2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 6: Rams 38, Giants 11
The Giants got the ball first and were methodically chopping their way down the field, and then a short pass to Kadarius Toney for a catch-and-run 1st-down…ended up Toney get tackled with a defender landing on his bad ankle, and he came up hobbling and out for the game – and that was pretty much the ballgame. The wind came out of the sails of NYG at that point. Then cannonballs were shot into those sails as one-by-one Giants players were getting hurt and leaving the game.
This was never a game, so there’s not a ton to read into for FF performances but there are things to consider for how to interpret the injury issues for NYG for FF performances going forward.
The Giants played about as scrappy as they could for as long as they could – they’ve just had their hearts and souls ripped out week-by-week. If we could restart this season and give NYG a healthy team…never losing Blake Martinez, and Golladay-Toney healthy and starting Week 1, and Saquon a full-go – this could’ve been a wild card hopeful with the improvement of Daniel Jones.
With that said, Giants fans should circle the wagons around this coaching staff and (yes) the GM. Most won’t. They’ll bitch and complain and write articles the rest of the season about what hot coordinator off the Chargers or Cardinals they can get to come and be the new head coach. It’s a mistake, but NFL superfans of a team are totally illogical.
The Rams get a free win here. Right place at the right time. Last week, they got Russell Wilson getting hurt. This week they got Toney and Barkley and Golladay and Martinez-less NYG. Why can’t my Fantasy teams ever draw the luck of the Rams schedule? I got the Browns schedule – non-stop top teams in the league having their peak scoring games the week they face me. The Rams schedule gets even easier ahead – they are getting a free pass to the playoffs and possible NFC West title due to it, but this team is a bit of a SAWFT fraud because they actually think they’re great while cashing in on such luck. Better to be lucky than good…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- My main notes about this game are really not about this game, but about – What to do with Kadarius Toney (3-36-0/3) now?
The Giants season is effectively over, so be sure to have those crap-colored glasses on when playing pretend-GM of NYG. There’s no reason to rush anyone back. Toney probably never should’ve played to begin with…we were getting and giving reports pregame that his ankle was bothering him in warm-ups. 2+ minutes into the game he was done. We may not know the extent of the injury by Tuesday waiver night end, so we’re going to have to make guesses.
My projection would be: goes on IR for at least three games, but might need ankle surgery to be out (effectively) for the entire season…but more likely he gets 2-3 weeks off to see if a natural healing process is underway and if so it might be 4-5 weeks off to fully heal it. He’s an elite racehorse that should be treated with special care/not rushed back. One way or the other, you’re probably losing Toney for a big chunk of the rest of the FF season…if not all of it.
Which means you're stuck trying to figure out whether to hold on to a roster spot or not with him in redraft. If you play in a Fantasy league without at least one IR spot, would you please get that changed in 2022? I mean, every other player in the league is hurt every other week. Please join this century of FF play. I digress…
We’ll have to see how bad the Toney news is, but in redraft it’s going to be a tough hold (if you don’t have an IR)…especially as bye weeks hit and your week-to-week needs mount. If Toney is back in 3-4 weeks, we still don’t know what his pattern of use will be when (if) Golladay-Shepard and Barkley, and Toney are all together playing at the same time.
All I know is I’m going to try to hold on for as long as I can make sense of it. Toney is just showing to be too good…arguably the best WR weapon from the 2021 NFL Draft. I knew he was athletically ‘good’ but with off-field worries as a cloud over it – but I never saw him being this superior. He’s too good to give up on easily in redraft. And the fact that they came right out firing to him this game with Sterling Shepard back and despite Toney’s wobbly ankle…love it, love that they used him hot. There may be 2-3-5 names at WR who get better treatment by their offense than Toney the last two weeks. That’s saying something.
In Dynasty, I bypassed Toney or rookie drafted him as a flyer but then traded him for real players in the preseason…and, now, I’m on the prowl to reacquire. I’m not filled with regret about bypassing him or trading him away. We have to make those decisions all the time in FF/Dynasty. I’m fine bypassing, sitting back and observing, and then pouncing on the reality. You don’t have to be right first (although that seems to be the ultimate goal of every Fantasy GM, even above ‘winning’ games/titles), and I want to be ‘right’ first/early on every player, but in the end -- I just have to be right last. Most all of my Dynasty teams are filled with players I vetted/didn’t take initially because they had too much risk like in a bad situation or just I was willing to wait for them to have a ‘meh’ rookie start and then swoop in when the original buyer had their predictable remorse…and then I saw them play against the NFL bodies, and was captivated, and then went out and made moves to get them over time.
The problem with that theory is…when we’re all geared up to attack/go after a player in trade, the current owner is not always compliant. That’s why timing and patience is so important. Like I said last week: I wanted Toney BAD…desperately. LOVED what I saw. BUT, last week, after his huge week WAS NOT the time to make the best deal. If you waited a week, we thought this very scenario (the ankle injury issue) could happen to drive the price down off the white hot it was this time last week.
In Dynasty, we WANT in on Toney…but we know there is risk (his off-field concerns) and we know his current owner has rookie fever. We just sit and wait for this price to drop. If he goes on IR for three weeks (min.)…or is having season ending surgery – we let that news sink in and then go shopping.
Here’s the typical Fantasy GM’s trade logic, which needs to be corrected…
1) We WANT ___ player.
2) We determine we want him because we saw the sweet plays in the game or on highlights or on tape after. It’s like an advertisement for a must-have product…we see it, we crave it. Now, we REALLY want him…why, we saw it with our own two eyes!
