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Thursday Night Observations
Like last week, I’m writing the intro to this in the morning *before* I watch the edited version of the game. My Primetime team is in the playoffs, competing for the $250K grand prize, and it would be especially nice if George Kittle and DK Metcalf could get off to a big start. It wouldn’t hurt either if Christian McCaffrey and Tyler Lockett had off games — I imagine both are on plenty of playoff teams. (I can imagine the LOLs when it turns out McCaffrey went for 200 combined yards with eight catches and three scores.) I also laid the 3.5 with the 49ers in my home picking pool, but that’s low stakes.
. . .
That was about as good as I could have hoped. In my greed, I was annoyed when the 28-yard pass to a wide open TE in the fourth quarter turned out to be Tyler Kroft, but I’ll take Kittle getting as many points as McCaffrey any day. Metcalf and Lockett both had modest days, but that’s okay after the Kittle game. I also had Geno Smith going in the Vegas League QB Flex, so that last TD to Noah Fant was actually big — I realized recently I have a $100 side there with Jeff Erickson whose team also made the playoffs. And I was rooting against the Niners defense not to go crazy, so that TD helped there too.
The only negative was my Steak League team — Robbie Gould missed that FG, and Brandon Aiyuk came up small.
Brock Purdy passed the eye test for me. Seattle isn’t a great defense, but they’re not missing Jimmy Garoppolo much yet.
McCaffrey (26-108-1, 8-6-30-0) was largely held in check, and he still got 25.8 points. It’s hard to beat 26 carries and eight targets behind a top offensive line and system. I’d love to see the 49ers go easier on him the next two weeks. Jordan Mason (who’s on my bench) can play.
Kittle (5-4-93-2) sure made the most of his targets. With Deebo Samuel out, he should see more work, especially in a game that’s more competitive. But keep in mind the Seahawks are the league’s most generous team to tight ends.
Geno Smith was under pressure all night, but somehow got 238 yards and a TD. Good enough in a QB-flex.
Kenneth Walker (12-47-0, 5-4-32-0) looks like himself again, but that’s the league’s top defense against running backs. It’s annoying they pull him on third downs as he can catch passes, but maybe Travis Homer is better in pass protection.
You could tell Smith wanted to throw to Metcalf (9-7-55-0) more, but the pressure prevented him from getting the ball out. Lockett (9-7-68-0) apparently broke his finger and might be done for the fantasy playoffs.
At one point, Purdy got the snap, saw a flag, scrambled around and while falling down heaved a pass complete to a diving Ray Ray McCloud. It was called back for an illegal formation, though, which got me thinking — what happens if it were pick? Can the defense decline the penalty? If so, Purdy, by continuing to play is giving them a free play. The quarterback loves it when there’s an obvious off-sides flag because there’s no downside to throwing deep into a crowd, but you’d better be damn sure the penalty is against the defense (which it usually is because they blow the whistle when it’s against the offense.) I’m just not sure I’ve ever seen a situation when the defense gets a free play, so that was odd.
Another oddity: The Niners had the ball inside their one-foot line and with the playclock running down called a timeout. Just take the three-inch delay of game!