5 Things We Learned Week 3 in NFL DFS
1. Tom Brady will finish with the season with the most FPTS
Okay, I’ve seen enough. This Patriots offense has a chance (with emphasis on the word “chance”) to be as good as the one in 2007, and they possess one similar attribute – Brady is throwing the ball an insane amount regardless of the game flow.
New England defeated Jacksonville 51-17, which usually means the winner runs the ball a majority of the time. However, the Pats threw it 42 times (not to mention Brady played the whole game except for the two celebratory quarterback kneels) while they ran it 32 times.
If you want to chalk this up as “The Patriots are out for blood, just like they were when the Spygate thing started in 2007” that’s fine. But regardless of the reasoning, if New England is going to throw 57% of the time in a blowout, not to mention they threw it 80% of the time in a blowout at Buffalo (40-32 score is closer than the game really was), Brady should absolutely obliterate the NFL with the best pass protection offensive line, a healthy Gronk and a healthy Julian Edelman.
2. Tyrod Taylor will finish in the top five for QB FPTS
I wish I had included this one in last week’s article. After researching this one a bit more later in the week, I ultimately came to the conclusion, “There’s really nothing stopping this guy.”
Through three weeks, here are the top five fantasy QBs
Aaron Rodgers 80.24
Tom Brady 78.58
Andy Dalton 70.74
Cam Newton 69.80
Tyrod Taylor 66.16
Dalton will not maintain this pace, although he should continue to have improved numbers with a healthy Tyler Eifert making the passing game more potent. Cam has drawn three very favorable opponents so far. Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan could catch him, and Ben Roethlisberger might if he were going to be healthy (since we are thinking this from a daily perspective).
But here are all the reasons why this isn’t a fluke from Taylor
1. Taylor runs the ball frequently, and he hasn’t even had a breakout game. He has better speed than you think, and he will take off and run more against the better pass defenses.
2. Through three games (yeah, sample size I know), the Bills average 6.1 yards per play (T7) and Taylor is completing 74.4% of his passes (4th).
3. Taylor has legit weapons around him. Percy Harvin is thriving as an outside WR (used to just be more of a specialist). Charles Clay has picked up right where he left off in Miami, and Rex Ryan teams often utilize the tight end. This doesn’t even factor in Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods.
4. Don’t just assume the Bills offense is bad because they are the Bills. This is a huge error the average daily fantasy player or sports fan makes. He or she thinks franchises never or barely change, and that there can’t be drastic improvement or dropoffs from one season to the next because they are A) recently biased B) blinded by the jerseys the players are wearing. This Bills offense looks significantly different with a new coaching staff, and there is great talent on both sides of the ball.
5. Just because Taylor has been a backup doesn’t mean he stinks. Joe Flacco has started every game since he’s entered the league in 2008. Taylor was stuck behind him forever in Baltimore. We simply haven’t seen Taylor in legit NFL competitive games until this season, and very often NFL front offices or coaching staffs make mistakes when evaluating players coming out of college or even on the practice field. Rex Ryan and his staff chose the right guy, and we might be seeing a legit starter for years to come.
3. Latavius Murray will dominate in the appropriate matchups
Some people were concerned how much Latavius Murray would be used this season. A lot of times when a running back finishes the year on a hot note and sees an increase in snaps late in the season, you never know how the next season will start with someone who is newish.
Well, Murray has carried the ball 52 times. The next person is Taiwan Jones with seven. Murray only saw 11 carries against the Bengals, but that game was a blowout early where Oakland was forced to throw (Murray did have seven receptions for 36 yards though). Derek Carr was carving up the Ravens secondary, and they have a solid rush defense, so Murray only saw 15 carries there. But since Oakland went up against a soft Browns defense, Murray received 26 touches for 139 yards and a TD.
It’s very safe to say that not only is Murray by far the workhorse back, Oakland will be balanced when it’s competitive in the contest unless it’s matchup oriented.
You might think that Murray was going to be like this all along and was very safe in the way he got a majority of the carries at the end of last year, but ask people who have been using C.J. Anderson and Jeremy Hill, and they’ll disagree it’s not that straightforward.
Oh, by the way, the Raiders get the Bears this weekend…
4 & 5. Andre Johnson won’t bounce back this season, but Nelson Agholor will eventually emerge
These are the two wide receivers I’ve basically whiffed on so far in terms of preseason expectations. One I still have high hopes for. The other I don’t,.
Let’s start with Johnson. Some people thought Johnson was aging, slowing down and won’t do that much better in Indianapolis as opposed to the way he finished his time in Houston. I disagreed from the simple fact that Johnson was hurt for a portion of last season, the Texans ran the ball the most of any team in the league and had QB issues all year. Essentially, I was still expecting Johnson to do similar to what Steve Smith is doing in Baltimore, even if he was going to be the No. 2 wide receiver (because of the Colts passing attack).
I was completely wrong. If you watch film on the Colts, there are two issues. One, Andrew Luck has little time to throw the ball most of the time (still doesn’t excuse why Johnson isn’t seeing more targets). Second, Johnson legitimately is struggling to get open, and he really does appear to be aging.
But by far the most important reason for why I don’t expect the bounce back is his percentage of snaps.
A Johnson 82%
D Moncrief 74%
T Hilton 68% (injured middle of the game)
T Hilton 84% (injured in 4th quarter)
D Moncrief 78%
A. Johnson 69%
T Hilton 95%
D Moncrief 90%
A Johnson 68%
While 68% is something, it’s a bad sign that Johnson is trending in the wrong direction and is now that far behind Moncrief. For someone who was supposed to have an expanded role in this offense and have a quarterback like Andrew Luck, this is really bizarre. It doesn’t seem that he’s having trouble grasping the offense, but simply, he’s just aging.
Meanwhile, the situation in Philadelphia is completely different.
J Matthews 85%
N Agholor 80%
Everyone else 58%<
J Matthews 81%
N Agholor 76%
Everyone else 56%<
N Agholor 97%
J Matthews 86%
Everyone else 59%<
While I don’t think Agholor will get more snaps than Matthews for the year, which may have been more due to Josh Huff being out Week 3 for the slight increase, Agholor is clearly the No. 2 wide receiver.
This reminds me of what it was like for Matthews last season. Matthews in the first eight weeks never had better than 59 yards receiving in a game, and he was only able to bring in three touchdowns. Then, the light switch flipped on as he went over 100 yards in each of the next two games and brought in a total of three touchdowns.
In fact, Matthews for the entire 2014 only saw 66% of snaps and was the clearly the No. 3 guy in the field. Granted he was primarily coming in on passing downs, so it is slightly skewed, but Chip Kelly’s offense is complex, and it takes time for the young wide receivers to get a handle of it.
Furthermore, it’s not helping the wide receivers that the offensive line is struggling to protect Sam Bradford and that he’s in check down mode quickly with the opponents often blitzing, but obviously if Matthews is still performing, so can Agholor. Plus, it’s not helping that Bradford is taking some time to get used to the offense himself, and that’s hard to do under pressure constantly. It’s one of those situations where the Eagles need some more time to make the appropriate adjustments on the offensive line, which will eventually lead to increased productivity from Bradford and eventually Agholor benefitting with more time in the offense.
The snap-count percentage is a good sign, and he will start seeing some love later in the year.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz