2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk4 – Broncos 20, Cardinals 6
Two very interesting teams for the regular season played in the throwaway final preseason game, but there were a few takeaways to discuss from the affair.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Even Denver’s second/third/fourth-team defense looks great. The 1st-team defense has been terrific all preseason in limited glimpses, but their backups have been impressive all summer.
The thing that has caught my attention all preseason, but it was really evident here – the energy, the enthusiasm, the ‘togetherness’ I see with this Denver defense is palpable. Most preseason games I will see a guy or two running around excited. I see a nice play or two gets the unit all fired up. But mostly I see ‘business as usual’…especially this preseason where teams are virtually boycotting the preseason games. Not here. Not Denver.
Denver is deep on the defensive front-line and is energized all over the D-unit. Vic Fangio is on the verge of winning Coach of the Year; I can feel it.
-- Two rookie standouts on defense here for Denver’s backups…
Rookie DL/LB Justin Hollins (1 tackle, 1 sack, 2 PDs) flashed as an ILB the first two games of the preseason, and then really looked good in his natural position – OLB/EDGE. He’s just a guy who attracts my attention every time I watch the Broncos this preseason. He’s ready, he’s versatile, and he isn’t even starting. A nice piece added to the arsenal.
Rookie UDFA DE/OLB Mailk Reed (2 tackles, 2 sacks)…I see more on why ‘the buzz’ here. The guy plays 150% on every snap. He’s not the most athletic guy on the field, but he has a quick first step and just never quits. A lot of his sacks/pressures come from being a Tasmanian devil of moves and the blocker can’t keep up. Too many times I see him handled by his blocker, but in little spurts you end up loving Reed because he’s always on the move, never quitting. Football desire may trump bad measurables here. Reed made the team and was probably the talk of camp of all the rookies.
-- Andy Isabella (1-6-0/4) is getting a pay-no-mind treatment so far in Arizona. Often, rookie high draft pick WRs are coddled. Not Isabella. You’d almost think he might get cut the way he’s been treated this preseason. He played a lot here and barely saw targets for the time he was out there.
I’ve watched a lot of his routes, etc., the past three weeks – you can see the elite speed, burst off the snap.
I think what will happen with Isabella is that he’ll be inserted into the first few games late and/or when the game is out of hand. He’ll get a bubble screen or jet sweep or just do a double move and beat a DB by 5+ yards for a bomb TD…he’ll make a splash play and force himself into touches and eventually a major weaponry role.
I was hoping he’d see more opportunity Week 1 and splash and then be a thing within 2-3 games. Now, I’m thinking, in redraft, he’s going to be an early redraft cut for greener waiver wire pastures. He looks like Week 4-5+ before things start happening. We’ll see. His snap counts, etc., will be telling Week 1.
-- The one Arizona defender playing like he’s a Denver Bronco…i.e. energized on every play…is my man Dennis Gardeck (8 tackles, 1 PD). He’s played a lot this preseason but he’s falling into a zone that makes me uncomfortable…
That zone… I see him getting to ballcarriers and making tackles all over, and it looks great to me, but the NFL/PFF judges his art as ‘bad’ and suddenly he’s just a great preseason story only. I really get confused on what NFL head coaches see/look for in linebackers. Haason Reddick is a very smooth athlete…that’s always out of position and not making plays…but he’s always forced into the lineup. I see Gardeck playing at ‘12’ on the 1-10 speed dial and making sure tackles and the 53-man roster depth chart shows that he sits behind Reddick on the depth chart.
Gardeck played here and backup LB Joe Walker didn’t. I have a feeling Walker gets the Week 1 start in place of Reddick, as it stands now. Just a guess. I’ve not been super impressed by Walker in his various spots bouncing around the league, but I now need to take a second look to see if this is an IDP sleeper Weeks 1-2-3 while Reddick is out.
I’m getting worried Gardeck is getting pigeonholed.
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-- Three physical talents, at minimum two of which are off-field concerns, got cut by Arizona and quickly picked up by others.
Ricky Seals-Jones (2-43-0/2) was once thought by the experts, this summer, to be a top 18 fantasy TE. He is now a Cleveland Brown. He’s an off-field headache and not that great on the field.
Speedy RB T.J. Logan (1-5-0, 0-0-0/1) has some juice. He can be a part of a sweet RBBC…he’s now a Buccaneer, which is a nice landing spot. Maybe.
Shock 3rd-round pick WR by Bruce Arians, Chad Williams (1-8-0/3) was basically cut months ago when Arizona drafted three WRs, signed a bunch off free agency, and added Michael Crabtree. He didn’t get a fair shake but he’s also a knucklehead so that got him gone. He’s now in Indy. He’s got real talent but he’s a real headache.
-- If you fade fantasy kickers in redraft, taking them last round, etc. Don’t overlook Zane Gonzalez/ARI as your gamble.
He’s kicking for, potentially, the highest scoring offense in the league, and is 6-for-6 on FGs this preseason including a 55 yarder.
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