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 my notepad to all our Fantasy Alarm readers so that you guys can go beyond the boxscore to get the information you need to win your league.
In my writeup for the DFS NFL Playbook this week I said that I felt that this week would be chaos and that we would try and embrace it as much as possible. Well, I feel like we got exactly what we thought with players like Jeremy Hill, Matt Forte and Tyrod Taylor having the big weeks while others like Blake Bortles, Marvin Jones and Amari Cooper completely wet the bed.
It feels like every Monday I have to go on the air and tell everybody to remain calm. You need to be able to stay confident in the players you’ve bought stock in and stick with them even after they hurt you the week before. There is way too much chasing in fantasy football and it ends up wearing most owners out before they can reach their destination.
I’ll do my best to try and make sense of the week that was in the NFL and fantasy football this week.
Here are the Week 7 Fantasy Football Game Recaps:
17 – New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams – 10
Fantasy Player of Game: Tavon Austin, WR, Rams – 10-57-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants – 5-49 receiving
These London games have run their course. Not only do they disturb the regular Sunday flow of fans and every media outlet trying to cover the NFL, they feature some incredibly bad football teams more often than not. The NFL wonders why ratings are down yet they continue to use these stupid gimmicks to try and gain exposure when it has the exact opposite effect.
If you were up at 6 AM on the west coast, you would have known that OBJ came down with some hamstring tightness right before game time today. He was very limited in the first half of this game so we should be thankful that he got to the 5-49 level that he did today.
Giants CB Landon Collins was easily the player of this game. He had a terrific interception and return for a TD early on in the game and then put it on ice when he picked Keenum off again leading to the Giants other touchdown. The Giants secondary when healthy is actually a very talented group. But they have to play together in order to gel the way that good secondary’s do.
Giants WR Dwayne Harris had to be carted off the field after suffering a back injury late in the first half. He was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field but then miraculously returned to the game in the fourth quarter. I don’t think that I have ever seen someone return to the game after being carted off in this fashion.
Let me take you through the Los Angeles Rams franchise right now. They hold the city of St. Louis hostage in negotiating for a new stadium to be paid by the taxpayers. That fails so they jump ship to L.A. and leverage the NFL and the city for a new stadium there as well. Then they trade two first round picks, two second round picks and two third round picks in order to trade up for the top pick in the NFL Draft only to select a QB that winds up being their third best QB to start the season. Then head coach Jeff Fisher spends the entire training camp telling his team to not touch #30 (RB Todd Gurley) because he is the “heart of the offense.” So, after starting the season 3-1, he decides to let Case Keenum chuck the ball all over the field the past two weeks. The Rams threw the ball a whopping 53 times today, a game in which the outcome was within a single score the entire time. Todd Gurley is being wasted as is every other talented players on this team. The Rams quite possibly are the second worst franchise in the NFL right now.
No, you shouldn’t get Jared Goff if he is anointed the starting job next week. The Rams are an awful passing team and you simply cannot trust any of these players to be regular contributors in fantasy football.
21 – New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs – 27
Fantasy Player of Game: Drew Brees, QB, Saints – 367 yards, 3 TD’s passing
Fantasy Disappointment: Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs – 2-24 receiving
The Saints played better on the road this time then they had in quite awhile. Their next two home games are very tough against Seattle next week and Denver two weeks later. While the road games are at San Francisco and Carolina which are both very tasty matchups for this Saints club.
The Saints have scored a touchdown on the first drive in each of their last four games.
Michael Thomas is quietly becoming the Saints most dependable wide receiver. He grabbed 10 balls for 130 yards today and is becoming a frequent target of Brees on third downs.
The Saints were without the entire left side of their offensive line at times today as LT Terron Armstead left for a little over a quarter of this game as he was forced out with a knee injury but later returned. LG Senio Kelemete came out of the game after suffering a neck stinger and did not return.
Jamaal Charles was barely on the field today which wasn’t that big of a surprise. He logged just two snaps and carried the ball just once for a gain of zero yards. It appears as though Charles knee is in bad shape and thus he cannot be counted on even as a handcuff to Spencer Ware. I’d consider Charcandrick West as the handcuff in Kansas City starting this week.
Remember that Spencer Ware was a sixth round pick of the Seattle Seahawks back in 2013 and owns a Super Bowl ring from his season in Seattle. He was drafted as a fullback and thus his emergence in Kansas City has a lot to do with the system.
