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Dynasty Fantasy Football | Under-the-Radar 2023 Rookies

Fantasy Kitchen: Chef Colt Snody

by Dave Stewart

“The Fantasy Kitchen” is a column by Dave Stewart offering mouthwatering recipes for your kitchen and tantalizing fantasy football insights to keep you going through the NFL offseason. Now in his second season writing this column, Dave discusses jumping into a dynasty fantasy football league and highlights some upcoming 2023 rookie WRs. He also spotlights chef and fantasy football podcast host Colt Snody, sharing his Thai Red Curry Chicken With Jasmine Rice recipe.

Taking on new challenges can be scary. However, it can also be rewarding. In its nature, change can be frightening. Yet, those who are afraid of change cannot experience true growth.

Culinary Building Blocks

Chef Colt Snody, 40, of Cary, N.C., is a living embodiment of this mentality. He began his career in the restaurant industry with a summer job as a dishwasher at the age of 14 in a restaurant on Hatteras Island in Outer Banks, N.C. Not long after, his parents bought the restaurant, and life in the kitchen became his every day.

“My dad woke me up on a Saturday morning and said, ‘Get up. We’re going to work. I got a restaurant,’” Colt said in a March 26 interview. 

Snody would work weekdays after school and spend morning to night working there on weekends. He credits this time as a chance to establish a work ethic but lamented working in the kitchen without the free time to surf and spend time with his peers.

“It [the job] kept me out of trouble,” Colt said, “but I always had a little resentment towards that.”

Still, he was placing the building blocks for his eventual career.

A Fresh Start

In 2011, Colt moved away from Hatteras Island and got sober. He considers stepping away from substance use as a brand-new starting point.

Colt was able to find a job in a restaurant within a week. Ironically, he took the job because it was within his comfort zone, with his only working experience having been in his family’s restaurant. At the time, he was just seeking a way to pay his rent and expenses.

Dynasty Fantasy Football | Under-the-Radar 2023 Rookies

Colt is a professional chef at two Durham, N.C. restaurants.

However, he blossomed in this new position. He quickly advanced through numerous positions in the kitchen, becoming a manager and eventually being appointed sous chef.

“It all just started to unfold,” Colt said. “I discovered that I had more of a passion for it than I had let on.”

Colt has embraced that passion and parlayed it into a successful career in the culinary industry. He currently serves as the Chef de Cuisine at Mez, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in Durham, N.C. Mez is one of several restaurants under the umbrella of the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group.

For the time being, Colt has taken up a role guiding the kitchen at LuluBangBang, a sister restaurant to Mez, specializing in Asian street food in a casual, modern setting. Colt has been in the employ of Chapel Hill Restaurant Group for a decade.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Cooks

When it comes to tips for the home cook, Colt has some words of wisdom to share. He encourages budding foodies to be adventurous with their endeavors in the kitchen and not to worry about failure when learning new techniques.

Thai Red Curry Chicken With Jasmine Rice is a signature dish of Chef Colt that aspiring cooks can make at home.

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Colt said.

He related a story of learning how to make samosas from a friend. She was Indian and brought over all the necessary ingredients from an Asian market.

“Some of the stuff, I didn’t even know what it was,” Colt said. “I wanted to learn more things outside of my comfort zone. I’ve always thought it was a neat angle to try to think of other ethnic foods.”

Colt also recommends that aspiring cooks should build off what they already know. Swapping out certain ingredients can spice up a familiar dish in new and exciting ways.

He parlayed this to a time when he punched up his carrot cake recipe.

“I swapped out the pecans for pistachios and the raisins for candied ginger,” Colt said. “The result was, as he put it, a crowd favorite. Taking chances works, even though you may make mistakes along the way. As Colt reminds us, fear of errors will only hold you back in the kitchen.

If you are ready to try something new, Colt shared his Thai Red Curry Chicken With Jasmine Rice recipe for readers.

