2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk3 – Vikings 20, Cardinals 9
The next Kyler Murray event happened on a Saturday afternoon. Was it good? Was it bad? Did I notice Minnesota players also played in this game? Not really.
I watched the 1st-half with some of you and Jason Katz on our subscriber video Q&A show…just the Arizona parts watched, and then took questions from the audience when Minnesota had the ball. BUT…I did watch/study the game after.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- My four thoughts on Kyler Murray (14-21 for 137 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) here…
1) You saw flashes of what this offense can do here, unlike prior weeks. Things opened up more and Kyler made some nice throws on deep balls. He had a nice 33-yard perfect throw to Damiere Byrd early on. He put a 14-yard TD right in Christian Kirk’s hands, but it was a step out of bounds…a throw that was perfect given the space he had.
2) This offense is not suffering a ‘vanilla’ problem as much as it is suffering an out-of-sync/not fully ready problem. I watched every throw of Murray’s and upon the snap, I hit the slow-motion feature on the tape…so I could see what all the receivers were doing and what Kyler was seeing.
A lot of times receivers were just not open…a lot of them on the field, but all of them tightly covered. Murray was forced to scurry or make throws that only the receiver could maybe catch too many times.
Sometimes, Kyler just missed the open receiver on the five-wide/five going out for passes (4 WRs + 1 RB). Guys got open medium-deep sometimes and Murray missed it rushing a shorter timing throw. Some of that comes with a rookie getting comfortable, but lest we forget rookie mistakes are going to be abundant here.
3) The key to this offense/passing game is getting Kyler comfortable and in rhythm and stepping on the gas for a ’60 minutes of hell’ attack. I’m not sure I’ve seen them hit this level for one moment this preseason. It’s always a nice play/OK play followed by a penalty, or an incompletion or scramble. Murray either has yet to get in sync or he’s not good enough in the offense right now to get it in sync; to get rolling.
I was watching Patrick Mahomes Week 3 live Saturday night while I started working on this report. Mahomes looks like he’s playing 15 levels above everyone else. Totally at ease and in command. Murray looks a bit choppy yet. We did see the first signs of the possibilities of what’s to come, but now I’m not as sure it is to come by Week 1.
4) We haven’t seen Kyler use his feet as a weapon yet. No need to risk anything in the preseason but once he starts scurrying to counter blitzes and starts rushing for big yards…defenses will have to change their approach.
Kyler can look sloppy as a passer and rush for 75+ yards and a TD and add ‘OK’ passing numbers on top of that to be fantasy viable until he does ‘get it’.
This Arizona offense (Kobra Ky) may not look perfect out of the chute, but when Kyler settles in…some of the flashes of it he was working here get consistent…it’s going to be quite nice for fantasy. The ‘disjointed’ look right now…it’s real, not all because ‘vanilla’. But consider if they are disjointed early, if they are getting beaten by 20+ points opening week…the 4th-quarter will be like passing practice for Kyler and friends. We may get ugly production here. In honor of Blake Bortles 2015, I’ll take it for fantasy.
-- I just have to say it quick… The best QB in this game was Mr. Preseason MVP Kyle Sloter (6-7 for 102 yards, 1 TD/0 INT). He came into this game down 9-6 and led two scoring drives for the easy win…as he does. If Sloter is not the #2 QB for MIN or gets cut, I’m suing the NFL for malfeasance.
-- OK, the Arizona WR report…
KeeSean Johnson (7-85-0/7) has to be starting. He’s the only WR who looks like he knows what he’s doing so far. I’m not joking.
Larry Fitzgerald (1-5-0/1) looks in this offense like he’s me years ago trying to order at Starbucks for the first time. A lot of staring around, mesmerized, and confused by all that was happening. This offense is not built for him at his age. He won’t be terrible but he’s not a great option so far.
Christian Kirk (2-5-0/6) looks a bit better in the passing game…he had that nice TD grab one-step out of bounds. He and Murray still look more out of sync than in it…but better this week.
Damiere Byrd (2-51-0/2) just keeps starting every week and no one cares. The guy is a good WR with blazing speed. He was the threat in this game…the explosive one. Byrd starting Week 1 = you should roster in deeper leagues. You should consider him for DFS Week 1 as well (if he’s starting).
Eventually, Byrd will lose his job to Andy Isabella (1-8-0/2)…and it won’t be long I don’t think…sadly, for Byrd.
Isabella lined up in the slot on one play, 4th quarter work, and sprinted off the snap and split three guys and raced past them like they were standing still…two DBs who couldn’t adjust fast enough to the ultra-fast Isabella and he just torched them. Brett Hundley saw it right away and threw it to him about 2-yards too long or he would have booked his second 40+ TD in two weeks on barely any playing time/targets.
-- Dalvin Cook (2-88-1) had a nice 85-yard TD run in this game. I’m not a huge fan, but I know if he’s healthy he’s a top 12 PPR RB for sure. I just don’t think he’s top 3-5 material as a talent. He needs volume…he might get it.
Mike Boone (10-41-1, 1-6-0/1) looked great again…he should be the guy if Cook goes down. Probably won’t be.
-- R.I.P. Kaare Vedvik (0/2 FGs) as a PK1 hope in Minnesota. The Mike Zimmer curse on kickers continues. He’s already bad mouthing Vedvik. Nice trade. When will anyone admit Zimmer is a terrible handler of his players? Answer = never.
Don’t EVER take a kicker on a team where Mike Zimmer is head coach.
-- Dennis Gardeck (4 tackles, 1 PD) continues to impress up the middle for Arizona. If Haason Reddick is traded the next 10 days…it’s Gardeck time for IDP!!!
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