The fantasy football community needs to stop trying to make Travis Kelce happen. He is not really a top 10 option on a weekly basis so let’s all just stop projecting him as such. I will lead this charge beginning next week.
34 – Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans – 26
Fantasy Player of Game: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts – 353 yards, 3 TD’s passing
Fantasy Disappointment: Kendall Wright, WR, Titans – 2-12 receiving
You can say whatever you like about the Colts as a team, head coach Chuck Pagano and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. But I will fight you to the death and I will be right about Andrew Luck being a first tier QB in the NFL. He’s the ugliest human being I have ever seen but that doesn’t seem to impact his ability at all.
Adam Vinatieri broke the NFL record of 41 consecutive field goals made previously held by former Colt Mike Vanderjagt.
Chester Rogers has a disappointing day today. His 2-30 line was a bummer but he did have another catch for 11 yards that was called out of bounds after a referee discussion. He also had a dropped pass on what would have been a 20+ yard catch and run. I still like the kid a lot and part of me really hopes that both Dorsett and Moncrief are out next week against the Chiefs.
Here is the lowdown on the Colts TE situation. They desperately need Dwayne Allen back because he helps this banged up offensive line considerably. Jack Doyle is a good pass catcher and his performance today was terrific but Allen is their guy for many reasons.
Kendall Wright was a fluke last week and should not be owned in fantasy. I absolutely hate players like this who are habitual middle of the road players. I wouldn’t go out and reclaim Tajae Sharpe by any stretch either though. Stay away from this situation entirely please.
It doesn’t show up on the stat sheet but Marcus Mariota did move around quite a bit today though he didn’t tuck it and run very often. He was constantly moving around in the pocket and moving up to deliver the football. An average fantasy day for him today but one that I came away more impressed for the third consecutive week.
The Titans had two players carted off the field today. LG Quinton Spain sustained a right knee injury in the second quarter and CB Perish Cox was taken off for a concussion.
10 – Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles – 21
Fantasy Player of Game: Nobody, everybody sucked today
Fantasy Disappointment: Everybody
This was an absolute horrible game to watch. I do not like bad football and this one was killing my soul. The Vikings specifically came out absolutely flat and reminded me a lot oddly of the Eagles coming off of their bye a couple of weeks ago.
The Eagles and Vikings combined for an astounding five turnovers in the first quarter of this game alone. In fact, each team turned the ball over in the first five series to begin the game. Luckily, things cooled down and there was only a total of eight turnovers in the game. Yuck.
Jerick McKinnon was in a great situation coming into this game but once again he let down fantasy owners today. McKinnon left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter, returned after halftime but aggravated the injury later on and did not return.
The Vikings also lost starting safety Andrew Sendejo left the game early with an ankle injury and he did not return.
Josh Huff’s 107 yard kickoff return for TD was the second consecutive game in which the Eagles have had a return for TD on special teams. This is the first time in franchise history that they have accomplished this.
Eagles CB Ron Brooks was carted off the field with an ankle injury early in the first quarter and he did not return.
17 – Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals – 31
Fantasy Player of Game: A.J. Green, WR, Bengals – 8-169-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns – 2-18 receiving
Being a Cleveland Browns QB is kind of like being the drummer for Spinal Tap. You are just destined to be doomed. Cody Kessler left the game with a concussion which marks the third time this season that Kessler has left a game due to injury.
Undrafted free agent QB Kevin Hogan is the Browns sixth QB already this season through the first seven games. He showed some flash today by rushing for a 28 yard TD and 104 yards on the ground. You would have to be so desperate to pick up Hogan that I might advise you to just quit fantasy football and enjoy the winter instead.
Terrelle Pryor had a disappointing effort today but he really didn’t play very much. Pryor didn’t enter the game until the Browns second series and was a distraction more than anything today.
A.J. Green’s touchdown reception today was on a hail mary pass at the end of the first half that was tipped up before he made the grab. In the boxscore it looks like a routine 48 yard TD catch but this was quite a fluky play to say the least.
Leave it to Jeremy Hill to have his best game of his career today as he rumbled to the tune of 9-168-1 including the longest TD of his life in a 74 yard jaunt. Then to cap off a very Jeremy Hill like day, he left the game with a chest injury in the second half and did not return. It should be noted that Hill has had a chest injury each of the last two games so this tells me there is something significant going on with that.
