Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: 2020 Season NFC Wild Card – Saints 21, Bears 9
*Just like our in-regular-season coverage, we’ll be analyzing all of the playoff games for Dynasty/Fantasy purposes…with an eye on 2021 valuation changes, etc. During this time, I’m watching the tape and writing up an analysis on NFL Draft prospect scouting studies and prepping/studying for the Senior Bowl (still on for now) – so, I’m typing out my thoughts/notes quickly and not hardcore editing. Forgive any typos/grammar, etc.
I don’t think anyone is shocked the Saints beat the Bears, I’m a little curious as to how the Saints only scored 21 points total and didn’t really pull away until the 4th-quarter…but I would probably surmise that the Saints knew they were winning this game and kinda muddled along and hit the accelerator as needed…and they weren’t at their most effective but the lack of fear/urgency in this game led to a minor malaise. I don’t think any better or worse about the Saints today because of a dull, almost unwatchable, playoff win over the Bears here.
What’s amazing to me from the outcome of this game is the psychology of football things…
Matt Nagy backs the Bears into the playoffs and his (and the GM’s) job appears to be ‘saved’ – a lucky (5-1) start…and a terrible (3-7) finish, only making the playoffs at (8-8) due to an expanded playoff 2020. How is ‘making the playoffs’ under these lowered standards a job saver here after such an awful season…and only making the playoffs due to the rule change/expansion?
How is everyone just ‘fine’ with this narrative…well, he did get them to the playoffs? How is this acceptable?
The Bears deserve the misfortune they have coming in 2021. I can already tell you one of my ‘under’ bets for 2021 is the Bears win total. They have had two really bad/horrible drafts back-to-back, and last free agency was a joke of mismanagement. They are ruining themselves. Matt Nagy is one of the worst coaches on the league, so he isn’t going to save them from themselves. But the Bears have lurked around 7-8 wins the past two years so 7.0 wins will probably (I’m hoping) be their opening Vegas line for 2021.
Rotationally, the Bears face the NFC West next season in their 2021 schedule…four losses possible right there plus two losses to Green Bay…before we even speak about anyone else on the schedule.
The Bears are about to become one of the worst teams in football if they stick with Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace for another season.
The Saints host the Bucs this weekend – beating a team three times in one season is not easy. Why do I have a funny feeling the Bucs win this game? Not only for the three-win thing, but this just feels like where the Saints have their annual playoff stumble.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, Matt Nagy is apparently staying as Bears head coach…which means nothing but pestilence and destruction for 2021. How that might affect three current Bears for FF 2021…
1) Allen Robinson (6-55-0/7) is a free agent, and he cannot wait to leave. The Bears might be forced to try and ‘tag’ him in some way to prevent the loss – but I believe ARob will spend his offseason campaigning to leave. Only a mega-deal for Robinson will make him stay…and I’m not sure he’d even stay for that, unless the money was ridiculously more than anywhere else.
Two impacts to consider…
a) Imagine the Bears offense without Allen Robinson…what a mess.
b) ARob will land somewhere new – and his new spot will cause a seismic shift at his new home for fantasy projections/thoughts. Like imagine he signs with the Chiefs…or Packers. Can Robinson be a WR1 in 2021 if he signs with a loaded/established team? Or does he go to another level with a real offense?
Assuming ARob is not a Bear in 2021…Darnell Mooney (DNP) suddenly becomes the Bears #1 WR, or at least the most interesting WR, no? A loss of Robinson would have the Bears signing and/or drafting WRs, but considering the Bears track record on such things – Mooney could be in an amazing spot for FF 2021 if the dominoes fall right.
2) David Montgomery (12-31-0, 0-0-0/1) will continue on as the unquestioned lead back for the Bears in 2021, with Nagy back. He doesn’t deserve it. It’s ridiculous. But…it is what it is. He will get all the carries for a very bad team.
He’s a strong RB2 who will likely get a lot of redraft respect in August 2021 (unlike the death he experienced in 2020 August/September redraft due to his injury/missing Week 1). He was a decent ‘buy low’ in the 2020 redraft panic with his injury (people didn’t know if it would be 0-1 weeks missed or 6+ and onto PUP). He won’t be a ‘buy low’ in 2021…he’ll be ‘overheated’ in value. A main carry guy on a bad offense.
