2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Football Training Camp Notes (8/08)
Throughout the preseason, we’ll be dropping Dynasty-Fantasy notes every few days as we have some things of interest, rumors, etc., to talk about.
*Writing them on the fly, forgive any errors (in no particular order)…
CHICAGO BEARS Training Camp Notes…
-- The Bears’ depth chart was released and note that 2nd-year DT Bilal Nichols is starting, and that is adding Pro Bowl-level talent firepower to a defense that was already stout. A nice IDP sleeper for those needing to use the DL slot…or down to using the DT slot. But note he’s a DT by trade/draft and what he played in 2018, but he’s listed as a starter at DE in the 3-4 scheme.
He was already quite athletic for a big man, but he’s changed his body even more/better for 2019. I loved what I saw in 2018 as a rotational/backup DL…now, he’s a starter it looks like.
-- Fail Sayers, a.k.a. David Montgomery, is listed as the 3rd-team RB behind Cohen 1st, Davis 2nd. Most coaches list the rookies back-end, so I’m not naïve in thinking that this is a locked in spot for Montgomery…but I do believe he will run as the #3 RB in Week 1 and for the season as long as Cohen-Davis are healthy. I know the Bears want to push Montgomery, so we have to take that with some interest (or concern for Cohen-Davis).
I am staking out my claim that Montgomery is going to disappoint, partly on his touch count and partly on my scouting of him. Once again, I’m all alone on a scouting item. Just note – I usually win those.
I know, but your soul is crying out (non-FFM audience)… ‘He forces so many people to miss’!!!
The people spewing that literally have not studied Montgomery at all…they may have not seen more than three of his (best) plays on the ESPN loop shown when his name is mentioned. They are all taking the PFF stat ‘forced missed tackles’ they heard about and are converting it to thinking ‘missed tackles’ and spouting off that Montgomery is so great because he makes people miss…again, per a stat.
…a stat they don’t even understand.
You probably do not understand it either, I bet. I don’t blame you. It’s my job to ask/know about these things for you.
Montgomery set the record for most ‘forced missed tackles’ in PFF’s grading history. Everyone on NFL Network, ESPN, and in your fantasy league is relying on this data to ‘know’ Montgomery is great.
Here are the questions they are not asking/pondering…
1) The PFF ‘record’ is his raw total – so games an RB has played, his touch counts are some kind of factor. Also, a big deal -- THE SCHEDULE…strength of schedule. Montgomery set the record in 2017. Here are Montgomery’s 100+ yard rushing game opponents (ranked by PPG allowed out of 130 teams) that year…
#100 Texas Tech
#90 West Virginia
#85 Oklahoma State
When I scout a running back for my clients or for NFL teams, I don’t even look at their games versus West Virginia, Texas Tech, Baylor (in 2016-17-18)…because those teams barely play defense.
Against the #29th ranked defense Texas, #16 TCU, #68 Oklahoma, #50 K-State, and add in his 100+ yard game game vs. #26 Iowa in 2017 – 75 carries for 289 yards for all of 3.9 yards per carry. That’s not good for a big-time prospect for the next level.
If you say, as they do, “Well, his offensive line wasn’t good!” Well, I say…’that easy schedule’!
All these 'forced missed tackles' cannot be the same, they're like snowflakes...but they are counted as such with no weighting/context it seems to me.
2) ‘Forced missed tackles’ by percentage of touches, also shows Montgomery to be #1 (and #2) all-time for PFF…but did you know that #3 (and #5…and #7) is Washington State RB James Williams…and he didn’t even get drafted? Why don’t you care about him with the same fervor? PFF really loved him when they published the top 15 all-time list at the end of the 2018 season. Shouldn’t we be loving him like we do with Montgomery?
3) Looking at the PFF top 15 ‘forced missed tackles’ all-time by percentage of touches… Do you know who is not on it?
Any running back who has played in the SEC.
Why do you suppose that is? I mean, that conference only spits out the best NFL talent…so, where are they?
Could it be the schedule/defensive talent they have to face? Could it be that the ‘missed forced tackle’ is such an abstract ‘art’ to be judged and you can get the ‘space’ to be judged more in the Big 12 or MAC or anything not SEC. Is it possible the stat is an optical illusion dependent upon the environment surrounding the RB and that the stat (for scouting purposes) doesn’t really matter because of so many other moving parts to the ‘incident’?
