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 Super Bowl Preview SF v. KC (handicapping, props, and fantasy)
Well, it all comes down to this…one more game for the 2019-20 season, the Super Bowl. The last piece of game tape/watched information that will heavily sway Dynasty/Fantasy GMs going into the 2020 offseason.
The playoffs/Super Bowl being our last ‘recency bias’ will warp valuations on players/things going into the offseason. It already has – look at the change in opinion/outlook/love for Patrick Mahomes…he ended the regular season in a very ‘meh’ (for him) manner, statistically. Then he’s been a monster in the playoffs, and everyone is back on board remembering he’s the greatest. Had the Chiefs been bounced from the playoffs early, like the Ravens, Mahomes’s acquisition/trade value would have been more ‘reasonable-ish’ in February-March 2020. Now, he’s almost unobtainable. If he destroys SF in the Super Bowl…he will be re-elevated as a god.
After the Super Bowl, I’ll write my annual Super Bowl Extravaganza recap of 4,000-6,000+ words to finish off the season. After we close the book on the 2019-20 season, I will start publishing in-depth reports on the new 2020 coaching hires and starting to look at free agency on FFM and prepping for the NFL Combine and more scouting reports on CFM. Fantasy/football never ends.
Before we analyze the Super Bowl outcome, we’ll try to predict the events ahead of time. Here are my thoughts on the big game Sunday…
Handicapping (SF v. KC -1.0) Preview:
*Note: I was a guest on the Bet The Close podcast with Chris Bilello ahead of the big event, talking about the game/prop bets, etc. Check it out if you need more listening material in your life. Find it on your typical podcast outlets, Saturday projected ‘drop’.
Who do I like in the Super Bowl?
Hell, if I know…
I mean, seriously – who has a strong/irrefutable feeling or analytics/data pick of this game? If you paid me to, I could take a side and talk glowingly about all the reasons why SF or KC would win this game.
If I wanted to hype San Francisco, I would say: The most balanced team in the NFL at the end of the season. A top functioning offense, excellent run game, and the most dangerous defense in the league when at full strength (Kwon Alexander back). The 49ers can score in a shootout (see: the Saints game) and can be a suffocating defense that will thwart KC more than any defense has this year. The very logical, sound-minded football pick would be the 49ers.
If I wanted to hype the Chiefs, I would say: Patrick Mahomes, and then drop my mic and walk off the stage. Seriously, Mahomes neutralizes all football arguments. At the same time, the Chiefs defense has been playing better and better as the season has worn on. They halted Derrick Henry last game, when no one had been able to for weeks. Andy Reid with two weeks prep has been pretty ‘money’ as well. There’s a lot to like with KC in this one game.
There are so many barstool debates here:
KC: We got Mahomes!
SF: Look at our D-Line!
KC: Ummm…Have you seen our D-Line? It may be right there with the 49ers?
SF: We can score at will, look at the Saints game!
KC: Ummm…you’re also known for defense and the Saints dropped 40+ on you. The Saints, Rams, Cardinals, Seahawks…pretty much anyone in the 2nd-half of the season are rolling 20-25+ points on you…and we’ve got a better offense.
SF: You should speak of defense, yours only got better playing weak teams late in the season.
KC: You should talk about schedule – your defense was only good the 1st-half against patsies and then got smoked much of the 2nd-half of the season when the schedule got tougher.
SF: We got George Kittle!
KC: We got Travis Kelce!
SF: Raheem Mostert will run all over you!
KC: Really, just because he had a great game last game? Did you see what we did to Derrick Henry?
SF: Our veteran kicker!
KC: Our kicker is great too, and more distance!
SF: Kyle Shanahan is the best young coach in football!
KC: Andy Reid is a master with two weeks to prep, typically.
SF: Jimmy Garoppolo is a winner!
KC: So is Mahomes.
SF: Your linebackers are so weak!
KC: Your secondary is pretty suspect.
You could go around in circles all day and not have a real defined way to pick this game.
If I had to bet money, and I won’t…I’ll bet props, I’d take Kansas City because Mahomes can overcome anything, even an early/big deficit. Whereas if the Chiefs get up big/quick, I don’t believe the 49ers/Garoppolo can flip a switch as easily. Really…you have a strong feeling about Jimmy G.-Mostert-Deebo dominating? I’d rather side with Mahomes-Tyreek-Damien in favorable passing conditions/weather.
If you’re betting this game, God Bless your bets.
My prop bets? I’ll get into that in the fantasy section…
I’m sticking with the obvious. Mahomes-Hill-Damien.
We’re all hyped on Mostert, but Damien Williams has been a TD machine per game/per touch all season and into the playoffs.