3) I start writing love letters about it and we’re all whipped into an extra motivated frenzy.
4) We make the player an IDOL…a to-do list item that you can’t sleep until you scratch that to-do off your list. It becomes an obsession.
5) You go barreling in and texting the owner, after the player has his amazing output week, to see ‘What do you want for Toney?’…thus, clearly identifying/telegraphing the object of your desire and doubling the price on the spot. Like going onto a car lot, going right to one car and telling the closest salesperson…I want this car only, how much is it? Do you think you’re getting a deal that way? That owner will remember you did that telegraph for days, weeks, months of your Toney acquisition hopes. You’ll never correct the price from that full-speed approach.
Let’s all keep calm. We’re all excited about Toney. Let it breathe a little. If we don’t get him now, we’ll get him later…or there will be a new Toney to love every 2-3 weeks. The way to play the market on Toney is waiting…time/his ankle is on our side in Dynasty acquisitions for the future.
Once I see the extent of the injury – then I’m coming in hot. Stealth, but hot. He’s the kind of talent to consider over-trading for. But let’s see what’s up with the ankle…let’s take a breath…then see what kind of deals we may want to make.
Or…sitting it all out is fine. We could go barreling in here and then two months…six months off with this injury and who knows what Toney is going to do with a bunch of time off to work on his rap career? Just know…I’m going to be all over the Toney story/valuations all year and into next year. I won’t let us forget.
-- I can’t imagine Kenny Golladay is rushing back now either, with NYG dead, but he should be back Week 8 (likely out Week 7). If Toney is gone for a while, then Sterling Shepard (10-76-0/14) is going to be a steady PPR WR1 possibility on catch volume, but looking at Golladay’s work with Daniel Jones…and the world turning so sour on KG with his time away (see how time away hurts value…that’s the model with Toney) and the KG numbers were kinda underwhelming for the season total – people are giving him away/giving up on him and NYG.
NOW, is the time to steal KG as a WR3 price -- but acquiring with the hopes of him as a cheap WR1.5 hopeful. His last healthy game with Dan Dimes and Barkley playing: (6-116-0/7) against a very good Saints secondary. I love what I see of Golladay-Jones. Golladay is a great buy low, right NOW…before he plays again. If he’s coming back this week, or next.
-- If Daniel Jones (29-51 for 242 yards, 0 TDs/3 INTs, 3-4-0) ever gets back Golladay-Toney-Shepard at the same time – he has one of the best WR trios in the NFL at his disposal.
But the thing that really makes Dimes hum…if Saquon is back. Dimes is not so good that he will thrive as a known passer because Barkley is out. The Saquon fear changes defenses and opens up things for the passing game like Derrick Henry does for Ryan Tannehill.
Dan Jones is a week-to-week flyer FF QB based on matchup with his WR duo or trio on the field together. But he’s a possible QB1 with that trio PLUS Saquon, because Jones will run for numbers on top of being effective enough in the passing game.
Daniel Jones Weeks 1-4 (with Barkley): the #5-6 FF QB (depending upon 4 or 6pts per pass TD)
Dan Dimes Weeks 5-6 (with Barkley gone): Not in the top 30 for FF scoring per game.
This game was a Dimes disaster, but I am ignoring it…blotting it from his record. No Saquon…no Golladay…then no Toney. No chance.
-- The Giants have had a revolving door of injured KEY players in and out all season, and no matter who is in or out and what opportunities then open up for others to step up – Evan Engram (3-24-0/5) never perks up for FF numbers in 2021.
You have to deem him dead for FF 2021…your only hope being that a tanking Giants team just sells him off before the trade deadline and that he lands in a refreshed, upgraded place.
Where to? Indy or Minnesota, as a guess.
-- This entire game was a farce, so not many Rams things to note. But here’s three for the road…
1) Cooper Kupp (9-130-2/12) is the new Davante Adams…you know it’s coming, but no one (but ARI) can stop it.
2) Due to injuries in the secondary, rookie CB Robert Rochell (5 tackles, 1 INT) has found himself in the starting lineup. He tested big-time at his Pro Day (which was a bit suspicious, but…) – a 4.41 40-time, 1.51 10-yard, 43” vertical, 11’1” broad, 6.84 three-cone.
He’s likely to get picked on a lot as a rookie and has the athleticism to make plays/tackles/IDP numbers within that.
3) Blocking TE Johnny Mundt got hurt/lost for the season here…which low-key led to rookie TE adoration-of-mine Jacob Harris (0-0-0/0) playing his first 6 offensive snaps of the season.
It’s not Jacob Harris FF-time yet, but note…if Harris is going to be forced to play snaps now, then he will see some targeting, it will make this offense more dangerous, and the Harris minor FF-money withdrawals comes out of the FF bank of Tyler Higbee (5-36-0/5), who will probably be in to block a little more as Harris runs a few pass routes…or Higbee just out of the game while Harris gets work late in blowouts – of which the LAR schedule says is coming. Harris’s presence is not going to crush Higbee, but it’s now a potential issue for him for FF production.
Snap Counts of Interest:
68 = Shephard
46 = Pettis
43 = C Johnson
32 = Ross
06 = Toney
54 = Booker
15 = Penny
00 = Brightwell
55 = Engram
34 = Rudolph
54 = DHendo
12 = Michel
58 = Woods
55 = Kupp
42 = Van Jefferson
16 = DJax
66 = Higbee
06 = J Harris