2023 Week 10 Absurdity Check: Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood

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Week Ten was so good, and not just because I am a 49ers fan, and everyone can shut up now. We got a lot of close games, we had some crazy outcomes, and it turns out that C.J. Stroud is #him. But, what of some offenses that had some distinct changes in them this week? Let’s take a look at the 49ers and Patriots to see how we should proceed with these two offenses in our fantasy football leagues.

Does it Matter Who Starts at Quarterback for New England?

On a day where Mac Jones took hit after hit—five sacks and a pick in all—Jones took one final hit, as his butt hit the pine and Bill Belichick turned to Bailey Zappe. It made sense, as Mac Jones had ended the prior drive-by falling away from a would-be Mike Gesicki touchdown pass that instead became an interception. This comes after he whiffed on a different drive on what would have been a touchdown to Hunter Henry. The Patriots enter their bye week at 2-8 and you have to wonder if they are going to take a look at what they have with Zappe. But what of your weapons on the Patriots?

Well, by weapons we really mean three guys: Rhamondre Stevenson, Hunter Henry & suddenly, Demario Douglas. Let’s start with Rhamondre: it doesn’t matter, mostly because he is a weekly RB2 even if you or I were back there (I can safely say that knowing for a fact that A.J. McCarron has read this very website). As for Hunter Henry & Demario Douglas, it doesn’t matter, but for very different reasons. For Henry, it’s unlikely to matter as he remains inside The Blob: he’s a volume-based tight end who will likely continue to get moderate volume in a low-upside, run-first offense. He’s going to be getting between 3-6 targets per game, just like he did with Mac Jones, and just like he did the last time that Bailey Zappe started). He’s a middling blob tight end and remains so.

As for Demario Douglas, it doesn’t matter who is at quarterback, but in a different way. In the two games without Kendrick Bourne this season, Douglas has 7 and 9 targets, and if you include the game in which Bourne went down, he has 7, 7, and 9 targets. That kind of volume makes him relevant, and it’s also the type of volume he should expect with Bailey Zappe under center. In his two starts last season, Jakobi Meyers had 12 combined targets, meaning that kind of volume is going his way no matter what.

So, Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe, it doesn’t matter. The three… marginally relevant… players on the Patriots will stay that way.

Is the 49ers’ offense back?

The San Francisco 49ers obliterated the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense on Sunday, finishing with a 34-3 victory that could have easily been more if the Niners weren’t desperately trying to get Christian McCaffrey at touchdown at the end of the game. They got Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams back this week, meaning that the 49ers offense was (mostly) at full power. And it showed. It wasn’t particularly close after the 49ers got the ball at the end of the first half, marched down for a field goal, then turned around and scored another touchdown in three plays thanks to a wide-open George Kittle streaking down the sideline.

The 49ers’ offense looked like, well, the 49ers offense. And they did it in a 10 AM body time game across the country, and against an extremely strong defense. Friend of the website, Kev Mahserejian put it best.

It’s also worth noting that the 49ers shellacked another one of these defenses, by the way. They got right against a top-five defense in the NFL, meaning that their skid should hopefully be in the rearview mirror.

The 49ers’ offense is all the way back, with four different weapons topping 10 PPR points, and Brock Purdy tipping over 20 fantasy points for the week on 296 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and zero turnovers. The 49ers look like the team we thought they would be after the first five weeks of the season, and it’s just in time, too. Three of their next four games have playoff ramifications, with the Seahawks on the docket twice, and the Eagles also on the schedule.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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