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Family, Football & Dear Jackson

by Nate Polvogt

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…” – John Lennon

Dear Jackson,

Once upon a time, there was this boy and this girl who met in a bar one night in the late fall of 2006. It was by chance they had begun talking that night. The boy worked at the bar as a line cook, and she was a regular.

As regulars and staff members tend to do at bars, his friends had become closeor as close as “bar friends” can getwith her friends. One night, by chance, the girl and the boy ended up sitting at the same table at the bar. She had seen this boy before, but she always thought he was creepy – the boy had an admittedly creepy goatee that she not-so-adoringly would later call a chin swordso she had mostly avoided him. 

He had a long night working and toiling away to feed these people who could only be satiated by pizza and beer before he was finally free to imbibe himself. He sat down at a table with his friends who had been joined by her and her friends. 

It would be unfair to say he hadn’t noticed this girl before. She was beautiful. Stunning, in fact. However, talking to girls wasn’t really his strong point, and his close friend had a thing for her. Not to mention, he was about to leave town for at least six weeks to open a new restaurant. He just wasn’t in the market. 

Yet, here they were. He was nervous sitting across from her. She had this amazing laugh that was absolutely infectious, and she was quite hilarious. She was confident and vibrant and different. So different. 

He kept to himself at first. The boy was innately shy, so this was even more difficult for him. “She wouldn’t be interested in me anyway,” he told himself. And then there was also his friend to think about. 

The merry band all sat around drinking and laughing through the night. He kept catching her out of the corner of his eye. Eventually, pieces of the group began to disband or move to adjacent tables to carry on with other friends. And just like that, it was the boy and the girl alone at the table. 

Pleasantries and introductions came quickly, followed by the requisite small talk. The usual “where are you from?” and “where did you go to school?” banter that sets most people at ease in an awkward situation. 

The boy had no idea how those two questions would change his  – and herlife. 

It turns out they were the same age, went to rival high schools and graduated the same year. That led to even more conversations about friends, which it turns out they had many mutual ones, and family, which was apparently also intertwined. 

A few years back, the boy lived in a basement unit of a duplex with a laid-back landlord he had always appreciated. One time when he was behind on rent, as will happen when you’re young, the landlord offered to let him pay off rent by building a fence at another place he owned around the corner. 

It was hard work and not something he particularly wanted to spend his Saturday morning doing. When he arrived, he was greeted by his landlord and some other members of the landlord’s family, including his sister who lived in one of the units. 

Did you guess who she was? 

It was her. The girl he was now sitting across the table from in the bar. She admitted that she had a crush on that guy who had helped build the fence, and he admitted the same. 

Life works in mysterious ways. If it hadn’t been for that night in the bar and the random or not so random depending on what you believe  – meeting and conversation, there might not be you. Never underestimate the power and impact of one small conversation. It could change the course of history. 

On the matter of changing the course of history, does it seem like the books on the 2020 season are being re-written every week? Up is down, down is up and we barely know where to go with our lineups. Running back has been an especially difficult position to manage so far this year. With the slew of injuries to lead backs, a lot of teams are using multiple backs to carry the workload. But have no fear! I have a few guys you’re going to want in your lineups this week based on matchups, and I have one to steer clear of. 

Let’s break it down in this week’s “Hot, Medium & Mild: Backup Running Backs Edition.”

HOT —Habañero

Mike Davis: Tampa Bay at Carolina

Mike Davis was the PPR RB4 weeks 3-8.

Christian McCaffrey got us all excited in Week 9 with his much-anticipated return from Injured Reserve, and he did not disappoint. He looked healthy and slipped right back into his role as the lead back in Carolina, leaving Mike Davis out in the cold. 

However, heading into Week 10 against Tampa Bay, it appears as though Mccaffrey will again be out with a shoulder injury. 

Davis looks to resume his role as the Panthers’ RB1 if only for this coming week. In Lue cf McCaffrey weeks 3-8, Davis was the PPR RB4, averaging 17.3 Points Per Reception (PPR) fantasy points a game. Tampa Bay has the league’s best run defense, but Davis is efficient out of the backfield as a pass-catcher, making him a solid play, especially in PPR leagues. 

MEDIUM — Anaheim Pepper

Jordan Wilkins: Indianapolis at Tennessee

It’s been quite the task trying to figure out the Indianapolis backfield so far this season. Jonathan Taylor has not lived up to expectations and has seemed to be fumble prone as of late. Frank Reich has been quick to bench Taylor as a result of his mistakes, and Jordan Wilkins has been the beneficiary. 

The last two weeks we’ve seen Wilkins with an increased role in the backfield, and that could expand in Week 10 with Taylor continuing to disappoint. 

While I wouldn’t blow your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) or waiver priority budget to get him, if you’re in a pinch he could be a solid-to-par play this week.

MILD — A Tomato

Chase Edmonds: Buffalo at Arizona

I don’t think there is a team in football as loaded in the backfield as Arizona, and Chase Edmonds appears to be the odd man out. Despite Kenyan Drake being ineffective or injured most of the season, Edmonds is still third on the team in carries behind Drake and quarterback Kyler Murray

Even in the absence of Drake in Week 9 and with Edmonds grabbing a season-high 25 carries, Murray was still Arizona’s leading rusher with 106 yards on 11 carries.  Edmonds struggled to get 70 yards while drawing only three targets in the passing game. 

It has become clear that Edmonds simply will not be able to produce consistent fantasy-relevant outputs regardless of his volume. Kliff Kingsbury has no real desire to roll him out in any meaningful fashion, and you should be looking to move Edmonds off your roster, however, you can. 

And there you have it. Take it or leave it, and good luck in Week 10!

And now for some amusement in the form of a corny dad joke:

What do you call a mythical veggie?

A uni-corn!

As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @jenatejack2017.

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