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Jen’s Friday Night Insights (Katie’s Version)

by Katie Mest

Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a woman of wealth and taste. 

By “wealth,” I mean far too many Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) dollars left at the end of my Scott Fish Bowl (SFB) contention, and by “taste,” I’m referring to my George Kittle draft pick, which brought me a sizable 45.6 points in the charity league last week – and just enough serotonin to end my time in SFB11 without feeling completely wrecked from the injuries and byes that disrupted my optimistic beginning.

While I was not in the Rolling Stones division, I got my first go at the SFB this year as part of The Black Keys division, alongside big-time CBS and ESPN analysts, as well as fans like me. Bearing that in mind, I kept my expectations for my team’s performance pretty low. 

This is only my second year playing fantasy football. I was new to the league’s platform, MyFantasyLeague. I didn’t have FAAB in any of my leagues last year. Hell, I don’t even know what FAAB stands for if I’m being honest with you. I’ve looked it up multiple times and still can’t remember. So, yeah, I was walking into all this modestly.

Rightfully so, as I lost my Week 1 matchup. But it’s all good. I’m always just here to have a good time. 

By Week 2, the tides already began to shift.

Seeing players’ high-scoring potential in early games, I really got excited for each week to come. Multiple games in a row in which multiple players score more than 30 points gave me a little more confidence in my draft picks. But when I started to make solid start/sit decisions for my roster – like swapping out Derek Carr and Sam Darnold as my QB2 on the weeks the one happens to pop off while the other underperforms, that’s when I started to get cocky.

So it goes.

I feel as though my SFB11 experience perfectly encapsulates how the fantasy football season goes for a lot of people.

You can ride the waves so high for a while until they crash down onto the rocks of reality. I got four straight wins. Followed by two weeks of negative points from the Panthers’ QB. 

Then come the bye weeks. The season-ending injuries. The players who turn out to be duds, in the fantasy respect. 

The weeks go by quick, and, boy, do they get busy. Sunday and Monday games. Tuesday night waiver wire prep. Wednesday pickups and lineup setting. Thursday night games. It’s a lot to keep track of. Especially when you’re dumb and decide to join seven leagues. Seven times the chaos.

Outside of football, life also got chaotic in the sense that the time of year started to take its toll on me mentally and physically. Naps that innocently followed my workday eventually lost the challenge to wake up before nightfall. The busy season at work, dark days and early sunsets left little energy for much else besides lounging around. Admittedly, some weeks’ waivers went by without a glance because it was just too much by the end of the night, and my boyfriend, Seth, can attest that the past few Sundays, Scott Hansen’s voice has been the lullaby in my afternoon nap dreams.

So it goes.

But do you know what we do when we feel burnt out? We push through the important parts anyway, because we started doing this for fun, and we’re going to have fun dammit!

I had the pleasure of meeting a good amount of fantasy football folks at the Fantasy Football Expo this year, including Mr. Scott Fish himself. And if there’s one thing I learned from wandering from bar to bar in Canton, Ohio, meeting you crazies, it’s that if you want to be successful in fantasy football, whether creating content or just playing the game, you have to have fun with it.

Otherwise, you’ll get to the end of your fantasy season without a championship W and just be grumpy that you need to wait months for the next fantasy season. You’re going to miss it when it’s gone, so savor it while you have it.

In addition to those four-straight wins, I earned only one more: the last game of my 2021 SFB11 season, ending eighth in my division. Not too shabby – thank you very much.

Obviously, this qualifies me to give you my thoughts on some players, so let’s just hop to it.

Just kidding, I’m going to let the In-Between Media big man bring you some kicker knowledge for the last few weeks of the season. Many teams probably have their kickers sorted out, but if you are in need of a play, look for these two on your waivers.

Katie (& Seth’s) Friday Night Insights: Kicker Edition

Greg Zuerlein (Dallas Cowboys)

Greg Zuerlein has had a modest season kicking compared to his four straight seasons as a K1. Though he’s currently the K15 on the season with two games missed due to injury, I have hope the once-great kicker known as “Greg the Leg ” for his range will re-emerge. 

The Cowboys total the second-most total offensive yards on the season with 4,995 and have the third-most points scored with 353. 

What’s gone wrong for Zuerlein is a few misses early in the season in outdoor stadiums and the Cowboys converting red zone touchdowns on 61 percent of their opportunities. Zuerlein should provide serviceable numbers the next two weeks and could be a great kicker to have in Weeks 16 and 17 when he plays in two indoor stadiums. 

Jake Elliott (Philadelphia Eagles)

Jake Elliott has been a quiet rockstar of a kicker this season. He’s hit on 91.7 percent of his field goals (fifth-most in the NFL with a five attempt minimum). He’s also top-five in total points kicked this season with 99.

The issue for Elliot, as his one point in Week 12 will attest to, is that the Eagles’ offense can occasionally be inconsistent. However, Philadelphia have a bye before facing divisional teams after the bye. If Jalen Hurts can remain steady and get them into field-goal range Elliot should capitalize as he’s a perfect three-for-three from 50+ this season.

He’s rostered in just 6.1 percent of ESPN leagues. So pick him up casually after the Eagles’ Week 14 bye and have some confidence in the K7 on the season heading into the playoffs.

Usually, I am behind the scenes of In-Between Media as an editor – cleaning up the commas and checking for misspellings of “Cordarrelle.” Tonight I get to sub in for Jen as she, the hubs and the kiddo enjoy some much-deserved vacation time with friends in a place much warmer than my central Pennsylvania. 

If your weather is looking more like mine, here’s a drink to keep you toasty.

Bi-Weekly Drink Recipe:

Winter Bourbon Smash

  • ½ cup ice
  • 2 Tbsp preserves or jam of choice
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp triple sec
  • 2-3 Tbsp orange juice
  • Splash of club soda
  • Add ice, preserves, bourbon, triple sec and orange soda to a shaker, and shake vigorously. Pour into a serving glass and splash with club soda.
  • Garnish with an orange slice.

Thanks for tuning into my special edition of “Jen’s Friday Night Insights.” You can follow me on Twitter at @km_betweenff.

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