Tyler Eifert did play today recording his first catch of the season on a nine yard grab in the first half. He wasn’t on the field much today but did receive several snaps in the red zone including one target.
17 – Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions – 20
Fantasy Player of Game: Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins – 7-108 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Matt Jones, RB, Redskins – 10-27 rushing
This game was awful for the entire first half. Both teams traded punts and sloppy play en route to a 3-3 tie at halftime. Luckily, the fourth quarter provided us with some fantasy production today.
Oh. My. God. Matt Jones is a complete headcase as a human being. After two solid outings in which he rushed for over 100 yards, Jones put the ball on the ground twice early on today losing one of those fumbles. Head coach Jay Gruden was seen mouting the words “Get him the (Eff) out of there)” after the lost fumble. He was replaced in the game by Chris Thompson and Robert Kelley though Jones did get a goal line carry late in the ball game but he was tackled before he could get to the line of scrimmage.
It may upset some of you but the fact of the matter is that there is virtually no difference between Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis right now. Davis is Kirk Cousins go to receiver and is doing a terrific job at it. Jordan Reed will not make the trip to London next week as the Redskins play that stupid London game next week. So, Davis will get at least one more chance to shine before the bye week.
Redskins CB Josh Normal was knocked out of this game early due to a concussion. He will be placed in the leagues concussion protocol and will be highly questionable for next weeks game in London.
The Redskins also lost starting LT Trent Williams to a right knee injury late in this game. He will have an MRI on Monday and his status will be known later in the week. This would be a huge loss for the Redskins offense if Williams has to miss any time.
The Redskins also lost LG Brandon Sherff with an injury but returned to action after missing just one series.
The Lions have the most dropped passes in the NFL so far although Jacksonville is making a run at them lately. It’s incredibly to watch this team continually have passes bounce off of their hands and kill drives.
Marvin Jones was almost invisible in the first half catching just one pass total. Luckily, he wound up with 4-94 today and actually did have another 25 yard grab called back due to a penalty. Jones is the only WR in the NFL to score 7+ fantasy points in each of the first seven games.
Lions CB Darius Slay left the game just before halftime due to a right hamstring injury and did not return.
33 – Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars – 16
Fantasy Player of Game: Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders – 8-96-1 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars – 2-9 receiving
It isn’t pretty but Latavius Murray did add another dimension to this Raiders offense today. Murray’s two short yardage TD’s are so important because Derek Carr isn’t playing well right now and having to throw it from that close could have resulted in turnovers.
You can go ahead and call me the Michael Crabtree whisperer. Every time I have Crabtree in the DFS NFL Playbook he has produced at least a 3x return including today.
After Crabtree’s touchdown grab he celebrated by tossing the football backward and briefly touching his jersey. The referees flagged him for what they called a throat slash but clearly wasn’t. NFL referees suddenly have a ton of power over the results of games because of the two personal conduct penalties resulting in automatic ejections from the game.
The Raiders had a bad snap on a punt turn out well when punter Marquette King scooped the ball and ran 27 yards for a first down and the nail in the Jaguars coffin.
The Jaguars have 11 dropped passes in the last two games alone which is crippling their offense. Allen Robinson is struggling with catching the football this year. He is sinking like a stone in my WR rankings as well as I can no longer keep him in the WR1 vicinity for fantasy purposes.
If this wasn’t enough to get Gus Bradley fired than I don’t know what is. The jags had two players ejected from today’s game in what amounted to several nasty, ugly incidents. First it was Malik Jackson who drew a penalty for roughing the passer then decided to pop off to the official who flagged him again. A few plays later Jackson was tossed for once again jawing with the referee. Later on it was rookie Jalen Ramsey who was kicked out of the game for fighting with Raiders WR Johnny Holton.
Jaguars DT Roy Miller was carted off of the field for what is being described as an Achilles injury. It doesn’t look good for Miller and I have to say that its likely he could miss the rest of the season if tests show his Achilles is torn.
25 – Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – 28
Fantasy Player of Game: Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins – 28-214-1 rushing
Fantasy Disappointment: LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills – 8-11 rushing
The decision to play LeSean McCoy today might very well cost the Bills their season and Rex Ryan his job. It is incredibly how casual the Bills were coming into this game in every aspect. Whether McCoy can play next week or not is irrelevant now. The difference in going 5-2 compared to 4-3 brings the Bills back to the pack in the AFC East and could cost them a tiebreaker in the division or in the AFC.