Thai Red Curry Chicken With Jasmine Rice

Aside from the rice, this recipe is engineered to use one pot and to consistently build depth and flavor in the process. A four-five quart sauce pot will work well for this.

Aromatics are more for finishing. If you add them too soon in the process, they will dissipate and not influence the dish properly. This recipe serves four people comfortably.

Red Thai Chicken Curry Ingredients

• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 2 lb chicken thighs
• 8 oz Maesri red curry paste (2 cans)
• 1/4 cup fish sauce
• 1/4 cup tamari
• 27 fl oz coconut milk (2 cans)
• 2 Tbsp minced garlic
• 1/4 lb Thai basil (divided)
• 2 red bell peppers
• 1 red onion
• 2 Thai chilis
• 1/4 cup minced ginger
• 1/4 cup cilantro
• 3 limes (zest from 2, juice from 3)

Jasmine Rice Ingredients

• 2 cups Jasmine rice
• 3 cups water
• 2 Tbsp kosher salt

Special Considerations

In his years as a professional chef, Colt has adopted certain brands that he prefers working with. They are important for the quality and taste of this recipe. A few of these ingredients are only available in Asian markets, but if you can source these, it will be well worth it:

• Coconut milk Chaokoh regular unsweetened
• Curry paste Maesri (Curry paste is easy to make, yet takes time. For efficiency, this is a great product to use.)
• Fish sauce Three Crabs, Tips, Golden Boy

Red Thai Chicken Curry Directions

1. Sear the chicken thighs in 1/4 cup canola oil; then remove from pot.
2. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of canola oil and sear the red curry paste.
3. Add thighs back in with the simmering curry paste.
4. Add in minced garlic, fish sauce, tamari, coconut milk and half of the Thai basil. Cook on medium heat until a boil is reached and then reduce to a simmer.
5) While the curry is simmering, work on prepping your vegetables and aromatics. Dice peppers and onions kind of large, as this will allow them to cook relatively quickly but not turn to mush.
6) About 30 minutes in, the chicken thighs should be cooked thoroughly. Add in onion, peppers and Thai chili, cooking for seven-10 minutes until al dente. We want the vegetables to still have some “tooth” to them.
7) At this point, it is time to finish the curry with heavy aromatics. Now, we add the lime juice, lime zest, minced ginger, cilantro and all* remaining Thai basil (reserve a couple of cilantro sprigs and Thai basil leaves for garnishing).

Jasmine Rice Directions

*recommended to start during step 6 above before adding in the onion, peppers and Thai chili*

1) Rinse rice first to remove excess starch.
2) Boil 3 cups water, and add salt.
3) Add 2 cups rice and cook on high for a minute while continuously stirring.
4) Reduce the heat all the way down to low, and cover with a lid. The rice will take about 10-12 minutes to cook on low and covered. It should not stick, either. Check about eight minutes in to see where it is. Even if the rice is a little under, you can cut the burner all the way off, and the steam/residual heat will finish the rice with finesse.

Homemade Red Curry Recipe (optional)

For those feeling adventurous enough to make their own red curry paste from scratch, here is the recipe for that.

All “oz” units below are by weight, not fluid measurements. This recipe makes about two quarts. Colt uses it in the restaurant all the time.

• 5 oz lemongrass
• 4 oz galangal
• 12 kefir lime leaves
• 4 oz garlic
• 16 oz shallot
• 3 oz Thai chili
• 12 oz red bell pepper
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 1/4 cup fish sauce

Getting Started in Dynasty Fantasy Football

In addition to being accomplished in the kitchen, Colt is also a football enthusiast. His base of knowledge covers the NFL and fantasy football alike. He serves as one of three hosts of the “Shall We Football?” Podcast along with his compatriots, AJ and Ryan.

Colt Snody Chef

Colt is also a dynasty fantasy football guru and podcast host.

While many fantasy managers have experience in redraft formats, Colt offers fantasy advice for those wanting to push the envelope and explore dynasty fantasy football formats for the first time.

