2019 EYE IN THE SKY NFL SCOUTING REPORTS
Once again in 2019, we are bringing you in-season NFL Team Reports from our "Eye in the Sky" correspondents. These reports represent a local point of view which isn't readily available on the web. We remind everyone, the views expressed within these reports contain speculation as well as fact. It's just another extra bonus from FFMastermind.com to keep all fantasy football fanatics well informed.
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The report for this week has not yet been released.
QB Deshaun Watson did not live up to the QB Lamar Jackson comparisons. Was painful to watch the welterweight versus heavyweight fight between the Texans and the Ravens. If they meet in the play-offs let’s hope for a Rocky III second fight scenario.
Last week I said that the OL had settled into a comfortable winning routine and we could stop talking about them. Oops. The OL couldn’t run block nor pass protect against the Ravens last week. They were out coached and out played.
RB Carlos Hyde couldn’t run until the game was settled.
WR Will Fuller has a sore hamstring; the team needs for him to return as soon as possible. WR Kenny Stills and WR DeAndre Hopkins need his speed to clear out the under routes. The Ravens had three DBs that didn’t practice last week but it was still ‘Advantage Ravens’.
The Texans front seven started strong but were simply over-powered. The Ravens held the ball 36 minutes plus. The D was worn out by the end of the game.
CB Lonnie Johnson, Jr and S Justin Reed went out with injuries. This week the Texans hope to get CB Bradley Roby back.
The Texans are in a position with a win at home Thursday night to right the ship. Well, kind of. They play the Colts in prime time for what will probably be for the Division Championship. Most teams follow a horrible performance with a good one. Do you start your Texans this week? Some of them anyway.
The team has been using their salary cap overage to sign players with potential. They have $ 22 MM plus change currently.
Good luck this week!
Hey there Colts’ fans! A short week for the Colts means that there is a short week to prep for using their fantasy players also. Information is at a premium, but here is what I know and think as of today for tomorrow’s big game atop the AFC South as the horseshoes travel to Houston for Thursday Night Football.
Injuries: The big blow is that stud RB Marlon Mack has already been ruled out of the game after having surgery to repair his broken hand suffered on Sunday. I will comment more on the breakdown in the backfield below, but this is certainly a downer for a rushing attack that was poised to control this key game. WR Parris Campbell has already been ruled out as well as rookie S Khari Willis and CB Shak Taylor. On the plus side, the stats are trending positive for star WR TY Hilton to return to the lineup this week, as well as top CB Pierre Desir. There are a few key players that have missed time this week and carry an injury designation, but I do expect TE Eric Ebron and CB Rock Ya-Sin to play though.
QB: QB Jacoby Brissett was a calming influence on the entire offense last week, and that is helpful when facing a pass rush that is still formidable despite missing several top players. This pass defense however is weak on the back end and they have been the 3rd most generous to opposing fantasy quarterbacks so far in 2019. A part of those points allowed are a career-high 326 yards and 4 TDs to Brissett five weeks ago, so there will be a confidence factor as well. With the reduced explosiveness in the run game this week and the possibility of keeping up with the Texans, this could be another very solid game for Brissett for fantasy, making him a borderline #1 this week.
RB: With Mack out, all of the talk has been about which young back to pick up and start off the waiver wire, last week’s star RB Jonathan Williams or the usual backup, RB Jordan Wilkins who will be back from injury this week. Honestly, I don’t think it will be wither as the Texans actually have not allowed much on the ground especially between the tackles. Where running backs have killed them though is in the passing game, and that plays into the hands of RB Nyheim Hines instead. No team has allowed as many receptions, or yards receiving to the backfield, and only the Lions have allowed more receiving TDs. Hines is the guy I would target especially in PPR systems, and his ability to also run between the tackled could mean a substantial workload for him there as well.
