Welcome to the 2015 Fantasy Alarm 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.

There was a period of about 10 minutes early on today where all we could do was brace for impact as one running back after another were going down with injuries. After DeVonta Freeman went to the locker room with what was later described as a concussion, we saw Frank Gore, Chris Ivory, Justin Forsett, Ronnie Hillman and Alfred Morris all go out within minutes of one another.

Fortunately some of those RB’s did return to the game but only Ronnie Hillman was able to put together a productive afternoon. It’s been a crazy year due to injuries but that is why it is even more important these days to pad your team with depth and consistency as opposed to the glitz and glam of that one or two superstars.    


Here are the Week 11 Fantasy Football Game Recaps:


13 Oakland at Detroit – 18

Well this game didn’t go the way that I thought. I apologize for my part in predicting this would be the highest scoring game of the Sunday slate. Don’t get confused though with this outcome. Both offenses played horrible today and their defenses are still awful despite the low score today. Do not hesitate to start anyone against either team going forward.

The Raiders are ignorant on offense. The fascination with running Jamize Olawale and Marcel Reece, especially in the red zone is mind boggling. Latarvius Murray is a big bodied RB that needs reps in order to get his flow and start punishing the defense. He is simply not being allowed to do that in this Raiders offense this season.

I cannot stomach the NFL rules concerning what is and what is not a catch. I understand that a few years back the league office wanted to set out a definitive rule on what is and what is not a catch. The only problem with that is that it is impossible. I want you all to watch this video of Michael Crabtree’s sideline catch and PLEASE explain to me how this is not a catch. Than you.

Matt Stafford cannot make decisions right now. I am not sure if this affects his ability to dress himself or where to park his car but on the football field he is lost. Stafford had plenty of time this afternoon but constantly held onto the football as his receivers were breaking into their routes. An NFL QB has to be able to read the defense, make a decision and deliver the football all within a three or four second window. Stafford was holding the ball for upwards of five seconds and then scrambling himself directly into the pass rush.

Bad news for all of your Eric Ebron owners today as he was set up for some early success but dropped a would be TD catch in the endzone on the Lions first drive of the game.


24 – Indianapolis at Atlanta – 21

Adam Vinatieri booted the game winning 43 yard field goal for the Colts with 52 seconds remaining. This was Vinatieri’s 26th game winning field goal of his illustrious career. At 42 years of age, Vinatieri is the oldest active player in the NFL.

It’s safe to say that Andre Johnson’s big two touchdown game against the Texans the last time Hasselbeck started a game was just a fluke. In the two other games that Hasselbeck has started (including this one), Johnson has a total of four targets total. He was 1-13 with two total targets today.

Frank Gore left this game for a couple of series due to a quad injury that limited him the rest of the way. The good news for fantasy owners was that he returned at all but the bad news is Ahmad Bradshaw stole most of the cherry fantasy opportunities from him.

The Cots lost standout CB Vonta Davis due to a left knee injury early in the second half. When Davis went down, it sent Julio Jones’ targets and production into orbit.

Matt Ryan is not an every week fantasy QB anymore. I hate to go back to before the season but those of us who know the offensive schemes are not that surprised by this development. The Falcons are a run first team (when healthy) and Ryan has always been more of a volume fantasy QB rather than an efficient one. His pick six today was horrible. Ryan threw from his own endzone into the middle of the field where Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson was waiting for it.

It should not be a surprise to folks that Jacob Tamme was once again not a part of the offense today. Remember that Tamme only became a target once Leonard Hankerson went down with an injury. Tamme is basically useless while hankerson is healthy and in the lineup.

We all know by now that Devonta Freeman was knocked out of this game early due to a concussion. I really don’t know what determines who or when somebody enters the concussion protocol but I can tell you that it is very inconsistent. The hit on Freeman was very matter of fact yet he was not only taken off the field but was also diagnosed with a concussion. Tevon Coleman was not nearly as productive as Freeman usually is but if Freeman misses any time, Coleman is a huge fantasy asset.


