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.

Week 3 has turned out to be a significant upgrade from what we saw in week 2 especially from a fantasy football perspective. The breakouts of Falcons RB DeVonta Freeman, the return of the legion of boom in Seattle and the countless mistakes of Jets WR Brandon Marshall surely will be talked about all next week. But it will be the injury to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger that will receive the most attention and have the biggest affect on fantasy football going forward. 

Here are the Week 3 Fantasy Football Game Recaps:


39 – Atlanta at Dallas – 28

Joseph Randle had 65 yards and a TD on his first two carries and 85 yards on his first three carries of this game. Randle and the Cowboys offensive line was shredding the Falcons on the ground in the first half but then took their foot off the gas in the second half. The Cowboys got too cute by trying to utilize all three of their RB’s in the second half which didn’t allow any one of them to gain any momentum. Randle got just two more yards on his next 11 carries the rest of the way.

Speaking of the Cowboys fast start, Brandon Weeden completed his first 20 passes in this game, which is a new Cowboys franchise record for consecutive completions.

DeVonta Freeman proved today that he can be a feature RB at the NFL level. Although he doesn’t fit the zone blocking system as well as rookie Tevin Coleman does, Freeman is a powerful runner who can shake tacklers and keep on moving up field. At this point I’ll say that I would be surprised if Freeman isn’t the Falcons lead RB next week whether Coleman returns from a rib injury or not.

I always say to be very cautious in putting too much faith in WR target numbers. For instance, today Roddy White is credited with zero targets against the Cowboys making it two consecutive weeks he’s been shut out completely. But, for those who watched the game (like myself) we saw Roddy targeted on at least two pass attempts by Matt Ryan including a second quarter red zone attempt that was nearly intercepted by the Cowboys.

The Falcons lost starting TE Jacob Tamme due to a concussion in the second quarter.


35 – Indianapolis at Tennessee – 33

The Colts started the game well by scoring both an offensive and defensive touchdown before the young Titans team stormed back to take a 27-14 lead in the second half. Much like this game, the Colts are only going to go as far as Andrew Luck can take them. Although he brought them back today, without help from his offensive line or his defense this is going to be a long season for both Luck and his Colts teammates.

Andre Johnson is now fully droppable in leagues of 12 or less. Johnson received just one target today and although I don’t have the final snap counts just yet, there were plenty of key moments where the high priced free agent wasn’t even on the field. He could wind up released or traded out of town soon.

Don’t try and make heads or tails out of the Titans RB situation. There is no rhyme or reasoning to how they are currently using their backs and thus this is a situation to completely avoid.

Kendall Wright will get most of the attention for a very good game today but don’t underestimate the importance of Delanie Walker for Marcus Mariota. Walker made several big catches to prolong drives this afternoon and was a high volume option for the rookie QB today.


27 – Oakland at Cleveland – 20

The difference in this game was that the Raiders had a QB who could make plays when the team needed and the Browns did not. Derek Carr was impressive today against a quality defensive opponent and on the road.

Amari Cooper gained 70 yards after the catch today after gaining 85 last week. The rookie WR has already made himself a force to be reckoned with any time he touches the football.  

Nobody should own Marcel Reece in fantasy football. I know that once a game he makes a big play and sometimes those big plays go for TD’s but he is just not a reliable piece of the offense to warrant fantasy value.

Travis Benjamin still sucks and so does Josh McCown. Johnny Manziel isn’t good but he should be starting over McCown at this point.

Browns CB Joe Haden left the game in the second half with a rib injury.


28 – Cincinnati at Baltimore – 24

Although this game was exciting at the end, it was brutal to watch. These teams combined for 22 penalties that were actually enforced and at least another half dozen that weren’t.

The Bengals had every chance to put this one away early but Andy Dalton threw a late interception in the second quarter then fumbled away the lead mid way through the fourth quarter.

Tyler Eifert had a second quarter TD overturned after a review showed that he lost control of the football before filling whatever lame requirements they have for a catch.

Pacman Jones left the game with a left elbow injury after injuring it being tackled on the second half kickoff.

As great as Steve Smith played this week he still left a lot of catches and yards out on the field this afternoon. Smith had to get an IV on the sidelines during the fourth quarter which to me looked kind of premeditated to be honest with you. I’m still not going to put a lot of faith into the undersized, elder WR after this performance.  


17 – Jacksonville at New England – 51

A funny moment in this game came when Danny Amendola caught a one yard TD from Tom Brady. It turns out that it was Tom Brady’s 400th career TD pass but instead of brining the ball back to Brady or to the sidelines, Amendola gave it to a fan in the first row. I heard that later on in the game Patriots officials were able to retrieve the ball but I am sure that the fan was rewarded for surrendering such a valuable artifact.