WR: As of now, I am assuming that Hilton will play. His history is ludicrous in crushing the Texans -- especially in Houston where he has scored 7 TDs and is averaging 6 catches and a whopping 133 YPG in the lone star state matchups. Unless he is a late scratch, he is a must start even if he plays more of a decoy role than is usual. Expect there to be a lot of balls in the air, but I would be concerned about the predictability of any of the other receivers this week. WR Zach Pascal should be better when serving as a complementary target with lesser coverage, and WR Marcus Johnson got a surprisingly large number of comfortable targets from Brissett last week and is worth watching going forward if Hilton relapses.
TE: The Texans have been stung by those mismatch, downfield types of tight ends, including by TE Eric Ebron back in October. I suspect that again he might have a fair number of chances and a decent shot at a score as well. TE Jack Doyle has had 3-4 catches for 7 straight games, and has scored three TDs over that stretch as well; therefore he is a safe pick that won’t hurt your PPR lineup, but the odds of a big payday are definitely on the Ebron side of the ledger. Pick your poison accordingly based on what your team needs this week – “safe and steady” or “boom or bust”
PK: Houston has been very middle of the pack as far as fantasy points allowed to kickers, and really have yet to allow any big fantasy kicking games. As PK Adam Vinatieri has not strung together several good games in a row, I would be reluctant to start him. This matchup has generally been good for him though as he has been in double digits in 7 of the last 10 games in this series, and TNF is generally better for kickers. Probably a decent play but little upside for a big payout.
D: The Colts’ defense has been solid for fantasy with 6 or more points in 6 straight games. Houston does give up a fair amount of sacks, but Watson is pretty good about protecting the ball. As I suspect that this might be a higher scoring game this week, the chances of the Colts’ defense being anything more than their usual “average” for fantasy are low. And while this defense has played much better at home this year, they have scored better for fantasy in Houston that they have in Indy for the last several years in this home-and-home series.
Overall: While I would like to say that last week’s beatdown of the Jaguars makes me feel more confident than the Texans after they got smoked, I believe that both of those results last week were a bit of an aberration. The Texans are actually pretty darn good and definitely healthier and playing at home on Thursday. I do think that this might be a more entertaining game than the Colts have recently played, but I have to believe that the Texans have more firepower at their disposal for this key game. I think the Colts make it interesting, but that the Texans hold off a late charge and win this one 31-27. I like Brissett and Ebron to outperform their averages, as well as Hines in a PPR….and for most of the other guys to be solid but unspectacular options for your squad if you need to start the, The real wildcard here is Hilton….who can change the entire complexion of this game if he plays like he usually does in Houston. Either way, I am looking forward to this game and to watching this battle for divisional supremacy unfold on the national stage.
That is all for this week from the Crossroads of America. Good luck in your fantasy games and enjoy the game on Thursday as well as the rest of the weekend!
Coming out of the bye, ILB Alexander Johnson has been the Broncos best player. QB Drew Lock is a competitor who has been chafing at the bit to get back on the field. But Lockâ€™s injury provided him the chance to step back and breathe a little bit while being brought along at the Broncos schedule. Using Lockâ€™s injury to develop him could pay huge dividends in Lockâ€™s career for Denver. Denver lost FB Andy Janovich for the season. The Broncos are one of eight NFL teams to use Strivr, a virtual reality system. Strivr is part of the daily routine of quarterbacks in Denver.
Denver 23 Minnesota 27 QB Kirk Cousins pulled off the comeback-27-23 after trailing by 20 at halftime. The entire Viking team struggled early in the game, but made up for their early mistakes in the second half. WR Stefon Diggs did not have a single reception in the first half, but caught all five of his second half targets (121 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown the fourth quarter. WR Courtland Sutton dominated first half (5-113-0). He also completed a 38-yard pass and had several good runs. WR Tim Patrickâ€™s return has given the Broncos a legitimate second weapon in the passing game. WR DaeSean Hamilton has been a second option all season, but the Broncos havenâ€™t been able to get him the ball. LT Garrett Bolles had a solid game, LB Alexander Johnson continued his outstanding season and DL Shelby Harris beat blocks at the line of scrimmage verses the run game, recorded three sacks and a forced fumble. QB Brandon Allen (17/39-240-1-1) had Denver in position to win on the last play of the game. The offense has taken a dramatic turn in the right direction under QB Brandon Allen. Denver has moved up to the seventh NFL Draft pick. It has become all too common for the Broncos– controlling much of a game and falling apart at the end. There is no excuse for so many failures to finish.
