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.

It seems like every week I get angry when I hear other fantasy analysts pretend to talk NFL football. I hear ignorant comments like “Matt Ryan needs to feed his first read in Julio Jones more” which to those of us who know the game understand is just stupid. I get that we want Julio Jones to get the ball more but to suggest that he is the first read on every play or that Matt Ryan’s reads are the reasons for the lack of production in Atlanta is just wrong. And dumb.

This week we had the Cecil Shorts incident in which he took a pitch from Brian Hoyer and ran three yards into the endzone for a Texans touchdown. I tweeted that this was a pitch by the QB and not a “shovel pass” or “push pass” by Brian Hoyer. This resulted in a bunch of fantasy nerds trying to tell me what a forward pass consists of.

These are the moments that I really want to rewind to childhood and see any of these guys put on a uniform and play the game because I can tell that they’ve never played organized football in their lives. I am not saying that you have to have played to understand but what I can tell you is a mixture of never having played, the red zone channel and overwhelming fantasy interests are not a good recipe for quality content in my opinion.

Lucky for you guys though that I have a basic understanding of the game of football, haven’t missed a single snap since 1999 and am not afraid to tell you that Aaron Rodgers is the problem with the Green Bay offense right now and not use a lame excuse such as the wide receivers. So, let’s see what and more importantly who I can blast in this weeks recap.


Here are the Week 12 Fantasy Football Game Recaps:


24 - Oakland at Tennessee – 21  

I’ve been blasting Derek Carr the last few weeks for failing to step up down the stretch but he certainly did today. Carr overcame his own horrible fumbled snap that game the Titans the ball and the lead to direct the game winning TD drive with under two minutes remaining in the game.

No sooner do I sing the praises of Michael Crabtree than he completely disappoint fantasy owners today. Crabtree had eight targets today but only hauled in only four passes for 19 yards. Meanwhile Amari Cooper was the clear favorite of Carr today generating 12 targets, seven catches and 115 yards receiving.

The Raiders finally gave Latavius Murray 20 carries today (22) but unfortunately he wasn’t able to do much with them. Murray averaged just 2.7 yards per carry in racking up 59 yards on the ground. It was only the third time this season that Murray has received 20+ carries.


22 - Buffalo at Kansas City – 30

Rex Ryan and his coaching staff completely ruined the Bills chances today by twice failing to call for a review that would have helped their team keep offensive drives alive. It is unexplainable to me that a professional team in today’s day and age could let such obvious calls go unchallenged.   

Sammy Watkins absolutely torched the Chiefs in the first half today. Something that grinded my gears though was the blame seemingly to be put on the Chiefs defense which was just not accurate. Watkins made leaping grab after leaping grab en route to a 6-158-2 first half. The Chiefs had double coverage on him on all but one of those receptions including both TD grabs. The insane thing here though was Watkins going without a single catch in the second half.

The Bills lost a third defensive linemen today when Alex Carrington was carted off the field due to a knee injury. The Bills were already without Mario Williams and Kyle Williams who were inactive for this week.

Bills RB Karlos Williams left the game early due to a shoulder injury and did not return.

As I said all week long, Spencer Ware was able to rack up the yards and fantasy production this afternoon. Ware became the third Chiefs RB to rush for over 100 yards this season. Anybody want to try and tell me how systems and handcuffing doesn’t matter?

There was a real embarrassing moment late in this game when QB Alex Smith failed to see a completely wide open Travis Kelce who was jumping up and down all alone in the endzone. The Bills defense failed to cover Kelce off of the line of scrimmage yet Smith never even looked in his direction and instead got rushed out of the pocket and threw the ball away out of bounds.

Chiefs lost starting LT Eric Fisher to a neck injury late in the third quarter of this game. He did not return and will have further testing done on Monday.

All-Pro DE Justin Houston left the game with a shoulder injury and also did not return.


12 - Tampa Bay at Indianapolis – 25  

The thing about this game that I should have realized before was that Matt Hasselbeck is the perfect cover-2 busting QB. He owns a career QBR of 98.4 against the cover-2 defense and has a 31-5 TD-INT ratio as well.

Today was the first time in the last six that the Buccaneers defense failed to create a turnover. They had been relying heavily on turnovers not only to stop opposing drives but also to create short field and scoring opportunities for their offense as well.

Mike Evans continued to drop the football again today and at this point this has become a real problem. Evans dropped what would have been a very important touchdown late in this game. The drop resulted in a missed Connor Barth field goal which combined with a 15 yard penalty on the Bucs gave the Colts great field position and the game capping field goal.

