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 – Saints 26, Falcons 18
I don’t think anyone was surprised by this one…the Saints got Marshon Lattimore back, while the Falcons sat Julio Jones, and the Saints rolled. It looked closer than it was – it was 26-9 Saints with a few minutes left in the game when all heck broke loose…the Falcons converting three onside kicks (two of them counting) in the final three minutes to actually have a chance at a tie on a final drive with about a minute or so left, but Atlanta kept getting sacked and couldn’t pull off the miracle.
The Saints are 10-2 and headed towards a huge game Week 14 hosting the 49ers. If the Saints beat the 49ers, and if that happens with the 49ers having just lost to the Ravens this week – all heck is going to break loose in the NFC. Five teams will have legit shots at a #1 or #2 seed after Week 14, with a Saints win over SF, and two of them will ultimately end up as wild cards. The Saints would have tiebreaker advantage over Seattle and San Francisco with a Week 14 Saints win over SF.
If the Saints lose Week 14, then they are likely headed to a 12-4 finish and a #2 seed at best. The Saints HAVE to have a BYE/home field, or they have no little shot to run the table. A bad road/outdoor team. *2020 Comment: The Saints lost to SF in the epic game...and they fell out of the BYE opportunity which cost them A LOT...a loss to the Vikings at home in the 1st-Round.*
The Falcons’ two weeks of glory Weeks 10-11 are over, they’re back to being the Falcons again. They might win one more game to get to a 4-12 finish, and then fire everyone in team operations/management and start anew. *2020 Comment: Actually, the Falcons would win out...four straight...and finish 7-9. (1-7) 1st-half...(6-2) 2nd-half.*
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I’m worried we’re about to lose Drew Brees (18-30 for 184 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) to Taysom Hill (2-33-1, 2-12-1/2) vulturing for fantasy, like we have the last two seasons. ‘Lose’ in the sense that Brees is still Brees, but he is going to come off the field a lot more the deeper into the red zone we go and FF scoring opportunity is stolen. It’s the right move for the NFL purposes, but for FF – you can’t deal with 184 yards and a TD games in fantasy playoffs.
Brees’s last 4 games last season = 3 TDs/3 INTs total, three of 4 games under 205 yards passing.
Brees’s last 6 games in 2017 season = 8 TDs/3 INTs, no 300+ yard passing games.
Why roll Brees heavy when they can win with a run game, solid defense, and Taysom Hill as a red zone assassin as a QB/RB/TE?
And, with, Lamar Jackson all the rage now…we’ll see more Taysom Hill antics I’m sure, as we should.
*2020 Comments: Drew Brees stepped on the gas from here and finished very strong...a top 10 QB in PPG in 2019.*
-- Devonta Freeman (17-51-0, 4-13-0/5) returned as dull as ever for FF. The last time Freeman rushed for a TD in a regular season game was Week 15 of the 2017 season. He has 2 rushing TDs in his last 22 regular season games played.
Brian Hill (4-13-0, 3-24-0/3) assumed a secondary role to Freeman and is now junk for fantasy ahead.
Qadree Ollison never touched the ball…any sleeper story there died.
-- Speaking of a lack of TDs from an RB…Alvin Kamara (11-61-0, 4-23-0/8) has not scored a TD in his last 7 games and has only scored a TD (2 of them) in one game this season (Week 3 at SEA). Week 14 vs. SF will be a difficult game to break that streak.
-- Russell Gage (5-52-1/9) snuck in for a TD late in this game to save a fantasy dud that was unfolding. With Julio out, Christian Blake (6-57-0/9) seemed to be more important…really, it was that he was more open/less covered.
I don’t see much from either for the future, but they can work as WR3s if Julio is going to miss more time.
TE Jaeden Graham (4-41-1/4) might be a more consistent option for the Falcons if Austin Hooper and Julio remain out.
It’s pretty sad that were down to Gage-Blake-Graham with this team…terrible talent accumulation by the outgoing GM.
*2020 Comments: And yet they would go on to win their final 4 games in a (6-2) 2nd-half finish.*
-- The three onside kicks by Atlanta at the end of this game were awesome, and all credit to the kicker AND to dynasty stash IDP LB Foye Oluokun, 2nd-year LB out of Yale.
Kick #1, recovered by Foye, called back for an offsides
Kick #2, recovered by Foye the very next play
Kick #3, Foye chased the kick and batted it away from the receiver at the last second allowing a teammate to land on it.
Oluokun is not just great at onside kicks, but he’s a legit ILB prospect…a former hard-hitting safety in college who played solidly as a rookie in 2018 when forced to start with all the Atlanta LB injuries. See where he ranks on our Dynasty Stash IDP rankings every week for the rest of the season. He’s really been playing some good ball of late.
-- Marshon Lattimore (9 tackles, 1 PD) makes such a huge difference for the Saints defense. He had a great game, even if he was a bit gimpy at times dealing with the hamstring.
The Saints face SF-IND-@TEN the next 3 weeks…not super-favorable, but not the worst thing either…as long as Lattimore is playing. The Saints defense did get 9 sacks in this game. They are heating up late season again, like usual.
Snap Counts of Interest:
87 = Ridley
83 = Blake
63 = Gage
26 = Hardy
07 = Zaccheaus
62 = Devonta
24 = Br Hill
07 = Barner
41 = Kamara
13 = Latavius
29 = Josh Hill
29 = J Cook
13 = Taysom
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