2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk2 Buccaneers 16, Dolphins 14
A sluggish, kinda dull affair between these two teams. Tampa Bay had more starters going to begin the game, but Miami showed more intensity/enthusiasm for playing. However dull the game was, I have several player notes of interest from it.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s begin with my new, and everyone’s new, favorite rookie WR Preston Williams (1-7-0/6). Everyone’s new favorite until five minutes after the game was over.
Williams had a Kyler Murray-like ADP chilling event…one catch on 6 targets. The easy thing to do is just assume, like with Kyler this week, that Williams got some comeuppance and maybe he is not as good as everyone thinks/was hyping. It’s easy to think that Williams was just another preseason hoax rookie after this game without even really watching it. That’s why we need to study the tape unbiased…or I do, you go back to enjoying your summer. I’ll let you know the deal.
Also, note that with Kyler or Preston…you might like/love them for fantasy…so, it pains you anytime you see the Roto-blurbs praising them. You don’t want your rookie love rising in ADP.
The football media is by and large an unstudied echo chamber of highlight watching and going by whatever someone else said. You have probably done more work researching Kyler or Preston in your reading and/or watching than most highly paid football analysts have. You have some conviction, they are chasing the popular wind blowing around that they don’t see/just feel. With that, keep in mind two things:
1) The media has so many players it loves and/or claims is a sleeper, they all start drowning each other out…it becomes some white noise. How can 78 different players be sleepers? It’s like watching a preseason game and the one team’s announce team talking about their team’s training camp – how can 87 guys all be having a great camp on the same team and NO ONE having a bad camp?
The Preston Williams hype of late…it runs alongside 63 other wide receivers who THEY say looks good/great this preseason. Not everyone is really focused in on as you’d think. Their connection/conviction is low in general. Anyone interested is going to go by the ranking list their draft platform offers…even if their interest is piqued.
It’s a loose love, not a conviction for most on guys like Preston Williams.
2) The media gets behind things in a herd mentality…safety in numbers. Reporting for them is just echoing the current sentiment heard from others doing the same. Most reports you’ve read on Preston Williams are from people who have literally never seen him play a snap either in the preseason or in college. If they have seen him play…it’s a few highlight plays, not a purposed study.
The media usually sticks by the guys they liked in January-March and most are big school guys. Preston Williams was not on any radar then.
So, when a player gets pumped up by THEM…they really don’t even know what they’re talking about 99% of the time. So, with that, it will be easy for them to do the same thing going in the other direction – Williams had a bad stat line/didn’t score 9 TDs in this game…now he is reported as ‘struggling’ in this game. The word ‘drops’ is thrown in because the analysts love nothing more than seeing a player touch a football but not catch it and belching DROPS. Fans hear it and think the guy can’t catch now. The media giveth (last week) and they taketh away (this week) on Preston Williams.
Most of it based on hearsay or a highlight.
The Preston Williams story of love last week has been undermined now this week. The hype has effectively stopped. Ditto for Kyler Murray who had his media hit job Thursday night into Friday and his ADP rise halted and is sliding away. Everyone, it seems, has turned on Kyler.
It’s all on how it’s reported…or if it is reported.
J.J. Arcega Whiteside is so incredibly overrated and unable to get open in the pros (or much in college) but you never hear one peep about his two catch on 7 target night against Jacksonville backup CBs this week. He had his hands on passes too, just so did the defender because JJAW cannot get open downfield in the NFL. He always has a DB plastered to him. The media has always been ‘with’/for JJAW, so we get nothing negative reported. Meanwhile, Preston Williams just got sacrificed…based on unstudied people jumping to conclusions about something they saw highlights of and don’t really understand the context of things anyway.
So, what really happened to Williams in this game? I was curious if this was his comeuppance as well. Let me chronicle his game by target (in order)…
#1) An in-route/slant to the middle. He was open like a pro, QB hit him up around his chest. Williams really just dropped it/didn’t catch what should have been a layup. Bad start but not the end of the world.
#2) Same route almost, makes the catch just fine.
#3) Not a catchable ball, incomplete
#4) Going deep, thrown his way up for grabs…way under thrown and the corner tried to catch it like a fair catch punt it was such a dead duck.
#5) Another slant inside, thrown at his ankles. He slides to his knees and tries to make the catch, but it leaks out of his hands. Looked like a catch, but upon further review this was incomplete. This was noted as one of his two DROPS by blurb writers.
#6) A 40+ yard bomb down the left side. Williams leaps up in a scrum at the 2-3 yard line and tips the ball up in order to re-catch it. He does, in the end zone, making an absolutely stunning display of concentration and footwork…a sweet TD!! But he stepped out of bounds by 3+ inches after he tipped it up and was then chasing it into the end zone for the grab.
Williams ends the night with one catch on six targets and THEY say ‘struggled’ and two DROPS. An ADP killer for the week.
