2019-20 Dynasty-Fantasy Playoff Game Review: Packers 28, Seahawks 23
The Packers fortuitous season continues…a win that was much closer than it should’ve been the way GB started. I watch the Packers every week and I never see a ‘wow’ team. I watch Tennessee and I see the hot group playing smashmouth ‘wow’ football on both sides. I see the 49ers play and am wowed by how many ways they throw offensive punches at teams and I see the best defensive unit in the NFL (at full health again). I see the Chiefs, and I know Patrick Mahomes is the biggest difference maker, the strongest weapon in the league. I watch Green Bay, and I’m like…”How do they keep winning?”
You think it’s because of ‘Aaron Rodgers’, and he’s still very good…but he’s nowhere near Mahomes as a ‘wow’ player anymore. Rodgers, in this offense, hasn’t had top 10 QB output this season. Aaron Jones? There are a thousand Aaron Jones-like RBs roaming around. The GB defense always bows up when needed, it seems, but is not a shutdown defense in 2019.
The Packers most quality win on the season has been beating Minnesota Week 16…a game the Vikings half gave up on because of the standings/situation. The Packers are a good team with perhaps the single easiest schedule in all 2019…when they played KC, Mahomes was out – that was their scheduling season in a nutshell. Beating Seattle here is their most quality win – a win at home, in the cold, with Seattle playing a retired RB…and the Packers barely snuck out with a win. Credit Green Bay for keeping on winning, but the scheduling good times is about to end – they are going to go get crushed by the 49ers at San Francisco, for the second time this season. It’s the best bet of the entire playoffs in my opinion.
Green Bay has one advantage over the 49ers…they have Aaron Rodgers, and the 49ers don’t. However, the 49ers D-Line/pass rush is going to destroy the Packers…and GB doesn’t have the weapons to change their offense to counteract it. I see the argument for Tennessee or KC winning in the AFC. I don’t see any real reason to think the Packers beat the 49ers this week (or any week this season).
Seattle went about as far as they could considering their injuries and general talent. A better season than expected, a chance to get to the Final Four…but fell just short. For the future, it’s probably going to be a lot of ‘falling short’ ahead in the NFC West title race for Seattle. The 49ers have all the young talent and bright coaching. Seattle is holding onto the past as best they can, and their base players and coaching schemes have been good/great for several year…but it’s not built to dominate the next decade. Seattle will be declining ‘good’ for the next few years, but ‘great’ has likely passed them by. Pete Carroll will ride Russell Wilson for the next few years and then retire/get fired or asked to step down as Wilson declines.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- We got a big time playoff game featuring Russell Wilson (21-31 for 277 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) vs. Aaron Rodgers (16-27 for 243 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) – two of the best QBs of the past ten years, two 1st-ballot Hall of Famers. Two guys who should’ve won multiple Super Bowls but haven’t. We got them going head-to-head here, and…yawn.
They are just not working in offenses that feature their talents.
Wilson had 2 TDs passes in his two playoff games this go-round. How is that possible? Wilson’s TD passes in a game since Week 11: 1-1-2-0-2-1-2-1-1 (1.22 per game). That’s not ‘electric’. That’s not wow. Daniel Jones and Jameis Winston…and even Baker Mayfield had more exciting 2nd-halves of the season, as passer/producers.
Aaron Rodgers’ passing TD counts in every game this season: 1-2-1-2-0-5-3-1-0-1-4-1-1-0-2-2 = 1.64 passing TDs per game…a pace for 26.4 passing TDs in a season. Nice…but not as nice in the new era.
Obviously, their teams are winning…I’m more noting it for fantasy, but also the ability to rage back into a game if they get down. Seattle and Green Bay have two generational stars at QB, and their teams choose to be run game heavy offenses as a primary plan. I’ll never understand why. But, 23 seasons between them…and just two Super Bowl titles to show for it…one each…the same amount as Nick Foles.
I’m just saying…I’d want to go heavy on the Aaron Rodgers versus heavy on the Aaron Jones, but let’s see if the Packers prove me wrong and get to the Super Bowl with it.
-- The MVP of this game, no doubt…Davante Adams (8-160-2/11). Seattle loosely doubled him, and Rodgers just kept burning them right down to the nail in the coffin play at the end.
Our preseason models projected that the early schedule would hold Adams back some to start 2019…the first 4 weeks was going to make him worth bypassing in the redraft (he was tracking as a 1st-rounder) and then trading for on the dip. The first three weeks were slower and then he had a monster Week 4.
