This will be a very loosely structured “article” that is mostly just notes, fragments and observations from the day of NFL action.
This is where I start to put together next week’s Game by Game article and this is meant to be a peek behind the curtain. Some will be mentioned on the podcast, other notes mill be used moving forward.
This is the foundation to guide us into the following week. FREE each week!
New England Patriots
Tom Brady is a top 10 QB, and I’m ranking the WR Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon. It’s going to be very difficult to figure out these WR every week.
If you had told me Pats win this game 33-3, I assume Sony Michel is at least at 85 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 14 yards on 15 carries! Michel, Rex Burkhead and James White all split snaps pretty much evenly. The fact Sony didn’t have a good game on this game script is a concern.
Not sure we want Rosen under center with this offense because they look terrible overall
Drake had 4 for 12, Ballage has 5 for -1
Gesicki only 33 snaps, but at least 20 in the slot
Wilson re-injured himself, so we’ll see what happens there but Parker and Williams only had 3 receptions each
New York Jets
175 yards on 41 attempts isn’t ideal but I still think Darnold is going to be usable here some weeks. He at least didn’t throw any picks and his number 1 WR was banged up vs a tough defense
I think we can safely say Lev Bell isn’t sharing with anyone, with 17 carries and 9 targets. AS he gets accustomed to a new OL, I may have underestimated him coming into the year. 20+ touches every week will pay off more than not, and Ty Montgomery had 2 carries.
Jamison Crowder, PPR master. It helps that Robby Anderson was being shadowed by Tre White, but still 17 targets was for more than I was expecting. He’s going to be super valuable on DK moving forward and Darnold certainly seems to love him
Call me when Chris Herndon comes back for a TE
This defense has got some talent and I’ll have shares on some weeks if they’re healthy. CJ Mosley was a menace but left with a groin injury and lineman Quinnen Williams left in a boot.
Give Josh Allen some credit, because this one was a slog. Still, he came with 10 points for rushing alone and then still tacked on 254 yards passing and a TD, with 2 picks. You just live with the turnovers knowing the rushing yards tilt the scales
Frank Gore turned 11 carries into 20 yards while Devin Singletary had 4 for 70, and only had a long of 23 yards. Usage wasn’t ideal but be patient with this one and there’s going to be a shift here sooner or late
Cole Beasley and John Brown run the passing game and they are the only usable ones we have I think. Brown had a 13.3 aDOT and Beasley was at 9 so Brown is the GPP style deep threat and Beasley is the PPR specialist
There is no TE of value at the moment
Buffalo is a good defense and will certainly have weeks we want to use them for DFS and stream them, with 4 sacks and only 223 total yards
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes laughs in the face of your regression talk and he missed an easy TD to Travis Kelce that would have made it 4 on the day with over 375 yards passing
Damien Williams logged 46 snaps to just 20 for LeSean McCoy but only out-touched him 19-11. Additionally, McCoy had 93 total yards to 65 for Williams so even though Damien found the end zone, there’s sign that isn’t going to last as the “starter” level RB
Sammy Watkins is pretty good when he’s healthy, and with Tyreek Hill out for a bit, Watkins is going to be an extremely valuable fantasy player until he gets back. I’d bet we got the best game of the season already, but goodness. The upside was on full display and probably will be until Hill is back and Mecole Hardman may have to play in a hurry and he played 58 snaps
Travis Kelce went 3/88 and missed the aforementioned easy TD and saw 5 incomplete passes. He’s good.
