"Holy #&% !!!!! It's you!"
Those exclamation points aren't an exaggeration.
I am 45 years old and I literally said that.
Out loud. Screamed it, actually. With no irony. I was shocked. I was thrilled. I was overcome. So, of course, that's the first awkward dorky thing to come out of my mouth.
And Jimmy Buffett, bless him, just smiled, shook my hand and said, "It's nice to meet you."
Hold that thought.
It is late summer, 1993. Just having graduated from Syracuse University the year before, I am living in Los Angeles with a group of fellow SU grads and I am talking with one of them, my good buddy, Jon McDaid.
Jon: What do you think? You wanna go?
Me: The Margarita guy? I don't know, man ...
Jon: Yeah, the guy who sings "Margaritaville." Come on, it's a blast.
Me: No thanks. I don't know any of his songs, I'm trying to save money and don't people have to dress weird or something?
Jon just laughs. You don't have to dress weird, he explains, though, yeah, a lot of people do. It just shows the passion of his fans. And you know more songs than you think you do. He explains a Buffett show is more than just a concert. It's a whole-day, all-encompassing party with a spirit all its own. He's getting a group to go and wants me to join. He says he'll make me a mix tape of the best of Buffett so I'll know more songs, he'll buy my ticket, and if I hate it, I don't have to pay him back.
Me: Fine, I'll go. But I'm not wearing some dumb Hawaiian shirt.
He wasn't lying about it being an all-day thing. We get there at something like 10 a.m. and it turns out, we're late. Many have spent the night in the parking lot, renting RVs they have decorated with giant shark fins, palm trees and pirate flags. After setting up our own tailgating camp, we take a long lap around the giant parking lot and it is a huge sea of tropical kitsch.
I see homemade tiki bars, women AND men in coconut bras and hula skirts, giant inflatable sharks and parrots, mini beaches and filled kiddie pools, people spinning wheels to do Jell-O shots or dancing under a limbo stick, pirates and mermaids, and it's all silly, ridiculous and bizarre behavior from people ranging in age from 20 to 70.
And then we get to the concert and out walks Jimmy Buffett, looking nothing like a rock star. Or a country star. Or anything other than a guy who literally just walked off the beach. He's shoeless, wearing a T-shirt and shorts. He is kicking inflatable beach balls into a large, frenzied sellout crowd.
What is going on here?
But somewhere in between Jimmy getting the crowd to sing along to "Why Don't We Get Drunk ..." (as he explains, it's, ahem, a "love song from a different point of view") and getting 20,000 people to immediately put their hands over their head when he merely announces "Fins to the left ..." I turn to Jon and say three words:
"I get it."
That was 25 shows ago.
A Buffett show is hard to describe until you experience it, but man it's fun. Different and weird and unique, and just so damn much fun. Personally, I love his music: catchy, easygoing, fun and upbeat (with a sly sense of humor and smarts. Jimmy is vastly underrated as a lyricist.). I defy you to watch this video of when Jimmy brought a fan up on stage during a show to sing with him and not smile the whole six minutes.
But even if you aren't hard-core into the music, the atmosphere is just awesome.
Despite having never met, everyone speaks a similar language and you can't walk 3 feet without being invited into someone's tent, offered a drink or challenged to a game of cornhole. I had my share of margaritas, naturally, but that first day was a total blast and it's been that way ever since.
Among the things I responded to was the communal feeling of non-judgment. You get down with your bad self, fat topless guy in a grass skirt and shark fin hat. Wherever you come from, whatever you do, what you look like, whatever your issues are ... none of it matters at a Buffett show.
And I think that's why he means so much to me.
Maybe it's having a wife and kids. Maybe it's having a job that puts me in the public eye, which I am still learning to navigate. Maybe it's just the way I'm wired. In fact, I know it's definitely at least part of because of how I'm wired. But I'm a worrier. I overanalyze, I overthink.
But not when I'm at a Buffett show.
There are other times I can get out of my own head, of course, especially when I'm with my kids, but even then you're worried about them getting hurt, or fighting with each other or breaking something or any of the million things parents of young kids worry about.
But among the times I am at my happiest, at my most worry-free, at my best ... is at a Jimmy Buffett show. I never have anywhere to be, I never have anything to do the next morning, I never drive ... I relax, I drink, I just don't care about anything but having a good time and spending time with my friends -- the ones I went to the show with and the ones I just met.