6.6 FF PPG/11.6 PPR on 5.0 rec., 66.0 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = Adams Weeks 1-3
9.5 FF PPG/15.8 PPR on 6.3 rec., 94.5 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = Adams Weeks 1-4
Adams got hurt and returned Week 9, his numbers from there through the playoffs (so far)…
12.0 FF PPG/18.6 PPR on 6.6 rec., 77.9 yards, 0.70 TDs per game = Adams after Week 4 this season
He was better Weeks 1-4 than I thought he’d be, on the back of a big Week 4, but not worth the 1st-round money, and then he got hurt helping making my case by pure luck…then he launched back to a top 3-5 FF WR from there.
Healthy Adams + Rodgers + it doesn’t matter what the schedule is = Top 3 fantasy WR in my book…the only real threat to what Michael Thomas does. I’ll have to see if my computer models agree – our 1st set of 2020 projections come out after the Super Bowl (we know the schedule/opponents for 2020, we just don’t know the order they’ll play it until April).
2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
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-- You’re going to try to win a playoff game going to the Final Four led by Marshawn Lynch (12-26-2) in 2020? Seriously?
I know Seattle had little choice, but HELL just change the offense 180 degrees and throw Green Bay for a loop and let Wilson throw 50+ times in a college spread set up. NFL coaches, except Belichick, never radically change things based upon opponent/based on defeating the opponent. NFL head coaches do what they normally do every week with 1-2 wrinkles they drew up on a cocktail napkin during the week getting implemented…it seems to me. They want to ‘exercise their will’ in a pissing contest.
Seattle couldn’t run the ball with their RBs here but kept trying in some key spots and they ended up falling short overall with Wilson throwing just 31 passes and losing the game. Maybe running lanes would open up with a new look/approach on offense for such an occasion?
Seattle and Green Bay did what they have done all 2019, and one of them won in the end. When KC got down, they went all air raid because they had to (taking KC away from running the ball does them a huge favor leaning all-in on Mahomes). Seattle got down and kept grinding and fell short. I’d wish I could’ve seen Russell Wilson’s career with pro passing game coaching staff, what he might have been able to do/produce.
Which begs the question…what team would that be? What team is all-in on the passing game? I’m not sure there are any pro-passing game head coaches in the league, honestly. Even Andy Reid would rather run balanced despite having Mahomes. I don’t think Kliff Kingsbury is all that pass-happy…he’s just tempo happy and is fine to run it within that. The Steelers with Big Ben in the prior few years are maybe the strongest pro-the-pass-game team and Bruce Arians likes to chuck it too. The Saints maybe under Sean Payton. Most coaches only throw because they are down in the game and have to throw, and/or the run game is stuffed with a bad O-Line or injured/lack of an RB forcing them to throw heavy (things like Detroit and Tampa Bay, among others, dealt with this in 2019).
The pass happy coaches are in college…and all the NFL coaching vacancies and coordinator vacancies are almost all going to NFL retreads. Nothing is going to change any time soon. We’ll see if Matt Rhule is going to change the narrative or not. My coaching profiles/studies will start in another week+ from now…after I get through the Senior Bowl week.
-- Everyone has noticed the Chiefs defensive improvements late in the season, but not as noticed…the Packers defensive improvements.
Their last five games of the season, the Packers DST allowed 13-15-13-10-20 points in games to the opposition.
The GB DST finished #9 in PPG allowed in 2019. #3 in interceptions. Middle of the pack in most all other defensive stats. They started hot, tailed off, and then have been closing strong. They flustered Wilson a bit here and had him physically worn down late, I believe – 10 QB hits and 5.0 sacks by GB on Wilson this game.
I think Mike Pettine is the unsung hero of the Final Four teams left in the NFL playoffs. I think he’s one of the best if not the best D-C, and he’s the last guy to head coach Cleveland and they were winning/respectable (and then the owner forced Johnny Manziel on him and brought everything down). Pettine was offered the Packers HC job, but didn’t want it because he likes his work-life balance as a D-C, and he enjoys teaching more than heading up the business…which shows how smart/self-aware he truly is. One of my favorite guys, most respected guys in all the NFL. I’d love to see Green Bay win it just for his sake.
Tomorrow…the Final Four playoff games preview for fantasy and handicapping.
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