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2020 REWIND: 2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 15 – Cardinals 38, Browns 24

Date:
August 21, 2020 11:14 AM
August 28, 2020 9:30 AM

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 15 – Cardinals 38, Browns 24

 

I was hoping for a shootout, and I got one…kinda.

62 combined points…8 combined TDs. Surely, the QBs must have flourished with these totals, amiright? Surely, not.

Baker and Kyler accounted for 3 TDs combined in mild performances. I wanted an Air Raid to break out with teams that throw a lot…instead they ran the ball a combined 58 times for 378 yards and 5 TDs – totally unlike their styles or outcomes of play in 2019, and yet…it happened…just when I needed these QBs in the fantasy playoffs.

A fitting end, where I lost playoff games this week.

The Browns with a lot to play for…a possible rise to 7-7 respectability and saving their coach’s job devolved into another sloppy game of them trying to force passes to OBJ-Landry to shut them up. Spoiler alert – it didn’t work, and it never works…but they’ll try it again next week.

Arizona is the worst coached and worst execution team in the NFL…and they just outplayed Cleveland in every facet. Arizona never trailed and played one of their best games of the season, if not their best. Cleveland…was ‘Cleveland’.

This is the kind of game that gives you hope with Arizona…if they can just protect Kyler, great things happen. Kyler Murray was the most sacked QB in the NFL, coming into this game…in this game the Browns registered 0 sacks and 0 QB hits. I’m not sure I’ve seen another game with ZERO QB hits, especially on the most QB-hittable team. Give Kyler time and he will kill you.

Arizona won’t have it so easy ahead…@SEA, @LAR. Week 17, they will probably face Bortles…so, maybe one more win. Arizona likely to finish 5-10-1 this season.

Cleveland…no hope for the future shown here. They have to gut this whole thing/franchise/roster, and that probably should include Baker (who I believe will ask for trade this year or next) as well as the GM and Head Coach. However, Cleveland is such a cesspool franchise that…’who are they going to find to replace anyone with?’ The Browns are stuck keeping the dysfunction they have or going with a new dysfunction brought in. The Browns are a surreal study of ineptitude from the top-to-the-bottom. They are 6-8 likely headed to 7-9, because Kitchens will play everyone Week 17 because he doesn’t care about any of the player’s futures besides trying to win games and stay employed, which you cannot blame him.

*2020 Comments: I stick by my nickel prediction I had mid-last season -- Baker is going to be a New England Patriot at some point soon, maybe 2021...maybe before the 2020 trade deadline?*

 

Fantasy Player Notes…

 

 -- The Kyler Murray (19-25 for 219 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 8-56-0) report…

He looked totally fine here, maybe the best game he’s played outside of the Tampa Bay game. He was efficient. Threw his usual darts to receivers whenever they were open. Led his team to a season-high 38 points. All I wanted, for FF, was Kyler in a game where his team/offense scored 30+ points, I figured my odds with him for a big FF game, if that happened, would be great.

Four Kenyan Drake TDs later…

How can I get mad? I mean, I’m pissed…but, really… I played Kyler for the upside, especially if I was down to Lamar’s TNF event. I got Kyler’s team scoring 38 points and him running the ball 8 times. It’s all I could’ve expected. I couldn’t plan for him getting his team to within the goal line on several drives, setting up short Drake scores. Kyler didn’t do anything wrong; he just didn’t pile on the FF points the way I/we needed.

The big takeaway here is…and I can see it clear as a bell – if Kyler has time, he’s the most lethal passer in the league…in a debate of him v. Mahomes. You think the ‘time to throw’ matters (for the guy who had been sacked more than any QB in the league this season coming into the game)?

Check this out…

In games where Kyler has been sacked two or fewer times this season:

4-1 record, 67% Comp. Pct., 248.0 passing yards, 49.4 rushing yards, 1.4 TDs/0.4 INTs per game…20+ FF PPG (4pts per pass TD). It includes two games (CLE and NYG), where the Cardinals ran for 7 total TDs in the game.

The Cardinals scored 28.4 PPG in those five games.

In all the games Kyler has been sacked 3 or more times this season:

0-8-1 record and the team has scored just 18.7 PPG.

The sack counts/the pressure correlate to wins/losses and top 5 league scoring pace or bottom 5 league scoring pace. This offense is some front line ‘blocking’ away from being the talk of the league. Can they actually get to it? Not sure they can.

Where Kyler can go in 2020…what the Cardinals do for upgrading their blocking – two of the biggest dilemmas, opportunities to study this offseason.

 

 -- And then there’s Baker Mayfield (30-43 for 247 yards, 2 TDs/1 INTs)…

I’ve about hit full disgust with Baker. I bet big on him this season, along with Kyler…hoping one or both panned out huge to compete with Mahomes…and Kyler did decent, and Baker flopped.

