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 4 will forever be remembered as the "week of kickers." From Josh Scobee's misses on Thursday night to the seven field goals by Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos to the numerous blocks and plain misses across the league this week, it surely affected plenty of fantasy outcomes as well. 

Overall we had a very good week identifying the best matchups in both of our seasonal and DFS rankings this week. I have already heard from many of you that sleeper and value plays such as Allen Hurns, Charles Clay and even Brice Butler paid off this week. Let's take a tour across the NFL and empty my notepad of everything that I saw this Sunday. 

Here are the Week 4 Fantasy Football Game Recaps:


27 – N.Y. Jets at Miami – 14 (Game Played In London)

Brandon Marshall is easily a WR1 in fantasy football. His 58-yard reception on the first play of the game set the tone. There are very few WRs who will post as consistently good numbers as Marshall will every week.

The Jets were penalized an amazing 14 times for a total of 163 yards in this contest.

As good as Chris Ivory’s day was it could have been a little bit better even for fantasy owners. The Jets gave the ball to backup RB Zac Stacy for a two-yard TD run in the third quarter. Ivory was great, though, dishing out as much, if not more, punishment than the defense put on him. Ivory finished with a 29-166-1 day.

The Dolphins coaching watch is officially on. There have been whispers that  head coach Joe Philbin and/or defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle could be replaced by the time the team lands back in the United States. Personally, I would axe both Philbin and Coyle as this Dolphins team is way too talented to be playing such bad football right now.

The Dolphins simply come out of the gate terrible each and every week. Through four games they have only held a lead for a combined 10 minutes and 22 seconds this season. All of that time was in the final quarter of their opening week win against the Redskins.

Oh, and this is why I told you to sell high on Rishard Matthews all week long. He was a complete non-factor and that was without DeVante Parker being a factor, which he will be here soon.


13 - Jacksonville at Indianapolis - 16

It’s going to be kicker roulette across the NFL this week. Jags kicker Jason Myers had two tries from 53 yards to win the game in regulation but missed them both. His second chance came courtesy of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano calling a timeout just before the snap to try and ice the kicker. Then in overtime, Myers missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left. It was Myers' second and third missed field goals this season and he also missed an extra point attempt already as well. 

Here is a friendly fantasy tip from your friend Pappy Mans: Target the second-best WR on any team playing the Colts. With Vontae Davis shutting down one side, there is nobody else to cover the other half of the field in the Colts secondary. Allen Hurns just torched them today and this is going to be a regular occurrence for the Colts pass defense.

T.J. Yeldon isn’t a special running back, but he is getting the volume here in Jacksonville to make him a very solid RB2 week in and week out.

I am still quite surprised that Andrew Luck did not play in this game, but with a big divisional week coming up on Thursday night I suppose it is not surprising. Still, this team is clearly an entirely different one with Luck than without him.

Frank Gore fumbled the ball away inside the Jaguars 10-yard line late in this game to crush the Colts' chances and give the Jaguars the field goal chance to win it in regulation. Gore was highly mediocre today after an impressive effort last week.


24 - N.Y. Giants at Buffalo - 10

Halfway through this game everyone on Twitter was talking about Andre Williams taking over the RB1 job from Rashad Jennings because Jennings was not looking good. The problem with that is that Jennings is a better player than Williams. Jennings' 51-yard catch-and-run TD sealed the game for the Giants and made sure they didn’t blow another fourth quarter lead.

New York lost starting LT Ereck Flowers early on in this game with an aggravation of his ankle injury. Flowers was out for most of the first quarter but did return later on and finished the game.

Giants kicker Josh Brown missed his first extra point attempt today after a false start penalty made it a 45-yard try.

Giants lost LB Devon Kennard to a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter and he did not return.

Karlos Williams was a bust for most of this game but did take a swing pass for a 23-yard TD in the fourth quarter to salvage the day. Williams also had a short catch on the goal line on a fourth down play in which he narrowly missed breaking the plane of the goal line for a TD. As good as Williams has looked in place of LeSean McCoy at times this year, he looked exactly like McCoy in his first full duty here today.

Tyrod Taylor had a third quarter 30-yard TD run called back due to a holding penalty.

Taylor also connected with Charles Clay for a 38-yard TD late in this game that was called back for a chop block against the Bills.


37 - Carolina at Tampa Bay – 23

The last time the Panthers were 4-0 was back in 2003 when they made it all the way to the Super Bowl.

The play of the game was a short run by Jonathan Stewart in which he fumbled the ball up into the air where it was grabbed and taken to the house by backup TE Ed Dickson.

Cam Newton is on pace to run for 172-780-8 this season. Even though his WRs are poor, Cam keeps racking up the fantasy points one way or another.