17 – N.Y. Jets at Houston – 24

These are two teams going in very opposite directions. The Jets started out this season red hot especially on defense where they were impossible to run early on. The Texans were bleeding rushing yards to start the year and are now stuffing every RB they come in contact with. There is a reason why the NFL season is 17 weeks long.

On my SiriusXM radio show this week (one of the five…I don’t even now which one it was to be honest with you #OverExposure), I mentioned that the Jets offensive line is healthy “until Nick Mangold leaves in the first quarter with another random injury.” Of course it did take until midway through the second quarter today for Mangold to leave with a hand injury.

If you are still using the term “Revis Island” please know that you are out of touch with the 2015 world. Revis hasn’t been a shut down corner in at least three seasons and the NFL has been throwing right at him week in and week out exposing just how much his skills have dropped. I am NOT SAYING that Revis is a bad corner, rather he is not somebody who is going to automatically take out the best WR on the opposing team the way that he used to.

Chris Ivory left the game early on due to a leg injury early in the first quarter today. He came back in the game on the next series but was seen several times throughout the game being treated by the training staff.

DeAndre Hopkins nine receiving TD’s this season already ties him with Andre Johnson for the most in Texans franchise history.

J.J. Watt lined up at WR on the goal line today and was actually targeted on a fade route that fell incomplete.

Texans CB Jonathan Joseph left the game due to a knee injury and did not return.


45 – Tampa Bay at Philadelphia – 17

Jameis Winston and Doug Martin became just the second duo in NFL history to throw for five TD’s and rush for 200+ yards in the same game. Doug Martin’s 84 yard run was the longest run in Tampa Bay franchise history.

The Buccaneers are getting better every single week and to me that is a testament to their head coach Lovie Smith. Lovie is a truly great man and real good football coach who will get this team back to the promised land. The Bucs defense in particular has gotten a lot better and are creating turnovers which has long been a staple of every Lovie Smith led defense.

Although Mike Evans did fine today in going 4-63-1 he also had just seven targets. This was my fear when we learned that Vincent Jackson returned this week. V-Jax gobbled up six targets himself and also caught a short TD. Those targets are ones that I had going to Evans earlier in the week before Jackson was in play.

Say what you will but the fact of the matter is that Mark Sanchez did exactly what I said he was going to today. Sanchez threw the ball 41 times, completing just 26 of those passes but accumulated 261 yards with 2 TD passes. He also turned the ball over three times (all interceptions) one of which was returned for a TD. Sanchez fell in love with the screen pass today and simply NEVER picked his eyes up to look downfield. He’s a below average NFL QB, but in this offense he is at worst a high end QB2 if not a low level QB1.

Jordan Matthews paid the biggest price of Mark Sanchez’s constant check downs today. I was wrong about Matthews here today and there is simply no way around that fact.

Zach Ertz was by far Sanchez’s favorite target today. However, Ertz left the game with a concussion after trying to leap over a defender during a second half catch and run.


17 – Denver at Chicago – 15

This is one of the games that went exactly how we thought it would go. It was very slow moving featuring ineffective offenses and one great defense.

I am not going to climb aboard the “Brock Osweiler for President” train here. Sure he was very efficient and poised in the pocket today and for that I was impressed. I think that he is the right choice for the Broncos right now considering how good this defense is. But I don’t think that Osweiler is ready to be an impact fantasy player here this season.

The Broncos are going to be a run first team from here on out and thus you need to get your hands on Ronnie Hillman and/or C.J. Anderson immediately if they are available.

The Bears decision to go for it on fourth and goal midway through the fourth quarter was a horrible coaching decision. You really have to wonder if John Fox wasn’t throwing his former team a bone there. There is no real excuse for that decision and not kicking the field goal cost the Bears this football game plain and simple.

We said it last week and I will echo it again here. You need to sell high on Jeremy Langford. He’s shown very well in replacing Matt Forte over the last three weeks but Forte is likely back on Thanksgiving against the Packers. You should get a usable piece for Langford right now providing it isn’t too late.

Ka’Deem Carey was knocked out of this game in the third quarter due to a concussion. He did not return.


