Week 5 – NFC Game Analyst News and Notes

by Cody Carpentier, October 15, 2021

This new season-long mini-series is brought to you by the RotoUnderworld Game Analyst Team. The Game Analyst Team consists of over 75 individuals that chart and re-watch every snap from every game in the NFL between game end, and Monday afternoon. The guys you have generally not heard from before stop in to drop some tidbits from their weekly game charting process in hopes to give us a sneak peek into the depth of the games each Sunday. As the Head Game Analyst – I charted for two years and this idea was always in the back of my mind. People always share the broken-down, clean, processed reviews of games in the NFL. That’s not what this is. I asked everyone to gives me some Notes or Takeaways from their game this past week, and below are the raw responses I received.

Seattle

Alex Collins dominated RB touches and snaps while looking good in both the run and pass game. He was spelled by DeeJay Dallas, and to a lesser extent Travis Homer, for some passing downs and 2 min offense. The Hawks were in comeback mode when Russ went down and Geno Smith looked comfortable moving the ball out of 4WR and empty sets. Dissly ran almost half of his routes out of the slot and Geno seemed to be looking his way during limited playing time in the second half. – Caleb Jensen

Atlanta

Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson are monsters, matchup nightmares, and line up everywhere.

Mike Davis is still the primary back…CORD is a utility/swiss-army knife.

Matt Ryan faced little pressure all game, bar the one hard hit he took on the early first drive of the game (BULLshit roughing the passer call made by the refs….wonder if that influenced any of the game that followed…probably not much) – Austin Link

San Francisco

Deebo continued to flex his presence despite Lance’s first career start. While Deebo’s fantasy day was saved by his 4th Quarter rushing TD, his 31% target share nearly matched his season average of 35.6% (per Rotoworld). His 9 targets are 1 more than his season-low, which highlights his consistent opportunities in this offense. 

Aiyuk was disappointing yet again, and although Lance’s play affected his results, it is worth noting that his 4 targets were tied with Juszczyk for second-most on the team, but Lance displayed a good target dispersion apart from Deebo. As we have known, this keeps Aiyuk on the fantasy bench until an increase in production. – Chris Reelfs

Chicago

I was surprised by how involved Khalil Herbert was. Not only that, but he looked damn good. It wasn’t just the thing some coaches do where they put the backup in when the game was out of hand either. They had Herbert in on their two-minute drill, they trusted him in pass protection, he ate up entire drives. Both he and Damien Williams had the exact same number of snaps (30) and touches (18) on the day. Damien Williams looked good too and was the first and primary back in the offense, but Herbert is going to be involved and a factor in this offense, at least while Montgomery is out. If he isn’t then something is wrong because he deserves reps with how he looked yesterday.

I liked what I saw out of Justin Fields. The offense is obviously scaled back to not too much on his plate early on in his career, but he had a number of outstanding throws to help the Bears extend drives & eventually win the game, even after he got hurt a little bit during this game. He had his share of rookie moments to be fair, but I was overall encouraged. I don’t think he’s a fantasy option yet but he should be eventually once he fully gets adjusted to the NFL game.

Be patient with Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. That doesn’t mean keep putting them in your lineups (I have Robinson in three leagues so I personally have been affected by the situation in Chicago), but I didn’t see anything to suggest that Allen Robinson or Darnell Mooney‘s skills have deteriorated in any way. In fact, both had big moments to extend drives. Robinson had a contested-catch with the ball placed above his (and the defender’s) head on a back-shoulder that Robinson hauled in, while Mooney slid through Las Vegas’ zone defense on a 3rd and 10+ that Fields rifled through multiple bodies that Mooney caught and dove for the first down. Robinson also had an endzone target on a play that didn’t count because of a roughing the passer penalty. Robinson and Mooney both ran routes on 18 of Chicago’s 20 dropbacks, saw five of Chicago’s 20 pass attempts, and were out there on roughly 75% of Chicago’s snaps. Once (if?) more passing volume gets implemented into the Bears’ offense, those two should feast again. – Shervon Fakhimi

