Dec 18, 2012
—Written by Brian Dezelske
—Edited by Marc Caviglia
Week 15 of the 2012 NFL season had its share of fantasy football disappointments. Players like Doug Martin, Roddy White and Ray Rice cost many owners a shot at fantasy glory, and leaving them with nothing but that empty feeling inside.’
Once again, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson put up big yardage numbers in their quest for record-breaking immortality, meanwhile helping propel owners to their respective fantasy football championships. Some lesser-known names pulled through as well; names like Sam Bradford and James Jones put up huge fantasy days but may not have been in many lineups, causing yet more pain and agony for owners.
All the aforementioned names put their stamp on this past week in one form or another, but will it be enough to make the Bruno Boys Week 15 Studs and Duds? Read on and find out.
Josh Freeman & Doug Martin. QB & RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Few players disappointed last week like Josh Freeman and Doug Martin did. Freeman had arguably the best matchup of any quarterback in the entire NFL and did absolutely nothing with it. Against an awful New Orleans Saints secondary, he put up 279 yards on 47 attempts, threw four interceptions and coughed up a fumble. Martin was no better. The ‘Muscle Hamster’ grinded out a paltry 1.8 yards per carry average on nine carries for 16 yards against the league’s 31st-ranked rushing defense.
There’s no rhyme or reason for why these guys tanked the way they did; they’ve been consistently putting up big numbers all year long. Owners simply have to chalk it up to one of those freak occurrences and move on.
Hopefully owners were able to eek out a win in their respective playoffs and give these guys a chance to redeem themselves. Freeman has a bit of a tough matchup against the St. Louis Rams secondary, but Martin will be facing a defense that’s allowed an average of 18.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs over the last five games.
Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego Chargers
Over the past month or so, Danario Alexander made a name for himself as a fantasy savior of sorts. In the five games prior to Week 15, he had put up 494 yards and five touchdowns. So it came as a shock to owners that he couldn’t even manage one reception last week against the Carolina Panthers. What’s more mind boggling is that he was only targeted three times, after leading the team in targets over the last month.
Many fantasy football owners were bounced from their playoffs due to the lack of anything from him, but those who managed to make the next round of the playoffs will have a chance to get him out of the lineup before he hurts them again. The San Diego Chargers will host the New York Jets, who despite being an absolute clown show on offense can do some good things on defense. They haven’t allowed a touchdown to the receiver position since Week 12 and give up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Jamaal Charles touching the football is critical to the success of the Kansas City Chiefs. So why doesn’t Romeo Crennel get that? Does he want to lose his job? Seriously, the Oakland Raiders give up the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and had allowed nine touchdowns to the position before last week’s game. So it makes perfect sense that Charles would carry the ball nine times and the Chiefs would only run the ball 10 times. The lack of production here isn’t a reflection on Charles so much as it’s a reflection of the horrific minds that oversee the Chiefs offense.
It’s hard to predict what to do with him if you’re an owner. He’s one of the five or six best running backs in the entire NFL, yet he rarely gets used the right way. Owners who are limited at the position may be forced to start him in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts. That could be good news for owners; the Colts are giving up an average of 16.9 fantasy points to opposing backs and 124.7 yards per game on the ground.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
In a game where the Atlanta Falcons dismantled the New York Giants 34-0 by way of three Matt Ryan touchdown passes, Roddy White finished the day with just two receptions for 16 yards and dropped his second stinker in three weeks. Clearly he and Ryan are not on the same page and its costing fantasy owners a lot of bragging rights.
Maybe he can turn it around when the Falcons head to the Motor City to play the Detroit Lions in the only Saturday game of the 2012 season. The Lions are giving up 21.1 fantasy points to opposing receivers, and White had 52 yards and a touchdown last year against them.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice dropped a massive stink bomb on his fantasy owners this week. He ran the ball 12 times for only 38 yards in the Baltimore Ravens 34-17 loss at home to the Denver Broncos. It was a bad outing that cost plenty of owners a shot at fantasy glory.
However, owners who were lucky enough to withstand his poor performance will be glad to know Rice having bad days this year is the exception to the rule. He only has two games where he didn’t score a touchdown or pile up at least 90 combo yards. Look for him to bounce back this week against the New York Giants who have given up an average of 24 fantasy points over the last two games.