13 – St. Louis at Baltimore – 16

Under no circumstance should anybody ever start or use a Rams QB in fantasy football. This team is the very definition of one dimensional and I don’t care which direction they go with their QB, it won’t produce fantasy numbers.

The Rams coaching staff sent a message by deactivating backup RB Tre Mason for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

I had an entire rant written about the NFL and their bogus concussion rules here in this space but had to switch it up a bit. For those who didn’t watch this game, QB Case Keenum was demolished late in the fourth quarter and fell to the ground with his head snapping back and blasting the ground hard. Keenum could literally and I am not exaggerating, he could literally not stand on his feet. Yet, did any referee, head coach, assistant coach or anybody check to see if he could continue? Nope. In fact, he was helped to his feet by a teammate who could barely hold him upright himself. Keenum somehow finished out the drive before the Ravens got the ball and went down to win the game. After the game it was revealed that Keenum did indeed suffer a concussion on the play. I am sorry for not believing a single word of the NFL’s line that they really want to help and protect players well being.

The Rams also lost backup RT Andrew Donnal in the second quarter due to a knee injury. Donnal had to take a cart to the locker room and thus it doesn’t look good for his availability next week.

The Ravens season was already lost well before this game got going but despite a last second win, they lost any chance at respectability today.

First they lost starting RB Justin Forsett who suffered a gruesome broken wrist in the first quarter today. Forsett’s wrist seriously looked as if it was in an “L” shape after the injury. He had to be placed in an air cast even before leaving the field of play.

Next the Ravens lost starting LT Eugene Monroe with a shoulder injury and he did not return.  

On the final drive of the game, QB Joe Flacco took a brunt hit to his left knee and was noticeably injured as a result. After the game it was revealed that Flacco suffered a torn ACL and MCL in is left knee and will be out for the rest of the season.

When the Ravens take the field next week, they will feature Matt Schaub at quarterback and Buck Allen as their starting running back. I suppose that Allen has some value since he’ll be carrying the load but I wouldn’t be over the moon about him unless you are really desperate. 


24 – Dallas at Miami – 14

On paper you would have said that Darren McFadden had a pretty good day at the office racking up 29-129 on the ground. But DMC really struggled to get going in the early stages of the game and was averaging less than three yards per carry well into the third quarter. I really feel like McFadden was spurred on a bit by a few real nice runs for Robert Turbin who spelled him in the early third quarter.

Speaking of Turbin, he looked very good today in getting to the outside and breaking a few tough tackles. With McFadden’s injury history and current groin injury you have to handcuff him going forward. This Cowboys offensive line is just too good and the schedule is too soft to not lock in whoever is the RB1 in Dallas on a weekly basis.

Call it rust or whatever else you want to but it was clear that Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were not on the same page today. I’ve been screaming about it for weeks now but Dez Bryant is not the Dez Bryant we all know and love from 2014. This guy is much slower and cannot get off the ground to get to a pass at this point. Romo and Dez had two heated exchanges in this game one of which lasted well into the sidelines where coaches had to get involved. These guys are too talented to not produce but please limit your expectations out of this duo.

Dan Campbell is doing is best Joe Philbin impression these days. How is it possible that in what was a one score game for most of the time that the Dolphins only ran the ball 14 times? Sure they only ran 38 plays total but for a team that has been so effective at time running the ball, going against a run deficient defense it makes absolutely no sense.

Despite the final stat line Ryan Tannehill actually did run the ball more today than in the past few weeks. Tannehill had 3-13 yards on the ground that counted but did have two nice runs called back due to penalties. Those runs would have given him and extra 21 yards on the ground today.


16 – Washington at Carolina – 44

So, remember in this space last week when I begged all of you to PLEASE not overrate or overvalue Kirk Cousins coming off of his four TD game against the Saints? Hopefully you listened and didn’t get caught chasing that performance. Mind you Cousins didn’t play bad at all but this offense just isn’t a fantasy friendly system.

It was a quiet yet effective afternoon for the Redskins Jordan Reed who had eight targets, six receptions and 46 yards on the day. Reed was banged up late as well and it was thought that might have suffered another concussion. But he returned to the game a short time later and seemed no worse for the wear.

