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This game was 33-19 for the final, and there was a last-second Dallas INT return TD to get it there…as Washington tried to drive to tie it up late and coughed up the pick-six. The final score, the Redskins with a chance to win late didn’t represent how great of a win this was for Dallas.
Going to Washington, in the rain, fumbling the ball away on the first play…everything building against Dallas but they just muscled their way to seize control of this game and put Washington away – and this is a really good Washington team, like long-shot Super Bowl-hopeful-when-fully-healthy type of good.
I remain steadfast…Dallas is the best team in the NFL, and they are going to win the Super Bowl.
Dallas has five tough games upcoming…KC-ATL-PHI-LAC-WAS. Four of them at home, all of them likely without Ezekiel Elliott. If Dallas goes 3-2 in that stretch it will be further proof of how great a top-to-bottom team this really is. A 3-2 record ahead pushes them to 7-5 overall with Philly likely to be 8-4 because their schedule is brutal the next few weeks. Week 11 Dallas hosting Philly…if Dallas gets that game then this NFC East is going to Dallas and the Eagles will tailspin. 7-5 Dallas would project to finish 10-6 and into the playoffs one way or the other.
Washington picked the wrong year and wrong division to take on a thousand injuries. They are sitting 3-4 now, but they are not out of things at all. However, they are running out of time to salvage the playoffs. They have to win two of their next three with SEA-MIN-NO, which are tough matchups. They could go 0-3 and be done…and it would be a shame because this team had real possibilities.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Ezekiel Elliott (33-150-2, 1-4-0/2) appears to be gone for the next 6 weeks. I look at fantasy teams in various leagues with Elliott and they are mostly all doing well/have winning records and they have been pouncing any teams I’ve been associated with, especially this week.
Why do I say that? That’s how important David Johnson was and is. I’ve missed that ace in the hole and Tarik Cohen and the other rando RB3s just haven’t filled that void.
I’m getting questions from dynasty GMs on trading David Johnson for baubles and beads today to help a 4-4 team get to the playoffs. I think we all forget how amazingly powerful David Johnson is in fantasy. Look no further than Ezekiel Elliott. Also, consider…those top teams you’ve been chasing to get to the playoffs…they just lost their David Johnson with Ezekiel gone (and EE is nowhere near as FF-good as DJ). They’re going to be scrambling now too.
Alfred Morris is the supposed starter ahead, but you know DMC will get touches. Everyone is sniffing around Rod Smith and I get that, but in 12-team leagues…it’s hard to bet on him ahead. If you got a roster spot to burn – Smith is one to take a look at. We’ll know the reality of the timeshare soon enough.
I have a feeling this is going to be an RBBC/hot hand/situational thing and none of them really matters. However, you’re forced to push/start this week Alfred because if one of these guys seizes control with this offense and is an 80% version of Elliott – it’s going to be very useful. It could turn a season around. Morris has the supposed first chance to claim the prize…you gotta give it a look.
-- The Redskins downfall is their running game…they have none. Rob Kelley (8-19-1, 0-0-0/1) makes Jay Ajayi look fast and nimble.
Samaje Perine got to watch Kelley do nothing from the bench…because Jay Gruden could not care a whit about Perine. Kelley is ineffective and hurt, and still Perine is not being prepped to help.
Why should Gruden care, when he can just soft toss passes to Chris Thompson (8-76-0/9), who is apparently dressed in camouflage on Sundays because opposing defenses still don’t cover Thompson out of the backfield. The guy makes more catches with no one within camera shot more than anyone in the history of football.
Three fumbles, two lost the last four games for Thompson…but that stuff only matters for Perine.
-- Jamison Crowder (9-123-0/13) will get a push this week because (a) he just had a big game result, and (b) Matthew Berry drives the fantasy bus for the masses, and he loves his Redskins…it’s so adorable.
Prior to this week, Crowder had 1-3-2 catches in his last three games and -7, 15, 28 for yards. But now…he’s a star again?
What you may not know…and I did not until I caught during research for this article: did you know Crowder has five fumbles and two lost this season? He has an official fumble recorded in four of his last five games.
But that stuff only matters for Perine.
-- Cole Beasley (2-8-0/3) has been nothing this season, and is now hurt and may miss Week 9. Once he opens the door for Ryan Switzer (1-7-0/1)…it may never close it again. No Beasley this week and Switzer is a long shot daily play.
-- Dak Prescott (14-22 for 143 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) has been on fire for fantasy, until this game. Cut him some slack – in the constant rain, Elliott running wild, and a very potent Redskins secondary…and thus a low FF-outcome. Note – against a secondary that might be top 5 most talented in the league now.
Another reason why I love Dak...Dez Bryant and his jackassery, complaining about his targets mid-game -- because I'm sure Josh Norman was posting sticks of butter for hands between snaps and letting Dez know every snap. And Dez is a baby, and overrated, and near-useless...but he doesn't think so. Dez started complaining to Dak, then to the coaches, then to anyone who would listen...right before halftime.
The next time Dak threw to Dez...about 14 minutes of game later. And only 6 times total.
Most QBs would force the baby his bottle, like Ben-Antonio...but not Dak.
Why Dallas didn't trade for a WR at the deadline is befuddling. Dez will cost them the title as sure as I type this sentence.
-- Jordan Reed (1-5-0/1) is hurt, again. I tried to roll the dice with him this year, but I was careful to backstop him with Evan Engram for just such an event. I try never to leave a redraft without a QB2 and TE2 that I feel could be QB1/TE1 for an emergency or trade chip.
I don’t know that anyone can ever count on Reed again. It’s a different injury every week. He’s great, but you can’t keep having him constantly leave midgame for chunks with some new injury.
-- It would be easy to lose sight of it because of the last few weeks, but the Redskins defense is really good. Dallas scored 26 points on offense in this game – and they are great on offense, so no shame for the Washington DST. Last week, 34 allowed to Philly…but no Josh Norman. They gave up points to KC, but that’s when they lost all their defenders on a MNF game. At full strength, this is a defense to fear, a sleeper DST for sure.
This DST may be a shock at Seattle and vs. Case Keenum the next two weeks.
-- And then there is Dallas’s defense that we’ve been crowing about for weeks/months. This young unit keeps getting better and better. 14.5 PPG allowed the past two weeks. They’ve been popped by two great offenses LAR-GB in recent weeks, but against lesser/OK offenses they’ve been great…and getting better.
Dallas is highly ranked on my upcoming dynasty stash report list…but they may be so good that people start claiming them to use them every week soon. Big test against KC this week. If they dominate KC, and they might…Dallas DST may be a legit start the rest of the season. Not great matchups ahead, but OK ones…and fortunately no Rams or Packers or Patriots, etc.
Dallas may have the best pass rush outside of Jacksonville now. Great, young secondary. When Sean Lee is healthy…it all clicks.
The DST of the future…the future is coming fast. The Dallas Cowboys. Who could have predicted?
All 2017…back to the Spring.