2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 18: Seahawks 38, Cardinals 30
In their last six games, to finish the 2021 regular season, the Seattle Seahawks went (4-2)…and really should’ve been (5-1).
The Cardinals went (2-4), lucky not to have gone (1-5).
As I write this report, the Seattle Seahawks are CLEARLY the better NFL team than Arizona…but Arizona is going to the playoffs, and Seattle is going into their offseason already. I don’t think that the Seahawks are some great team now…it’s more to the point at how much of a collapse the Cardinals are under.
What might have happened had Russell Wilson not been hurt for 3.5 games this season…and probably came back too fast/was hindered for three straight losses after his return. Whatever it was, Seattle finished strong and for that reason, combined with his history of success, Pete Carroll deserves to return.
I’m the least fan of Pete Carroll you will find, but what else is Seattle to do? He has amassed a 193-73-1 record over 12 seasons (62% win-rate) and is (10-8) in the playoffs with two Super Bowl appearances. If you say, “Well, that was a long time ago!” Well, then first go fire Sean Payton and then Mike McCarthy…because they went to the Super Bowl once, led by an elite QB, won the title, and haven’t been back since way further back in history than Carroll…and they all have losing playoff records since as well.
Fire Carroll? It’s easy to say, but then what yayhoo ‘hot’ coordinator prospect is anyone aware of that is SOOOO much better than proven (or lucky) NFL winner Pete Carroll? I’m done paying attention to the coaching carousel that will hit like a soap opera storm for the next few weeks. I’ve arrived to the point that all NFL head coaching prospects are seriously flawed, destined to fail…and whatever decent one shakes out somehow will be one no one saw coming…and then people will be against them too, eventually. I’m done caring deeply about coaches.
If you look back at the class of 2021, the new hire head coaches – it is a clown show. We’re this advanced of a species and in a trillion dollar industry with billions at its disposal watched by millions, having some of most prestigious jobs in the world, NFL head coach, and they are filled by complete incompetents and career hangers on and young fresh face guys really into football who can talk football and make a nice presentation and/or are related to someone else in football…and none of them know the first thing about managing 100+ employees and a staff of 20+, and a few employees who make more money than you/have more power than you, and many of your employees are not into anything you’re selling/saying because they are looking for the next opportunity…and millions of moronic fans are eventually chanting your name showing their desire to have you fired at their local high school basketball games while the media insults you daily for sport. There is no training for that…and surely ex-college player, relative of a coach type human who never had a real-life day in his existence, cannot possibly be ready for the world’s toughest job variables to deal with and constant media/fan microscope.
Seattle might as well stick with Pete. The media likes him…and he’s so young for his age (I’m gonna puke if I hear that one more time).
6+ weeks ago, Pete Carroll looked all but ‘gone’ and Kliff Kingsbury was discussed as possible Coach of the Year. Now, today, Kingsbury may be on as much of a 2022 hot seat. However, he made the playoffs…so he’s safe for now. He’s tied to Kyler Murray, so he may be the safest coach in the NFL right now (Murray might/will leave if KK is canned).
The Cardinals won’t go far in the playoffs, but I hope they beat the Rams, so we don’t have to hear more about McVay and Stafford in Cabo Romance Novel material read to us by talking heads. The pregame coverage on ESPN ahead of the Rams-Cardinals game on MNF will be intolerable, led by the intolerable Louis Riddick and 75% of the time insufferable Brian Griese. How many times do you think they’ll mention how great the Matt Stafford move was? I pray they say it as he throws 7 more pick-sixes in an embarrassing loss.
This Week 18 game was a MUST WIN by Arizona…they could’ve won the NFC West title, had they won…they didn’t. That explains the Arizona Cardinals current state of affairs. Not good.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I have to honor this first player note by mentioning Rashaad Penny (23-190-1). One of the saviors of FFM 2021 season…picked up at just the right time, mostly obtained ahead of when everyone else was thinking about it (in 10-12 team leagues…and some in 14-16 team leagues). You could call it ‘lucky’, and there is some element of luck in everything I suppose…but seeing it ahead, like with D’Onta Foreman…reading the tea leaves, knowing the player capabilities, interpreting the team situation – it’s all scouting and ‘intelligence’/intel. It wasn’t a blind dart throw.