It's been that way almost a quarter-century. One day this summer, I got a call. "Hey ... you wanna meet Jimmy?"
I think I might have actually gone into a cold sweat. You know, I've been very fortunate in my life, and fantasy football has brought me more than I could have ever hoped to expect. And one of the best things it's brought me? The fact that The Margarillas, Jimmy's road crew, have a fantasy football league. I was introduced to their leader and Jimmy's production coordinator, Heikki Larsen, by a mutual friend a few years ago, and the Margarillas are always extremely gracious hosts when I see them. So it's been great to get to know them over the years.
And now Heikki was on the phone with me and he had an idea. "Jimmy and Michael [Utley, the band's musical director] have been doing the "The Bing & Bong Show" from backstage about 20 minutes before every concert. They answer some fan mail, have some fun and occasionally Jimmy will interview someone. If you're interested, I could pitch it to Jimmy and see if he'll have you on."
Was I interested? Couldn't say yes fast enough. Of course, you name it, any show, anywhere, I will make it work. Heikki just laughs. OK, man, I'll ask. No promises: He's a big sports fan but he doesn't play fantasy, but I'll try. He says he'll be in touch and then, I start to hope. But quickly dismiss it. I don't believe it will happen.
My first show was in 1993, I've gone to at least one show every year since, sometimes more, and I've never met the man. Through the graciousness of Heikki and the Margarillas, I have, over the years, gotten the chance to meet all the members of the Coral Reefer Band. But never Jimmy. When you've been a rock star for four decades, you don't really need to do the pre-show meet and greet, you know? And I've never really tried to push it because, well, after going to so many shows and listening to the music, frankly, I'm worried I'd be nervous. I'm kind of in awe of the guy.
I think he's a genius. And there's no denying his success in business and in the entertainment world. By some accounts, his business ventures have made him the third-richest singer in the world, with a reported net worth of $400 million, more than Elton John, Mick Jagger or Sting, among many others. But to me, the most amazing thing Jimmy accomplished was creating a whole lifestyle. He built a community where people are welcomed, where people enjoy themselves, a place where people can go to be happy in their purest form.
Jimmy's devil may care, keep summer around for one more day, let's play hooky from school attitude infuses a lot of what I've done and written over the years and so, when Heikki called to say Jimmy was into it, I was over the moon.
It's the day of the show and I'm nervous, not thinking it will really happen. Heikki had warned me they may have to start the show early due to weather (it was an outdoor show and it was expected to rain later that night) so it might not happen. But there my wife and I are, hanging around backstage and I'm talking to Michael Utley, enjoying the conversation and forgetting that I might meet someone I've cheered onstage since 1993.
And then suddenly, I feel a tap on the shoulder. I turn around.
"Holy #&% !!!!! It's you!"
I totally fan-boyed out, but Jimmy puts me at ease and I try to tell him, in so many words, what he and his music have meant to me over these years. Nothing I am sure he hasn't heard a million times. But it was important to me. He was everything I hoped he would be and more. Gracious, funny, interesting, smart. We talked for a little bit, then we did "The Bing and Bong Show," took a few pictures and that was that.
The whole thing lasted maybe 10 minutes tops, but I'll remember it for the rest of my life. Because when I think of him, when I think of his music or his concerts, I'm happy. And whether you are heading into the end of your season, trying to find a replacement for Odell Beckham Jr. (sigh) or just reading even though you're done, I think that's an important feeling to hang onto.
As we wind down the 2015 fantasy football season, I can't wait for it to be over. I love fantasy football with all my little ol' heart. I've played it for over three decades; it has brought me my wife, my family, my job and many lifelong friends. It means everything to me.
And yet, I can't remember a season I have enjoyed less than this one. From both a personal and season-long standpoint. It's a lot of factors, some of which I have completely brought on myself, so I'll absolutely shoulder some of the blame for it (as readers this year know). But between all the injuries and the off-the-field issues and the legal battles and the community and some of my writing and, well, just everything ... this year hasn't been nearly as much fun as it should be.
And that's a shame. Because if you've read me for any amount of time, you know my overriding factor about fantasy is that it's fun. So much fun. Or at least is supposed to be.
My birthday is next week, and it should come as no shock to you what I'm doing for it.
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New Year's Eve. Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band. Ringing in the new year. If you're there and you see me, please come and say hi. I'll be the one in a great mood.
