FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

What's On Tap: Week 12
Harley Schultz
November 22, 2013
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I’ve had several people tell me how excited they were by the stouts I recommended last week. So this week I was thoroughly excited to find out that one of my local clients was featuring a Bells Brewery Stout tap takeover. Last week I broke down the Bells Cherry Stout which will be one of the featured beers at this event. Obviously I won’t rehash my review of that chocolate cherry bliss, but rest assured there are going to be many other limited Bells’ beauties on draft for this event.

Last week was the first week this year that I didn’t clean up on weekly games. This is particularly amazing since I really hit a lot of homeruns on last week’s Drink It and Dump It’s. It seemed the problem was I chose the wrong sleeper at pretty much every position. It happens. To quote Glenn Frey, “It’s the lure of easy money, and it’s got a very strong appeal”. Sheer variance alone would say that I wasn’t going to make a profit every week this year. I guess I should be happy that I have rolled nine out of ten profitable weeks leading into this one. Despite my struggles last week, this week’s Drink It and Dump it, will once again feature salaries from DraftKings.com.

A standard premise of being a successful gambler is never leave down. Some people might be scared after taking a loss. They may want to cut their risk the following week. I say don’t fall into that trap, but don’t go on tilt either. You just have to take a step back, breathe, and analyze the upcoming week. Is there an easy win that you should be pushing harder on? Usually when I have a bad week in fantasy weekly games, I will find one higher dollar ($50-$200) contest that has a smaller field that I have a chance to dominate the following week. I still play all my regular events too, but this one big payoff can quickly recover some of the lost profits from the weekend prior. Always remember it’s exponentially easier to win $500 for finishing first in a ten team contest with a $100 buy-in, than it is to win $2500 for finishing first in a 400 person contest with a $15 buy-in.

Oh yeah, for those of you who, like myself, are avid poker players as well. DraftKings is offering a chance to win a VIP package to participate in the Doyle Brunson 5-Diamond World Poker Classic on the World Poker Tour. Currently DraftKings is offering a $55 NFL one week satellite contest to win the package. They are also offering some super-satellites too for lesser buy-ins.

Quarterback

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Matthew Stafford, Lions vs. Buccaneers
Only five teams are allowing more passing touchdowns per game than Tampa Bay. Matthew Stafford has thrown for thirteen touchdowns over his last five games. He also has one rushing touchdown during that stretch.

Peyton Manning, Broncos @ Patriots
 it was with Indy and not Denver, but Peyton has always had success against New England. Since the turn of the millennium, Peyton has faced New England 15 times. Over that span he has 32 passing touchdowns. He is also averaging 289 yards per game. New England is improved defensively with the return to health of Aqib Talib, but Alfonzo Dennard and Steve Gregory are also both dinged up and may not play. If any of these three cannot go this week then the Pats won’t be able to stop all of Denver’s weapons.

Andrew Luck, Colts @ Cardinals
Only two teams have given up more passing touchdowns than Arizona. They are also allowing 290 passing yards per game. Don’t let last week’s stinker against a stout Tennessee pass defense scare you away from rolling with Luck. The week prior he lit up a solid St. Louis defense and before that he put three touchdowns each on Houston and Denver.

Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Broncos
Denver is giving up the fifth most yards through the air. Tom Brady has all his weapons back, and this week will be a start ‘em all kind of game. If weather doesn’t become a factor this game could reach triple-digits in combined points. The line is only at 54 right now (each team could score this much), after I blow up this over I’ll be more than made up for any weekly game losses last week.

Sleepers

Case Keenum, Texans vs. Jaguars
The Jaguars are allowing 261-2 to opposing quarterbacks. If Gary Kubiak doesn’t do something stupid like yank Keenum again for no good reason, Keenum will boost his already impressive average of 248-2.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Titans @ Raiders
The Raiders have given up nine passing touchdowns over their last three games. Fitzpatrick has averaged 243-1.5 since returning to the saddle for Tennessee. Over that span he is also rocking a 111.4 QB rating. Oh yeah, he also has added a rushing touchdown.

Drink It:
Cam Newton ($8800), Colin Kaepernick ($7800), Carson Palmer ($6900), Eli Manning ($6700), Mike Glennon ($6300), Alex Smith ($6300)
Dump it:
Robert Griffin III ($7900), Ben Roethlisberger($7700), Philip Rivers ($7500), Joe Flacco ($6400), Josh McCown ($6200)

Running Back

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Matt Forte, Bears @ Rams
Opposing running backs are averaging 161 combo yards per game against St. Louis. They have also allowed 12 touchdowns to the position. Forte is the combo yard king, topping 90 combo yards in every game but one. He is also averaging 5 catches per game; remember, most weekly leagues reward PPR.

Ben Tate, Texans vs. Jaguars
Jacksonville is dead last in the league allowing 139.1 yards per game rushing. They are tied for last in rushing touchdowns allowed at 1.5 per game. They have also given up six rushing touchdowns over their last three contests. Last year, Tate notched 97 combo yards and two scores IN RELIEF of Arian Foster. This was after Foster shellacked Jacksonville to the tune of 147 combo yards and a score. Last week, Tate got 90% of Houston’s rushing touches. 90% of 244 total yards is 219.6 yards, yeah I like that math!

