What We Saw: Week 8

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season.

Buccaneers @ Giants

 

To end our Week 8 schedule, we got a chance to see the Tom Brady led Bucs take on the Daniel Jones led Giants. Both teams look somewhat distant to their usual configuration, as we see the Bucs attempting to stay above water, trying to find a way to roll the offense through two strong-willed rushers (Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones), and a broken finger keeping star wide receiver Chris Godwin out of the game. The Giants are just a week removed from getting Sterling Shepard back in their lineup but it’s evident that they sorely miss the Saquon Barkley explosions. In a tight one all the way to the end, the Brady led Bucs eeked it out 25-23 with a late-game Jones spurt. I gasped on most of that last drive! Let’s dive in and see what fantasy ramifications we get here.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Quarterback

 

Tom Brady: 28/40, 279 yards, 2 TDs, 2 sacks

 

Tom Brady really never settled into this game until somewhere closer to the 10-minute mark in the third quarter, as he shied away from his normal targets in the first half in favor of … Jaydon MickensRob Gronkowski wasn’t spotted until somewhere through the middle of the third quarter, and if you’re keeping count, Tom was seen massacring his helmet somewhere between the second and third quarter in a massive battle between himself and the bench.

 

 

I’d need a lot more time to research, but it seems as if this team goes completely off the rails offensively whenever Chris Godwin doesn’t play, as no one truly stepped up and swallowed up the target share.  Brady found himself in a slight funk for the majority of the first half, but he locked into his security blanket when he remembered Gronk later on. I think we’re in a good space with Brady, and when he has his full litany of options, he’s a late QB1.

 

Running Backs

 

Ronald Jones: 7 carries, 23 yards, 1 fumble | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 23 yards

Leonard Fournette: 15 carries, 52 yards | 6 targets, 3 receptions, 19 yards

 

WHY. Why do we need to have two top tier potential rushers in this offense? I say this as a Ronald Jones owner finally excited to finally see some explosion and burst from the youthful rusher from USC. At the start of Week 8, RoJo was just shy of five yards per carry, so clearly he’s willing to gulp up yardage, but now he’s got Fournette breathing down his neck and stealing carries. The Bucs and Coach Arians have done a good job splitting up the rushes, but it’s clear this is going to be a massive headache for the remainder of the year, only remedied by injury or coaches’ decision to outright sit someone. The game planning for most of the game led to less of a rushing game, as the Bucs continued to trail throughout the majority of the first three quarters, but it’s certain Fournette will be a thorn in Rojo’s paw for the remainder of the year, and I don’t think either will carry higher than a low-end RB2 unless something drastically changes.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Mike Evans: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 55 yards, TD

Scotty Miller: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards | 1 carry, 7 yards

Rob Gronkowski: 4 targets 4 receptions, 41 yards, TD

Jaydon Mickens: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 36 yards

Tyler Johnson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 35 yards

Cameron Brate: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 35 yards

 

Just another week in being a frustrated Mike Evans owner. The passing defense of the Giants has left much to be desired (27th overall thru Week 7, per Football Outsiders), and since the Bucs are just outside the top ten best passing offenses many expected Brady and co. to feast on this defense. However, that wasn’t the case, and instead of a huge Mike Evans day, the Bucs decided to focus their offensive firepower on Rob Gronkowski and…Jaydon Mickens. Mickens must have got Brady a real nice basket of TB-12 diet compliant foods, because he’s greatly honed in on their target shares from out of nowhere, with a heavy-duty seven targets (most on the squad) through the first three quarters. Gronkowski did another one of his “big man dances with ease” moves to tap in the endzone and converted on a touchdown catch after a quiet first half.  Mickens had more receptions than he had in his whole career up to this point, and while it could be an outlier, keep an eye on this guy in the middle of the week, because if Godwin is still out another week, he’s an intriguing addition. Scotty Miller actually limped off the field early in the fourth quarter but was able to make it back out on the field relieved. You know darn well Brady can’t do well without his small slot receiver.

