2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk3 – Bucs 13, Browns 12
The Browns and Bucs’ 1st-teams went at it for a half, and the two famous starting QBs combined for 42.2% completion percentage and 0 TDs/1 INT. It wasn’t a picturesque game by any means. However, it was great for fantasy…for me. Another gift.
The way this game was covered by the fantasy media after was all you need to know about how absolutely flawed the entire evaluation process is and how much personal bias and lack of qualifications watching/analyzing a football game plays into what is reported. People think because they watched a few plays or a half of this game and had a thumbs up/down reaction to it that they are part of the great football analysis universe. They don’t have the time logged studying all the games and all the players back to the tiniest of colleges for years. They just echo popular sentiment or react to a box score and write blurbs accordingly.
I would not have a career if they were not so bad at what they do…and they never change and never improve. It’s the same repeating errors every year. I’m still always amazed by it but then calm myself down and am so grateful for it…giving me a shot at a fantasy career just playing off them leading so many people astray (and I used to be one of them led astray).
How the story of this game was handled by the football analysts is symbolic of a decade (my hardcore time doing study/analysis) of incorrectness on football things and is a microcosm of how the media is wrong on just about everything football or politics or whatever. The sad part is, many in the audience are still swayed by it.
Allow me to explain.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- We have two characters in this play…Baker Mayfield (10-26 for 72 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) and Jameis Winston (9-19 for 88 yards, 0 TD/0 INT). Let me introduce them…
Jameis Winston was EVERY analyst’s dream QB (and still is). He was the no brainer #1 pick and was going to possibly be the greatest QB of our lifetime. I told you he was a fraud as a freshman in college, when I watched some tape when he was the soup du jour on the scene. Then again in his sophomore season I still saw all the mechanical and decision-making problems. Then for sure after a detailed scouting for the NFL Draft. But THEY all agreed 100%, Jameis was can’t miss.
They don’t want YOU to dwell on that. The don’t want to dwell on that themselves either. So, everyone’s ‘comeback’ or ‘sleeper’ QB of 2019 is ‘please god/Bruce Arians save him, so we don’t look like idiots again’ Jameis Winston. And it was not 80% of people thought Winston was a sure-fire star back when he hit the NFL…it was 100% (minus me and my detailed studies on such things…which was not met with much welcome-ness in the scouting community).
Then we have Baker Mayfield. He was not supposed to be the best QB in his draft. He was too short. Too cocky. A ‘system’ guy. He was not to get in the way of the anointed Sam Darnold. But he did…and then Baker went and debuted by destroying THEIR awful Darnold Week 3 last season, and Baker then being great for a franchise who sucked for years, and then talking trash about THEIR sure-fire ‘great hire’ coach Hue Jackson…and now is talking trash about their other golden boy Daniel Jones. THEY hate Baker. THEY want him to fail. THEY want him to stop talking. I agree he needs to zip it, but he’s not saying anything untrue…but it exposes all the terrible NFL decision-making.
THEY = The media. The non-Cleveland fans. The NFL upper management. 31 other NFL head coaches who don’t want to see QBs not on a leash under their control.
Also, THEY hate Baker because he says truths but says them out loud and pearls are clutched at his candor and delivery…and THEY are offended. Jameis Winston is a virtual multiple time criminal and his out-loud stuff has been hate crimes against women…but that’s OK/mostly excused by the football media because he’s so good at football (so everyone in football thinks, or used too 100%).
Comparing their off-field issues, Winston should be the most hated player in the league. Instead, it’s Baker. Why? He’s attacking the football establishment and not acting like a good little boy to the coaching fraternity or media fraternity. That’s a greater crime than Winston’s verbal and physical assaults on women (and his assaults on accurate passing downfield)…even though the media is the first to rush in to defend a women’s cause at any hint of an issue (which is fine)…they just don’t run to the Jameis Winston ones as hard, because he was supposed to be a generational talent.
With that I watched this game live and then again this morning. I saw Baker mostly fine in his performance, not his best night but nothing egregious, and I saw Winston put on an utter embarrassment of football quarterbacking. I was laughing at how bad Winston was in this game…bad decisions, poor throws, holding the ball too long, no escapability. It was a joke (and Cleveland has a really good defense).
So, what did I see in the Roto-blurbs this morning?
‘Baker tanks’ and ‘Winston under pressure (and was missing Mike Evans’).
My eyes saw – ‘Baker is going to set passing records in 2019’ and ‘Winston is going to get everyone in Tampa Bay fired…and should.’
