2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk1 Vikings 34, Saints 25
The Saints ran some starters first drive, went right down the field and scored a TD…got it called back and settled for a field goal. After that the Vikings took control of the game. What would you expect when the Vikings possess “Mr. Preseason”?
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The insanity of people thinking the Saints/Sean Payton would change his RB usage without Mark Ingram. Even the Saints broadcast team was very concerned about life minus Ingram.
Hey, media dummies! Latavius Murray (3-14-0, 3-22-0/3) is more talented than Mark Ingram ever was, but Murray only went to Central Florida (before it was cool) and was only a 6th-round pick. Ingram went to Alabama, so that means he’s better. What a joke NFL perception is on scouting.
The duo of Kamara-Murray looked exquisite here, with the bump that Sean Payton is smarter than Mike Zimmer and all the other coaches Murray has played for – because Payton used Latavius in the passing game a lot here, and had anyone in the NFL paid attention the last 5+ years…Latavius Murray has terrific hands in the passing game.
The presence of Murray makes most football analysts, and thus the fantasy masses, swoon to Kamara as getting all these extra touches (*because they think Latavius is nothing). In reality, it should make them a bit nervous that the team just added a better-than-Ingram runner and receiver. Not that Murray takes over, just that there is no reason for Payton to lean hard on Kamara for fear of Ingram getting stuffed at the goal line some more or acting like a fool on the sidelines. Murray can take the goal line hits and preserve Kamara.
The Saints are better today without Ingram/with Murray. Latavius is a legit RB2 upside working alongside Kamara.
…and if Kamara ever got hurt, oh my…
If Kamara (or Murray) did get hurt, it looks like Dwayne Washington (8-36-0, 0-0-0/1) is the other ace in the hole the entire NFL missed on…a guy who deserves a better chance, a guy who ran for 100+ yards last Week 17 when given a partial chance.
I’m starting to get that urge to push the Saints over the Rams again for the NFC title. They are really loaded up and down the roster.
-- Saints rookie RB Devine Ozigbo (3-20-0, 1-9-0/1) looked as expected in his debut…hard-working, hard running, and made a nice catch on a low pass, but he faces a lot of talent above him. He’s likely headed to the P-Squad.
-- “Mr. Preseason,” Kyle Sloter (6-7 for 62 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) did what he does when the lights come on. Vikings fans, you want to know where your season is headed? See if Zimmer pushes Sloter as his #2 on the depth chart or if he cuts him for Sean Mannion – that decision is all you need to know about your chances to take the NFC South because it is a window into the talent evaluation soul of Zimmer, and that’s typically been hot garbage for his entire career.
Suppressor of Latavius for Dalvin Cook…suppressor of Jerick McKinnon…delayer of pushing Adam Thielen to the starting lineup…drafter of Laquon Treadwell…payer of too much to Kyle Rudolph. The NFC North is there for the taking but I fear Minnesota and Green Bay management will butcher the opportunity.
-- In ‘who will be starting in Week 4, after Dalvin Cook gets hurt again?’ news…
Rookie Alexander Mattison (9-30-0, 1-1-1/2) ‘started’ and got the push. He’s the #2 in Zimmer’s heart. A guy who couldn’t make a few rosters in the NFL will be the backup for one of the most injury prone starting RBs in the league. Sweet planning!!
The uber-talented Mike Boone (4-70-1) entered the game after Mattison and promptly reeled off a brilliant 64-yard TD run. Link: https://youtu.be/_aWQCopKpx8
I’m not even going to call him ‘Mike Boone’ anymore. I’m just going to call him ‘more talented Dalvin Cook’.
DeAngelo Henderson (7-42-0) saw some work late, and looked solid, as he tries to knock off Boone for the #3 RB spot…when Boone should be sitting as a co-starter.
Rookie UDFA Khari Blasingame (3-28-1/3) would be a nice RB talent to develop but NFL teams are limited on time (and skill to do it). The Vikings are trying to make Blasingame a fullback, and he saw several purposeful pass plays within that…a good sign for his chance to make the team.
-- Three defensive/IDP players to hit on…
Vikings’ 2nd-year undersized DL Hercules Mata’afa (3 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack) was ‘starting’ this game and has worked with the 1s some this summer…and was a little bulldog in this game. He was a 250+ pound nose tackle in college, and an awesome one at that. He’s worked his way to the D-Line (was working at LB some last year before an ACL in training camp) rotation this year it looks like.
Saints rookie LB Kaden Elliss (3 tackles, 1 PD), whom I really like, was working exactly where I said he should…ILB. He was a college OLB/DE/TE jack of all trades, but he really had the look/movement of an ILB…and there he was. A solid debut for him at his new position.
The most impressive young IDP I saw in this game…Saints rookie SAF Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (2 tackles). Perhaps, producing the single best play of the Week 1 preseason.
I want you to watch this play live, and then we’ll watch it again because it takes 2-3 watches to see what happened here.
Note that Gardner-Johnson is #22 for the Saints. The video link below will open to the exact play starting at the 3:02 mark. Instantly pause the tape when #22 comes in from off screen (deep safety) and then be prepared to keep your eyes on him the entire play. Then watch it again a 2nd and 3rd time to really see what a human just did to a very fast Ameer Abdullah…
Yes, that was CGJ running in fast, not able to stop himself, so he slides into 3rd-base safely, then gets up and from a 5+ yard deficit blazes past everyone and catches Abdullah. Wow. Look at the speed and look at the build (and aggressiveness). Sometimes ‘wow’ moments change your mind on a player, even unfairly so or misleading so…but that play is going to stick with my brain for a while.
Only a few humans could do that, so we have to take it seriously.
-- If you didn’t know better, you’d want Tyler Conklin (2-56-0/2) as your fantasy TE not tiny TE Irv Smith (3-21-0/7). Irv Smith is a yawn and Conklin is coming on and Kyle Rudolph is the guy. Smith is going to be nothing for 2019 fantasy, I’d say, because of circumstances.
-- You’d rather have Saints TE Dan Arnold (2-21-1/3) for the future anyway…their starter/receiving TE weapon for 2020+.
-- Make sure you have the (free) FFM App with notifications enabled to get alerts anytime we post an article or report or update rankings to FFM/CFM.
-- The 2019 Annual Fantasy Football Metrics Draft Guide package is now available – the 2019 player scoring projections, rankings, special reports, commentary on 600+ players, IDP rankings, etc…all updated daily/weekly throughout the offseason right up to kickoff.
Our 2019 In-Season coverage (Weekly rankings, all game reports, video shows, special reports, etc.) is available for pre-purchase, so you’re ready/signed up for when the season begins. Purchase In-Season and Draft Guide as a COMBO to save a few bucks and get all set up in one session.
-- College Football Metrics statistically scouts/grades 600+ NFL Draft prospects, and deeper studies 100+ prospects pre- and post-draft with detailed scouting reports and rank the top 300+ Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects (including IDP) every week throughout the offseason. See our home page for details on our various subscriptions.
-- The debut season of our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball is now available – Dynasty rankings for various scoring positions in downloadable/editable spreadsheet format for your use. Offseason strategy reports posting weekly…trade for/away, sleepers, deep sleepers, draft strategies, mock drafts, etc. And you would have been privy to my contacts and reports on Tyreek Hill’s situation from when it began – and you would have prospered from it.
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