Family, Football & the Native
“Skiing: the art of catching a cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk” – Unknown
I’ve lived in Colorado my entire life. The Denver metro area, to be more specific. I’ve lived in a handful of different suburbs over the years and even Denver proper a few times. I am a Colorado native.
And being a Colorado native comes with some expectations as to our hobbies and interests. We all love our teams passionately in this state. I am no different. I’ve lived and died by the Broncos for as long as I can remember.
Coloradans love the outdoors. We hike a lot. And high – sometimes well above timberline and above the clouds. Through the wind, rain and snow, we still climb.
We camp as long as it’s above freezing, and sometimes even that won’t stop us. We combine our love for hiking and camping with backpacking into remote locations only accessible by foot to spend days separated from civilization, with all our supplies strapped to our backs.
Colorado is also an internationally renowned ski and snowboard mecca. We blast 32 different ski resorts, including the world-famous towns of Aspen and Vail, where countless celebrities call home. Coloradans love to ski and snowboard.
Well, except me. That’s right. Shocked? Most people are when I tell them my disdain for those two snow sports. And I get it. I assure you it’s not for lack of trying. Let me explain.
Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money and skiing was expensive. Skiing wasn’t something either of my parents had done either, so there was that. However, for my sixth birthday, my dad decided he wanted to take me to experience barreling down a snowy hill on two fiberglass boards. So we did.
On the day, after weeks of buildup, my dad and I hopped in the car and made the 45-minute drive to a resort named Loveland.
The morning started with picking up our rental equipment and heading to a ski class as I had no idea what to even do. I was in a class with my peers for the first 15 minutes. It soon became evident that I was bad at it because they moved me to a class with kids a few years younger than myself. It was embarrassing, to say the least.
The day carried on, and I’m pretty sure I just got worse. I hated every second of it. It was cold, and the combination of snow in my snow gear and sweat just made me uncomfortable. I honestly could not fathom why people willingly spent money to do this. Skiing was not for me. It was decided.
Fast forward 11 years. I was an awkward 17-year-old with a penchant for punk rock and skateboarding. One of my best friends was an avid snowboarder, and after a year of trying to convince me, I joined him for a day on the slopes. A snowboard is basically a skateboard without wheels, so this was going to be cake, right?
It was not. There were a lot of reasons for this, I believe. I had borrowed his brother’s board. His brother was well over 6 feet tall, so his snowboard was far too long for me. My good friend was also convinced that it would be easy for me, so we started the day on a double black diamond run – for those who don’t know, that’s about as hard of a run as you can find outside competitive skiing. The slopes were also very icy. It was a recipe for disaster.
I made exactly two trips down that double black diamond run that day. The first run was very slow. I must have fallen a dozen times at least, which doesn’t feel good on icy, packed snow. I stubbornly kept getting up and sliding on down to the bottom. It had to have been over an hour from lift to lodge.
My second run was even worse. At some point, about midway down, I caught my front edge and went flying. The board detached from my feet during one of the two uninterrupted, uncontrolled end-over-end flips before I landed straight on my back. Pain. Intense throbbing pain throughout my body.
I somehow managed to get back to the lodge after I strapped back in and cautiously meandered my way around people far more skilled than me. My friend’s dad picked us up and taxied us home, where my car awaited for the short drive to my house. I had jacked myself up so bad that my hands wouldn’t stop convulsing as I tried to grip the steering wheel for the less-than-2-mile trek to my bed.
Once I got home and in bed, I stayed there. For three days. My body ached and twitched and refused to move. My mom brought all of my meals to be consumed while propped up by a pillow. I could barely even feed myself. It was pretty obvious. Snowboarding was not for me.
Twenty-one years after the snowboarding debacle, I have yet to even consider trying to strap my feet into a snowboard or skis. The pain I felt, coupled with my lack of coordination – I’m generally a very athletically coordinated person – killed any desire I may have had to ever try it again. And my body thanks me for it.
But, despite my disdain for the slopes, at the end of the day, I’m still a proud Colorado native who doesn’t ski or snowboard. And I’m alright with that because I know I tried.
Just like I and millions of others have tried to play fantasy football this season, despite so many odds stacked against us. COVID-19 and the flood of injuries to marquee players on a weekly basis have left us all scrambling to put lineups full of discount and second-string pieces together to squeeze out a win. It hasn’t been easy. If you’re still fighting, I commend you. This week, I want to help you keep up the fight and find the best pieces and parts to get another W on your way to playoff glory.
So without further adieu, let’s get into this week’s “Hot, Medium & Mild: Waiver Wire Adds”.
HOT — Chipotle Pepper
TE: Dalton Schultz: Washington at Dallas
Andy Dalton is back, and it showed this past week when Dallas went up against Minnesota. Dalton Schultz benefited by getting a red zone target and touchdown for the first time since Week 4 against Cleveland. If you were one of the few people who started him, well done. Schultz is only currently rostered in 23 percent of Sleeper leagues and was only started in 11 percent of them.
He has consistently been a 90+ percent snap share recipient this season, and he really hasn’t had a bad fantasy performance since Week 5 against the New York Giants, though he has had some mediocre performances in that stretch. With Dalton back in the mix, I expect Schultz to continue to see the red zone targets and scoring opportunities.
As strange as it may sound, Dallas is still very much in playoff contention and Schultz figures to be a steady part of their offense the rest of the season. In a year where quality tight end play has been at a premium, grab Schultz for your stretch run and get him in your starting lineups.
MEDIUM — Pepperoncini
WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Chicago at Green Bay
There are certain people reading this who probably just threw up a little bit in their mouth seeing this name, and that’s alright. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is undeniably a part of this dynamic Green Bay offense. His snap share has consistently been 80+ percent since Week 2. He is averaging 5.1 targets per game, equating to a 15.3 percent target share. The volume is there for him to become a mid-range WR2 with a potential for low-end WR1 weekly upside. Valdes-Scantling is only rostered in 36 percent of Sleeper leagues at the moment, so chances are he’s available in your league.
Green Bay has favorable matchups the next few weeks hosting Chicago and Philadelphia in Weeks 12 and 13, then a Week 14 contest in Detroit and back home for Carolina in Week 15 and Tennessee in Week 16. None of these teams will present much of a problem for Aaron Rodgers, who should continue to spread the ball out while defenses blanket Davante Adams. Even with Allen Lazard back, Valdes-Scantling is a solid play the rest of the season.
MILD — Banana Pepper
RB: Frank Gore: New York Jets at Miami
This may be tempting with La’Mical Perine out. I was tempted as well. But it just doesn’t add up. Frank Gore scored his first touchdown of the season last week against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was the first time he had over 12 carries since Week 3. His 61 yards rushing are the most for him since Week 2 against San Francisco when he had 21 carries for 63 yards.
Gore has also been a non-factor in the passing game where he hasn’t had over four targets in a game and has four games without a single target. This week against Miami he’ll be splitting carries with Ty Johnson, and we all know how Adam Gase loves to do the irrational. Gore is simply too risky for me the rest of the season. Grab him if you have no other option, but certainly don’t waste any of your FAAB budgets on him.
And there you have it. Take it or leave it, and good luck in Week 11!
And of course, my column wouldn’t be complete without the cheesiest of dad jokes, so here we go!
What do you call a cow during an earthquake?
As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @jenatejack2017.