Clash of the Beards & Bellies

Put Up or Shut Up

I cry a lot. The great Jim Valvano said in his infamous ESPYs speech that you should “have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy” every day. Lately, the waterworks have been from losing in heartbreaking fashion to Nimble. It was the walk-off touchdown from Mahomes to Kelce in overtime that dropped the Bills defense into the red numbers.

Those negative two points left me 0.12 points shy of Scott faster than two shakes of a lamb’s tail. It was over. One of the greatest football games in history to culminate the best weekend of professional football in the history of the game.

The opportunity was there for me and I blew it, just like the Bills did. I bet on a good defense and that unit was crushed under the staggering talent of a guy who prefers his steak well done with ketchup. I need to redeem myself for the medium-rare, salt and pepper crowd. I have a lot of ground to cover, so bear with this hyper-aggressive build.

Bo’s Lineup

QB – Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals – $6,600

DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 19: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals warms-up before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on December 19, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

I contemplated sending Tanny a spring-loaded box of phallic confetti, but I’m too lazy to ultimately follow through with it. Joe Scheisty is the Bee’s Knees these days and too many have already forgotten what he did to this defense only three weeks ago. I think he does it again.

RB – Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – $5,300

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts during the game against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jerick McKinnon is more popular and affordable this week. So what? Until the Wild Card round, Jet was completely irrelevant. Last week, CEH looked infinitely more explosive in his first game back from a shoulder injury. I follow trends and the 2020 first round pick is trending toward a bigger workload against a getable Bengals front.

RB – Elijah Mitchell – San Francisco 49ers – $5,900

Mitchell was smothered last week by Green Bay. To be fair, it was zero degrees outside and the Packers smartly loaded the box because Jimmy Garoppolo is gourmet refuse. The running game is the key to San Francisco reaching their second Super Bowl in the last three seasons, especially against their bitter rivals.

WR –  Odell Beckham Jr. – LA Rams – $5,100

TAMPA, FLORIDA – JANUARY 23: Devin White #45 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defend as Odell Beckham Jr. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams runs with the ball in the first quarter of the game in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Davante Adams still got his last week, but I was impressed with how they limited his ability to turn small plays into big ones. This secondary has almost no skill, but their scheme has saved them all season. This leads me to believe they will be hyper-focused on Cooper Kupp and will challenge Matthew Stafford to make plays to his other weapons. OBJ has lived in the end zone since he was “marooned” in southern California. I hope for his sake that he can advance to the Big Game to flip the double birds to Cleveland yet again.

WR – Ja’Marr Chase – Cincinnati Bengals – $6,700

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JANUARY 22: Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a catch in front of cornerback Elijah Molden #24 of the Tennessee Titans in the second half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Nissan Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

I am going full-on air raid attack on this banged-up KC secondary. Burrow will be forced to sling it to keep up with the Ketchup King. Chase is the best rookie receiver in history. Zac Taylor will continue to focus this offense on Number 1. Special players have their best games in big moments.

WR – Tee Higgins – Cincinnati Bengals – $5,700

Independent of what Chase can accomplish, I believe the second-year pro out of Clemson represents a bigger matchup nightmare for the Chiefs. Higgins is 6’4″ and boasts elite hands and body control at the catch point. Steve Spagnuolo loves to blitz and put his corners in isolated coverage. They do have good ball skills out there, but Higgins is going to be a problem when those situations arise.

TE – Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs $6,500

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs jumps to catch the ball during the game against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I would have to be completely insane to not roster a Chiefs’ receiver this week. As much as I love Tyreek Hill this week, I did not have enough salary to squeeze him in. No matter, I will have the same insane upside with the best tight end in the NFL.

FLEX– George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers– $5,000

I think this is wild. $5k is an insulting salary for a tight end with potential to go completely nuclear and break the slate. I couldn’t stand idly by while Scott rostered Kittle for the Clash. I must break him. It’s another Kittle “body bag” game.

DST – San Francisco 49ers – $2,800

I was very close to picking the 49ers DST over the Bills last week. They were cheaper and they scored 21 points to -2 by Buffalo. Oh well. I’ll take the L on that choice and hope the Niners can force some more Stafford turnovers. It was the Rams who nearly blew a 27-3 lead last week, thanks to four fumbles. I just need positive points from San Francisco

Photo Finish

Last week I beat Bo by 0.12 for my fifth straight victory in the Clash of the Beards and Bellies. Every yard matters in the NFL and every fraction of a point matters against Bo. No time for victory laps. I have a H2H Championship to win. I’m still only up 37.42 points and no lead is safe with Bo lurking around. This week we only have three matching players, which means that it’s anyone’s game. I’m rocking double tight ends and a stable of high-upside wide receivers. Bo has the running back horse power. It should be another epic Clash, but I like my lineup and my chances.