Zac Stacy, Rams vs. Bears
Stacy has four touchdowns over his last four games. Chicago meanwhile, is allowing the fifth most rushing touchdowns per game. Chicago is also allowing 5.4 yards per carry to opposing rushing attacks over their last three.

Knowshon Moreno, Broncos @ Patriots
Speaking of having trouble stopping the run. New England is allowing five yards per carry over their last three and a league eighth-worst 4.3 yards per carry on the season. Moreno saw a couple scores vultured last week by Montee Ball. In what should be a point orgy, I think they’ll both get more than their share.

Sleepers

Shane Vereen, Patriots vs. Broncos
There are a ton of great running back sleepers this week. I will probably be rolling with two or even three sleeper running backs, paired with superstars everywhere else in my weekly leagues this week. I love Vereen this week since I expect the Patriots to be throwing the ball a lot to keep up with Denver. Vereen is without a doubt the pass-catcher amongst the Patriot running back tribe. I could see double-digit catches and well over 100 total yards easily here.

Rashad Jennings, Raiders vs. Titans
The Titans have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns over their last five games. They have also given up an average of five receptions per game to opposing featured backs over their last three contests. Jennings makes his living both on the ground and through catching the ball. He makes another huge play when you factor in all those PPR points here.

Drink It:
Adrian Peterson ($8000), Eddie Lacy ($7200), Chris Johnson ($7000), Frank Gore ($6300), Andre Brown ($6000), LeVeon Bell ($5800), Danny Woodhead ($5700), Bobby Rainey ($5000), Chris Ogbonnaya ($3500)
Dump it:
Jamaal Charles ($8500), Reggie Bush ($7300), Ray Rice ($6700), Stevan Ridley ($6500), DeMarco Murray ($6400), Alfred Morris ($6000), Maurice Jones-Drew ($5500), Ryan Mathews ($5400)

Wide Receiver

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Jaguars
There is something special happening in Houston between Andre Johnson and Case Keenum. As long as they are both on the field they make each other that much better. Jacksonville is allowing two passing touchdowns per game. You know at least one of those is going to Johnson here.

Calvin Johnson, Lions vs. Buccaneers
Can Revis Island survive Megatron? That is going to be a huge talking point this week. Last week he abused a tough Pittsburgh pass defense for 179-2. Over the last four weeks he has an unfathomable 746-7. He has more receiving touchdowns over the last four games than Jacksonville has on the season. Darrell Revis the tribe has spoken and you have been voted off the island.

Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers @ Lions
Only two teams are allowing more passing yards per game than Detroit. No team has allowed more wide receiver touchdowns than the 16 they have surrendered. Over their last five games opposing number one wide receivers have a total of 639 yards and seven touchdowns. That is an average of 128 yards per game. Seven different receivers have topped 100 yards against Detroit this year. Vincent Jackson woke up from a three game slumber against an equally rotten Atlanta secondary last week. Another 10-165-1 is certainly within the realm here.

Eric Decker, Broncos @ Patriots
I feel pretty good that Aqib Talib will play this game. If he doesn’t boost all the Broncos receivers even higher up the list. I don’t however feel as strongly about Dennard playing here. If Talib plays he will get the assignment of covering Demaryius Thomas, leaving secondary coverage on Wes Welker and Eric Decker. Decker will potentially get to feast on a reserve corner if Dennard is not good to go. Over the last three games, New England has allowed complementary receivers to score six touchdowns.

Sleepers

Danny Amendola, Patriots vs. Broncos
When he has been healthy, Danny Amendola is a PPR-beast; unfortunately those healthy appearances have been few and far between. This game will feature a ton of passing and Amendola is definitely developing a familiarity with Tom Brady.

Anquan Boldin, 49ers @ Redskins
Washington is allowing a league seventh-worst 275 passing yards per game. Boldin finally got back on the scoreboard after being shut out for five straight games. It helps that he got Mario Manningham back to get him out of the constant double teams. Last year, with Baltimore, Boldin had 3-78-2 against the Skins. In fact he has faced San Francisco four times in his career and he scored at least once in three of those games.

Drink It:
Jordy Nelson ($7500), Victor Cruz ($7200), Larry Fitzgerald ($6600), Wes Welker ($6500), T.Y. Hilton ($6300), Alshon Jeffery ($5900), Michael Floyd ($5700), Kendall Wright ($5700), Jerricho Cotchery ($5600), Torrey Smith ($5400), Cecil Shorts III ($5300), Dwayne Bowe ($5200), Jarrett Boykin ($4400)
Dump it:
Brandon Marshall ($8600), Demaryius Thomas ($8400), Dez Bryant ($8000), Antonio Brown ($7700), Josh Gordon ($6400), Pierre Garcon ($6300), Keenan Allen ($6100), Steve Smith ($5500), Denarius Moore ($4600)

Tight End

Your Fantasy Four Pack

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. Broncos
Denver has allowed only three tight end touchdowns on the year, but they are allowing 6-82 per game to the position. This is despite facing only three top tier tight ends (Reed, Witten, and Gates). Those three combined to average 6-91, so it isn’t like they were blowing up the average. This game is going to be a point orgy, I say it again start everyone. I beg you start EVERYONE!