At 42 years of age Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is as good right now as he’s ever been. Vinatieri has made 16 straight field goals including three today to put away the Buccaneers.

I am done with Frank Gore. I wasn’t very high on him going into the year, I haven’t liked ranking him in the top 15 at RB in half of the weeks so far and I am just plain done. For me, Gore is no more than a deep league FLEX play at this point.

Colts backup RB Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a wrist injury late in this game and although he stayed in he was due for X-rays after the game.


14 - N.Y. Giants at Washington – 20

I am not going to sit here and defend Eli Manning but I think that it is appropriate to mention that the first two of his three interceptions today were not his fault. Each of the first two INT bounced off his intended receivers hands and wound up in the hands of Redskins defenders.

The fact that zero of the Giants four running backs could generate substantial gains against the Redskins awful run defense today basically tells us that the Giants have no running game. With all of bye weeks done there is no real reason to roster let alone ever start any of the Giants RB’s again this year.

The Giants were already without LG Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg going into this game but also lost RG Geoff Schwartz due to a broken leg. Schwartz will be out for the rest of the season.

CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie went down with a non-contact knee injury midway through this game and had to be carted to the locker room. Obviously this appears to be a significant injury that likely could cost DRC the rest of his 2015 season.

The Redskins are 5-1 at home this season and 0-5 on the road. They are also 5-0 when QB Kirk Cousins does not throw an interception.

If Jordan Reed were a WR we would all be on his jock for being a high level WR2 in fantasy football. Reed has been as consistent as any player in fantasy this season and is by far Cousins favorite target in the passing game. I consider him a top three fantasy TE every single week.

Jamison Crowder had a touchdown reception that was overturned after a review showed that his knee was down before the ball breaking the goal line.  


6 - New Orleans at Houston – 24

The Saints are just a completely different team on the road then they are at home. Sure we can credit the Texans defense for another great performance but in no way should Brees only complete 25-44 passes no matter where the game is played at.

This was the first time in 10 years that the Saints failed to score a single touchdown. The last time this happened was Christmas Eve 2005.

Ben Watson led the Saints in targets, receptions and receiving yards today going 9-4-53-0. I am still riding with Watson in a few of my leagues as I find more value in him than in guys like Charles Clay, Jacob Tamme, Kyle Rudolph and Julius Thomas.

Be careful if you are in a close game or riding the money line in DFS this week and did so behind Brian Hoyer or God forbid Cecil Shorts. The box score will show you that Shorts “caught” a three yard TD pass form Hoyer in this game but in reality this was a pitch that should have been ruled a handoff. I understand that the push pass is an en vogue thing in today’s NFL (wow do I sound old!) but this one in particular has no business being called a toss. This play could be overruled as early as Monday morning so don’t be surprised.

Don’t be one of those people who overreact to DeAndre Hopkins disappointing performance today. We all thought he was going to light it up so you are in no way alone in this loss. But you cannot allow this disappointment to get the best of us and make a bad decision on Hopkins going forward. I’ll likely own a ton of Hopkins in DFS next week.


20 - Minnesota at Atlanta – 10

Adrian Peterson is never really a bad DFS play. Oh and he should obviously never be benched in seasonal leagues as well. Peterson single handedly brought the DFD NFL cash game Optimal Lineups into the money for the 9th time in 11 weeks.

After a terrible personal foul penalty on Stefon Diggs early on in this game which negated a big 16 yard first down catch, he only was targeted twice the rest of the way.

I love seeing Kyle Rudolph more involved in the passing game here in Minnesota. In my opinion he is the second most dangerous weapon in this Vikings offense. As long as the offensive line is going alright it leaves Rudolph open to be a bigger part of the passing game.

Matt Ryan is playing poorly. There really is no other way around that as it just comes down to him not being able to execute at this point. I need to rewatch Ryan’s last few games in order to pinpoint exactly what the issues are but on the surface what I have seen is a lot of double clutching and not trusting his primary reads. Despite having Julio Jones, I cannot go into the fantasy playoffs with Matt Ryan anywhere near my roster right now.

All week I talked about how excited I was to watch Tevin Coleman this week and see whether or not he was coached up enough to remain patient in order to find the cut back lanes. If you notice as I did today, Coleman implemented the exact same stutter step that DeVonta Freeman did earlier this season that transformed his career. Coleman was brilliant today and could have been even better if not for an early fumble on a breakaway run that he could have taken to the house.

The Falcons were the surprise of the NFL through the first five weeks when they stormed to a 5-0 start to the season. But at just 1-5 since they are in danger of being only the fourth team in NFL history to start 5-0 and miss the playoffs.  