Scott’s Lineup

QB – Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals – $6,600

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JANUARY 22: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Tennessee Titans during the AFC Divisional Playoff at Nissan Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I’m not surprised that Bo and I both rostered Joe Burrow this week agaisnt the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s currently a road underdog who is coming off of a 348-yard passing performance against the Tennessee Titans. Burrow might drop back to pass 50 times in this game and since interceptions only cost you one point, there’s tremendous upside for Burrow this week. I love stacking with this either Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins. Bo went for the home run against me and stacked him with both. I love Chase this week, but if you can’t afford the price tag, Higgins is worth a look at only $5,700.

RB – Cam Akers – LA Rams – $5,000

TAMPA, FLORIDA – JANUARY 23: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams hands the ball off to teammate Cam Akers #23in the fourth quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Cam Akers fumbled the ball twice last week agaisnt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, once when he was a few feet from the end zone no less. This week his $5,000 price tag leaves him begging for redemption in my H2H lineup. Akers 46 touches in two games are second to only Elijah Mitchell’s 50. I’ll take the home favorite discount running back every day of the week. Hell, I even stacked Akers with the Rams defense going away. Bite on that one sauce boss.

RB – Jerick McKinnon – Kansas City Chiefs – $5,100

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Jerick McKinnon #1 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball after a catch against Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Until two weeks ago Jerick McKinnon has been a forgotten man in the NFL. Revived by the potent Kansas City Chiefs offense, McKinnon has 22 carries and 13 targets for a total of 35 touches the last two weeks. The Chiefs are 7.5 home favorites so I expect both McKinnon and CEH to be involved in the offense all night long. McKinnon has the PRR upside and has looked dangerous out of the backfield, racking up 135 yards and one score on 11 receptions. I’m hoping he scores 13-15 points.

WR – Tee Higgins – Cincinnati Bengals – $5,700

Tee Higgin is one of the best values this week at only $5,700. I’m stacking him with Joe Burrow as a contrarian stack option to the Ja’Marr Chase stack. Bo has wisely decided to mitigate my stacking leverage and played both Bengals wide receivers. It’s a high upside move that could pay off big or backfire in his face. The good new news for me is that I have two out of the three plays, so if anything I’ve leveraged his leverage.

WR – Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs – $7,000

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 23: Wide receiver Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs flashes a peace sign toward outside linebacker Matt Milano #58 of the Buffalo Bills as he heads for the end zone to score a touchdown during the 4th quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Tyreek Hill has the legit potential to score every time he touches the football. We saw his game-changing potential last week in the final seconds against the Bills. Sure he’s been more of a traditional GPP play each week, but we are down to the final two weekends of the Clash and at some point, you just do what Min Cash Peter would do and you play the best plays. Tyreek Hill is one of the best plays this week. Bo is missing out.

WR – Cooper Kupp – LA Rams – $8,800

I’m shocked that Bo didn’t roster Cooper Kupp. Guess he doesn’t like winning or points because that’s all that Kupp has done this year. He has 55.8 DraftKings points in two games on 17 receptions on 20 targets for 240 yards and a touchdown. Kupp hit the 100-yard bonus in both games. I’m expecting more of the same this week from the 49ers secondary and expect Kupp to find the end zone at least once.

TE – C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals – $3,400

C.J. Uzomah has 13 receptions on 14 targets for 135 yards and a touchdown through two Cincinnati Bengals playoff wins. He’s averaging 16 DraftKings points per game and in a 54.5 total environment this week. I’m expecting more of the same for the cheaply priced Uzomah. Thankfully Bo still doesn’t believe an. d all these points will be mine.

Flex – George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – $5,000

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 22: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers runs after making a catch during the game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 22, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 49ers defeated the Packers 13-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

This season George Kittle has 14 targets, 10 receptions, 60 yards, and a touchdown against the LA Rams. The San Francisco 49ers will need a big game from Kittle if they are going to stay in the game and pull off their third straight road upset. I expect Kittle to see 8-10 targets and with after the catch ability, has the potential to break one. Of course, Bo rostered him.

DST – LA Rams – $3,200

Jimmy Garappollo is the worst quarterback still playing in the playoffs and the LA Rams are the best defense still playing in the playoffs, it’s that simple. High upside defense in the lowest total game.

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