Week 9 NFL

Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Welcome to the Real Ozark

“Jen’s Friday Night Insights” is a monthly column by Jen Polvogt, bridging motherly and fantasy football advice. Jen approaches Week 9 of the NFL season experience with three years of fantasy analysis experience and five of being a mother.


We’ve all seen or at least hear of the show “Ozark.” Most of us know that it’s a real place. Before I go too far, I assure you there are no spoilers in this column about the show. I haven’t even finished it yet. We’ve made it to part one of the final season. 

It’s a tough show to watch. Again, no spoilers, but the show’s basis contains drugs, extortion, murder, affairs, money laundering and backstabbing. You know. The stuff that really makes a show worth watching. And a show that creates mystery and intrigue set in a dark world.

That version of the Lake of the Ozarks is not what I remember from my family vacations as a child. Not even close.

I was excited when the show came out and felt like Buddy the Elf when he exclaimed he knows Santa. I was like, “I’ve been there!”

That drew an obvious appeal to me. I was going to see my childhood vacation destination!

Again, not even close.

Family Roadtrip

We went to the Lake of the Ozarks yearly for our summer vacation when I was a kid. My parents would coordinate with my dad’s side of the family to get us all together for a quasi-family reunion. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents would unite at Summerset Inn Resort in Osage Beach, Mo., every July and stay a week to 10 days.

I can only imagine what my parents had to do to put the event together. We had a 13-hour drive from Golden, Colo. to Lake of the Ozarks. With four children, they needed to be on their game to get us there. So they typically put us to bed in the van, and we would drive overnight to cut down on the grueling hours of sibling fighting during the daytime hours.

We never got a hotel along the way. Instead, my parents would take turns driving, boat in tow, straight through the night until we got to the Ozarks. We never stopped at a drive-thru for a quick burger – my mom always had a cooler packed with sandwiches, lunch meat, cheeses, juice boxes, water and beer. Back then, it wasn’t illegal to literally drink and drive. You just couldn’t be drunk and drive. Weird to think about that.

We took the drive in our conversion van, complete with a TV we couldn’t operate while driving, swiveling captains chairs and a couch that converted to a bed and blinds on the windows. With that much space, you’d think we’d all be cooperative and easy-going.

Nope.

I had restless leg syndrome and motion sickness. My brothers picked on each other the whole time while jamming out, listening to their Walkmens. My dad listened to sports radio, and my mom read a book while fielding her children’s requests.

Are We There Yet?

Rolling into the Ozarks always brought a wave of relief. We would check in at the front desk, greeted by familiar faces of the family who owned the resort. The resort wasn’t large, but we didn’t stay in the same “room” more than once.

Getting the boat into the water and the slip was the first priority, followed by splashing in the pool and an early dinner. Dinner was often cooked in someone’s suite or on one of the many grills scattered throughout the property. Evenings were warm. The air filled with lightning bugs and the sounds of window unit air-conditioning harmoniously humming as they struggled to cool the rooms.

We played shuffleboard, swung on the swing set, played arcade games in the clubhouse and walked to the grocery store to stock up on food and drinks for the week. The initial trip to the grocery store, which felt like 17 miles away, was our first-day activity. For whatever reason, we decided to walk rather than drive. The entire family would walk along the street in a single-file line to and from the store. It was hot, exhausting and seemingly unnecessary, but we did it.

Johnson Family Time

Since my nuclear family is comprised of six people, we would rent at least one cabin or multi-bedroom apartment at Summerset. The rest of the family would be scattered across the resort based on their individual family needs. We would meet up early in the mornings to water ski before the lake was overflowing with other boaters. Fishing was a daily activity, and I still remember catching my first small-mouthed bass.

I learned to water ski at the Lake of the Ozarks – an activity I’m not fond of, but it was a family thing. At the end of the boat slips, there was a water slide that you would carry a gallon jug to the top of, filled with water, and throw the water down the slide before gliding down it into the lake. You didn’t want to burn your buns, or get road rash, so the water provided instant lubrication.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Our last vacation to the Ozarks was in 1997 when I was 15 years old. After that, we swapped our Ozarks trips to Lake Powell every summer. My parents bought a timeshare on a houseboat, so we made new memories on a new lake in the coming years.

I was reminded of making new memories this week as the NFL trade deadline heated up. We saw several trades transpire Tuesday, landing new faces in new places.

So, let’s talk about a few trades that happened this week that could impact the fantasy football landscape.

Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Week 9 NFL – “Making New Memories”

Chase Edmonds (RB, Denver Broncos)

It’s no secret that the Broncos need help. The “Let’s Ride” Broncos Country has suffered unbelievable losses and is nowhere near the top of their division, let alone the league. They’re third in the AFC West, and it’s not a mystery as to why they’re losing so many games.

The offensive line falls apart quickly, pass catchers can’t catch and the running backs aren’t able to move the ball.

When superstar running back Javonte Williams went down for the season with a torn ACL and LCL, the team went into crisis mode. That was four weeks into the season, and the Broncos haven’t been able to figure it out since.

First, they relied on Melvin Gordon. Then they signed Latavius Murray. Now they traded away one of their strongest defensive weapons, Bradley Chubb, for a crop of draft picks and a middle-of-the-road running back in Chase Edmonds. 

Edmonds boasted a decent season in 2020 with 448 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. That same season, he had 402 receiving yards and four touchdowns. That’s the key reason why the Broncos signed him.

With a quarterback like Russell Wilson, they need a pass-catching running back who can step into both roles for a pass-heavy offense. Edmonds probably isn’t the answer to ease this team’s woes, but he won’t hurt the offense. The Broncos taje their bye in Week 9, so he’ll have time to learn the offensive plays and get comfortable with the team. Still, this is a three-man rotation until further notice in Denver, capping the upside of Edmonds, Murray and Gordon.

Chase Claypool (WR, Chicago Bears)

The Chicago Bears traded for Chase Claypool from the Steelers in a move that will consequently help quarterback Justin Fields. He’s entering a locker room with receivers Darnell Mooney, N’Keal Harry, Equanimeous St. Brown and Cole Kmet.

The Bears are ranked 32nd out of 32 teams in passing yards per game. They average 19.4 points per game, primarily through the run game. Could Claypool contribute to the passing attack? There’s certainly a possibility he can. He had 32 catches for 311 yards and one touchdown on a team with a rookie QB who came in for a benched starting QB.

In Claypool’s rookie season with a healthier Ben Roethlisberger behind center, he had 873 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. That’s with competing for targets that year with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson.

Will Claypool be an answer to a disaster of a team? Maybe. If Justin Fields can consistently get the ball down the field, Claypool will be there to receive it. He’s a bench stash for now. However, if he can work something out with Fields, he could be a Points Per Reception (PPR) WR3 option. Week 9 

I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand, and watch the NFL season unfold. 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: 

Fizzy Gin

• 2 oz gin
• 1/2 t lemon juice
• 6 oz sparkling wine

• Combine
gin and lemon juice in a champagne flute, add chilled sparkling wine and enjoy!

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