You’d be surprised at how many hours a week I put into this finest of hobbies. I’m not just talking 10-plus glorious hours of watching football every Sunday from September through January, but many hours every day writing, researching, and adjusting.
To stay sane, I need background noise. Music is always a good choice but I’ve been known to just let the TV provide that distraction for me. The Office reruns are always a good choice. Well, until Michael Scott leaves then it’s back to Spotify for me.
With those myriad hours of television comes the unfortunate run of commercials. Hey, I get it- gotta get that ad revenue. I’ve read podcast spots for grooming things I’d rather not mention here or anywhere. But one commercial lately has been absolutely killing me.
I went to Twitter to give my thanks to the NFL Red Zone Channel for allowing me a seven-hour break from that obnoxious Applebee’s Oreo shake song. I can’t escape it- no matter what is on, what time of day, day of the week, it’s non-stop whip cream two straws….I can’t even avoid it and I’m writing.
Speaking of things that happen often, scoring hasn’t been one of late. Older fantasy fans might remember the “Where’s the beef?” lady from Wendy’s but I’m thinking we should revamp that ad campaign for points. In 2020, the lack of preseason hit defenses hard and overs were hitting early and often.
In 2021 the points have been much harder to come by. In Week 1, underdogs went 12-4 ATS, and the under hit on 9 of the 16 matchups. This week, seven teams in the early slate failed to score a touchdown in the first half and what few touchdowns scored went to illustrious fantasy standouts like Brandon Zylstra, Jauan Jennings, and Andy Janovich.
Rough start, but if we learned anything from Frank the Tank, we just need to keep our composure and not panic. Except for Jets fans. You may.
On the bright side, play and scoring picked up considerably during the afternoon slate.
A trifecta of early injuries to starting quarterbacks really shook up the Sunday slate. First, Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa got hit in the ribs on a fourth-down pass attempt and was eventually carted to the locker room. Jacoby Brissett came off the bench and was adequate but the Dolphins couldn’t overcome the loss of Tua.
Andy Dalton briefly left the game in Chicago, which briefly caused excitement that we might get to see first-round rookie Justin Fields featured, but Dalton returned to the game. Then, after halftime, Dalton exited with a knee injury and Fields finished the game with mixed results.
Houston’s Tyrod Taylor was having another brilliant first half before suffering a hamstring injury and exiting the game. Davis Mills played the entire second half and had a decent showing but is an obvious downgrade for Houston’s offense. Houston hosts Carolina on Thursday and Taylor has already been ruled out. Expect Mills to get his first start.
Carson Wentz overcame an interested shovel pass to keep the Colts in the game but injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter. Jacob Eason relieved Wentz and tossed a costly interception on his first attempt.
Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield tossed an interception and hurt his shoulder trying to make the tackle. Mayfield headed to the locker room but fortunately was able to return in the first half.
Also, Zach Wilson had his spirit broken by Bill Belichick. In the FullTime Discord chat, one of our astute members brought up his hesitation to rely on any part of the Jets’ offense due to Belichick’s tendency to shut down rookie signal-callers. That was a great call and Wilson’s first two passes were intercepted and he went to halftime with as many completions to the Patriots (3) as to his teammates. This is the second straight brutal first half for Wilson and Jets fans have already hit the panic button. Oh, and nice job “tackling’ Damien Harris.
Where We Were Right
The FullTime Week 2 projections had Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry as the No. 1 running back and Henry ran all over Seattle. In all, Henry churned out 237 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns on a whopping 41 touches, including a career-best six(!) receptions. Check out this chart.
Our projections had Mike Williams firmly inside the top-25 again and Williams came through for the second consecutive week. Williams is building a solid rapport with QB Justin Herbert and is starting to look like an every-week WR2.
I spent the whole summer talking about Rondale Moore.
— #TagsStrong💪 (@JodySmithNFL) September 19, 2021
Recall how we named Saquon Barkley as our bust of the year? Barkley was our RB27 for a tough matchup with Washington and he was limited to just 57 rushing yards.
When Josh Jacobs got ruled out, rumors started that Peyton Barber could take over lead-back duties for the Raiders. Nailed it.
If you start Peyton Barber this week, get ready for 13 carries for 23 yards.
If you don’t start Peyton Barber this week, get ready for 13 carries for 23 yards and 2 1-yard touchdowns.
— #TagsStrong💪 (@JodySmithNFL) September 19, 2021
Where We Were Wrong
I badly missed the Thursday game. New York traveling on a short week to face a stout Washington offense. Plus, the Football Team was under the tutelage of their No. 2 quarterback. Seemed like a matchup to avoid and one to lower all projections on. Whif.
Ben Roethlisberger was PFF’s lowest-graded quarterback last week. We banked on a big rebound that didn’t come to fruition. While Big Ben was marginally better in Week 2, he still should have been much better against a questionable Las Vegas defense. In the same game, way too low on Henry Ruggs.
The Bears’ passing offense looked even worse. We thought TE Cole Kmet had the potential to have a breakout game against the Bengals, but Kmet racked up a whopping zero yards on one catch. While Josh Fields struggled in the second half, it’s only a matter of time before he takes over and dramatically changes Chicago’s offense.