I said it on my SiriusXM show last week, but for my money right now, Josh Norman has been the best cornerback in the NFL. His early pick six today was a demonstration of doing your research on the opposition then taking it onto the field.

Brenton Bersin led the Panthers' WRs in targets and receptions with four, but I can’t justify targeting him in waivers this week. He has nice size (6-foot-3, 205-lb) but doesn’t play big and lacks top-end speed. I’m not biting and neither should any of you.

I don’t know if Mike Evans forgot how to catch the football or what, but every time he touched the football today it resembled a carnival worker attempting to juggle. He only caught three of his eight targets on the day.

Congratulations if you started Doug Martin today. I did not have the guts to do it after splitting time with Charles last week.

Kyle Brindza missed another two field goals here today and will likely be unemployed this week.


20 - Philadelphia at Washington – 23

Speaking of kicker issues, the Eagles signed Caleb Sturgis last week as a replacement for the injured Cody Parkey and Sturgis failed miserably in his Eagles debut. Sturgis missed a 33-yard field goal try and an extra point which ultimately cost the Eagles the game.

Eagles LT Jason Peters left the game with a quad injury. Peters is a perennial All-Pro player, but he seriously leaves the game due to injury just about every week.

Sam Bradford could barely walk at the end of this game and I wouldn’t doubt if we hear about some sort of hip or even lower leg injury at some point this week. Be ready to go on that Mark Sanchez waiver claim if Bradford is dealing with a significant injury.

I’m going to get a lot of grief for being high on Matt Jones this week but I will do it again next week as well. Jones was the Redskins' goal-line RB once again and would have had a one-yard TD run except Kirk Cousins fumbled the snap and somehow recovered and dove into the endzone for the TD. I’ll take the short-term loss here for what I think will be a long-term gain.

Jamison Crowder should be picked up on waivers in all leagues this week. Although lacking ideal size or strength at the WR position, he is a favorite of the coaching staff and QB Kirk Cousins.

Before scoring the game-winning TD today, Pierre Garcon was on the sidelines being treated for a knee injury. Monitor his status this week and going forward.

Jordan Reed left this game on the last drive with a concussion. He will be in the protocol this week and I would consider him unlikely to play for awhile.  


20 - Oakland at Chicago – 22

I keep hearing from people I trust in the business that Derek Carr has what it takes to be a high-level quarterback in the league. But frankly, I just don’t see it. Carr does not handle pressure well and is the type of QB that lets the game pace dictates his pace which, to me, is a backup QB’s mentality.

I love Latavius Murray especially for fantasy purposes and I recommended him highly this week. But Murray was the worst player in football this Sunday. He missed two blocks that nearly got Derek Carr killed each time. He also dropped two passes, one of which was popped up in the air and intercepted by the Bears. Then there was the fumble that he lost late that allowed the Bears to get back in the game. Roy Helu, who looked considerably better than Murray both running and catching the football today, replaced him after the fumble.

Amari Cooper’s TD was originally called incomplete by the back judge who thought his second foot had come down out of bounds. Luckily, the Raiders decided to review the play and the TD was confirmed.

Michael Crabtree left for more than a quarter of this game after his right leg was rolled up on early on in the second quarter. He came back but was limping pretty bad at times the rest of the way. Crabtree's injury situation should be monitored this week.

Another surprise this morning was Bears QB Jay Cutler starting just two weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 hamstring strain. If anybody doesn’t believe that a QB matters, or that Cutler is a good one, needs to look at the tape of the Bears offense last week compared to this week.

Cutler looked mobile early on but was in obvious pain late in the afternoon. In the fourth quarter he was not using his legs much on his throws and became wildly inaccurate as a result.

Matt Forte had two goal-line carries but could not convert on either attempt. I am beginning to wonder if the Bears are going to use Jeremy Langford instead of Forte in goal-line situations moving forward.

The Bears lost starting center Will Montgomery on the first drive of the game due to an ankle injury.


21 – Houston at Atlanta – 48

Ryan Mallett was horrible today, finishing 12-of-27 for 150 yards and one INT. Mallett was replaced by Brian Hoyer midway through the third quarter and Hoyer threw for 232 yards and two TDs.

Arian Foster played sparingly in this game but did receive eight total carries. He also lost a critical fumble that was actually caused by his own teammate and not his fault at all.

The Texans lost a lot more than this game however. WR Nate Washington limped off the field and did not return from a hamstring injury. Also, WR Cecil Shorts who went for 6-87-1 today suffered a separated shoulder on the last play of the game.

Make no mistake here folks, DeVonta Freeman will be the Falcons' lead RB even when Tevin Coleman returns. But the thing to understand here is that you really want to own both of these RBs in this much-improved Falcons running game.

