2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 7: Game Analysis: Rams 24, Bears 10 I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar. This was a pretty straight forward game. The Rams played a fundamentally sound, smart football game against a tough defense and took a 10-3 halftime lead…and then made it 17-3…and then made it 24-3 by the end of the 3rd-quarter and they tried to let the Bears back into the games at various times but the Bears have one of the five worst offenses in football and arguably the worst run game – so when they’re down, they’re done. Matt Nagy is still, somehow, known as an offensive genius. The Rams have a good defense, for sure, but the Bears made them look like the 85 Bears at certain points. Credit the Rams for a smart win. I thought they’d get beat here or close to it. The Rams play smart football, get the most out of what they got, and the Bears are just not as good as everyone thought…all a combination for a dull, easy win for the Rams. The Rams head to Miami Week 8, always a tough road game to Miami…but they get to face Tua in his debut, so you have to like the better coached team in L.A. to throw fits at Tua – but new QBs, new O-Cs, often confuse defenses who don’t know ‘tendencies’ in their debuts, so it’s not an auto-win for the Rams. The Rams are headed to 10 +/- wins and the playoffs. Whether it’s as the NFC West winner or as a wild card. The Bears fall to (5-2) and have some schedule turbulence ahead. They are set up to lose at least three of their next 4 games. If so, they would be (6-5) heading to the schedule going easy again starting Week 13. Chicago getting 9-10 wins is on the table…a wild card is in sight, and then a quick playoff exit. But they do have Nick Foles…so, anything is possible. Fantasy Player Notes… -- The good news at Rams RB… Darrell Henderson (15-64-0, 2-13-0/2) is the clear starter. The bad news at Rams RB, for me, Darrell Henderson is splitting 65/35 time with Malcolm Brown (10-57-1, 0-0-0/1), and Brown got the lone RB TD this week. The good news is, Cam Akers (0-0-0/0) has drifted off to M.I.A. He’s been no threat to make this a trio RBBC. Henderson has played the majority of snaps, taken the majority of carries, and been the guy in the game for most of the important parts. Henderson is a solid RB2 week-to-week, with the hopes he gets a TD to get to RB1…I just described most RBs starting for FF teams this week. At least we have a floor set in of performance expectations and some hope for an upside against lesser run defenses. The problem is, DH faces (arguably) the three of the 5 toughest run defenses in the NFL Weeks 10-12…SEA-TB-SF. Factor in a Week 9 BYE, and you can’t have any confidence in split-role-starter Darrell Henderson in four of the next 5 weeks. In redraft, it’s wise to consider moving him this week in a deal, preemptively. If you’re counting on him and are playing for your FF life the next 4-5 weeks. There’s always a chance he gets a goal line score to make it work, but the data says, ‘trouble ahead’. In Dynasty, he’s a hold…the talent in the Rams backfield. If you don’t have him, you can acquire him cheaper in about 3-4 weeks if he puts up a bunch of 12-40-0 games in the tough stretch. -- I have to laugh, to keep from crying, watching this game… David Montgomery (14-48-0, 5-21-0/5) is the all-in back for the Bears organization and consistently fails/disappoints every week. While across the field this day, Darrell Henderson has to split with Malcom Brown. Imagine if Henderson got the David Montgomery treatment by his coaches…and the media? The NFL is unfair. Fantasy is unfair. Life is unfair. We grind on. 2020 Fantasy is a battle of wills – what FF owners are going to crack under the pressure of bad matchups, bad injuries, etc., and start to flail away with wild waivers and lineup choices versus what ones are going to keep their heads and play the board as smart as they can and try to grind their way into the FF playoffs? FF is a beast you cannot tame on demand in 2020. You just have to keep from being eaten by the beast for as long as you can locked in a cage with it. If you think you make poor lineup choices…look at Matt Nagy and his RB plans every week. You’d think they would’ve traded for an RB by now, but nope… -- My gut feeling player of the week, Darnell Mooney (3-40-0/7) didn’t hit. He had a couple deep ball shots but he’s not ready to shine yet. He will hit one of those deep balls soon…they keep trying it more each week and it’s close but no cigar. I wonder if Nagy ever thought a bubble screen or that WR jet sweep every other team runs for an automatic 5+ yards would be smart to try with their 4.2s running WR? Not yet, it hasn’t but there’s always next week…maybe…probably not. -- The Rams WRs weren’t too far off Mooney in FF performance… Cooper Kupp (6-43-0/6) has averaged 4.7 catches (7.5 targets), 47.3 yards, 0.0 TDs the past 3 games. Robert Woods (3-22-0/5) has averaged 3.7 catches (7.7 targets), 40.7 yards, 0.67 TDs receiving the past 3 games. What gives? What has happened to the Rams’ receivers the past 3 games? 1) They played pretty stout, tough pass defenses. 2) It looks like Sean McVay has gone all RB-split roles, and WR-split, and TE-split. They are not leaning on one player at any skill position. They attack the matchups, rotate to keep fresh, spread things around – it’s the way I would do things as an NFL coach. Don’t lean on one predictable thing one play to the next, but if I’m down I go with my best horses getting them the ball. But the Rams are getting up/ahead and just smartly spreading things around. Smart for the NFL, terrible/maddening for FF. It’s going to be hard to predict the Rams offensive weapons every week ahead it appears. You’re hoping you find the TD guy to make it worthy for FF. Malcolm Brown, Gerald Everett, Josh Reynolds were the TD guys here…probably not in your lineup…or on anyone’s roster. -- Great showing by the Rams-DST, but we have to note the Bears are a favorable FF matchup. The Rams-DST has been nice against Dan Jones, Foles, Haskins/Allen. Popped by J. Allen and Jimmy G. Tua this week is favorable, you’d think. Then a Week 9 bye. Weeks 10-13…Wilson, Brady, Jimmy G., Kyler. After Week 8, you need a replacement DST for them. -- The Bears-DST is another unit that is talented but has benefitted from strength of opponent as well…and that schedule is about to shift on them too. Weeks 8-13…Brees-at Tannehill-Cousins (good for turnovers)-BYE-at Rodgers…the next 5 weeks, one confident use? Maybe they are too much for Brees or Tannehill, but I don’t think so. Goff was not bothered by them here. Matt Ryan, Teddy B., Stafford all did OK. You like/respect the Bears-DST, but you got two good spots through Week 14 (Weeks 10/MIN and 13/DET). Snap Counts of Interest: 55 = Everett 46 = Mundt 40 = D Henderson 29 = M Brown 51 = Mooney 50 = A Rob 37 = A Miller 52 = D Montgomery 13 = C Patt