Could it be the human(s) that judge the SEC judge differently than the ones who do the Big 12 or PAC-12? It’s a judgement ‘call’, a stat that humans have to judge visually…how do we know it is done well? Is it done by well-paid experts or ‘volunteers’?
I’m just asking these questions before I fit Montgomery for a gold jacket, or assume he’s going to send the terrific Tarik Cohen or underrated, underappreciated, experienced, talented Mike Davis to the bench to watch him.
Have you ever seen Tarik Cohen’s college tape at NC A&T? They don’t call him the human joystick for nothing. Where is he on the ‘forced missed tackles’ list? He is the human definition of ‘forced missed tackles’ but he’s not on the top 15. I have no idea if they did, but if he wasn’t studied because of his level of play…and if some guys got barred from the data/judgement…is Montgomery the best? Or is he the best of the ones they got data on?
And that’s how a professional does it *takes a bow*
You don’t need to be a professional scout. NFL GMs are not professional scouts, most of them…and they don’t have the time to. I started FFM so you could outsource the fantasy player scouting to me, and you could utilize it as you see fit for your own financial gain. You’re too busy to watch all the tape and study all the analytics and talk to all the people that I do. A football company with a staff of 5-10-100…doesn’t matter how many of them there are if they aren’t as good at this as I am. Let me do the legwork for you and thus you can dazzle everyone in your fantasy league with ‘how did he/she know that so ahead of time?’
I won’t promise you you’ll ‘dominate your league’ (the stupidest line, used be EVERY fantasy site). I will help you be the single most informed person in your league. I’m not always right on talent assessment/situation/opportunity…just more right than everyone else at a higher rate.
I’m not being arrogant…I’m trying to make my Shark Tank pitch to be employed by you so I can eat tomorrow and don’t ever have to work for an NFL team or national media outlet. Help keep me independent!
Wow, I was just going to note David Montgomery was on the 3rd-team on the depth chart…but enjoy the extra thousand-word rant.
MIAMI DOLPHINS Training Camp Notes…
-- Let’s just stay on a roll of offending fans of certain players or teams, as I do…
How can anyone be a Miami Dolphins fan in 2019? Like, how do you look at the team and get excited that ‘this might be a playoff team if everything goes right!’. How do you write the check for season tickets?
I’m looking at the first depth chart…
You’re coming at me with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Drake-Ballage, Parker-Stills-Wilson, Gesicki-O’Leary-Smythe as your skill position starters. Really? This is the group that’s going to take down the Patriots?
-- Note, the starting RBs were listed as Drake OR Ballage…they specifically added ‘or’ to their depth chart. I keep thinking the 50-50 split/Ballage’s chances are more folklore, but it looks like it’s real right now.
I’d just say this – Kalen Ballage has been an awesome shorts/t-shirt player…outstanding visual specimen. His issue has tended to be ‘in pads’ and ‘against talented opponents’.
Ballage once scored 8 TDs in a game against Texas Tech!!! Is that the same great Texas Tech defense that David Montgomery ‘forced’ a lot of missed tackles in a game, I wonder? Callback. Nailed it.
L.A. CHARGERS Training Camp Notes…
-- We have the Chargers’ first depth chart for August, and I’m speechless on their defensive listing…
Two of the best young defensive talents, and hard worker/grinder players, Jatavis Brown and Desmond King…neither listed as starter.
LB Jatavis Brown has been on PUP for camp, and I get that he might list as 2nd-team for that…but he was listed 3rd-team. I have no words after what he does every time he gets onto the field. What a disrespect after what he did last year. HOWEVER, Denzel Perryman, the human I.R. machine – he’s back and BOOM right onto the 1st-team.
Look for a possible trade of Jatavis (free agent after this year) to Jacksonville in the next week or two, per a little birdy in my ear. The Jags are down two key LBs right now (Quincy Williams and Jake Ryan).
Desmond King is a talent…and could play corner or safety, but he’s getting stiffed at the main starting jobs.
