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 – Titans 31, Colts 17
Tennessee has won five of their last 6 games, all with Ryan Tannehill starting. They scored 34 points in this game and went to a good team’s house and beat them by 14. The Titans are playing very good football, but not as great as we might think…and this game is the epitome of the run the Titans have been on.
The Titans fumbled the first play of the game and set up an easy early drive TD for Indy. Tennessee answered right back to tie it 7-7. Then a back-and-forth of nothing broke out the rest of the 1st-half. Tennessee couldn’t move the ball. Indy was moving into scoring position, but Adam Vinatieri shanked a long FG-attempt, then had one blocked (that was kicked way too low), and finally he connected on one…a 10-7 lead for Indy at the half that could’ve been 16-7.
The Colts came out of halftime and waltzed right down the field and scored a TD, taking a 17-7 lead that could’ve been 23-7 at least -- through 2.5 quarters the Colts were the best team here. The Titans would then outscore the Colts 24-0 from there and win the game convincingly.
It wasn’t all that convincing…the score was 17-17 with 5+ minutes left as the Colts AGAIN lined up for a field goal – it was kicked low AGAIN and blocked and returned for a TD. Titans take their first lead 24-17. They picked off Indy the next drive to set up another score and suddenly a game the Colts controlled most of…the Titans were blowing them out. It wasn’t really the case, but it counts that way in the scorebook.
The Colts are now 6-6…a decision to dump Adam Vinatieri in the preseason away from being 8-4 or better. A great coaching job and solid personnel stocking of talent and nice adjustments due to all the injuries season, a division title chance…all thrown away because of loyalty to a failing kicker. That’s why I’ve said for several years that Justin Tucker is one of the 10 best/most important/most valuable players in football (and undervalued in fantasy as well). If Indy trots out Adam Vinatieri for another game, they will likely lose one more and season over for the playoffs. Ditching Vinatieri could save their season, but they won’t do it willingly…and, thus, get what they deserve. If they drop Vinatieri right now, 9-7 and a wild card is possible. Stick with Vinatieri and they will probably lose to Tampa Bay this week and effectively kill their playoff chances.
*2020 Comments: It's one of those hidden things from 2019 season...that is getting 'unhidden' by me going back through my season recaps -- the Colts went (7-9) with weak Jacoby Brissett and awful Brian Hoyer...and what really killed a good+/playoff season was Adam Vinatieri. Remember when he was shanking field goals all over the place but the Colts never changed kickers until Vin got hurt late in the season? Adam Vinatieri probably cost them two wins last season, at least.
Now, that solid 2019 Colts team has an upgrade at QB, RB, TE. If the cornerback play rises up -- this is a potential Super Bowl threat team. It's also one of Bet The Close Podcast's Chris Bilello's top over/under plays for 2020...and I fully buy into it now.*
The Titans are looking great for the playoffs or a division title…they are 7-5, one game back of Houston and still have to play them twice. The Titans have a lot of control over their fate. Tennessee’s season might come down to this week against Oakland…a loss would kill because it would give the Raiders a playoff edge over Tennessee and Indy for the wild card (having beaten them both). A loss this week by the Titans would drift them away from the AFC South title as well. Tennessee could go from the ‘it’ team today to fading if they lose to Oakland, fall to 7-6 with HOU-NO-HOU to the finish. We see an equal chance at 8-8 or 9-7 for Tennessee. Everything for them depends upon the Oakland game, which I believe they will lose if Adoree Jackson is out.
*2020 Comments: Speaking of things we forgot from 2019...the Titans LUCKED into the playoffs. They did beat the Raiders Week 14 to get to (8-5), but then lost their next two games and limped into Week 17 at (8-7) fortuitously playing a Houston team who didn't need to play and they started A.J. McCarron to give the Titans the easy Week 17 win and a trip to the playoff run...that maybe shoulda never happened.*
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Well, that was a fun one-week ride with Jonathan Williams (11-47-0, 2-9-0/3) as the next great fantasy RB. This is a very weird NFL/FF season. Has there been a backup RB takeover the starting job from the failing starter? Or even take the job from a couple week missing starter due to injury? Backup RBs have not been sustainable/worth the effort in 2019, a big change from the past.
Devin Singletary is the only one, no? The one place where a backup just rose up and took the job and has been consistently good for the NFL/FF. He’s all that comes to mind for me right now.
I wouldn’t trust Jordan Wilkins (11-47-0, 2-9-0/3) either. The Colts play the Bucs Week 14, who shutdown RBs as it is – plus, Marlon Mack might be back.