When I watch Baker, I still see a great QB. No one has vision for the field like Baker Mayfield, except maybe Kyler. The problem is – Baker rarely has anyone open, and when he does have options he’s too busy trying to force to OBJ-Landry…who, if they don’t get enough targets in a game, start crying to the coach, the media, and the heavens.

How can Baker succeed in this dysfunction? Answer…he can’t.

I thought the dysfunction might work for him for fantasy scoring like it does Jameis Winston. Nope.

This game was maybe a bridge too far. You cannot face Arizona’s pass defense and not tear it apart. Baker was good-not-great here…he should’ve toyed with the Cardinals secondary. OBJ did his requisite drop key passes, and there were other drops, but against the easiest pass defense to face in the league…Baker couldn’t even pretend to take advantage. Jameis with a broken hand tore apart the Detroit Lions.

If the circus (Kitchens, OBJ. Landry) is back next year…how can we trust them for FF? From a Baker standpoint?

If everything is changed and the circus is kicked out of town…how will they be replaced, and will that be favorable to Baker?

I thought the Baker future was exceedingly bright, for production…now, I don’t know what the hell to do with him. I cannot begin to imagine until January, when we see who the management team is or isn’t. Then by March end…who is at WR or isn’t.

I don’t think Baker is dead, but there are way more questions than answers now.

 

 -- OBJ (8-66-0/13) and Jarvis Landry (5-23-0/8)…these are their results/outputs facing the worst pass defense in the league? You think you are stars? You are both are a joke. They’re stealing money from the Browns, but they gave them the key to their vault…so, it’s the Browns organization's fault more than the WRs.

 

 -- The best receiver on this team by a mile is Kareem Hunt (4-14-0, 8-62-0/9). He is an RFA this offseason, which means a team can offer him a big contract and the Browns can choose to match it or lose him for a higher draft pick compensation…Hunt will be a 1st-round pick RFA tender. So, if a team signs him and the Browns do not match, they get an end of the 1st-round pick.  

It will be interesting to see if the Browns match it or not. Depends upon who the GM/coach is.

*2020 Comments: Surprisingly, everyone avoided Hunt as an RFA, and the Browns retained him easily -- the mideseason 2020 trade or big free agent offseason is coming in 2021.*

 

 -- Kenyan Drake (22-137-4, 1-9-0/1) won some folks a fantasy week, out of nowhere. The guy has been garbage for weeks, and then this event happened…he faced a garbage team and ‘boom’, now he’s a star again.

The Cardinals are probably/likely to offer Drake a nice deal in the offseason, to be their pairing with Chase Edmonds.

David Johnson (3-6-0) will be elsewhere. Tampa Bay (connection Arians), the Jets (swap for Le’Veon Bell contract instead of signing Drake), and the Chiefs (Tyrann Mathieu is already calling for it on Twitter) are in the early lead. This could also be a moment where Bill Belichick storms in if a ‘deal’ on cut/released David Johnson occurs. The Eagles and Colts would also be in-play, I believe.

*2020 Comments: Or the Texans...*

 

 -- Dan Arnold (1-6-1/1) scored a sweet TD for Arizona! The Dynasty Stash player was a promising TE/WR for the Saints, but never got consistent work and was released midseason, scooped by Arizona, and probably sticks here…which is doom for fantasy because the TE is not in a good place in this offense.

 

 -- Christian Kirk (4-33-0/5) has been under 50 yards receiving in three of his last 4 games. He’s played 11 games this season, had a TD in just one of those games (3 TDs v. TB).

He’s the poor man’s Keenan Allen or Robert Woods’ story…lots of catches but hit-and-miss on the TDs, mostly miss. I thought he was a slam dunk WR1 for PPR in 2020, but his 2019 finish has been up and down, more down/mediocre of late.

 

 -- Ricky Seals-Jones (3-29-2/4) was a young, Arizona TE hopeful, but the new regime cut him in 2019 (and with good reason, he’s a jerk…perfect fit for Cleveland’s locker room). He landed with the Browns. He got a ‘revenge’ game here and scored 2 TDs.

These are things important to jerk players…remember, when Jarvis Landry was hot against the Dolphins a few weeks ago? Baker is the kind of jerk that knows this and pushes it to the guys to get their stupid revenge. Hurray!

OBJ owners are like…why couldn’t the Browns have the Giants on the schedule this year!

 

 

Snap Counts of Interest:

 

46 = Drake

13 = DJ

00 = Edmonds

21 = Byrd

15 = Isabella

12 = Cooper

11 = D Arnold

02 = Sherfield

 

43 = K Hunt

35 = Chubb

07 = Hilliard



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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>