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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

What's On Tap: Week 9
Harley Schultz
November 1, 2013
Follow Follow @NewClearHarley
 

What better time for a bye week of horrors, than right around Halloween. With six teams on bye (four of which are popular offensive contributors), we’ll be digging extra deep to find some cheap sleepers for you to weigh against the fantasy four pack. Remember it is up to you to decide which of the top four players you want to ride into battle with, and which sleepers you want to plug in to save some money. Either way you have to fill your lineup without topping the magic salary cap, so you will be grabbing some talent on the cheap. Here’s hoping your cheap talent is more “Marvin Jones” and less “Reuben Randle” – yeah I made that mistake last week…I guess I should’ve listened more closely to John Tuvey, I hear he is a pretty good judge of talent.

At first glance there are a lot of cheap bargains at each position. We are still gonna break down the top four options and two of my personal choice sleepers, but starting this week I’ll list some undervalue (Drink it) players and overvalue (Dump it) players on my favorite weekly fantasy sites (this week I’m going to do FanDuel.com. Every week I play several contests on this site as well as other sites too. If you follow me on Twitter @NewClearHarley I’ll post on Saturday or Sunday links to the contests I am entering each week in case you want to try and take me down.

Of course since it is Halloween week, we will also break down some of the best pumpkin beers on the open market. This is one of my personal favorite styles so I know you will love each of these beers if you are a pumpkin fan.

Quarterback

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Vikings
Only four teams have allowed more passing touchdowns than Minnesota. Tony Romo has scored at least once in every game so far, including five games with multiple touchdowns. He has also topped 200 yards in every game except one.

Cam Newton, Panthers vs. Falcons
Only Buffalo is allowing more passing TDs per week and only ten teams are allowing more yards per game. Newton has had a renaissance the last couple weeks, averaging 222-2 over the last three games. Last year, Cam faced the Falcons twice and threw for 502-4 while running for 18-202-2.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Bears
Only four teams have allowed more yards per game, through the air than Chicago. They have also given up five passing touchdowns over their last three games. For Rodgers, over the last two years against Chicago, he has averaged 273-3.

Philip Rivers, Chargers @ Redskins
Rivers has been having a feast this year at the hands of the NFC Least. In games against Philly and Dallas he has totaled 820-6. The Redskins may be the worst of the three giving up more passing TDs per game than each of them. Both the Eagles and Cowboys have allowed more yardage per game, ranking 31st and 32nd respectively, but the Skins aren’t far behind they rand 28th worst in terms of passing yards allowed.

Sleepers

Jake Locker, Titans @ Rams
Locker is quickly becoming fantasy relevant. In four of his five starts this year he has produced multiple touchdowns, but he has only topped 200 yards twice. Only nine teams are allowing more passing touchdowns than the Rams. Locker has had an extra week to rehab his knee thanks to the bye, but he is still wearing a brace so track him Sunday Morning just to make sure he’s good to go.

Terrelle Pryor, Raiders vs. Eagles
Pryor will be happy to find that the Eagles are allowing the second most yards passing in the league. Pryor meanwhile is destroying it with his legs. He has topped 50 yards rushing four times and 100 yards rushing twice.

Drink It:
Andrew Luck ($8700), Robert Griffin III ($8200), Nick Foles ($6800)

Dump it:
Matt Ryan ($8700), Tom Brady ($7900), Joe Flacco ($7000), Alex Smith ($7000)

Running Back

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Jamaal Charles, Chiefs @ Bills
Number one with a gun once again this week, despite facing a Buffalo defense that has  allowed only two running back touchdowns on the year. Buffalo has allowed an average of 120.7 rushing yards over their last three games, which would rank 11th worst. Of course that would be better than where they rank on the year which is seventh from the bottom at 117.8 per game. Charles has topped 100 combo yards in every game this season, and he has scored in every game except his last.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings @ Cowboys
Over the last three weeks only one team is allowing a worse YPC than Dallas (5.2). They have also allowed four rushing TDs over that span. AP has struggled of late, not topping 100 total yards since Week 4, but he does have seven touchdowns on the season. The Vikings best chance in this game will be feeding Peterson the rock repeatedly.

DeMarco Murray, Cowboys vs. Vikings
Murray intends to start this week against Minnesota and this matchup is one worth waiting for if you were a Murray owner. Pass-catching backs have gained more yards against Minnesota than any other team, and they have gained the second-most receptions. In addition, only two teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns per game than Minnesota.

LeSean McCoy, Eagles @ Raiders
The Raiders held Le’veon Bell in check last week, but he did score a late touchdown. The week before that, they were torched by Jamaal Charles. They’ve only given up 182 rushing yards total over their last three games, but they have allowed running back scores in each of them.

