2022 Week 8: Seahawks 27, Giants 13 (Dynasty/Fantasy Analysis Game Report)
I saved this game to the last one that I had to do for my rewatch/study/report out for the week. Why? Because in my mind these are two boring, (FF) predictable, overachieving NFL teams. What’s there to watch? Who wants to watch Geno vs. Dan Dimes, anyway?
This ended up being my favorite game to watch of the week, I think.
Even your trusty RC gets suckered into his own narratives and sees what he wants to see, with his mind pre-made up…try as hard as I can to rewatch/study all the games every week with an open mind looking to debate myself and challenge my preconceived notions on things. But with NYG and Seattle, I’ve been blind…or in denial.
The Giants aren’t (6-2) by pure luck…there is some skill here…especially (mostly) on defense. I thought the defense was carrying them, by default, but I didn’t really ‘get it’ on this defense until watching them closely here (more on that in a moment).
Seattle (5-3) isn’t leading the NFC West by luck either…they are really good, led by MVP candidate (seriously), Geno Smith. I cannot explain how this happened…how Geno went from joke to MVP, but I will theorize on it in a bit, in the player notes section.
These two good, sound teams went to war with each other and were deadlocked in a defensive struggle, 13-13 tie with 11+ minutes left to go. Geno then did some MVP things to take a 20-13 lead…and then NYG coughed up a punt return attempt to set Seattle up for a short score to put it away. Both teams played well enough to win, it’s just Seattle had the better offense/QB and that made the difference in the end.
The Giants would be leading the NFC West today, but instead they are 3rd-place in the NFC East. A manageable schedule ahead should get them to 9-10 wins and a wild card shot. They have one Dallas and two Philly games to go…if they could steal a win among those games, they are for sure headed to 10+ wins and the playoffs. This is a team led by the defense…with the offense trying not to lose it.
Seattle could win the NFC West, but the 49ers are likely too tough, too stacked to overcome…but who knows anymore in football 2022? Seattle is headed towards 10 wins but that is probably not enough to win the NFC West…but gets them to a wild card, and this win over NYG might be the thing that gets them in over NYG in tiebreaker scenarios.
The NFC playoffs looks like…
PHI-MIN-SF-TB/NO to win their divisions with Dallas + Seattle + NYG as wild cards…with Green Bay and maybe the Rams the only real threat to come up from underneath to challenge them? Yes, Seattle and NYG are both more likely to go to the playoffs than Green Bay or Tampa Bay…or the defending Super Bowl champs.
Welcome to NFL football 2022…the greatest, most plot-twisting weekly episodic drama money can buy.
*Note any fractional numbers in parentheses (4/2) or (2/3), etc., are a ‘quality start’ (or not) marker on a player -- using 14 PPR points in a game for RB-WR-TE and 21 for a QB…point levels that are good/productive/well above average starts for a Fantasy week. Trying to identify trends, consistency (or not) in players we might not normally realize.
A (3/2), for example, means: 3 times the player hit at/above the mark, and 2 times they did not.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s begin by commenting on these two DSTs…
Seattle-DST is actually the #6 PPG DST in Fantasy through Week 8. They are giving up a bunch of points (#29 in the NFL in PPG allowed) but they are top 10 in sacks and have a defensive score on the books. They aren’t the 6th best defense that I see week-to-week, not even close…but they are high energy and getting better as they go. The last 3 weeks they’ve held opponents to 9-23-13 (15.0 PPG) points allowed in games.
The Giants-DST gave up 27 points to Seattle here, but they really impressed me within that. This is a high energy, very well coached unit that has been really good all season…with this game being the most points they’ve allowed in a game in 2022. They held Seattle under 300 total yards (277) and squashed them on 3rd-downs (3 for 13) but gave up points late, 7 points set up by a fumbled punt setting up a short score.
This NYG defense reminds me of the energy, effectiveness that Arizona was playing with in the 1st-half of last year. Not as good as that 1st-half of 2021 season Arizona defense but trying to get in-range. That’s how this team is (6-2) -- the defense keeping them in it.
The NYG-DST is bottom 10 in FF scoring per game, but it’s more due to a lack of turnovers and middle/low on sacks. Better NFL defense than FF one, but note they host Houston Week 10, after their Week 9 bye…if you need to get ahead on them for a 1x use Week 10.
-- I wanted to lead with that defensive discussion to roll into the Geno Smith (23-34 for 212 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 5-26-0) for MVP talk.
Seriously, Geno is playing lights out. It’s not luck. It’s not a shell game of O-C wizardry…it’s that Geno Smith has become a really good NFL QB. More proof that the current/future of the NFL can be changed in an instant by GMs keeping tabs on, collecting those grinder players that people wrote off because they weren’t magical rookies…but those players keep grinding, learning, improving and 5+ years in they matter…and they’re more coachable and better leaders and less expensive than the know-nothing, highly paid (in college, and the pros) high draft pick players…and better players today than the know-nothing rookies. The rookies may have all the athletic talent in the world, but the grinders are just better at their craft and can hang with/defeat knucklehead athletes.
