INTRO: Well, we got no preseason football to watch/analyze/hyperventilate over this year…so, my normal August ‘to-do list’ is blown to smithereens.
It feels weird to have teams going to training camps and for it to be August/preseason and there not to be my favorite kind of football to watch – the preseason, where we can see a lot of the new/rookie and lesser used players get to work and I get to go on a journey of discovery combing over the tape studying them. Fantasy Football 2020 is going to be a year of great college and pro scouting in years prior…and that should give me/FFM a huge advantage going into the redraft season and the NFL/FF season.
Still, we have no preseason football to watch/get hyped about. So, for a lack of football to watch this August…I had an idea to take snapshots of the 2019 season and publish certain of my recaps/game analyses from last season every day/every week of this preseason – to re-remember things we were thinking in at the various stages of 2019 season.
I randomly chose four weeks from the 2019 season to ‘replay’ (republish) every day/week up to the start of the season.
The schedule is planned to be…
Week of 8/3: Week 3 (every team would have had at least one home game, and no byes…trends developing).
Week of 8/10: Week 8 (midseason, only two teams on a bye)
Week of 8/17: Week 13 (most fantasy regular seasons ending, no bye week for any team)
Week of 8/24: Week 15 (the end of most fantasy seasons with the FF finals for most Week 16…also, NFL teams starting to change players/give younger players a chance if they were out of the playoffs, etc.)
Week of 9/1: The NFL playoffs from start to finish.
We’ll have plenty of other current fantasy/football content all August, but I wanted to have some semblance of ‘real football’ for us to read/re-remember/consider. 2-3 games per day I will publish as they were published for subscribers in 2019…and I’ll add some lite ‘updated’ 2020 commentary/hindsight as I see fit.
Enjoy a look back, a ‘skim’ of the 2019 NFL/FF season in August/Sept. 2020…
2019-20 Dynasty-Fantasy Playoff Game Review: 49ers 37, Packers 20
I thought it was a typo, but it was real… Jimmy Garoppolo threw 8 passes in a game to determine the Super Bowl title, and he won it in blowout fashion.
How bad was the Packers run defense? Raheem Mostert became a star by virtue of running untouched for 10+ yards at a clip, against 8-9-man boxes at times. We blame a lot of things for the 49ers’ greatness…Kyle Shanahan, beating Seattle by 6 inches to get the #1 seed/not the #5, a great defense, the Packers’ run defense will end up getting ‘the blame’ here, etc. – but we may be overlooking the fact that the 49ers have the best offensive line in the game now. Their top OLs were hurt for weeks at a time midseason, but they all got healthy at the right time. It’s not Mostert we need to fear going forward…it’s this 49ers O-Line.
If O-Line and D-Line secretly mean more than quarterback (and I think we’re arriving at that era now because everyone has functionally good QBs, worse case) – then the 49ers are the team to beat in the Super Bowl and dangerous next season as well.
The Packers proved a theory I pushed for most of the season – they are really not that good, and their schedule helped make them, and Rodgers is fading, and Matt LaFleur is not a great head coach, and when 2019 Green Bay faces a top team, like the 49ers, they are going to get popped. They got embarrassed by San Fran midseason and then humiliated here as well…the 17-point win was not indicative of the embarrassment this game was for Green Bay.
We probably just saw the end of the Aaron Rodgers elite era…this is about as good as it is going to get from here on in – sneak to the Final Four in a season everything (especially schedule) went right…but cannot hang with the big boys.
We’ve probably just seen the beginning of the Kyle Shanahan era. I thought Sean McVay was the heir to the Bill Belichick throne of ‘best coach in the NFL’, but it’s Shanahan in the lead now.
The three best all-around (on-field, player relationship, team/personnel building) head coaches in the NFL, in my book, as of January 2020:
1) Bill Belichick
2) Kyle Shanahan
3) Sean McDermott
When Kyle Shanahan abruptly quit working for the Browns as offensive coordinator, a few years ago, because he saw the problems up close and wanted out after one-year (which was very unusual/risky for the resume at the time) – it let all of us know he was a pretty savvy human.
