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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

What's On Tap: Week 10
Harley Schultz
November 8, 2013
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I’ve been going back and forth all season in regards to my love for certain players. I have three guys who I have added and dropped multiple times already this year in redraft leagues.  I like to call them yo-yo players, those players who are good enough to be plugged in to cover bye weeks or injuries, but not good enough to hold permanent spots on your roster. This week, I raise a pint to those three guys that have run up my transaction fees this season. Thank you for your single weeks of servitude (and in some cases “suckitude”), but don’t take offense when I cut you next week.

First off, Jerricho Cotchery…thank you for that 5-106-1 earlier this year against the Vikings’ crappy secondary in London, that performance helped me cover nicely for Jordy Nelson’s bye. Then lo and behold, I’m forced to replace Marques Colston last week, as he was a late injury scratch. I really wanted to take his natural replacement, Kenny Stills, but someone beat me to it. So now here I came-a-callin’ once again for Mr. Cotchery, against an injury depleted Patriots defense. How does he reward me? 7-96-3. With Colston both hurt and struggling; and with Aaron Rodgers out for the foreseeable future harming Jordy’s value, I will likely roll Cotchery out there once again next week against Buffalo, the league’s worst defense against WRs. Then come Week 11, Mr. Cotchery will find himself back on the waiver wire as I shore up my bench for the playoffs.

Next, there is Rashad Jennings. Considering how often Darren McFadden is injured I should’ve known just to keep you on my roster. I picked you up when Can’t Run-DMC first got hurt a few weeks back, only to throw you back the next week when you got hurt and Marcel Reece got all the work. Considering all of my RB injuries this year, your injury-depleted game wasn’t awful for me. Once again McFadden is out, and Jennings gets first crack at replacing him. So I opened my pocketbook once again and added him back to the roster this week. I’m probably even going to have to give him the start this week against a miserable Giants’ defense. Here’s hoping he keeps himself healthy for this whole game.

Finally, there is Golden Tate. Tate is the only player, that I can honestly state, that I have ever dropped and picked up twice in one week. In one league, Tate started the season on my roster as my WR4/5. After two mediocre weeks, during which I never played him, he was waiver bait. Tate finally scored Week 5, prompting me to reacquire him as a FA at the start of Week 6. Later that day, thanks to an odd-number trade, I was forced to cut him. Thursday morning, I made another odd-number trade in the other direction opening up a hole to re-reacquire Tate. Then Sunday morning rolled around, and Rob Gronkowski who was targeting a return to action for Week 6 was suddenly an inactive against the Saints. In a hurried move Sunday right around 10:30 AM, I cut Tate yet again so that I could acquire Jordan Reed (who has found a permanent spot on my bench). Tate is a personal favorite of mine the next two weeks against the Falcons and Vikings, so welcome back once again…at least until I change my mind again.

These three guys have cost me a load of money in both FABB budget as well as transaction fees. It is no wonder I prefer weekly leagues. At least with those I don’t have to pay a usurious fee to volley these pseudo-stiffs back and forth. Since these guys have all been serviceable role players for me, in this week’s Game Time Brew we’ll look at some role player beers. These are the beers that don’t get all the attention that the limited release stuff gets. That’s right this week class is in session on Session Beers.

In addition, this week’s Drink It and Dump it, will once again feature salaries from FanDuel.com. They are not paying me anything extra to promote them here, but they know where to find me if they want to. Otherwise, I will mix up sites in the coming weeks, because frankly I’m a degenerate and play at most of them anyways.

Quarterback

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Bills
As I mention above, the Buffalo Bills have allowed the most passing touchdowns this year. Ben Roethlisberger has been dynamic against shoddy defenses this year passing for at least 275 yards against Minnesota, New England, Oakland, and Chicago. The Bills’ pass defense is worse than all of those teams. I’m calling another 400-spot here.

Peyton Manning, Broncos at Chargers
The Chargers are not very good against the pass. Only five teams are allowing more passing yards per game. I guarantee that The Broncos’ real interim coach (Peyton Manning) knows that very well. Denver is averaging 358.5 passing yards per game. This is 40 yards more per game than the next closest team. This game has “pinball” written all over it, and amazingly the over right now is set at only 57. I’m all over that bet as Denver and their opponents are combining to average 70 points a game, and they have been under 58 total only once this year.

Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Broncos
See above, lots of points to be had here. Denver is one of the five teams allowing more passing yards per game than San Diego. In addition, on the road they are allowing the league’s worst YPG at 345.3.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ Falcons
Only two teams are allowing more passing touchdowns than the Falcons. Cam Newton was the first QB to not throw for multiple touchdowns against them this season, but he ran for a second one. How bad has it been? Carson Palmer, Mike Glennon, Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill, and Sam Bradford combined for an average of 243-2.4 against them. The other two quality quarterbacks they faced (Tom Brady and Drew Brees) have torched them for an average of 337-2.

Sleepers

Eli Manning, Giants vs. Raiders
We’ll call this the “Foles-Effect” play. The Raiders, who had been playing pretty stellar defense, were humiliated last week by Nick Foles. Eli has been atrocious recently, passing for only two touchdowns the last three weeks, despite facing pass defense whipping-boys: Minnesota, Philly, and Chicago. I’m gonna give Eli one more shot to turn this around, if he can’t get it done this week, you might as well cut him.

Nick Foles, Eagles @ Packers
Speaking of Nick Foles, he gets immediate consideration as a sleeper against a subpar Green Bay secondary. This is the team that made Josh McCown look serviceable on MNF. The Packers will be without Aaron Rodgers, so they will not be able to run up the score early. If anyone does it will be Philadelphia.

Drink It:
Jay Cutler ($7200), Jake Locker ($6600), Case Keenum ($6100)

Dump it:
Tony Romo ($9100), Colin Kaepernick ($9000), Matt Ryan ($8000), Joe Flacco ($7500)

Running Back

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Reggie Bush, Lions @ Bears
Over the last five weeks, opposing running backs are averaging 164.5 combo yards per game versus the Bears. In addition, they have scored a total of ten touchdowns. This stretch includes Bush’s earlier destruction of Chicago when he went off for 173 total yards. Bush at $7100 this week, is a better buy than the big money guys.

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks @ Falcons
Atlanta has been serviceable at best allowing 4.5 YPC against opposing running games. Two weeks ago, Andre Ellington went crazy against them, and last week the Panthers posted a pair of running scores against them. In the playoff game last year, Lynch accrued 83 combo yards and a score…I think that is his floor this week.

LeSean McCoy, Eagles @ Packers
Over the last two weeks Green Bay has allowed an average of 165 combo yards to opposing backs. McCoy has scored only once in the last four weeks, I’d say he is beyond due.

Matt Forte, Bears vs. Lions
Forte has scored and/or topped 95 combo yards every game this season. He also has scored four touchdowns over the last two weeks. Only four teams are allowing more than the 4.7 YPC that Detroit is allowing. Earlier this year, Forte toasted Detroit for 117 total yards and a 53-yard touchdown run.

Sleepers

Rashad Jennings, Raiders @ Giants
This sleeper ranking is based on the assumption that Can’t Run-DMC, will miss this week’s game. In the two games where Jennings has garnered more than ten touches, he has averaged 146 combo yards. The Giants have played decent defense against running backs recently including holding Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy to a combined 122 yards. I just have a feeling that this game will sprout some points. An important element of weekly leagues is that most provide PPR points, in those two games I referenced up above Jennings had a total of 15 catches.

Eddie Lacy, Packers vs. Eagles
No Aaron Rodgers will equal out to lots of touches for Lacy. Over the last three weeks, Lacy has topped 100 total yards and scored in each game. Opposing running backs are averaging 135 yards per game against Philadelphia. He will obviously split some of those yards with James Starks, but look for the Packers to lean heavily on him.

