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Jen’s Friday Night Insights: The Curious Case of Cooterdoodle

by Jen Polvogt

“Jen’s Friday Night Insights” is a monthly column by Jen Polvogt, bridging motherly and fantasy football advice. Jen approaches the NFL postseason by taking a look at the mystery of Cooterdoodle, plus T.J. Hockenson and Nyheim Hines’ fantasy relevance in 2023. She has experience with three years of fantasy analysis experience and five of being a mother. 

Everyone in the fantasy football sphere has seen something from the elusive Cooterdoodle. Whether it’s a hilarious cringe-worthy tweet, a football take, a mini pod or her writing in the weekly newsletter for Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Life, we’ve all experienced her presence.

But who is Cooterdoodle? Let’s take a peek behind the curtains to find out!

As a self-proclaimed nerd in high school, Cooterdoodle also participated in track and cross-country. She learned how to learn and is still a student. As a result, she recently received her Ph.D. in speech pathology and is a college professor.

Cooterdoodle does it all. She’s a mom to a five-year-old daughter, a wife of seven years, a professor and a Twitter genius, now featured alongside perhaps the biggest name in the fantasy football industry. 

But how did she get here?

Take It From the Top

She claims she’s slowed down on the number of tweets that come from her account, but you wouldn’t initially think that by the 38,000-plus she’s cranked out since she joined Twitter in April 2020.

Cooterdoodle got her start like many of us did. COVID-19 had shut down our world, and we were all reaching for a connection. As a result, the most immediate way to do that was through Twitter. Specifically, she found that Twitter allowed her a creative outlet.

With her husband traveling for 200-plus days in the first year of their daughter’s life, motherhood hit Cooterdoodle fast. She was the end-all-be-all for her daughter.

“You realize real fast how much, even if you’re the best parent, you’re not enough,” she said in a Jan. 17 interview. “They need other things. I realized that so quickly during COVID. It hit like a train.” 

All of a sudden, parents across the globe could relate to that statement. Consequently, we all scrambled and pulled our hair out, trying to keep our children, and ourselves entertained during that time. One of the ways some of us accomplished that was through social media. The Twitter bug bit many of us. Some stuck around, and others moved on. Cooterdoodle is one of those who found her people and her niche within “the Bird.”

Some might remember some of her earlier tweets:

And this clever gem:

There’s no lack of joy and hilarious antics regarding her tweets. Upon beginning her Twitter journey, she said, “I didn’t join Twitter with really anything in mind, so the numbers (followers) are great, but I’m cool with just the few people I interact with who are my friends. It’s the quality of your life that actually matters and the people you surround yourself with.”

The Origin of “Cooterdoodle”

The origin of Cooterdoodle’s Twitter handle dates back to an old Xbox gamer tag. She prefers to use her pseudonym instead of her birth name because she didn’t intend to grow a brand with Twitter. She simply wanted to connect with people during the COVID-19 lockdown. Therefore, not knowing the “big bad world of Twitter” and protecting herself from stranger danger, she only shares her name with a close group of people.

It’s as simple as that. Protecting her identity and her family by keeping her name hidden was her only reason to go with “Cooterdoodle.” But where exactly did the inspiration for “Cooterdoodle” come from?

As a fan of the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” she recalled Kristen Bell’s character mentioning the word “cooter,” and thought it was funny. As for the “doodle,” she doesn’t recall.

“It’s weird for me to even reflect on it,” she said, discussing her alter ego versus her true identity. “I didn’t get on Twitter and say, ‘I’m going to act like this.’ Or that I’m not going to act another way. I used it as a social-creative outlet.”

So, does Cooterdoodle actually walk around her house making sandwiches using her fingers to spread the condiments? No. Does she paddle around in the water in her bathtub in socks? No. Does she actually pour the milk into the bowl and then add the cereal? Yes, yes, she does.

Cooterdoodle the Writer

As mentioned above, Cooterdoodle writes weekly for Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Life. She was offered the incredible opportunity by Berry personally. How could she refuse?

