Patriots…for about a half, and then they did what Frank Reich typically does – tries to sit on a lead, stops everything that was working previously, and goes into a shell to try and rope-a-dope to a victory.

The Colts shutout the Patriots for 3+ quarters, and then they let the Pats walk back into the game and suddenly the Colts shutout and three-score lead was gone…now, it was Colts only up three points, 20-17, with 2+ minutes left. Jonathan Taylor broke through an over-stacked-to-stop-the-run defense and flew to a 67-yard TD run and put the game away. The Colts were the better team most all game, but they froze up and almost let it get away.

But the Colts did win, which then kicked over some interesting dominoes in the AFC…the Pats were suddenly out of the #1 seed 24 hours later and the Bills were right up their backs for the AFC East again. Indy was on shaky playoff ground going in, but now rises to (8-6)…really looking solid for the wild card and with a shot to win the AFC South. We project a (10-7) finish and a probable wild card.

New England falls to (9-5) and has a huge game Week 16 vs. BUF, where they will lose (we project) and thus throw the AFC East into the air and potentially a Patriots (10-7) finish and a worse wild card seed than Indy, because of this game. NE/BUF (one a division winner, the other the wild card), Indy, LAC are the very probable AFC wild cards.

 

 

Fantasy Player Notes…

 

 -- My main scouting attention from this game fell on Mac Jones (26-45 for 299 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTs). My Spidey senses kept saying all game – not that good (from an – is he a high-end QB prospect). Very unimpressive game…when it mattered. He made some throws against the prevent late but prior to that he was all over the place. I keep getting a Taylor Heinicke vibe off of him. Perfectly cromulent NFL QB, but not a ‘put the game on my back’ kinda QB…just a game manager. Which is fine but is this the next Tom Brady? I’m not so sure.

Yes, there is more time for him to develop and he’s just a rookie. He will grow…in theory. But the tools to be great just aren’t obvious/there. You could see ‘it’ in an instant with Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert. Josh Allen had all the tools, but we just never thought he’d put them together…he did. Kyler looked great in an instant, but you wondered if he was too short. With Mac…I see he’s savvy enough, but is going to be good or great or elite? I just don’t see it. He’s OK/fine. I wouldn’t rule out ‘peaked as a rookie’.

I know Belichick is a genius and they are going to hide (rightfully so) behind their run game…but when push comes to shove, in a big game…Mac Jones isn’t ready yet. He’s not going to make terrible decisions, like Zach Wilson is right now…but he’s not going to be a force either, like Wilson has shown flashes of. The Pats big win of 2021 was beating Buffalo in a weather mess game where Jones threw 3 passes. I don’t want to give Jones too much credit for being ‘solid’ where most rookies struggle…or used to. These days they enter the NFL and can be solid/good right away…no more 3-year-plans.  Credit to Mac, he’s done well…but the talent level ceiling is questionable. For FF, I’m not interested long term.

 

 -- Rhamondre Stevenson (10-36-0) got his crack at the full workload with Damien Harris out, and it was an FF-flop. He looked OK, just Indy was playing at a high level.

When Harris returns, it’s Harris’s backfield 60/40 with Stevenson…rendering both RB2-3 projections.

 

 -- Hunter Henry (6-77-2/8) had a game. He is definitely becoming Mac Jones’s go-to. Henry doesn’t look fast or special, but he does have the connection with Mac…so, no reason to fight it. Teams are going to start overplaying him near the end zone…if they’re smart…which means, probably not. Kyle Pitts gets double teamed…not Hunter Henry 2021.

 

 -- Jonathan Taylor (29-170-1) was about to have a 28 carry, 103 yards rushing mild FF-dud before he sprung loose at the end of the game for that 67-yard TD. The Patriots did bottle him up/contain him, in a sense, all game…until the end.

I only mention this for the road ahead – it’s not easy to run on New England, when they want to shut you down. Which may lead to a James Robinson dud Week 17. Week 16…the Bills aren’t a running team so NE won’t play them tight like they would Indy.

 

 -- Teams have a hard time passing on NE (the #3 pass defense by yards per game), and an especially difficult time for opposing #1 WRs because J.C. Jackson (3 tackles, 3 PDs) has become a top NFL shutdown corner. FYI, he was an undrafted free agent because the NFL is super smart at scouting…I digress…

Week 16 in the cold, possible snow versus J.C. Jackson is not a good place for Stefon Diggs in the key week of the FF playoffs.

Michael Pittman (1-7-0/5) was totally locked down here and got frustrated and then got kicked out of the game for a dust up with Kyle Dugger (5 tackles). Pittman’s season has been diminishing after a great 1st-half…now teams are doubling and tripling him because no one is afraid of Hilton-Pascal-Doyle.

 

 -- The Colts-DST is running 3rd-best in FF scoring this season…despite not being a classic top/shutdown defense. They’ve been great with the turnovers and D TDs.

Can you trust them in Week 16 at Arizona?

It’s not a play I would count on…in a dome, vs. Arizona coming off a humiliating loss, a top QB to face…it’s not optimal, but you can never count Indy-DST out.

 

 

Snap Counts of Interest:

 

51 = JTaylor

10 = Hines

 

55 = H Henry

17 = Jonnu

 

38 = Bolden

31 = Stevenson

 

 

 

**College Football Metrics 2022…new season signups coming in January 2022**

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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.

 

 


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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 >>