If KC wins, it’s because Mahomes carries them, obviously – and I expect A LOT of going for it on 4th-downs, so more chances, extended drives, less field goals more TDs, etc.
I love Tyreek Hill’s situation here…the best cover corner for SF (Sherman) can’t cover Tyreek and will stay on one side of the field where Sammy Watkins will probably be fed to him to keep him occupied (I mildly like the Watkins ‘under’ prop bets, but not enough to bet them). When SF has faced high-flying offenses/talented QBs…numbers and scoring popped (LAR, ARI 2x, NO…BAL was down in scoring but it was a monsoon game). The 54+ total points scored for the game ‘over’ for the game is a nice bet *2020 Comments: Final tally was 51*, I suspect. I’d take a taste of the Tyreek prop of ‘over’ 4.5 catches…I might bet this prop small *2020 Comments: 9 catches for Tyureek in the game*,. I’ll also bet Tyreek to have ‘over’ 0.5 rushing attempts…he has had a carry in each playoff game and usually has a carry in a game all year vs. getting stoned by the O-C *2020 Comments: zero carries for Tyreek*,. In a game like this…Tyreek has to see a jet sweep/handoff at least once, but Eric Bieniemy is maybe the most overrated coach in this game (he and the 49ers D-C). Who knows if Bieniemy will be smart enough to call Tyreek’s number on a rushing play?
The 49ers had a top three defense against tight ends this season, so Travis Kelce isn’t in a perfect spot…but Kelce (and Mahomes) is unlike what SF faces normally.
The wild card player for KC: Mecole Hardman – all that speed and he has become more and more of a ghost but if Tyreek gets extra-extra attention and Sherman is wiping out Watkins…Hardman could make a big play or two in this game, maybe.
Everyone is on Deebo Samuel as the guy to play all your prop bets on. So many people are on it that it almost feels like the opposite will happen…and it will be a bigger Emmanuel Sanders game. But Deebo to beat the prop bets of 3.5 catches and 51.5 yards looks decent, but I’m wary…
On 3.5 catches, with Deebo, you would’ve lost that bet in five of his last 8 games. *2020 Comments: 5 catches for Deebo*,
On 51.5 yards, with Deebo, you would’ve lost that bet in four of his last 5 games and six of his last 8. *2020 Comments: 39 rec. yards for Deebo*,
The volume has been so low in the SF passing game in the playoffs, because it could be (they just ran straight ahead to easy victory)…it’s skewed the passing game numbers. If you feel like Mahomes is going to force the 49ers into more aggressive offense – then all the WR ‘overs’ for Deebo-Sanders-Bourne look appealing.
I would say the single best prop bet I see in this game, the only one I put actual money on (so far) – Deebo Samuel ‘over’ 0.5 rushing attempts and then not bad is the Deebo over 10.5 rushing yards in the game. Deebo is going to have a rushing attempt in this game, but it will cost you a -200 money line to try it – but I think it is guaranteed money by the end of the 1st-quarter. Deebo running the ball is not a gimmick – it’s a game plan. He has at least one carry in seven straight games and two or more carries in four of his last 6 games with double-digit yards per carry. He has 3 rushing TDs this season on 14 total carries. HE IS GOING TO CARRY THE BALL AT LEAST ONCE THIS GAME!!!!! *2020 Comments: Got his carry first series, ended with 3 carries for 53 yards*,
I assume Raheem Mostert gets the big workload and if Tevin Coleman really can’t go…which, knowing how random SF goes, Matt Breida will then lead the team in rushing. The moment you know Tevin is out…bet the Breida ‘overs’ for a long shot if they stay anything like they are now.
George Kittle’s prop bet lines all seem inflated. I wouldn’t bet heavy on them, but if I did I’d go ‘under’. But I don’t want to bet against Kittle. *2020 Comments: Kittle went for a quiet 4-36-0 line*,
Another great prop bet Chris Bilello of Bet The Close is playing, and I think I will too – Kyle Juszczyk over 9.5 yards receiving. He’s going to get a misdirection slip screen when he’s uncovered, and he’ll get nice yards on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had 3-4-5 catches in this game. He’s a pass game weapon that hasn’t been used a ton this year but used pretty well. He’s like a mini-TE at FB…he could be the 49ers secret weapon. *2020 Comments: He got 3-39-1...he was better than Kittle this game, statistically speaking*,
I hope you enjoy the game/event Sunday. I hope you put all your money on Deebo getting a rushing attempt and thus winning a lot of money and booking it by the end of 1Q and then you can enjoy the rest of the game.
My Super Bowl game recap extravaganza will be published approx. Monday night. Then, after that, my new head coaching hire studies will start to drip out all throughout February. Kevin Stefanski or Matt Rhule likely the first one out of the gates sometime next week. All that a million other things as football never sleeps.
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