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers is typically one of the best fantasy QBs at the start of the year and fades, and he got off to a good one today with 333/3/1
Melvin Gordon might want to be careful, because Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson sure made him look expendable today. They combined for 100 receiving yards and 115 on the ground, with Ekeler recording 18 touches. He’s a great player with that kind of workload
Mike Williams got hurt, but he still was behind Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry for targets by at least 2. Getting Henry back was always my fear with Williams, but Allen did his thing with 8/123/1
Henry himself had 5 targets, 4 receptions and 60 yards, planted firmly in that second tier of TE
It won’t be this good everyday, but Lamar showed he can throw the football without question he only ran 3 times but racked up 324 yard and 5 TD on just 20 pass attempts
Ingram ran wild, but the Edwards>Justice usage was interesting. Could have been the score was out of reach almost instantly and they just rode the Gus Bus the whole way. 17 carries to 7 hopefully isn’t indicative of what this split is overall and 12 Gus carries came in the 4th, making me hopeful Ingram and Justice are the 1-2
Be careful with Marquise Brown, only 5 targets and that won’t work all the time if he’s playing 14 snaps. He showed the electric talent and the upside
Mark Andrews played 31 snaps, and if he’s going to see that amount of targets it doesn’t matter about overall snaps
Gotta give the Red Rifle his due for a 418/2 performance with no AJ Green, it was impressive
Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard were mostly a lost cause this game, but Mixon was hurt so the 2-1 snap split for Gio shouldn’t continue
John Ross and Tyler Boyd both saw double digit targets, and Ross went bananas. He felt a little luck as at least one of the long TD’s should have been knocked down, but maybe he’s putting things together. It would add another dimension to the offense
CJ Uzomah going for 4/66 while Tyler Eifert went 5/27 seems fluky
Browns, what happened?? A 38/16 run/pass ratio is a little odd to me, despite having Baker and OBJ. Speaking of, maybe actually playing in the preseason helps a bit. Baker just wasn’t accurate and easily could have thrown 4 or more INTs. We need to see some better play from the O-line because that could derail everything
Chubb was fine with the touches he got, and he was on-field for 49 snaps. Didn’t love seeing him get sniped on a 3 yard TD run by Hilliard, especially when that was the lone carry he had
Beckham had 11 targets on 38 attempts, Landry had 7 and Higgins had 3. Higgins came out on fire with 2 receptions early and that was about it. The passing game was just all-around disappointing, but it’s just the first game and these guys haven’t played together
Njoku had the lone touchdown and did see 6 targets, a little more than I expected but that’s a good sign that he can be a back end TE1 on the season
Utter disaster from every angle. I would be making low ball offers on JuJu and James Conner, because it won’t get worse than this but there’s virtually nothing to take from this game. I would hold James Washington and Donte Moncrief for now. Washington saw 6 targets and went over 50 yards. Even though Moncrief looked like he’s never seen a football before tonight and was trying to fight an alligator when the ball came to him, he still saw 10 targets. I hate when the Steelers go to New England
It wasn’t an easy spot for Jacoby Brissett and 190/2/0 isn’t that bad for on the road. He’s a streamer but likely not much more
Goodness Marlon Mack. They loaded him up with 25 rushing attempts(and no targets) and he smashed with 174 yard. Even if you take away the 63 yard TD, it was still 24/111/0 line, which is still quite good. He is clearly the man and Nyheim Hines had 8 total touches
TY Hilton is very good and if you bought the dip into the 5th round after Andrew Luck retired, you should be feeling pretty good right now. I’m not willing to go with anyone else right now
Remember last year when Jack Doyle massively outsnapped Eric Ebron when they were both healthy? Ebron played 24, Doyle was at 43.
It’s shame Nick Foles got hurt immediately but Gardner Minshew sure stepped up, going 22/25 for 275 and 2 touchdowns. How much of that was just the game was out of hand for most of the way is tough to answer
17 touches in one of the worst game scripts for Leonard Fournette leaves me encouraged, as does the 6 targets and 4 receptions
With Minshew at QB for the foreseeable future, Chris Conley might be a thing with 7 targets and this passing game might be more spread out than we thought as Conley, DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook and James O’Shaughnessy all had at least 5 targets
Mariota was efficient but nothing overly special, this might be the normal outcome for him, right about 250 and between 1 to 3 touchdowns
When the Titans lead, Henry likely eats. When they don’t it gets sketchy and having 2 targets is going to continue to make him volatile and game script dependent and he saw just 36 snaps of 54 possible plays while Dion Lewis played 24
No WR saw more than 4 targets and A.J. Brown turned 4 into 100 yards on 3 receptions while Corey Davis went 0 for 3. It might be tough to find value from this corps
Part of that reason is it looks like Delanie Walker might be back to his old tricks with a 25% target share and 2 TD’s after missing basically an entire year
D/ST might be better than we thought, sacking Mayfield 5 times and creating 3 turnovers
Jerry Jones might be a little worried that he still has to pay Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, because my goodness. Dak went 405/4 and Cooper went 6/106/1
Zeke and Tony Pollard each got 13 carries. Pollard managed 1.8 yards to 4.1 for Zeke.
