Welcome to the 2016 Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Football Game Recaps! Nobody watches more NFL football than yours truly mostly because it is impossible to do so. Each week I’ll open up my notepad to all of our Fantasy Alarm readers so that you guys can go beyond the boxscore to get the information you need to win your league.
What a fantastic opening week the NFL gave us. We saw the Chiefs put together their largest comeback (21 points) in franchise history to stun the Chargers. A rookie RB became only the fourth ever to have a 75+ yard run in their first NFL game. A top wide receiver suffered a season ending injury. The Jaguars and Raiders proved that they are much better than they were a season ago and for the first time ever three NFL games were decided by one point in an opening weekend.
If you missed a little chances are that you missed a lot. But have no fear because I’ll break down everything for you right here.
Here are the Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Recaps:
27 – Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars – 23
Fantasy Player of Game: Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars – 5-64-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers – 6-39-1 receiving
Temperatures in this game reached into the low 90’s with 60% humidity. This led to several players including the Packers Randall Cobb requiring treatment on the sidelines and in the locker room for heat related issues and cramps.
Despite the final score and the positive fantasy output today, Aaron Rodgers didn’t play as great as I’m hearing people claim that he did today. He did fine but was once again consistently placing the football well outside his receivers reach.
Jordy Nelson’s return was good to see although he was only able to wrench up 39 yards on the afternoon. He was lining up against Jalen Ramsey quite a bit and as feared, the rookie didn’t let Jordy lose him on many deep routes. His six yard TD was a delight to fantasy owners but without that catch this would have been a massive stinker for the 31 year old wide receiver.
The Jaguars had many chances to tie, take the lead and even win the game today but just couldn’t get out of their own way when they needed to the most. The play calling was atrocious for the Jaguars today. I understand the desire of wanting to run the football more but it was clear early that T.J. Yeldon wasn’t going to have much success against the Packers defensive line. Still, they let him carry it 21 times. The bubble screen to Allen Hurns on what turned out to be the final play of the game was simply a terrible playcall and decision.
7 – Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens – 13
Fantasy Player of Game: Mike Wallace, WR, Ravens – 3-91-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills – 15-22, 111 yards, 0 TD passing
Unfortunately, this is the world that Sammy Watkins lives in here with the Bills. His QB is just not a quality pocket passer and the offense revolves around the running game. Watkins is still a great fantasy asset but he’s relegated to a WR2 level in fantasy because of his surroundings.
LeSean McCoy had a touchdown run that was called down at the half inch line even after replays clearly showed that he was indeed in. McCoy finished with 17 fantasy points in PPR formats today.
Bills LT Cordy Glenn left the game in the first half due to an ankle injury.
Yes, Mike Wallace had a nice game but let’s control our emotions here with him. He only caught three passes in the game and wasn’t on the field a ton either. Some folks will use the whole “Joe Flacco knows how to throw a deep ball” logic for Wallace and while there is merit there, his 66 yard TD today only traveled 23 yards in the air.
West indeed out carried Forsett by a count of 12-10 but was significantly outperformed by the elder statesman. Forsett was on the field more overall and remains the better fantasy player at this point. These two are close but they are quite a bit ahead of the other Ravens RB’s in terms of value at the time being.
14 – Chicago Bears at Houston Texans – 23
Fantasy Player of Game: Will Fuller, WR, Texans – 5-107-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Kevin White, WR, Bears – 3-34 receiving
I’ll say this about the Bears. Their offensive line is going to be quite good this season and that could mean good things for Jeremy Langford. Langford played all three downs today and that simply cannot be overlooked when we discuss his future fantasy potential.
Eddie Royal racked up six targets, four receptions, 57 yards and a touchdown this afternoon which will surprise some folks. Remember that Cutler and Royal have a long history dating back to their days in Denver and if he remains healthy this year he will be the Bears primary slot receiver.
J.J. Watt played today but wasn’t very effective registering just one tackle and three QB hits. The good news for the Texans though was that Jadeveon Clowney looked straight dope today. Clowney and Whitney Mercilus were all up in Cutler’s grill today and that will only help Watt and the rest of the Houston pass rushers moving forward.