Tampa Bay

Impressive all-around performance by the Bucs. Leonard Fournette was the standout running back for the Bucs with his physicality on the ground and after the catch. Tom Brady was able to spread the ball around effectively to his top 3 targets with AB and Mike Evans able to find the endzone twice today. – Jaylan Glenn

Carolina

Not a very interesting game at all and the only real noteworthy thing I’ll note is Slay was giving DJ Moore the shadow treatment and locked him down. – Darren Nelson

More Tampa Bay

Tom Brady looked great against a Maimi’s Secondary and Defense that boasted a streak of 26 turnovers in as many games which ended in Tampa Bay. Tommy Boy finished with 30 completions for 411 yards and 5…count’em 5 Touchdowns!

Blaine Gabbert came in at the end of the 4th quarter with Tom Brady icing his throwing hand on the bench. By then the game was out of “hand.”

Antonio Brown Burned Xavien Howard a couple of times. Brown was targeted 8 times for 7 receptions for 124 yards and 2 TDs. Including a beautiful route, catch, and run for a long 62 yard TD. Miami’s defense has given up the most plays of 20 yards this season.

Mike Evans got in on the Brady party with 8 targets, 6 receptions for 113 yards, and 2 TDs to boot.

Chris Godwin was targeted the most with 11 targets pulling down 7 of those for 70 yards.

Let’s all get on Leonard Fournette. He looked like a stud. 12 carries for 67 yards, 1 TD. 5 targets for 4 receptions for 43 yards. I have no problem firing up Fournette in certain bye week or match-up situations. 

Giovani Bernard made an appearance early in the game with a receiving Touchdown. 4 carries 24 yards. 2 receptions with a TD.

Tampa Bay wasn’t even on Ronald Jones dude. He made his first appearance late in the 2 quarter with seconds to go. He finished with an anemic stat line of 5 carries for 21 yards. 1 reception for 15 yards.  – Daniel Gamboa

Dallas

We all know Ceedee Lamb roasted the Giants secondary but let’s talk Cedrick Wilson. Cedrick Wilson won’t be remembered for filling up the box score in this game but his usage is fun to watch; Dallas frequently puts him in motion behind the line of scrimmage, he had an amazing 35-yard grab at the sideline, they gave him a rush attempt, and he even completed a pass. With all of their weapons on offense, making defenses pay attention to Cedrick may produce some interesting outcomes late in the year. – Ryan Kelly

Philadelphia vs Carolina

Derrick Brown absolute monster. Brian Burns is very very good too.

Basically 2 college passing offenses in this game. Excessive use of screens and simplified reads for both teams. Darnold is a liability more often than not when asked to do anything more than the bare minimum. A couple of money throws but very inconsistent on all routes over 15 yards deep. Basically the same player he was on the Jets

Chubba Hubbard has THE juice. – Gabriel Pitaro

Atlanta

The Falcons did not disappoint by featuring Kyle Pitts this week as their go-to receiver. He was unstoppable and the entire Jets secondary foolish by easily getting separation downfield and making spectacular one-handed grabs. When Gage and Ridley come back from injury and personal reasons they have to continue to get Pitts involved, they’d be silly not to. I do not understand why it took 4 weeks and 2 injuries for this to happen.

As for their run game, I think the best outcome for both these backs, Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson is that they are BOTH viable RB2s week in and week out. However, I will say that Patterson looks like the better talent. I feel that if the Falcons ever get a big lead and need to go into clock-eating mode that Davis is going to be the guy though. I kind of view this situation as a poor man’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

As for the Falcons Defense, I do not like this scheme. Aside from keeping the Jets grounded for a quarter and a half. I did not like the fact that they loosened up the defense a bit late in the second half and let the Jets hang around in a game that they had no business making close. In fact, you can blame the offense as well. They went very conservative in the second half and went away from Kyle Pitts until the Jets got within 3, and then immediately scored on the next possession. – Marc Nuzzo

Philadelphia

The eagles should run the ball more. When running in obvious situations at the end of the game against 7/8 man box they were very successful and were able to ice the game.