Shanahan is my pick to win this year’s Super Bowl, as a first thought about it – and if he does, how embarrassing for all those teams who had Shanahan on staff and passed him by/let him go and for all the teams who didn’t jump on him as a head coach before SF pulled the trigger. Even if the 49ers lose to Mahomes…it’s still a pox on the teams that passed Shanahan up because he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I know everyone is excited about Raheem Mostert (29-230-4, 2-6-0/2) now, and why wouldn’t we be after that kind of game. Before you jump off a cliff on Mostert in Dynasty leagues or in 2020 redraft…
1) Tevin Coleman ran 22 times for 105 yards and 2 TDs the prior week and Mostert took just 12 carries and played 34% of the snaps. Last week, it was Tevin as a star. This game, Tevin was starting and set up to have THIS game…but he got hurt early and then Mostert entered…and, well, the rest is history.
2) The 49ers plan at running back is to have no set plan. You know how many times this season Mostert has played over 60% of the offensive snaps in a game this season, as mostly the 49ers’ lead RB for the 2nd-half of the season? This game and one other…Week 13 vs. Baltimore.
Mostert had 29 carries here. Do you know how many times he took 15 or more carries in a game this season? This game and Week 13 vs. Baltimore.
Mostert rushed for 220 yards in this game. In his prior four games combined he rushed for 222 yards. His rushing yards in a game since Week 14 as ‘starter’: 69-54-53-57-58-220. Which game do you see as the outlier?
3) Kyle Shanahan is smart because he deploys the Bill Belichick theory of RB rotation – have 2-3-4 talented guys, with unique skills, and rotate them and ride hot hands. RBBC is the only way an NFL team should go, big picture (for health, payroll, strategy). Mostert will be, at best, in a random rotation in 2020. He’s good…but he’s just a cog in the machine, a very replaceable one.
The Super Bowl features Damien Williams vs. Raheem Mostert – so much for paying huge contracts to Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Ezekiel Elliott, and (soon) Derrick Henry. Last year we had James White vs. C.J. Anderson featured. CJA couldn’t save the Rams from themselves this season. Good luck to the Rams having to spend time worrying and creating plans to ‘manage Todd Gurley’s workload’! Really worked out well spending all that money on Gurley + Malcolm Brown in free agency and setting a 2nd-round draft pick on fire taking Darrell Henderson (and then never wanting to use/develop him).
Here’s NFL analysis in a nutshell…
After 2017-2018: Todd Gurley is the Most Valuable Player in the league and deserves to be the highest paid! He’s the best.
One whole year later…
After 2019: Man, the Rams have a Todd Gurley problem with that big contract. Maybe they should cut him and free up some cap space?
Just to wrap this up…wasn’t Matt Breida (1-2-0) your favorite 49er RB talent coming into this season? Remember when the 49ers/rookie HC Kyle Shanahan spent a lot of money on Jerick McKinnon?
-- Jimmy Garoppolo (6-8 for 77 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) is now 21-5 (80.1%) as an NFL starter. Belichick may have had the next great ‘winner’ at QB in the NFL and was forced to trade it away to placate Brady/the owner.
A couple of notes here…
Jimmy G. TD passes in a game in his last 7 games: 1-4-1-1-0-1-0. If the 49ers can win like that…and if they have this great O-Line and sweet RBBC…how can we love Deebo Samuel (2-46-0/4, 2-43-0) ahead for fantasy? Can we really invest confidently in George Kittle (1-19-0/1) as a definitive top 3 tight end for FF 2020?
Kittle WAS #2 in PPR and non-PPR PPG (Weeks 1-16) for the 2019 fantasy season.
Jimmy G. threw for 8 TDs in two wins over the hapless Arizona pass defense this season…and had 19 TDs in his other 16 games played (incl. playoffs) this season…barely a TD pass per game outside of beating up on Arizona.
Weeks 15-17 were like playoff games for SF and then JG has had two playoff games…his last (key) five games – 3 TDs/3 INTs total. This is an efficient passing game – it’s not great for fantasy numbers.
2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
Sign-ups for CFM and/or our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball (DOBB) subscriptions are found from the FFM home page ‘Subscribe now’ tab.
-- Aaron Rodgers (31-39 for 326 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTs) has two moves now…and it’s a lot like what the Saints/Drew Brees does…and it works great for FF:
1) He throws everything to Davante Adams (9-138-0/11)…even if way down/in garbage time. He has one guy he likes to work with and it’s going to lead to big numbers most every week. You’d think teams would double it more, but this game is an example of the fantasy-power of this relationship.
The 49ers did take away Adams early, and then when they got a big lead they backed off some to keep GB in front of them…and then Rodgers-Adams started compiling. It’s what the 49ers DON’T do, which is why we have to be mild Deebo-skeptics for FF.
