Week 15 Recap: X Marks The Spot
December 15, 2014 | Jeff
Week 15 is a big one in the fake football world with fantasy championships a mere week away. With playoff hopes on the line, many fantasy studs flopped in Week 15 (looking at you, Mr. Rodgers) but there were some exceptional performances, led by Dez Bryant. Hopefully you have a Week 15 win tucked neatly in bed at this point, or are close to wrapping up a victory on Monday night. If not, you can still enjoy the mountains of DFS coverage here at The Fake Football and squeeze out another few weeks of fantasy action. After all, the offseason is a cold, lonely place. Now, strap up that chin strap and get ready to break down a few notable fantasy highlights and lowlights from Week 15…
Dez Destroys Philly
Fantasy owners in need of a lift on Sunday Night Football were rewarded by Dez Bryant, as he raised up his signature “X” in the endzones at Lincoln Financial Field a grand total of three times. Six catches for 114 yards and three scores was the final stat line for Dez, who now has 13 touchdowns on the season, tying his career high from last season. Dez now has 47 touchdowns over the last four seasons. 47. This guy is an absolute moose and is simply a joy to watch on a weekly basis. Indianapolis gets to attempt to slow down Bryant next week while fantasy owners look for an encore from Dez with hardware on the line.
No-Show In Buffalo
The Green Bay Packers devastated fantasy football owners on multiple levels on Sunday, beginning in the hours prior to kickoff. Rumors of running back Eddie Lacy (hip) being limited and rumors of a split with James Starks were rampant on Sunday morning, leading fantasy owners to scramble for safer options. Once the game kicked off, it was business as usual for Lacy as he out-carried Starks 15-4 and pumped out 108 total yards and a score. If that misdirection wasn’t enough, the vaunted Packers passing game vanished before our eyes, with Aaron Rodgers throwing two interceptions and not a single touchdown. Jordy Nelson (five catches for 55 yards) also turned in a performance well below his usual standards, capping off a terrible fantasy week from Green Bay in a difficult matchup. Aaron Rodgers and company get a softer matchup next week at Tampa Bay, in case your fantasy team survived Sunday’s blood bath.
ODB Erupts Again
Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. had another monster game on Sunday, catching 12 passes for 143 yards and a three-pack of touchdowns. Beckham’s late-season roll is the stuff fantasy legends are made of, as his weekly stat lines have been ridiculous. Over his last seven games, Beckham is averaging the following:
8.7 receptions, 11.9 targets, and 123.7 yards per game while scoring six total touchdowns.
That is a cool 16-game pace of 139 catches and 1,979 yards for the rookie who is demolishing NFL secondaries in just his first few months as a professional. The sky is obviously the limit for Beckham, who is carrying fake footballers to the fantasy promise land. A stiffer defense awaits Beckham and the Giants in Week 16 (STL), but you would be insane to bet against ODB right now.
Hill Hammers Cleveland
While the majority of NFL fans will remember Sunday’s Browns/Bengals blowout for the performance turned in by Johhny Foozball, savvy fake footballer will take note of the official changing of the guard among Bengals running backs. Earlier this week, Cincinnati OC Hue Jackson expressed the desire to lean more on one running back, and fantasy owners of rookie Jeremy Hill were happy to find out that this wasn’t simply lip service from Jackson. Hill ran hard all day on Sunday until the game was safely out of hand, rumbling for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries (5.9 ypc). Gio Bernard received 15 carries himself, but Hill is the clear lead back for the Bengals and is a borderline RB1 now in fantasy land. Look for Hill to keep rolling in Week 16 against Denver on Monday Night Football.
Harry Douglas (14 targets) came to the rescue for Julio Jones owners, as the backup stepped in and delivered 10 catches for 131 yards. Anytime Roddy White or Julio Jones have missed time, Douglas has done an admirable job filling in and won himself a game ball from fantasy owners this week for the big effort. … Carolina’s Greg Olsen (13 targets) led all tight ends in the target department in Week 16, and he hauled in 10 passes for 110 yards. Olsen is on fire lately, with 20 catches on 24 targets for 182 yards and a score over the last two weeks. Olsen has proved to be effective with either Cam Newton or Derek Anderson under center, so his Week 16 value will remain high when the Panthers host the Cleveland Browns. … Andre Holmes (12 targets) was thrown to a dozen times on Sunday but only managed five catches for 70 yards. Holmes is now catching just 52% of his targets on the season. … Josh Gordon (4 targets) got lost in the shuffle during Cleveland’s meltdown on Sunday. Hopefully the Browns offense will bounce back in Week 16 at Carolina so Flash can get back on track. Remember, Gordon put up ridiculous numbers in 2013 with Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer, and Brandon Weeden at quarterback, so don’t get too discouraged about Gordon’s future prospects because of Manziel’s struggles. … Mychal Rivera (12 targets) was busy again on Sunday but caught seven passes for just 39 yards. Rivera has quietly been a steady source of targets at the tight end position (averaging eight targets per game over Oakland’s last eight contests), and is a worthy streaming target despite the struggles of Oakland’s offense.