McCoy had to leave the game before halftime as his hamstring tightened up on him. The Bills attempted just 10 rushes in the second half four of which were by the QB Tyrod Taylor.
It was a scary situation early on when Bills safety can to be carted off of the field after a devastating block by Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry. Landry launched into Williams knocking his head and neck back. Williams of course missed most of the 2015 season due to a neck injury that required surgery and threatened his career. All our best go out to Aaron Williams and his family. Get well big fella!
Before you rush out to get Marquise Goodwin off of waivers you should know that he was knocked out of this game late on what was a late hit. Goodwin had to be helped to the sideline and tested for a concussion. I wouldn’t doubt if we learn that he indeed did suffer one on the hit at some point on Monday.
By now you’ve heard that Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is only the fourth RB ever to rush for 200+ yards in back to back games. He joins a list that includes O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. There is little question as to who the RB1 is in Miami now and going forward. This Ajayi breakout screams of an annual event in fantasy football and that is wild breakouts from relatively unknown or random players.
The Dolphins have been using an extra offensive lineman each of the last two weeks by having them declare as an eligible receiver (tight end). The move has been genius as the Dolphins O-line has been absolutely dominating.
16 – Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets – 24
Fantasy Player of Game: Mike Wallace, WR, Ravens – 10-120 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Terrance West, RB, Ravens – 8-10 rushing
Supposedly Joe Flacco was nursing a sore throwing shoulder going into the game yet the Ravens decided to throw 44 times. Something there just doesn’t make much sense to me. Either way, it is clear that Baltimore is without an offensive identity right now and that is crushing the fantasy value for everyone on this offense.
Terrance West had a 49 yard run brought back due to a holding penalty on the Ravens. It’s a shame because that one run was five times as long as all of his other runs combined.
A 4-40 line isn’t anything to write home about but once again TE Dennis Pitta racked up 10 targets on the day He remains among the top five in the NFL for targets from a TE this season.
The signing of kick returner Devin Hester has been a complete bust for the Ravens this season. Hester has had one return of over 15 yards this season and fumbled the ball twice in this contest. Luckily the Ravens were able to recover both times.
Geno Smith didn’t last long in his first start in two years. Smith suffered a right knee injury in the second quarter of the game and did not return. He will be reevaluated on Monday and his status updated at that time.
I cannot wait to see the fallout from Ryan Fitzpatrick’s postgame comments saying that everybody in the Jets franchise had lost faith in him and now he stuck it up their ass with this win.
A bigger concern for the Jets is the loss of starting center Nick Mangold who left the game on the first drive of the game with an ankle injury. Mangold has been hurt in just about every game the Jets have played so far this season.
34 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers – 17
Fantasy Player of Game: Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers – 8-96-2 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Torrey Smith, WR, 49ers – 1-17 receiving
Jacquizz Rodgers had another stellar game running 26 times for 154 yards today. He has been an absolute blessing for those that got him on waivers a couple of weeks ago. Doug Martin’s setback with his hamstring means that Rodgers will continue to get starts and a heavy workload for this team over the next few weeks.
It appears as though veteran journeyman Russell Shepard is Winston’s favorite target other than Mike Evans now with Vincent Jackson out for the season. I wouldn’t necessarily pick Shepard up yet but he is a name worth monitoring. Cecil Shorts did not have a target and Adam Humphries had just three targets and two catches on the day.
Believe it or not, the 49ers had a 14-0 lead today before being outscored 34-3 the rest of the way. Colin Kaepernick as started out well each of the last two weeks as he led the team down the field on the first drive and got them into the endzone.
Say what you will about Kaepernick but he nearly hit a 3x value in DFS this week thanks mostly to his 84 yards rushing. If his salary stays low he can be usable on the regular. But as soon as his salary gets into the $7K+ range it will be time to lay off.
After that first drive I really thought we were about to see a nice game out of Mike Davis but that never materialized. Davis and Shaun Draughn split carries for most of the day with Draughn leading the team in both targets and receptions today. Carlos Hyde is expected back after the bye week when the 49ers face the Saints.
49ers OLB Aaron Lynch was knocked out of the game due to an ankle sprain and did not return. The team believes that it is a high ankle sprain which will keep Lynch out for anywhere between 2-4 weeks.