Fins up to Jacob Nitzberg and Robert Nelson of ESPN Stats & Information for their help. And away we go:
Quarterbacks I love in Week 16
Blake Bortles, Jaguars: Going into the finals with Blake Bortles? Damn right you are. He's got 20 or more fantasy points in each of his past four games; only Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers have had longer such streaks this season. In fact, Bortles' 102 fantasy points puts him behind only Cam Newton and Russell Wilson in that span. Oh, and you know ... it's against the Saints. He's locked in as a top-five play this week.
Kirk Cousins, Redskins: People want to look at the home/road split, but maybe we should look at it this way: Cousins has played 10 games against defenses that currently rank outside the top 15 in sacks this season. He has thrown for at least 290 yards in seven of those 10 games. And the Eagles rank 16th in sacks and 30th against the pass. Over the past four weeks, Cousins has 90 points in ESPN standard scoring. Tom Brady has 89.
So you're telling me there's a chance: Ryan Fitzpatrick has at least 285 total yards in four straight games, he scored 19 points the last time he faced the Patriots and is at home in a game in which I expect he'll be relied upon for the Jets to keep up with the Patriots' scoring. ... If Brian Hoyer plays, it's worth noting that in the past four games, the Titans have allowed opposing QBs to throw for 13 TDs and no INTs, and are 28th in passing yardage allowed. Hoyer had 17 fantasy points against them in Week 8.
The price is right: As always, I like all the players I just listed above for daily, but specific to their prices on DraftKings.com, here are a few others to consider. I tend not to like paying up for quarterbacks, but if you do, I'm not sure how you go wrong with Russell Wilson ($7,200) or Cam Newton ($7,500) this week. ... I mentioned him already, but Cousins at $5,500 is really interesting, and it's not like Cousins' defense is all that. Sam Bradford had 24 points in DK scoring against Washington in Week 4 and he's certainly playing better now than he was then. He's just $5,100. ... Tournament players should watch the Saints. If Drew Brees is ruled out, Matt Flynn would be an interesting tournament play at just $5,000 at home against the Jags.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 16
Brock Osweiler, Broncos: Since their Week 7 bye, the Bengals have allowed just eight passing touchdowns in eight games, and four of them came in one game by Carson Palmer. Aside from Palmer, no QB has thrown for 300 yards or multiple TDs against the Bengals since their bye, and they have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs in that span.
Eli Manning, Giants: On the road against a Vikings defense that is getting healthier and has not allowed a 300-yard passer at home this season, it's hard to see Eli having a huge day without Odell Beckham Jr. I think he'll be fine, but not the awesome four-touchdown Eli we've seen the past two games. He's outside my top 12 this week.
Matt Ryan, Falcons: Ha! I'm just kidding. If you have Matt Ryan, you're probably not alive in the playoffs. But just for fun, in his past five games against Carolina, Ryan has just four touchdowns and seven picks. He had a total of four -- count 'em, four -- fantasy points against the Panthers in Week 14.
Running backs I love in Week 16
Latavius Murray, Raiders: It's been an up-and-down season for ol' Latavius, but the workload has been there. He's got 13 games this season with at least 16 touches (and at least 22 touches in three of the past four, the one exception being the Denver game), so if he's going to get that kind of workload, I like his chances against a Chargers team that is 18th against the run the past four weeks and, as our player card notes, has allowed 14 touchdowns in 14 games to running backs.
Charcandrick West, Chiefs: West had 16 carries last week, and you know what? He's scored in every single game he's been given 16 or more carries. As of this writing, we don't know how much playing time Spencer Ware gets; I feel like it's another week of Ware being active but used only in an emergency. And even if Ware does get some touches, I like West's chances against Cleveland. Running backs have scored at least 14 points against the Browns in three of the past four games.
Tim Hightower, Saints: In a crazy year for running backs, it's potentially the craziest week in terms of health, matchups and whom you are considering. But Hightower has at least 16 touches in each of the past two games since Mark Ingram went down, and the Saints will feature the run game a bit more with Drew Brees banged up or if backup Matt Flynn is in there. He's also a decent part of the passing game, so I like Hightower's chances at a double-digit game here, especially considering only four teams have allowed more points than the Jaguars have in their past four games.