Denver @ Buffalo -6/36.5 Buffalo is in the driver's seat for one of the AFC's two wild-card spots. QB Josh Allen is coming off arguably the best game of his carer, and is the type quarterback (running) who has always been difficult for Bronco defenses. Buffaloâ€™s offense also played its best game of the season. WR John Brown is Buffaloâ€™s main offensive weapon against Denverâ€™s number four ranked defense. The Bills defense will try to duplicate their previous weekâ€™s sack performance against the Broncos (eighth most sacks allowed). The Broncos will see Buffaloâ€™s high speed game. The Billâ€™s will use their three-headed running back committee. Denver is coming off yet another heart braking loss. Backup quarterback Brandon Allen has improved the offense and spurred the emergence of WR Courtland Sutton as a true number one NFL wide receiver. WR Tim Patrick was targeted eight time in his first game back from IR. TE Noah Fant has become a bigger part of the Broncosâ€™ passing game. RBs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman continue with equal carries, but Lindsay has become the preferred passing game option. The Broncos will rely on their outside zone, play-action passing game and quick pass approach. Buffalo is favored by six at home. Denver 21 Buffalo 14
Transactions Signed OLB Malik Carney (6-3, 235 rookie) and S Tyvis Powell (6-3, 210 third-year DB) to the practice squad; Claimed fourth-year CB Cyrus Jones off waivers (Ravens) and waived CB Coty Sensabaugh; activated WR Tim Patrick (hand/IR); placed CB Bryce Callahan (foot) on IR; FB Andy Janovich to IR (arm); TE Orson Charles signed to fill Janovichâ€™s roster spot.
QB Brandon Allen may be worth 9-12 points RB Phillip Lindsay may be worth 10 points RB Royce Freeman may be worth 6-8 points RB Devontae Booker may be worth 0-2 points WR Courtland Sutton may be worth 8-9 points WR Tim Patrick may be worth 3-4 points WR DaeSean Hamilton may be worth 0-2 points WR Diontae Spencer may be worth 0-1 point WR Fred Brown may be worth 0-1 point TE Noah Fant may be worth 4-5 points TE Troy Fumagalli may be worth 0-1 point PK Brandon McManus may be worth 5-7 points
Good luck this week!
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The report for this week has not yet been released.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The report for this week has not yet been released.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The report for this week has not yet been released.
Week 11 Recap/Analysis: Bears at Rams (SNF)
Any pipe dream playoff hopes the Bears had were extinguished on Sunday night when they fell to the Rams 17-7 at the Coliseum. As you'll know if you read this space regularly, I pronounced the Bears' season over after they capitulated to the Saints at home way back in Week 7, so it's funny to see places like NFL Network still listing the Bears as "in the hunt" for a playoff spot.
Quarterback QB Mitch Trubisky completed 24 of 43 passes for 190 yards with one TD and one INT and ran once for four yards before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter with what's been described as a hip pointer. With Trubisky not visibly getting checked out by medical personnel on the bench or inside the medical tent, there was understandably some thought that this was simply a performance-based benching by HC Matt Nagy. I thought so as well, though it didn't make much sense to me. Looking back at some of the plays in the second half, you could see that Mitch was throwing with mostly arm and not really rotating his hips, so the injury seems legit to me. As far as whether he should get benched (injury or not), look, it doesn't make sense to bench him now. The season is already over, and QB Chase Daniel is obviously not a long-term solution either, so now the Bears need to see Trubisky take as many snaps as possible so they know exactly what they have going into the offseason and if they need to start looking for alternatives (in a word: yes).