This is why you cannot press the panic button after just a couple of weeks. LeGarrette Blount rebounded today to lead the Patriots in touches with 19, three of which were one yard TD plunges. It is a committee backfield in New England but I greatly prefer Blount’s side of the equation over that of Dion Lewis moving forward.

Two pass interference penalties against the Jaguars all but delivered the Patriots a TD in the third quarter. One of the penalties negated an 82 yard INT return by Davon House that would have given the Jaguars a great scoring opportunity.

Jaguars WR Marqise Lee left the game after aggravating his hamstring in the first quarter.  


22 – New Orleans at Carolina – 27

Luke McCown was far more impressive than me (or probably anybody) thought he would be in filling in for Drew Brees today. McCown ran the offense well and at one point was 14/15 for 100 yards in the first quarter. He threw for 310 yards but was not able to get a TD pass in this contest.

I can only guess that C.J. Spiller is still not healthy and that is why the Saints are severely limiting his snaps the past two weeks. This team is in desperate need of a playmaker who can make the defense uneasy but that is just not evident on this team right now.

Saints backup RB Marcus Murphy returned a punt 74 yards for a TD after a penalty on the Panthers forced a rekick. The Saints then missed the extra point attempt, which forced them to go for two later on after Khiry Robinson’s rushing TD. They missed that attempt also.

After the game Cam Newton told reporters that referee Ed Hochuli told him that he was not “old enough” to get a roughing the passer call against Saints DT Tyeler Davison when he knocked Newton down. I say it all of the time folks. The human element is alive and well in all major sports and more often than not these referees personal feelings will dictate the outcome of a game.

The Panthers lost RB Jonathan Stewart to a leg injury late in this game and he did not return. Mike Tolbert and Cameron Artis-Payne shared the workload after Stewart was knocked out of the game.

Panthers also lost DE Charles Johnson to a second half hamstring injury today.


24 – Philadelphia at New York Jets – 17

Let’s not go crazy over how Ryan Mathews is a better Rb than DeMarco Murray or even that Mathews is a better fit for the Eagles offense. Well, I mean, he is but only because Chip Kelly’s play design on running plays call for a lot of east-west running which is better for Mathews. Murray is a north-south runner and needs his shoulders and hips square to the field to generate power and speed in his runs.

The Eagles lost RG Andrew Gardner with a right foot injury and safety Chris Maragos with a bruised left knee.

Jets RB Chris Ivory, who was questionable all week due to both quad and groin injuries was active but did not play in this game.

Brandon Marshall made some all-time blunders in this game. As bad as his fourth quarter tipped pass turned into interception was, he had an even worse error earlier in the game. As the Jets were driving, Marshall caught a pass over the middle and ran upfield after the catch. But then while being brought down by two defenders, he tossed the ball up in the air intending to lateral it to TE Jeff Cumberland. Instead Eagles LB Jordan Hicks grabbed it and halted the Jets drive in its tracks.

Darrelle Revis was in and out of this game late with what is being reported as a hamstring injury. Revis was nursing a groin injury throughout the week and qas questionable coming into the game as it was.

Jets TE Jeff Cumberland left the game late with a head injury.


9 – Tampa Bay at Houston – 19  

My first note from this game was how impressed I was with Buccaneers rookie kicker Kyle Brindza after his 58 yard field goal. Then the rest of the game happened and the kid missed his next three field goal tries and his only extra point attempt. There is a very good chance that he will be out of work on Monday.

 Vincent Jackson had a 23 yard TD reception overturned upon review after it was decided that he didn’t get both feet down in bounds.

If you look at the numbers for Mike Evans today you would say that he had a good game. Evans caught seven passes for 101 yards this afternoon. But, Evans had whopping 17 targets in this game and by my count four terrible drops in this game.

I guess we shouldn’t have read into Chris Polk’s larger workload last week. Alfred Blue was clearly the feature back this afternoon logging 31-139-1 on the ground today. This situation will sort itself out next week though as Arian Foster will likely be back to reclaim the lead RB role for the Texans.

J.J. Watt lined up at TE for one play but wound up just blocking for Blue then departing.


14 – San Diego at Minnesota – 31

Adrian Peterson’s wife Ashley gave birth to their son Axyl on Saturday afternoon. There is a joke in there somewhere but I am not touching it with a 39.5 foot pole.

Peterson’s two yard TD plunge in the second quarter was his first TD since November 24th, 2013.

Vikings WR Charles Johnson left the game for awhile after bruising his ribs on a bang-bang pass play in which he drew a pass interference call. He returned later but was not targeted the rest of the game.

Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes was knocked out of this game with a head injury. He collided helmet to helmet with teammate Andrew Sendejo and needed help off of the field.

The Chargers pulled Philip Rivers in the fourth quarter in favor of Kellen Clemens. It was done because the outcome was no longer in doubt but in my opinion it was done quite a bit early. The Chargers just were not mentally or emotionally prepared to play in this game.

Chargers LG Orlando Franklin was carted off with an ankle injury and did not return.


12 – Pittsburgh at St. Louis – 6

This game was delayed 28 minutes due to a fire on the field. A pregame firework evidently sparked and ignited part of the Edward Jones Dome field turf. So, yeah, the field was literally on fire.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will miss about four weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee. It appeared to be a lot worse when Rams DL Mark Barron fell into his left knee. A partially torn MCL and a bone bruise is actually a positive outcome here compared to what could have been.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here but with Michael Vick under center for the Steelers it is going to have a pretty significant impact on Antonio Brown. Brown has three consecutive 100 yard games this season and has had 5+ catches with 50+ yards in every game he has ever started.

Todd Gurley didn’t get his first action of this game until two minutes into the second quarter. Gurley was very ineffective in rushing for just nine yards on six carries today.

Rams TE Lance Kendricks had a TD reception bounce off of his chest and arms in the third quarter. The play would have given the Rams the lead and given an otherwise inept offense a spark.


7 – San Francisco at Arizona – 47

There are no words to describe just how bad Colin Kaepernick’s performance was today. The 49ers as a whole look like a shell of the team that manhandled the Minnesota Vikings in week one.

TE Vernon Davis left the game with a knee injury and did not return.

Carson Palmer has won nine consecutive games in which he has started which is the most of any current QB in the NFL.

So much for David Johnson creeping into Chris Johnson’s touches. Chris Johnson wound up shredding the 49ers defense for 22-110-2 on the ground and another 1-40 through the air. David Johnson only got 10 total touches this afternoon.

John Brown dropped a would be TD in the back of the endzone in the second quarter today. Brown is clearly the WR2 to Larry Fitzgerald WR1 at this point in the Cardinals offense.


41 – Buffalo at Miami – 14

We are getting a pretty clear indication now that indeed the Dolphins are a bad football team. Tyrod Taylor doesn’t blow you out like this at home if you are not a lousy football team. Joe Philbin should be fired by mid-season at this rate.  

Please sell as high as you can on Rishard Matthews. DeVante Parker is getting more and more healthy and involved every single week and it won’t be long before he is the Dolphins clear WR2.

Tyrod Taylor is more and more impressive with each passing week. He reminds me a lot of Russell Wilson in how he approaches the game both on and off of the field.

Sure LeSean McCoy got into the endzone today but the fact remains that he is not getting it done on the ground. What is worse is that rookie RB Karlos Williams is just crushing it every time he gets an opportunity. Williams carried 12 times for 110 yards and a TD against the Dolphins.

Bills WR Sammy Watkins left the game with what is being called a right leg injury.


0 – Chicago at Seattle – 26  

The Bears offense predictably was all-time bad today. They were shut out for the first time since 2002, only passed for 63 yards, had just 37 yards of offense in the second half and ran just three offensive plays from the Seahawks side of the field.

As good as he can be, Marshawn Lynch is an absolute lunatic. He was evidently late arriving to the stadium today and was complaining that he couldn’t get loose. TV cameras caught the medical staff working on his lower back while on the sideline. Lynch eventually got in the game in the second quarter but then left again for good at halftime.

I don’t buy into Tyler Lockett’s offensive value in fantasy football but do see that he can greatly assist the Seahawks DST with his special teams return prowess.

Don’t get tricked into thinking that Jimmy Graham will be this involved in the Seahawks offense every week. This was a narrative outcome in my opinion after the stories of Graham’s unhappiness with his role in the Seahawks offense.


24 – Denver at Detroit – 12

The Broncos have become almost completely a pistol formation offense. In addition to allowing Manning to see the whole field in front of him this style helps the Broncos offensive line with may protective points.

CJ Anderson was evaluated for a concussion in this game but later returned.

The Broncos lost third string RB Juwan Thompson for quite awhile with a neck injury sustained on a helmet to helmet hit on a goal line carry in the second quarter.

Despite Ameer Abdullah’s touchdown reception this afternoon he is essentially playing the third RB role here with the Lions. We all love his upside but at a certain point you realize that points in hand are better than points someday earned.

The Lions lost DE Ezekiel Ansah to a groin injury and LG Larry Warford to an ankle injury today.