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2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 2: Rams 27, Colts 24

Date:
September 24, 2021 8:14 AM
September 24, 2021 8:11 AM

2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 2: Rams 27, Colts 24

 

The Rams were definitely the better team, not by a ton…but they played better and seemed to flip a switch when needed. On the other hand, the Rams played very lackadaisical here.

My wild theory with little to substantiate: There is such an arrogance happening with the Rams. Sean McVay is running his mouth about Matt Stafford, telling long stories about how he met and fell in love with Stafford meeting with him in Cabo in the offseason…and how connected they are and think about football the same. It’s worse than my young-and-in-love son talking about his new girlfriend now recently turned fiancée.

It all irritates me (the Stafford part, not my son…he has true love) and that’s not why (I hope it’s not why) I think I see some things here – it just looks like they think that as long as they got Stafford + McVay that nothing else matters, everything is fine. I see several concerns the first two weeks. They’ve played decent but weaker teams (CHI and then Indy dealing with injuries), and through two games the Rams have looked sharp at times, but empty at others and the weaker opponents are moving the ball against them and hanging in these games longer than they should. This Indy game was tied deep into the 4th-quarter.

The Rams were holding the lead all game, the Colts scurried back into it and then lost their QB at the worst time, and the Rams eventually won…but then you look and see that the time of possession favored Indy…both teams had similar yards, while the Colts converted more 3rd-downs and rushed for more yards. The game stats favored with a lean to the Colts here.

In fact, the Colts drove right down the field to goal-to-go in the 1st-quarter…twice…and walked away with 0 points on ridiculously bad plays called by Frank Reich/executed poorly by Carson Wentz on ‘going for it’ 4th-down and goals to go.

The Rams are winning…but the opponents have been shooting themselves in the foot to some degree – it hasn’t been awesome Rams defense or consistent control of the opponents, to my eyes. The Rams might get a huge rude awakening against Tampa Bay this week.

My grand point being…something just seems off with the Rams. That people think they are top 5 NFL great and Super Bowl contenders, but this team looks about the same/worse than last year’s team. I’ll say worse because the defense is nothing like last year’s unit, so far.

The Colts are now (0-2) and playing for their lives against (1-1) Tennessee Week 3…likely with Jacob Eason at the helm. The season may already be over for the Colts.

 

 

Fantasy Player Notes…

 

 -- Jacob Eason (2-5 for 25 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) came in for Carson Wentz (20-31 for 247 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) and tried to lead a 2-minute drill to tie/win but was picked on his 2nd throw and that kinda iced it. He did get one more shot with 0:24 left but with no timeouts and a whole field to go it was useless.

Wentz sprained both of his ankles and left the game…something only Wentz could do. Wentz looks scrappy between the 20s but craps the bed on making things happen near the red zone – the 5th worst offense in the red zone to start the season. When the money is on the line…you don’t want the ball in Wentz’s hands. Signs of 2020 Wentz are rearing their head.

Week 3, Eason will likely start. He has a cannon for an arm and can make nice, preplanned throws, but if he needs to improvise or carry a team…you got problems. With any pressure he’ll throw it into trouble and get picked. Keep him clean and simple, and he’ll look terrific on throws.

 

 -- Matt Stafford (19-30 for 278 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) is only throwing/looking good throwing to Cooper Kupp (9-163-2/11). They are beyond connected…and all the other options are FF-screwed because of it (Higbee, Woods, DJax). Essentially half of Stafford’s completions were to Kupp in this game…47% of the completions, 58% of the passing yards, 100% of the passing TDs.

And because NFL coaches are geniuses, the Colts staff just watched this unfolding and never adjusted so Stafford kept burning them with it. I’m going to be very interested in seeing If Tampa Bay locks down Kupp…if Stafford will have an answer, because he looks more erratic/uncomfortable throwing anywhere else.

 

 -- Example…just when you think Tyler Higbee (1-8-0/1) might be being used as a weapon after a solid Week 1, he gets one whole target Week 2…in a back-and-forth game.

 

 -- The big news from this game was the Darrell Henderson (13-53-1, 3-29-0/5) went down with a rib injury late and that sprung the first real look at Sony Michel (10-46-0).

