2022 Week 2: Lions 36, Commanders 27 (Dynasty/Fantasy Analysis Game Report)
I want to start this off with quick dot-connection that may or may not be real analysis/truth going forward…or it might be.
You saw the Monday night game where the Eagles dismantled a very good Vikings team? That same Eagles team started to dismantle the Lions…at rabid Detroit Week 1, but then the Lions bowed up and mounted a comeback and had chances at the end to pull that game out. The Lions exchanged blows with Philly…who we all now believe is an elite team (Eagles). The Lions were on the Eagles level Week 1…was it just a Week 1 blip or a new reality? I think we need to start thinking about Detroit as a real solid/good team.
So, if the Lions are actually a good team now…it should come as no surprise that they stormed to a lead (22-0 at the half) on the Commanders, and then when Washington tried to get back into it…the Lions re-put the hammer down and won. And you must note that the Lions won/dominated this game missing their top offensive lineman and top cornerback, and with D’Andre Swift not 100%.
The Lions are really solid/good overall…well coached, inspired, and quickly becoming an offensive juggernaut -- two 25+ point performances to start the year. Everyone is going to fall in love with the Eagles defense because they pounded the Vikings on cable television yesterday, but the week prior your precious Eagles had 35 points dropped on them as the Lions converted 9-of-14 3rd-downs on them and stormed back into their Week 1 affair. I’m not downing the Eagles…I’m just saying, if you are elevating them to elite 2022 status -- the Lions shoulda/coulda beat them.
Washington is more mediocre, where the Lions are more ‘good’, but credit the Commanders…like the Lions…they are pushing offense. 27+ points in both their games this season -- against a bad Lions defense, but also Week 1 against a defense that just pitched a shutout Week 2 (JAX).
Out of the gates, these two offenses are on fire…and you need to keep that in mind/burn it into your brain (or reject it) for the rest of this report.
The Lions are playoff worthy. The Commanders are .500 worthy and if some dumb luck hits they could catch a wild card, maybe. Losing to the Lions here could haunt their wild card chances down the road, as the Lions look like a wild card team.
We must first go through the two QBs in this game, because there’s a lot to contemplate here for FF 2022 with them.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Jared Goff (20-34 for 256 yards, 4 TDs/0 INTs) is really coming into his own in Detroit. 6 TDs/1 INT so far this season. A (4-3) record his last 7 games with 17 TDs/3 INTs…2.4 passing TDs per game is ELITE TD activity.
Is this going to keep up? You will say, ‘no’ -- I will say, ‘yes’ (not that he’ll be throwing 40+ TD passes this year, but that he can toss 30+…that he will be really good this season).
I suspect you will probably not agree with the rest of this QB section (on Goff or Wentz) because the power of ‘what everyone else says’ in the mainstream still has a gravitational pull. Goff has been roasted in the football media most of his career, and especially the past 2+ seasons. It’s hard to get behind him. You think of him as a backup level talent…or at best a Kirk Cousins type not QB1 but still decent QB. I can agree with that sentiment…Cousins has been a fringe/right at/near QB1 the past couple seasons.
The recent numbers are promising and speak for themselves…and I watch the tape of all things, and I can see he’s playing great…it’s not just luck/a hot streak/a bad opponent stretch. Wentz and Tua (the other Week 3 waiver wire/currently hot QB comparisons) are more a bit lucky/flawed in their play, within their hot streak…but Goff is the one playing high-level pocket passing QB play.
I said, ‘Yes’…yes, this can/will keep up. Here are all the factors going FOR Goff going forward…
1) He’s getting better as the team around him got healthy/better late last season into this season…into this season.
2) The output/numbers show the progress.
3) He has real WRs now…much better than last season when he had a still-developing Amon-Ra and a bunch of XFL WRs circulating (due to injuries) for too much of the season. The fact he is shining with a solid but not ‘wow’ WR like St. Brown should also not be overlooked.
4) He had good O-Line play in this game and last week, despite the key injuries to the line/missing top guy going into this week. BUT, when healthy, he has a top 3-5 O-Line to work behind.