Michael Gallup is going to be a thing this year and if he’s out there on waivers, you need to go after him
I wish Jason Witten wasn’t there, because Blake Jarwin would be a top 10 TE with all the work
New York Giants
Eli was actually productive and with more 306/1 games, he might stave off Daniel Jones a bit longer
Saquon Barkley is a boss and I might look very stupid for being underweight on him
I was also underweight on Evan Engram, which appears to be a mistake with 14 targets, 11 receptions, 116 yards and 1 TD. Sterling Shepard has yet to prove he can be close to a #1 option and might be very up and down, especially when Golden Tate comes back
It was slow going, but Carson Wentz eventually got to 313/3/0 and I expect a lot of that this year
Sanders was on the field for 36 snaps, Howard 17, Sproles was 22 but the issue is Sanders had 12 touches, Howard had 8 and Sproles had 12. That’s going to be tough to deal with, especially with Pederson’s tendency to spread it out
I was pretty excited fo DeSean Jackson, so the 8/154/2 wasn’t terribly surprising but the team lead in targets at 10 was. If he’s going to get plenty of targets every week, he could wind up being a low end WR2 on the year. We’ll see if the 10-6 gap in targets between he and Alshon Jeffery continues
7 targets a game would be about 110 targets on a 16 game pace, which is great for tight ends but it would represent a pretty major drop for Zach Ertz. That was my exact concern coming into the year
Case Keenum of all players had a monster game with 380 and 3…I don’t know what to make of that and wouldn’t go too crazy over it, that’s for sure.
The RB position is going to be a lot of Chris Thompson when they trail, as he led the team with 10 targets. He only touched the ball 10 times but Derrius Guice and Thompson might both be related to game flow
On a normal week when we didn’t have some other massive games, Terry McLaurin would be getting a ton of attention. 5/125/1 is really impressive on 7 targets and I’m not sure I want to bite on Vernon Davis. He had a 48 yard miracle TD, but only 3 for 11 past that
Kyler Murray was SHAMBLES for 3 quarters but went nuts in the 4th and OT. He only rushed for 13 yards but still put up 308/2
David Johnson had 24 touches and 7 targets. That’ll do, Kliff. That’ll do.
I’m not taking the victory lap on Larry Fitzgerald, since he only had one more target than Christian Kirk. Both these WR are going to be very usable moving forward now that Kyler has his sea legs .
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff continues to be fairly average on the road, and I’m usually picky about where we play him
Todd Gurley was reportedly not on a pitch count and fully healthy. In other news, Sean McVay is an absolute liar and we can not pay attention to one word he says anymore. Gurley only played 34 snaps and had 15 touches, while ceding red zone work to Malcolm Brown, who had 11 carries and 2 TD’s. Gurley is unplayable in DFS as far as I can see
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are the consistent forces in the passing game, Cooks is the game breaker that can get you a big game or not much. We’re exactly where we were at the start of the day.
Tyler Higbee could be a little interesting here. He signed an extension and had 5 targets today. He’s worth keeping tabs on and maybe using as a dart throw
San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy G….yeesh. Credit to Tampa playing better than I though on defense but 166/1/1 was not what I’m looking for. Hopefully he’s got the rust fully knocked off
Tevin Coleman looks like he could miss some time and Raheem Mostert is a name to know. He was explosive last year and was the leading rusher with 40 yards on 9 carries. He and Matt Breida will share, but Breida isn’t the picture of health, ever
The WR situation is a disaster. Dante Pettis played TWO, count them TWO snaps in this game. He’s droppable in 10-12 team leagues and no WR saw more than 3 targets. All that means is George Kittle is the unquestioned #1 with a bullet in this offense
Russell Wilson on threw the ball 20 times you say? I wonder who could have seen that coming
If you’re a Chris Carson owner, rejoice. He led the team in targets, had 21 total touches, 2 TD’s and 81 total yards. Rashaad Penny had 6 touches.
