2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 6: Vikings 34, Panthers 28 OT
I don’t know how this was close…or how this went to OT. The Vikings were pretty well handling the Panthers all game, but the Panthers D was nails early -- holding MIN to field goals halting goal-to-go situations to keep it from getting out of hand immediately. Carolina a blocked punt for a TD later 2nd-half to aid the cause, and then as this game was about over (down 8/under 2-minutes) Darnold threw for a miracle 4th & 10 conversion to keep the game tying drive alive…then Patrick Peterson got hurt and left the game on said drive with Carolina scoring that late TD and adding 2-pointer, and Minnesota drove down with less than minute for a makeable field goal…that was missed. Justice was served when Minnesota got the ball in OT and went right down the field for the game winning TD.
Minnesota hits their bye week at (3-3)…could’ve been (5-1), could’ve been (1-5). This is a pretty good but erratic team, a ‘something is missing’ good team that could beat any team in the NFL. They’ve had a tough schedule so far, and it stays tough after their bye. We see them finishing between 9-11 wins…a shot to win the NFC North title, but more likely is a strong/no-one-wants-to-play-them wild card.
Carolina (3-3) has lost three-straight…all games they had a chance to win. Sam Darnold is killing them, and I think they know that now. Everyone says Deshaun Watson to Miami, but I think Carolina is going to make a run at this and try and launch themselves as the future of the NFC South.
If they make that trade this week, they would rush Watson in as fast as they could…NFL allowing. Sam is dead and they know it. Carolina could send multiple picks and C.J. Henderson and Robby Anderson to Houston for him. Houston could then trade Robby before the deadline. The NFL is rarely that creative, so it’s just passing daydream thoughts by me…that won’t come close to coming true. But a boy can dream.
Carolina is headed to an 8-9 win season with Sam, but that all changes depending upon IF Deshaun arrives…and WHEN he’d be allowed to play.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Chuba Hubbard (16-61-1, 1-4-0/3) had a nice enough game here. He’s working like any random OK RB would thrown into a situation. The growing issue with him is he’s dropping passes/is a problem on 3rd-downs blocking, etc.
Royce Freeman doesn’t seem 100% ‘right’ or lost his athleticism during the pandemic…so, he’s not touching the ball much. So, because Hubbard is having catch issues and Freeman is a zero…the Panthers signed Reggie Bonnafon (a fave of mine who never gets a real chance) back to their roster (he’s been there on and off for 2+ years).
I’m always hoping Bonnafon gets a real chance, but likely he won’t see much action…and may get cut once CMC returns, but just note Bonnafon is there if Hubbard gets hurt and if CMC is out longer than expected (aka his typical).
-- We saw the debut of rookie WR Shi Smith (2-20-0/2) in this game for Carolina. He’s a really good slot-type WR who will be a starter in 2022, but a #4-5 WR in 2021. However, Terrace Marshall has a concussion and Brandon Zylstra went on IR…so, Smith make a splash this week as a forced in #3 WR.
-- FYI…Tyler Conklin (3-71-0/5) had his hands on a short TD pass early on, but good coverage batted it away. Had he caught that TD, he would have been the #10 TE in half-PPR PPG since Week 3…ahead of Darren Waller (#12).
Not saying he’s a TE1 stud…just saying he’s one of 15-20 NFL starting TEs vying from the #3-15 spot in the TE scoring rankings any given stretch of the season.
Conklin is the 11th most targeted TE on the season to date, #11 in total catches. #12 in yards.
The 26th most owned TE in Fantasy, currently.
-- Dalvin Cook makes Kirk Cousins (33-48 for 373 yards, 3 TDs/0 INTs) go from a QB2 to a QB1. When Cook missed/was hurt the prior three games (essentially), Cousins threw for 5 TDs/3 INTs. With Cook playing full, Cousins has racked up 8 TDs/0 INTs and two 300+ yard efforts in those 3 games.
It’s like what Saquon does to Daniel Jones…sucks without Saquon, is plausible/decent-looking with him.
-- K.J. Osborn (6-78-1/7) scored the game winning TD. I really like what I see from KJO, but you can’t get too confident in him because Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are always more preferred. However…
That Cousins-Cook affect I mentioned? Osborn averaged 2.8 rec. and 22.0 yards with Cook out/hurt. In the games with Cook fully in, where Cousins went nuts…6.0 rec., 81.7 yards, 0.67 TDs per game…a legit WR1.5-2.0 with Cook playing fully, per early trends.
Osborn has equal to or more catches, yards, and TDs this season than the following WRs (who have played 6 games): Mecole Hardman, Laviska Shenault, Darnell Mooney, Rondale Moore, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Allen Robinson. Yet, I bet without looking…he’s the least owned of them all in Fantasy (7-8% owned in the tracking I see).
-- There was one fresh STANDOUT player for me from this game…and that was Carolina rookie CB Keith Taylor (10 tackles, 3 PDs).
Taylor was going toe-to-toe with Jefferson and Thielen all game. So much so, Cousins was not really going his way wherever he was. Cousins went after A.J. Bouye mostly. Donte Jackson some. When forcing it against Taylor, half the time Taylor was glued to the WR, but they made a spectacular catch on the play. The other catches around Taylor were him way off and a quick tunnel screen or slant was thrown harmlessly in front of him. Big time showing for Taylor here.
Taylor should be a starter with Stephon Gillmore and maybe Donte Jackson (with C.J. Henderson possibly traded again). Gillmore-Horn-Taylor will be a badass coverage unit in 2022. I liked Taylor a lot on scouting his tape pre-Senior Bowl/Combine time. I thought he was a top coverage prospect, but he didn’t test great (but was fine), and we had to discount his metrics grade some. He looks like a future strong CB, possible lockdown guy to me.
If Carolina has Gillmore-Henderson-Jackson-Taylor the rest of this season, with their great D-Line and when Shaq Thompson returns – it could be the best all-around 1-11 defensive unit in football. With a mostly great schedule Weeks 7-12. Bye Week 13.
-- Minnesota has an emerging defense too, but the loss of Patrick Peterson (who has been playing great for MIN, a career renaissance) for a few weeks is going to kill them against Dallas and Baltimore Weeks 8-9…and then Week 10 at LAC, if PP isn’t back by then.
Could be three shootouts for Kirk Cousins ahead…
Snap Counts of Interest:
48 = Hubbard
23 = Freeman
40 = I Thomas
38 = Tremble
76 = Conklin
24 = Herndon
66 = Cook
12 = Mattison
87 = Thielen
84 = Jefferson
48 = Osborn