*2020 Comments: It's the weirdest thing...Williams runs for back-to-back 100+ yard games and then just disappears and is a free agent today. Can anyone with a pulse run for 100+ yards in an NFL game? Except Marlon Mack....he had three 100+ yard games in 14 games played as starter (while Williams just waltzed in and posted two back-to-back 100+ yard rushing games.*
-- Since Week 7, his run as a starter, Ryan Tannehill (17-22 for 182 yards, 2 TDs/0 INTs) is the #5 QB in PPG fantasy scoring. Ahead of Watson, Mahomes, Murray among others.
Fantasy Football is an amazing puzzle to play with. So many twists and turns.
Tannehill has to be a top 5 vote for MVP at this point, no?
Solid schedule the next two weeks for FF…@OAK, HOU.
-- I thought A.J. Brown (3-45-0/4) was primed for a big game against Indy being Tannehill’s #1 target…which he was the #1 target here, but that means 4 targets in a game in this offense -- and that’s not good for fantasy. I’d rather roll with James Washington or many other not-#1 WRs, but ones who will get 2x the targets in a heavy passing game.
-- Zach Pascal (7-109-0/10) came out of hiding this week. He’s been so bad as the #1 WR with Hilton-Campbell out…the fact he did so well here, might be a sign of issues with the Titans secondary dealing with injuries and the loss of Adoree Jackson in this game.
If Adoree is out vs. Oakland…might be very good for Carr-Tyrell-Waller.
Jack Doyle (6-73-1/11) popped here too…so, Waller could be terrific this week v. TEN.
*2020 Comments: Waller posted a solid 6-72-0/6 targets) line the following week.*
-- Two off-the-grid WRs in this game to note…
Titans WR Kalif Raymond (1-40-1/1) caught a 40-yard TD late in the game to seal up the win. His 2nd big play over the past few weeks.
He’s a 5’8”/180 grinder/NFL journeyman who played at Holy Cross as a WR, and was very productive there and ran a 4.39 40-time at this Pro Day back in 2016. He’s got a Marvin Hall type look…not a counted on WR, but sneaks in for 10-20 snaps and gets a shot at a big play here and there.
Colts rookie UDFA WR Ashton Dulin (1-13-0/1) got a bubble screen in this game and looked really good with it. He caught my eye in the preseason and does every time he gets a touch in the regular season. He’s got a very nice burst/pop in his step. 2019 is not his time, but possibly is a player with the 2020-2021 Colts as part of a WR trio with him and Parris Campbell with quite a show on turf possible if they get a high-end QB ahead.
2020 College Football Metrics Season Coming Soon
It’s almost time…
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
More details and specific launch date as we get closer to the end of the 2019 regular season.
-- The Colts picked up PK Chase McLaughlin off waivers this week. Adam Vinatieri is hurt and might miss the game/has the perfect excuse for the Colts to bail.
McLaughlin is a rookie kicker who was a touch erratic in his Chargers run for 4 games, and then was better with the 49ers filling in for Robbie Gould for a few games. He’s 15-of-15 on XPs and 7-of-7 on FGs under 40-yards this season but 6-of-10 on 40+ yard FGs, but most of those misses were with LAC not his recent SF run.
A kicker with some bumps and bruises experience going to kick in a dome two of the next 3 weeks – IF he is the new kicker.
Just noting for those in DEEP leagues looking for kickers – but he also upgrades the Colts offense/point output potential as well for handicapping, opposing DSTs, etc.
*2020 Comments: It didn't pan out...McLaughlin was a weak PK2 down the stretch.*
Snap Counts of Interest:
70 = Pascal
65 = Marcus Johnson
39 = Dulin
01 = Rogers (hurt 1st play)
66 = Doyle
15 = Alie-Cox
12 = Ross Travis
44 = D Henry
11 = Dion Lewis
16 = Kalif Raymond
-- The 2020 Annual Fantasy Football Metrics Draft Guide package is now available – the 2020 player scoring projections, rankings, special reports, commentary on 500+ players, IDP rankings, etc…all updated daily/weekly throughout the offseason right up to kickoff.
Our 2020 In-Season coverage (Weekly rankings, all game reports, video shows, special reports, etc.) is available for pre-purchase, so you’re ready/signed up for when the season begins. Purchase In-Season and Draft Guide as a COMBO to save a few bucks and get all set up in one session.
-- College Football Metrics statistically scouts/grades 600+ NFL Draft prospects, and deeper studies 100+ prospects pre- and post-draft with detailed scouting reports and rank the top 300+ Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects (including IDP) every week throughout the offseason. See our home page for details on our various subscriptions.
-- Our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball subscriptions are still available – Dynasty rankings for various scoring positions in downloadable/editable spreadsheet format for your use. Offseason strategy reports posting weekly…trade for/away, sleepers, deep sleepers, draft strategies, mock drafts, etc.
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