 

 

New York Giants

Quarterback

 

Daniel Jones: 25/41, 256 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 3 sacks | 3 carries, 20 yards

 

Daniel Jones has that cute nickname Danny Dimes, and sometimes, he’ll show off some brief glimpses of impressive passing. With about 4 minutes remaining in the first quarter, Jones found Dion Lewis with a beautiful over the top rainbow pass to the corner of the endzone. It was such a beautiful throw. Knowing that Jones has this ability in his back pocket, he will always have a bit of fantasy intrigue, as he’s sometimes able to find his man on destination passes. Through the first half, Jones was quick on his reads and did not give much time for any Tampa Bay pressure to make its way into the pocket, leaving Todd Bowles and his defensive squad on its heels for most of the half. Late in the first half, Jones almost gave up a horrendous pick to Shaq Barrett, which was thankfully missed for Giants fans. This led way to a great pass to Evan Engram, with a ticket punched shortly after by Wayne Gallman. 

Jones had some solid drives, but he’s also had some incredibly deep valleys. Jones had more than a few overthrows on open receivers, and he made some really bad decisions that should have led to pick-sixes. Jones’ first interception came on an out route where he focused in on the receiver and ignored a wide open Darius Slayton who would have run in for an easy score. Later in the game, with the Giants driving deep into Buccaneers’ territory and needing some points to fend off the Bucs, he made a horrendous pick when he could have taken a sack and punted the ball away. Jones is a trick-or-treat guy and you never quite know what you’re going to get out of him.

Check out the Lewis TD below!

 

Running Backs

 

Alfred Morris: 8 carries, 28 yards

Wayne Gallman: 12 carries, 44 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 18 yards

Dion Lewis: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards, 1 TD

Elijhaa Penny: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards

 

Alfred Morris is still…a thing? Wayne Gallman was clearly the explosive option of choice in the 2nd quarter, but the Giants did not err towards any specific option, as they employed a three-headed rushing attack all night long. We really don’t have a lead back here anymore, and if anything, your best bet is to avoid them in standard leagues and look at Wayne Gallman as a high-risk, high-reward option due to the fact that he’s the only back of the bunch who has been used both in the rushing and passing attacks. Morris didn’t necessarily look bad and could be intriguing if he’s able to stay healthy, but I’d much rather focus on the younger backs with a bit more ceiling to reach up towards.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Sterling Shepard: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 74 yards

Evan Engram: 10 targets, 5 receptions, 61 yards | 1 carry, 9 yards

Darius Slayton: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 56 yards

Golden Tate: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards, TD | 1/1, 18 yards passing

Levine Toilolo: 2 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards

Kaden Smith: 2 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards

 

Being a Giants fan must be so frustrating. There is so much talent in this wide receiving corps, but either they can’t stay healthy or can’t get on the same page with Daniel Jones. The Giants quickly pounced on an early lead with a touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to Dion Lewis late in the first quarter, but no true standout stepped up. There was a great opportunity early in the third quarter where Daniel Jones completely missed a wide-open Darius Slayton in favor of throwing a pick when Slayton was in stride for a potential easy touchdown, but Slayton was not seen on Jones’ read. It’s unfortunate that Slayton’s upside has been hindered at times by Daniel Jones’ inconsistency in his passes and his frantic pace to get the ball out when rushed, as it’s led to some frustrating outcomes including Monday’s line. Slayton remains the top upside option in this offense, but we saw a healthy dose of Sterling Shepard in the game, and finally saw a respectable night out of Evan Engram who led the team in targets. The problem with these receiving options going forward, however, is that Jones is so inconsistent in his reads that he can’t be counted on to reliably get the ball to all of his talented options in any given week. Add in the fact that, with Saquon Barkley out, defenses will likely key in on Jones more and try to force him to make mistakes, I’m not feeling so great about any of these guys. I’d err on the side of caution and call Slayton and Shepard WR3’s with WR2 upside.

 

 

— Matthew Bevins (@MattQbList on Twitter, TheLongSpring on Reddit)

One response to “What We Saw: Week 8”

  1. Really good website, thank you very much for showing us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.