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Did you see what I saw on Monday Night Football? The Redskins were the better team than the Chiefs…at KC. The Redskins took it right at Kansas City and were on the verge of putting them away, but then it slipped away. One by one the Redskins lost players on every play it seemed. By the end of the game, the Redskins were down to 9th-string DBs…and they still almost won. That was one of the most telling losses in the NFL this year – the Redskins are one of the 10 best teams in the NFL and Andy Reid gets the 'genius' labels applied to him for another week while I sit and scratch my head at almost everything he does.
In another world, the Redskins win this game and move to 3-1 and are one of the most celebrated teams on the young NFL season. People would be roasting Andy Reid for not getting Tyreek Hill the ball in this loss. Instead, we'll forget about the Redskins going into their BYE and celebrate the delicate genius that is Andy Reid. Even worse, if the Redskins lose Josh Norman for any key games ahead…they'll probably lose another game they shouldn’t and dig a deeper hole.
The Chiefs are living with the angels a little bit right now, but we'll see what they are made of the next 7 games…PIT-DEN-DAL-NYG-BUF among the games in that stretch. The angels descended and removed Derek Carr from OAK in their Week 7 matchup likely. If the Chiefs have a letdown at Houston this week…I think the floodgates might open a little bit and drag KC down for several weeks. If they lose to Houston this week, I wouldn’t be shocked if they were 5-4/6-3 going into their Week 10 BYE…that's how tough the schedule is ahead.
As I watched this game live with a friend at Buffalo Wild Wings, to enjoy a Tyreek Hill celebration night to help our various FF teams to victory…it turned into the Hillary Clinton election night party. Excitement to start. A little nervous on the early returns but it was still early…then the realization time was running out…then the realization it was 'over'. It wasn't supposed to be this way.
As the last play of the game was about to snap, I took a final, departing swig of Diet Coke and I thought – "Well, this sucks. At least, my Blazing Five pick of Washington +7.0 is locked up."
It wasn't a great night.
One of those nights you wonder why you do this…why you put yourself through this. Then you wake up and start debating J.D. McKissic as a sleeper, and all is right with the world.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Some of us needed a Tyreek TD kinda night to win games, but we got stuffed. Because this was a solo TV game it allowed Tyreekians to watch in agony as he was being played by cornerbacks 10 yards off him half the night and wasn’t seeing any quick targets to take advantage. The targets he did see was as if he was Jason Witten or Antonio Gates. You know what's a great way to get the best weapon in all of football out into space with the ball? Throw it to him with his back turned to the defense in the middle of the field. Andy Reid…delicate genius. Every win re-validates it so you can't criticize him.
Just a pick me up on Hill…
A) Every other 2017 game for Hill is a head-scratching touch type and count. B) This is probably as bad as it gets in a 4-game stretch. C) If this is as bad as it gets…he still tracking as a PPR WR1/top 12 YTD in PPG among WRs.
We're not getting world domination but we're getting an every week starter without question.
Will Hill ever get the right amount of touches? Probably not. If Monday night showed us anything it's that once again old-school NFL head coaches are success adverse and they're in love with decoys and power running games. I really hope the Rams/Sean McVay wins the Super Bowl this year. Something has to get these NFL teams to change their ways. McVay is much younger and far less experienced than 31 other head coaches -- and is running rings around the establishment. It's comical to watch. Sean McDermott is doing a different version using defense as the lead punch. Buckle up for the Rams-Bills Super Bowl.
I can’t write more "Hill doesn't get enough touches" complaints because it isn't worth the screen I'm typing it on. Most top fantasy WRs are becoming 'every other week' guys now…even Antonio Brown had a dud last week. It is what it is. There's hope that Hill gets lit but it won't be an easy journey walking it, watching it unfold. Just assume you'll be mad watching every KC game this year…and that Hill will be a WR1 with a chance at being top 3 overall with a little extra push.
One of the possible reasons this didn’t go Tyreek's way tonight was because Washington sustained so many injuries on defense that KC kept running the clock/ball and destroyed the Redskins 2-to-1 nearly in time of possession. I think Reid was happy to win with body blows and scoring a ref's decision win versus going for the knockout punches. Why? Because that's what old-school coaches want to do – control the clock. They live for it. No need for risky plays…just meat and potatoes here. They won, so what do I know…(except that the healthy Redskins would have kicked their ass).
-- So, I don’t know what was worse…the Redskins giving up a late TD to blow the point spread cover or watching Tyreek get ignored…or watching Samaje Perine (6-27-0) blow another opportunity to seize the backfield.
One of the reasons the Redskins will fall short of greatness in 2017 is with how they've handled Perine all year. You watched it again last night – Perine is so obviously better than Rob Kelley (7-23-0) it's laughable. There were moments last night if you were watching that you saw some of the Perine potential greatness…a guy who looked bigger, better, quicker than Kareem Hunt in 'burst' terms up the middle through traffic (when there weren't giant holes to run through). However, Perine won’t get within a hundred miles of Hunt's 2017 output at the current pace.
Kareem Hunt looked skittish in the preseason and was planned to be a definite backup to Spencer Ware. As with most good things in the NFL – it takes an injury to force a coach's hand into finding a gem. Hunt had to get a push…KC had no other choice once Ware went down. When Hunt fumbled his very first NFL carry, Andy Reid changed the 2017 season by giving Hunt the ball the very next offensive opportunity. He could have done what most coaches do – bench the rookie and insert Charcandrick West to teach the rookie a lesson…but he didn't. Credit to Reid for that.
