2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk3 – Bears 27, Colts 17
A preseason game neither of these two teams took seriously dwarfs in comparison to the Andrew Luck retirement bombshell. The TV analysts got the headlines/news on it with about 7 minutes left in the game and the yapping dog Colts’ local guy who was the analyst for this game was going on for the first 53 minutes of play like he was the owner-coach-GM and superfan all rolled into one and ‘his’ Colts could do no wrong…well, he couldn’t handle the news when it came in. He went into denial.
The play-by-play partner dropped the bombshell, then the lapdog analyst admitted that the news ‘dampers a fun night at the game’ (team down 27-17) and then the yapper went very serious and put on his coaching hat and launched right into how the Colts needed to hurry up the offense because there wasn’t much time to win this game down two scores. A major Colts bombshell drops that affects the entire franchise for at least a year and potentially 2-3-4-5 years, and was THEE story of the night…and the pro-Colts carnival barker was worried the Colts’ 3rd/4th team offense wasn’t moving fast enough considering the clock but that they could still win this all-important Week 3 preseason game…a moment in the game where literally all players on the field were likely to be cut in a week.
What exactly are analysts paid for if the story of the year in football happens and they are ignoring it…as the attending crowd went numb (as stories hit cellphones), they are talking about getting the ball Krishawn Hogan in a good spot for a heroic preseason comeback? Who wanted to talk about anything else but the Luck news? Not these local Colts’ analysts. The headline hit and the story got confirmed and they mentioned the headline…and literally never mentioned it the final 7 minutes of the game after saying it was a story that just broke. I mean, the depth of the cluelessness of people paid to cover football is breathtaking.
Obviously, we have to talk about the Luck retirement impact. So, let’s start there.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I’m not going to get into a career retrospective of Andrew Luck or how sad the situation is, etc. I’ll hit on that somewhere along the way, but right now we’re in fantasy draft season. I need to react to this on how it affects me/you for fantasy and handicapping. I’ll leave the Greek tragedy stuff to the more qualified. I’m not being callous…I’m being realistic. In my world, I got a million texts and emails last night that went… “You hear about Andrew Luck?” (pause) “What does this mean for T.Y. Hilton…Parris Campbell…and how ‘bout our Jacksonville AFC South title bets…?” I’m going to talk about what people here really want to talk about.
In no particular order, the way I see it…
1) You must know Jacoby Brissett has been oversold to all of us for years. He’s slower foot-speed, less experienced Tyrod Taylor. A capable backup. Good enough in a pinch for a game, kinda.
He’s a massive drop-off for the Colts.
However, he will be trumpeted as ‘the best backup in the league’ and ‘might not be that big a drop-off as you think’ by the sappy media still forlorn over their golden boy (Luck). Don’t buy it. Bet against it in every way.
2) If Brissett is Tyrod Taylor, then you have to markdown all the assets related. Don’t spare the rod. It hits Marlon Mack, T.Y. Hilton, and Eric Ebron very hard. Their talent still remains…their scoring opportunities take a righteous FF-hit.
The news/reality undermines how fast a Parris Campbell or Deon Cain could’ve emerged.
Now, we have to see if the Colts can fix this for 2020+. Do they land an ace QB from the draft…or do they butcher it and set everything back further (See: Washington’s upcoming decline because of Dwayne Haskins).
You’ll see how we project the future in our latest draft guide and dynasty rankings update.
3) The emerging Colts-DST takes a hit in this too. If the offense goes inefficient then it puts the Colts D under more pressure.
Brissett is arguably one of the three worst starting QBs in the league…if not the worst. Marlon Mack is arguably one of the five worst starting RBs with almost no talent in depth behind him. More pressure on T.Y. Hilton to carry things. Eric Ebron loses his career saver. The offense is taking a step back and that dings the defense.
4) However, opposing DSTs are sudden beneficiaries facing this offense.
The emerging Titans defense gets them twice by Week 13.
The higher-end Jags DST gets a new gift Week 11.
The Chargers are now a sweet Week 1 play.
My sudden Denver-DST love, another notch in the belt matchup Week 8.