I do not trust Anthony Lynn’s talent assessment judgement at all. LAC isn’t likely to see a repeat of the scheduling gift they got last year from Weeks 4-14…only one playoff opponent and mostly all 2018 top 5-10 draft picking teams to face. I don’t buy that this team is a legit Super Bowl contender. Beating Lamar Jackson/Baltimore in the playoffs in a game a failed drives and field goals…nice but not a statement…as the following game getting blown out vs. New England showed. They weren’t ready for the big time.
The Chargers are good, not great…in my book. A wild card unit not a division winner. We’ll see.
-- Rookie UDFA RB/FB Jeremy Cox looks like he’s listed as 3rd-team RB, but they show no FB position on the chart. Not sure what they see Cox as right now. He has been working out converting to FB, but I do see him getting some time in camp running the ball and especially leaking out in the passing game, as a giant tailback. Can’t wait to see what they do with him this week in the real games.
OAKLAND RAIDERS Training Camp Notes…
-- Make of it what you want, and Antonio Brown is still a great player…but the Steelers have been preparing to move on from AB for a few years now. They used him up and tried to contain him as much as they could…and then it reached a breaking point.
The Steelers typically are ahead of the curve on such things with personnel. One of the best in the league, one of the only teams willing to cut and run at/near the top or peak of players.
With that, the Raiders trade for the malcontent…shove him a lot of money. He’s already spouting off and missing practices. His foot issue may have been a fluke thing, but it could linger into the regular season – trouble planting and cutting. AB has no reason to force himself back into the lineup at 85%. AB’s been paid and this Raiders team is not a contender for anything…Brown’s motivations are suspect.
Watching a few clips of Hard Knocks…Antonio Brown is not into much besides ‘AB’. Look at him in the background of team meeting scenes. There are a lot of reasons to doubt what he’s going to bring to the fantasy table for 2019…including missing 1-2 game with a foot issue. He’s still a great, HOF WR…I just don’t know what we can trust in 2019 here.
-- Take this however you wish, but another little birdy told me that the Raiders are still prepping to trade/move on from Derek Carr soon…and there were national rumors of him on the trade block during the draft. If the 2019 season turns down fast, he will be dealt and the Raiders will ‘tank’ to head into 2020 with a top pick again and in search of a new QB for their grand move to Las Vegas. Gruden is already thinking beyond Carr.
Next year, the Raiders can cut Carr and it cost them $5M…or pay him $22M. Carr is playing for his job right now in Oakland…or for anywhere else in the future. Keep an eye on Carr to a midseason contender with a sudden QB injury or issue.
ANYONE BETTING GAMES TONIGHT?
You degenerate!! Betting on preseason NFL games. Sick.
I like to play small action on some preseason games just to have a stake in watching what I am duty-bound to watch anyway.
Here are some things I like tonight, in order of ‘like’…
BEST BET: MIA -4.5 home vs. ATL…ATL is going to give you a lot of Matt Schaub…yes, please. Miami with something to prove and we see Rosen-Rudock a lot, which is decent for the preseason. Rosen-to-Jakeem Grant TD coming!!
BAL -3.5 at JAX… Trace McSorley is built for games like this – dual threat QB. I believe Harbaugh is 13-0 ATS in his last 13 preseason games.
WAS +1.5 at CLE…Likely won’t see the CLE stars here, but WAS has four decent QBs to work. Josh Woodrum may get the most time, and he might be the best QB they have. I’m not joking…I like Woodrum, better than the other three.
BUF +2.5 at IND on Tyree Jackson getting good playing time, but his amount of time is an unknown…but should be a half of play maybe?
COMING UP on FFM…
-- Video Q&A show tonight. Planned start time 9pmET until about 10:30pmET or so. I might start even earlier to test our new video platform (I’ve been training on the new system again today).
All the details will be locked in on a separate post for subscribers. I’ll explain where to access (and it’s 100x easier to access than Shindig) and what time, etc., and I’ll post that on the FFM/CFM sites and send an App alert when the details are posted.
-- Game Recap central ahead! I’ll be analyzing all the Week 1 preseason games and writing/publishing reports the rest of the week into next week.
-- The Draft Guide, etc., rankings will start updating more frequently now after the games drop and then again when I’ve had a chance to study them deeper.
-- Next Dynasty Rookie Draft update will be Sunday (after all Week 1 preseason games done) and then another next Tue-Wed. after I re-watched them all.
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