DFS Roundtable: Week 16

A peek behind the curtain at a staff discussion pertaining to this week's DFS topics

This week, we'll discuss the following topics:

The staffers we talked to this week are Chris Feery, Dan Hindery, Justin Howe, John Mamula, Alex Miglio, Chad Parsons, Jeff Pasquino, and BJ VanderWoude.

Weather or Not?

Hester: The last few weeks have given us cold weather games, which has impacted fantasy prognostication and production. In Week 15, the latter seemed to be impacted more than the former as Green Bay and Chicago went way over the total in a sub-zero temperature game, and Philadelphia and Baltimore produced 50+ combined points despite concerns of rain and wind.

How do you sort through the weather news? At what point in the week (if any) does it factor into your player evaluation process? Is it sound strategy to actually seek bad weather players in GPPs?

Pasquino: I start with NFLweather.com as the first place to go, and of course I take note of any outdoor game for the week (even if it is a warm location). I care most about the wind, then cold and rain. Some players excel in bad conditions (see Jordan Howard and LeVeon Bell) while others are players to avoid. I’ve heard Nate Burleson describe catching a ball in frigid weather like having his fingers snapped off, so that’s something to be said there. I certainly want no part of a kicker in the outdoors in bad weather (although Justin Tucker proved us wrong last week). On the other hand, I actually tend to like running games in bad weather as that is the best way to move the ball and keep it secure.

As for Week 16, it’s too early to really tell just yet as I write this on a Monday (Moderator's Note: we started early this week to get the answers in and posted early for the games being moved up to Saturday), but we have only one dome game (Tampa Bay at New Orleans) and four outdoor games forecasted above 45 degrees (Titans at Jaguars, Colts at Raiders, 49ers at Rams and Bengals at Texans). That leaves the majority of games to watch for any weather impact. Again, the wind is the number one concern, and storm systems can start to be more predictable 2-3 days in advance of kickoff (especially back East). While nothing looks bad yet, there is potential for some weather in Foxboro (Jets at New England), Cleveland (hosting San Diego), Chicago (hosting Washington) and some rain projected in Pittsburgh (vs. Baltimore). Overall I don’t have many weather concerns this week, but it is part of the process you have to include in your analysis each week this time of year.

Mamula: Jeff nailed it. NFLweather.com is the best resource for tracking weather conditions. I also utilize twitter for any local weather conditions. If there is a storm, I want to see a radar to estimate how long it will impact the game. Wind is the primary concern that I am looking for as it will downgrade QBs and WRs. Anytime the wind reaches over 20 mph, I take notice and alter my projections and game plan. In many cases, cold and snow gives a bump to RBs and/or defenses. I keep track when Vegas releases the game line and totals early in the week to see if it fluctates before game time. Vegas factors in the weather to the game totals. The game total will drop multiple points if Vegas believes the conditions will affect the scoring. If a game total drops more than 2 points, that is a sign that scoring will be affected. Any game total under 42 points is usually an indication of a low scoring defensive game. This is especially true for game totals under 40 points.

Currently, Week 16 weather forecasts look much improved as compared to the past couple of weeks. However, make sure to check the weather every Sunday AM before lineup lock.

VanderWoude: NFLweather.com is the best weather resource I've found, and I also pay attention to local beat reporters on Twitter who are on the sidelines before the game starts. The cold is really only a concern of mine for young quarterbacks who have little experience playing in extreme conditions, or veterans who have a large sample size of playing poorly in a specific type of conditions. We've seen the cold weather have little effect on Matt Barkley, who grew up in California and played his college ball at USC so I wouldn't put too much stock in the cold weather unless they have demonstrated poor play in the past.

John makes a good point about watching the Vegas totals, as they are best equipped to decide what impact the weather will have on a game.

While I wouldn't specifically target players in poor conditions for GPP's, I like the idea of getting elite players with discounted ownership levels, and poor weather has proven to have an impact on ownership. The one caveat is wind, as both Jeff and John mentioned. I am less likely to take a shot on quarterbacks or wide receivers playing in high wind conditions, as the wind is the most unpredictable type of weather. On the flipside, running backs, especially those who catch the ball are players I would target as they will likely see a large increase in volume.

Parsons: I am very cautious when deciding to eliminate players entirely based on weather. If their matchup was already a question, the weather certainly helps push me towards other options. I do make kicker decisions late in the season with weather on the forefront of my mind. Looking at field goal success rates between dome games and sub-40 degree conditions reveals a difference of less than 5% success rates. I view teams as more likely to try longer kicks in optimal conditions as well leading to more opportunities in addition to a slightly better success rate overall. Any weather-based decision is made in the hour or two leading up to kickoff. I will notate Player A vs. Player B decisions which are close earlier in the week. If the decision has not clarified itself via injury or non-weather analysis by that pre-kickoff zone, I will dig more into the weather and make a call. Overt wind conditions affect my decisions (or heavy rain) more than simply cold temperature.

Feery: I agree, NFLweather.com is the go-to resource. I’ll take a cursory glance at the beginning of the week, and begin to pay more attention on Friday. I’m really only concerned with extreme situations - i.e. high winds, frigid temps or torrential downpours. Outside of those three factors, I don’t let weather sway me from a specific play on a given week, but I will definitely use it as a tiebreaker if needed. For example, Player A is playing a game that looks to be ideal conditions for this time of the year, while Player B’s game could be impacted by light rain or wind gusts. I’ll lean towards Player A in that spot.

