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 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 13 – Seahawks 37, Vikings 30
Odd game flow here. The Vikings lost by 7, but rewatching it…the judge’s scorecard, Seattle whipped them. It was more 30+ to 10+ in my mind/my eyes. Minnesota has a lot of positives but has a lot of flaws and Seattle exposed them. And the Vikings are a totally different animal on the road vs. at home.
Seattle is running the ball well and their defense has issues but is improving. They have Russell Wilson, which is a difference making thing. They are real Super Bowl contenders, but one of my least favorite. That defense has good moments but then allows stupid plays against them and it always seems Seattle is operating in a frenzy the final quarter of every game. Of Seattle’s 10 wins, three of them have been by 7 or more points…five of them by 4 pts or less, including two OT games, and a missed FG at the buzzer by LAR game. This is a 10-2 team that still feels like a 7-5 ‘good’ team. They have a nice schedule ahead and will have a showdown with SF Week 17 for the NFC West. Seattle loses that game to SF, I would predict today, and finishes with 12-13 wins and is the #1 wild card.
Minnesota must get a home field advantage for a game to have any hope in the playoffs. They should be 10-4 going into Week 16 hosting GB, a game they should win and finish on a 4-game win streak for a 12-4 season and a #3 seed. Three of their last 4 games are at home, a HUGE advantage for the Vikings.
*2020 Comments: The Vikes lost their final two games...both home games, and became a wild card that upset NO then got whacked by SF.*
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The follow up to the Carson-Penny chronicles from Week 12 was…it is a split.
Chris Carson (23-102-1, 1-7-0/2) started, but then Rashaad Penny (15-74-1, 4-33-1/5) came in on the 3rd play of the game, ended up playing about an even level of snaps for the game…and, oh yeah…he looked a thousand times better than Carson.
If you watched their Week’s 12 and 13 games, how could anyone in their right mind put Penny in a secondary role to Carson, if they were the coach of this football team? But stuff like this happens ALL THE TIME. Some people love Coke and hate Pepsi and some heathens love Diet Pepsi and hate Diet Coke. Some NFL coaches have a Freudian fixation on the power running back (see: Mike Tomlin and Snell over Samuels)…I think the coaches think they are tough guys and therefore they want all their players to be tough guys so they build a team, subconsciously or consciously, that LOOKS like a tough guy unit.
For me, I’d want success over a ‘tough look’. I’d want ‘What’s working best? What gives me an edge on THIS play, and then the next play?’ NFL head coaches focus on optics and I try to focus on results, and I don’t care what it looks like on the surface or where it was drafted…but I’m not an NFL head coach and none of them will listen to outside opinion, and the more you criticize them, the more they dig their heels in. So, you get more Carson than you should and less Penny.
But just to note…Penny looks wonderful. It should be a pox on Carroll that he hasn’t been developed Penny more and he isn’t already a star, but he won’t be because Carroll is full of energy for his age and looks younger than he is…that’s all I ever hear about Carroll as to why he’s a great coach, so head’s up to all you other teams out there with coaching openings – go hire a Rob Lowe or Dorian Gray to be your next head coach.
Next week, it will be Carson in the lead, Penny getting chances, and if Carson gets hot…Penny will fade into the backdrop. If Penny gets hot, it will be a split.
*2020 Comments: Penny was making his move and then soon after this...BAM an ACL tear ruined the takeover of the backfield.*
-- We got an RB situation on the other side here…
Dalvin Cook (9-29-1, 3-35-0/5) missed a good chunk of this game with a shoulder/rib injury…something he hurt a few weeks ago and re-injured here. It’s not a ‘season ender’ and maybe not even a ‘week misser’ type of injury, but…
The Vikings play the Lions this week…at Minnesota, which should be a lay-up. Would it be a good time to rest Cook for a week for the tough road ahead? What about just the Vikings get up quick/big and pull back on Cook and go heavy Alexander Mattison (4-22-0, 4-51-0/5)?
I think Mattison gets a bigger role this week, at minimum…and could get a shocking full start with a surprise ‘inactive’ for Cook. That’s why we have Mattison elevated in the projections right now…and he’ll go into the top 10 RBs if Cook is ruled out.
-- What happened to Tyler Lockett (0-0-0/3)?
I don’t know.
I know it is not the following… It wasn’t the flu. And it wasn’t the knee injury from 4 weeks ago…not here, and not the week prior. When there is no good reason for this low volume…then we have to assume something has changed with the offense/Wilson, etc.
We shoulda seen it coming.
Lockett was white hot Weeks 1-3, and that stuck in all our minds for weeks/months. I’m guilty. But since Week 4, Lockett only has 4 TDs in 9 games. He has a HUGE game vs. TB in that stretch. If I look at his last 9 games, minus the one great TB game, so his last 8 games, I would find…
-Less than 55 yards in a game in six of the 8 games.
-3.5 catches per game
-2 TDs in 8 games…a 4 TD pace for a 16-game season.
-Six of fewer targets in a game in seven of the 8 games.
It was all right there in plain sight, but camo’d by the great Weeks 1-3 and the hot Week 9. And…it’s been getting worse. All those bad numbers from Weeks 4-13, they were OK-ish numbers midseason but a disaster his three games. The trend has been down for weeks. We had reasons to excuse it, but it’s my error for not noticing.
He’s a WR2-3 all of a sudden and could get Jalen Ramsey on him this week. Teams have been doubling Lockett more, as part of the excuse, but an 0-0-0/3 game in a big spot against a bad pass defense is beyond the pale.
*2020 Comments: Lockett did have a weak game the following week, but then started to return to somewhat normal Week 15 on through the playoffs.*
-- Kyle Rudolph (4-50-1/6) looks better the last few weeks than at any time I can remember. He’s back to a strong TE1, especially in non-PPR.
And this really hurts any Irv Smith (1-6-0/3) uprising the next season or two, for fantasy.
-- Seattle or Minnesota DST the ROS?
Both have ‘names’ but both are getting plowed over by any decent offenses this year.
The Vikings have Blough, at Rivers, Rodgers…not bad, and Minny much better at home for all things.
Seattle’s defense has been weak most of the season, but better of late. They have @Goff, @K.Allen, Kyler the next three. Could be good matchups but Seattle hasn’t shown they have that extra gear.
I’d want the Vikings at home vs. Blough this week, Seattle at Kyle Allen Week 15, and probably Seattle hosting Kyler Week 16, the way Arizona looked last week, but if Kyler bounces back this week then I’d change my tune fast.
Snap Counts of Interest:
39 = Carson
35 = Penny
27 = Mattison
24 = Dalvin
03 = Abdullah
02 = Boone
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