5) He has a good run game to keep defenses honest.
6) He has a bad defensive unit on the other side of things, so shootouts are likely most weeks.
7) He plays in a dome…always good for performance…especially later in the season/weather.
8) He could get Jameson Williams thrown into the mix at some point and then this starting WR trio is becoming more ‘wow’ than ‘who?’.
9) Detroit made an O-C change this year, and he is 10x better and more open offense/passing game than Anthony Lynn.
I’m not saying Goff is up there with Allen-Herbert-Mahomes-Burrow now, but he might be a QB1 (6pts pass TD) and pushing past the Cousins-Carr-Russ cluster and into challenging the Brady-Stafford-Rodgers group of pocket passers.
Again…I know you’re intrigued now, but in the end -- you are probably not going to believe. You’d rather pick up Kenny Pickett and wait a few weeks to see what the magical unicorn rookie can do before you entertain boring old Goff. Pickett has never let you down, but Goff has…so, Goff will take a back seat.
I’m just the messenger…the watchman on the wall.
Jared Goff will draw some attention in waivers this week but not serious attention. If you think you are dismissive of Goff, everyone else still has him written off for dead and most would rather go with broken back Winston before they lowered themselves to Goff right now.
Put a pin in the Goff discussion for a moment…
-- Carson Wentz (30-46 for 337 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) is currently the #4 QB in Fantasy Football PPG.
#2 if you look at it from a 6pts per pass TD view…pulling ahead of Hurts and Lamar, but we are all now convinced Hurts is a god…but Wentz is a joke who won’t keep up. That’s the stock market report on those stocks.
I tend to think in that same direction. I respect Goff, I can see some ‘it’ on tape. Whereas Wentz is playing decent, but still carries all the flaws of the past…throws into to danger too much still, and with the Washington O-Line issues…he gets under pressure and makes some risky throws.
But here’s the thing…
He is making throws…a lot of them. He’s getting after it in a way Rodgers-Russ-Brady, even Stafford are not. Wentz is 3rd in the league in pass attempts, #2 in yards, #7 in yards per attempt, and #1t in TD passes. I know it’s only two games, but…
Wentz may not be the greatest QB in the world, however he has a lot of things going for him…if Washington is going to let him go for it every week…
1) Washington has a bad defense, like Detroit, so Wentz is down a lot having to throw his way back in.
2) Washington has a bad O-Line (unlike Detroit), which will lead to some turnovers…especially in bad matchups.
3) Because they have a bad O-Line, Washington’s run game is not great…so more passing needed. And some of that quick passing to get the pressure off…cheap passes to J.D. McKissic (7 catches in this game) and to Antonio Gibson (7 catches Week 1). Brian Robinson is a great pass catcher too…and probably will get bottled up behind that bad run game and his slower feet.
The best thing about the Washington run game is their pass catching ability…which is a ‘plus’ for Wentz in this equation.
4) Washington, suddenly, has one of the best WR groups in the NFL. Curtis Samuel is one of the 10 best technical-athletic WRs in the game, Terry McLaurin is a top 20, and Jahan Dotson is really nice as a #3.
The Packers have Lazard(missed wk1, hampered wk2)-Watkins-Cobb…Washington has Samuel-McLaurin-Dotson. Any wonder why Wentz is blowing Aaron Rodgers away, statistically, so far?
Wentz is a ‘C’ grade QB at best…but he’s in a ‘B’ situation for FF production, perhaps moving towards an ‘A’ grade situation big picture.
Now, let’s bring Goff back into the picture…
Thinking of how good Goff has been lately, I wondered if there was a good QB to pair Goff with to try and take two ignored/hated QB2s and ‘matchup’ them to a QB1 hybrid.
When I ran a system analysis to find the QB/s that pair nicely with Goff, for his BYE week (6) and bad matchup weeks (5, 9, 12), several QBs were suggested…like Hebert, Mahomes, etc. Dismissing the obvious, unobtainable, I looked down the list and two other QBs matched those 4 weak spots…Kirk Cousins and…drumroll…Carson Wentz.
