2018 Week 1 Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: Titans v. Dolphins
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…
*Pre-note unrelated to this game – all our collective Patrick Mahomes nickname efforts so far have been terrible. It’s a tough nut to crack. Keep trying. We’ll get it. I’ll probably get it first, because I'm a professional, but you might surprise me…
Some successful, trademarked nicknames for FFM beloved players…
David Johnson = DJ3K
Jimmy Garoppolo = Jimmy Franchise
Keep sending efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Weird game. Multiple delays for lightning strikes. Tempo thrown off all day from the delays and then the Titans had one guy after another injured. Tennessee lost their QB, tight end, and best OL all in this game. Miami didn’t win…Tennessee just ran out of gas with all the injuries.
My feeling from the re-watch was…these are two similar teams, both not playoff teams, but neither terrible either. They are ‘tough out’ teams to face. Beatable, but they won’t make it easy. Limited by weak QB play and poor/unimaginative coaches. After my re-watch, I felt Tennessee was much better than I thought after the initial live watch, and Miami not as good as I felt about them after seeing them Sunday live.
One other quick note – Cris Carter made his debut as a TV game analyst here, and he did a really nice job. He has a future in this. He could be one of the top guys if he dropped everything else he does and just focused on this. Cris Carter vs. Jason Witten is an adult vs. an infant in a fight when comparing their TV game analyst ability. ESPN is unbelievable.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Honestly, I couldn’t tell when Marcus Mariota (9-16 for 103 yards, 0 TD/2 INTs) was in/out of this game and when Blaine Gabbert (11-22 for 117 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) entered. What a fall from grace for Mariota.
You take a spread option QB and stick him in traditional offenses with fake tough guy head coaches with unimaginative offensive ideas – you get a dying Marcus Mariota. A new breed of QBs is hitting the league from college, ones taking the Mariota model to new levels -- and Mariota is going to become an afterthought.
I guess Tennessee makes him a highly paid franchise QB coming up, no? It will doom them for years if/when they do.
-- Corey Davis (6-62-0/13) is getting to be a joke now. Basically, all of his catches came on little drag routes parallel to the line of scrimmage. The kind of plays they should get Taywan Taylor on, except they’re not smart enough to start/play Taylor. Davis looks lumbering and dull in this role and the Titans’ QBs couldn’t find him downfield at all most of this game.
I am so done with Corey Davis. I have been. This game cemented it. For now.
-- Delanie Walker (4-52-0/7) done for the year…and I don’t know that you can just assume Jonnu Smith (1-12-0/3) steps right into the same output. It would take some time for him to get the reps down and Walker is an experienced receiving weapon. Smith is more ‘good TE’ who is on the field, so he might get some action. He could has a ‘Dissly’ moment…but has worse QBs to work with.
Smith has upside to be a better receiver, but I don’t think this is just ‘throw a switch’ and he’s Delanie.
Plus, this passing game blows.
-- When this game started it was all Derrick Henry (10-26-0/5, 1-5-0/1), but that was going nowhere and then there were all the lightning delays…and it became the Dion Lewis (16-75-1, 5-35-0/8) show from Quarter 2 on it seemed.
I think, just a hunch, knowing Mike Vrabel – the plan is absolutely to try to power run the ball and dominate the opponent initially. When that doesn’t work, and they get down…then they have to dump pass their way back, which is prime Dion Lewis time.
Week to week this distribution will be different with Vrabel craving pounding Henry 20+ times in a 14-10 victory each week.
-- Kenny Stills (4-106-2/5) is so overrated. He’s solid but he’s not fantasy star. You should sell this hot ASAP. His 75-yard TD was 99% luck…perfect throw, defender had played it perfectly but mistimed the bat away and the ball fell into Stills’ hands and he took off for the score. They could throw that pass 100 more times and they’d complete it about 1-2 times out of 100.
Without that stroke of luck, Stills has a 3-31-1/5 line for this game that no one cares about.
-- Jakeem Grant (5-38-0/7) led all Miami players with 7 targets! Can you imagine? I wish this was a sign of things to come, but it probably isn’t. Grant is so good/lathal. He also had a 100+ yard kick return TD in this game. He’s on the deep sleeper watch list.
Grant was more important than Albert Wilson (3-31-0/4). I’m kinda done with Wilson…and Adam Gase. I can’t figure out what he’s doing. I should always assume he’ll do the opposite of what I think.
-- Mike Gesicki (1-11-0/2) looked like his usual non-impactful self…not the NFL Combine/SPARQ mega-star, again.
On a goal line play in this game, Gesicki was isolated out as a flanker, one-on-one with a much smaller CB. You knew he was getting that alley oop. He did. Malcolm Butler stiff-armed him with one hand, Gesicki barely went forward and Butler easily made the pick with Gesicki acting like he didn’t know what to do and Butler nearly returned it the distance for a score. Gesicki is bordering on a joke.
-- Miami rookie LB Jerome Baker (6 tackles), once again, looked more impressive to me than Raekwon McMillian (6 tackles).
-- A few weeks ago, the Dolphins snagged Kamalei Correa (3 tackles, 1.0 sack, 2 TFLs) away from the Ravens. Correa was a preseason star, and he showed up here as well. He made some nice plays. He just always seems to make plays.
Snap Counts of Interest:
40 = Jonnu Smith
39 = Delanie Walker
25 = Luke Stocker
58 = Tajae Sharpe
36 = Rishard Matthews
09 = Taywan Taylor
48 = Correa
44 = Jayron Brown
19 = Will Compton
61 = McMillian
44 = Minkah Fitzpatrick (64%)
30 = Jerome Baker
46 = Derby
21 = Gesicki
46 = Drake
18 = Gore
59 = Stills
45 = Amendola
34 = Wilson
25 = Jakeem Grant
49 = Dion Lewis
20 = D Henry
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