Darren McFadden, Cowboys: In Week 1, the Bills shut Indy down. Since then? Opposing running backs have rattled off 13 straight games with 100 total yards or a TD against them, including 110-plus rushing yards allowed to RBs in four straight. What are the Cowboys gonna do, let Kellen Moore throw it? Exactly. Expect another heavy workload for McFadden (averaging 4.5 yards per carry since Joseph Randle's final game) against a Buffalo team that is 25th versus the run the past four weeks.
So you're telling me there's a chance: In three games against the Raiders as a member of the Chargers, Danny Woodhead has 23 receptions, 244 total yards and three touchdowns (all receiving). ... In the past two years, when Rashad Jennings gets at least 13 carries, he is averaging 92 yards a game and has six scores in 12 such games. He has more than 100 total yards in two straight games now, and with Beckham out, expect a heavy emphasis on the run game on the road against a Vikings team that has allowed the opposing "RB1" to get 100 total yards in five straight. Even if Linval Joseph and Anthony Barr are back, I still like Jennings' chances based on workload (at least 17 touches in two straight). ... If you're scrambling around, Christine Michael (16 carries for 84 yards last week; Rams rank 29th against the run the past four weeks), Cameron Artis-Payne (16 for 93, Falcons 24th versus the run the past four) and Bilal Powell (double digits in three straight) are among the guys available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues. ... Joique Bell plays the 49ers, who have allowed nine rushing TDs in the past five weeks, more than any other team in the NFL. All nine, in fact, have come from inside the red zone, and eight have come from 5 yards out or closer. Since the Lions' Week 9 bye, Bell has 13 red zone carries, while no other Detroit back has more than four, and he has six of the seven rushing attempts by Lions running backs from 5 yards and in. ... And finally a heads-up to Adrian Peterson owners. If you've got him, you MUST own Jerick McKinnon. There's a chance, based on the results of Sunday's earlier games, the Vikings' playoff chances won't be affected by the outcome of their matchup with the Giants. If that's the case, Mike Zimmer has said he may consider sitting certain injured players to help them rest up, which obviously would include Peterson. So just make sure, if you own Peterson, that you also own McKinnon or have another contingency plan. This is important because it's the Sunday night game and waiver-wire options will be limited from that point forward.
The price is right: As always, I like all the players I just listed above for daily, but specific to their prices on DraftKings.com, here are a few others to consider: David Johnson ($5,800) is my No. 1 player this week (the Packers are 28th versus the run the past four games) and yet he's just the 11th-most-expensive guy. ... James White ($4,700) is pretty interesting in DK's PPR format. In the past three weeks, White has 21 receptions (most among all RBs) and has more targets than Alshon Jeffery, for comparison. With no Danny Amendola or Julian Edelman expected in this game, White should continue to be a huge part of the passing game. ... At just $3,800, Matt Jones is worth a tournament play against Philly's 27th-ranked run defense. I am not an Alfred Morris believer.
Running backs I hate in Week 16
Eddie Lacy, Packers: Just can't trust him. He could be great, he could be brutal. Here's his carry total the past six games: 5-22-17-5-24-11. It's all over the place, and on the road against an Arizona defense that is eighth against the run the past four weeks and just lost Tyrann Mathieu (I expect a lot of Randall Cobb in this one, trying to exploit the secondary and keeping up with Carson Palmer), I don't think you can count on him to have a great game. The talent is there, of course, but in a championship week, I'm not risking it.
Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, Bengals: They are splitting carries and looking ineffective, and I expect the Broncos to try to force AJ McCarron to beat them. Denver has allowed just 53.6 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per rush in the past five games, both fewest in the NFL since Week 11. In a big game at home on Monday night, expect the Broncos to be amped up and ready to roll.
Javorius Allen, Ravens: Allen got benched last week after a fumble, and in the past two games, he has just 12 carries for 32 yards. The Steelers have given up just five rushing touchdowns all season, second fewest in the NFL.
Wide receivers I love in Week 16
Randall Cobb, Packers: As I mentioned in the Lacy section, you hate to see the season-ending injury to Tyrann Mathieu, but don't think Aaron Rodgers won't take advantage. Cobb has run 92 percent of his routes from the slot this season, which will likely keep him away from Patrick Peterson, and you'll need to throw on the Cardinals to keep up with them. Luckily, you can throw on them. The Cards are just 26th against the pass the past four weeks, and since Mike McCarthy took back the play calling, Cobb has 20 touches in the past two weeks.