What I saw with Williams was a guy who is still clearly ‘the guy’ (in the preseason), the one that the QBs are looking for when he is in the game. He looks smooth and under control at all times. He had the bad drop on the first throw this game…so what? You’ve seen it a million times. He had two clean, clear catchable targets the entire game and caught one. The three other times he had legit chances to catch the ball and/or was open…underthrown by 5+ yards, the other thrown at his ankles, and one he almost made the catch of the preseason on.
I’m unfazed. I’m happy that his story, his momentum got halted in redrafts and rookie drafts for those interested the next few weeks…or looking to trade for.
He’s the best WR talent on the Dolphins, in part because Miami has the worst WR group in the NFL. If Williams isn’t starting Week 1 ahead of DeVante Parker, then it’s further proof your team (Miami) isn’t as interested in winning and ‘best man gets the job’ more than they are saving face and ensnared by agents and fear of admitting an error (on Parker). However, I think in this case, with new coaches…Williams may just start Week 1 (and Parker traded before 53-man day). If not, they’ll figure it (Parker blows) out by Week 3 like everyone else has.
-- Tampa Bay RB chronicles…
Ronald Jones (2-7-0) started this game and looks like he lost 10 pounds since last week. The bulky RoJo looked terrible, so we’re going back to the sleek RoJo…so he’s faster, but still scared between the tackles. Again, your team isn’t playing to win if it rosters Ronald Jones out of fear of looking stupid. Kudos to Arizona GM Steve Keim for what he did with Steve Wilks and Josh Rosen – GM of the Year, already. Tampa Bay likely doesn’t have the guts to cut Jones despite how tough Bruce Arians claims he is. But Jones is doing his part to make it an easier decision.
Andre Ellington worked (6-15-0, 4-14-0/4) the role he is going to be in Week 1…PPR back/#2 back behind Peyton Barber. Ronald Jones is at best the #3 back here.
The RB who looks better than all of them in Tampa, for the second week in a row, is Dare Ogunbowale (13-34-0, 3-54-0/3). He runs tougher and more nimble between the tackles than Jones for sure, and more nimble than Barber. He can also catch the ball…two 40+ yard pass plays in the game, but one called back.
Rookie Bruce Anderson (3-3-0, 1-6-0/2) got a look here…I didn’t see anything at all.
-- Dolphins backup RB chronicles…
Myles Gaskin (6-17-0) is going to be the #3 RB…possible #2 if Kenyan Drake missed time, and possibly co-#1 of Drake misses time and Kalen Ballage gets exposed as ‘lacking’. Mark Walton (5-8-0, 1-12-0/1) will not make this team ahead of Gaskin.
UDFA rookie RB Patrick Laird (7-51-0, 2-16-1/2) looked very solid. He looked quite a bit like Danny Woodhead. So, when Miami cuts him…welcome him to New England.
-- Tampa Bay ran a lot of two WR sets to start the game. When a third WR was introduced it was Breshad Perriman (no stats). Justin Watson (2-22-0/6) is NOT going to be the #3 WR.
I should’ve known. I should’ve followed my tried and true theory…Arians loves broken, off-field troubled, needy of a father figure players. He loves them. He craves them. Perriman fits that mold a bit. Justin Watson is an Ivy Leaguer…smart, good at football, not needy of Arians con job Father Flanagan shtick.
-- The first seven plays of this game were the Bucs starting offense. O.J. Howard (1-16-0/2) in on every snap and Cam Brate (1-8-0/1) in on snaps #3 and #5 on them…two TE sets.
I’m just saying…Winston tends to love Brate, and even if just 1-2-3 targets go towards him in lieu of OJH…
Also, I saw nothing clever in how they were working OJH in the passing game. Denver is more clever in the preseason with Noah Fant. Perhaps, they are hiding things…but Arians has never been great for the tight end. If you think Arians adjusts to new realities…I would ask -- have you seen Arians at work? Did you see him in the Amazon documentary in Arizona? I love OJH the player, but I do not feel settled/good about him + Arians.
-- Bucs Backup TE Tanner Hudson (6-93-1/7) keeps racking numbers in the 2nd-half of preseason games. I don’t see anything special but he’s producing numbers.
-- Miami’s standout defender this night was a guy I didn’t know existed…LB Sam Equavoen (8 tackles, 2 TFLs). He looked very capable and was solid on most everything I saw him do. He was a UDFA rookie back in 2016 and I don’t recall him the past few years making noise anywhere. He got my attention here as solid/potential starter maybe if injuries happen.
-- The best defender I saw this game…Bucs rookie speedster CB Jamel Dean (2 tackles, 2 PDs). He was all over his receivers, including Preston Williams at times…and was really getting physical with Williams and throwing him off his routes/comfort zone on one play in particular. Promising showing…possible Week 1 starter but doesn’t look like TB is going there yet.
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