Sleepers

Danny Woodhead, Chargers @ Redskins
He has averaged 14 touches, 78 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game since Week 2. The stat that really plays into Woodhead’s value though is the number of receptions. In a PPR format, Woodhead is arguably a top-ten running back and he is definitely a top 20 guy. He has five or more receptions in five of his last six games.

Chris Johnson, Titans @ Rams
I’m a lot concerned about rumors that the Titans want to split the workload between Johnson and Shonn Greene. It shouldn’t matter who gets the rock this week though as the Rams get destroyed by every team. The Rams are allowing 147 combo yards per game to opposing rushers. The coach has stated that he still wants to get 20 touches for Johnson, but that has only happened three times this season, even without Greene. I do like that Johnson has been much more active in the pass game over the last few weeks, including scoring twice in the last three games.

Drink It:
Ray Rice ($7300), Le’Veon Bell ($7000), Stevan Ridley ($6800), Roy Helu ($5700)

Dump it:
Arian Foster ($8500), Fred Jackson ($6900), Steven Jackson ($6400), Zac Stacy ($5800)

Wide Receiver

Your Fantasy Four Pack

DeSean Jackson, Eagles @ Raiders
Despite a couple of duds with Matt Barkley manning the ship, DeSean Jackson still ranks fifth in the league in receiving yardage. He has also scored at least one touchdown in half of his games. Opposing number one receivers are averaging 7-84 against Oakland and two have scored against them.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys vs. Vikings
Tony Romo is my number one quarterback this week, so it makes sense that his top receiver, the outspoken, Dez Bryant would also be on the fantasy four pack this week. Opposing number one receivers are destroying the Vikings to the tune of 7-83 per game, with four touchdowns. These numbers are actually skewed down too thanks to Victor Cruz and Megatron struggling against them, so it could be even worse.

Jordy Nelson, Packers vs. Bears
Jordy is the last man standing of Aaron Rodgers’ familiar receivers. Even added coverage attention hasn’t stopped Rodgers from looking Nelson’s way. In fact he has been targeted 24 times over the last three games. Over this span he has hauled in 16-278-4. He has also scored and/or topped 80 yards in every game this season. I’m pretty sure Jordy could line up with Rodgers and nine undrafted rookie offensive linemen and still produce huge numbers. Chicago has allowed five passing TDs over their last three games. Jordy will get into the fun this week.

Pierre Garcon, Redskins vs. Chargers
There are only six teams that are allowing more passing yards per game than San Diego. In every game an opposing top receiver has topped 80 yards and three of them have scored. In fact those seven wide receivers have averaged 7.5-115 against the Chargers. Garcon is the undisputed number one guy for Washington and he should produce at WR1 level for you this week at WR2 prices (only $6400 on FanDuel.com).

Sleepers

Nate Washington, Titans at Rams
I love me some Nate Washington, because Jake Locker loves himself some Nate Washington. More than one-fourth of all of Locker’s passes this year have targeted to Washington. During Locker’s starts, Washington has averaged eight targets, 4.4 receptions, and 78.8 yards. Only two teams have given up more WR touchdowns than St. Louis, I expect Washington’s two touchdown total to shoot up this week.

Denarius Moore, Raiders vs. Eagles
…Speaking of teams that give up a lot of WR touchdowns, the Eagles have allowed the second most wide receiver scores, and the most total WR receiving yards. Moore has scored in four of seven games, and he has averaged 4-62 over that span on seven targets per game.

Drink It:
Terrance Williams ($6200), Keenan Allen ($6000), Kendall Wright ($5500), Dexter McCluster ($5500), Aldrick Robinson ($4900), Jacoby Jones ($4500)

Dump it:
Vincent Jackson ($7900), Josh Gordon ($7200), Torrey Smith ($6500), Marques Colston ($6100), Danny Amendola ($5800)

Tight End

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Antonio Gates, Chargers at Redskins
Only three teams are allowing fewer tight end receptions and only two teams are allowing fewer tight end receiving yards than Washington. They are however tied for the second most TE touchdowns allowed, and an opposing tight end has scored against them in every game except one.

Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. Vikings
The Vikings are tied with the Redskins in futility when it comes to stopping opposing TEs from scoring. Of course, all six of those scores came the first three weeks. The Vikings have only faced one premiere tight end this year…that was Jordan Cameron. He scored the hat trick against the Vikes. I doubt Witten goes that crazy this week, but he will get in the end zone.