5) NFL teams may have just made the playoffs where they might not have before…
The Colts at home with Luck…tough to predict road upsets for opponents. With Brissett it’s a different story. The teams that standout to me on this…
My sudden Denver love…Week 8 is now a more likely win. This may have clinched a playoff birth for the Broncos.
It may have put the Titans into the wild card if they can take the Colts down twice this season.
6) I have a lot of investment in the Jaguars over/under win total of ‘over’ 7-7.5 from the spring when the schedules were announced. I also had some Jags to win the AFC South chips and Jags as AFC champs lottery tickets. My expected home and home intra-division 1-1 split turns to a higher probability of a 2-0 sweep and my bets are looking even better now. Hopefully, yours the same.
7) What if this is an elaborate ruse and Andrew Luck is going to sign a huge deal with the XFL? His dad is the commissioner of the new league. I’m just kidding. Luck will not be the splash signing for the XFL. Ezekiel Elliott will. I’m kidding. Can’t you take a joke? Partially kidding about Zeke…I still maintain that’s some leverage he can play, seriously.
OK, onto the on-field action…
-- If I only knew Colts QB things from this game, I would swear that Chad Kelly (16-21 for 209 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) is their best option on the depth chart anyway. He has really played his arse off this preseason. He has a cannon arm and really nice feet. He looks like what NFL people want every QB to look like…’big arm’.
The Kelly problem, on the field, is he makes a scintillating throw one play and then the dumbest throw the next. He’s got a Jay Cutler-like issue. Also, he’s been a ticking time bomb off the field.
Given the new circumstances for Indy, I would say Kelly will be the #2 QB and will push to replace Brissett by midseason. Those in really deep leagues with 2-QB/superflex looking for any signs of life at QB – Kelly may actually play, and he’s built for fantasy some…good feet and has spurts of brilliance…followed quickly by meltdowns and staring down receivers/not seeing coverage to well. See if he makes the team first.
-- It’s a shame the Colts passing game outlook has fallen… I’m becoming a huge Deon Cain (3-74-1/4) fan. I’m a touch late to the party, but I was willing to make up for my tardiness. I think he’s excellent. A future NFL starter for sure.
He made a play in this game that took my breath away. Chad Kelly hit him with a laser beam over the middle about 15-20+ yards downfield, and Cain stopped his momentum on a dime, planted his foot and then took off another direction and broke the ankles of the DBs in surrounding him and Cain just split them and raced away for a 46-yard TD. One of the most impressive plays of the preseason.
Someday soon it will be a Cain-Campbell-led WR group and if they get a real QB…this offense is going to be explosive.
T.Y. Hilton might be on the move in a lost season before the trade deadline to make room/rebuild for the next era. Cain’s emergence has a lot to do with that.
-- Colts UDFA rookie WR Ashton Dulin (2-22-0/3) also put on a show here in his brief time in the game. His one non-catch target was a brilliant diving catch out of bounds on a deep ball. He just jumps off the screen as a legit NFL WR. If the Colts try to hide him on the practice squad, some team will hone in. A lot of people were on him for the NFL Draft as a possible draftable (late) WR.
-- Watching Colts’ 5th-round pick E.J. Speed (4 tackles) in three preseason games now. ‘Star’ is definitely on the table. One of the best tacklers from the 2019 NFL Draft and lightning quick in his reactions. Super impressed. If he doesn’t start Week 1, it won’t be long.
-- I ‘barely’ have a Bears’ note from this game. Chicago is treating the preseason like it’s an optional meeting at their workplace. I have two notes…
1) RB Ryan Nall (2-73-0, 1-11-0/2) has played himself into when he gets cut…a team is going to grab him. 50% chance the Bears can sneak him onto the practice squad. Too big and moves too well but has the confidence this season. He was a bit shaky early last season (UDFA rookie).
2) WR Riley Ridley (0-0-0/1) could not look any less impressive but I have to give him grace as there are no 1st-team guys in sight hardly when he’s working. Aside from that, he doesn’t look ready to make any impact this year…and I’m not a fan anyway.
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