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This was a bit of a slugfest in sloppy conditions. The Buffalo Bills are such a sound football team but their offense is going nowhere fast. Their defense is great, but when they get behind – the offense struggles to answer. Late in this game, the Bills were down by 4 points and had shots within the red zone and couldn’t convert…couldn't even gain yardage hardly. The settled for a Field Goal and Cincy never let them back into the game to the end.
Actually, Cincy kept them in the game all day…A.J. Green had crucial fumble and Andy Dalton overthrew an open AJG for a diving pick/turnover. A cleaner game by the Bengals and this wouldn’t have been as close.
The Bills are the Bills…a tough out but cannot go to the next level with Tyrod Taylor. Don’t let them get ahead and sit on you with their defense.
The Bengals…this is where it gets interesting. As the AFC North collapses, the Bengals are lurking in the weeds. The Steelers are a very uneasy 3-2, and the Bengals have scratched and clawed back to 2-3. They are not far off being 3-2/4-1 with coulda wins over Houston and Green Bay.
Week 7 is the Bengals season, essentially, most likely. At Pittsburgh Week 7. If the Steelers win and send Cincy to 2-4, and that is the beginning of a four out of five games on the road stretch…the Bengals may have dug a hole too deep. If they can upset the fragile Steelers and take over first place…the Steelers may collapse of internal pressure and a 9-7 Bengals team wins the AFC North. Could you have imagined that after an 0-3 start?
Are the Bengals secretly good? I don’t know, truly I don't. They have competed with teams who have problematic O-Lines. They caught Green Bay at their worst and Houston has the worst OL in football (pre-Watson taking off). They thumped the Browns. They scuffled past the Bills. I'm in a 'wait and see' mode with Cincy. They don’t look good to my eye, but the internal Computer numbers are humming a little bit.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Another week, another time I write…I've never seen anyone move like Joe Mixon (15-51-1). However, he still hasn't done a lot for fantasy. The Cincy O-Line is terrible. The team is averaging 3.2 yards per carry (#31 in the league). Mixon is averaging 2.8 ypc on the season. He'll have a great 5-10+ yard run totally made by his lateral movement skills/evasiveness…then he'll be popped in the backfield by a broken line play the next two runs eliminating the positives from before.
There will come a day when people will marvel at Mixon and bemoan that they didn't pursue him when his value was down. I don’t know that he'll matter as much for 2017 because this offense is so conservative and OL deficient, but eventually the Bengals will ditch Jeremy Hill and Gio…and then 'it's on'.
-- Hey, Joe Mixon has more rushing TDs this season than LeSean McCoy (19-63-0, 6-26-0/9)…1 to 0, but McCoy has a slightly less worse ypc (3.2 to 2.8).
What's wrong with McCoy? I don’t know…but I don't know that will change anytime soon. It's not like he's a guaranteed TD guy. He has a random big TD season spasm here and there but has mostly not been a TD guy of late.
Rushing TDs in a season since 2012: 2-9-5-3-13…and currently zero. Take out the 13 TD season spike and you have a guy who has averaged 4.8 rushing TDs a season otherwise…this from a no-brainer RB1?
I was a McCoy FF-fan coming into the season on the expected heavy workload…workload has not been the problem, which makes you wonder if LeSean has really lost a step…or if this offense is just too constrictive.
You want to bottom fish on McCoy – it’s a great time. BYE this week, and has been disappointing heading into it. The schedule is a dream ahead – TB-OAK-NYJ-NO-LAC-KC-NE-IND-MIA-NE…seven matchups with teams ranked 20th or worse in rushing yards per game allowed currently He's faced some tougher run defenses so far. There's logic for a gamble on a turn post-BYE.
-- Charles Clay out, Nick O'Leary (5-54-0/6) is not a thing to place hope in. I get that Tyrod uses the TE, etc.., but Clay was not a normal. Lumbering TE, and O'Leary is not a starting NFL TE talent. A 5.00 40-time runner, undersized…no, thanks.
Logan Thomas (1-3-0/2) is nothing ready yet either.
Let's not play in the Buffalo passing game pool, in general.
-- However, I will say…someday rookie WR Zay Jones (1-9-0/6) is going to matter/be something for FF. It's going to take a different QB…and maybe a different coach versus defensive-minded Stone Cold Sean McDermott. Zay almost pulled off a game-winning-ish catch here on a one-handed, diving score blanketed by a defender…but he was out of bounds on replay. His second 'almost' game-winning catch of the season.
-- Tyler Kroft (4-38-0/5) looks really good for this Bengals team. Considering Tyler Eifert is always hurt…Kroft seems to be just fine. I wouldn’t give Eifert a contract after this season (he's unrestricted at end of the season)…I’d roll with Kroft-Uzomah and deploy money elsewhere.
If Eifert has no end in sight to his injuries/isn't practicing…you could do worse than Kroft as a TE2 hopeful to be a low-end TE1 more times than not this season.
-- Five NFL defenses have more INTs than TD passes allowed. Jacksonville now has the biggest spread (3 TD/10 INT) followed by Buffalo (2 TD/8 INT).
You can believe in this DST a little while longer after the BYE…Winston-Carr/bad back-McCown before it's time to jump off with Brees-Rivers-Smith-Brady-Luck. The Bills may weather that tougher schedule storm but you can't count on it.
-- If the Bengals defense is for real, which they would help prove by squashing the Steelers Week 7…then they'd face Brissett-Bortles-Mariota/Cassel-Siemian-Hogan/Kizer the following six weeks. Useful for streaming or a definite start if they are proving themselves.
I still don’t 'feel it' with the Bengals. I did, I do with Buffalo…and did so ahead of the curve. But Cincy, I'm perplexed but betting against right now. I may change that tune after Week 7 at PITT.
Snap Counts of Interest...
59 = O'Leary
20 = Logan Thomas
22 = Marcel Dareus (33%)
36 = Mixon
22 = Gio
11 = J. Hill