Pittsburgh Steelers WRs: Obviously, Antonio Brown is a lock, but Martavis Bryant should be as well, and deeper-league, desperate types should look at Markus Wheaton. I mean, if they can do what they did to the Broncos last week, imagine what they should do to a Ravens squad that has coughed up 25 receiving scores to WRs this season, more than any other team in the NFL. More to the point, the Ravens have allowed 12 of those TDs to wide receivers on deep passes (15-plus yards downfield), which is second most in the league. During the past four weeks, Ben Roethlisberger has attempted 38 deep passes to WRs, tied for most in the league (Bryant 15, Wheaton 14, Brown 9). Wheaton, incidentally, has caught nine of those 14.
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins: In catching 37 percent of Ryan Tannehill's completions during his past four games, Landry has lined up primarily in the slot (74 percent) and should see most of his coverage from Darius Butler (Butler has been in the slot on 87 percent of coverage snaps this season). Per Pro Football Focus, Butler ranks 95th out of 118 cornerbacks this season.
DeSean Jackson, Redskins: Jackson is red-hot, with at least 65 yards and a TD in four of the past five games. And while I don't love playing into storyline narratives, the fact of the matter is that DeSean is an emotional player and this is a game that will truly mean a lot to him. Not that it'll matter. This is a matchup tailor-made for him, as Philly is 30th against the pass the past four weeks.
So you're telling me there's a chance: Yes, one play was a Hail Mary, but still, another big game for Kamar Aiken, who has averaged 75.9 yards a game with three total scores since Week 8, and I like the matchup with Pittsburgh, as the Steelers have coughed up two receiving touchdowns per game and more than 235 receiving yards per game in their past six games. ... Since Week 11, no one in the NFL has more receptions than Golden Tate's 38. He also has four scores in the past two weeks and my good friend Adam Shapiro is playing him against me in a finals this week, so you know he's going off. ... During the past four weeks, the Vikings have allowed the second-most receptions, most receiving yards, and most receiving scores to WRs lined up in the slot. Given Odell Beckham Jr.'s suspension, Dwayne Harris is worthy of dart-throw consideration. ... After Zach Mettenberger came in, Dorial Green-Beckham caught five of seven targets for 94 yards and now has more than 100 yards in two of the past three, the only blemish being a game against Darrelle Revis and the Jets.
The price is right: As always, I like all the players I just listed for daily, but specific to their prices on DraftKings.com, here are a few others to consider. At just $6,700, the pricing still hasn't caught up with the production for Doug Baldwin, who now has an insane four straight games with multiple receiving touchdowns, tied with Calvin Johnson in 2011 and Cris Carter in 1995 for longest streak in NFL history. The Rams are 29th against the pass during the past four weeks. ... At just $3,500, Rueben Randle will be a popular play. With scores in three of his past four, he fills in for Odell Beckham Jr., who -- you may have heard -- has been suspended. ... For a total tournament dart-throw, Kenny Stills is just $3,200, has seen his snap percentage rise in consecutive weeks, gets more than 40 percent of his targets more than 20 yards downfield and faces a Colts team that gives up the most passing plays in excess of 20 yards.
Wide receivers I hate in Week 16
A.J. Green, Bengals: I can't imagine you have better options, but make sure you lower expectations for Green this week. He's an elite talent, but banged up, as he left the game early last week, and this is certainly a tough matchup. The Broncos have not allowed a 100-yard game to a wide receiver at home this season, and only one wideout has a double-digit fantasy game against them at home. Green is just outside my top 20.
Amari Cooper, Raiders: Off the big game last week and he torched the Chargers the last time, so I get your skepticism with this call. And no doubt, it could blow up in my face. But I'm nervous. Prior to last week, Cooper had fewer than 70 yards in three of the previous four games and San Diego is actually playing pretty good pass defense these days. The Chargers have allowed just the third-fewest receptions and seventh-fewest receiving yards to opposing WRs this season. I expect Jason Verrett to shadow Cooper, and very quietly, Verrett has had a terrific year, currently ranked second in coverage by PFF. Cooper is outside my top 20 as well.
Tight ends I love in Week 16
Julius Thomas, Jaguars: Stop me if you've heard this one before: I have a Saints-are-bad-on-defense stat. (OK, I knew you'd stop me ... but I simply must go on.) The Saints have allowed the third-most catches, the most receiving yards, the second-most receiving scores and the most fantasy points to opposing TEs this season. Meanwhile, Thomas has at least five targets in nine straight games and has a TD in four of the past five.
