2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk2 Cowboys 14, Rams 10
A few months ago, we would have looked at this game on the schedule as the one where we wanted to see the Memphis rookie running back who might takeover for the established superstar running back in serious question for 2019. Little did we know how true that was…and that it was about Dallas, not the Rams.
Besides the Ezekiel cloud hanging over the game, it was a free trip to Hawaii for the players…a sweet neutral site venue. Dallas pushing a lot of their first-team players early while the Rams continue to treat the preseason as ‘optional’…and option they want to decline the invitation on. Despite that, the Rams led at the half, but Dallas won the 2nd-half and the game.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- What the latest with Zeke? Well… Clever Jerry Jones, who loves to be the center of attention, made himself the center of attention by dropping the “Zeke Who?” line…which became talk show fodder today, which Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury appreciated getting the break from being the eye of the talk show storm prior.
What did Jerry Jones hope to accomplish with this?
Ezekiel Elliott is sitting out because he wants a big deal and he is fully prepared to take a year off without pay to do so. Elliott is likely not hurting for money. He doesn’t care about the ‘Cowboys nation’ (ugg) nor is the team his ‘family’ (ugg)…and he shouldn’t care about either of those things because they are not real. What’s real is the likelihood that this deal could be the last/best for Elliott for the rest of his life. He has to strike while the iron is hot for his valuation.
Coming back Week 1 with his tail between his legs is nonsense…unless he’s spent all his money, and needs the paycheck. If Elliott comes back to play this year and gets hurt, seriously hurt…or he winds up in prison…his value ahead plummets. He needs to cash in now. Taking a powder for year will not hurt his value one bit. It might help it. Keeps him fresh for the 2020 season and beyond.
Also, have you considered – what if Elliott retires, and then goes and signs a $100 million-dollar deal with Vince McMahon and the XFL for their 2020 start up? I’m not sure the legality of it…but how could the NFL stop him? Jerry is not just bargaining against Elliott in an NFL structure that gives all the advantage to the owners in Zeke’s position (and Le’Veon in Pittsburgh)…now, the XFL looms wanting to make a splash. Elliott is due $7M this year. $9M next year. Then Dallas would plan to tag him for like $13M and then $15M the following two years…$44M total 2019-2022 but not necessarily guaranteed for the next four years…just a year at a time. What if Vince McMahon offers him $50M GUARANTEED for two years just to make a ‘splash’…two years that he’d make half that in Dallas, on his current deal?
Jones being a smart ass is not helping Elliott come back to take a lesser deal for ‘team’ or ‘family’. Even if he was just joking the other day…it came out wrong. And now, if Dallas starts out with a 2-4 record or gets upset the first two games – Jerry looks like the idiot again. The pressure is on Jerry, but I think he believes none of it is. Zeke is ready to sit the entire year and just pick up where he left off in 2020 or negotiate with the XFL…just to put the fear of God into Jerry.
Jerry may not really want Elliott back, not for the money he costs…not for how devalued we all know RBs have become. He probably doesn’t want to lose in a negotiation showdown to Elliott either…it will make him look bad as a supposed ‘master businessman’. Jerry may be dug in and Elliott fully prepared for a one-year vacation. I don’t see how this resolves itself by Week 1 unless Elliott desperately needs money right now.
Which makes Tony Pollard (5-42-1, 1-9-0/1) a more serious fantasy situation than anyone wants to believe. I’m a Pollard fan too, but let’s not get hysterical because he scored a touchdown against the Rams B-team. Do get hysterical that like it or not, he’s the guy with Elliott out…which makes him worth more than his current ADP, but that ADP is rising quickly because ‘Dallas’ attracts a lot of attention and this Zeke situation has been the #1 worry of NFL Network analysts since July.
Pollard worked the entire time here with the 1st-team. Alfred Morris (3-6-0) came in with the 2nd-team. Make no mistake…Dallas is going all-in on Pollard Week 1 if Elliott is out.
Rookie RB Mike Weber (6-12-0) could’ve seized the opportunity here, but Pollard has blown him away. Weber is an afterthought.
-- A lot of words into this and we haven’t mentioned Memphis’s preferred, NFL Draft scouts’ preferred RB Darrell Henderson (6-16-0, 6-38-0/6).
Henderson was bottled up running the ball for a second game in a row. He looks fine in his movements, but he’s not had a ‘wow’ moment -- and we’ve all kinda just dropped the “What if Gurley’s knee doesn’t hold up” fears that gripped fantasy GMs and the Rams front office just a few months ago.
We still don’t know whether Gurley is back to ‘Gurley’ or not. Henderson will be an RB1 in an instant if Gurley has to go out for weeks/the season. We won’t know anything until Week 1…good luck sleeping Week 1 if you’re a Gurley owner.
-- One of the reasons why Henderson was bottled up…the Dallas defense is really good, and they played some starters vs. the Rams B/C teams.
Not only was Dallas’s 1st-team-ish defensive group sharp, but they have depth so they not surprisingly shutout the Rams in the 2nd-half. It’s a very good defense for 2019.
-- In ‘that guy is still in the league?’ news…former Jets 2nd-round pick who sustained multiple knee injuries, Devin Smith (3-24-1/5) is back and trying to make the Dallas squad…and based on this game he will do just that. He looked good here. He might Dallas’s #4-5 WR in Week 1 at this rate.
-- Two Rams’ IDP notes…
Rookie SAF/LB Taylor Rapp (3 tackles) was playing mostly/all ILB what I noted. He may be a starter at OLB by classified as a DB…which would be a possible IDP shock sleeper moment.
I was watching rookie CB David Long (4 tackles) because of his freakish NFL Combine three-cone time. He definitely glides around the field with ease. He’s a nice pickup by the Rams.
-- One last note Jason Witten (1-10-0/1) should’ve stayed retired. What the appeal to GMs for these old tight ends hanging on so long (Witten, Gates, Olsen) is mind boggling. Witten is a negative for this offense…a low-level threat. Calling him ‘lumbering’ in 2019 is an insult to the word lumbering.
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