2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 16: Dolphins 20, Saints 3
There’s not much reason to dive deep into the mechanics of this game. The Dolphins are the most blessed team in the NFL…seven wins in-a-row with the easiest schedule filled with lucky wins and good fortune at every turn. Miami was likely on their way to getting their head’s handed to them by the Saints…and then the Saints lost a chunk of their team to COVID, including their #1 and #2 QB…just in time for the MNF affair.
The Saints had to force rookie Ian Book into the starting QB role, and he was as bad as you’d expect…and still the Saints were hanging around in this game past halftime. Eventually, the lack of Saints offense buckled them and Miami got a 2+ score lead and the Saints were never going to score a TD on purpose, and Miami quietly put them away. It never should’ve been this way for the Saints but for the COVID testing rules. But…it is what it is.
With this lucky win, Miami jumps to (8-7) and firmly in the playoff race. They still need to win out to have hope of the playoffs…and I don’t think they will at TEN and v. NE the next two games. I need them to lose out to salvage my win total ‘under’ bet on them at 8.0 wins. It should’ve never gotten close to this, but…it is what it is. Thanks, COVID. Thanks to you ‘Mr. Schedule’ that has had a ‘who’s who’ of the bottom teams in the league thrown their way since Week 6.
The Saints fall to (7-8) but are actually in better shape to make the playoffs than Miami. If the Saints win out…with v. CAR, then at ATL ahead – it is a pretty good opportunity to do so…then the Saints need some minor help from other NFC wild card teams to just a lose a game/not win out to help NO slide into the wild card.
The Saints are more projected in the NFC playoffs than out today, Miami more out of the AFC playoffs than in.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Just a quick review/critique: Rookie QB Ian Book (12-20 for 135 yards, 0 TD/2 INT, 3-6-0) is a good guy, a scrappy player, but he just doesn’t have NFL level QB talent/arm strength. It showed here, and likely his career ended here. He’ll be a journeyman QB soon enough.
-- Taysom Hill will return for Week 17 and has a so-so matchup with the Panthers defense. Carolina has a decent pass defense, but a dying run defense…so Taysom will be more apt to keep the ball himself and run to victory over the Panthers.
In his three starts this season, Hill has rushed the ball exactly 11 times in each game…for an average of 69.0 yards per game.
Seven career starts at QB for Hill, a (6-1) record, 10.3 rush attempts for 59.4 yards and 0.85 TDs per game – he’s going to lay a baseline of 10-11-12 FF points rushing, you just have to hope he throws for enough action to give him a 20+ point FF game. His passing efforts have all been around 200-230 yards and a TD per game…either 0 or 2 passing TDs in games, nothing else in seven starts. Will you get the zero or the two TD passes this week?
My slight lean is ‘under’ 20 FF points this week, but 20+ is always possible with Hill because of the rushing baseline points.
-- Because the Saints (under Hill) don’t throw as much, you can’t really trust Marquez Callaway (4-46-0/5) all that much.
Under 50 yards receiving in nine of his last 10 games.
Under 40 yards receiving in eight of his last 10 games.
No TD catches in his last 5 games.
He’s their #1 WR, but a random event for FF.
-- I knew Duke Johnson (13-39-0) was playing a bigger role for Miami, but I didn’t realize Philip Lindsay (13-36-0) had played such a large part here too…and that Myles Gaskin (3-10-0, 1-6-0/3) seems to be being fully replaced.
All this time Miami has wasted with Myles Gaskin, and all it took was randomly lucking into Lindsay and then is forced into Duke via COVID…and, well, whaddya know! They’re the starters suddenly. It shows how much Gaskins sucks. I guess?
Brian Flores is secretly one of the worst of the worst head coaches because of horrific personnel decisions on offense -- but has been bailed out by schedule the past seasons. But the fans and media won’t have any of that talk as long as the win streak continues. Wins matter, not their context…just like losses.
I guess we’re in a Duke lead with Lindsay support and some Gaskin sprinkled-in type of Miami RB world now…and they are facing the emerging run defense of Tennessee in Week 17, in which they’ll all get halted v. TEN like they did here versus top run defense New Orleans. The Titans run defense is getting really good.
-- Tua (19-26 for 196 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) getting bottled up here is not a shock. I projected this happening because for all of Tua’s improvement in the BTO (Baby Throw Offense), his kryptonite is aggressive/disciplined defenses – that’s why Buffalo smashes him every time they meet, and the Saints half-a-defense-out-with COVID suppressed him here. The Titans are an emerging, aggressive defense like a Buffalo or New Orleans style/mindset…they are going to halt the run and put pressure on Tua, and that’s not where Tua shines.
Tua v. TEN is not a good matchup.
Every throw will still go to Jaylen Waddle (10-92-1/12) but outside of that not much will likely happen.
-- I love the new articles and fresh tweets I see this week from football pundits trying to drop the mic on how good Marcus Davenport (5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits) has been this year…because they just figured it out watching him this MNF game and then noticed his numbers, and then noticed the numbers are happening in a reduced amount of games.
We were getting on this train Weeks 9-10. Welcome to the train, football pundits who make 7-figures to analyze this stuff for a living for the masses.
Davenport has only played in nine games this season. If you take those nine games and extrapolate his output over an (old) 16-game season, his key tallies would be: 13.3 sacks, 16 TFLs, 23 QB hits for the extrapolated season.
-- You have to love the Saints-DST for Week 17 vs. Sam Darnold, especially now that Demario Davis is cleared to play. Only Marcus Williams, among the NO regular starters, has yet to be cleared for action from the COVID hit last week.
-- I like, not love, and am leery of the Dolphins-DST vs. TEN Week 17. So much of the recent hot Dolphins-DST run has been against garbage teams or COVID hit teams, that we don’t know how good they really are. I think they are a bit ‘risky’ vs. TEN getting their starting OLs back from COVID this week.
Snap Counts of Interest:
41 = Callaway
28 = L Humphrey
17 = Stills
14 = Tre’Quan Smith
31 = AK
24 = Ingram
02 = T Jones
58 = Waddle
46 = D Parker
23 = Duke J
20 = Gaskin
19 = Lindsay
**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.