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2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 15: Saints 9, Bucs 0

Date:
December 22, 2021 8:32 AM
December 22, 2021 8:31 AM

2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 15: Saints 9, Bucs 0

 

Wow, NFL head coaches are super important…whatever will the Saints do without the great Sean Payton! Just go and shutout Tom Brady while the Saints were missing their two top offensive linemen…no biggie.

Some teams just have another team’s ‘number’ and the Saints are now (4-0) in the regular season vs. Tom Brady/TB.

Missing head coach for New Orleans, missing key O-Linemen for the Saints too, then a rash of missing weapons for Tampa Bay. It was ‘one of those games’ you cannot foresee as a possible outcome if you computer simulated it a thousand times. The Bucs got all banged up and struggled to match the intensity of the Saints…and this was really never in doubt as New Orleans is one of the toughest/grittiest teams in the NFL.

The Saints save their season with a win that everyone projected as a loss. They climb to (7-7) and tied for the #7 seed wild card spot. The schedule is favorable ahead – MIA, CAR, at ATL. They could run that table, or at least get two of 3 games. The Saints are likely to get to 9 wins but would need help from there since they have no wins over any NFC wild card team, just a loss to Philly if it comes down to anything between those two. If the Saints can get to 10 wins, they’ll likely slide in…9 wins probably has them as the first team ‘out’ of the wild card spots.

As big a win as it was for New Orleans, it was a devastating loss for the Bucs. TB (10-4) should run the table from here (CAR-NYJ-CAR) and get to (13-4) but this loss has opened the door for Green Bay (11-3) to get to 13-14 wins and get the #1 seed. GB holds the tiebreakers of common opponents over TB. If Green Bay is the #1 seed, then very likely Tampa Bay will have to go to Lambeau Field in January to get back to the Super Bowl…not ideal.

My pick for the NFC rep for the Super Bowl: whichever teams gets the #1 seed between TB and GB, and that’s likely GB now.

 

 

Fantasy Player Notes…

 

 -- Obviously, the big FF news from this game was the injury wave that hit the Bucs offensive weapons. The biggest/worst one being the one to Chris Godwin (6-49-0/7).

The Bucs (assumingly) shift Tyler Johnson (4-41-0/7) into the Godwin role…which doesn’t mean he’ll equal Godwin’s expected outputs week-to-week, but it does mean that in any given game…he might, which makes him valuable for Week 16-17.

Antonio Brown returns, just in time, to his old role as the outside flanker. I don’t expect a lot of ‘rust’ or slow bring back on AB – I assume he hits the ground running, as he did his very first week with the team. But now he’s been there two seasons, so he’s instantly back to a PPR WR1 threat immediately. If I have to make a call…I bet more on AB heavily involved right away more than brought back slowly. He’s not coming off injury, he’s off suspension…so he should be fresh and ready.

Mike Evans (1-14-0/1) may miss a game too (Wk16), and if he does…I would project Scotty Miller (2-18-0/3) to play a different variation of his role, possibly Breshad Perriman (DNP)…and that not helping Antonio Brown’s upside if Evans is gone for Week 16. You hope with AB that Evans is out there taking heat to free up AB even more. I’d worry, as an Evans owner, that Evans plays this week…but as an 80-90% of normal health decoy more than ‘heavily involved’.

Jaelen Darden (0-0-0/3) is not ready to be in the mix heavily quite yet.

With all these changes, I’m not worried about Tom Brady (26-48 for 214 yards, 0 TD/1 INT). I only worry (slightly) about him against tough/aggressive defenses, cold weather, and if both Godwin and Evans are out. Without Evans Week 16, if it happens, it’s a mild worry but not too scary vs. Carolina. If Evans is back, even as a decoy, it’s all good.

 

 -- Leonard Fournette (9-34-0, 7-33-0/7) was the other big news injury…now on IR for the rest of the regular season.

Ronald Jones (8-63-0, 2-8-0/2) assumes the Fournette role, but because he has bad hands (as a receiver), he won’t produce the same PPR ability, but he should be fine+ on the ground and for TDs. He’ll be an RB1 threat in non-PPR every week, especially Week 17 v. NYJ.

Gio Bernard is already on IR, so the team was forced to sign LeSean McCoy for depth…not to take over a role from RoJo.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn (3-19-0, 0-0-0/2) will get a little more opportunity, but he has not shown to be trustworthy at all…thus, the Bell signing. If Vaughn shows a spark, he can slice into RoJo’s workload…but I’d bet against it at this stage.

 

 -- I figured the Bucs would clamp down on Taysom Hill’s (13-27 for 154 yards, 0 TD/0 INT, 11-33-0) running…and they did. They also halted Alvin Kamara (11-18-0, 2-13-0/6) as well. One part = Bucs defense causing this, the other the Saints missing two top OLs.

Both Taysom and AK should be much better Weeks 16-17 vs. MIA and CAR, both home games and might have their OLs back.

 

 -- Great game for Marquez Callaway (6-112-0/9)…a season-high for catches, targets, yards. Is this a turning point? I don’t think so. I mean, maybe…but by plan the current Saints want to run the ball down your throat and toss passes to the RBs. The WRs are window dressing/props to use every so often. In this game, the Saints couldn’t run the ball because of the opponent…so they did need to throw some and the Callaway connection was working.

Prior to this game, Callaway had the following catch counts in his last 5 games: 2-1-2-1-2. His norm is 1-2 catches for 20-40 yards with a shot at a TD. He’s a WR3.5 with some upside…but if he draws Xavien Howard on MNF Week 16, it won’t help.

 

 -- The Saints-DST gets the shutout, which is a credit to the mass injuries for TB…but also a masterful coaching job by Dennis Allen. It seems silly to think one game gets some assistant vaulted into the coaching hire rumor mill, to the tops of the lists…but that’s exactly what happened here. Dennis Allen just earned himself another head coaching opportunity, I bet, with this shutout. I know Brady would love for him to leave the division. He’s as good an assistant NFL head coach candidate as there is out there.

The Saints D was getting smoked a few weeks ago during the Trevor Siemian era…but under Taysom Hill the team is now (2-1), and the DST has allowed 12.0 PPG in those three games. They haven’t allowed a TD in two consecutive games.

They might push for an extension of that win and DST streak vs. Tua this week. The Saints are the kind of defense that could give Tua fits…a similar type aggressive defense as Buffalo usually clocks Tua with.

It helps that Marcus Davenport (3 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs) is back. Davenport has 6.5 sacks, 9.0 TFLs, and 11 QB hits in 8 games played this year.  

 

 

Snap Counts of Interest:

 

70 = Tyler Johnson

58 = Scotty Miller

41 = Darden

 

22 = RoJo

19 = Vaughn

 

35 = Vannett

35 = Trautman

22 = J Johnson

 

 

**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.

 

 


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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

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