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Takeaways from Week 11 Game Film (Fantasy Football)

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Nov 18, 2019

Just how good has Kirk Cousins become this year?

Chances are that you saw Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers storm back while Lamar Jackson ran wild on another playoff team, but my goal today is to tell you about some tidbits you may have missed from a fantasy perspective. I went back through and watched every play of every game. I saw the Thursday night game and three Sunday games live then used NFL Game Pass to see the other 8 contests this morning. Let’s do this!

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Joe Mixon is one of the top running backs in the NFL
It most certainly doesn’t appear to be the case to a casual observer, as Mixon has just 520 rushing yards on 146 carries (3.6 yards per attempt) and 164 yards on 22 receptions to go with three total touchdowns. Let’s try to see the full picture though: The Bengals have a bottom-three offensive line in all of football. They insist on removing Mixon from the field on passing downs, a spot where he has excelled in the past. And finally, their game scripts have clearly not warranted many touches for any back. These are similar reasons that we all considered Todd Gurley a bust before he proceeded to lead the NFL in fantasy points in back to back seasons. The film makes me believe that Mixon is that type of talent, but much more in the mold of Le’Veon Bell than Gurley. He is among the most natural receivers out of the backfield in football, has game-changing speed and acceleration, and runs with both authority and balance. If Cincy’s offensive line takes a big step forward next year and they add a playmaker at QB like Cam Newton, Mixon may be the prize value of 2020 fantasy drafts.

You will want to target Jacksonville opponents the rest of the season
The final stat line may not look all that bad with Foles tossing out 296 yards for 2 touchdowns, but considering how large the lead was, the Colts were essentially sitting back in a conservative zone and letting Foles nibble his way up the field. Even so, he still posted a QBR of just 24.1 thanks to 14 incompletions and an interception. What’s more, is that he was bailed out a handful of times by spectacular D.J. Chark plays and the defense blowing interception opportunities. The game could have looked far worse, and this is only the beginning of it. With the game script being what it was, the Colts didn’t bring much in the way of pressure. That won’t be the case in coming weeks, nor will Foles throw 47 passes while Leonard Fournette sees only 8 carries. Most likely, the pressure will come with the Jags’ horrendous offensive line in front of him, and unfortunately for Chark and Dede Westbrook owners, Foles has struggled throughout his career under pressure. In fact, his rate-stats line up with Blake Bortles since he left Chip Kelly’s system. Tennesse should be considered a top streamer this week with Foles and this o-line on the schedule.

If Kirk Cousins isn’t an elite quarterback, he is close
Unlike the first two portions of this article, the stat line actually backs up what I am saying. I’ll argue, however, that it doesn’t go far enough. Everyone knows he has 2,020 yards and an 18 to 1 TD:INT ratio over the past seven weeks but he has done it with limited volume and against some strong defenses too. I’ve been intending on writing about Cousins for weeks now, but I wanted to wait for the real tests in Dallas then versus Denver this Sunday. He passed in flying colors and it’s really remarkable because Adam Thielen is out and the offensive line still isn’t great at pass protection. The type of progression we are seeing at this stage in his career is rare. Names like Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein are the only names that come to mind with this late-stage growth. It is almost as if he managed to retrain every detail of his instincts because he went from being the single worst QB under pressure to quite literally the best in the NFL this year. Not only that, but he suddenly sees the whole field and is even more accurate than ever before which is really saying something since he was already among the most accurate in the game. This is a Super Bowl MVP waiting to happen if the Vikings’ secondary gets their act together.

Yes, it’s time to rely on Cameron Brate as a rest of season TE1
I can’t believe I’m saying this. It’s almost embarrassing because I know the feedback will be of skepticism and even hate, but I want you all to win your fantasy leagues so I’m just going to write it anyway. This has little to do with Brate’s talent, as he is nothing compared to other popular pickups like Dallas Goedert, Noah Fant and David Njoku. Don’t get me wrong, he can hang in this league, has a knack for getting open and can win contested catches in the red zone, so it isn’t all bad. Rather, though, it is all about his quarterback, Jameis Winston. Yes, he has Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, and yes, O.J. Howard is a freak-of-nature waiting to happen, but after Howard had the most ridiculous drop ever which lead to an interception, Brate was on the field non-stop and seeing virtually every target Winston had to offer (he ended with 14). This should come as no surprise, of course, as Winston has made a habit of focusing in on Brate throughout his career for whatever reason. Based on what I saw from Sunday’s game, Brate will make for a tremendous streamer start this week versus the Falcons’ lackluster secondary, assuming of course, that he remains the primary tight end.

Other notes

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Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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