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 2020…
2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 13 – Bears 24, Lions 20
What a Thanksgiving treat! The awful Bears vs. the awful Lions…with nothing on the line!!
Looking back at this game, I kinda forgot…the Lions led most of this game and were leading 20-17 with a few minutes remaining. The Bears then embarked on a drive and scored the game winning TD with 2+ minutes left, and the Lions could not answer. For the second time in four weeks a 3rd-string Lions QB had the Bears down to the wire with a chance to win on a legit final drive. Has anyone mentioned what a terrible job Chuck Pagano has done with the defense that was utterly dominant just a season ago? Dominating last season, this season – had a hard time holding off an emergency Jeff Driskel start and then an emergency David Blough start. Man…Mitch Trubisky is a terrible defensive coordinator. It has to be his fault, right?
The Bears have now won three of their last 4 games…with chances to have lost all three, but to their credit they did hold off all the backup QBs in their final drive hopes to win each game. That’s a plus, I guess. The Bears host Dallas on TNF this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears won that game, because it’s outside with S-A-W-F-T Dallas…and if they do, then suddenly the Bears are 7-6 trying to win out to get to 10-6.
If the Bears can somehow close the gap to one game behind Minnesota (not GB or SEA or SF) for their Week 17 game – the Bears could win that, and thus have a 2-0 record over Minny…and make the playoffs, and shock the $#!# out of all of us. If Seattle beats the Vikings this week…the Bears have a sudden flicker of wild card hope. Likely they will lose prior to that and it won’t matter. We see the Bears finishing a disappointing 7-9, but if they do beat Dallas and the Vikings do lose this week…the Bears might be an interesting upset pick at Green Bay Week 15.
Detroit falls to 3-8-1 and will win one more game at best, and then the season can end, and the Matt Patricia firing can begin. He’s 50-50 to return, my estimation.
*2020 Comments: The Bears did beat S-A-W-F-T Dallas the following week to get to (7-6) and Minnesota lost to Seattle and dropped to (8-4) but the Bears lost thier next two games and fell out of the playoffs.*
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- David Blough (22-38 for 280 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) didn’t totally faceplant in this game, as I suspected/discussed on my short video preview of Thursday games and my Video with Bet The Close podcast. He did OK. Not great, but not horrible. If you eliminate the long TD pass early on…it was pretty ‘meh’ the rest of the way.
Blough will be the starter the rest of the season now, as Jeff Driskel got put on I.R. Minnesota’s defense gets a huge bump for that reason for Week 14…hosting Blough.
In a corresponding move, the Lions claimed Kyle Sloter off the Cardinals practice squad. He’s now the sudden #2 in Detroit. If you were with FFM in 2017 or 2018, you know how I feel about this…about Sloter. I’m not going to get my hopes up. Just know, one of the great handicapping events ever could occur if Sloter is ever thrown into action and the masses drive the line wacky because they have no idea who he is.
In Week 16, if Sloter is forced to start…at Denver…I will literally lose my mind that week waiting for that game to be played. If you don’t know why all this Sloter talk is taking place…you got some FFM studying to do. Google FFM + Sloter and catch up with us.
-- I thought Mitch Trubisky (29-38 for 338 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) played the worst game of his career last week in their win over NYG. This week, he was better -- but I still don’t see the old Mitch anymore…but for a few throws here and there. His confidence appears shot. His mechanics are terrible. He’s not running the ball well at all. I don’t see where things are turning around for him. I hope they do, but on tape I do not see improvement only decline. The Detroit defense, Matt Patricia’s specialty (defense), helps make everything look better.
-- Because of their QB issues, Detroit would love to run the ball with Bo Scarbrough (21-83-0) every play if they could. Does he not look like a Derrick Henry clone every time he runs the ball?
Here’s the thing for fantasy… You know how many targets Bo has in his 3 games/starts? One. No catches on one target. You’re pretty limited here to 20 carries for 50-90 yards per game and no passing game work, and you hope for a short TD run in this very sluggish offense…a tough hope to have.
-- Kenny Golladay (4-158-1/5) showed us the hope and the fear of starting Courtland Sutton for FF this week/ahead.
They are both such great talents, but they keep having a revolving door at QB…and teams are doubling them to force the replacement QBs to look elsewhere or throw to them in a crowd – and a guy like Golladay (or Sutton) has to have a big play or you’re going to get stiffed with a 4-5 catch for 40-50 yards nothing game for fantasy.
If you take away that long TD to start this game, here would be Golladay’s stat lines the last 3 weeks since Stafford went out…
Week 11 = 1-34-0/5
Week 12 = 4-61-0/4
Week 13 = 4-83-0/4
You can’t get a great upside from an ace WR getting 4-5 targets a game from lesser talented QBs. If Kyle Sloter takes over, then I’ll be right there.
*2020 Comments: KG had 7 TDs his first 8 games with Matt Stafford...then 4 TDs the 2nd-half of the season with the revolving door of backups QBs. Four 100+ yard games with Stafford in the 1st-half of 2019 season, just one the 2nd-half.*
-- Things look better for the Bears’ receivers…
You know, Allen Robinson (8-86-1/12) is great but suddenly Anthony Miller (9-140-0/13) is perking up. It helped that Taylor Gabriel was not an option this game (out injured), but Miller has been popping for a few games now. In his last 3 games, he’s averaged: 7.0 rec. (11.0 targets), 90.3 yards, 0.00 TDs per game. It’s great numbers/trends, but the best work happened against two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. It won’t be so easy ahead with the schedule and Gabriel will return.
I’m not a big Miller fan, as a scout, but he’s plausible…and when the Bears are facing bad teams, and have to throw, and defenses are all over Allen Robinson – someone else can get numbers. Gabriel had started to perk a bit on that formula, but now Miller has stepped into it.
I don’t trust Miller, this passing game, or Trubisky’s recent run…so, you won’t see me chasing Miller as any hot waiver guy. Not last week, and not this week. There are WRs I’m more interested in and trust a little more. However, you are not crazy to chase that targeting level on a team that will throw a good amount ahead.
-- I like rookie WR/TE Jesper Horsted (1-18-1/1) as a deep sleeper TE talent for fantasy, but you can’t trust him next week. Sure, he caught a TD here…but it was a lucky catch/throw and his only one…and it’s hard to rack numbers when you play all of 7 snaps in a game, like he did here.
Not seeing any breakthrough ahead. Not a bright outlook for 2020 with Matt Nagy Season 3 either.
-- Rookie CB Amani Oruwariye (6 tackles) has been thrust into the starting lineup…which is helping opponent’s passing games bump up. He’s totally lost in coverage many times. However, he’s quite an athlete and a hard hitter. He should move to safety if he can’t get it together in coverage down the line.
His last two games, playing starter snaps…5.5 tackles, 1.0 PDs per game. He has hopes as an IDP sleeper for numbers as a starter…he’ll get picked on.
Snap Counts of Interest:
36 = Scarbrough
25 = Ty Johnson
17 = McKissic
60 = ARob
58 = Javon Wims
56 = Miller
04 = Riley Ridley
40 = Montgomery
36 = Tarik
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