What We Saw: Week 8
Redskins vs. Giants
In a game where the Redskins were expected to feast, the Skins got the W, but I wouldn’t quite say they feasted. How well did their fantasy “studs” do? Let’s find out…
Same old same old for Alex Smith in this one. Throw ANY defense at this man and he will produce between 150-250 yds, 0-2 TDs, and 0-1 INTs. Very useful for a real-life football team with a damn good defense, but absolutely meaningless in fantasy.
Given that the ‘Skins have essentially become an old-school football team, namely winning games on the ground and on defense, it’s no surprise the team’s receivers continued to flounder in this one. No receiver exceeded five targets or 50 yards receiving and this was against a notably weak Giants secondary. Yikes. Don’t expect Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, or Jamison Crowder (when he returns) to be anything more than waiver fodder this year. Meanwhile, Jordan Reed amassed a whopping 12 targets, yet somehow managed to convert them into a measly 38 yards. Confusing, I know. While brighter days will surely be ahead for the former star TE if he can keep up that kind of target volume, his notable lack of production these past few weeks is certainly concerning.
Going in Different Directions
That is certainly the story of the two Redskins running backs these days. While the former stud Chris Thompson appears limited by his rib injuries and was given fewer touches as a result of that and game flow, the ageless Adrian Peterson tore up the Giants for 149 yards on the ground and two total scores on the day. Needless to say, his arrow is pointing straight up, while CT’s might be pointing toward missing next week’s game.
A Defensive Feast
Man is this defense good. As was expected, they feasted on the weak Giants O-line to the tune of seven sacks and two interceptions. Unfortunately, like most defenses, it’s all about the matchup with them, and next week delivers the dynamic Falcons offense.
Checks Boom, Bust, Sleeper picks
Woof. I am sorry if anyone was making DFS or betting decisions based on individual player production, because I could not have been further off. What the worst call of the three was is debatable, but WR Russell Shepard only playing two snaps likely takes the cake (he was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday, and therefore I would’ve thought he’d slot in as the #3 WR for the Giants).
If you look at the box score and see the total yardage, you’d think the Giants’ passing game was working well and just caught a few lucky breaks. WR Odell Beckham Jr. finished with eight catches for 136 yards (far from a bust), and RB Saquon Barkley caught nine passes for 73 yards, but the positives basically end there. Sure, four for 48 is a great day for WR Bennie Fowler in an offense rife with talented receivers, but TE Evan Engram and WR Sterling Shepard were quiet aside from Engram’s touchdown in the final minute of the game. QB Eli Manning’s pass that was intercepted by S D.J. Swearinger was “intended” for Odell, but it was thrown straight into Swearinger’s hands. Plus, it was in the red zone! And the offensive line…my goodness, that may have been the worst they’ve looked all season.
My goodness Barkley. Two weeks in a row the matchup looks promising on paper, but the results are extremely underwhelming. My prediction of Barkley finishing with closer to 100 yards than he did against Atlanta didn’t even come to fruition, and exceeding 43 yards didn’t seem like it would be a tough task! I’m not sure how useful counting the number of rushes that were for two yards or fewer even is when the player finishes with 2.9 yards/carry, but for those wondering Barkley finished with five of his 13 carries for two yards or fewer.
The absence of DT Damon Harrison was evident in their efforts to stop RB Adrian Peterson on the ground. In totality, the defense looked better than I anticipated they would with the trades of Harrison an CB Eli Apple added to the fact they don’t have great incentive to play hard heading into the game at 1-6. LB B.J. Goodson did his best to replicate the performance LB Alec Ogletree usually provides, finishing the game with eight tackles and one TFL. They defended the pass well, holding QB Alex Smith’s yards per attempt under Peterson’s yards per carry, but when Peterson averages 5.7 yards per carry on 26 attempts, there’s definitely need for improvement.