Runningback RB David Montgomery had 14 carries for just 31 yards and caught one of his three targets for 19 yards. How much did his ankle sprain affect his performance? Who knows, but I didn't see much running room when he did get the ball. RB Tarik Cohen had nine carries for 39 yards and caught five of his six targets for 35 yards and a score. Cohen got more work with Montgomery a little banged up and had one of his more productive games of the season. He did a great job of getting both feet in on his TD.
Wide receiver WR Allen Robinson caught four of his six targets for just 15 yards. He's had productive games against top corners this season, so I thought he could do the same on Sunday night, but Jalen Ramsey pretty much shut him down. A-Rob also had a couple of uncharacteristic drops, and shoddy quarterback play was of course a factor as well. With Trubisky not looking Robinson's way very often, WR Taylor Gabriel had 7 catches on 14 targets for 57 yards and WR Anthony Miller had six catches on 11 targets for 54 yards. Gabriel continues to trend upward, while Miller's production was largely due to Robinson getting fewer looks because of Ramsey. WR Javon Wims caught one of his two targets for 11 yards.
Tight end TE Trey Burton was placed on IR on Saturday, ending his injury-riddled season. TE Adam Shaheen (foot) also missed the game. TE Ben Braunecker caught one of his three targets for eight yards.
The defense actually played pretty well. ILB Roquan Smith had an INT and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had a fumble recovery, but the Bears' broken offense couldn't take advantage of those takeaways. There were also two potential takeaways the Bears couldn't come up with that made a big difference in the outcome. CB Kyle Fuller should've had a pick-six in the third quarter but dropped it, and then two possessions later CB Buster Skrine forced a Cooper Kupp fumble that the Bears could not recover at the Rams' 15-yard line. OLB Khalil Mack continued his recent disappearing act by not getting onto the scoresheet at all. No sacks, no tackles, nothing. With the Bears' offense so inept, opposing teams haven't been in obvious passing situations so often this season, and that was again the case on Sunday night as the Rams ran the ball uncharacteristically often and only attempted 18 passes. This is part of the reason for Mack's lack of stats lately, but still, he needs to find a way to be more productive.
Kicker PK Eddy Pineiro missed both of his field goal attempts (from 48 and 47 yards) and made his only extra point. Nagy also turned down the chance to let Pineiro try a 49-yarder. Do the Bears need a new kicker again? Honestly, I don't know. There are quality kickers who have struggled early in their careers but turned it around. Again, the season is over anyway. Just like they're going to evaluate Trubisky (if healthy) for the rest of the season, they might as well evaluate Pineiro as well to see if he can rebound and be a long-term solution.
Week 12: Giants at Bears
Two teams going nowhere will meet at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon as the Bears host the Giants.
Surprisingly, Trubisky feels a lot better and was able to fully practice on Wednesday, so he has a chance to start Sunday. The G-Men have given up the ninth-most fantasy points/game to quarterbacks. Still though, you'd have to be super-desperate to start Mitch, plus he's an injury risk.
The Giants are 23rd in the league in run defense (122.7 yards allowed/game) and have given up 12 rushing scores, tied for third-most. It's a pretty favorable matchup for Montgomery (who was not listed on Wednesday's injury report), but considering the current state of the offense, temper your expectations. The G-Men have allowed the seventh-fewest receptions to tailbacks and haven't allowed a receiving score to a back this season, so it's not a great matchup for Cohen.
New York has given up the third-most fantasy points/game to receivers. I think Robinson will rebound and have a solid game. Gabriel is startable as well if you need a bye week fill-in, though you shouldn't expect big numbers. Miller is still too inconsistent for me to recommend.
