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 123 – Bills 26, Cowboys 15
Well, I got this analysis on the button. I spoke about this with Chris Dibello (Skol) of the Bet The Close Podcast on Tuesday night (video on our site, audio on his podcast…you should subscribe). As I was studying up on this game Tuesday morning, I noticed just how poorly Dallas has been performing when they face any type of physical opponent. For brevity sake, Dallas is S-A-W-F-T.
And when I wrote analysis of Buffalo’s last game vs. Denver, I discussed just how tough Buffalo is…the toughest team in the NFL. Not afraid of any team and very well-coached. Not a great collection of talent but a great ‘team’ built perfectly for playing in the Buffalo weather (or indoors in Dallas, as it turns out).
I thought Buffalo would come out and knock Dallas’s block off…and the Cowboys landed the first punch (a 1st-drive TD) and then Buffalo just landed all the punches after that and won by more than the score indicated. If you ever wanted to see a game where the coaching mismatch mattered…you saw it up close and personal here.
If I were Jerry Jones, I would have fired Jason Garrett the moment he went for 4th & 1 from his own 19-yard line early in this game. Jason Garrett never coaches ‘risky’, but he’s under such fire for being too passive he tried to make up for a decade of passivity in one stupid call. Sure, the play worked and they got a 1st-down -- but it’s what the play represented – Jason Garrett is a timid, empty coach who follows what Jerry wants. He’s not been, and never has been, ‘his own man’. If you saw the Amazon documentary on Dallas a few years ago, it was easy to see Jason Garrett is a mannequin of an NFL head coach. He is an embarrassment to NFL coaching…and that’s really saying something to be the worst of the worst. No one saw that early 4th & 1 play as ‘aggressive’ they saw it as ‘desperation’ – and it all went downhill from there.
Dallas got what they deserved…beat up, again. Dallas could lose to @CHI or LAR the next two weeks or win them…because those two teams have become even more S-A-W-F-T than Dallas has become. Dallas will then lose to Philly Week 16, because the Eagles are tough-minded and well-coached, and Dallas is not.
Kudos to Buffalo, they deserved to win. Like I said last week, they have gone from ‘bad team taking advantage of an easy schedule’ to ‘team you don’t want to play ever’. Buffalo doesn’t know its own limitations. They are now 9-3 and just think if they didn’t get screwed out of the Patriots’ game earlier this year where they might be…1st place in the AFC East.
I bet Buffalo gives the Ravens a tussle before they fall to Baltimore. If Buffalo could somehow defeat the Ravens and New England loses to HOU or KC (or both) the next two weeks…we might have a real game Week 16 BUF at NE. We project Buffalo will finish 12-4/11-5 and the #1 wild card spot.
Dallas will finish 8-8/9-7 but lose to Philly Week 16 and miss the playoffs is our projection for them, and then the marquee job opening in football begins – head coach/Jerry Jones lackey of the Dallas Cowboys.
*2020 Comments: Buffalo went on to lose three of their next 4 games and finish as a (10-6) #1 wild card. Dallas did lose their big Week 16 game vs. Philly and missed the playoffs at (8-8). And the marquee head coaching job in football opened up and somehow got filled by as bad a nothing head coach as Jason Garrett...Mike McCarthy.*
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I will start with something I have never done before… Praise for Josh Allen (19-24 for 231 yards, 1 TD/0 INT). He’s still erratic as hell in key spots throwing the ball…a hold your breath guy under duress, but credit to him – he has a short memory on his turnovers, he is tough as nails running the ball, he’s reduced his turnovers, and he’s perfectly built to play in the Buffalo weather.
That play in this game where, on 4th & 1, the snap was botched, and he regathered it out of a pile and then pushed for the yard needed, but was met/stopped violently but then Allen fought extra hard and carried the defender with him for 2+ yards and the critical 1st-down…an MVP moment if Allen were an MVP candidate. The play demanded all kinds of focus, grace under pressure, athleticism, and willpower…a play most QBs in the league could not make. Hats off to you, Josh; I’m taking a pause in criticizing your overall QB skills.
In a league looking for Lamar Jackson’s…Josh Allen is a willing runner, a successful runner, a tough runner and has a cannon for an arm. He may not be accurate, but if teams fear his running enough…he just needs openings and he’ll put laser beams on receivers. He’s not a wonderful traditional NFL QB overall, but solid, but he is uniquely crafted for the fantasy era ahead.
I’m about to say, “I was wrong.” Not that he isn’t a limited QB in passer skills BUT, for the new era…he’s uniquely qualified. Changing my QB scouting mindset for the future…Josh Allen works better in the new era.
Allen is the #7 fantasy QB on the season…one spot, +0.1 pts per game ahead of Kyler Murray.
-- If you watched this game, you saw what I’ve been saying about Devin Singletary (14-63-0, 3-38-1/4) for several weeks/months? Isn’t he a sublime runner of the ball? Beautiful to watch.