Matt Jones lost his fourth fumble of the season today and just as I wrote last week these errors destroy his confidence each time. Although Adrian Peterson has fumbled six times this year, Jones still leads the league in lost fumbles amongst RB’s this season.

Redskins lost LT Trent Williams in this game due to a left knee injury. Williams was injured on a fourth down play late in the fourth quarter and had to eventually be carted off to the locker room.

Alfred Morris was knocked out of this game early due to a rib cage injury. The Redskins only ran the ball 12 times total so it really didn’t matter. Morris will be reevaluated during the week and we’ll know more about his status by Tuesday.

Thank God for Cam Newton who single handedly saved my cash game lineups this week in DFS. The reason that Newton is a great cash game play is that his rushing ability pads the numbers enough so that even when he struggles the numbers are respectable. Then you mix in his massive upside both throwing and running the football and you have yourself one of if not the most dangerous fantasy QB in the league.

Look at the review of Jonathan Stewart’s TD reception on the Panthers first drive. He took a total cheap shot at the hands of the Redskins safety Dashon Goldson who dove for Stewart’s knees after he had scooted into the endzone. When Stewart crumbled to the ground it looked as though he was seriously injured but fortunately for him and for Goldson he was alright.

This was the sixth consecutive game that Stewart has carried the ball 20+ times.


33 – Kansas City at San Diego – 3

Kansas City is playing much better football over the last month but this game was just as much about how bad the Chargers are playing than it is about how well the Chiefs are doing.

Charcandrick West ruined a lot of fantasy owner’s day today. West struggled out of the gate on the ground but did rack up a nice 47 yard catch and run. He had a golden opportunity for a touchdown run but was stopped short twice on carries inside the 10 yard line. West was taken back to the lockerroom after injuring his hamstring and though he returned to the sideline, never came back in the game.

Although West failed to get in the endzone, the Chiefs brought in defensive tackle Dontari Poe for a goal line carry, which he converted into a one yard touchdown. Poe has been used several times as a lead blocker before but had never carried the football. At 346 pounds, Poe is the heaviest recorded player to ever rush for a touchdown.

Spencer Ware was fantastic in place of Charcandrick West carrying the ball 11 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. I’ll tell you right now that he is a better overall player than West is mostly because of his ability to break tackles and keep his balance after contact. West will retain the job assuming his hamstring is alright but you must now handcuff Ware to him immediately this week.

Travis Kelce caught a second half TD from Alex Smith and was subsequently popped by Chargers LB Manti Te’o. Although Kelce caught the ball he bobbled it a bit as he fell to the ground after the hit. After a lengthy review, it was determined that Kecle did not satisfy the Nazi like rules that govern a catch and thus the TD was taken away.

Chiefs RB De’Anthony Thomas was knocked out of this game due to a second quarter concussion.

The only bright spot of this game for the Chargers was when then retired LaDanian Tomlinson’s #21 during a halftime ceremony.

Danny Woodhead had a total of seven touches today. In those seven touches he gained a grand total 16 yards. He continues to be a spot starter or FLEX play at the very best.

The Chargers lost both safety Jaheel Addae and DT Sean Lissemore due to concussions in this game. Starting RT Joe Barksdale also left the game because of a hip injury.


30 – Green Bay at Minnesota – 13

In fantasy football we tend to overthink just about everything that we do. One of the biggest mistakes we all make is when we find reasons to not play superstar players. I must have had two dozen questions about Aaron Rodgers this week and whether to start him or a variety of inferior options. Cream has a way of rising to the top and we need to not confuse our teams and ourselves by trying to always guess when it may happen.

Remember how I have told you for weeks not to let go of Eddie Lacy? Yeah…well hopefully you took that advice because not only did Lacy reclaim his starting job today he gave his offense a huge spark that ignited the entire team. The Packers next four games are against the Bears, Cowboys, Lions and Raiders easily the softest schedule for any RB in the NFL over that span.

The Packers offensive line injury woes continued today when they lost Corey Linsley to an ankle injury. The team also lost safety Micah Hyde to a hip injury suffered on a diving missed tackle late in the second half.