Shaheen (foot) is out. The Bears elevated TE Jesper Horsted from the practice squad and are expected to give him a look over the final few weeks of the season. The undrafted rookie from Princeton had a pretty good preseason with two scores. He might not even be available in your league, but he's just someone (mainly for Bears fans, not for fantasy purposes) to keep an eye on.
Daniel Jones has thrown eight picks and seems to have a case of fumblitis as well (13 fumbles, nine lost). Remember Madden cards from back in the day? I used to love that "fumblitis" card. Anyway, this looks like the most favorable matchup this unit will get for the rest of the season.
Pineiro is struggling too much to be considered here.
Good luck this week!
Lions at Redskins
QB: The latest news to trickle out about QB Matthew Stafford and his back injury was that this could be a six week injury. Remember he got hurt in week 9. It’s safe to assume he is out this Sunday and also week 13 when the Lions have the short week to play on Thanksgiving. Perhaps he could beat the timeline and return in week 14, but with the Lions likely to be mathematically eliminated by then, they might decide to shut Stafford down for the year. So for now the Lions will keep rolling with QB Jeff Driskel. He was not with the Lions in the preseason, so I am still learning about this guy myself. He had another decent game on Sunday against Dallas, with 209 passing yards and 2 TDs, plus 51 rushing yards and a TD. He might be a little underrated in fantasy football at the moment, but I am not a big fan of his matchup this week. I see a lower scoring game against the Redskins, so I would not rank Driskel too high this week.
RB: If it seems like the Lions are spinning a roulette wheel to determine who starts at running back, you might not be that far off. I mentioned RB Bo Scarbrough as a possible practice squad promotion last week, but that was because we didn’t know if RB Ty Johnson would clear concussion protocol. He cleared, but they promoted Scarbrough anyway, and cut RB Paul Perkins. Then sure enough, Scarbrough started, had a decent game, 55 yards and scored a TD, making him a hot waiver wire add this week. I could see another similar stat line this week for Scarbrough. He doesn’t look like he will be a factor in the passing game at all, so his upside is limited. RB JD McKissic had 53 total yards on just 6 touches on Sunday. Johnson is fully practicing this week and he figures to be involved too as this is still a committee approach.
WR/TE: It looks like WR Kenny Golladay is suffering the most without Stafford. He only had one catch on Sunday (five targets). The chemistry he has with Stafford isn’t there with Driskel, and he seems like he will be a total boom or bust play for the next few weeks. He only has 39 catches on 76 targets, which is one of the lower catch percentages among the top receivers in the league. WR Marvin Jones had two TD grabs on Sunday. He is quietly tied with Golladay (and DJ Chark) for the NFL lead in TD catches with 8. Meanwhile, there is some grumbling about TE TJ Hockenson and his lack of production lately. This is what we talked about since he was drafted. Rookie tight ends usually go through some struggles. I’m not too worried about him as he figures to be a breakout candidate next year. For now, you can probably find better options at the tight end position in your league.
K/DST: The Lions defense predictably got shredded by the Cowboys. They keyed on slowing down Ezekiel Elliott and did a decent job of it. CB Darius Slay kept Amari Cooper in check, but Dallas had too many weapons and put up over 500 yards of offense. Some people may consider the Lions defense as a streaming option this week, and I guess that makes sense because the Redskins have been so bad.