Let’s start with Baker. Dude threw the ball 26 times in a half. Cleveland is committed to Baker and more Baker with some extra Baker on top. He only completed 10 passes though!! 38.5% Comp. Pct. He probably hit 5-7 receivers in the hands with passes they couldn’t come down with…some easy, some difficult but catches pros can make. He had TD passes in receiver’s hands they couldn’t haul in. He was working with mostly UDFA WRs and at TE. No OBJ, no Landry. No Njoku. No Chubb or Hilliard.
Baker was fine. He was pushing, pushing, pushing the offense. He was escaping pressure like Michael Vick…I don’t know how he does it. There was a lot to like from Baker (for fantasy) but it looked funky because of all the non-catches. His interception was with no time left at the half on a deep chuck downfield.
Contrast that to Jameis. Constantly jittery. Constantly checking down. Sacked five times because he couldn’t avoid the pressure like Baker. Errant throws, per usual. 1-2 dropped picks by the defense. If this is the Arians affect…then strike down the Mike Evans and O.J. Howard projections.
The good news is the analysts are whitewashing the Winston performance. Wait. That’s not true. For them to whitewash it they’d have to realize it happened. They write neutral headlines because they assume Winston is fine and this is just a stupid preseason game. However, they crushed Baker…because THEY don’t like him. So, they want to get a quick kick to the groin in on him when the ref isn’t looking. THEY want 10 of 26 passing to be true for Baker. The good news is this should halt some of the Baker exuberance in his ADP.
I must warn you. Experts hate Baker. We the people love Baker. You draft in an expert’s league and you’ll get Baker on your terms. You draft with regular humans…Baker is going earlier than you think EVERY TIME.
OK, let's talk about the other non-QBs…
-- Cleveland RB Report…
Kareem Hunt (5-11-0, 1-3-0/1) still looks wobbly. It made me think… I wonder how him being used to being a superstar with royal treatment and now treated like a 3rd-stringer must be like on his psyche. He is running the ball like what the answer to that prior sentence must be like on the downside.
Hey, second week in a row… I’m telling you: I can’t see so good *flips glasses up and down from eyes* is that Alvin Kamara? Nope, it’s still just D’Ernest Johnson (5-10-0, 3-43-0/3). He must have heard me last week because he’s wearing that white tape all down the back of his arms like Kamara now too. He looked like a minor revelation again this week.
Johnson will be the #3 RB Week 1…but watch out Dontrell Hilliard! When Hunt returns, I don’t know what happens to Johnson but I’d love to see him get more work against 1st-team defenses to see if a shocking sleeper RB talent is really among us.
-- Rashard Higgins (3-18-0/7) was the one WR working with Baker that was actually drafted (5th round) …and he didn’t do Baker any favors. The Browns are on the verge of something special. I would not be surprised if they made a move at a better #3 WR from the 53-man roster cuts or a minor trade.
-- The Bucs’ RB Report…
Ronald Jones (4-8-0, 0-0-0/1) started and put up another dud. As he does…
I think the Bucs started him to hopefully see him have a few good moments so they could trade him before they have to cut him.
Peyton Barber will start. Andre Ellington (6-21-0, 1-11-0/1) will be the backup. Dare Ogunbowale (7-22-0, 2-19-0/4) is the one sitting there in the background trying to make a lunge at the #1 role.
-- Jameis wore out Chris Godwin (4-52-0/6) because Godwin is good, and Mike Evans was DNP…and Winston was in trouble a lot and just going to something easy/familiar.
He wasn’t successfully looking for O.J. Howard (1-4-0/2). I am going from ‘cautiously hopeful’ to ‘I don’t want’ O.J. Howard on my fantasy team.
LOVE him for the NFL…scared to death for fantasy. Bruce Arians and TEs have not been good for fantasy on top of the Winston issues.
Winston was so bad here; I have to downgrade Evans and Howard more. I didn’t just realize that Winston was bad, but I held out minor hope the new Arians way would make things a touch more plausible. Now, I’m not so sure.
AND there is no Fitzmagic to save them now…just Ryan freaking Griffin. If Winston goes bad you can’t bench him.
-- UDFA TE Tanner Hudson (4-49-0/7) is trying to force me to pay more attention. He’s got great numbers for three preseason games now, but I don’t see anything major for talent ever in three games. And he won’t matter here behind OJH and Brate with a bad QB.
-- Another preseason game, another Devin White (3 tackles) not really being an impact player on defense. He’s covering well, but his pursuit of ballcarriers… I don’t know.
You think I’m crazy? Go look at his tackle counts in college by game and ignore ‘assisted’ tackles. It’s kinda shocking.
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