Daily Fantasy Game Reviews: Bengals at Patriots, Titans at Browns
Game Summary: The Patriots bounced back in a big way this week, winning at home against the Bengals 43-17. The game was not as one sided as it seemed, as the Bengals did well offensively at times. But a big special teams fumble return for a TD and the Patriots continuously getting into good field position led to a 5 FGs and 4 TDs on the day.
- I mentioned to Max and Nick before the game that I thought the Patriots would win the game, mostly because the Bengals do not have a good pass rush, and Tom Brady seems to be at his best with time in the pocket. That prediction seemed to pan out, as Brady mostly had all day in the pocket and had one of his best games of the year. I think Brady is a reasonable play against bad pass rushes but I’m still wary about him this year. He was good this game, but not great, and I’m not sure when we will see great Tom Brady again, if ever.
- The offensive line had its best game of the year after shuffling around a ton this season. They decided to stick Wendell back in at guard and keep Stork at center. This, minus Mankins, was the same offensive line as last year which was one of the better ones in the league. The offensive line was dominant against an extremely good Bengals run defense. I think it’s reasonable to assume the line continues this reversion towards last years performance.
- A lot of people are going to say Rob Gronkowski is back after an 100 yard and a TD performance last night. Gronkowski is really the only good receiving weapon in the Patriots offense. Also, Gronkowski did get the most snaps of the year last week, 68/87, or close to 80%. This is still down from the near 100% of snaps he saw in 2011, the last year he played all 16 games. Gronkowski is also wearing a bulky arm brace and knee brace, and you can tell how much it hampers his movement. I think Gronkowski is going to be a reasonable play for the rest of the year assuming he continues to play increased snaps, but I don’t expect him to return to full force until he’s not wearing knee and arm braces anymore, which probably won’t be until next year.
- Julian Edelman got slightly less snaps at WR, but ran a passing route on nearly every passing play. His production was down last, but against a significantly better Bills pass rush, expect Brady to get the ball out quicker and target Edelman more. Edelman remains a strong play on full PPR like DraftKings. Edelman had over 100 catches for 1000 yards last year despite not starting every game, so I expect a modest increase in that production this year.
- I can already see people advocating that Tim Wright is going to play the Aaron Hernandez role of the 2011 Patriots and that they love him next week against the Bills after the 5/85/1 performance last night. Wright only played a little over 20% of snaps, and while that number is likely to increase after a productive game, I can’t imagine Wright being a good play without seeing the field way more.
- This team is very much a run first team, evidenced by being top 10 in the league in run play percentage. I think Steven Ridley is a good matchup play when the Patriots are heavy favorites, and Vereen is a good target when the Patriots are underdogs.
- The Patriots D forced a lot of fumbles and scored a TD on one of them. This team seems to have a knack for getting turnovers, but still does not have much of a pass rush. I think in a great matchup they are worth a play but not otherwise unless their price comes down.
- There continues to be talk each week the Jeremy Hill is going to get more touches at RB, and every week that seems to not pan out. Giovanni Bernard had over 80% of snaps to Hill’s 20%. Bernard was basically barely used in this game because of how big the Bengals got down early. But Dalton missed him on a wheel route he certainly would have scored on, and that ended up being the difference between a good fantasy game and a bad one. I like Bernard moving forward, as he’s an extremely talented runner and pass catcher behind a great offensive line.
- You can’t really put this game on Andy Dalton. His 200 yard 2 TD performance on only 25 pass attempts was quite good, but fumbling got the best of his team. I was impressed by his deep throwing ability, and it seems like he’s getting better as a passer. His numbers are way down from last year, but both his yards per attempt and completion percentages are up. He gets a lot of hate, but he seems to be an above average starting QB.
- A.J. Green had a poor game, mostly because he was blanketed by the best cornerback of 2013 Darrelle Revis. In fact, Green’s only TD of the game came when Revis had to come out of the game for a brief period of time with a leg injury. Green’s an amazingly impressive athlete and by far the best WR on the team. When the passing offense is productive, he should have big games. Expect him to pick up the production and at last match his 2013 numbers.
Game Summary: What a comeback by the Browns. After being down 28-3 in the waning minutes of the first half, The Browns score 26 unanswered points and the game winning TD with 1 minute left. This was one of the least exciting matchups of the week but was one of the more exciting games.
- Not gonna expect a fantasy day like this from Brian Hoyer a lot. He threw the ball 37 times mostly because the Browns had a very high 78 plays run and the Browns got down 28-3 early. This seems very much a run first team.
- What a game by Ben Tate. Tate rushed for over 120 yards on 22 carries and played 50 out of 78 snaps despite coaches saying before the game that they were going to limit his touches. Well if this is limited than I think we can expect around 70-80% of snaps at least next game. Rookies West and Crowell did well in Tate’s absence, but it could be attributed to the Browns strong offensive line play, led by rookie guard Joel Bitonio, who’s been a beast in run blocking this year. Tate has never been good as a pass catcher which won’t bode well for his fantasy production. But in a good matchup, Tate seems like a strong play.
- The two best Browns fantasy receivers, Jordan Cameron and Andrew Hawkins, each had dud fantasy games but led the Browns in targets. The Browns have an extremely short receiving core, with almost all of them under 6 feet tall. This should help Cameron’s production, as he is the only legitimate red zone target on the team. It remains to be seen if Hawkins can sustain his early season production. Being the number one WR and him leading the team in targets this past week does signal a continued strong season.
- Travis Benjamin had 2 TDs, but only playing 1/3rd of team snaps suggests he’s not going to keep up that production. Taylor Gabriel led the team in receiving yards, and actually was close to 2nd on the team on pass routes run. Gabriel seems the more intriguing of the two, but neither are legit fantasy targets.
- Bishop Sankey’s snaps stayed at a low 23 out of 70, despite the coaching staffs promise to give him more touches. I’m starting to not trust these workload rumors we have during the week, and Sankey is evidence supporting that attitude. I’d like to see Sankey get over the 50% snaps mark before I’d want to use him.
- Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright both had great games. Hunter was the least impressive, gaining almost all his yards on a TD bomb where he was left wide open. Wright has been sneaky good the last two seasons as a slot receiver. And while the 2 TDs this game matched his entire total from last year, his nearly 100 catches for over 1000 yards last year make him a solid PPR play.
- Delanie Walker was only targeted 4 times, but caught all 4 for 47 yards. Walker has been one of the most targeted receivers in the red zone this year, and while he may not keep up his production so far this year, he should be a quality fantasy option.