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NFL Week 15 Recap: Jalen Hurts About to Rush Into the Record Book

Fresh off the Saturday and Sunday slate of games, Fantrax looks back at all the good, the bad, and the interesting from every NFL game in the Week 15 fantasy football recap.

Hopefully, we can use what we learned in the first 15 weeks of fantasy football to help make better lineup decisions moving forward. This weekly column will highlight the week’s slate from a fantasy perspective, while also analyzing what trends to pay attention to in the weeks ahead.

For Week 15, we will look at the Saturday and Sunday slate of games highlighted by a massive second half from the Minnesota offense, Jalen Hurts playing running back, and Zay Jones putting up a hat trick.

Week 15 Fantasy Football Recap

Week 15 Studs

Kirk Cousins

It looked like we were going to get vintage Primetime Kirk Cousins out there on Saturday afternoon through about 2.5 quarters. Staked to a 33-0 deficit, the Vikings looked dead in the water before Cousins put them on his back and carried them with his 460 yards passing and four touchdown throws. He staged the biggest comeback in NFL history and managed to make fantasy monsters out of multiple skill players on his team. If you stuck with Cousins in your first round of the fantasy playoffs, congratulations on advancing.

Jalen Hurts

With three rushing touchdowns on Sunday Hurts (13 rushing scores) now moves within one of Cam Newton’s record for a quarterback in one season. He also managed to throw 120+ yards to both Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score says against the Bears. Now the Eagles should get Dallas Goedert back next week in the most obvious case of the rich get richer in this entire NFL season.

Josh Allen

Allen could not let Kirk Cousins upstage him on Saturday, so he delivered four passing touchdowns plus 77 rushing yards in the Snowball Game against the Miami Dolphins. The Bills will now cruise to the division title and this was the first game since Allen’s elbow injury that he looked fully healthy.

Trevor Lawrence

The theme among top quarterbacks this weekend was four passing touchdowns and Lawrence wanted to get in on some of that. The four-score win in OT now puts Lawrence in rare company this season. He has four out of his last five games with at least 21 fantasy points and two touchdowns. Since November 6th, he has thrown 14 touchdowns and just one pick.

Jerick McKinnon

That’s now back-to-back weeks as the overall RB1 for McKinnon, who destroyed the Texans for 52 rush yards, a rushing score, eight catches, 70 receiving yards, and receiving touchdown, and a two-point conversion for 30.2 half-PPR points. We have seen now that Isiah Pacheco is going to get standard rushing work inside the 20s, but McKinnon is getting everything else: goal-line, third-down, passing work, and two-minute drill. If it’s high-leverage, McKinnon owns it.

Rhamondre Stevenson

So much for a bum ankle, I guess. After 172 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, only a questionable lateral to close the game could ruin Stevenson’s day. Once Damian Harris was ruled out and it was clear the Patriots were not going to be elevating a practice squad running back, that could have been our signal. But I know plenty of people were burned by this performance against the Raiders because they didn’t trust the injury news.

Raheem Mostert

Mostert looked like he was built in a laboratory to run in snow games with the way he was destroying people on Saturday. He rushed 17 times for 136 yards and added a catch for 20 yards for good measure. With Jeff Wilson, Jr. frequently hobbled, this looks like Mostert’s team the rest of the way as the Dolphins hang on to one of the last playoff spots for dear life.

Tyler Allgeier

Allgeier’s breakout performance on Sunday couldn’t help the Falcons come away with a win, but it cemented him as the running back lead of the committee in Atlanta and certainly the back of the future. His 139 rushing yards on just 17 attempts (plus a rushing touchdown) gave him 22.1 fantasy points on the day, flying past his next highest-scoring game from this season (16 fantasy points).

K.J. Osborn and Justin Jefferson

Cousins’ second-half heroics were due in large part to this Purple People Eater duo. They combined for 280 yards and two scores in the eventual win over the Colts. These two were peppered with 22 targets on the day while no other player for Minnesota saw more than four.

Zay Jones

Zay Jones outscored every other wide receiver on Sunday by almost 10 points as he tallied 109 yards on six catches including three touchdowns. It has been some kind of stretch for Jones who has at least eight targets and six catches in four of his last five games. He has recently supplanted Christian Kirk the as go-to option in Jacksonville and it has helped raise Lawrence’s play to the tune of a 14:1 touchdown to interception ratio over the last few weeks.

A.J. Brown

While all the touchdowns went to Jalen Hurts, all the receiving yards went to Brown, who popped off for nine catches and 181 yards, including being tackled at the one-yard line. The positive touchdowns variance has certainly found Brown this season (10 scores), but his consistent target share (16 targets on Sunday) is what makes him truly elite. Now he gets the national stage in a showdown with Dallas where he is sure to be fed since the Cowboys have a stout run defense.

Russell Gage

There are a lot of people who had Gage’s two touchdowns sitting on their bench or on their league’s waiver wire. With Julio Jones sitting out, Gage got an expanded role, but most fantast managers are still trying to figure out what that role didn’t funnel more to Chris Godwin or Mike Evans.

Dawson Knox

If you drafted Dawson Knox this year, how long ago did you drop him, because I know you did. No reasonable fantasy manager would have held on while he averaged 3.2 receptions and 33.8 receiving yards with no touchdowns in Weeks 9-13. And even if you hadn’t dropped him, did anyone start him in the snowpocalypse game on Saturday? Likely not many.

