2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk3 – Patriots 10, Panthers 3
*Sorry, wrote this days ago and didn’t hit publish. Here it is, but late!
The 2019 debuts of Cam Newton and Tom Brady, and the biggest news to come out of it was a foot injury scare with Cam. Once Cam left, Kyle Allen struggled to lead any offense as the Patriots looked sharper with their 2nd-team groups but because this became a battle of Nick Brossette and Jordan Scarlett slowly running the ball, there were a lot of nothing plays running the clock and giving the punters a nice workout…which made for a dull watch.
We have some fantasy player notes from it all…
-- Cam Newton (4-6 for 30 yards, 0 TDs/0 INT) avoided serious injury and is likely to play Week 1…even if hobbled. He wasn’t in this game long enough to get any feel for how he was using the wide receivers, etc. It looked like he started up where he left off last season before his season ended early – McCaffrey is the guy and Curtis Samuel (2-16-0/3) is his new #1 WR with D.J. Moore (1-3-0/2) as his nice other option.
Samuel looked fine as ever but once Cam left, he worked some with Kyle Allen again…and that’s meaningless because Allen is not helping anyone. If Allen is forced to start Week 1 for some reason, we probably bench Samuel for a week.
-- Tom Brady (8-12 for 75 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) looked like normal Tom Brady. There was something to be taken away from his 1st-team work. Two things…
1) Jakobi Meyers (7-74-0/12) started and Brady made a point to target him a bunch, but the star of the preseason got splashed with a cold dose of reality…what I feared when this feel-good story first arose so strongly – Meyers has a hard time getting open against top/starting NFL corners.
Meyers was always covered tight by the 1st-team corners and when he was open over the middle, he dropped a pass looking for the hit. Things move a lot faster with 1st-team defenses playing with some effort. Meyers showed he was not fully ready to start in the NFL yet – has great hands and can develop into a useful hand or better but not yet. Maybe never. He just doesn’t have those high-end wheels to get open enough.
Where Meyers faltered with Brady our Very Deep Sleeper subject a few weeks ago, Phillip Dorsett (7-47-0/7) showed him how it is done. Dorsett was Brady’s go-to, but keep in mind…no Edelman-Gordon-Thomas-Harry.
2) Sony Michel (10-36-0) was being used as the clear lead back here. There was no Damien Harris (2-8-0) controversy leaked here at all. There will be soon, but not yet. The clock is ticking on Michel as the full lead on 1st & 2nd downs. At some point, sooner rather than later, Harris will be mixing in to a real, unfigured-out-able RBBC with Michel-Harris-White. Belichick is not beholden to any convention on how and when he uses his RBs. One day a guy is rushing for 150+ yards and 4 TDs, the next he barely touches the ball.
-- But Jakobi Meyers caught 7 passes, he couldn’t have been that bad!
Once again, I say…thanks to Jarrett Stidham (15-19 for 134 yards, 0 TD/0 INT). He went to Jarrett (Jarett went to him?).
Meyers is solid/good/promising but he gets to work with a backup QB who was the best pocket passing QB in the 2019 Draft, only THEY all missed it again and Belichick just got another gift. Stidham has been so good, so fast the ‘replacement for Brady’ (someday) talk has begun. Patriots fans now realize there is a legit options/plan for when the inevitable happens. Stidham looks better than any rookie QB this preseason.
In other news, seven QBs went ahead of Stidham in the draft. John Elway just LOVES Drew Lock (but Fangio doesn’t). Washington and NYG wasted 1st-round picks on inferior to Stidham QBs. Carolina, possessing offensive football genius Norv Turner, drafted Will Grier 33 picks ahead of Stidham. If you watched this game, you would realize the stupidity of that decision up close and personal.
-- Carolina rookie DE Brian Burns (5 tackles, 2 TFLs) seems to be paying off early dividends/gives the Panthers immediate help.
…Norv likely didn’t help with that draft pick (Burns). Norv was probably too busy giving the thumbs up on drafting Jordan Scarlett (10-24-0, 1-8-0/1) as the brilliant backup plan for Christian McCaffrey.
Jordan Scarlett answers the question…”What would it be like to waste a draft pick on a guy who might be able to make a CFL roster, if he’s lucky?”
Jordan Scarlett wouldn’t make the roster of about 25+ teams in the league, but he’s potentially the McCaffrey fail-safe plan. Great planning. The Pats added Stidham-Harris-Harry in this year’s draft, the Panthers added Grier-Scarlett-Godwin…thanks for all the help Norv!!!
-- Patrick Chung (DNP) is under investigation for cocaine possession, but before you jump off a cliff wondering how it would affect the Patriots’ defense for handicapping or their fantasy DST standing – two things…
1) It’s Belichick…he’d find an answer in short order.
2) The cocaine was found in this manner (if I have my research correct)…
At Chung’s house hours away from the Patriots team facilities an alarm was tripped and when investigators went to check everything out…they found a small amount of cocaine. Chung owns the house and thus is under suspicion, BUT Chung hasn’t been at his house for a while given training camp and the preseason. He wasn’t there the night the police found the drug. It may not be his.
However, it is his house. He would be the prime suspect. If someone else is guilty in this, then Chung would likely avoid any arrest or NFL suspension easily. Worst case, he pleas to community service, etc., and probably gets suspended for 4 games by the NFL. If that happens, he’d be smart to play Week 1, then he should sit out Weeks 2-5 (MIA-NYJ-BUF-WAS)…those are almost four BYE weeks for the Pats.
There’s a long way to go in this story. Don’t get fooled by the headlines that make it seem like he was caught walking down the street with a straw and mirror in his hand inhaling white powder.
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