33 – San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons – 30
Fantasy Player of Game: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons – 9-174 receiving
Fantasy Disappointment: Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers – 1-16
Don’t look now but the Chargers…aren’t the Chargers anymore. What I mean is that after beating the Broncos last week and giving the red hot Falcons all they could handle today, this team may no longer be the doormat we all pegged them for earlier in the season.
Melvin Gordon is having a very odd season. He is only averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry so far and is on a pace for just 898 yards rushing this season. But the touchdowns have been a huge lift to his fantasy value. The problem is that a player who is this reliant on touchdowns is due for a massive let down as soon as those opportunities cease.
I love Tyrell Williams and if appears as though Philip Rivers does as well. Williams is not just getting more targets than any other Chargers receiver, he is becoming the go to guy in big situations which means he isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon.
Falcons kicker Matt Bryant had a chance to win the game in regulation but his 58 yard field goal attempt hit the upright and bounced out.
Matt Ryan set a record today with his 273 passing yards. He now has the longest streak in NFL history of throwing for 200+ yards in a game. Today the streak hit 46 consecutive games and counting.
Tevin Coleman was having himself a great day before coming down with a hamstring injury that knocked him out of the game. We will get an update on Monday about Coleman’s status and that could be a huge boost for Devonta Freeman owners if he misses any time.
27 – New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers – 16
Fantasy Player of Game: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots – 24-127-2 rushing
Fantasy Disappointment: Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots – 1-5 receiving
Before everyone goes gaga over James White and his third receiving touchdown of the season today, understand that he touched the ball just twice in the ballgame. White didn’t have a single carry in the game and you simply cannot use a RB that is only a pass catcher out of the backfield.
For those who thought that Martellus Bennett was going to be a regular thing for the Patriots I present you with this effort today. Bennett is still getting the snaps but his targets and catches are going to be way too sporadic to qualify as an every week starter.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed another extra point today, his second consecutive week with a missed XP. Gostkowski is the NFL record holder for consecutive extra points made with 479 straight.
The Steelers shot themselves in the foot when Landry Jones hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for a game tying touchdown in the second quarter only to have it nullified by a holding penalty on backup RG Chris Hubbard. Chris Boswell wound up then missing a 42 yard field goal attempt to give the ball back to the Patriots.
Landry Jones played very well in this game I thought. I had low expectations going in but he brought the Steelers down the field constantly against the Patriots but just couldn’t convert in the red zone. Still, getting the ball to Antonio Brown seven times for 106 yards was a very good thing to see.
Antonio Brown was in and out of this game for a bit early in the second half due to a quad injury. He only caught one pass after the injury but did remain in the game missing one drive. The Steelers are on bye next week so he should be fine by the time they suit up again in week nine.
Sammie Coates left this game early on after he aggravated his broken and lacerated finger. Coates played just seven snaps in the game and caught one pass for four yards for his effort.
6 – Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals – 6
Fantasy Player of Game: David Johnson, RB, Cardinals – 33-113 rushing
Fantasy Disappointment: Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks – 16-52 rushing
This was another just horrible game to watch. Listen, I love defensive football and I don’t need big fantasy output to be excited about a football game. But what I saw tonight was flipping ridiculous. How a team like the Cardinals could rack up over 430 yards of offense and barely sniff the goal line in five quarters is beyond amazing. Ties are dumb and the NFL is not doing itself any favors with these lackluster primetime games this season.
This was the first NFL game to end in a tie that did not feature a touchdown since 1972.
Somehow Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner was able to hurdle the Cardinals offensive line, hitting his foot on the center, block the field goal attempt but doesn’t get flagged for the violation. He did this on both of Chandler Catanzaro misses today.
I’m confused as to why I am still hearing people tout Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett week after week. Lockett isn’t a part of the Seahawks offense and has no business being owned in fantasy football leagues whatsoever.
Steven Hauschka had a chance to win the game at the end of overtime but pushed a 27 yard field goal attempt way left to preserve the tie game.
Seahawks starting LT Bradley Sowell was carted off of the field with a leg injury late in this game and did not return.
Chandler Catanzaro couldn’t put through a 24 yard field goal attempt that would have given the Cardinals the win. There is a VERY good chance that he is released as early as tomorrow.
The Cardinals were without WR John Brown tonight due to leg pain stemming from his sickle cell trait. Then they lost fellow wideout Jaron Brown after he aggravated his knee injury that he sustained in practice this week.