The outlook of a Goff-Wentz pairing:
Week 3 = Goff at MIN *DOME* (Wentz at PHI, no good)
Week 4 = Goff v. SEA *DOME* (Wentz at DAL…ehhh)
Week 5 = Wentz v. TEN or Goff at NE…neither awesome but Wentz might be fine.
Week 6 = Wentz at CHI (Goff on bye)
Week 7 = Goff at DAL *DOME* (Wentz v. GB, no good)
Week 8 = Wentz at IND *DOME* (you want this!), Goff v. MIA, is OK
Week 9 = Wentz v. MIN (Goff v. GB, no good)
Week 10 = Goff at CHI (Wentz at PHI)
Week 11 = Wentz at HOU *DOME* or Goff v. NYG *DOME*
Week 12 = Wentz v. ATL (Goff v. BUF…no go)
YOU CAN DITCH WENTZ AT THIS POINT
Week 13 = Goff v. JAX *DOME* or Wentz at NYG
Week 14 = Goff v. MIN *DOME* (Wentz BYE)
Week 15 = Goff at NYJ, Wentz v. NYG…weather could be an issue on both
Week 16 = Goff at CAR (Wentz at SF)
Week 17 = Goff v. CHI *DOME* (Wentz v. CLE)
Week 18 = Wentz v. DAL (Goff at GB, no go)…weather could be an issue on both
It’s not perfect…it seems like too much Wentz midseason, but…
If you’re watching Russ die…and Burrow get sacked every other drop back…or you lost Dak…or Brady’s face or missing WRs are scaring you…or Stafford’s O-Line/elbow is scaring you…or Rodgers’ WR group is scaring you…or Kyler’s lack of study is scaring you -- might a Goff-Wentz pairing, which is very achievable because everyone hates them and thus they will chase Tua-Trevor-Winston-Flacco-Dan Jones before them most times…might this be a cheap way out of the QB FF-doldrums you’re finding yourself in?
You might consider one or both to go with your disappointing current QB, carry 3 QBs for a week, just to see where it’s going -- if you ultimately don’t get top 5-7 or so production from your QBs…you’re FF-dead. You can’t keep up with the Allen-Herbert-Mahomes-Hurts teams consistently giving up 10-15-20+ FF scoring deficits at QB in big matchups.
You’re thinking…I’m gonna go with Goff-and-Wentz plan…in Week 3 of the season?…over Russell Wilson or Kyler Murray or Tom Brady? This season sucks!
You’re right, this season does suck…especially if your QBs are killing you off the bat.
You had no issues going D’Onta Foreman-Penny to the title last year, but Goff-Wentz is offensive?
A port in any storm…
Might Goff-Wentz blowup in our faces? They might.
They might not.
So far, they are both high-end QB1s.
Just a thought, not a guarantee/must.
-- If you go down the Carson Wentz path as a #2 or paired with Goff or other, then possessing or acquiring Curtis Samuel (7-78-1/9, 1-21-0) is nice to stack together. Samuel had another WR1 week, as he is the Washington centerpiece of the offense.
It’s a bad time to go after Samuel, whether you have Wentz or not, because he’s hot…but he’s a rare situation where something is working, but the current owners really don’t believe…because the media tells them he’s not important. They’d love to ‘sell high’ on Samuel to you in the right deal.
ARob for CSam…I’ll take Samuel in 2 seconds.
Big Mike for Little Curtis…I’ll take Samuel, and I can get more in the deal this week.
Goff…Wentz…and now Curtis Samuel?!!?! What kind of crappy Fantasy season is this?
I had the Fox or CBS pregame on Sunday, I can’t remember which…I think CBS…and I had the pregame on in the background for white noise from noon-12:30pmET by chance, as I was updating the FFM projections Sunday pre-kick. I think it was moronic Phil Simms and useless Bill Cowher with James Brown who were talking about the ‘impressive’ Washington Commanders and their great offense (after one whole week). I think it was Simms who proclaimed: Now that they found a true/great #2 in Dotson to go with McLaurin, watch out for this team! Someone else echoed how great Dotson was in solving Washington’s weapon needs. They then moved on to the next segment. No mention of Curtis Samuel…only the #1 WR for the Commanders. That’s the mainstream take in a nutshell. They don’t believe in Samuel…they hardly acknowledge he exists. So don’t overpay for him in FF…assume his current owner is secretly afraid…because they are…don’t let them bluster you about how great CSam has been and how they love him so.