Drink It:
Knowshon Moreno ($8400), Chris Johnson ($8000), C.J. Spiller ($7400), Le’Veon Bell ($7200), DeMarco Murray ($7100), Pierre Thomas ($5600), BenJarvus Green-Ellis ($4700)

Dump it:
Frank Gore ($7700), Trent Richardson ($7500), Ray Rice ($6600), Gio Bernard ($6500), Steven Jackson ($6200), Mike James ($6000), DeAngelo Williams ($5100)

Wide Receiver

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Calvin Johnson, Lions @ Bears
In twelve career starts versus Chicago, Calvin Johnson has scored five touchdowns. This includes a score earlier this year. Megatron is the best WR in football, and he has earned his top ranking with his 23-484-3 domination over the last two weeks. The Bears have only allowed seven wide receiver touchdowns this year (including the Megatron one), but I’m not worried.

Wes Welker, Broncos @ Chargers
Did I mention earlier that in weekly leagues you get a full point-per-reception? Only six receivers have more receptions this year than Welker. San Diego has allowed the third most yards and receptions to opposing wide receivers. This is bound to be a pinball game. You might as well plug a few parts of both offenses into your lineup.

Andre Johnson, Texans @ Cardinals
Speaking of accruing lots of receptions, Andre Johnson is trailing only Antonio Brown on the season for catches and he ranks sixth in targets. Arizona is allowing the ninth most passing yards per game.  Last week, they allowed Harry Douglas to post 12-121-0 against them. Meanwhile, Andre Johnson was busy getting himself acquainted with Case Keenum to the tune of 9-229-3. You don’t have to chase the stats here… the stats will come to you.

Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. Bills
Do you notice a trend here? Once again we have a guy who accumulates tons of receptions. In fact Brown is leading the league with 61. He is also averaging over ten targets per game. Buffalo has been atrociously bad against wide receivers. They have allowed the most touchdowns and the second most yards to opposing WRs.

Sleepers

Golden Tate, Seahawks @ Falcons
The last three weeks, opposing #1-WRs have averaged 6-79-1 against Atlanta. On the season, Atlanta has allowed eleven wide receiver scores. There is an argument to be made that Tate is not the #1-WR in Seattle, but since he leads Seattle in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns…I’d suggest that argument is bollocks.

Keenan Allen, Chargers vs. Broncos
Only two teams are allowing more passing yards per game than Denver. In addition, only six teams are allowing more passing touchdowns. Keenan Allen has emerged as the top receiving option for the high-octane Chargers’ offense. Over the last five weeks, Allen has averaged nine targets, to go along with a 6-99 per game line. He also has scored three touchdowns. Points will be scored in this game. I see zero chance that Allen doesn’t go crazy here.

Drink It:
Demaryius Thomas ($8300), Brandon Marshall ($8200), DeSean Jackson ($7900), Victor Cruz ($7000), Emmanuel Sanders ($6500), Eric Decker ($6200), Alshon Jeffery ($6200), Jerricho Cotchery ($6100), Doug Baldwin ($5300), Mike Brown ($5200), Lance Moore ($4900)

Dump it:
A.J. Green ($8800), Dez Bryant ($8200), Jordy Nelson ($7800), Vincent Jackson ($7100), Larry Fitzgerald ($7000), Torrey Smith ($6200), Cecil Shorts ($6000)

Tight End

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Jimmy Graham, Saints vs. Cowboys.
I learned my lesson two weeks ago when I suggested that you bench a “damaged goods” Graham. Never again will I succumb to the weakness to bench this dude. The Cowboys have allowed the second most receptions and third most yards to tight ends. They have also allowed five tight end touchdowns.

Vernon Davis, 49ers vs. Panthers
Carolina has allowed only seven passing touchdowns all season. However, four of those have gone to tight ends. Vernon Davis has scored in five of seven starts, and with Mario Manningham returning for San Fran, he should have more room to operate in the middle of the field.

Antonio Gates, Chargers vs. Broncos
Denver has allowed only two tight end touchdowns, but they are allowing the second most yards to the position. Over his last three games against Denver, Gates has averaged 5-49-1. With lots of points to be had here, the touchdown should be a given.

Julius Thomas, Broncos @ Chargers
Julius has been recovering from a bum ankle sustained two weeks ago. He has been a limited participant, but a participant nevertheless all week. I’m guessing he’s a go this week, but obviously watch the Twitter feed come Sunday morning. If Thomas plays he is a must start in a huge point fest against San Diego. Thomas has scored in six of eight. Much like Jimmy Graham two weeks ago, Thomas could be a decoy, or he could be a red zone threat…my bet is red zone threat.

