It’s going to be hard for Dallas to win the Super Bowl if they don’t make the playoffs…
I could write an excuse laden paragraph about all the injuries, and I would only make myself feel better. I know what’s going to happen this week – THEY won. The media/THEY won for the week. They won the battle. Maybe, they’ll win the war. THEY called for the Dak/Dallas downfall without Ezekiel Elliott and I guarantee they are going to let you know how right they were all week. I am going to hate this week. If you agreed with their argument…this will be a sweet week.
‘But if only’…isn’t going to cut it for my defense. The opposition will be too loud this week. I’m going to lay low, and watch the Philly-Dallas Vegas line to see if it balloons from -3.5 Philly to -5.0+ Philly…and I consider taking Dallas after the media roasts them this week. Roasts them and then buries them.
The media typically tends to bury things that instantly spring back to life.
However, as a Dallas admirer…I’m worried. Not about Zeke not being there…on that I could care less. If I could steal six players from Dallas and start my own football team…three of them were gone from Dallas in this game – LT Tyron Smith, LB Sean Lee, K Dan Bailey (Dak, Byron Jones, and Zach Martin the other three). It’s hard to be missing three of your best 6 players, and wherever you want to rank Zeke in all that, and go off to play a decent team at their home and somehow pull off a win. The Sean Lee hit right off the bat was the final straw for this one.
Will Dallas have Lee or Smith for Week 11 versus Philly? Their season may depend on it.
I suspect Dallas likely to lose to charmed-life-Philly next week, and that ends the Dallas division title talk. It also throws Dallas to a 5-5 record and leaves them basically having to go 5-1 to get to 10 wins to make the NFC playoffs. Carolina will probably be one wild card at 10+ wins (Dallas needs to root for Miami tonight) and Dallas or Seattle will be the other. Week 16 Seattle at Dallas is probably for the wild card…and Dallas should be at full strength by then.
This win brings Atlanta into the 10-win conversation, but I think they’re on the outside looking in to get there. They take a HUUUUGE step in the right direction if they go to Seattle next week and win. Beating Seattle starts to kill off the wounded Seahawks and if the final wild card comes down to Dallas-Atlanta…this Week 10 game determined the answer.
I didn’t think Atlanta played all that special. Dallas started falling apart early. They couldn’t block anyone and all hell broke loose. I don’t think Adrian Clayborne is on his way to a 100 sack season all of a sudden. Dallas fell down and couldn’t get up. One of their great weaknesses got exposed…and it’s what I said would bring them down if they were brought down this year – Dez Bryant is of little help and their WR group is piss poor overall. When they had to play catchup against a mediocre/weak pass defense…Dallas had no answer.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- It was pretty revealing what Dallas did with the RB situation post-Ezekiel…
Alfred Morris (11-52-0) started but quickly disappeared in favor of Rod Smith (3-14-0, 4-15-0/6). My sense of this is – Dallas feels like the closest thing they have to Elliott is Rod Smith…a three-down power back who can catch. The only problem is -- he barely touched the ball in college and has been a backup journeyman in the pros. He doesn’t have any experience carrying a major workload…not used to this kind of spotlight on top of that.
In the 2nd-half, Dallas went back to the run game with Morris, for a bit, before things got out of hand, and Morris was doing fine…Dallas just got way down and needed to throw. At a minimum, this is going to be Morris + Smith working as a tandem…with Dallas hoping one gets hot, and mostly hoping it is Smith that gets hot and going from there.
They are both RB3 hopefuls next week. There is no clear answer here, unfortunately for everyone who held Morris for weeks/all season. One of them may have ‘the game’ coming up…but no one but God knows which one.
-- Atlanta has a much clearer, better quality picture once they lost their ‘starting’ RB to injury. Fortunately, for Atlanta, their best RB is their backup Tevin Coleman (20-83-1, 1-5-0/1). The Atlanta run game never missed a beat…or, actually, it picked up a beat.
If I wanted Atlanta to win, and I had voodoo doll abilities…I would put a pin in Dan Bailey, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith…but first, I would break the leg of Devonta Freeman. I’d know, wanting ATL to win, that I could improve their offense if I could get Freeman out of the way. Sure, I would have first put in a pin in Dak Prescott as well, but come on…play along with the metaphor.