She doesn’t write from an outline. As a creative writer, she sits down and lets her words flow freely.

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners,” she said, paraphrasing the author, George R. R. Martin. “The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run and what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is; if planted is a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have. They find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.”

While she enjoys writing, tweeting and podcasting, she scaled back while doing her dissertation but will continue her journey. Her rule is, “If I’m not having fun, then I’m deleting Twitter. I’m not here for a long time. I’m here for a fun time.”

Words of Wisdom

When it comes to her journey and what advice she has for others in the fantasy football industry, Cooterdoodle beautifully sums up who she shows us online daily: 

“Don’t chase stuff. Literally, just find your people. Find the people that think like you, that you enjoy interacting with and the other stuff doesn’t matter at the end of the day.”

Those are words to live by these days. In an attention-seeking culture, it’s easy to get caught up in who knows who and the clout that comes with it.

However, what we should really be focusing on is finding and appreciating our people, whether that’s online friends across the world or our neighbors across the street. It’s there living in our own in-between that we can truly find the most happiness.

In the spirit of finding our people, let’s take a look at a couple of players traded mid-season and whether or not they “found their people” and what it means for T.J. Hockenson’s and Nyheim Hines’ fantasy futures.

Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Fantasy Football Finding Their People

Nyheim Hines (RB, Buffalo Bills)

When Hines was traded to the Bills from the Colts in exchange for running back Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round pick, it was assumed that he’d be another weapon for quarterback Josh Allen. With Devin Singletary and James Cook already in the lineup, Hines’ addition would allow for Allen to have a solid pass-catching running back.

At the time of the trade, Hines was the Points Per Reception (PPR) RB43, averaging 7.6 fantasy points per game. As of Week 18, the scene hadn’t gotten any better for Hines. He finished the season as RB56 with, averaging 5.1 PPR points per game.

Nyheim Hines finished 2022 with 33 rushing yards, 241 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.

What happened? That’s the real head-scratcher here. His usage went down. He was more of a special teams asset, and his usage didn’t translate to fantasy relevance in Buffalo.

It’s fair to say that everyone’s jaw hit the floor in Week 18 with the opening kickoff return for a touchdown when Hines blazed down the field for 96 yards into the endzone. It gave us the feeling that he and the team were doing it for Damar Hamlin, who was still healing from his sudden cardiac arrest the previous week.

Then came the second kickoff return from Hines, as he, yet again, got his wheels in motion and returned the ball for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Going forward, Hines’ fantasy value is in flux. Starting RB Devin Singletary is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA). If Singletary signs elsewhere, the Bills could add a different free agent or pick up another rookie in April’s NFL Draft. Until then, Hines remains a hold in dynasty leagues and a late-round dart throw in redrafts as the potential pass-catching RB for the Bills.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, Minnesota Vikings)

At the time of Hockenson’s trade from the Detroit Lions to the Minnesota Vikings, it came as no surprise that he instantly fit in. Through the first eight weeks of the season, Hockenson was the PPR TE4. By the end of the season, he finished as the TE2, behind only superstar tight end Travis Kelce.

Hockenson had immediate chemistry with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Thanks to his new QB and coaching staff, Hockenson totaled over 200 PPR points through 17 games, averaging 12.6 fantasy points per game. As a result, the smile wasn’t wiped off his face until Cousins proved, yet again, that he can’t perform under the bright lights, and they were knocked out of the NFL playoffs.

Hold on to Hockenson if you have him in dynasty formats. As for redraft, don’t be afraid to spend up for Hockenson come August. He’ll be going fast next year with veteran Vikings WR Adam Thielen possibly retiring.

I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand, and watch the NFL season’s conclusion. Cheers! If you choose to make any of my drink recipes, I’d love to see them. Please take a picture and tag me!

Monthly Drink Recipe: 

Hot Buttered Rum

• 2 oz rum
• 6 oz hot water
• 1 Tbs softened butter
• A dash of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice

• Combine
butter and spices in a mug, pour in hot water and rum, stir and enjoy!

Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.

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