2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 9: Chargers 27, Eagles 24
Hard fought game and victory for the Chargers…on the road, west-to-east coast trip, missing two starting CBs…and they held off Philly and won at the buzzer on a field goal. Both teams played well, but when it was crunch time – Justin Herbert led a drive down to the red zone and ran the clock out for a game winning FG.
The Chargers are now (5-3), in a 1st-place tie in the AFC West…but a loss from last place. The LAC schedule eases up now, so the division is theirs for the taking if they can get healthy on defense. The Chargers should be headed to 11-12 wins and that should put them as likely division winners.
The Eagles fall to (3-6), but they too have a schedule ease ahead…but the Eagles are not as good a team to capitalize on it like the Chargers. Philly projects to 7-8 wins, but 9 wins is on the board…with 7 most likely the outcome.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I thought Jordan Howard (17-71-1) started this game, but he didn’t Boston Scott (10-40-0) did…but it was Howard who came in soon after and was rotating with Scott, and JoHo was the FAR superior back and he just kinda was the hot hand and Philly (smartly) went with it. Howard looked fantastic, as usual…so, you know, as soon as Miles Sanders returns (likely Week 11)…Howard goes back to the practice squad where no other team will notice he’s there and try and claim him.
Boston Scott will start Week 10, but who know who leads Philly in touches from there between he and Howard. I’d guess Howard, but that’s just a guess.
-- What’s wrong with Mike Williams (2-58-0/5)?
I didn’t see anything problematic with the way he was moving around. He had three TD shots in this game but none of them worked out…a fade that didn’t work from short distance, a tunnel screen at the goal line that Herbert threw 150mph through his hands, and another goal line shot where Williams either turned the wrong way or Herbert had the wrong interpretation and it was throw 180 degrees opposite of where Williams broke his route to.
It definitely wasn’t a great game for MW, but had he cashed in on TD then it would have been a decent FF output. He doesn’t look hurt. It just felt like Darius Slay was doing a good job on him WITH Keenan Allen (12-104-0/13) going off on the other CBs, so there was no need to push it to anyone else. Herbert’s first throw to Allen was 10-feet over his head…and then they connected on their next 12 passes with no incompletions.
I’m not down on Mike Williams but I’m certainly not thrilled with his recent fall down in numbers. I see no reason why he can’t pump back up but all of us will be worried until we see him breakthrough again. Half+ of his recent decline came with him really hurt. But the last two games he looks mostly healthy/good.
-- You know who impresses me? Donald Parham (3-39-1/3). He’s slimming down and moving quicker and is really catching the ball well…catching it smoothly and at all angles. He’s likely going to be in this split role with Jared Cook (4-48-0/4) and Stephen Anderson (4-39-1/4) all 2021, but Parham is becoming the best looking of the group, to me.
A couple random Parham notes…
3 TD catches in his last 5 games…the 8th most in the league. More TD catches this season than Waller-Gesicki-Hockenson-Goedert-Higbee-Engram…and Jared Cook.
17 games played in the NFL with at least one target…6 TD catches…6 TDs in his 20 career catches.
50.0% catch rate in 2020…when he was just a fade/alley-oop guy in the end zone. In 2021, as he becomes more of a real TE, he’s caught 83.3% of his targets this season to date.
Tre McKitty landed in the wrong spot for FF…
-- Chargers TE Steven Anderson (4-39-1/4) popped up with a blip game here. LAC used him wisely leaking out off of blocks, in motion in the backfield like a H-back/FB in the flat, etc. I don’t think anything is developing here, just Philly is bad against the TE with their random linebackers and LAC targeted Keenan Allen 13 times, the TE group 11 times, and Mike Williams just 5 times.
Which brings it home more that Mike Williams is not worthy of the Kupp-Davante-Tyreek-Pittman class right now…LAC/Herbert is spreading it around game plan to game plan, and not desperately leaning on Mike for everything.
The funny thing is – opposing teams don’t think so, they are throwing their best coverage at Big Mike…and then Herbert is just rocking them everywhere else, smartly.
-- Speaking of Justin Herbert (32-38 for 356 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT)…I guess his hand injury was OK? He completed 84.2% of his passes here and just had his way with the Eagles secondary. Philly’s pass defense has racked great numbers against the weak and been obliterated by the strong QBs. This game was another example.
-- I thought this was a solid game of Jalen Hurts (11-17 for 162 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 10-62-0) playing Jalen Hurts ball…he’s the better all-around Lamar Jackson but doesn’t get the credit for it for two reasons:
(1) He doesn’t have the flashy highlight moves running the ball as Lamar but is as/more effective with his strong style vs. Lamar’s flashy style.
(2) Lamar was a Heisman winner, 1st-round pick…he was supposed to be good. Hurts was drafted higher than the media proclaimed, so that’s a problem…then Hurts came in and was better than their Tua…that’s another media problem. So, all the mainstream media has done is attack Hurts and wonder aloud if they should bench him and mock 2022 NFL Draft QBs to Philly.
In 2021 season, through 9 weeks:
2,809 total yards, 15 total TDs, 10 total turnovers = Lamar Jackson (8 games)
2,475 total yards, 16 total TDs, 5 total turnovers = Jalen Hurts (9 games)
Yet, the media pushes us the narrative of Lamar as a top MVP candidate…and Hurts a top candidate to be benched.
Hurts is playing for his job/life every week. If he loses two games in a row ahead, I’m not sure he starts the next game after that. For his sake, I hope he keeps winning.
-- PHI DT Javon Hargrave (3 tackles) seasonal splits…
Weeks 1-5 = 5.4 total tackles, 1.2 sacks, 1.8 TFLs per game
Weeks 6-10 = 4.0 tackles, 0.0 sacks, 0.0 TFLs per game
He’s getting doubled…and he’s just running out of IDP juice, apparently.
-- Solid game from the LAC defense…despite missing two starting corners (M. Davis, A. Samuel) and still missing Kenneth Murray to help with their run game woes.
The LAC-DST has mediocre numbers/NFL rankings in part because they haven’t had a schedule break all season except Week 1 vs. WSH (held them to 16pts and 259 total yards).
They have some breaks ahead if they get their CBs back healthy (which they should):
Week 11 hosting PIT is great.
Week 12 at Denver should be really good.
PIT and DEN want to run the ball but have some of the worst run blocking O-Lines in the league.
Week 14 hosting NYG could be good depending on the NYG health of their weapons.
Week 16 at HOU should be sweet at just the right FF time.
Hosting DEN Week 17.
The schedule is tipping in their favor. We’ll see if they can take advantage. I still say it’s a viable defense for your Arizona pairings on matchups, but I’m not pounding my fist on the desk for it.
Snap Counts of Interest:
55 = Quez
44 = DeVonta
29 = Reagor
25 = B Scott
23 = Jo Howard
11 = Gainwell
53 = Goedert
14 = Tyree Jackson
31 = Stv Anderson
29 = J Cook
28 = Parham