I thought this would be a boring game re-watch and ‘nothing new’ report out. I was wrong.
I was wrong because I was wrong about how I was ‘playing’ Bryce Petty. I remembered the troubles late last year and then I didn’t see much difference in the preseason. I thought this was a layup for the Saints going in. Ummm…no.
The Saints were a huge favorite in this game and only led 17-13 going into the 4th-quarter. They had to play a really good game to control it at 17-13. It was no fluke the Saints struggled a bit. I’m not sure they didn’t play even with the Jets on the judge’s scorecard...the Saints defense really saved the day until the offense kicked in a little late, aided by some good fortune.
The Jets lost but credit to them for giving another solid effort. Some teams fold this time of year when they are out of the playoffs…the Jets are giving it all they got.
The Saints won to hold the lead in the NFC South going into a huge Week 16 showdown with Atlanta. If the Saints lose that game they might lose control the division and potentially could blow their playoff chances if they lose again Week 17 at Tampa Bay. With a win Week 16, the Saints are assured a playoff spot and play for the division title with a win over Tampa Bay. The Saints are in good shape but have work to do.
The Saints running game and defense are too good to lose out. I’m sure they’ll at least get to the playoffs but I don’t think they will make it to the Super Bowl. It’s not crazy if they did win the title but I think this team just doesn’t have the mojo to run the table. They remind me of the Chiefs, a bit…they have a lot of eggs in the RB basket. Alvin Kamara has been on fire but teams are starting to plan and attack him, and the Saints scuffle a little bit when he’s not being electric – they lost to Atlanta when Kamara left the game with a concussion. The Jets played him pretty tight in this game the Saints were underperforming until they popped in the 4th-quarter. There’s just something about the Saints, like the Chiefs, like the Eagles…soemthing just doesn’t feel ‘right’ to me. I know they’re good but I’m not fully onboard, I don’t know why.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- OK, Bryce Petty (19-39 for 179 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs)…
I’m not saying he’s a star in the making, but he was pretty solid in this game. He was not rattled. Facing the Saints, in New Orleans, stadium rocking, a must win for NO…and Petty was unfazed. He didn’t stare down receivers. He didn’t panic. He threw with confidence. He made his progressions. He doesn’t have the greatest arm to throw flatfooted under duress, as he was a bit, but he wasn’t bad.
His two interceptions – (1) a throw right to a TE short, hit him in the hands, the TE was hit from behind same time, the ball popped up into the air behind him and perfectly into the hands of a trailing defender. (2) The very last play of the game, 80 yards away from a TD down by 11, he heaved one deep and the Saints caught it like a fair catch punt almost. In the ‘real’ action…Petty was not being dangerous. His greatest crime was underthrowing receivers more than anything else.
Petty was a pretty good QB at Baylor. Yes, he comes from the Baylor ‘system’, so he’s instantly biased against…it makes sense. However, he threw the ball a lot. He’s not without any college success. He was an early 4th-round pick, so it’s not as if no one saw anything in him. Decent-ish/so-so arm. Quick decisions, which helps keep pressure off him (he was only sacked once in this game). He was an above-average runner in college. He’s not the worst. Late last season he was lost. He looks a lot better after watching him in this game.
He’s had to play a half against a great Denver secondary the week prior and a full game against a top 5-7 secondary at New Orleans here. He’s walked into a tough spot.
What does this mean for fantasy?
If you had to start Petty in a Superflex, it might not be so bad…and he can run so you might get some lucky yardage points.
Be careful going too crazy with our beloved Chargers DST…perhaps, just like I got so excited on Petty v. Saints DST but ended up as a mild letdown…maybe the same thing happens with -- versus Chargers? Perhaps, it’s not the all-world play it feels like. ‘Good’, but not a given.
-- One other Petty ripple effect… Maybe Robby Anderson (5-40-0/12) isn’t so bad to use after all? Anderson had more targets than all the other WRs combined…so, the ‘Petty loves Robby’ narrative (https://youtu.be/pwxLzLBV2YQ) might work here.
The reason Robby struggled in this game for the exact reason why I was bailing on my beloved going into this game – not because of Petty…but because of Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore is a top 5 cover guy in the NFL already and Robby was getting slightly open but Petty couldn’t deliver. But Petty kept trying (12 targets). The Chargers have a good pass defense but more because of their pass rush not because of shutdown corners. This might actually be a decent Petty-to-Anderson week.
-- The Jets are dipping their toe in the water more with JoJo Natson (1-7-0, 1-19-0/2)…a little speedster WR that can make big plays. A Damiere Byrd for the Jets. Not ready for FF prime time yet, but a big play to get noticed is coming…
-- Future Saints starting QB Taysom Hill (1 tackle) had another special team’s tackle. He’s working both punt and kick coverage.
There will be a day where Drew Brees gets concussed or whatever, and Hill has to step in and there will be a media storm for this guy. The QB that is so tough and athletic he plays on kick and punt coverage…you’ll never hear the end of it for 2-3 weeks if he is forced to start.
FYI, he’s a really good QB. We had him as a top 3-5 QB prospect in the 2016 class but he didn’t come out/got an extra year of eligibility.
He will hit with a frenzy one day…something to trade on the news, worst case.
-- Marcus Williams (6 tackles), a favorite of our CFM draft expert Xavier Cromartie, is having a great rookie season…part of the reason the Saints have a top 5-7 secondary in the NFL out of nowhere this year.
In his last 4 games, Williams has averaged 6.3 tackles, 0.50 PDs per game, and now with Kenny Vaccaro down on IR, Williams will have to step it up even more.
Vonn Bell may be back in play as well.
Snap Counts of Interest…
40 = Ingram
32 = Kamara
26 = Forte
24 = Powell
21 = McGuire
08 = JoJo Natson
17 = Vonn Bell