Good luck to everyone with their fantasy teams this week.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Week 1 thru 11Review: The Packers have done some very good things in the first 10 weeks. Head Coach Matt LaFleur is the first Packer head coach to go 7-1 in his first eight games. The Packers being one of four teams with at least 8 wins thru the first 10 weeks. Let’s look at the Packer offense by position group. At quarterbackQB Aaron Rodgersnow projects to4423 yards (4349 passing plus 174 rushing),27touchdowns, and 3 interceptions for the season.The passing yards will be fourth among his years as a Packer quarterback if it holds up. If he improvesit might be better than that. His touchdown total is lagging behind his best seasons and there is a reason for that – his running backs are scoring them. Just a reminder, Rodgers has gone on record saying he wants wins more than good statistics. While not a good omen, there are games I suspect he will have to put the team on his back. The only questions are which games will those be? One coming up this weekend might be exhibit A. On a per game basis the running backgroup attempts have been surprisingly steady – between 22 and 26 attempts per game. The number of yards has not. There were significantly more yards in games 4 thru 6 (122 yards per game) than in the 3 games prior (89 yards per game) or the 4 games since (96 yards per game). However, the number of touchdowns over this group has leveled off from games 4 thru 10. It is still a little over a touchdown per game. As the season goes on I would expect this to continue. As for the players at this position RB Aaron Jonesis tied with Panther RB Christian McCaffrey for the NFL lead in both rushing touchdowns (11) and total touchdowns (14) for games prior to this weekend. Jones has a league leading 2 games where he scored 3 rushing touchdowns. He is also tied for first in the league with 3 multiple touchdown games. SoJones would be the one you want playing from the Packer fantasy perspective. RB Jamaal Williams has 6 touchdowns on the year so far – but 5 of them have come thru the air. The wide receiver group had a really consistent number of targets (17.7 – 19 per game), catches (10.7 – 11.8 per game), and touchdowns (about 0.6 per game). The yardage has been up about 20 yards per game since and including week 4 (144 per game in the first 3 weeks and about 164 per games since). But look for Rodgers to lean on WR Davante Adams in tougher games such as the one coming up in San Francisco. Of the six games he has played in, he had over 100 yards in three of them. Also, if other teams are trying to take out WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling it is working. WR Geronimo Allison remains a fantasy 5th stringer. Unless he turns it on and starts making a difference, WR Jake Kumerow and WR Allen Lazard might be two to get more business. Adams has no touchdowns on the year, but that could change quickly. The wide receiver group accounts for only 6 touchdowns on the year. And the yardage has generally been spread over 6 to 8 guys.So if you want touchdowns start Packer running backs, and if you want yardage start Adams and hope for touchdowns to come with it. For every snap that goes to one group, another group is affected – in Green Bay that would be the tight end group. So far this season TE Jimmy Graham has been the one constant at the position. With about 6 targets, 4 catches, about 40 – 50 yards per game, they haven’t exactly been lighting it up. On the defensive side,the Packers are allowinglots of yards. However, in individual NFL statistical categories they have been doing very well. For instance, in turnover ratio the Packers rank 3rd with a +9, in opposing red-zone passer rating (62.2) the Packers rank 2nd, in red-zone takeaways (with 5) the Packers rank 1st, in red-zone interceptions the Packers rank 1st, and in defensive red-zone scoring efficiency the Packers rank 3rd, the Packers are 8th in the NFL in opponent red-zone touchdown percentage, and the Packers are tied for 1st in opponent red-zone drives that result in a giveaway. Yet the Packer defense is ranked 28th overall,25thagainst the run, 23rd against the pass, 17th in fewest points allowed, and for all the Smith brothers’ success – 12th in sacks. Those stats reflect things that happen between the 20’s. Some three & outs would be nice. If this defense works for you here it is. There is nothing wrong with K Mason Crosby accuracy. Crosby currently ranks 18th in field goals made. The saga of his life, he just needs more opportunities to move up in the fantasy kicking landscape.
Week 12 Preview: The Packers will play the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco.This game looks lopsided in favor of the 49ers on paper. Maybe in this case it is good that humans actually play the game. The 17th ranked Packer offense is up against the 1st ranked 49er defense. The 49er defense is also ranked 1st against the pass, and 14th against the run. The Packer offense is ranked 23rd, and 25th respectively. The Packers have played some really good defenses this year and won. At home the Packers lead the NFL in scoring offense – but not on the road. The 49ers have a “Bosa brother” (literally) who provides a big pass rush. We all know how the Chargers took the Packer offense down by living in their backfield. It is a good thing for the Packers that the other rush outside linebacker is questionable to play this Sunday. The 49er offense is very efficient and better at running the ball, although last week the 49ers passed the ball very well too. Their passing attack woke up when WR Sanders got there. But he probably (and hopefully) won’t play either.The Packers need (for fantasy purposes) a clear number two receiver to step up as well. I think the best thing I can say is the Packers “have a chance”. I would start the Packer stars, QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, WR Davante Adams, and PK Mason Crosby. I will return next week to review the 49er game and preview the Giants game.
