2018 Week 1 Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: 49ers v. Vikings
Believe it or not, we’re less than a month away from the first NFL preseason game – the HOF game (DEN v. ATL). Weeks away from real training camp. Leading up to that time, I wanted to go back through Week 1 of 2018…just for fun and any learning/takeaways that could be had…and something to get the juices flowing to get ready for the 2019 football season.
I’m going to republish a Week 1 game every day the next 2+ weeks, publishing them as-is in the order I did them – starting with the TNF kickoff of Bears v. Packers. No extra/new commentary. Just the content/recap of things that were accessible only for In-Season subscribers Week 1 (and every week) last season.
Access to all our game recaps (and everything else we do) in-season are available via our In-Season subscription. You can sign up for that now and be ready for September 2019 new material and have access to all the private content from 2018 – BUT also note there are Combo packages/deals to get your Draft Guide and In-Season (and Dynasty Stash) all in one checkout right now as well.
Otherwise, let’s walk down memory lane to see what was important or telling or an entertaining reminder in Week 1 of 2018…
Sloppy game. I thought the 49ers played a pretty terrible game and were under Minnesota’s thumb most of the time – and, yet, they had several chances to tie this game, to takes leads, and tie it up late in the game. They failed every time they got close.
Credit Minnesota’s defense, but also note that the 49ers are not ready for the big time. Not even close…give them the grace that they are missing Jerick McKinnon, and have, arguably the worst backfield in the NFL and lost Marquise Goodwin on the 1st series.
Minnesota got the win, and that’s a good thing but I don’t see a dominant force yet…good, but not Super Bowl material, not that I see. 9-7/10-6 win a playoff game, but not ‘win it all’ good. It could be worse, they could be the 49ers…who need another year or two.
The Vikings had every advantage – the 49ers lost their best WR, the Niners dropped passes, SF had 4 turnovers. Still, Minnesota could not put their opponent away and make the game an easy cruise at the end. As I watched, I kept thinking…the 49ers are not ready…but, also, as the tape rolled – the 49ers are coming back and winning this game, aren’t they? It felt more like a 49ers’ loss than a Minnesota win, even though Minnesota had the better team – if that makes any sense? It’s weird. A win is a win. This was a huge one for the Vikings.
If Minnesota gets Green Bay without Rogers this week, they’ve been given a gift and will likely win the NFC North because once again Aaron Rodgers cannot stay on the field.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- All the glowing things I wrote about Patrick Mahomes this week, I’ve written somewhat about Jimmy Garoppolo (15-33 for 261 yards, 1 TD/3 INTs) in past moments. I love JG, but this was not his finest hour.
He’s so good that he can play like he did in this game and still be a threat…and by ‘play like he did’, I mean he was under pressure all game and throwing off his backfoot leaning away. He does it all the time, so it’s not a terrible thing, but he was having to do it way too much here and threw some passes he usually doesn’t in to traffic.
I have A LOT of FF teams with Jimmy G. and Patty M. (trying that on for size, doesn’t feel right), and I thought JG would be the stable force to let me see whether KC was really going to let Mahomes be Mahomes. Well, one week into the season I’m like ‘Jimmy who’?
You probably are too. Don’t sweat it. JG’s too good for this to be his new reality. He actually played a pretty gutty game considering – and his receivers let him down in a couple of key spots or he puts up 320+ yards easy.
Don’t sweat JG especially if you got Patty M. (nope, still doesn’t feel right). I need a better Patrick Mahomes nickname.
-- When Goodwin was gone, and Pierre Garcon (2-21-0/6) was a nonfactor, Jimmy G. went to war with George Kittle (5-90-0/9) as his main artillery. Kittle dropped a 50+ yard pass (potential long TD) or his FF day would have been off the charts.
This is why you carry 2 TEs in fantasy…and why Kittle was one of my main guys to team with Engram. Both Kittle and Engram – top 5 tight ends this fantasy season.
Kittle may be the one to have over Engram, oddly…considering the QB and the surrounding situation.
-- Do you go get Dante Pettis (2-61-1/5) if Marquise Goodwin is out? For the week, probably/maybe, if you need a jolt. Once Goodwin is back, Pettis slides back to ‘#4 option’. If Goodwin is out, Pettis might draw Darius Slay Week 2 as well…not great.
Pettis is worth a dice roll if you need it. The mainstream thinks they know Pettis, so they do a lot of jaw jacking on him in ‘sleeper pickup’ columns but they don’t know anything. Everyone is a sleeper for them. They love everybody that has a name they think they recognize or who had a TD last week. Others will be in the Pettis rental market too because of it’ don’t feel panicked or like Pettis is the end all, right now.
Pettis is going to be good, but he’s not ready for the starting role yet. He’s probably going to take out Garcon more than he’s going to be a Goodwin ‘handcuff’. He’s a big play guy, so it could happen this week, a sweet FF effort…but he might just be 3-37-0/5 as well.
You don’t just slide people in for Goodwin and magically they get ‘Goodwin numbers’. Goodwin is his own entity. If Tyreek went down, Sammy Watkins is not going for 3 TDs a game. Not even one, really…because he sucks.
Enter Pettis at your own risk. It may be good for a week right now.
-- I wrote it on Monday, and it’s still true – if there was a Matt Breida (11-46-01-5-0/2) thing about to happen, this would have been the game to show something. SF down all game, needing to throw back into it plus 11 carries for Breida – and you got nothing, basically.
You know why?
Matt Breida isn’t a very good NFL RB. He’s a good/average athlete trying to run faster than tackles. He’s not a real RB, if that all makes sense? He just runs straight hoping not to get tackled. He will have a moment, a long bubble screen TD or something…but over time this isn’t going to work. Two targets in this type of game with JG under pressure all game? Doesn’t make any sense.
Why the 49ers aren’t scrambling for RB help is beyond me. How is Jamaal Charles not starting Week 2? He’s the perfect fit.
-- The Vikings RB ‘split’ was about what you’d expect – 67% Dalvin Cook (16-40-0, 6-55-0/7) carries (and dull ones at that) and 33% for Latavius Murray (11-42-0) but Cook got all the passing game work. This will be the norm all year and it’s solid for Cook’s fantasy numbers in PPR.
-- Who’s Kirk Cousins into at WR now that the regular season has arrived? Adam Thielen (6-102-0/12) with double the targets of Stefon Diggs (3-43-1/6). We’ll see if it holds next week, but I don’t see why not? Thielen is just that good.
-- When Goodwin went down, and Garcon didn’t step up…Trent Taylor (4-28-0/6) didn’t really take advantage, putting up a Cole Beasley type nothing game.
-- Rookie Fred Warner (12 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD) stepped up huge with Rueben Foster out. I suspect Foster will get suspended again before the end of the year (he’s back this week), so remember Warner for down the road.
-- DeForest Buckner (7 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3.5 TFLs) is such a force, a freak of nature at DT. He may be the best DL in IDP anymore.
Sheldon Richardson (6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 3 QB hits) used to be a DL star in IDP, but lazy’d his way to the brink of extinction. It looks like he’s found new life in Minnesota.
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