While Roddy White was more involved today, it is clear that Matt Ryan prefers Leonard Hankerson as his secondary target next to Julio Jones.

Falcons LB Justin Durant was knocked out of this game with an injured elbow.

I tweeted this out earlier but it is fair to officially declare that Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is a far better coach than Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley. Remember that the Seahawks actually got better when Quinn was promoted when Bradley left. 


21 - Kansas City at Cincinnati – 36

The Chiefs gained more total yards (461-445), ran more offensive plays (73-50), got more first downs (24-18) and won the time of possession (36:53-23:07), yet somehow were never really in this ballgame.

Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos booted seven field goals on the day which ties him for the second most field goals in a game in NFL history.

There will be talk about Charcandrick West getting time behind Jamaal Charles in today’s game. West rushed five times for 17 yards and had a four-yard reception as well, but he is not ahead of Knile Davis on the depth chart. West is an intriguing change-of-pace back with whom the Chiefs are trying to generate a spark. But if anything were to happen to Charles, rest assured it would be Davis who becomes the RB1.

Next week on the Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM, I am going to make a point to teach people about game flow and just how important it is in fantasy football. Jeremy Hill, like LeGarrette Blount last week, rumbled for three touchdowns as the Bengals sat on a lead for most of the afternoon. There will be big games for Hill, but you cannot think that this performance means Hill is back to being an RB1 in fantasy because you will have your heart broken if you believe this.

Speaking of Hill, I noticed early in this game that he was clutching the ball much higher than I remember him doing before. So, I went back through some Youtube clips and compared and, sure enough, he is carrying the ball different than he was in 2014.

The Bengals defense sacked Alex Smith five times today, each time while sending only four (or fewer) pass rushers.


27 – Cleveland at San Diego – 30

Before you get all excited about Josh McCown (again) be warned that despite throwing for 356 yards in this game, his passes traveled an average of just 4.6 yards downfield today. That means he relied heavily on his receivers to do the work--something that can also be credited to the Chargers defense missing a ton of tackles this afternoon.

The Browns are finding ways to get Duke Johnson the football, making him a guy who should be owned in all leagues now and who can be considered for RB2 or FLEX starts in PPR formats. In addition to his 116 total yards today, he was also in the game on the goal line, which was a very interesting development as well considering Isaiah Crowell usually receives all of the goal-line work.

I am still not buying into Gary Barnidge. I look around the NFL and see so many better players in better situations that it seriously makes me kind of sad to see fantasy players gravitating toward him.

The Browns lost CB Tashaun Gipson to an ankle injury, backup RB Shaun Draughn with a back injury and WR Brian Hartline who left multiple times for a rib and quad injury.

The Chargers played this game without three of their starting five offensive linemen today in King Dunlap (LT), Orlando Franklin (LG) and Chris Watt (C). They lost both WR Malcom Floyd and CB Brandon Flowers due to concussions today while WR Stevie Johnson was taken out by a hamstring injury.

The game-winning 34-yard field goal by Josh Lambo almost never happened. The Chargers had lined up and attempted a 39-yard field goal to win the game but Lambo pushed the kick wide right. But an offsides penalty on the Browns moved the kick up five yards and gave Lambo the opportunity to win it--which he did.

Melvin Gordon was stuffed on his first goal-line carry of the season today. He also missed a blitz pickup early on which upset QB Philip Rivers so much that he screamed at both Gordon and the Chargers running backs coach on the sideline after the play.


17 – Green Bay at San Francisco – 3

The Packers had a big opportunity on the very first play of this game when Aaron Rodgers floated a beautiful pass along the sidelines that rookie WR Ty Montgomery simply dropped through his hands. For those that watch a lot of Packers football it was a vintage Jordy Nelson play that Montgomery proved he wasn’t ready for quite yet.

There is nothing worse for a fantasy owner than when John Kuhn gets a one-yard rushing TD.  Rodgers had a TD run on the play before but the referees huddled and declared that he had stepped out of bounds on the one-yard line before the ball broke the plane of the goal line.

Nope, not buying into Richard Rodgers here either. I like him slightly better than Gary Barnidge of the Browns, but there isn’t enough volume to sustain any kind of fantasy success for Rodgers here.

At one point in this game Clay Matthews sacked 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Immediately afterwards he not only kissed his bicep to mock Kaepernick’s signature move but was also picked up on mic saying “You’re not Russell Wilson, bro.”

It has become painfully obvious that Colin Kaepernick has regressed significantly as a QB the past two years. You can blame the player if you want, but in fairness to Kaepernick he has had literally zero coaching assistance over the past two years. The play designs here in San Francisco are horrible and the play calling is bush league. This is a kid that needs a Chan Gailey or Hue Jackson type of offensive mind to help get his career back on track.