Eagles definitely like short passing/screen games. Hurts needs to improve accuracy in order for them to be more successful with this though. There were definitely some missed plays he had due to poor ball placement on throws. – Steve Mitchell

New York Giants

The Kadarius Toney breakout game was upon us in the ugliest fashion. The Giants sustained several serious injuries on Offense including Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones both having to leave the game. Their overall efficiency was looking pretty yucky even before that as C.J. Board, Collin Johnson, and the ghost of John Ross made up the bulk of the receiving core. However, they did what we all wanted them to do and manufactured touches for Toney. They had him running deep routes down the sidelines, short slants across the middle, screens, and even some direct snaps. He showed that his talent is real and the Giants seemed more than willing to use him in creative ways. Toney was going off until he attempted the highly coveted helmet punch move and was succinctly ejected. Hopefully, he can control his emotions a tad bit better going forward, because his abilities are game-changing and sorely needed on a Giants offense decimated by injury. – James Peterman

Arizona

Chase Edmonds can remain coaching trust after fumble because he ran the ball the very next offensive play after he fumbled in the 4th quarter. They are using D. Harris (#86) the same as Maxx Williams in formations. Maxx’s injury could create an opportunity for Harris. The only issue is he is generally a blocking TE. Looks like Kyler will consolidate targets to DHop over Green if there is not an Alpha CB on them (ex: Ramsey last game against Rams). Possible correlation between CB strength and target consolidation on this offense. Also on the first Cardinals offensive drive, that was a TD by Rondale Moore and would’ve been great if called correctly for my DFS lineups. – Miles Brooke

Carolina

What an abysmal game for the Carolina Panthers offense. Darnold was not able to get anything going in the passing game. He was not accurate when the team needed him and gave up 3 interceptions, including one on the Panthers last drive of the game. DJ Moore was held in check for most of the game and only commanded a season-low 7 targets.

We thought that Darnold and Moore were this year’s Allen and Diggs… that is just not the case. And while Darnold is no longer a sure-fire starter, I’d look to buy low on DJ Moore in any leagues I can.

DO NOT DROP Chuba… yet. Especially if you are not McCaffery owner. Chuba looked great out there and can clearly fill 80% of the workload of McCaffery. I think McCaffery will come back this week, but as history shows us, hamstring injuries have a high chance of reinjury.

Philadelphia

Don’t let the fantasy stat line fool you, Hurts was just as bad as Darnold in this one. He had only 35 yards passing in the first half and a whopping 5.4 yards per attempt with 0 passing touchdowns and an interception to cap the day. This just shows how valuable rushing qbs are in fantasy. He will remain a weekly starter with the rushing upside.

Remember when everyone was freaking out about Miles Sanders? Well, they were wrong!.. kinda.. Miles sander’s ceiling is capped because of Hurtz and a below-par offense in general. But he is quite the runner. What was encouraging in this game was the 5 passes (checkdowns) Sanders received. And he is yet to score a touchdown, so that is coming.. probably not against the Bucs in week 6 but it is coming nonetheless. You can’t really trade Sanders at the moment so you need to hold. 

Dallas Goedert dropped a wide-open, uncovered touchdown pass in the red zone. That would have made his day a whole lot better fantasy-wise. But, he was not the most targeted TE of the day. Etz literally doubled his targets and was thrown the ball on important 3rd down options. I’d monitor this situation moving forward. For some reason, there is a bad taste in people’s mouths when it comes to Ertz. While he is not the player he was 3 years ago, he is healthy, a starter, and commands targets. I wouldn’t necessarily want to roster Goedert or Ertz, but I don’t think there is much of a difference between them. – Ahmed Hassan

New York Giants

From what I charted, Devontae Booker received 100% of the RB snaps after Barkley went down and actually led the team in snaps. No other RB ran a route and the only other backfield mate to receive a touch was Elijah Penny, who is the team’s FB. Booker may not be especially talented, but he is going to be on the field a lot for the Giants as long as Barkley is out. Opportunity is king. 

