This game was 19–0 Cincy at halftime, and it wasn’t even that close in reality. The Eagles are virtually embarrassing themselves at this point. If you saw the Jets humiliate themselves against the Colts on MNF…the same thing happened here.
It was 26–0 soon into the third quarter, and then it was just a merciful ending the rest of the way. Both teams are not very good; their seasons are effectively over. They’re both playing out the string.
— The one bright spot in this game for Philadelphia – rookie UDFA WR Paul Turner, just called up from the practice squad, got extended time in the second half and responded with 6 catches for 80 yards on 8 targets (and the two missed targets were not catchable).
I’m not going to rehash Turner’s back story and my initial scouting because I’ve done it three or four times the past two weeks (see a version of it from my FantasyPros ‘6 Things…’ article from this week, below).
What I do want to critique is his play in this game…
The first half, it was as if Turner was not on the field. I’m sure he was, but he didn’t get a target. Nelson Agholor had to prove he was still awful. Box checked.
In the second half, Turner was basically ‘starting’ and had 8 targets. Before we get too shocked/excited by 8 targets in a half – Carson Wentz threw the ball 60 times in the game. However, eight of those targets did go to Turner and he caught six of them…the six that a human would be able to catch. Turner looked under control, not nervous, and he delivered something Eagles’ WRs have not been able to all that much – he made the simple catches. He made easy catches look easy…the way an NFL WR is supposed to.
I’m having a hard time finding another player I can use to compare Turner to…trying to find the ‘He’s like…‘ player. Anquan Boldin was the only thing that came to mind, but not sure that’s a proper comparison either. Maybe a slower Jarvis Landry? Whatever he is – he deserves to start for the Eagles. Nelson Agholor is the worst. Wentz needs someone who can catch normal passes. He has that in Turner. Because Wentz may need to lean on him…Turner might be a shock for PPR the next few games as Philly gets blown out.
From my ‘6 Things…’ this week:
Paul Turner – Deep Sleeper Wide Receiver
I didn’t think Paul Turner would ever make it to the NFL.
I’ve done scouting for the NFL Draft every year for the past 6+ years – all positions scouted using a Moneyball-inspired mathematical basis for locating players and then combining that with game tape/player study. Producing reports for NFL teams’ use and for a growing number of dynasty GMs (you can see that work annually at College Football Metrics.com). I’ve watched untold hours of tape and pored over reams of statistical data, and I would have bet a lot of money Paul Turner would not make it to the NFL this past summer.
Turner had 6 catches for 80 yards on 8 targets this week, called up from the practice squad just two weeks ago. And I was excited about this arrival performance.
When we scouted him pre-draft, he was a zero/nothing of a prospect based on our analytics. Terrible measurables to translate to the NFL. His best performance numbers at Louisiana Tech in a season – 45 catches for 657 yards and 3 TDs. Who cares? He didn’t make the cut of a player we should even wasn’t time studying film on. And then I saw him play in the 2016 preseason. He was terrific.
At first, in his preseason debut, I thought he was just lucky. Re-watching all his preseason game tape week after week in August – I saw he was a high-effort, muscular/strong, great catcher of the ball at wide receiver…and had better athleticism than his Pro Day would have ever suggested. He led the Eagles in receiving in the 2016 preseason. When I saw him return a punt for a TD in his final preseason game, I reversed any doubt on his athleticism analytics.
Turner was cut before the season started, and no one claimed him so he went on to the practice squad. Now, here he is two weeks removed from being called up to the main roster, leading the Eagles in receiving among their wide receivers in Week 13. Good for him.
I don’t trust Carson Wentz, but if there’s a lot of garbage time ahead (like this game), and Jordan Matthews is out longer (or even if not), keep an eye on Paul Turner. He’s a deep sleeper dynasty prospect, but he might become a viable PPR play now as the Eagles’ season drives off a cliff and they go with a youth movement to finish out. Turner has earned his shot. This week, he delivered.
— Rex Burkhead (8-38-0, 4-28-0/5 targets) crept into the hearts and minds of more people this week. I guess watching Jeremy Hill run the ball 22 times for 33 yards (1.5 ypc) got a bit dull for the Bengals’ coaches. No worries – it will be all Hill all the time next week, I’m sure.
Burkhead ran the ball with nice urgency and moves and then was his usual ‘ace’ in the passing game. His only missed target was a beyond-obvious P.I. that wasn’t called. He looked good in all facets. He got more touches this week…but this was also a blowout, so the precious Jeremy Hill could come out and rest his weary head from posting 1.5 yards per carry.
I’m not ready to trust Burkhead for PPR in a 12-team PPR yet.
— Carson Wentz (36-60 for 308 yards, 1 TD/3 INT) is so bad. Everyone knows it, but won’t admit it. Because he was anointed pre-draft, he gets the ‘he’ll be great down the road‘ treatment from analysts. That’s code to distract away from the problems right now.
Wentz has mechanical issues, and it is very possible he does not have the vision/instinct to play QB in the NFL. The mainstream loved his looks and his smarts. They never questioned his football skills. They said he was fast with a big arm – when he is neither. They made him into a thing that didn’t really exist, and now they have to eat it.
10 INTs the last seven games. 6 INTs the past three games. It’s not like he’s getting better – he gets worse, seemingly, every game. I mention this as an advertisement – he’s arguably the best QB to face for your opposing DST week to week. No one, besides Philip Rivers, is throwing more picks than Wentz of late. Washington DST this week.
— Where has Fletcher Cox (2 tackles, 1 PD) gone? 4.0 sacks in his first four games and Jim Schwartz was hailed as a genius. Cox has not had a sack since…eight games shut out.
— Darqueze Dennard (5 tackles) is continuing his solid play/number production – 6.3 tackles per game in his last four games.
— Darren Sproles (7-14-1, 6-35-0/6 targets) seems dull for fantasy, but he’s putting up plausible numbers in PPR each week.
Over their last six games…
7.2 FF PPG (11.9 PPR) on 62.3 total yards, 32.8 yards rushing, 4.7 rec. (6.7 targets) for 29.5 yards and 0.17 TDs per game = Darren Sproles
8.3 FF PPG (11.1 PPR) on 73.3 total yards, 55.5 yards rushing, 2.8 rec. (3.7 targets) for 17.8 yards and 0.17 TDs per game = Todd Gurley
— The Bengals DST might be trying to peak through?
In their last four games, the Bengals have allowed 21-16-19-14 for points in games (17.5 PPG). The defense is also second in interceptions in the NFL this season. Facing Cleveland this week? Yeah, that’s a good thing. Houston Week 16 might not be too bad either.