Sleepers

Tim Wright, Buccaneers vs. Dolphins
Wright has scored in back-to-back games, averaging 4.5-53. He is a former wide receiver, who has found the trust of Mike Glennon. Considering that Glennon has lost his number two wide receiver for the season, Wright makes a sneaky play the rest of the way. Miami is allowing 5-61 to the tight end position. They also have allowed six tight end touchdowns already. Can Wright make it the hat trick?

Garrett Graham, Texans @ Cardinals
Read it and weep, if you are a Cardinals fan. Arizona is allowing opposing TEs to average 8-101, and they have allowed ten tight end touchdowns. Graham has been targeted 14 times by Case Keenum in his two starts. If he gets seven targets here, a score is almost a lock.

Drink It:
Coby Fleener ($5400), Heath Miller ($5000), Zach Miller ($4600)

Dump it:
Jason Witten ($6800), Tony Gonzalez ($6000), Greg Olsen ($5800), Martellus Bennett ($5600), Jared Cook ($4800)

GAMETIME BREW

This week we dive into the world of session beers. So what the heck is a session beer, you ask? A session beer is a beer typically under 5% ABV, that is typically well-balanced between its malt level and hop presence. It also typically has a clean and clear finish. Ultimately the goal of a session beer is to be able to drink multiple of them. Like I intend to do while watching football this Sunday!

1) All-Day IPA from Founders Brewing out of Grand Rapids, MI.
Served: Poured from the bottle, at refrigerator temperature into a pint glass.
Appearance: Slightly hazy orange copper hued, with a small white head.
Smell: This beer has a very grassy, piney aroma. As it sat for a bit I started to get a hint of kiwi or honeydew.
Taste: There is a lot of hop presence here for such a small beer, but it didn’t overwhelm the bready malt
Mouth feel: Very dry, and slightly watery, this would be expected in that they took an IPA and turned it into a session beer. Grapefruit or melon resinous lingers.
Overall: If I didn’t know it was under 5%, I wouldn’t have guessed it. The citrus hops of IPA-dom were there, but the beer came across a bit more like a Pale Ale to me. That’s probably because I do love me some big IPAs.

2) Grain Belt Nordeast from Schell’s Brewing Company out of New Ulm, MN.
Served: Poured from a tallboy, at refrigerator temperature into a pint glass.
Appearance: Transparent amber with a fairly good size white puffy head.
Smell: Bread and grass aroma with a hint of honey or maple syrup.
Taste: Extremely malt forward, with sweet caramel malt being the heart of the flavor palate here. I also detect a little bit of roasted malt here, but mostly it is like a lighter version of an American red or brown lager.
Mouth feel: Extremely light-bodied, especially for an amber beer, but I am also picking up a little maple or brown sugar and some apple as it goes down.
Overall: When you are talking session beers it doesn’t get much better than this. Light beer drinkers will love that this tastes fairly light despite the amber color, and heavy beer drinkers won’t be offended by it either. It’s a light red lager, and one that is very easy to drink many of. If that isn’t the definition of Session beer, nothing is.

3) Nut Brown Ale from Goose Island Brewing Company out of Chicago, IL.
Served: This was served in a pint glass on draft at Stanley’s Northeast Barroom in Minneapolis.
Appearance: Medium bronze, slightly transparent with a full finger head.
Smell: Cocoa, chocolate, and carob along with pronounced breadiness.
Taste: Baking chocolate or carob powder, along with a milk and icebox cookies flavor. It actually comes off slightly savory in its cocoa character.
Mouth feel: Boozy carob cheesecake, thick dense coating up front, yet refreshing and clean aftertaste at the same time. Coming in at a hair over 5%, it looks and feels heavier than it is.
Overall: This was my palate warmer beer tonight as I awaited my Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2012 to warm up to room temp. If I wasn’t boozed out by the big beers following I’d go out of my way to drink more of this tonight. This brown falls somewhere in between Moose Drool and Surly Bender and it has a new place in my cooler as a cold weather session beer.


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