Good luck this week!
The report for this week has not yet been released.
Seattle had a chance to rest up after their big win in Santa Clara. But they have been flexed down to the dreaded 10am East Coast start. Oddly this year’s team is 5-0 on the road and has done well in the East. But the Eagles are a weird team. They look just like the team that won the Super Bowl, but they do not play like them. That makes me think that they can play the game at any level they feel like it.
Do not discount QB Russell Wilson due to the potential that his top receiver may not start. We started this season in that same position. Wilson will find his groove and should be started. MVP of the League.
I am also hearing that RB Chris Carson should not be started against Philly. True they are good and should limit him. But are they as good as San Fran or some of the other teams he has gotten to 100 yards and a TD against? Nope. He is a must start like he will be every week until his performance says different.
Seattle is going to keep WR Tyler Lockett’s status quiet. He had a leg contusion and missed the end of the game in Santa Clara. Even if he suits up he may see limited action. I would keep him on my fantasy bench for this one. That puts WR DK Metcalf in the WR1 role followed by a string of other guys who all could do ok or could have a fantasy goose egg. I would start Metcalf without question and watch WR Malik Turner. WR Josh Gordon has the name and may play up to it, but Turner is a true sleeper who could just have his chance to awaken. If you have a week WR3 spot anyway, I would put him in there for the chance at a payoff.
Most likely TE Ed Dickson will be activated today and will give TE Jacob Hollister some competition for the ball. But I think Hollister has shown that he has emerged and is taking over the role TE Will Dissly had before he went down to injury. I like to gamble with my fantasy tight end spot, so I will be starting Hollister.
Hopefully PK Jason Myers has also emerged back to Pro Bowl form, but will he get a chance to kick field goals in this one. Seattle is a tough place to get fantasy points from a kicker, so start him with caution.
It seems like all season Coach Carroll has been saying that they have a pass rush but we just had not seen it yet. Well we sure did against Santa Clara. Will DE Jadaveon Clowney and crew be awake and hungry in Philly? I think they will. And Seattle’s safety play has quietly gotten strong. This is not just a team who could have a solid front seven. They could be down to just a couple of weaknesses in their secondary at this point. I am picking up this D from the waiver wire and seeing what they can do against whatever Philly team decides to show up.
I had this game as a loss from the beginning of the season. And with Philly losing a tough game last week I would think they would come out with something to prove against the ‘overrated’ Seahawks. (Has the media ever really thought of them as anything but?) But Philly is too wishy washy and Seattle has Wilson and Clowney ramping up their guys. Seattle going 6-0 on the road and winning at 10am on the East Coast? Yeah. I am going with that.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Much needed win! Coming off a disappointing lost to Pittsburgh and with a depleted lineup, the Rams battle through adversity and get a hard earned 17-7 victory over the Chicago Bears. The defense was dominant again and the offense came through in the end with a victory clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles has an even tougher task this week as the host the 8-2 Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Let’s look at the numbers for Rams players from the Bears game and their Fantasy potential against the Ravens.
QB: QB Jared Goff (11-18 for 173 yards with 1 interception) struggled again and threw an ugly first quarter interception but he was able to lead the offense down the field in the 4th quarter for the game clinching touchdown. Baltimore is 18th against the pass at 238.6 yards per game. The Ravens have allowed 9 touchdowns while collecting 9 interceptions and 23 sacks in ten games. The Ravens have a solid defense so the Ram’s revamped offensive line needs to continue to develop to have success. With the injuries to the offensive starters and a long needed commitment to the running game, Goff has now dropped to a low end QB2 or worse. I am still hoping for 250+ yards with 1-2 touchdowns and hopefully no turnovers. The Christmas season is almost here so might as well wish big!