The Vikings as a team are in a lot of trouble if they have to pass the ball 70% of the time as they did today. This team depends on running it effectively with Adrian Peterson to set up big passing plays downfield. Peterson fumbled for the sixth time already this season all of which have come at home.

As much as I love Kyle Rudolph, I can’t tell you to expect this kind of production out of him going forward. Rudolph has been needed as a blocker far more than ever anticipated this season and this hurts his fantasy value dramatically. Don’t be lured in by the 6-106-1 that he posted today.

Monitor Teddy Bridgewater’s left shoulder injury throughout the week. He was temporarily knocked out of this game after taking a series of big hits in the second half. He came back out but did not look comfortable the rest of the way today.


13 – San Francisco at Seattle – 29

I’ll tell you what, Blaine Gabbert didn’t play nearly as bad as I thought that he would today. By no means is he a positive difference maker at the position but after two starts now I think that it is safe to say that he’s making some progress toward being better.

Shaun Draughn is nothing special but opportunity is everything in the NFL these days and the same goes for fantasy football. It is clear that until Carlos Hyde returns, Draughn is the only RB touching the ball for these 49ers.

Let’s not get too excited about Thomas Rawls just yet folks. Yes he was absolutely fantastic today and smashed the 49ers defense all day long. But the 49ers defense is not difficult to smash and I am confident that Marshawn Lynch would have done the same thing if he played today. This is another situation in which you really should have the handcuff (Rawls) to your starting RB (Lynch). The Seahawks entire offense is built around the run game so this is a situation to be heavily invested in.

With this performance Rawls broke the Seahawks franchise rookie record of yards 207 yards rushing in a single game.

After this pathetic three catch performance today against the 49ers, I have to say that I don’t think that Jimmy Graham is a top 10 fantasy TE anymore. Maybe I am late to this party but I have been ranking him in the 4-7 range most of the season yet he continues to fail on that every single week. At this point I think that I would almost rather have the likes of Owen Daniels or Kyle Rudolph over Graham.


31 – Cincinnati at Arizona – 34

I thought that the Bengals really showed a lot tonight. They were coming off of an embarrassing loss at home to the Texans last week and into the den of the super sharp Cardinals. But it was Cincinnati who seized control of this game early and fought back furiously late after the Cardinals offense got hot. There may not be such a thing as a “good loss” but if there is the Bengals got one tonight.

Another RB that I’ve somehow been fighting for lately is Jeremy Hill. Hill didn’t have a great game today by any means but he did convert on two short yard TD’s which paid off fantasy owners who have stuck with him through recent struggles. Hill is not having a good year but is a viable low end RB2 in fantasy leagues.

The Bengals are loaded with talent but they aren’t going to go anywhere come playoff time unless they can win big games in prime time such as this. It can be argued that they got hosed on this one late and that would be accurate. But if every time they play in a big game either Andy Dalton, the running game of the defense are going to bottom out, then they have a problem.

This game was marred by penalties including the final one on the Bengals defense for calling out the Cardinals offensive signals. That penalty pushed Chandler Catanzaro’s field goal attempt up by 13 yards making it far more routine. The Bengals were penalized 10 times for a total of 108 yards while the Cardinals were flagged seven times for 40 yards.

The oddest thing happened to me this weekend. As most of you who are familiar with my work know, I run thousands of game simulations for each matchup every single week. This helps me sort through the most reasonable outcomes for each and every player and derive true baselines and upside potential. Anyways, in 82% of these simulations for the Bengals/Cardinals game (890/1086) David Johnson scored a TD. Now this was a true outlier and something I normally would have used to identify Johnson as a big time sleeper this week. But being buried on the depth chart and with the chance a fewer than five total opportunities (he had four) I didn’t feel it was warranted. Amazingly he caught a TD pass from Carson Palmer and proved that I really should never rule out any outlying numbers that are generated by my simulations.

Tonight was a great performance by J.J. Nelson that is for sure but I am still not picking him up. I just don’t see a role for Nelson here in this Cardinals offense and thus am not going to waste my precious few free agent dollars.