I am very impressed with Will Fuller but have a feeling that some people might read way too much into his 5-107-1 line today. With the Texans committing to the running game so much and the way Brock Osweiler spread the ball around, it is going to be tough for Fuller to continue this kind of production. He is still just a bye week replacement at this point but by all means try and sell high coming off of this performance.
It should surprise nobody that the Texans lost LB Brian Cushing early on in this game due to a knee injury. Cushing has been diagnosed with a grade two strain of his right MCL. He is slated to miss six week.
10 – Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles – 29
Fantasy Player of Game: Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles – 7-114-1
Fantasy Disappointment: Duke Johnson, RB, Browns – 8 fantasy points
This was a horrible start to the season for the Browns. They began the game by calling three gimmick plays in the first quarter alone and thus showed absolutely no faith in their offense.
Browns 2015 first round pick Cam Erving has had some major issues in moving from guard to center this offseason and those issues popped up at the worst time today. With the Browns trailing only 13-10 in the third quarter, Erving snapped the ball way over Robert Griffin’s head which resulted in a safety and completely changed the momentum of the game. Erving had issues during training camp with snaps specifically from the shotgun formation and it appears as though he hasn’t corrected them as of yet.
As I’ve said all summer long, Gary Barnidge is waiver wire fodder in fantasy football right now. It’s not necessarily Barnidge’s fault but he has a terrible QB, a poorly run offense and a pathetic offensive line that requires the TE to stay in to protect a lot. He did manage two targets today but dropped both of those passes.
RGIII was beaten up in this game and was nearly knocked out when he collided with an Eagles DB which resulted in an injured left shoulder. Josh McCown was warming up on the sidelines but RGIII remained in the game. He is going for an MRI on Monday and we should know the extent of his injury this afternoon.
Before you get your panties all soaked over Carson Wentz’s performance today remember that it did come against the Browns. Wentz was fine but he is still not on the fantasy radar in anything but keeper or dynasty leagues.
Caleb Sturgis, who had struggled with misses in the preseason missed his first field goal chance today, a 46-yard attempt.
Ryan Mathews had a decent day today rushing for 22-77-1 but the fact that he received zero targets was a surprise. I expect him to be much more involved in the Eagles passing game going forward.
31 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons – 24
Fantasy Player of Game: Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers – 23-33, 281 yards, 4 TD’s
Fantasy Disappointment: Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons – 40 total yards
I hate to take the wind out of all of your sails here but Jameis Winston played “well” today but wasn’t that great. Considering his 281 yards and four TD’s came against an inferior opponent, I wouldn’t be plugging him into my starting lineup just yet. He did throw a bad interception and half of his TD’s were cheapies with Charles Sims doing all of the work on his first TD grab. It’s a big moment for Winston and the Bucs but from a fantasy standpoint we cannot be swept up in this performance.
Somebody is going to either pickup or worse start Austin Seferian-Jenkins next week and that person will not win their league this year. ASJ received one target today which he did make a great TD grab on but he still isn’t a significant part of this Bucs offense and thus isn’t fantasy relevant.
How worried am I about the Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman split? On a scale of one to 10 I would say a 4.5 as of right now. Coleman played a lot mostly because he turned some small catches into big gains today and the Falcons offense desperately needed that spark. Freeman will still be the 1A here and I am confident that he’ll be the more productive fantasy RB moving forward. The bigger story here is that this is EXACTLY why you handcuff RB’s like this in the first place. As soon as one of them goes down, the other will have be one of the best fantasy RB’s in the game.
Speaking of Devonta Freeman, he had a short TD in this game that was called back due to an Austin Hooper false start penalty. The Falcons wound up moving back and settling for a Matt Bryant field goal on the drive instead.
25 – Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans – 16
Fantasy Player of Game: Minnesota DST – 2 Sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 2 TD’s
Fantasy Disappointment: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings – 19-31 yards rushing
There is absolutely no way that Shaun Hill starts next week’s game against the Packers. He was really bad today even without turning the ball over. Sam Bradford will draw the starat next week against the Packers on Sunday Night Football.
The Vikings suffered an injury even before the game started today when CB Xavier Rhodes felt a pop in his knee in pregame warmups. He is set to have an MRI on Monday morning and we should know more later in the day.