Then it took guts to go with me for that shock Penny start Week 14 where we pushed him into our RB1 group projections when he last had an RB1 day in mid-2019 season. And he rewarded us with 137 yards and 2 TDs that Week 14. The following week EVERY FF outlet had articles with a Penny-based pun, alerting everyone to this new thing they just discovered. Your league mates maybe went to go on the waiver wire to place a claim when ESPN signaled the alert after his monster Week 14, but alas…he was gone…already on your team a week or two prior. Not only owned by you, but you started him the prior week.
For some, for FF 2021, Rashaad Penny made all the difference right up through Week 17 and 18.
If you tell me it was luck, I won’t hear of it. Don’t blame luck for all of us being one-step ahead.
Now we’re into the offseason, so thoughts turn to – is Rashaad Penny like an actual thing now in 2022? I think ‘yes’, and we’ll get into that deeper in our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball platform very soon…really soon.
For those who might have pissed and moaned about me being anti-Chris Carson and you missing out on him the past few years – this (Penny) was who/what I was afraid of. This is who I would see getting a spot opportunity and looking great and making me wonder what Pete Carroll was not seeing…and thus me constantly worried about Carson being totally taken over, and then when it didn’t…me ragging on Carson all the time. I thought Penny would have gotten this shot several times through the last 2-3 years…multiple times I thought it was coming.
No one is complaining to me about their lack of Carson on their FF teams now.
Pete Carroll and the media can spin this being about ‘Well, Penny could never stay healthy’…to that I say, ‘Bullshit’. Yes, Penny would get hurt…a bunch, but so did Carson…but over the past 2-3 seasons there have been plenty of times Penny was healthy and suppressed as Carson took another 0-3 yard carry as Penny watched from the sidelines.
This Penny-based 2021 FF-title run so many went on…this wasn’t ‘luck’ by me hopping on a train out of FF desperation and he seemed like a train we could use (and it wasn’t that way with D’Onta Foreman either) – my last few years of crying and wailing about Carroll being an idiot and throwing red flags up about Carson…it was for fear/knowledge of THIS (Penny). Years of watching every game (regular and preseason), and re-watching them, studying them, noticing what Penny was doing, being frustrated with Penny, saying I can’t trust Penny, but then trusting him, and then getting burned, then reclaiming I can’t do it again, but doing it again – all that work, all that study, all the calculations of the situation, all the prior false starts…we went heavy with Penny right before this great run, and it won titles. It wasn’t luck. We fought a losing battle multiple times here. This was on the radar for a long time. We took some pain to get to this pleasure.
Remember, I’m always right about football scouting…eventually.
Fantasy Football is not won by who had the best ‘(re)draft’ or who necessarily has the best Dynasty team going into a season…it’s also about who is the best ‘adjuster’ and ‘interpreter’ of the ever-changing landscape day-to-day. Which is not ‘luck’.
-- OK, enough talk about Rashaad Penny, for now…now it’s onto 6+ months of football media clickbait rumors and theories of what NFL QB is going to be traded where or should be traded to where. The NFL offseason has become like ‘People’ or ‘Teen Beat’ magazines…are there still magazines in circulation? Constant rumor/chatter/talk on who is dating who, who broke up with who, and so on. I’m sure at some point the journalistic genres will cross over and Pete Davidson will be rumored to be the starting QB for some NFL team per an ESPN insider.
The QB who will garner the most QB rumors this offseason might be Russell Wilson. We spent all last year enduring all the months of rumors of him and Deshaun Watson getting traded, and then in reality we got…nada…nothing but 5,000 articles speculating on all the trade possibilities.
Pete Carroll seems to be returning for Seattle, so it either means Russell Wilson has come to peace with Pete…or a messy divorce is coming with Russ on the move. By the looks of his contract, Wilson is likely staying put in Seattle in 2022…and then 2023 is maybe where the real opportunity to make moves would be.
I’m told (by the media) that Russ would like to move to somewhere near LA or NY to help his wife’s career (so they say) because planes don’t exist in the world anymore, I guess? And is a career no one is clamoring for to happen? And can’t she make content and put it on YouTube from anywhere in the U.S.? Who goes to the NY and LA entertainment cesspools anymore…it’s not 1955-2015 anymore? Russell makes enough money for everyone in the family and will be able to freely move on in a year or two, so I suspect he just goes about his business and plays it out and tries to leverage into a huge contract extension.