I know many of you were excited about Carlos Hyde after the first week of the season. But with Reggie Bush back and the 49ers defense playing poorly, Hyde is going to be at the mercy of game flow moving forward the rest of this season.


24 – St. Louis at Arizona – 22

The Rams defense is no joke. It’s seriously amazing that they have actually given up as many points as they have so far this season and I thoroughly expect them to get even better. They sacked Carson Palmer four times today and limited the Cardinals to only four field goals in five trips inside the red zone.

I had already written on my notepad today that Todd Gurley was hesitant with the ball in his hands after the first half of this game. Then he burst on the scene in the second half and I have to admit I was very impressed. He ran much more aggressively and made the most of the holes that the Rams line made for him. This performance has boosted his value into low-end RB2 territory now.

The Rams lost LB Alec Ogletree to a broken ankle in the first half of today’s game. He is expected to need surgery this week and could miss the rest of the season.

Cardinals rookie RB David Johnson had a very up-and-down day today. He fumbled the opening kickoff of the game, setting the Rams up for an early 7-0 lead. Later on he dropped a crucial pass that would have given the Cardinals a TD and tied up the ballgame. He did wind up catching 4-63-1 on the day, but those two big gaffes will definitely hurt his chances of touching the ball once Andre Ellington comes back.

The Cardinals had more first downs (26-13), more total yards (447-328) and led in time of possession (33:13-26:47) yet still never held the led in this game.


20 – Minnesota at Denver – 23

It is disappointing the Vikings didn’t attempt to get TE Kyle Rudolph more involved in the passing game today. But you have to consider that the Vikings had major protection issues which forced Rudolph to stay in as a blocker far more than usual. Also, the Broncos have very athletic LBs who are very capable in coverage.

Adrian Peterson’s 48-yard TD run came on a fourth-and-one play in which the entire middle of the field opened up for him and he took it to the house. Outside of that run, the Broncos defense did a good job using multiple tacklers on Peterson today. You could tell that it was a point to make sure that Peterson never got loose after an initial hit.

I felt that WR Stefon Diggs actually played a pretty good ballgame today. He’s not a guy that I was excited about heading into the draft and especially after landing in Minnesota. But he showed us today that he’s going to be able to get open at the NFL level. Diggs has the speed to make big plays so he is certainly a name to know as we get further into the bye weeks.

Every one of the Broncos' games so far this season has come down to the final few minutes and somehow they have been able to come out ahead in each case.

Before you soak your drawers over Ronnie Hillman’s performance today, realize that if you take away his 72-yard TD run he compiled just 10-31. C.J. Anderson was slightly better to that end rushing for 11-43. The clear thing here is that Anderson is not going to revert back to his 2014 form anytime soon.

DeMaryius Thomas took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter of today’s game. He was examined on the sideline but remained in the game the entire time. I would not be surprised if we heard about a late-week concussion popping up for Thomas based on the nature of the hit so be aware.

Owen Daniels scored another TD today. He hasn’t been used nearly as much as I had thought going into the season but he is a legitimate red zone weapon for a Broncos team in dire need of one. He’s a fringe TE1 in my opinion, based on the nature of the offense and the history of Peyton Manning with his TEs.


20 – Dallas at New Orleans – 26

Despite the loss of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, it isn’t the Cowboys offense that is costing them wins lately. The Cowboys defense is not tackling well and are absolutely melting down at the end of games.

It didn’t help that once again LB Sean Lee left the game due to injury. Lee was diagnosed with a concussion late in the first half and obviously did not return.

The news is likely bad for Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar who hurt his knee while returning the second half kickoff. Dunbar got twisted up and you could immediately see the pain on his face as he lost the football due to the pain. Expect to lose Dunbar for much, if not all, of the rest of the season.

I am so bummed out about my guy Brice Butler tonight. He basically did what I thought in making a big play--a 67-yard catch-and-run--but was injured at the end of it and never returned. Earlier in the game, Butler drew a key pass interference penalty when targeted in the endzone by QB Brandon Weeden. Here is hoping that the hamstring injury isn’t a long-term deal for the talented wideout.

Drew Brees is obviously limited by his rotator cuff injury but he’s also still a very good passer. I wouldn’t expect a 33-41, 359 yards, 2 TDs line from him much the rest of the season, but he showed today why he is still a Top-12 fantasy QB even with just 60 percent of his normal arm strength.

Mark Ingram had a rushing TD called back because of a penalty tonight. Two plays later the Saints gave it to Khiry Robinson for the short yardage TD carry.

C.J. Spiller still has that “take it to the house” ability, as demonstrated by his 80-yard game-winning TD catch-and-run in overtime. He isn’t quite as quick as he looked before the knee surgery but this is a guy that the Saints need to get involved more going forward.