Geno is really playing well, and thus Metcalf-Lockett are doing great…and I totally missed it/never thought it was even possible. We all need to rewire our brains from the rookie unicorn fetishes and open our minds to all these boring veteran players emerging.
This Geno ISN’T going to get figured out, like I thought, because Geno has figured out how to play QB at B/C grade level. And Smith putting the hammer down on this very good NYG defense is further proof that Geno is getting better, not worse.
-- Warning: I’m going to talk about more players who are good that are not rookies, or are 2nd-year hopefuls, or guys who played in the SEC…so, bear with me as I discuss two ‘profiles you hate’ WRs from this game of note…
1) Darius Slayton (5-66-0/6) is a really solid NFL WR. I have no idea why he was buried by NYG for much of the past 2+ years. He is their best WR…55 or more yards in a game in three of his last 4 games and fought Tariq Woolen pretty well in their matchups here (Woolen was on him infrequently that I saw).
Slayton has been a (2/2) in his last 4 games getting into the starting lineup.
2) The last two weeks of Seattle WR action (per game)…
4.0 rec. (5.0 targets), 50.0 yards, 1.00 TDs = Marquise Goodwin (1/6)
3.5 rec. (6.0 targets), 33.5 yards, 0.50 TDs = D.K. Metcalf (4/4)
6.0 rec. (8.0 targets), 54.0 yards, 0.50 TDs = Tyler Lockett (5/3)
Goodwin looks really, really good/quick/like he doesn’t age…he’s becoming the bargain brand Tyreek Hill attempt of the Seahawks. Bubble screens specifically designed for him but also works well downfield…just missed a 25+ yard TD Geno put right on him, but the DB batted it away last second…and if he caught that TD, he would have been tied for the lead for TD catches for Seattle in 2022…and he barely saw the ball the first 4 games of the season, making it more ‘wow’ than it already is.
It’s all true…and Goodwin isn’t even a rookie or 2nd-year player!?!?!
Goodwin is only playing 40-50% or so of the snaps as the third WR in trips, but he’s getting the ball more and more because he’s been so effective…and it just makes this offense more dangerous, and Geno has more options to work with.
I’m going to keep hammering this anti-rookie theme home for the rest of this report…week…month…season, until it is no longer a thing we need to capitalize on. But I think it’s here to stay. And if you feel like I’m talking to you, like I’m singling you out -- I am. It’s an issue for all of us…so, I am speaking to you and everyone reading this (and the one writing this)…we all have this blindspot/bias…this lust for young players and malaise for 3rd-4th-5th+ year players who didn’t star right out of the gates. I communicate with dozens of people a day about football, about Fantasy things…and we all have the same issue, so I am trying to get all of us, myself included, to admit/start with Step One of the 12 to recovery.
*And, of course, just as he got going...Goodwin is out this week with a hammy injury.
-- Oh, boy. Dang it. Here comes another non-rookie, journeyman grinder to discuss. Breathe slowly…you can make it through.
The Giants have been running with rookie Daniel Bellinger (DNP) as their main tight end, and he’s been solid…but he got his eye poked/hit in-game and broke bones all around his eye a few weeks ago…leaving the Giants grasping at TE.
Tanner Hudson (3-58-0/5) has been with the team all season and played every game so far…but had a bigger role here in their time of need. He was fine enough, but not who I want to mention.
I want to mention 10/18/22 signee from the Jets (released) and elevated up from the practice squad for this game TE Lawrence Cager (0-0-0/1)…who I’ve mentioned a few times this summer. He’s a former athletic, tall WR prospect out of Georgia who made his way to the Jets main roster as a TE but never really advanced past ‘backup’ at WR. He transformed himself, adding 20+ pounds of muscle, from 2021 into 2022 to become a 6’5”, highly athletic, transitioning tight end.
Cager was a star in the Jets 2022 training camp, but they have a million tight ends…and still, Cager made the main roster opening day for NYJ, but they had to sacrifice him recently for needs in other places with so many other TEs they were vested in. The Giants scooped him up and he played a few snaps, and early in the game totally torched a linebacker on a simple wheel route but Dan Jones overthrew the 25+ yard layup, that might have been a 50+ yard score if Cager caught it and beat the lone safety left to halt him. It was such a great play that took advantage of Cager’s WR athleticism in a mismatch with a slow linebacker, that NYG never tried it again.
I just want you to note -- in the era of grinder journeymen non-rookies/2nd-year players…you should keep tabs on Cager for now/the future. You haven’t heard the last of him in the NFL/FF, I bet. He could be another Darren Waller story…hopefully it won't take as long for someone in the NFL to figure it out as it did with Waller.
Snap Counts of Interest:
49 = K Walker
14 = Homer
05 = Dallas
50 = Dissly
46 = Fant
23 = Parkinson
44 = Lockett
40 = Metcalf
25 = Goodwin
19 = Eskridge
47 = Tanner Hudson
30 = Myarick
12 = Cager