In an effort to make this a more reader-friendly series we have decided to highlight our 5 spotlight games in separate articles. This should allow for a deeper dive into the games we review while also allowing you the reader to focus your attention on the teams and players that matter most to you. Hopefully, you enjoy this new format, if not just let us know and we’ll do whatever we can to please.
Philadelphia Eagles 51 vs. Denver Broncos 23 – @DFF_Shane
- Carson Wentzis the best quarterback in football. He has moved into the realm of matchup proof. Wentz picked apart the vaunted Broncos defensive backfield. He can throw from the pocket, or he can roll out and still throw it wherever he wants. His touchdown in the first half is a perfect example of this.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 5, 2017
Perhaps Talib did bite a bit too hard on the run fake and got caught looking in the backfield, but the pass is still thrown with perfect touch by Wentz on the run. In Superflex startup drafts next season don’t be alarmed when Wentz is the 1st QB off the board.
- Welcome to Philadelphia Jay Ajayi! Yes, Ajayi’s rushing yards are boosted by his 46-yard touchdown run, but he looks good to me. With a short week of practice after joining a new team with an entirely new playbook to learn I didn’t expect much out of Ajayi. In fact, it was far from guaranteed he’d even be active. Active he was though, and he looks like the Ayayi from 2016. If you were brave enough to start him, he gave you a 77 yard 1 touchdown day, 16 fantasy points is not bad at all for a guy who started this week on another roster. Strong, quick and hitting the holes quickly Ajayi is going to ball out in this offense. The Eagles are on bye next week when they return Ajayi looks like he will be the bell cow, regardless of GM Howie Roseman’s claims that LeGarrette Blount is still the starting running back.
- With Zach Ertz inactive, Trey Burton was the pick up du jour this morning. Burton paid dividends when he was on the receiving end of beautiful Carson Wentz pass for a touchdown.
— NFL México (@nflmx) November 5, 2017
That touchdown saved the day for anyone who played Burton as he only had 2 receptions for 41 yards. Brent Celek, one of the most underrated Tight Ends to have ever played, had himself a decent day with 3 receptions on 4 targets for 39 yards.
4. With no Zach Ertz around to monopolize targets this week this game made for a good litmus test on who the Eagle’s number 1 receiving option is. After this week a couple of things are clear:
- *Alshon Jeffery is the WR1 on this team, no doubt about it. Jeffery went off for 6 catches, 84 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 targets. Nelson Agholor had 2 receptions reception for 36 yards on 4 targets. Even that modest stat line is misleading, Agholor had a 35-yard reception delivered by Nick Foles deep into the 4th quarter when the game was well out of hand. With Ertz unavailable today and Jeffery allegedly having a tough matchup, this was a chance for Agholor to go off, but he just wasn’t a focus of the game plan today. Jeffery has grown more comfortable in the offense as the weeks have passed and is firmly entrenched as Wentz’s 1A or 1B option in the passing game.
- *I told you repeatedly to buy on Alshon Jeffery. The stats weren’t there, but the targets were, I hope you listened.
5. Corey Clement is on this roster in 2018 and is a roster worthy stash. Clement is going to be one of the top handcuffs in 2018 and depending on the week(byes, injuries) he’ll be a flex-worthy play even when Ajayi is on the field. Clement had himself a day with 2 rushing touchdowns on 12 carries and 51 yards. More importantly Clement had another receiving touchdown in this game. This touchdown was all Clement as he took a short screen 15 yards for a touchdown showing great vision and patience following his blocks to the end zone. After finishing his college career with just 29 receptions, you would have been excused if you believed Clement wasn’t a good pass catcher. But he is. He looks like a natural catching passes out of the backfield, he’s not Brian Westbrook, but he’s more than adequate.
Wendell Smallwood has no fantasy value at all. Smallwood didn’t see his first touch until the Eagles were up by 4 touchdowns with a little over 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Blount has minimal fantasy value. Unless Ajayi or Clement is out, I can’t see starting Blount in any lineups the rest of the season.
- Brandon McManus is the best weapon on the Broncos roster.
- It was reported prior to the game that Paxton Lynch is likely to take over the starting QB role in short order for Denver(Yes, he will be in “The Waiver Wire” article this week). It was further reported that Brock Osweiler could delay the changing of the guard with a good week. Brock Osweiler did not have a good week. The stat line doesn’t do any justice to just how bad his day was, 17/33 193 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. His first interception was a perfect pass to Patrick Robinson, who unfortunately for the Broncos plays for the Eagles.
Brock Osweiler interception pic.twitter.com/agu40UkFHC
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) November 5, 2017
The second interception of the day was even worse. Afraid of getting hit, Osweiler wound up and seemingly threw it as high as he could to a random spot on the football field. It’s not just the interceptions though, they were terrible. Osweiler looks like he has no football sense at all, he’s easily rattled and makes poor decisions. Go pick up Paxton Lynch on Tuesday and if you have the room, Chad Kelly too.
- C.J. Anderson owners have to be concerned with so many different things right now. He on an offense that might start its 3rd starting QB in as many weeks in their next game. Anderson isn’t being used in the passing game, just 1 target on the day compared to Devontae Booker’s 3 and Jamaal Charles 4 targets. To make matters worse he has to share rushing attempts with Booker and Charles as well. I suppose it’s difficult to judge a running back in a blowout loss but Anderson looks slow and very “just a guyish” to the naked eye.
- Though his touchdown came in garbage time, Demaryius Thomas is still a target hoover for this Broncos team. Thomas had a fruitful day for his fantasy owners going for 8 receptions, 70 yards, and touchdown. But…if anyone will give you some value for him it’s time to get out on Thomas. He looks slow and not especially impactful on the field. Turning 30 in December, Thomas looks like he has 1, maybe 2 seasons at best of even WR2 production left in him. Sell now, preferably off this good stat line.
- Cody Latimer is apparently still alive. He a great catch in the 1st half that went for 32 yards and had another reception for 19 yards later, but that’s it. Nothing else really to discuss. A.J. Derby gave you zero receptions on 2 targets; Bennie Fowler also gave you zero receptions on 2 targets. For as long as I can remember the Broncos have survived off the production of Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. With Thomas turning 30 soon and Sanders already 30 years old the Broncos offense looks like one that could have the bottom drop out quickly. Pick up Carlos Henderson and stash him on your IR if he’s available on your waivers. Unless the Broncos draft and/or sign a plethora of wide receivers in the offseason, Henderson should have a role next year.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the game or saw something I may have missed please let me know in the comments. You can also always find me on Twitter @DFF_Shane.