Jimmy Graham, Saints at Jets
I’m done with taking abuse over telling people to sit Graham last week. Yes, I truly thought he was going to be a decoy just like previous years when he was hurt. I was wrong, it hurt me too. Unless he is actually listed as out going into Sunday just keep him in your starting lineup, no questions asked. The Jets on the year are allowing 5-55-0.5 to the tight end position; I’ll take the over on that line.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. Steelers
Gronk disappointed me last week by not dismantling the awful Dolphins’ tight end coverage. The matchup this week looks tougher on paper as Pittsburgh has allowed an average of only 4-41 to the position, and only one TE has scored against them. This ranking has more to do with the fact that I cannot imagine that Tom Brady would go three straight weeks without forcing at least one TD pass to Gronkowski.

Sleepers

Jordan Reed, Redskins vs. Chargers
Reed is hardly a sleeper anymore having topped 50 yards in four straight. The Chargers are allowing only 4-41 to opposing tight ends, but they have allowed three tight end touchdowns. There should be a decent amount of scoring in this game, and Reed has become RG3’s second favorite target. I like his chances to score his third TD of the year this week.

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings @ Cowboys
Kyle Rudolph has pulled a zombie act over the last three weeks coming back from the dead after a slow start to the year. In his last three starts Rudolph has averaged 5.3-58 on an average of eight targets per game. Dallas is allowing 7-83 to opposing TEs, and four have scored against them already. With Greg Jennings dinged up expect whoever starts for the Vikings to lean even heavier on Rudolph.

Drink It:
Coby Fleener ($5400), Tim Wright ($4900), Mychal Rivera ($4500), Anthony Fasano ($4500)

Dump it:
Jordan Cameron ($6900), Tony Gonzalez ($5400), Greg Olsen ($5400), Jeff Cumberland ($4500)

GAMETIME BREW

Today, we do part one of our tributes to all beers brewed with pumpkins. This first one of course coinciding with Halloween, we will release Pumpkin Part 2 over Thanksgiving week!

1) Cisco Brewers Island Reserve, Rumple Drumkin from Cisco Brewing out of Nantucket, MA.
Served: Poured from the bottle, at refrigerator temperature into a Jester King goblet.
Appearance: Effervescent orange, with an eighth inch head of bubbles that fade very slow.
Smell: Robust smoky aroma, not getting a lot of pumpkin aroma as it is blocked by the smoke fragrance. I’m getting a hint of the rum barrel, and actually a decent amount of grassy hop aroma.
Taste: Very smoke forward, if I didn’t know it was smoked pumpkin, I would just assume it was smoked malt. There definitely is a fair amount of alcohol present in the taste too, but it is not clearly identified as rum. I’m getting a fair amount of dry oak and breadiness.
Mouth feel: Dry with a medium body, that is probably weighted by the high level of carbonation. Easy to drink and tasty but definitely leaves the palate very dry.
Overall: I like this beer considerably better than the base beer Pumple Drumpkin, which is way more spice forward and slightly out of balance. The oak and smoke are the heart and soul of this one, which is both good and bad. It’s good, in that it tastes pretty good, it’s bad, in that I wanted more pumpkin flavor.

2) Fermentation without Representation Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Epic Brewing Company out of Salt Lake City, UT.
Served: Poured from the bottle, at refrigerator temperature into a Jester King goblet.
Appearance: Faint black, with zero head.
Smell: Chocolate, pumpkin, and vanilla, it doesn’t get much better than that to start.
Taste: Extreme vanilla and pumpkin flavor play through the dark malt. I’m also getting some graham cracker and marshmallow, which when mixed with the dark malt reminds me of a liquefied Smores.
Mouth feel: Drinks really light but the sweetness coats the back of your mouth and palate. If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was a Smores flavored beer (such as Flat Earth Grand Designs), based on its residual flavor.
Overall: Desert pre-meal this is why I like my job so much. I wish I had more of this beer, and may need to buy some more. If they are already sold out I will go to Flat Earth in hope they have some Grand Designs left, because I’m going to be craving this one now.

3) Pumking from Southern Tier brewing Company out of Lakewood, NY.
Served: Poured from the bottle, at a little below fridge temperature into the same Jester King goblet.
Appearance: Light orange, effervescent with very little head but a lot of bubbles.
Smell: Cinnamon and spice and everything nice. Pumpkin is present and a touch of vanilla and graham.
Taste: It is pumpkin pie in my glass. I’m getting cinnamon, graham, and cream, plus pumpkin. This tastes exactly like it smells.
Mouth feel: Surprisingly lighter than you would think based on how much flavor this packs. It is 8.6% so drinking this too fast could be problematic but I don’t know where the booze is because all I get is delicious.
Overall: This had to be on part one of my tributes to pumpkin beers, because this is the alpha and the omega of the style. Frankly there aren’t a lot of non-pumpkin beers I would drink before this. If heaven was a beer it would be this. Of course, I am a huge pumpkin fan if you dislike the taste of pumpkin I would avoid this one like the plague. Or better yet buy it and then give it to me, because I will gladly add another bottle to the cellar.


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