2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Wk1 Cardinals 17, Chargers 13
I watched parts of this game live with the NFL Network, but I simultaneously had it on Game Pass (NFL) as well.
NFL Network had the Arizona announce crew and my favorite preseason personality – Ron Wolfley. If you’ve never partaken of Wolfley, think Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage had a love child, but with a more gravely, excitable voice. I wish I loved my wife and kids as much as Ron loves Arizona Cardinals football.
On Game Pass, it was the L.A. Chargers feed. They welcomed back totally prepared Dan Fouts to the broadcast booth (to cash a check)…who, the first time he saw Kyler Murray said something like, “He’s listed at 5’10” but you know teams/player’s lie about this, right?” (Measured 5'10.1" at the NFL Combine). He mentioned height to support his serious analysis of, “We don’t know if he’ll be able to see well enough to throw in the NFL!” fresh take.
Wow. Dan. Holy hell. Have you paid attention to anything in football lately? Fouts likely made more money calling that preseason game, than I’ll make this year…so, who’s laughing now? Not I…just crying into my pillow at night. Geez, I hope Kyler can see over the O-Line to throw…that would be embarrassing after the Cardinals traded Josh Rosen and all… Poor Russell Wilson, he's been such a terrible QB in the NFL all these years.
If you don’t want to go back and watch the game twice, once from each team’s/announcer booth perspective, I’ll give you the cliff notes version – the Chargers group believes the Chargers are making a Super Bowl run. The Arizona group believes the Cardinals are the supreme team of the future and the future is now.
I was here to watch Kyler Murray and to see where his wide receivers were lining up…looking for any glimpse into this offense.
I watched the Chargers play too, impatiently waiting for the Cardinals to go back on offense. Here’s the key things that stood out to me from this game…
-- First things first, David Johnson (2-4-0, 1-14-0/1)…
DJ started the game…as did the whole first unit.
Everything looks DJ3K-ish again. I’m getting hyped. Also, I was hyped last year…and how’d that work out?
Different coach, different offense, different everything.
What I said on the Thursday Night Video Q&A/Watch Party stands with DJ. If you missed the show, it’s on-demand to watch/listen. See instructions to do that in the Draft Guide or DOBB or CFM areas.
-- So, how did Kyler Murray (6-7 for 44 yards, 0/0) do? Just as I hoped – comfortable.
And, this is very key, he didn’t do anything to draw attention to himself. No dazzling plays. No interceptions. Just vanilla work for a series and done.
I think I’m ready to don a nickname for Kyler, a nickname that encompasses all the K’s (Kyler, Kliff Kingsbury) and can work specifically for Kyler’s skillset but also be a shorthand term for ‘the entire offensive situation’ in Arizona.
I’m going with Kobra Ky…officially trademarked because I just typed ‘trademarked’.
Other FFM nicknames to know, if you’re newer to FFM…
David Johnson is DJ3K, when he’s doing us right. Hopefully, he’ll get us our 3,000+ yards this season.
The Mahomes-Tyreek connection last season we donned as MYreek for reasons you had to be a part of last preseason/regular season of fantasy to bask in that glory of FFM making that call, that strategy for fantasy teams in the preseason and it exploding into our best regular season scoring/win percentages, across the board with the audience, ever.
Murray was fine, the entire Kobra Ky was in stealth/vanilla mode…so, no universal excitement more than there was prior.
-- What about the wide receivers?
1) They started in a two-WR set…Fitz (1-1-0/1) and Kirk (0-0-0/0).
2) When they added a 3rd and 4th WR soon after, it was Trent Sherfield (4-44-1/5) and Damiere Byrd (3-17-0/4)
3) Rookie KeeSean Johnson (2-29-0/4) then rotated in with the starters. As he has all training camp of late.
4) Rookie Hakeem Butler (1-6-0/1) continues to be buried on the 3rd-team. His value for 2019 redraft is near death.
5) Andy Isabella and Kevin White were injured and didn’t play.
The running theme of DeeSean starting, and Isabella, not is still full speed ahead. Isabella is set to debut next week, so we might see a change quickly.
-- The Chargers also played in this game…
I was not surprised to see Austin Ekeler (5-40-0, 3-29-0/3) as the RB starter, but I wanted to see how much/what kind of usage Justin Jackson (3-22-1), After about 4-5 plays, Jackson entered the game and started to work. He was the better runner of the ball…Ekeler is much better as a satellite back not a lead.
I still say, I like my sources on this Chargers backfield situation sans Melvin Gordon – the Chargers desperately want Justin Jackson to go through a minor charade to ‘earn’ the lead role. They may start Ekeler, but Jackson will be the one getting the most touches with Gordon out.
Speaking of LAC RBs…Jeremy Cox (1-0-0, 1-2-0/1) was way down with the 4th string. I didn’t see him at FB, he came in as a single setback and did some work late. I’d be shocked if he made this team. I rarely agree with what Anthony Lynn is doing with his talent, so I’m sure Cox is headed to the practice squad.
-- Arizona 2nd-year UDFA LB Dennis Gardeck (7 tackles) led all defenders in tackles in this game, as I was hoping he would. He’s a machine all over the place hunting down ballcarriers. He could very well get Hasson Reddick traded before September 1st.
It will be interesting to see if they go all-in on Gardeck or give Reddick one more chance.
-- Rookie QB Easton Stick (7-11 for 78 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) made his push for 3rd-string QB with his feet – 2 carries for 51 yards and a 31-yard TD run. He posted a three-cone in the 6.6s…he can move around pretty well. He showed it here.
As a passer…ehh, not so much. Given they have Tyrod Taylor, I assume they’ll cut Stick and put him on the P-Squad.
-- Arizona kicker Zane Gonzalez (1/1 FG) planted a 55-yarder in this game. If the Cardinals/Kobra Ky are going to be an offensive juggernaut…Zane has nice FF value, no?
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