2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 3: Bills 43, Football Team 21
I thought, after watching it live, that this game study would be a run of the mill Buffalo Bills beatdown with limited ‘fresh’ notes, but I may have more notes on this game than any from this week!
The game itself = never close, really.
Buffalo jumped out to a 21-0 lead, quickly. Washington got that wonderful long screen pass TD by Antonio Gibson to close it to 21-7…then WFT recovered a weird trick kickoff in the Buffalo red zone, and scored a TD soon after to make it 21-14. The F. Team got the ball back again after stopping Buffalo and had a chance to tie it, but Buffalo was done fooling around and just hammered Washington the rest of the way.
It was never close. There was like 5+ minutes of good fortune for Washington and then the Bills exercised their will for the other 55 minutes…maybe not all 55 minutes, they pulled starters/put in backups late in the game it was so bad a beating.
It’s early to say this, but my (way too…ugg, I hate that label) early call is: The Buffalo Bills are the best all-around team in football. I’d say it’s a Bills-Rams Super Bowl today, but there are several contenders to knock off the Rams in the NFC…so, that part is tentative. If Buffalo gets the #1 seed over the Chargers or Chiefs, then that will be the difference in getting the Bills over.
What’s wrong with Washington? I don’t know. This defense has totally collapsed…seemingly. An emerging unit 2nd-half of last season that added several pieces to it this offseason…and now is going backwards. Consider that I just mentioned Buffalo as the best team in football and to the Super Bowl, IF they get home field over the Chargers. Well, Washington has faced both LAC and BUF in the first three weeks…that’s not helping their data trends and win-loss. They also gave up 29 points to NYG Week 2, but that was a little fortuitous for NYG…Washington’s defense played pretty well there, but penalties reversed several 3rd-down stops and gave NYG many extra chances. We’ll discuss the WSH-DST in a bit.
If Washington goes out and beats Atlanta this week, then they are (2-2) and they are still in the NFC East race. Losing to LAC and BUF is not a crime in the first 3 weeks of the season…and they held down LAC Week 1 (to some degree)/shoulda won, really. They need Ryan Fitzpatrick back…but not sure when/if that will happen. Ron Rivera is not the best coach in football, and he’s attached to Taylor Heinicke like Sean McVay is to Matt Stafford…and Heinicke is no Matt Stafford.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I completely missed the following in live watch: I knew J.D. McKissic (3-23-0, 2-15-0/2) started this game, that’s a touch unnerving if you own Antonio Gibson (12-31-0, 1-73-1/2), but that happens sometimes for a snap as teams try something to throw off the opposing defense. However, what I didn’t realize is…Antonio Gibson never played in the 1st series. Gibson did start the 2nd-series.
I wasn’t alone in missing this…
I watched Ron Rivera’s post-game 10-minute press conference and his 20-minute midweek press conference. 30 minutes of questions from reporters. Here’s what was asked/talked about the most…
Probably about 15+ minutes on why Washington sucks, especially on defense (asked in polite ways)
Probably about 10+ minutes on what Taylor Heinicke needs to do to get better.
Probably about 4-5 minutes on the pass rush problems.
0 minutes and 0 seconds on J.D. McKissic starting the first 5 offensive plays of the game/Gibson on the bench/sidelines.
The first 5 offensive plays of the game for Washington, all J.D. McKissic. Gibson is Washington’s bell cow RB? I don’t think so. Something has happened.
Well…AG has been banged up; they’re managing him! Well, why did he even play then? He did go on to have 14 touches in the game…so what’s being managed? They could’ve started him and switched him in and out with JDM if they wanted to manage his reps. No, this was a message – something is up with Gibson and Rivera. Is it just a one week message?
Could be he’s not practicing hard enough, and Gibson went out and responded this game (he played well) and everything will be fine from here. Maybe. After Gibson scored that long TD, then we saw Gibson more but McKissic in plenty. Gibson 31 snaps, McKissic 25 snaps.
Could be Rivera doesn’t like the offense with Gibson as much as he does McKissic? Odd, but defenses stack Gibson because they’re not afraid of Heinicke…a la Jonathan Taylor getting stacked and Nyheim Hines coming in looking better – it’s because the defenses change the way they play depending upon what they are trying to shut down.
I’m really not sure what it is…but it’s not nothing with Gibson not even in for any play on the first series. It would worry the hell out of me as a Gibson owner.
I would also consider picking up McKissic in PPR, if it makes sense for your depth chart/roster.
If Gibson did not make that amazing 73-yard catch and run TD on the 3rd-series, I don’t know how much he would have played compared to McKissic from there…Gibson stayed in more after that. I also know, there would have been WORLDWIDE Gibson panic without that long TD because without that it would have made three FF dud games in a row with no end in sight in this offense. That TD saved his current FF value and saved him from the Fantasy world turning on him (for now).
This might be the window to trade out of this thing (Gibson) in redraft. Sell while the selling is good. He may be fine from here, he looks fine to me, but something isn’t right…at least not in Week 3. It’s a bad offense and he’s the focus of the defense.