3) Barring something unforeseen, Nick Foles should be the Bears’ Week 1 starter. It will be an interesting offseason for the Bears QB situation – one they likely hope to upgrade but then will be stuck with Foles.
The Bears would pay $14.3M to Foles to play 2021…or they can cut him for a $4M hit. Would they like to upgrade from Foles? Sure…but, who is available/better that would want to sign with the Bears? Ryan Fitzpatrick? Might as well stick with Foles.
No good quarterback would want to wind up in Chicago on purpose/with options…for cost of living/taxes or climate/weather. The Bears are stuck with paying Foles, and then drafting a QB to groom behind him. The Bears should target a mobile QB to fit their weather conditions – have a Lamar Jackson-type offense. I think the Bears should sellout to get a Justin Fields type, but they probably won’t be able to get Fields specifically/reasonably.
I think the Bears will have all kinds of plans and dreams of upgrading the QB situation…and then wind with everyone passing them by/getting drafted in front of them and they settle for Foles + not-a-top rookie QB pick – that’s the Bears’ way.
If I were the GM, knowing that Nagy+GM are primed to be fired in-season 2021 if things go south – I’d sell my soul to move up to take an instant impact, rookie running QB and hide behind that. That’s the smart thing to do…which means that’s what the Bears won’t do.
-- The thoughts/rumors/discussions are very strong that Drew Brees (28-39 for 265 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) is done after this season no matter what, especially if they win the Super Bowl.
It’s very likely 2021 begins with the Saints QB’d by Taysom Hill (4-15-0, 2-5-0/2), which means…
a) Hill is a QB1 for FF 2021, especially in 4pts per pass TD leagues.
b) There will be a few football media types in the offseason pushing Jameis Winston to win the QB competition and be the Saints starter, and that ‘it would only make sense’. Winston is not going to be the Saints Week 1 starter…big football media, please give this Winston pipedream up. You were wrong, just admit it and move on already.
c) From what we saw in Hill’s 2020 run…Alvin Kamara (23-99-1, 2-17-0/2) will have his normal projections/be fine with Taysom in 2021. He was getting into a flow with Hill as the went on. A slight downgrade on Taysom taking a lot of short TDs away, but other than that it should be fine…but enough TDs taken that it pushes Kamara out of the top 2-3 overall pick discussion for redraft 2021?
d) Michael Thomas will be fine too, looked nice with Taysom – but I think there’s a chance Thomas gets dealt this offseason. The Saints just want out, potentially…and changing over from Brees gives them some cover to do it.
-- The best player in this game? Deonte Harris (7-83-0/7) of course! You didn’t think of him immediately?
Harris comes off I.R. for this game and is like low key Tyreek Hill all of a sudden. He’s like the center of the offense with bubble screens and jet sweeps. If this was the only Saints game you watched the past two years, because you were cryogenically frozen and thawed out last weekend and your first request was to watch the Saints-Bears playoff game, you’d be like…well, obviously, Deonte Harris has become their best player while I was ‘out’…I didn’t see that happening pre-freeze.
In his last 6 games played with the Saints (and he missed Weeks 12-17), Harris has…
-4 or more catches in a game in three of those last 6 games.
-Carried the ball in three of those 6 games (3 carries for 19 yards). *He has 7 carries for 49 yards so far this season…with four carries of the 7 carries for 9 or more yards each time.
You know what’s really crazy? Harris caught 7 passes and ran one time in this game…playing just 24 snaps (in on 29% of the offensive snaps).
The X-factor player for the upcoming Tampa game is Deonte Harris?
At least find a Vegas bet where the line is 0.5 carries over/under…and bet the ‘over’ to get his one carry – which would have paid off seven of his 10 games played this season.
Snap Counts of Interest:
56 = Mk Thomas
55 = Emm Sanders
45 = Lil’Jordan Humphrey
24 = D Harris
23 = M Callaway
44 = ARob
44 = Wims
24 = A Miller
16 = R Ridley
40 = Jared Cook
31 = Trautman
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