Vernon Davis, 49ers @ Redskins
Only three teams have allowed more tight end touchdowns this season. Ertz and Celek combined for 73 yards last week. The week prior, John Carlson came back from the dead to post 7-98-1 against them. Davis has scored and/or topped 60 yards in seven of nine games this year.

Jason Witten, Cowboys @ Giants
Week 1, Jason Witten posted 8-70-2 against New York. Last year, Witten had one two catch game against the Giants and another game where he lambasted them for 18 catches and 167 yards.

Julius Thomas, Broncos @ Patriots
New England just allowed Greg Olsen to score against them last week. Thomas has scored in eight of ten games this year. He is tied with Jimmy Graham for the league lead amongst tight ends with ten touchdowns and they are each only one behind Calvin Johnson for the league receiving touchdown crown.

Sleepers

Coby Fleener, Colts @ Cardinals
This is the weekly pick-on-the-Cards-versus-the-tight-end-sleeper-play. Arizona is allowing 7-95 to opposing tight ends. They have also allowed 12 tight end touchdowns (3-more than the next closest team). Fleener also felt under-utilized last year with Bruce Arians at the helm. You know that he is itching for the opportunity to show him up here.

Tim Wright, Buccaneers @ Lions
After scoring in back-to-back games, Tim Wright has laid two straight one-catch stinkers. The Lions have only allowed only one tight end touchdown on the year (mostly because teams are picking on them via the WR position). They do however allow an average of 6-58 to the position. Tampa will be forced to throw the ball to stay in this game, and Wright remains Mike Glennon’s second look option.

Drink It:
Delanie Walker ($4500), Jordan Reed ($4400), Heath Miller ($4000), Garrett Graham ($4000), Jordan Cameron ($3900), John Carlson ($3300), Jared Cook ($3200)
Dump it:
Antonio Gates ($5500), Martellus Bennett ($5000), Charles Clay ($4200), Greg Olsen ($4100), Brandon Pettigrew ($4000)

GAMETIME BREW

I have answered the question of for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for me. Thanks to the great folks at Three Squares Restaurant in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and the local representatives of Bell’s Brewery, earlier this week, I got a chance to try many different limited release Bell’s stouts. It is really amazing that one brewery can release these many different stouts, and that they can each be different and delicious.

1) Special Double Cream Stout from Bell’s Brewery out of Kalamazoo, MI.
Served: Served on draft in a 12 oz. goblet.
Appearance: Thick black, completely impossible to see through. This beer had a thin reddish-hued head, which broke fast and fine lacing.
Smell: Roasted and chocolate malt, with a hint of espresso bean. It reminded me a lot of the aroma of a milk chocolate candy bar.
Taste: Light and creamy, it reminds me a lot of a milk stout, but there is apparently no milk sugar in this one. I’m getting a smooth take on the roasted malt character, without the drying factor normally associated with it.
Mouth feel: Smooth and easy-drinking, with a medium body.
Overall: An extremely tasty take on a sweet stout. Even if there is no milk sugar involved I feel like I’m drinking a milk stout. I wonder how delicious this would be on nitro.

2) Expedition Stout from Bell’s Brewery out of Kalamazoo, MI.
Served: Served on draft in a 12 oz. goblet.
Appearance: One of the darkest imperial stouts I’ve ever seen. There is zero light permeation in this glass. There is a good full finger of fairly dark tinted tan-hued head.
Smell: The first thing I noticed is the aroma of chocolate covered raisin. I’m getting a little oaky booziness in the nose as well.
Taste: Prototypical imperial stout flavor, I get a lot of molasses and chocolate. I also pickup a fair amount of hops for an imperial stout. As it warms up I get a little more stone fruit: cherry and date.
Mouth feel: This is thick. It completely coats your mouth and throat while you drink it.
Overall: A great RIS to judge others by. It is thick and chocolaty and the barley is the star. For those of you who cannot get your hands on regional limited releases such as Darkness or Dark Lord, buy some of this and cellar it away it has a shelf life of forever and it only gets better with age.

3) Bell’s Black Note from Bell’s Brewery out of Kalamazoo, MI.
Served: Served on draft in an 8 oz. stange glass.
Appearance: Blacker than any of the others, and there is zero head.
Smell: Whiskey, oak, licorice, toffee, and vanilla. There is also molasses and chocolate.
Taste: Bourbon and vanilla up front. There is also a lot of stone fruit. I am gaining a lot of prune and fig as it warms, and perhaps even some red wine. There is also a lingering aftertaste from the oak.
Mouth feel:  Lush and satiny, a bit syrupy. It is surprisingly light considering how much is going on in here.
Overall: If satin sheets are for bedroom fun, than this is for parlor fun. Simply put you are getting the chance to drink a velvet painting of whiskey and malted barley. One of the best bourbon aged beers available and a must have for any whiskey fan.


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