If Freeman is out again next week – Coleman is an RB1 for Week 11, and the Falcons have a good shot to beat Seattle. If Freman is back, Coleman tumbles to sketchy RB3 and Seattle-Atlanta is a toss-up.
-- Dak Prescott (20-30 for 176 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) is going to get mocked unmercifully this week. The media tends to hate Dallas as do the fans -- and watching a golden boy who they all predicted for a sophomore slump and as ‘only good because of Zeke’ finally fail hard to fulfill prediction from the prior week…they’re going to revel in it.
I don’t think there’s any issue with Dak at all. He’s one of the best young QBs, if not the best young fantasy QB of the bunch. He was great as a rookie and was riding top 1-3 all 2017 fantasy season for scoring before he ran into this wall.
So, how do you play it for fantasy?
A lot is riding on Tyron Smith next week. Without him, it’s probably a dark picture. If Smith is fine, then I have some confidence.
In dynasty, now I make my move if I wanted to acquire him as my guy for the future. By Tuesday the media will have painted him as a bust QB. The price will dip. The outlook for Week 11 will be shaky…it’s a beautiful time to strike if you need a franchise fantasy QB.
Dak will be fine with his normal left tackle back, but long-term…Dallas is going to build this team for Dak not Elliott. You think Dak is good for fantasy now? Wait, until you see the future.
Dak in the future will be a little like if Russell Wilson had a real coach and offensive coordinator, and the best GM in football building everything around him.
-- The future for Dak will not include Dez Bryant (4-39-0/8). I’m not sure if they’ll pull the trigger on Dez this offseason or not, but by 2019 he’s gone. If I were running Dallas, I would move him for whatever I could get. He doesn’t represent what it takes to be a champion. He’s not who I want my stud QB having a relationship with on or off the field. I don’t want my young WRs to come in having to deal with his antics. It needs to be a clean, harsh breakup.
Credit to Dak…he never gives into Dez’s nonsense. He rarely forces the ball to him. Dez is rarely open these days or playing about 75% effort either.
-- Terrance Williams (1-9-0/4) is no help either. Coming off a big game last week and everyone getting excited about him as a WR3 hopeful…he went right back to his norm in this game – insignificant.
-- Speaking of disappointing WRs…Julio Jones (6-57-0/8) had a little siesta from Sunday 1-4pmET, per usual.
1 TD in 10 games this season.
2 TDs in his last 15 games.
3 TDs in his last 18 games.
I love the video clip I saw of ESPN’s Mike Clay telling the fantasy world that Julio Jones was prime for a breakout because although he had 1 TD this season, he’s actually had 10 end zone shots…so the opportunity is there and it is a matter of time. I left the analysis thinking…1 out of 10, Julio is more sleepy than I thought. 1 out of 10 sucks for a supposed mega-star. He’s 1 of 10 because he’s ‘that guy’. He’s been that way since college…inexplicably allergic to the end zone.
88 career NFL games for Julio and 41 TDs.
82 career NFL games for Jordy and 69 TDs.
47 career NFL games for Odell Beckham and 38 TDs.
If Julio is so great…why aren’t his numbers more elite? In his last 59 games, Julio has scored ‘just’ 23 TDs.
-- Adrian Clayborn (6 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 3 TFLs) did not have a sack in his prior five games before this event.
Clayborn has not had 6.0 sacks in a season since 2011, his rookie season, when he posted a career-high 7.5.
From 2014-2016, Clayborn had 7.5 sacks total.
This was a Tyron Smith replacement issue…which, shame on Dallas for not being plausible with a repalcement.
-- You know I love the Dallas DST, but I won’t speak their name positively if Sean Lee is out. This defense, this team has been awful and losing every time Lee has been gone this year. 0-3 without Lee playing a majority of the snaps…5-1 otherwise.
Snap Counts of Interest…
38 = Rod Smith
22 = Alfred Morris
01 = McFadden
44 = Coleman
17 = Ward
08 = Sean Lee