Blair Walsh looked like he was on the road to unemployment early on in this contest before straightening himself out. Walsh missed his first two field goal attempts and an extra point attempt before connecting on four field goals later on. Walsh killed the Vikings in the playoffs last year so he is sure to be on thin ice here in 2016.
Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan left the game with an injured left hamstring and did not return to the game.
Marcus Mariota showed a strong bond with rookie WR Tajae Sharpe in their first regular season game together. Sharpe had 11 targets in which he caught seven balls for a total of 76 yards. Sharpe should be considered a low end WR3 going forward.
23 – Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets – 22
Fantasy Player of Game: A.J. Green, WR, Bengals – 12-180-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets – 3-32 receiving
With Tyler Eifert out, it was a surprise to see C.J. Uzomah start at TE for the Bengals this afternoon. Uzomah actually had a terrific 54 yard catch and run early on in this ballgame. Tyler Kroft is obviously droppable at this point.
A.J. Green had a monster game but it could have been even better. Early in the second half Green caught a pass over the middle and ran completely free of the defense before inexplicably running out of bounds. He had no idea where he was on the field because he kept going upon running down the Jets sideline.
I should have trusted my better judgement this year. I just knew that Matt Forte was a great fit here in this Jets offense but his sluggish training camp kept me away. Forte was the clear lead RB today and racked up 27 touches for 155 total yards.
Jets kicker Nick Folk had a rough day at the office today. He had a 22 yard FG attempt blocked then ruined the Jets chances by missing wide right on an extra point attempt. This miss ultimately doomed the Jets and also broke Folk’s streak of 322 consecutive extra points made.
35 – Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints – 34
Fantasy Player of Game: Drew Brees, QB, Saints – 28-42, 423 yards, 4 TD’s
Fantasy Disappointment: Coby Fleener, TE, Saints – 1-6 yards receiving
The Raiders coaching staff showed some real moxie in opting for a two point conversion instead of kicking the extra point but that decision was almost for naught. After grabbing the two point conversion, Raiders WR Michael Crabtree got flagged for an excessive celebration penalty which cost the Raiders 15 yards on the kickoff. Thankfully, Sebastian Janikowski was able to boot the ball deep into Saints territory on the kickoff which made it that much more difficult for Drew Brees and the Saints to get into field goal position. The Saints did wind up getting a 61 yard attempt for a game winning FG but the kick sailed wide left.
Raiders RT Menelik Watson was knocked out of this game due to a groin injury. A short while later his replacement Matt McCants was carted off with a left knee injury. The Raiders barely had enough offensive lineman to complete this game.
Saints WR Willie Snead had a terrific game racking up nine catches for 172 yards and a touchdown. But what is most impressive about Snead today was his blonde perm that hung out of his helmet all day long.
Speaking of Snead, his big reception late in the fourth quarter was almost spoiled when he fumbled away the ball after being tackled. Rookie WR Michael Thomas was on the spot however and promptly recovered the fumble and kept the ball with the Saints.
The Saints rebuilding defense took a major hit here when CB Delvin Breaux went down with a left leg injury that turned out to be a broken fibula.
Backup TE Josh Hill also was knocked out of the game due to a high ankle sprain. Hill is expected to be out for 3-6 weeks as a result.
27 – San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs – 33 OT
Fantasy Player of Game: Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs – 199 total yards & 1 TD
Fantasy Disappointment: Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers – 3-20 yards receiving
As you certainly know by now, WR Keenan Allen went down with a non-contact injury to his knee and will miss the rest of the 2016 season. It is such a shame for Allen who missed eight games last year due to a lacerated kidney. Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams will try and pick up the slack for this Chargers offense. I don’t have much interest in either of those WR’s however.
First round selection DE Joey Bosa was inactive for this week due to a hamstring injury.
There was obviously no timeshare between Spencer Ware and Charandrick West this week. Ware got nearly all of the snaps at RB this week and single handedly brought the Chiefs back into contention today. As long as Jamaal Charles is out, Ware is a must have fantasy RB in all league formats.
Jeremy Maclin suffered a concussion late in this ballgame and will likely have to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol. I’d consider him questionable for next week.
