2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk4 – Carolina 25, Panthers 19
I thought this was going to be a dull preseason game study, bit I was wrong. A lot of little tidbits to consider here.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I only wanted to see Diontae Johnson from this game, and assumed he’d be the lead note, but I have to bump my man Diontae for someone else in the led off spot…
Finally. FINALLY! Finally, Mason Rudolph (7-11 for 125 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) is starting to look like that legit QB who I scouted in college…that the computer rated higher than Baker Mayfield in the early in our data/computer models that draft season (then went with Baker with more info in).
Last week, I was complaining about him not looking as confident and freewheeling…that changed here. His best ‘look’ in two years. It was only Week 4 of the preseason and he played in the 2nd-half of the game, but two things…
1) Rudolph came in after Josh Dobbs and more legit WRs were sent out there with Mason…Diontae, Washington, even Switzer. The best preseason group he may have ever worked with. It was an odd flow for player rotation as the better Steelers’ skill group worked the 2nd-half some.
2) It wasn’t that Rudolph was succeeding against preseason Week 4 scrubs that caught my attention…it was his arm strength and body mechanics. He looked more confident, like he knew he has already made the team or that he was working with better receivers or I don’t know what, but he was zipping the ball on sideline passes and dropping aerial bombs all over.
Renewed faith here as Rudolph beats out Dobbs for the backup job, as he should.
Panthers’ rookie QB Will Grier (11-18 for 189 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) looks more like the wobbly rookie Rudolph looked like last year. Not sure if Grier has the gear to jump forward and make it in this league.
-- OK, Diontae Johnson (1-12-0/3)…
I’m not going to say it anymore this preseason…Diontae Johnson is the next Antonio Brown.
Just watching him work in this throwaway preseason game…he’s a stunning talent from a ‘purist’ standpoint of playing the position – you can’t teach those feet and hands.
How long we have to wait before the Steelers push him like they should, instead of wasting a ton of time holding him back to develop…I don’t know but when AB was becoming AB, as a rookie, they went right into it quickly. I could see that happening here.
You don’t believe me that he is this talented. I don’t know what to say. I feel like this talking to people about Diontae: https://youtu.be/089FXiadgXY?t=138
Go count how many WRs we have ranked ahead of him in our Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings…
-- So, Carolina has a new kicker (Gano on IR) and he blasted a 59-yarder in this game…making him 3-for-3 in four preseason games from 50+ yards out. 2nd-year kicker Joey Slye…if you’re in need.
-- The Steelers’ ILB chronicles…
So, to my surprise, 1st-round, traded-up-for, rookie Devin Bush (6 tackles) was starting this game…that’s not the way coveted top picks are treated. AND he’s not listed as a starter on the depth chart either. WOW!
The Steelers are leaving a ton of talent on the bench going to NE Week 1 – Jaylen, Diontae and Devin…all the best players at their position on their team, all not starting and probably won’t see much time either. That’s why I am quite interested in this Week 1 game with the Pats – I have a funny feeling that New England is going to crush them and send the Steelers into a dark place that they may not get out of.
*If you read my ‘All picks ATS’ first thing this morning, I had PIT as the pick +6.0 from The Computer…which was odd to me. I went back and realized I wrote the notes down on the spread differential down wrong (too many fantasy drafts last night). I corrected about 30 min. later, if it means anything to you for office pools, etc. – Pats -6.0 is where we are going.
Something called Tuzor Skipper (8 tackles, 2 sacks) had himself a game as an OLB/EDGE rusher (rookie LB). High energy. But lacking athletically. He made the main roster, so he impressed enough.
The guy I thought was fantastic at ILB the past two weeks was Robert Spillane (6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL), but my taste in LBs seems to be different than the NFL. He was terrific. If I were an NFL GM in need, I’d grab Spillane right now off their practice squad. He’s a throw back workhorse middle linebacker…like Tyler Matakevich who never gets a real chance.
-- But making the Steelers roster just fine was terrible, awful Bennie Snell (8-12-0, 2-23-0/5). Hell, he’ll probably get more carries than Jaylen Samuel Week 1.
No drafted RB looked worse in 2019 in the NFL preseason than Bennie Snell. Tugboat slow with no east-west ability. He should’ve been cut…instead, he made the team. I am really questioning what Mike Tomlin is doing there with the roster. Maybe it’s why the team has fallen so much lately.
We may find out the extent of Tomlin’s coaching ability was possessing Bell-Brown in their primes.
-- 2nd-year RB Reggie Bonnafon (2-7-0, 3-46-0/4) looks like’s he’s gone from UDFA dreamer in 2018 to the main roster in 2019, and likely Christian McCaffrey ‘handcuff’. See the in-season subscription article I did on him a few days ago for more to his story.
Just a note here…he ran very similar pass routes in this game (and preseason) as you see McCaffery do in games. Bonnafon played WR in college and has an understanding/ability to run routes and make catches on the move. Nice preseason for Bonnafon in 2019.
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