My bet would be between later this calendar year or in 2023, Russ is offered a nice long-term extension and he stays, as the public continues not to know his wife used to sing some popular songs once, for a moment. She has plenty of business interests going right now – she owns a rum brand/company, she’s got a big modeling contract, the couple is part owners in Seattle’s soccer team, she has a clothing line and stake in a production company – why does she need to be in NY or LA to revive a singing career that was last relevant like pre-2010? Why are there no big Ciara concert appearances people pay huge to go see? Can you name one of her songs?
I’ll take the easy bet = Russell stays in Seattle for a bit longer, maybe for forever.
-- Kyler Murray (28-39 for 240 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 5-35-0) did his part, I guess…Arizona scored 30 points. You should be able to win NFL games scoring that much.
All I’ll say is, if you watched the Week 17 CIN-KC game, and the Week 18 LAC-LV game…and either/both of Kyler’s Week 17 and 18 games – Kyler don’t look like Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow, no? That’s an NFL statement…that’s a potential FF/Dynasty statement.
Again, the Kyler case is at the top of my list of things to explore in DOBB very soon. Many of us own shares/stakes in him.
-- When Arizona scores 30, they should win…but the Cardinals defense has fallen apart right in front of our eyes. This one-time top NFL defense we rode for a half a season for DST purposes…it’s now dead. What happened? I really don’t know. Some secondary guys are hurt/out. J.J. Watt out is not good, but not doom…they were fine at first without him. Whatever it is – you can’t trust them until further notice, into 2022. We got some juice out of that orange, and then we bailed…that’s the way you do with DSTs.
-- Who is Kyler’s #1 target? Hell, if I know. It’s changing every week, which is a good thing to keep defenses on their toes…or he’s playing matchups, which is smart. But it is maddening to try to figure it out for FF purposes.
I mean, I thought it was Christian Kirk (2-43-0/3)…but 3 targets here in a must-win, yikes.
It was Zach Ertz (7-84-0/10) this game, which makes sense against Seattle minus Bobby Wagner. But that got me to thinking…Ertz has fit in nicely here, but he’s a free agent in 2022. Not likely back, no? Ertz will be 32 years old next season, and still looks like he can go OK. Travis Kelce will be 33 years old next year.
The fall of the Arizona WRs (for FF)…the unable to identify who is ‘the guy’/there might not be ‘a guy’ for Kyler’s style thoughts that I am getting – that concept/thought doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy about my love for Rondale Moore in 2022. If you leave the 2021 season thinking, “Well, RC…you got it wrong on Rondale.” I would just say, be careful betting against me. Eventually, I’m going to be proven correct…(but it might not be until 2027 is the bad part of that FF tale).
-- Just like I’m right about James Conner (15-52-1, 6-41-1/6). He’s killing that run game, which puts more pressure on the passing game. Sure, Conner is catching some passes and making FF numbers, usually off 1-yard TD plunges, but he’s not good/threatening for the offense. Chase Edmonds caught a ton of passes too, when Conner was out the prior two weeks…and he’s more of a weapon after the catch. Any kinda beefy RB could plunge for 1-yard TDs…remember Kenyan Drake was a TD stud in 2020 for Arizona?
James Conner is a free agent in a few weeks. Who knows if he’ll be back? All I know is -- if he goes, his replacement scores 10+ TDs next season, easily. My bet is – Conner is back, heavily paid…and it will be a big mistake. They could get free agent D’Onta Foreman cheaper to go in and run for 1-yard TDs.
-- How about Jordyn Brooks (20 tackles, 2 TFLs)? Bobby Wagner out, and Brooks just stole all those leftover tackles. Brooks is becoming/already is a legit LB1 for IDP going into 2022.
Snap Counts of Interest:
46 = Conner
25 = Benjamin
05 = Jon Ward
43 = Penny
13 = Homer
02 = DeeJay Dallas
**College Football Metrics 2022…new season early-signups start January 6th, 2022, NoonET**
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.