Speaking of Coleman he should have had a second rushing TD in this game after scoring on a short TD run in the fourth quarter. Instead the Falcons were called for an illegal clipping penalty, something that is a trademark of the Shanahan running scheme.


31 - San Diego at Jacksonville – 25

Allow me to brag for a moment. If I were interested in being the “smartest guy in the room” in fantasy football circles, I would pick out one or two popular opinions every week that were based emotions and just destroy them. This week I can safely say that I was one of few if not the only one who believed in the Chargers offense producing at a high level despite the lackluster effort at home last week.

So I was right on with Philip Rivers and the overall Chargers offense this week but I was totally wrong on the impact that I thought Malcom Floyd would have in his return. Floyd only caught 1-12 on four targets this afternoon. Meanwhile last weeks value bust Dontrelle Inman soared to the tune of 5-65-1 today. I still like Floyd moving forward and consider him a low level WR2.

The Danny Woodhead meter reads like this: 4-8 yards on the ground and a respectable 6-39 via the air today. Woodhead did come within a yard of a receiving TD today but was grounded just short of the goal line. He’s been a productive fantasy player in just one of his last four games and two of his last seven.

Blake Bortles would have had a great day if only he would be allowed to throw the ball from beyond the line of scrimmage. Bortles twice threw TD passes (Allen Robinson, Julius Thomas) on plays that he scrambled and released the football from in front of the line of scrimmage.

Very scary situation late in this contest as Jaguars WR Allen Hurns had to be taken off of the field on a stretcher after slamming his head on the ground during a pass attempt in the fourth quarter. Hurns was diagnosed with a concussion and will likely miss at least one week if not more.

Jaguars lost safety Josh Evans was also knocked out of this game due to a concussion and did not return. 


20 - Miami at N.Y. Jets – 38

The Dolphins came into this game fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt. They also came into this game 17th in rushing attempts this season. If you don’t see the problem there, I am not sure you have a functional brain. So, what is the gameplan then coming into a huge divisional game? How about we throw the ball 58 times and run the ball just nine times. Coaching has been a big problem for the Dolphins for years and it appears as though that continues here with interim coach Dan Campbell.

This was the least amount of rushing attempts by a Dolphins team since 1986 and the third fewest yards rushing ever in team history.

If you’re not playing Jarvis Landry in cash games in DFS you are not doing it right. Landry is the absolute definition of a cash game player as he is by far the heaviest targeted player, has exceptional run after the catch ability, carries the ball a couple of times per game and touches the ball on special teams.

I loved seeing DeVante Parker finally get his opportunity here today in place of the injured Rishard Matthews. Matthews exited the game in the first quarter after suffering a rib injury and did not return. Parker is a definite player to keep your eye on this week as he could be a big asset down the stretch as the Dolphins start looking ahead to next year.

The Dolphins also lost starting center Mike Pouncey to a right foot injury which was a big loss along this already beaten up offensive line.

Also, Miami was without defensive tackels Early Mitchell and C.J. Mosley for parts of this game as both left with injuries and did not return. Both players left after suffering calf injuries.

How many times over the years have I begged Ryan Fitzpatrick to shave that barbaric facial atrocity he calls a beard? Finally, he gives it a trim and goes off against the Dolphins today.

Don’t get fooled by Chris Ivory’s final numbers today. He was spinning his wheels all afternoon until his 31 yard fourth quarter TD run. Take away that run and Ivory was 20-56 on the ground which equates to 2.8 yards per carry and is on par with his previous four efforts.

The Jets lost LB Calvin Pace with an abdominal injury in the second half and he did not return to the game.


19 - Arizona at San Francisco – 13

You want to talk about all of the teams and players to lay an egg this season, the Cardinals in this effort has to be right up there. I cannot say that any Cardinals player actually played a good game other than maybe Larry Fitzgerald and several member of the defensive secondary. It’s amazing that they won the game because quite frankly they were outplayed all day.

Chris Johnson was poised for an early touchdown run but instead got a helmet to the knee which knocked him out of the game. Initial X-rays on the knee were clear but he’ll undergo an MRI on Monday which will tell us the extent of the injury and how much time if any he will miss.

Andre Ellington also left this game early on due to a foot injury. This is a major concern because Chris Johnson also left the game with a knee injury and Ellington has had a history of mid foot injuries which could knock him out for some time.

Chandler Catanzaro missed an extra point attempt which opened the door for the 49ers to potentially win this game late. Of course they failed but the missed extra points have become something of an epidemic across the NFL of late.