My take on the two RBs:

I’ve watched two games with DH as the lead in 2021, and he’s been fine…but you keep waiting to see that ultra-fast 40-time guy, and it just isn’t there. He’s totally fine. A tough runner with solid speed, but I don’t see that juice we all thought he had. He looked better, to my eyes, last year when he first broke out.

Honestly, Sony Michel came in and looked very quick…very fresh…and a better interior runner.

Henderson’s injury has opened the door/gotten Michel a look…and he may live to regret it. You don’t have to give Sean McVay much reason to move away from DHendo, whom he hates.

My guess is that Henderson will not play this week due to the rib, and the Michel door will be open – now it’s a tough draw to go up against Tampa Bay, but if he succeeds against a tough TB run defense…he’ll be in a split with DH at a minimum…and then soon to be the main back, whatever that means in a split. Possibly, Michel will be the Cam Akers replacement McVay was praying for.

 

 -- Speaking of clusters in a backfield…

Jonathan Taylor (15-51-0, 1-2-0/1) continues to be underutilized. He was also halted on goal line TD events 4-5 times in this game.

What’s the deal? Well…

First, the Colts have the most overrated ‘good’ O-Line in the NFL. Everyone talks about how great they are, but the results have been meh for two years now…despite having an ace RB prospect in their midst.

Also, when Taylor is in…the defense is keying more on Taylor because they don’t fear Wentz.

And then, often, Frank Reich gets Marlon Mack (5-16-0, 0-0-0/1) happy and suddenly we see Mack-Hines in WAY too much. Taylor played 30 snaps, touched the ball 16 times…when JT is in it’s a safe bet for the defense that it’s where the ball is going.

Taylor is headed to be an RB1.5-2 in 2021 with eternal top five RB1 hopes if he cashes a TD every week -- and he’s getting a ton of goal line chances, but not converting...another strike against that O-Line.. Jacob Eason starting at QB will not help matters.

 

 -- Michael Pittman (8-123-0/12) broke out here. He had his way with the Rams secondary. He looked terrific.

The odd thing was…Jalen Ramsey was rarely on him. I saw Ramsey covering TEs…RBs…no one…sometimes Strachan or Pascal…as Pittman just carved up single and double coverage. Is Ramsey no longer a thing? It was very bizarre watching Pittman go off and Ramsey never adjusting over. It's game-on with Pittman, but maybe not as much with Eason at QB. Let Pittman flop (if) with Eason Week 3, then we'll circle back looking to buy lower if desired.

 

Mike Strachan (0-0-0/1) didn’t start but played the 3rd-most snaps among Colts WRs. I did see Ramsey on him more than Pittman. The Colts have no plan for Strachan right now. Carson Wentz is a bottom 10 NFL starting QB who has now locked onto Pittman – so the Strachan story is probably on hold until 2022 (unless Pittman goes down), hopefully with new coaches and new QB in 2022, but I doubt it. Probably 2023 is the hope.

 

 -- The Rams-DST has faced Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz, and they did not dominate either…and all total, the Rams are #20 in yards allowed but a solid #8 in PPG allowed among NFL defenses through two games. This Rams defense has not looked like the dominant unit they were in 2020. With D-C Brandon Staley now coaching the Chargers…it may have had a much bigger impact than the team thought.

If Tampa Bay goes and drops 30+ points on the Rams defender in Week 3…the media is going to flip out on this defense/McVay.

Brady then Kyler then Russell Wilson the next three weeks…I’m not sure they’re an FF-start the next 3 weeks.

NYG-DET-HOU-TEN-SF Weeks 6-10 looks more promising but not as much if the Rams are just a mediocre/good defense now.

 

Rams DT Sebastian Joseph-Day (9 tackles, 1.0 sacks) went nuts in this game…not a good sign for the vaunted Indy O-Line. I don’t think it’s a SJB IDP breakout

Denver claimed 2020 starting ILB Micah Kiser off the LAR practice squad this week – smart move by Denver. Kiser could be the Broncos starter at ILB in a few weeks, but Justin Strnad may just keep that job and flourish.

 

 

Snap Counts of Interest:

 

61 = Pascal

60 = Pittman

34 = Strachan

26 = Dulin

 

30 = Taylor

25 = Hines

13 = Mack

 

40 = Henderson

16 = Michel

03 = Funk

 

03 = DeSean Jackson



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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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