Seeing Tyler Lockett get 2 targets was a little scary. If this teams stays low volume in the pass game, Lockett will not repeat last year, especially with DK Metcalf on the other side who looked good with over 22 yards per reception
I was very wrong on Will Dissly
I wish I had been gutsier with Matt Stafford, because he crushed for 385 yards and 3 TD’s. I’m not sure if that keeps up since the Cards defense was so beat up, but it was a nice bounce back from 2018
I shied away from Kerryon Johnson after preseason usage and he split snaps with CJ Anderson 49-25 but only 18-11 in touches and was only targeted twice. That’s a huge issue for his ceiling
The WR is going to be a real pain to project week to week if Danny Amendola is going to see 13 targets a game, 4 more than Golladay and 9 more than Marvin Jones
TJ Hockenson, wow. He’s now the record holder for rookie TE first game yardage, and is going to be one of the hottest waiver pickups on Tuesday. 9 targets was very impressive, but maybe more was 56 snaps of 77
Green Bay Packers
The Vikings weren’t kidding when they said they wanted to get back to the run, as Kirk Cousins threw 10(!) times while they ran the ball 38 times. They won’t be this in control every game since Atlanta couldn’t get anything done, but it points to what they want to do with this offense
Dalvin Cook was everything we possibly wanted, and only needed to catch 2 passes to do it as he rolled 120 total yards and 2 TDs. He looks confident, explosive and a threat to be a top 5 RB this season
It’s tough to evaluate an WR when a QB throws the ball 10 times, but this magnifies the fear that Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs might be capped as far as ceiling unless it’s a shootout
Kyle Rudolph only had 1 target and it seems doubtful he’s more than a 3rd/4th wheel in this passing game
4 sacks and 3 turnovers vs a good offense will get the job done every time
It was far from the best matchup across the board, but the offense for the Falcons really no showed. Ryan had some garbage time points to save the day but overall, it was rough. Someone has to tell me why Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley all come off the field towards the goal line. The immediate result was a pick.
Speaking of Freeman, 11 touches for 31 yards and a fumble lost was not the way he was looking to make his comeback to the backfield with no Tevin Coleman
The early returns for Austin Hooper were nice with 9/77/0 on 9 targets, but I’ll be interested to see how many times Ryan got pressured. Julio had the most at 11 and at least scored to kind of save his day. Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu were at 6 each, a trend I think continues
Odds are when Cam Newton doesn’t run the ball, his fantasy score isn’t going to be spectacular and that was the case today. It’s a tough defense on the other side so I wouldn’t sweat the pedestrian game
Let’s just agree Christian McCaffrey is always underpriced, in any spot ever. Another game, another 29 touches, 209 total yards and 2 TDs. The man is a total stud.
It was not the start for Curtis Samuel we were looking for with 4 targets, 4th on the team. At least for one day, DJ Moore is the #1 in receptions, yards, targets and Samuel will have to hit another week to show he was worth all the breakout talk.
I’ll just say it – Greg Olsen sucking up 9 targets and for 4 receptions and 36 yards is going to hamper this passing game if it’s the normal
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston might legitimately be bad, folks. He’s played 56 games and has 70+ turnovers. That’s not going to cut it.
Bucs RBs are a mess:
Dare Ogunbowale- 37% of snaps, 4 touches, 1 red zone touch
Peyton Barber- 37% of snaps, 10 touches, 1 red zone touch
Ronald Jones- 33% of snaps, 14 touches, 3 red zone touches
— Michael Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) September 9, 2019
I have nothing on the RB situation. Jones looked the best in fairness, but a mess is the perfect word to describe it
Chris Godwin and Mike Evans really disappointed, but their QB was awful and Evans was clearly still bothered but his illness. Ditto for OJ Howard struggling with Winston