Antonio Gates, Chargers: During the past four weeks, Gates leads the team in receptions, receiving yards and targets and has been targeted on a higher percentage of routes than anyone else on the team. That's what happens when everyone else is hurt. And now he gets the Raiders, who, yes, have improved against the tight end as the season has progressed, but still have given up the most receiving touchdowns to tight ends in the NFL, including one to Ladarius Green in Week 7 (Gates didn't play).
So you're telling me there's a chance: Benjamin Watson now has four straight games with at least 50 yards or a touchdown and the Jaguars are tied for the fifth-most fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. ... That's three straight games with at least 90 yards or a score for Zach Ertz, and the Redskins have been a bit more vulnerable to tight ends recently than earlier in the season. ... Austin Seferian-Jenkins has six targets in three straight games, he scored last week and faces a Bears secondary that has struggled recently. ... Richard Rodgers is touchdown-dependent, but considering Arizona has given up four tight end touchdowns in the past five weeks, maybe that's OK.
The price is right: As always, I like all the players I just listed above for daily, but specific to their prices on DraftKings.com, here are a few others to consider: Given the lack of pass catchers available to Tom Brady this week, I have no issue paying up for Rob Gronkowski at $7,600. ... At $6,500, Jordan Reed makes a lot of sense, especially given the PPR format. ... I already mentioned Zach Ertz ($3,100), and the hit-or-miss Kyle Rudolph ($3,300) won't have to do much to earn a profit. The Giants allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Tight ends I hate in Week 16
Heath Miller, Steelers: The only tight end to record more than 75 yards or score more than 10 fantasy points against the Ravens this season is Gary Barnidge. Miller doesn't seem to be a consistent part of the offense these days, and in the first meeting with the Ravens (Week 4) he had one catch for 1 yard. Baltimore has allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends this season and the third-fewest fantasy points to TEs overall.
Jason Witten, Cowboys: He has four points or fewer in eight straight games now and hasn't scored since Week 1 and is still somehow owned in more than 80 percent of leagues and is currently being started in 40 percent of leagues. Just stop, OK? Stop.
Defenses I love in Week 16
Pittsburgh Steelers: Since Joe Flacco's injury in Week 11, defenses facing the Ravens have scored 53 points, second most in the league in that span, with at least nine points in each game. The Steelers are still available in about 40 percent of leagues.
Houston Texans: They're facing Zach Mettenberger and a Titans team that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. Eleven of the 14 teams to face the Titans have scored at least nine points, and eight have scored in double digits, most in the league. The Texans are also available in about 40 percent of leagues.
So you're telling me there's a chance: As our player card notes, The 49ers have given up at least a dozen points to opposing D/STs six times this season, including 14 and 15 points the past two outings and at least eight points in four straight. On the road against Detroit, I like the Lions here, and they're available in about 80 percent of leagues. ... Don't look now, but the Raiders have scored at least nine points in four straight, and against some solid teams, too (Packers, Broncos, Chiefs and, OK, the Titans). Khalil Mack is on fire and the Chargers make for a pretty good opponent. San Diego is top 10 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses, including at least 13 in three of the past five.
The price is right: As always, I like all the players I just listed above for daily, but specific to their prices on DraftKings.com, here are a few others to consider: The aforementioned Raiders, at the bare minimum of $2,000, are pretty interesting if you're playing with Thursday night teams. ... To me, all the plays are the teams I mentioned already. The Texans and Lions at $2,800, the Steelers at $3,100, and I'd be fine paying up for the Chiefs at $4,200 or Broncos at $3,400.
Defenses I hate in Week 16
New York Jets: Yes, the Eagles' defense scored 24 points against the Patriots in Week 13 thanks to three scores on defense/special teams. All other defenses versus New England have combined for 13 fantasy points in 13 games, with a maximum of six in a single game.
Arizona Cardinals: Only one defense has scored in double digits against the Packers this season, and Green Bay has allowed 50 points to opposing defenses all season, tied for fifth fewest in the league. One reason? The Packers have committed just 11 turnovers this season, fewest in the league. The loss of Tyrann Mathieu, the leader of that defense, doesn't help.
Matthew Berry -- the Talented Mr. Roto -- is wasting away in Margaritaville. He is a paid spokesman for DraftKings.com and the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price.