2) If he isn’t throwing to Adams, he’s dumping off to Aaron Jones (12-56-1, 5-27-1/5). Rodgers used to constantly press down the field. This offense and Rodgers’s age…nothing wrong with the dump pass to Jones.
Jones isn’t a free agent until after the 2020 season, so there is no reason 2020 won’t be a repeat of 2019. Rodgers is getting set in his ways…and his way is Adams and Jones/the RB. Brees is all about Thomas-Kamara, and everyone else/all the other options being random events every so often/infrequently.
Hey, it works…so, why change? QB comfort level with 1-2 receivers is the name of the game for the old school QBs. New school guys more spread the ball around and don’t lean on one thing (also see: Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen and Ekeler/Woodhead, Big Ben and A.B. and now JuJu, Matt Ryan and Julio).
-- Another sign of the Aaron Rodgers decline…whether it’s him or this offense…
It used to be Rodgers would ‘make’ a #2 and #3 WR through his dynamic and prolific abilities and output. Not anymore. How many people were aching for Marquez Valdes-Scantling fantasy goodness the past two seasons? I wasn’t…I was too smart for that…I wanted an Equanimeous St. Brown emergence (memba him!). Valdes-Scantling had the same number of pass targets in this game as the number of craps I give about those two Royal Family members leaving England to strike out on their own…zero.
I also wanted Allen Lazard (3-36-0/4) justice! But I never thought it possible after he went undrafted. I thought the NFL would continue to ignore him. Well, good news…Lazard broke out of his prison (by accident) in 2019! See how smart I am?
Bad news…it’s not 2015 anymore…being a talented ‘other’ WR working with Aaron Rodgers and friends is meaningless in the Year of our Lord 2019-20. See how stupid/behind the times I am?
James Jones has to be the luckiest man alive. James Jones hitting the NFL in 2019 would’ve been undrafted and probably never would’ve made an NFL roster. But he hit back in the era where the WRs prospects were fewer and farther between and Aaron Rodgers was the exception/the Mahomes of his time with maybe 1-2 other QBs in the discussion, and he’s made three WRs wealthy (also a candidate for luckiest man alive – Randall Cobb)…where now Rodgers’ skills/output are top half of the league, and the bottom half aren’t far off for fantasy production ability.
Oh, the good old days when there was barely any passing game talent in the NFL compared to the current era.
-- Deebo Samuel (2-46-0/3, 2-43-0) has become Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite WR. The fantasy problem with that is when you complete 11 and 6 passes in a game in these playoffs…you’re not going to get huge output opportunity.
Jimmy G.’s dealing a lot of 0-1 TD tallies in games recently and Deebo hasn’t been on the other end of any of the crumbs during the pass TD famine. Samuel has not caught a TD in six straight games. He’s also been under 50 yards receiving in four of his last 5 games. He’s the #1 WR look for Jimmy G, but the output has been junk.
Deebo has become the effective runner of the ball on the team, however. 17 carries for 208 yards and 3 TDs rushing on the season (incl. playoffs)…12.2 yards per carry.
17 carries, 208 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 12.2 yards per carry = Deebo’s rookie 2019 season
30 carries, 174 rushing yards, 1 TD, 5.8 yards per carry = Tyreek Hill’s last two seasons combined for rushing.
-- The 2020 Annual Fantasy Football Metrics Draft Guide package is now available – the 2020 player scoring projections, rankings, special reports, commentary on 500+ players, IDP rankings, etc…all updated daily/weekly throughout the offseason right up to kickoff.
Our 2020 In-Season coverage (Weekly rankings, all game reports, video shows, special reports, etc.) is available for pre-purchase, so you’re ready/signed up for when the season begins. Purchase In-Season and Draft Guide as a COMBO to save a few bucks and get all set up in one session.
-- College Football Metrics statistically scouts/grades 600+ NFL Draft prospects, and deeper studies 100+ prospects pre- and post-draft with detailed scouting reports and rank the top 300+ Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects (including IDP) every week throughout the offseason. See our home page for details on our various subscriptions.
-- Our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball subscriptions are still available – Dynasty rankings for various scoring positions in downloadable/editable spreadsheet format for your use. Offseason strategy reports posting weekly…trade for/away, sleepers, deep sleepers, draft strategies, mock drafts, etc.
*The FFM App is free on Apple and Android, and is the best way to get instant alerts to new content or breaking inside info hitting. Be sure to have ‘notifications’ enabled for the FFM app!!
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