He recalls feeling that he made too many moves during his early experiences in dynasty. Trading foundational pieces for future draft capital is not necessarily the best route to building a solid roster.

“Identify some cornerstone assets that you do not want to move,” Colt said. “They are your anchor pieces.”

Despite strong performances by some rookies in recent seasons, many rookies, even those with very good draft profiles, may not be strong fantasy producers in their opening year.

“Try and buy low on a couple of veterans,” Colt said. “Not everyone on the team has to be 23 years old.”

Understanding the current makeup of your roster and whether or not it is possible to be competitive is also critically important in deciding the moves you will need to make.

“Be honest with your appraisal of your team,” Colt said. “Are you a pretender or a contender?”

Under-the-Radar Rookies for 2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Drafts

With this advice in mind, this is the time of year that dynasty managers are seeking out value in fantasy football rookie drafts. Players like Bijan Robinson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are high on nearly everyone’s wish list.

Colt was gracious enough to recommend some under-the-radar rookies that he is interested in for 2023 dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts. Below, you will find his recommendations, along with my analysis on each player.

Zay Flowers (WR, Boston College)

Zay Flowers is a player that many are excited about heading into the NFL Draft. He showed well at the NFL Combine, showcasing his speed with a 4.42 40-yard dash. He also had a productive season at Boston College in 2022, finishing with 78 receptions, 1,077 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

In the right offense, Flowers could be utilized as a field-stretching receiver. He runs his routes very quickly and has admirable ball skills. Additionally, he is dangerous with the ball in his hands, even drawing some comparisons to Antonio Brown.

While Colt felt such a comparison may be too lofty, Flowers draws the comparison primarily due to his ability to do damage in open space. He will likely serve as a punt returner because of his skill in this area. In a superflex format, you are likely to see this player drafted around the end of the first or beginning of the second round. However, he could move up based on his draft capital.

Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)

Jalin Hyatt is another speedy wide receiver. Interestingly, Colt seems to be particularly intrigued by speed, as all of the players discussed here have plenty of it. Hyatt won the 2022 Biletnikoff Award as College Football’s best receiver. He scored 15 touchdowns and amassed 1,267 receiving yards. His 40-yard dash time at the Combine was a healthy 4.40 seconds.

Draft capital will certainly be important for Hyatt, with some NFL Draft pundits suggesting he may be a first-round selection. Personally, I see him more likely as a second-rounder, but he certainly stands to be an immediate contributor. If you see Hyatt sliding into the second round of dynasty rookie drafts, he will certainly be worth selecting there.

Jayden Reed (WR, Michigan State)

Jayden Reed did not run quite as fast as the other receivers mentioned, but a 4.45 40-yard time at the NFL Combine is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Like Flowers, Reed can be a threat with the ball in his hands. He will also likely be called upon in the return game with his future NFL squad.

Reed is the oldest of the players profiled today. He is likely to be a day two selection at the NFL Draft, meaning he will probably be chosen on his 23rd birthday. Still, depending on his fit within his NFL offense, Reed holds significant upside. He is versatile enough to play multiple receiver positions.

Keaton Mitchell (RB, East Carolina)

Keaton Mitchell is a player with plenty of upside, along with genuine concern. At 5 foot-8 inches and 179 pounds, Mitchell is not built to be an every-down back, nor is he expected to be. However, he has blazing speed, clocking a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He accelerates quickly and should be able to use his speed to create some big plays in the running game.

Without heavy volume, Mitchell will need to be efficient to establish value as a dynasty asset. But, if there were ever a player with the speed to do that, it just might be him. Likely to be drafted on day three of the NFL Draft, Mitchell is, in Colt’s words, “a bit of a dart throw.”

If he’s available in the later rounds of your dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts, this is a player you may want to take a chance on.

My motto in the kitchen is “have fun.” For me, it is easy to keep. I sure hope you have fun in your kitchen preparing food for your friends to eat.

Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content.

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