Chiefs linebacker Sam Barrington left in the second half due to a right hamstring injury and did not return.
10 – Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks – 12
Fantasy Player of Game: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks – 9-92-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins – 16-29, 186 yards
This was the most boring game of the entire week. The Seahawks were supposed to run away with this game but the Dolphins defense was up to the challenge all afternoon. But there just wasn’t much fantasy production to be had in Seattle today.
Any chance the Dolphins had in this game was blown out of the waiter when Kenny Stills dropped what easily would have been a 62 yard TD early on. It was one of those plays where the coverage is completely fooled and Stills was thus all alone.
Dolphins DE Mario Williams was knocked out of the game in the second half when he was evaluated for a concussion. Williams never came back in.
The team also lost DT Earl Mitchell due to a calf muscle strain in the first half.
Russell Wilson suffered a fairly significant ankle injury in the third quarter when Ndamukong Suh fell on him. He stayed in the game and led the team on the final come from behind scoring drive but it was obvious that he was not in good shape. He’ll be monitored throughout the week and his status will be determined later in the week.
Seattle rookie RB C.J. Prosise hurt his wrist early on and was seen on the sideline with a cast on his wrist. The team is calling it just a sprain and that his status will be determined later in the week.
39 – Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts – 35
Fantasy Player of Game: Matt Stafford, QB, Lions – 31-39, 340 yards, 3 TD’s
Fantasy Disappointment: Golden Tate, WR, Lions – 7-41 yards receiving
The single biggest mistake people will make after week one will be in starting Theo Riddick next week against the Titans. Riddick was a one man wrecking crew here against the Colts this week but that was because Indy simply didn’t have personnel to keep up with him. The Lions aren’t going to be a running team and thus their RB’s have minimal value.
Marvin Jones almost made a monumental mistake when he failed to run out of bounds forcing the Lions to use their last timeout late in the fourth quarter. Matt Stafford was seen screaming at Jones to know better and to get out of bounds. Luckily, Matt Prater was able to boot through 43 yard field goal to give the Lions the win.
The reason that the Lions needed that field goal by Prater was because he had missed an extra point earlier in the fourth quarter.
Theo Riddick was taken to the locker room because it was feared that he had suffered a concussion but he was cleared and allowed back in.
The Colts did exactly what I had said all week that they would do. They would be down early then be led on a ferocious comeback by Andrew Luck. It is bewildering why the Colts cannot perform better early on in ballgame but as long as the overall numbers are there I suppose that is all that matters.
Indy’s defense is in absolute shambles right now. They were without Vontae Davis and Darius Butler today but then lost T.J. Green, Patrick Robinson and Winston Guy during the course of the afternoon. Antonio Cromartie was also briefly removed from this game but did return.
The Lions were credited with a safety at the end of the ballgame after the Colts passed the ball all around the field in an attempt to return the final kickoff.
20 – New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys – 19
Fantasy Player of Game: Dan Bailey, K, Cowboys – 4 Field Goals, 1 XP
Fantasy Disappointment: Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys – 1-8 yards receiving
Victor Cruz’s touchdown today was his first since week three of the 2014 season. It was good to see him back in the endzone and putting on the salsa dance. With the rapid development of Sterling Shepard, I just don’t think that Cruz is a viable fantasy player right now either.
Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas was carted off of the field with a sprained knee that he suffered on the final play of the first half.
In case you somehow drafted Giants TE Will Tye, it’s important that you know that he’s not even on the field that much these days. Larry Donnell is back and caught a 15 yard TD today. This is a situation that should be avoided at all costs.
The Cowboys had a chance to line up for a 57 yard field goal attempt to win the game but for some reason Terrence Williams didn’t go out of bounds on what ultimately was the last play of the game. Williams instead took the ball back upfield while the clock ticked down.
Dez Bryant had a bad game for sure but it could have been a little better. Dez caught what I thought was a 24 yard TD pass from Dak Prescott but it was overturned after a review because the ball hit the ground temporarily. The catch rule in the NFL is awful and the Cowboys got hosed on this deal once again.
Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick missed most of the first half due to a hamstring injury but did return later on.