RB: RB Todd Gurley (25-97 and 1 touchdown rushing with 1 fumble and 3-36 receiving) finally carried a full load and delivered his most productive game of the season. His first carry fumble was horrendous but he bounced back nicely and looked like the stud running back of 2017-18. RB Malcom Brown (5-15 and 1 touchdown rushing) scored the game clinching touchdown but did not have many more touches. Rookie RB Darrell Henderson (no touches) was relegated to being a spectator this game. Baltimore is 7th against the rush at 94.3 yards per game and has given up 10 rushing touchdowns in ten games. The Ravens allow 4.4 yards per rush. With the season on the line, McVay was forced to rely on his franchise running back and hopefully realizes that attack gives the Rams the best chance at victory. I underestimated Todd’s production last week, but I’d rather have him out produce my expectations rather than fall short. If the Rams continue to feature Gurley, 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown are reasonable.
WR: WR Cooper Kupp (3-53 receiving) did most of his damage on one long reception and was lucky he fumbled the ball before the goal line. Teams have focused on stopping Kupp recently and his production has been limited. WR Robert Woods (personal) and WR Brandin Cooks (concussion protocol) both missed the game so WR Josh Reynolds (3-55) filled in and produced when his number was called. Cooks is slated to return against the Ravens but Woods is still questionable. Former Ram corner Marcus Peters returns to Los Angeles and it will be interesting to see where he lines up. Kupp needs to step up and I think he responds with 50+ receiving yards and a touchdown. I also think Cooks and/or Reynolds score. Play Cooks over Reynolds and keep an eye on the status of Woods. If he is active, play him and sit Reynolds.
TE: TE Tyler Higbee and TE Gerald Everett were both shut-out as their contributions were blocking for the running game. Everett had been targeted often in the prior weeks but like I noted last week, the Rams rarely win when he Gerald leads the team in receiving. I would not trust either tight end for Fantasy lineups.
K: PK Greg Zuerlein (1-1 Field Goals (38) and 2-2 extra points) almost missed his lone field goal attempt but fortunately made it. Greg has been limited by the anemic offense but you still play him if you have him on you team. I think this week he hits at least two field goals, with one from 50+, and three extra points.
DEF: The defense was dominant again against a struggling offense. SS Taylor Rapp (6 solos and 3 assists) led the team in tackles and has been solid as a starter. The defensive stars of the game were CB Troy Hill (6 solos, 1 sack, and 1 interception) and DL Aaron Donald (3 solos, 1 assist, and 2 sacks). Donald’s stats are only part of the story as he creates opportunities for his teammates and causes havoc in the form of pressure and penalties against the opposing offense. For his efforts, Donald was named Defensive Player of the Week. LB Cory Littleton (1 solo and 2 assists) had a relatively quiet game and was tasked with a lot of pass coverage on the running backs. Baltimore’s offense is 20th in passing at 224.8 yards per game while throwing 20 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and giving up 20 sacks in ten games. The Ravens rushing offense is 1st in the league at 203.8 yards per game. The Ravens have a league leading 16 rushing touchdowns. For the Ravens offense it starts and ends with Lamar Jackson. Los Angeles needs to contain Jackson to win the game. Littleton, Donald, and Rapp continue to be the most consistently productive IDPs for the Rams.
The Rams are 6-4 and need to keep winning for a chance to make the playoffs. The schedule is challenging but only this game matters this week. Los Angeles is a home dog and I think they upset the Ravens 27-23. My Keeper Fantasy team was already out of the playoffs but I still battled to victory and improved to 3-8. God is great and continues to heal my Brother, Believe Scratchman. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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Week #12: The Inside Slant <--- Check It Out FREE!
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
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