Don’t look now but 49ers RB Shaun Draughn is putting together a couple productive fantasy outings especially in PPR formats. Obviously we all hate the very idea of Draughn on our team but if you have been hurt by RB injuries lately, it isn’t a terrible idea to grab him for depth to protect your team against further injuries.

49ers TE Garrett Celek was carted off of the field in the first quarter with a left ankle injury and obviously did not return. Vance McDonald took over and actually racked up 6-71 on the day.


30 - Pittsburgh at Seattle – 39

Well we knew that the Steelers offense wouldn’t shy away from going right at this Seahawks defense and Ben Roethlisberger and company most certainly did that. Big Ben racked up the most passing yards ever against the Seahawks at 456 yards.

I felt like DeAngelo Williams was being overlooked all week as a must start and solid DFS option. Although he didn’t run much today (8-29-1) he did get into the endzone and rack up a cool 7-88 receiving which made for another very productive day.

Roethlisberger did not finish this game due to a concussion he suffered on the Steelers next to last drive of the game. Landry Jones came in and completed a 34 yard pass before throwing the game sealing interception to Kam Chancellor deep in Seahawks territory. Roethlisberger is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and will have to be monitored all week before knowing what his status is for week 13.

Big Ben wasn’t the only Steelers player to leave due to a concussion today. They also lost rookie LB Ryan Shazier late in the first half as well.

Russell Wilson’s five TD passes were easily a career high as was his 345 yards passing. I hope that most of you are wise enough at this stage of the game to understand that this modest yardage total is quite low for what is perceived to be a franchise type QB. Considering Wilson only completed 21 passes to reach that total too should demonstrate just how random an event this actually was.

I’m impressed with Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls. I wanted to say this after a down effort because it is real easy to like somebody when they are running ram shod over the San Francisco 49ers. Rawls has a “swim” type move that I’ve never really seen before that allows him to side step would be tacklers and not take on much direct contact.

A year ago the season ending injury to Jimmy Graham would have been devastating to fantasy owners. This year though it really can’t be much of a loss whatsoever. Graham left his fantasy value in New Orleans and was barely staying above average in terms of fantasy TE relevance. You’re likely better off with someone like a Vance McDonald, Scott Chandler or Austin Seferian-Jenkins if and when he comes back. Graham is out for the season after suffering a PCL tear to his right knee.

The Seahawks deactivated struggling CB Cary Williams for today’s game and replaced him with DeShawn Shead.

Other Seahawks injuries included FB Will Tukuafu and DE DeMarcus Dobbs who each left the game for good after suffering a concussion.


24 - New England at Denver – 30 (OT)

The only team that Tom Brady has a losing regular season record against is the Denver Broncos who he is now 5-6 against (6-8 including playoffs).

Despite this game being played in a constant snow storm, the Patriots ran the ball just 16 times compared to the 32 for the Broncos. This is a strict contrast between the two teams and how they strategize bad weather contests.

This was a terrible disappointment for Keshawn Martin who only had one target and caught it for an eight yard gain today. There will be better days ahead for Martin should Danny Amendola miss any more time with his knee injury.

As you have to have heard by now, Rob Gronkowski suffered a right knee injury and had to be carted off of the field with under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. After the game the word was that Gronk’s injury wasn’t as bad as originally feared but that he still could miss multiple weeks. Stay tuned all week for updates on Gronk. If he should miss time, Scott Chandler instantly becomes a must add fantasy option.

The Patriots lost LB Don’t’a Hightower with a left knee injury tonight and he did not return.

What impresses me most about Brock Osweiler is not anything he does on the field rather his demeanor off of it. In postgame interviews he was staunchly reminding everybody that this was a team win and is not a he versus Brady or Patriots thing. It is going to be real interesting how the Broncos handle the Osweiler/Manning situation if and when Peyton is ready to return.

This was one of if not the single worst performance I have ever seen by a wide receiver. DeMaryius Thomas caught just one of an incredible 13 targets tonight many of which bounced off of his hands or chest. He seriously looked like the “Boy Who Could Fly” out there all game long. I expect a big rebound game out of DT here as early as next week.

If C.J. Anderson didn’t earn more playing time tonight with the game winning 48 yard TD run than he is worthless in fantasy football. I fully expect for Anderson to get at least half of the snaps moving forward for the Broncos as he’s clearly shown that he is back and ready to be the bell cow for this revamped Broncos offense.

The Broncos had to finish the game without their starting RG Louis Vasquez after he suffered a groin injury in the second half.

The Denver defense took a major blow late in the first half when they lost both safety T.J. Ward and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams due to ankle injuries on the same play. Both players did not return and were seen in walking boots after the game.