2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 5: Rams 26, Seahawks 17 (By Ross Jacobs)
These two teams scuffed around in the first half, both running the ball into stacked boxes a lot, multiple stupid calls on 3rd or 4th and short. It was a real snooze fest and the Seahawks led 7-3 at halftime.
In the second half the Rams decided to wake up and scored twice to take a commanding 16-7 lead.
Then Russell Wilson got hurt, the Seahawks were pinned on their own 1 yard line, and it looked like the game was over.
And then the craziest thing I've seen all year happened. Geno Smith somehow drove the Seahawks 99 yards for a TD after Wilson was hardly able to move the ball all day. Seattle had been running their typical boring straight ahead runs all day, but suddenly decided to spread it out with Geno and let him sling it...and it worked!
Seattle was down by 2 but the game was back within reach. Unfortunately the comeback wouldn't last as the Rams scored again to go up by 9. Geno fell apart after his miracle first drive and the Rams walked away with a solid victory.
Would things have ended differently with Wilson in the game instead of Geno? Perhaps. You can never count out the magic of Russell Wilson. But I tend to think it wouldn't have mattered. LA was the better team and had Seattle in a very disadvantageous position.
It's hard to say just how good the Rams might be right now. They are obviously talented, but it feels like something is missing to me. They have a pretty good offense and a pretty good defense. Everything looks solid on paper. They'll be in the playoffs but probably as a Wildcard because Arizona just looks better right now. I still want to see them take control a little bit more instead of letting teams hang with them for so long. It might just be my current anti-Stafford/McVay bias talking however. They are a good team. No use nitpicking them too much.
I think it's safe to say the Seahawks are done for the year. They were their usual ok selves. Russell could have carried them to 10 or 11 wins, but with him gone for a month or two it's over. The defense is just not good, and Geno isn't taking this offense anywhere but down. They might not make it to 6 wins now.
--This is why RC is always telling everyone to have a strong 2nd QB. Real teams and fantasy teams alike still don't get the point. The QB is the most important position on the field. Even in fantasy a good one can help carry your team through down weeks from your skill position players. I've already gotten at least a couple wins this year because Mahomes nearly outscored my opponent by himself. You need a good one, and you need a good backup in case disaster strikes.
If Christian McCaffrey gets hurt, I can plug in Chuba Hubbard and still get some ok production out of him. If Russell Wilson goes down, I cannot put my hopes and dreams on Geno Smith. It's much easier to find usable RB or WR help if your top guys get hurt, but TE's and QB's are nearly impossible to adequately replace.
--With the loss of Wilson, Tyler Lockett (5-57-0/10) and DK Metcalf (5-98-2/5) are shot. You can't trade them and you're basically forced to start them regardless. Of the two I think Lockett is in more trouble. DK was already becoming the top guy, and he's the bigger body, safer throw for Geno to look for. The connection isn't going to be great, the volume is still going to be low, and now the scores will be fewer, but Metcalf might be able to hang on as a WR1.5. Lockett is a WR2 at best, probably not even that good.
--Alex Collins (15-47-0, 2-25-0/3) did get the start for Chris Carson this week, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped. The Rams aren't usually that good against the run, but for some reason Seattle was just slamming Collins into a brick wall all night. If Carson is out another week it's going to be a rough start again for Collins against the Steelers. It's safe touches if you absolutely need a spot RB start, but don't count on getting much from him. He'll need a TD to have a decent day.
--It's just a minor note, but the Seahawks had Colby Parkinson on the field quite a bit the 2nd half of this game. They didn't use him a whole lot but it was interesting because he was lined up out wide and not as a traditional TE. He was moving around pretty good, quite well actually considering how big he is (seriously, go find a picture of him standing next to Metcalf). I don't think he's anywhere close to being fantasy relevant, but perhaps we're seeing the first clues that Seattle knows they have something with him. He's a favorite of RC's and after this first look I definitely want to keep an eye on him over the next year or two. He's a nice super deep stash in the larger dynasty leagues.
--All week we heard Robert Woods (12-150-0/14) was whining about targets, and wouldn't you know it, he gets 14 here and everything is back to normal. I advised previously to be patient with him, that he wasn't being locked out of the game by Stafford even though it's clear that Kupp is the primary look. All this means is that while Kupp is a top 5 WR this year, Woods is still going to be close to the top 12 or so by the time we're done. Unfortunately the buy low window on him just slammed shut.
--Don't worry about the “split” touches between Darrell Henderson (17-82-1, 1-17-0/1) and Sony Michel (11-37-1, 1-8-0/1). Henderson left the game at one point for an injury checkup and Michel replaced him. If that hadn't happened Henderson would have dominated the touches here. Contrary to all past evidence, McVay seems to be 100% in with Henderson and you should consider him a RB1 the rest of the way. It might still be possible to wrestle him away from a nervous owner, but people are starting to figure this out quickly and it's getting harder and harder to acquire him by the week.
--RC and I have both written an awful lot about Matt Stafford vs Jared Goff etc, and after five weeks of watching both guys I'm ready to say...we were absolutely 100% correct about this. Stafford is a good QB no doubt, and Detroit certainly wasn't doing him any favors, but he's not elite and he was definitely not worth giving up multiple 1st round picks and Goff to acquire (unless of course the Rams win the Superbowl, which they could absolutely do, because that justifies all things).
Stafford is going to pile up numbers this year because he has a good team around him, they play a relatively easy schedule, and McVay wants to prove a point by having Stafford air it out. It's a perfect scenario and all those reasons are why I drafted Kupp on every team this year. I wanted a piece of this offense without having to rely on Stafford due to his cost to acquire.
Now I think Stafford is going to finish the year as a top 5 QB in fantasy, but just watching him in games...I'm not that impressed. He's good but Goff can do everything Stafford can do and has in the past. If the Rams win the Superbowl this year then perhaps it was a good trade for everyone. That's possible. Not everything has to have a winner and a loser.
--Jordyn Brooks (11 tackles) is still lighting it up. Like I said weeks ago, he is the new, better KJ Wright. He's averaging 9 tackles a game. On this point, if you're in an IDP league, why are you worrying about not having Darius Leonard or Devin White? Every game it seems like I can point out another LB tearing it up with tackle counts. There's just not a huge difference between any of them. Don't fret your linebackers, trust me. There's usable guys all over the place.
--My guy Quandre Diggs (5 tackles, 1 INT) came up big again with an interception on a pass Stafford was trying to throw away. He's playing some really good football right now.
Snap Counts of Interest
44 = Darrell Henderson
23 = Sony Michel
57 = Will Dissly
35 = Colby Parkinson
46 = Alex Collins
14 = DeeJay Dallas