Toney and Ross both played the stretch Z role, with Golladay playing the X in the first half and Evan Engram as the slot flanker in the absence of Shepard. When Golladay exited the game at halftime, Toney’s role didn’t change much. He still primarily lined up outside as a stretch Z, with the combination of Collin Johnson and CJ Board filling in for Golladay at X. 

Toney’s longest gains of the day came against man coverage. He showed the ability to create separation on his routes against an excellent corner in Trevon Diggs. Both his and Ross’ speed presented a unique challenge to the defense, with Dallas corners choosing to sit back in coverage rather than press and risk the possibility of getting burned deep. Toney and Ross should help Engram and, when he returns, Shepard has more room to operate underneath. 

The Giants used the hurry-up offense quite a bit to infuse some life into what was a listless offensive performance. The hurry-up helped keep the pace of the game up-tempo, allowing for more snaps to be played and more fantasy points to be scored. The hurry-up also helped the Giant’s main offensive personnel to be out on the field for entire drives, meaning players weren’t being subbed out when the offense entered the red zone.  

I wouldn’t judge Mike Glennon‘s ability to run an NFL offense based on this performance. His top receivers for the majority of the game were Toney and Engram. After Toney got ejected, his only receiving options were Kyle Rudolph and Evan Engram, who primarily lined up in the slot, and the combination of CJ Board, Collin Johnson, and John Ross on the outside. Not very inspiring, but Glennon was willing to take shots down the field to Toney, Board, and Ross. He can be serviceable. – Brett Hewling

Washington

The WFT defense can’t stop big plays of any kind, you name it. With that being said, this gives the offense a lot of opportunities. Gibby has locked up the backfield rushing attack but he still lacks the more meaningful receiving work we as the fantasy community craves. With bye weeks starting, owners looking for a TE should look to Ricky Seals-Jones as long as Logan Thomas is sidelined. His targets are starting to go up and he is involved in all passing downs. Expect to see more Deandre Carter if Dyami Brown and Curtis Samuels can’t suit up. He played the Z mostly and the WFT made a concerted effort to get the ball in his hands both rushing and receiving. Finally, buy McLaurin after this dreadful matchup. Lattimore played well but Heinicke and McLaurin left a lot on the table. McLaurin is a stud and will continue to be the rest of the season. – Robert Kelley

Detroit

Amon-Ra St Brown flashed this week, commanding 8 targets.  The depleted receiving room and consistent negative game scripts give him a clear path to break out. Well worth a chunk of FAAB this week to see what happens. 

D’Andre Swift is still somehow underrated by most.  Swift had a really impressive evaded tackle where he trucked over a poor Vikings cornerback.  Give the man more screen passes, please! He looked better with his carries this week but his pass-catching keeps him matchup proof even in low-scoring, boring games like this one. – Matt Dunleavy

fantasy-football-dynasty-league-rankings

Summary

Through Five weeks, it is all but clear in the NFC who the top dog is, The Arizona Cardinals beat the Rams in week 4 and the Rams beat Tampa in Week 3. The Cowboys are 4-1 with one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, and we haven’t even talked about Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay or the two most underrated defenses in the NFL in Minnesota and Carolina.

Cody’s 1st Quarter Surprise: Carolina going 3-2 and 1 game back of Tampa Bay.
1st Quarter Let-down: Seattle going 2-3 while losing to Minnesota, Tennessee, and the LA Rams
1st Quarter NFC Championship Prediction: Green Bay 29, Tampa Bay 35

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