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The Fantasy Kitchen: Bold Fajitas & 2022 Fantasy Football Predictions

by Dave Stewart

Cooking for the family provides unique challenges. As a father of seven-year-old twins, I deal with picky eaters. For an added degree of difficulty, they rarely want the same thing. However, the recipe I have to share with you today will bring the whole family to the table.

Sheet pan meals are becoming one of my favorite things. The ease of having everything cook together coupled with simple cleanup is tough to beat.

Fajitas are a wonderful combination of flavors, and cooking them on a sheet pan simplifies an already easy meal. Plus, fajitas are a delicious and healthy meal. We will be using some warm, southwestern seasonings for these fajitas.

You can use strip steak or chicken. The Sneaky Girls prefer chicken. Many recipes call for boneless, skinless chicken breast, but I prefer to use thighs because they are juicier and more flavorful. In case you do opt for chicken breasts, I will show you how to make a quick marinade to lock in some moisture.

You will need the following ingredients:

Bold Chicken Fajitas Ingredients

• 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large red onion
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic granulate
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 flour tortillas

Bold Chicken Fajitas Directions

• If you wish to marinate your chicken breast, add the requisite spices above and olive oil to a bowl or plastic bag, along with chicken and the juice of one lime. Let it rest, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes.

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

• Slice the onions and bell peppers.

If you didn’t already marinate your chicken as described above, add the oil and spices to a large bowl along with the chicken and turn to coat.

• Place the chicken onto a large sheet pan.

• Add sliced vegetables to the bowl and stir to coat with the remaining oil mixture.

•  Add vegetables to the pan and cook for 15 minutes.

• Stir chicken and vegetables and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

• Once finished, squeeze the juice of one lime over the entire pan.

• You can choose to garnish your fajitas with sour cream, avocado, hatch green chiles, salsa, cilantro or just about anything you desire. It is one of the reasons this meal is pleasing to my entire family. One of my Sneaky Girls does not do spicy things. She likes everything rather mild, so a little avocado and sour cream do it for her. As for the rest of us, we like it spicy. We want our flavors to be big and bold. This meal satisfies all.

Bold Fantasy Takes

If you like your fantasy football takes big and bold, you have come to the right price. Here are a couple of bold takes that will set you up for an equally satisfying 2022 fantasy football draft.

Jalen Hurts (QB, Philadelphia Eagles): Will Finish as the Overall QB1

Look, I said these were going to be bold. Let me explain why I am bullish on the third-year signal caller. The Eagles have a stellar offensive line. According to PFF, they are the top-ranked line entering the 2022 season. PFF had them ranked fourth in their final rankings of 2021, and they returned the same line with Isaac Seumalo expected to supplant Jack Driscoll at right guard. Protection of this level is why Jalen Hurts was one of the least sacked starting quarterbacks in the NFL in 2021. That is a trend I expect to continue. 

Jalen Hurts led all QBs in rushing yards last season.

Hurts led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yardage last season. While that could be partially due to Lamar Jackson missing time with injury, expect Hurts to finish with a healthy rushing number again in 2022. He averages 5.6 Yards Per Carry (YPC) for his career. He was only hit at the line a meager 35 percent of the time last year, which is another statistic that is at least partially due to superior offensive line performance. Hurts led all quarterbacks with 56 first downs gained on the ground, and only Josh Allen had more runs of 10-plus yards.

Another positive factor in his favor is that he is careful with the football. He had a respectable 2.3 percent interception rate, putting him in the league’s top half. He also lost only two fumbles on the season.

Perhaps one of the most significant reasons to believe in Hurts is the Eagles’ acquisition of standout wide receiver A.J. Brown. At 226 pounds, Brown brings size to a rather diminutive Eagles’ receiving room. Playing for Tennessee last season, Brown was top 10 in Target Share and Yards Per Team Pass Attempt (YPTPA).

The Eagles had an explosive offense in 2021, leading the league in 10+ yard runs and 20+ yard passes. The addition of Brown gives them one more high-caliber weapon to help elevate Hurts’ game to the next level. According to Underdog Fantasy Average Draft Position (ADP), Hurts is currently being drafted as the QB6 at pick 62, affording you nearly a full-round discount over the top-four highest drafted quarterbacks.

Tyler Badie (RB, Baltimore Ravens): Is the Baltimore RB You Want

More boldness abounds as we analyze one of the NFL’s most prolific rushing teams. The Ravens finished third in total rushing yards in 2021, behind the Indianapolis Colts and the Eagles.

The current top two backs atop the depth chart, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, will open training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. While either player can come off that list at any time during the preseason, both players are returning from torn ACL injuries suffered before the start of the 2021 campaign. While I never try to forecast injury, it remains a concern for both players.

Tyler Badie led the SEC in rushing yards in 2021, with 1,604 yards.

Regardless of injuries, Dobbins and Edwards were in a committee the last season they were together. In 2020, Dobbins averaged 8.9 carries per game to Edwards’ 9.0, and Dobbins caught 1.2 receptions per game to Edwards’ 0.6.

There could be work for rookie Tyler Badie in this offense without an injury to a player ahead of him on the depth chart. He was a very productive back last season at the University of Missouri, rushing for 1,604 yards and scoring 18 total touchdowns.

He has plus speed, running a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and is versatile in the receiving game, posting 54 receptions on 76 targets in 2021. He is of smaller stature than the other running backs, who weigh well over 200 pounds. His size and speed and elusiveness in the open field make Badie a good change-of-pace option.

While this bold take is a bit of a long shot, aren’t all bold takes? But the best argument for drafting Badie is the value. Underdog ADP currently has Dobbins as RB21 and Edwards at RB49 (which is not bad value on him either). Badie is going as RB71 or a late 17th-round pick in a 12-team league. With such a low investment, I should not get too much hate mail if he underwhelms. I also hope the dynasty fantasy football managers have been listening.

It is always fun to get a little spicy with the takes, and I hope I have at least given you something to think about while you enjoy the delicious fajita recipe. When it’s time for your draft, I hope you boldly crush the competition in your league.

My motto in the kitchen is “have fun.” For me, it is easy to keep. I sure hope you have fun in your kitchen preparing food for your friends to eat.

Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content.

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