*Also, he has an injured shin on top of any other issues he has going into Week 4…we’ll see how effective he is, or if he’s active on Sunday.
-- Speaking of three FF duds to start a season, Stefon Diggs (6-62-0/10) had another ho-hum FF-game. One of the top guys in 2020, not even a WR2 scorer in 2021 so far.
I’ll buy all your shares, but I’m not going too crazy to do it. But I’m happy to swipe from you in a panic.
Diggs just missed out on three 30+ yard plays here, one for a TD. This was nearly 8-9 catches for 130+ yards and a TD…and everything is fine. Josh Allen missed him wide open on one throw…sailed over his head. Diggs had one TD on his hands, but tight/PI type coverage disconnected the bomb TD. Diggs had another easy back shoulder opportunity, but Diggs went deep as Allen threw to his back shoulder.
All is fine enough here.
What happened this game was – Diggs was doubled a lot. Off the snap, the safety rolled right over to Diggs…so, Allen went elsewhere. Even with that doubling this could’ve been a monster game for Diggs if 1-2-3 of those big throws connects. When they went single coverage, Allen went right at Diggs.
I can hear it now…
Washington D-C: We were NOT going to let Stefon Diggs beat us! And he didn’t!
Me: But you gave up 43 points and Allen threw for 358 yards and 4 TDs while allowing nearly 500 yards of offense?
Washington D-C: Yeah, but Diggs didn’t beat us. So, mission accomplished.
Diggs is fine. Go get him while he’s down. Current owners are likely scared -- he’s a WR1.5 value to them in a panic to sell off/for you to buy.
With Diggs covered/doubled, Allen will go off with everyone else…
Cole Beasley (11-98-0/13) is a WR2-3 in PPR, as always.
Emmanuel Sanders (5-94-2/6) is more WR3 than WR2, but he’ll have big weeks and quiet weeks depending upon the Diggs coverage.
Dawson Knox (4-49-1/5) is becoming a back-end TE1 on TD volume.
Oh, and Josh Allen is still great. Why did you worry?
-- I’d look to sell Terry McLaurin (4-62-0/7) hot. You can’t afford to wait weeks for Ryan Fitz to return (IF) and boost TML. You don’t dump McLaurin, you trade upwards – people very much believe McLaurin is a WR1 all day, and he might be – but this offense is dreadful and the WRs aside from McLaurin are a joke. Weeks 5-11 a number of top CBs going on McLaurin.
Will Curtis Samuel returning help? Maybe, but Samuel may not be back right for weeks…and then CSam is an easier, comfortable throw for Heinicke…some targets away from McLaurin. McLaurin is more difficult, downfield with limited time to wait for the route to develop type of throw…not good for Heinicke.
McLaurin isn’t a bust to dump…he’s just a sell higher move.
-- Logan Thomas (4-42-1/4) is doing fine, he’s just stuck in a rough offense – and all these Washington guys facing Buffalo, of course they’re gonna struggle. LAC-NYG-BUF is probably the worst/toughest schedule any offense has faced to start 2021.
They get a break Week 4 at ATL, but then NO-KC-GB-DEN-BYE-TB-CAR…all with Heinicke most likely. It’s a tough upstream battle for upside production.
-- The Bills are running the ball well enough, because teams want them to run versus getting blistered by them through the air.
So, Zack Moss (13-60-0, 3-31-1/3) can produce numbers in these high scoring blowouts. Devin Singletary (11-26-0, 1-0-0/2) is still the starter, but Buffalo games get out of hand quickly and they mix and match the RBs, and let Moss take more work in the cakewalk.
When the games are tighter, you’ll see less of Moss and more of Singletary…but are Buffalo games going to be tight that often?
-- Watch for the Washington-DST to have a bounce back Week 4 at ATL, which then gives a decent outlook to their Week 5 vs. NO. Then you bail…Weeks 6-7 KC and GB. Week 9 BYE. Week 10 Brady. Week 12 Russell.
FYI, Cole Holcomb (15 tackles, 1 TFL) is #2 in the NFL in solo tackles. #4 in total tackles. I know what I’m doing in scouting…it just took a couple years to kick in, that’s all.
-- Most of you reading this have Denver-DST or Buffalo-DST- since day one and are still enjoying the fruits of that labor (or started with WSH-DST and since moved into ARI-DST among other things).
Two things about the Bills-DST for owners:
1) Buffalo is arguably the best pure defense in the NFL. It’s between BUF and ARI, for me…but probably BUF because of coaching.
2) Make sure you have a plan for Buffalo-DST’s Weeks 5 (KC) and 7 (BYE)…and you’re pretty much fine from there.
ARI-DST has CLE and HOU those two weeks…it works. Versus CLE not awesome, but not bad.
CAR-DST has PHI and NYG, which is nice.
Snap Counts of Interest:
62 = Knox (this is jumping way up from norms the past 2 weeks)
14 = Sweeney
63 = Emm Sanders
59 = Diggs
52 = Beasley
23 = Gabe Davis
44 = Moss
34 = Devin
52 = McLaurin
35 = Dyami
34 = Humphries
20 = Cam Sims
31 = Gibson
25 = McKissic