Juwan Johnson

Several people made the point at the end of the day on Sunday that the only two tight ends with at least seven touchdowns this season are now Travis Kelce and Juwan Johnson. In his first game back from injury, Johnson caught four of six targets for 67 yards and two scores. If this is a new toy that Andy Dalton is going to get to play with, I am very comfortable using him in the next two rounds of the playoffs.

Week 15 Duds

Justin Herbert

Herbert becomes the first quarterback to not have a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans this year, in what has become the ultimate pass funnel against opposing offenses. The two interceptions were also just a punch in the gut just one week after Herbert dropped 375 total yards with no turnovers on the Dolphins. It’s just Herbert’s second game this year with no scores, but in the first week of the playoffs, this one stings quite a bit more.

Mac Jones

Against a top-five quarterback matchup like the Las Vegas Raiders, Mac Jones is supposed to do something, ANYTHING, against this defense. Once we knew Jakobi Meyers and Rhamondre Stevenson would be in, it was a bit easier to trust Jones in a Superflex league or as a desperation streaming option. But he dashed those dreams with just 13 completions in 31 pass attempts for 112 scoreless yards.

Joe Mixon

The Bengals scored 34 points on the road against Tampa Bay, which would normally mean big things for Joe Mixon’s role. Not so fast my friend. He needed five catches for 33 yards to even salvage seven fantasy points as the Bucs shut down his runs any time he touched the ball. To make matters worse, Samaje Perine still played 40% of the snaps in this one even thought Mixon was fully healthy. This could be evolving into a messy timeshare to keep both fresh for the playoffs.

Zonovan Knight

Well, the Zonovan Knight experience was fun while it lasted. Just 23 rushing yards on 13 attempts were not what we were looking for in a potential shootout with the leaky Lions’ defense. Knight had no targets, no scores, and no role in the final minutes of the game when the score was close the the Jets were trying to pull out a win. Michael Carter seemed to reenter the circle of trust on Sunday so that could spell doom for Knight in the playoffs.

Marquise Brown

I’m not quite sure we should have expected much with the combination of Colt McKoy and Trace McSorley at quarterback, but Brown did not get any people into the second round today. His eight targets look strong, but just four catches for 19 yards won’t pay the fantasy bills in the playoffs. He misses Kyler Murray more than anyone.

Michael Gallup

Among wide receivers that scored ANY fantasy point on Sunday, Gallup (0.70 points) outscored only Racey McMath and Miles Boykin. In a game where Dallas scored 34 points and the game went into overtime, I’m just not sure how that is even possible. Gallup’s two targets were the fewest he has seen since two on October 23rd.

Davante Adams

That’s back-t0-back weeks now with under 10 targets, under five catches, and no scores for Davante Adams. He has seen two reasonably tough defenses in the Patriots and the Rams, but this is Davante Adams we are talking about. Carr seemed to want to get him the ball today (nine targets), but the big plays were always connecting with Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Mack Hollins.

Stefon Diggs

Four touchdown passes from your boy, Josh Allen, and you couldn’t pull in any of them Diggs? He was targeted a team-high nine times, but one would expect the best players to make an impact in the most important games, and five catches for 60 yards barely makes a dent. This is back-to-back terrible games for Diggs, but I see it as more of a fluke considering his eight catches for 100 yards and one touchdown average in Weeks 1-13.

Pat Freiermuth

(If I wrote nothing here, it would be the equivalent of what Freiermuth did on the field. Zero targets, receptions, yards or scores.) What a supreme letdown for a guy who was consistently seeing nine or 10 fantasy points over the last couple of months. Carolina is a top-ten team against tight ends, but they have still allowed 82 receptions in their first 13 games. Mitch Trubisky just never looked his way.

Dalton Schultz

See Gallup, Michael. Schultz came in with only 2.5 fantasy points on Sunday, breaking a streak of four of six games with double-digit fantasy points. This was a top-six matchup for Tight Ends today, but Dak Prescott developed eyes for only CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown in this one.

Mark Andrews

No one misses Lamar Jackson more than Mark Andrews. This is now four straight games with fewer than five receptions and fewer than 55 receiving yards. Since Week 9, Andrews is the TE17 in fantasy points per game. He is a team-killer after performing so well early in the season.

Injuries to Monitor

Jonathan Taylor Leaves Game With Ankle Injury

Fantasy managers were already used to not having Jonathan Taylor in their lineups this season after a plethora of injuries. But the tease of having him healthy for the fantasy playoffs just to see him go out of the game after just one touch is agony. The thought is Taylor will miss one week with an ankle sprain, but with the Colts now out any reasonable playoff race, would it surprise you if we don’t see Taylor at all this year?

Dallas Goedert Not Activated on Sunday

Conflicting reports came in over the weekend regarding the status of Goedert leading up to Week 15. He was eligible to return and many reporters claimed he would be active, but the Eagles thought he needed one more week to recover from a shoulder injury. The best offense in the league is about to get better when Goedert returns in Week 16 against the Cowboys in a game that can clinch the division.

Lamar Jackson Hopes to Play in Week 16

The Ravens have been soulless, lifeless, helpless, and just about scoreless without Lamar Jackson in the lineup. They have now fallen out of the division lead with their loss this weekend, and Lamar can’t come back soon enough. The word is he will be out there for the Christmas Eve game, with his eyes on helping Baltimore back into the driver’s seat for the AFC North.

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