Sorry, I was about 7-8 weeks to early on him for fantasy. He’s got a chance to be a 1st-round fantasy redraft RB next season…but will probably be that 2nd/3rd-round bargain a la Fournette-Cook, etc., in 2019 redrafts.
*2020 Comments: Nope. Buffalo drafted the great Zack Moss and the underappreciated Singletary has been ADP falling ever since. I'm still a buyer, especially at these prices.*
-- Kudos to Chris Dibello on that Bet The Close podcast chat we had…he was on the Cole Beasley (6-110-1/7) revenge aspect and great recent trend train before I was. I followed his lead and jumped Beasley up our rankings the more I thought about it/analyzed the recent numbers.
Beasley now has a TD in five of his last 7 games.
In his last 4 games, he’s averaging: 5.0 rec., 74.5 yards, 0.50 TDs per game.
-- Amari Cooper (8-85-0/11) had a decent FF game despite the Tre’Davious White coverage. They did hold him to one catch for 8 yards in the 2nd-half.
Michael Gallup (3-63-0/6) was more held in check. Gallup had that monster game against Detroit (9-148-0/13) but outside of that game, since his return from injury, Gallup has had 4 or fewer catches in a game in his six other games upon returning to action. Something is still a bit off with he and Dak since his return from the meniscus tear surgery.
-- Brett Maher (0/2 FG, 1/1 XP) missed a 30+ and 40+ yard FG to hurt the cause here this game. He’s 1-of-4 from 30-49 yards his last two games. We might have a kicker issue developing here…
-- Bills IDP notes…
Shaq Lawson (5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 TFLs) continued his rise to relevance here…3.5 sacks, 5 TFLs, 7 QB hits total in his last 3 games.
Rookie Ed Oliver (4 tackles, 2 sacks) has woken up… 1.0 sacks his first 9 games, and 4.0 sacks in his last 3 games.
-- I thought Dallas would change more to using Blake Jarwin (2-9-0/3) as a weapon out of need in this game, they did not. More stiff Jason Witten (6-42-1/8) action instead…and another offensive yawn and a loss for the ‘Boys.
Now, news comes that Jason Witten is being considered to replace Jason Garrett in 2020…no one is conning NFL people more than Jason Witten. Seems like a nice guy. A Hall of Fame tight end probably (who doesn’t make the Hall of Fame anymore?). But he is not a leader of men for real, and you saw from his TV stint…he has no original thoughts about anything at all. Go watch him speak to the team in the Amazon documentary…empty clichés with no one really listening.
*2020 Comments: The Raiders are about to find out what ex-teammates are whispering about Witten...not a great locker room guy, but a coach's suck-up.*
-- The next Dallas head coach is probably Urban Meyer on like a massive deal. He’s already lobbied for it. He checks plenty of boxes…respected, a proven winner, big name, can bring the college style to the pros and get ahead of the wave already happening. He somewhat pioneered this wave, to a degree.
If it is Urban Meyer, then the answer to my question yesterday of ‘What current NFL QB is the hidden next Lamar Jackson type waiting to happen (that won't come to mind right away)?’ is Dak Prescott (32-49 for 355 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT).
Dak is a dangerous runner of the ball – fairly fast but built like a tight end and can bully tacklers when he wants to. He's a power RB playing QB. What if he were put in an Urban Meyer offense instead of a traditional NFL one? Wouldn’t Dak be a neat runner-passer, keeping the ball and running on purpose 5-10x a game? Dak is a cross between Lamar and Tebow as a runner, but is the best passer of the group by far?
Wouldn’t Dak then be even greater for fantasy...IF converted/embracing that more mobile style BUT with Urban Meyer coaching him in it?
Dallas is the one team that’s the closest to a ready-made Lamar Jackson type mimic-attempt situation but I’m not sure they realize it or will really pursue it. Or whether Dak wants to run after he gets a massive new contract. But the pieces are there for the possibility. Too many IFs for this to be pulled off, but the hiring of Urban Meyer would start this ball rolling in the offseason fantasy chatter.
Taysom Hill is the other option already existing, and he's more Lamar than Dak is. Taysom has Dak's size/toughness, but is a bit faster. a runner..he's more Lamar-like than Dak as a runner and a passer (a bit wobbly as a passer), but built for tough running. The problem for Hill is he'll be 30 years old next year and has had multiple knee injuries -- what team is going to invest heavy in him? The Saints control him at least thru 2020 as well. Would a team match a Saints cheap offer to try to make this happen...to come out and say, "Taysom is our new franchise QB?" What team would have that kind of guts or infrastructure to allow it?
*2020 Comments: Dallas didn't get Meyer, but did land McCarthy...the difference between living in a sweet house on the beach in Miami vs. living under a bridge in North Dakota. Jerry is not abdicating his running of the team, so only 'dupes' can apply for the job. For the money, I'd be Jerry's dupe too.*
Snap Counts of Interest:
56 = Witten
26 = Jarwin
52 = Singletary
15 = Gore
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