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Honestly, I skimmed through much of this game tape versus watching it intently. You want to talk about a completely dull game filled with weak performances by mediocre teams…this was your game, if you're into that.
I give Arizona credit – they're trying. They aren’t quitting in games despite the season being ‘over’ for them. Many teams in Arizona’s situation roll over at this stage of the journey but the Cards keep pushing. If the Cardinals can beat Washington this week, they should finish 8-8…maybe even 9-7 with a shock win over Seattle Week 17, because they tend to play ‘up’ facing Seattle and that could be a game where they can knock off Seattle’s wild card or divisional hopes.
Tennessee is going to be the biggest fraud to make the 2017 playoffs. I think there’s a 50-50 chance they aren't going to make it…that they are going fold up to the finish. It started with a 12-7 loss here. If Jimmy Garoppolo can get them this week, and drop them to 8-6…they will likely lose out and fall to 8-8. At 9-7, they have wild card potential…beat Baltimore and lost to Miami this season in games among the other wild card hopefuls if tiebreakers matter. One more win will really give the Titans wind under their sails…if they don’t get the easy one with SF this week (and they’re an underdog) then they’re in some trouble.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Marcus Mariota (16-31 for 159 yards, 0 TD/2 INT) looks dreadful, as we’ve all noticed for weeks…just me a week or two too late. But I read a report today detailing that Mariota has hamstring issues still but also an ankle issue that may require surgery this offseason…which then makes Mariota descent into becoming a terrible QB make a lot more sense.
Whatever it is…it is. Mariota is/had been dead to me for FF 2017. However, all this injury and surgery talk also rings the bell one more time…the final time – Mariota cannot be trusted for 2018+. Three seasons in the NFL…three seasons with him missing games for various issues. He has a thin-frame, he runs because he can, he exposes himself to hits – he’s not holding up well.
We have like a junior Sam Bradford here.
I’ve been a defender, and now I’m done with him. Low-risk investments in him in the future and that’s all.
I’ve always said if Mariota’s not running…he’s no good for fantasy. He may be getting grounded/halted from running as much for the future to preserve his career…and I don’t want any part of that for fantasy.
-- Part of the reason why I skimmed through this game, thinking more about what I needed to do for Christmas than focusing on the game, is watching DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry in games is a total waste of my time now. It’s the same performance every week…total garbage. They combined for 19 carries for 54 yards (2.8 ypc) here…another disaster per usual in 2017. I don’t want either of them for fantasy, even if Henry was named the starter (he actually started this game…and played all of 12 snaps after that).
They both look like they run with a piano on their backs. The Titans run-blocking is awful. And now there's no fear of Mariota running. It’s a mess. I don’t know how Tennessee has a winning record.
-- Also, looking terrible running the ball was Kerwynn Williams (20-73-0)…as I pointed out last week. Williams…Murray and Henry…all RBs that I don’t care if they do get 20 carries because they aren’t doing anything with it.
Williams is not a workhorse runner. Making matters worse, the Cards just lost two more O-Linemen this week. Plus, Elijah Penny will take goal-line work and D.J. Foster is used for PPR. Williams is an FF-black hole.
-- As Mariota dies off, Corey Davis (3-29-0/6) output looks terrible. I don’t know if it’s on Mariota or Davis or both. I’ve not watched Davis in the NFL and ever gotten excited. I see he’s good/talented, and I understand he might be great someday…but right now he’s a nonfactor and I don’t know what’s going to change that.
Rishard Matthews is not worth holding in redraft because as Mariota fades away…Matthews falls with him. It’s not on Rishard.
-- One player stood out to me in this game as a ‘wow’. Budda Baker (7 tackles, 1 PD) is playing his buttocks off. He is everywhere. What great effort on each play. I was ‘meh’/OK with Baker coming out of college but he’s playing way better than we graded.
In his last 5 games – 8.5 tackles, 1.2 PDs, 0.4 TFLs per game. DB1 type IDP numbers.
Snap Counts of Interest…
38 = Kerwynn
21 = DJ Foster
08 = Penny
49 = Gresham
19 = Niklas
47 = Demarco
13 = Henry
23 = Haason Reddick
14 = Chad Williams