Samuel is far-and-away the #1 WR for Washington…McLaurin is a great #2, who is more going deep a lot…which isn’t great for Terry with Wentz who likes short and medium throws. Dotson is the nice #3 who does play short-medium a bunch. It’s a really nice WR trio.
In other news, the Dallas Cowboys went with Lamb-Noah Brown-Dennis Houston as their WR trio this past week.
-- Amon-Ra St. Brown (9-116-2/12, 2-68-0) is Goff’s #1 WR. It doesn’t look magical…it just works. Credit to ARSB…but also credit to Goff for making this into something uber-productive.
D.J. Chark (0-0-0/4) killed a few FFM games Week 2. I thought the Lions would score a lot/have great output and DJC would be a part of it…and Detroit did flourish and DJC got a big zero. Now, everyone hates him.
Note: Chark had his fingers on a 40+ yard TD pass, but he was double covered (a bunch for some reason) and had it knocked away. He later broke free/wide-open for what could’ve been a 70+ yard TD but Goff overthrew him by a yard. You very nearly had a 2-3 catch, 100+ yards, 2 TD game…but instead you got a zero. It happens sometimes. It sucks. You’re gonna drop him because you didn’t get candy for dinner Week 2. I get it…you like the S&M of punishing the things that didn’t love you back.
-- It still doesn’t ‘feel’ like to me that Washington is really happy or dependent upon Antonio Gibson (14-28-1, 2-13-0/4). He doesn’t seem like an urgent/desired part of the plan…just is the guy they have now until their heart’s desire returns. Gibson is gonna be a part of the RBBC when Brian Robinson is ready…probably the lesser part of the RBBC trio.
J.D. McKissic (7-54-0/7) had ‘one of those games’…the big/early deficit and a lot of throwing to try and get back into it…perfect for McKissic. And perfect for Wentz if he is going high-volume right along with it…a great checkdown option.
-- TE notes…
Logan Thomas (3-37-1/5) doesn’t look great coming off his injury, but better than last week…which was better than the week before, as he tried to return to form. He’s working OK in this high volume (so far) offense with three neat WRs + a cool pass game back…Thomas can get lost within that and make some plays.
T.J. Hockenson (3-26-0/7) looks like typical T.J. Hockenson…bigger, kinda stiff but not terrible, he can also benefit from all the other options in a high output offense. I don’t see any huge upside coming…but I never do with TJH. But he’s still a TE1, back end, threat.
-- IDP notes…
Washington SAF Darrick Forest (10 tackles) was on the IDP watch list last week, and after a productive Week 1 he followed it up with a nice Week 2. With Cameron Kurl out, he’s playing good football.
Cole Holcomb (10 tackles) has 15 tackles so far this season, but only 5 solo tackles…and no TFLs, etc. A slow output start for Holcomb, who looks fine but is just not ringing up the stat sheets yet. He should, eventually, but it’s making me nervous.
Detroit won’t keep holding Malcolm Rodriguez (8 tackles) back. They keep playing him 60-70% of the snaps and working some special teams. They should just stop the nonsense, get him off special teams, and make him the anchor in the middle…it looks like that will happen in another week or two; it’s inevitable.
Aidan Hutchinson (6 tackles, 3 sacks) had a nice game. The stats looked better than the performance, but he’s doing fine. He fits Detroit. He and Rodriguez are going to be long-time Lions.
Snap Counts of Interest:
52 = St. Brown
44 = Reynolds
40 = Chark
31 = Swift
21 = Jamaal W
09 = Reynolds
73 = Dotson
66 = CSam
66 = McLaurin
40 = Gibson
34 = McKissic