Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. He will be switching up the format a little starting in Week 4. Instead of a full report on every game he will be focusing on one or two things from each game that might be flying under the radar.
2020 Week 10 Review: Searching for Hidden Gems
Buccaneers @ Panthers:
Bridgewater got hurt towards the end of this game, and it was XFL star PJ Walker that replaced him instead of Will Grier. I'm not sure if that says anything about Walker's chances to start in case Teddy can't go, but it's notable. Walker didn't get much time to showcase his abilities, and he was facing the nasty Bucs defense, so I wouldn't take my notes on him as absolute truth. I thought he was a bit jumpy, obviously some nerves getting into his first NFL game. That's not unexpected. He also looked a little erratic and inaccurate on the few pass attempts he made. He definitely has a lively arm and good mobility, but he was clearly trying too hard to make a play even though the game was out of reach. Understandable though that he would want to try and make a splash with whatever game time he gets. I've been intrigued with what Walker could bring to an NFL team, so I'm certainly not writing him off after a handful of iffy passes against one of the league's best defenses. If Walker does get the start against the Chargers I think he can make some noise. Could be a sneaky play in daily fantasy.
Texans @ Browns
Pharaoh Brown caught the lone TD for the Texans here, but it's obvious this isn't something for fantasy. He moves pretty well for a TE, but he's buried as the #3 guy. I'm not even sure he ran the right route on his TD catch. He's not part of the team's plans so don't chase this.
Washington @ Lions
I have 3 players from this game, all from Washington. Rookie Isaiah Wright is a guy I've been keeping an eye on because RC saw something in him coming out of college. He's been ok/solid so far this year, but he caught a career high 6 passes for 59 yards and I wanted to take a closer look to see how he's progressing. He looks about the same honestly. Solid, good athleticism. He moves well for as thickly built as he is. This Washington team is absolutely loaded with skill position talent. Now they just need a QB. That's the thing holding all these guys back from better fantasy numbers, and it's why you can't trust anyone but McKissic and McLaurin right now. Wright is part of a good rotation and only caught 6 balls because Alex Smith attempted 55 passes. That's basically two games worth of attempts. Pass for now but keep an eye on Wright in the next year or two.
The next guy from this game is one I've covered previously but wanted to look at again after RC and I differed on our takes. Trust RC to see it right sooner. Cam Sims is looking much better than in the past. When I watched him recently all I saw was him catching wide open passes, but I completely missed how he was moving around. He looks very smooth, very athletic, and much more confident than I've ever seen him. Unfortunately as I talked about with Wright this passing game can't support a solid #2 receiver at the moment. Maybe in the future.
The third player is another rookie, safety Kamren Curl of Arkansas. Curl got in the game a couple of weeks ago and has averaged 10 tackles a game the past two. After watching him here he looks like another ok player that doesn't really make many impact plays but he seems to find a way to make tackles. It works for fantasy so you might as well use it while you can. The Washington linebackers are still pretty bad so Curl seems to have lots of opportunities for these cheap clean-up tackles.
Bengals @ Steelers
I got interested when I saw that Trayveon Williams took 5 carries here, but he's nowhere close to making a fantasy impact. All of his carries came in the final 2 minutes of the game. Granted he looked fine. He's good enough to put up numbers if you shoved him starter carries, but this is still a split backfield between Bernard and Perine for the moment. Williams isn't crashing this party anytime soon.
Bills @ Cardinals
AJ Klein popped up with 10 tackles and I had to take a look because I've always thought he was a decent player. He's still pretty good in a generic sort of way, but this big tackle count is most likely just a fluke and not the start of bigger numbers for him in fantasy. I chalk it up to the Arizona short passing game giving him lots of opportunities to make tackles toward the sideline. Nothing I would chase in fantasy.
Seahawks @ Rams
Once again I have three players from the same game. I'll start with DJ Reed. Reed is an interesting case because he has typically played safety or slot corner in the past, but he was an outright corner for the Seahawks here. He definitely should not be playing corner, but I think there's definitely a ball player here. Reed is small, about 5'9” 185 but plays like he's much bigger. He is not afraid to tackle that's for sure. There's a reason he racks up these big tackle counts every time he starts even going back to his rookie year with the 49'ers. Unfortunately he looks like he's a liability in coverage which is why he never really sees the field unless forced in due to injuries. Either way he's in the game now and is piling up tackle counts so I would definitely use him in IDP leagues for the moment.
Alex Collins got called up just as we suspected and looked exactly as advertised. He's a tough runner with decent feet and can carry the load if called upon. He's capable. He's also expendable. The second Hyde or Carson are back from injuries Collins is headed back to the bench. Use him if you are out of options, but don't expect Collins to help you win your league.
The third player from this game that caught my eye was Josh Reynolds. Now I wasn't expecting much when I started, but after seeing how good he looked moving around I started digging a little deeper. I had not realized he's been as consistent as he has this year. In the past Reynolds would pop up with a big game once or twice a year but otherwise didn't do much. This year though he's quietly been quite consistent hovering around 3-4 catches for 50 yards or so every week. And the past three weeks he's upped his average targets per game to 9! On top of that he is looking very athletic, very smooth, and I believe much stronger. He looks like he's added some muscle to his frame and kept his speed. In the past he was always very lanky looking, but now he looks much better proportioned. This Rams passing game isn't as high-functioning as it was a few years ago, and Kupp and Woods are still very good receivers, but I'll bet you money Reynolds is going to pop with a huge 7 catch 120 yard 2 TD game here very soon. If you're struggling to find points at the WR spot go take a flier on Reynolds. There's upside to be had here.
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