Takeaways from Week 15 Game Film (Fantasy Football)
Chances are that you saw George Kittle laughing his way through a pancake block and Julio Jones winning the game on a last-second grab against San Francisco, 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 11 contests this morning. Let’s do this!
Mike Boone is much better than you think
If you’ve listened to my podcast in the last two years, you knew this was going to come. There are many reading this, however, who don’t know much about Boone so I must give my analysis. When Boone was on the field in the preseason each of the past two years, it was evident that he was the complete package. He is an explosive athlete, has tremendous instincts, can out-sprint the defense, catches passes naturally, blasts through defenders for extra yardage and has excellent vision. I don’t say this lightly; he truly is one 0f the NFL’s most capable running backs. The only reason you haven’t seen him, is because Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison both are as well. I’d go as far as saying Boone is actually better than Mattison, and if Cook is ruled out again (presuming Mattison also will be), I will hesitate to rank him among the top five RBs for the upcoming week. As a result, he is my clear #1 waiver pickup of the week.
A.J. Brown isn’t just a breakout, he is a star
Earlier on in the season, when I watched Brown play it seemed ridiculous that he wasn’t getting more snaps. But you’ll remember that this has been the case with many rookie wide receivers, no matter how talented they were. The point is that his not playing early on isn’t indicative of his skill set. Rather, it had to do with learning a comprehensive NFL playbook. Yes, he has been much better of late, but based on what I’m seeing, he has a legitimate case for being one of the top 12 wideouts selected next year in fantasy drafts. He is a bigger, strong version of Golden Tate who can both get open easily and break tackles with the best of them. He can high-point a ball and create separation on deep throws as well. Don’t be surprised if we are talking about another tier-two fantasy wideout like Kenny Golladay, Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen.
Jonnu Smith is a special weapon for the Titans
It isn’t only Brown who is excellent for Tennessee, but their new tight end is pretty dang great too. Since Delanie Walker has gone down, we’ve had a taste of what Smith can be, but the Titans just haven’t passed enough to see the extent of his upside. Much like his predecessor, Smith is more of a tight end in a wide receiver’s body and with a wide receiver’s skillset. He is smaller and an elite athlete for the position. This is evidenced many times throughout the season, but perhaps none better than when he took a toss to the right out of the backfield as a halfback. Smith sprinted to the outside corner and raced past linemen and linebackers attempting to catch him. Not only that, but Smith is a supreme leaper who can haul in jump balls in the end zone. He’ll continue to improve with a full season’s work as Tennessee’s starter so don’t hesitate to grab him at the end of drafts next season.
Tony Pollard better be drafted in the top 100 picks next year
Because the Cowboys blew out the Rams this week, we got another glimpse into what Pollard could be if anything were to happen to Ezekiel Elliott. Assuming both players are healthy going into fantasy drafts next year, Pollard should be the top backup running back off the board. Although Zeke seems indestructible, we’ve still see players like this suffer injuries from time to time. Pollard would immediately jump into one of the best situations in the NFL, as Dallas has a terrific run-blocking offensive line and a passing game good enough to keep defenses from stacking the box. What’s more, though, is that Pollard is just plain ole’ an extremely good football player. He is without a doubt among the most agile runners in football, and I’d even wager to say he is the most agile. He can catch passes well and function as that true three-down, game-script-proof bell-cow back that we’ve seen Zeke to be. Whether or not he can handle 25+ touches is another question, of course, but let’s remember that the Cowboys used him in 100% of the first-team snaps while Zeke was holding out.
- Besides a healthy Saquon Barkley and the obvious CMC, Joe Mixon is the best RB in football
- Kyler Murray is going to be excellent if they can improve the offensive line enough to generate a running threat
- Anthony Miller creates separation extremely well and is going to be a steal next year
- Raheem Mostert isn’t just good or the best RB in San Fran, he is borderline great
- Corey Davis actually looked pretty dang good—late-round sleeper for next season
- Don’t worry, Cooper Kupp is back to his full slate of snaps and routes
- Adam Thielen, however, only played about half of the game
- Myles Gaskin may have stolen the starting job from Patrick Laird
- Phillip Lindsay played less than 40% of Denver’s snaps in the snow
- LeSean McCoy can’t be trusted–he is essentially the #3 RB for Kansas City
- Don’t worry about Nick Chubb playing just 50% of snaps–the game script was horrendous
- Don’t forget how great Golden Tate has been when he has been on the field this year