When Perine fumbles, Jay Gruden yanks him and talks about it in the press. Perine has not had fumble issues prior but looks scared every other time he gets the ball now…scared to fumble. Matt Jones was supposed to be a burgeoning star…he fumbled, got benched by Gruden and his career got destroyed. Perine is flirting with the same trouble. Rob Kelly basically exists because he doesn’t fumble. He never does anything positive running the ball and drops every pass thrown to him, but he doesn’t fumble…so the Redskins have no running game. The one workhorse back they have (Perine) is getting gunshy.
What was learned/reinforced watching this game – our battle is not against flesh & blood scouting players, but against the dark powers of the coaching fraternity. Scouting coaches is as critical as scouting players when it comes to fantasy.
Unless Rob Kelley gets run over by a road paver, Perine will NEVER have this backfield. Even if Perine starts pulling even in touches…and you think you might use him for fantasy…he's one fumble away from never playing after that.
If treated like a star RB with clout, Perine might be Jordan Howard already. Until Kelley dies off or the Redskins start losing…we aren’t going to get to see Perine treated with respect. Additionally, Jay Gruden is proving to be a destroyer, not a builder, of young running backs so why do we all ignore that?
Remember Matt Jones was going to be a star? What happened? Fumbles, in part.
Perine is very droppable in a 12-team/15-man roster situation, as much as I like him.
When you do drop Perine…then Kelley will tear his ACL and Perine will be the waiver guy of the week and you'll miss out picking him back up and then Perine becomes a star and you go into depression. That's the fear. Ther reality has been – Gruden undermines and destroys the ray of light at RB. If you’re betting, you bet against Perine…even knowing there is hope. The hope is enough to keep you tethered in some situations. The likely reality allows you to move on in redraft if needed.
-- I'm not sure what's going on with the Redskins passing game, but Terrelle Pryor (3-70-1/5) is not of any importance whatsoever. The last three weeks of targets: 4-4-5. He's not getting any type of respect at all…not close to WR1 type respect.
I’d use this nice stat line to deal him if you could. If you could get a WR2 value out of him some how…or trade him for Tarik Cohen or in part to get Evan Engram. I think Pryor is to be used to move on from this week. If no one is biting, you hold and hope, but I'm not encouraged with anything I see here. If Pryor doesn’t (a) push off Marcus Peters as the ball comes in and (b) make a 'look what I found' catch…this could have easily been a 2 catch for 26 yards and no TD night for Pryor…which is almost exactly what he's done the prior two weeks.
I'd tap out/move on if you can find a proper home/exchange.
The team will push Jamison Crowder (1 catch for -7 yards on 1 target) for a week because Jay Gruden yapped about it post-game. Josh Doctson (2-27-0/3) could be Terrelle Pryor if he didn’t get hurt after every target. Ryan Grant (2-16-1/3) is better than all of them, in 'hands' terms.
It's a bad scene and bad trend for Pryor…use this nice stat line to shove to someone who is 'buying low'. Matthew Berry is still pushing Pryor so there will be a sucker out there somewhere.
-- Post-BYE, this Washington pass game may come right back around to Jordan Reed (3-21-0/5). If you're dying at TE, he's worth a cheap gamble in a deal to sit on and see what happens. He played limited snaps but saw targets about every other snap he was in. He's Cousins' most trust receiver. Don’t give up on Reed…and look to acquire cheaply. He has two weeks to heal now.
-- IDP DB Eric Murray (4 tackles, 1 TFL) is getting more and more work and starting to produce IDP numbers 6-3-4 for tackle counts the past three games post-Eric Berry injury and playing about half the snaps or less in games. One to watch in deep IDP leagues. We graded him solidly coming out of Minnesota his draft year.
-- The IDP deep sleeper that stole my heart in this game was Quinton Dunbar (4 tackles). Everytime that I looked up that #47 (Dunbar) had his nose in the middle of the action or showing nice coverage in key spots…as the starters got hurt and he got his chance.
Dunbar is a former WR at Florida, 6'1.5/201 runs a 4.44 with a 7.10 three cone…converted to DB in the NFL.
Someone to keep an eye on if he gets more playing time…especially if Josh Norman is out.
-- Once we're past the BYE and once we see Josh Norman is back – it's time to get excited about the Redskins DST. When Norman and everyone was healthy in this game the Redskins were dominating the Chiefs. The prior week, the Skins dominated the Raiders. The AFC West is supposed to be so tough, but the Redskins were on the verge of laying beatdowns on both the Raiders (they did) and the Chiefs (they were until they became a M.A.S.H. unit).
Pairing Pittsburgh with Washington DSTs…
Week 5: PIT v. Bortles (WAS BYE)
Week 6: WAS v. Hoyer (even without Norman, maybe?)
Week 7: PIT v. Dalton
Week 8: PIT v. Lions (WAS v. Dallas)
Week 9: WAS v. SEA (PIT BYE)
Week 10: WAS v. MIN/PIT v. IND
Week 11: PIT v. TEN
Week 12: WAS v. NYG (PIT v. GB)
Week 13: PIT v. Dalton (WAS v. DAL)
Week 14: PIT v. Flacco
Week 15: WAS v. ARI (PIT v. Brady)
Week 16: WAS v. DEN/PIT v. HOU
Snap Counts of Interest…
71 = Conley
58 = Tyreek
43 = Albert Wilson
50 = Daniel Sorensen (100%)
28 = Eric Murray
21 = Ragland
35 = Vernon Davis
25 = Niles Paul
13 = Jordan Reed
26 = Chris Thompson
12 = Perine
12 = Kelley
37 = Dunbar (49%)