For the week ahead, it’s a little too early to be overly concerned about any of the games on the docket, but a few look like they bear watching if the long-range forecast proves to be accurate. If we get to Friday afternoon and these games still have rain, fog, wind or cold in the forecast, I’ll play close attention through gameday morning. I’ll only move off of a player once I’m fairly certain that the game will be impacted. When it comes to the wind, for example, I’m moving away from kickers in those games pretty quickly, and taking the passing games on a case-by-case basis.

Hindery: For breaking weather news, Kevin Roth is a great follow. He is a meteorologist and avid fantasy football fan. As others have said, wind is the primary factor that should scare you away when it comes to the passing game. Anything over 20 MPH is especially noteworthy. Snow can actually be an advantage for the offense at times because it makes it very difficult for defensive backs to quickly change directions in coverage. Other times, if the snow is extreme (and limits visibility), it favors the running game more and we can see running backs put up huge games (like Jordan Howard against San Francisco). I like to target defenses in especially rainy games. The Miami-Arizona game a few weeks ago is a great example of a game in which the wet conditions made it extremely difficult to hold onto the ball and led to a number of turnovers for both teams. 

Miglio: We've talked about this before, but I'm with Chad; dismissing players out of hand for weather is a good path to regret. There are definitely some games you just want to avoid because of extreme weather, but studies have shown that the biggest single factor to worry about is severe wind. As Hindery alluded to, it's easy enough to cut through 15-20 MPH wind, but gusts to 50-60 MPH can wreak havoc on any offense. That said, any games that we are being cautioned against are indeed nice GPP farms. You don't want too much exposure to bad-weather players, but ownership percentages are bound to plummet if the talking heads at ESPN or NFL warn us off a snowy affair.

Incidentally, I have been on Twitter a long while, and I hadn't heard of Kevin Roth. Thanks, Dan.

Howe: No, there's no way I'll cross a guy off my rankings due to weather. I may bump him some, sure, but prolific fantasy scoring is still very plausible in snowy/rainy weather. (That said, I agree that heavy, heavy winds need to shift fantasy focus.) It's true that footing and ball placement can suffer, but let's not forget that the offense carries an innate advantage into every snap - knowing the upcoming play. Generally, speaking they're merely tasked with executing their jobs, while the opposing defense has to both react to the offense and execute. And a tight, well-oiled offensive machine can typically run its preferred game script with only minor weather-necessitated tweaks.

Not to be too anecdotal, but think back to the Titans-Patriots matchup of 2009, played in exceptionally heavy Massachusetts snow. The New England offense, generally one of low risk and a multitude of underneath and intermediate options, hummed along, as Tom Brady managed to throw for 380 yards and 5 scores across 3 quarters of play en route to a 59-0 win. That's obviously not the norm, but it shows us that adverse weather doesn't have to be a death knell. In fact, shrewd DFSers will play those circumstances to their advantage in terms of GPP ownership.

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Packing it In?

Hester: It's Week 16, and many teams are out of contention with little to reason to compete other than pride. Do you any situations where one (or both) of the teams in a particular match up may play at less-than-full effort? How are you going to avoid/exploit that situation?

Pasquino: The first teams I think about when we talk about those who are done for the year despite what the schedule says are the teams at or near the bottom of the standings. Jacksonville is the top of that list for me, plus they have pulled the plug on their head coach. While I get that their next two games (vs. Houston, at Indianapolis) have playoff implications, that doesn’t mean that all the players truly care.  

The Jaguars have been beaten down week after week so far, and I can see them just throwing in the towel. Other teams in that same boat are Los Angeles (hosting the 49ers, who are still trying) and Carolina.  I think that’s a  pretty interesting matchup for Atlanta’s passing game next week with a very short week for the Panthers (playing Monday Night followed by a Saturday contest).

Mamula: This time of year you want to gauge which teams are still playing with motivation. Even though some teams are out of playoff contention, they will still show up and play hard for their coach. Where Vegas sets a game line is an indication of which teams are still playing with motivation. One team that has packed it in for the season is the 4-10 New York Jets, who have lost 5 of their past 6 games. The Jets are a whopping 17 point road underdog this week at New England. The Jets defense, in particular, seems disinterested and ready for the offseason.

Last week in a home matchup against the Dolphins, the Jets defense allowed Matt Moore to pass for 236 yards and 4 TDs. One play stood out, a 66-yard touchdown reception by Jarvis Landry. Three weeks ago, the Colts beatdown the Jets on Monday Night Football by a score of 41-10. In that game, Andrew Luck passed for 278 yards and 4 TDs. This week the Jets square off against their division rival, the New England Patriots. Some will steer clear of Tom Brady and the Patriots offense without Rob Gronkowski. However, the Jets defense is simply going through the motions at this point of the season. Brady is a good bet for multiple touchdowns this week. 

VanderWoude: The last two weeks of the season are always difficult to gauge, but if you stick to teams in the playoff hunt, there is an edge to be had. There are teams (like the Jets) who look to have packed it in, but there are other teams like the Chicago Bears who have played tough the last couple weeks despite not having anything to play for. The Bears organization is trying to gauge the future of certain players like Matt Barkley and Jordan Howard, as well as their entire wide receiver corp, so your best bet is to go back and look at how competitive teams have been the last several weeks.

There are teams that have made big changes at key positions, specifically the Houston Texans, who benched Brock Osweiller in favor of Tom Savage. With Savage in the game, DeAndre Hopkins saw 18 targets, the most he's seen this season and produced his second-highest point total. The Texans are still in the playoff hunt, but considering how poorly their offense has produced this season, Hopkins wouldn't have been a target of mine without the quarterback change.

Parsons: The Jets top the list of teams looking lost. This week could be a 50+ point drubbing at the hands of New England if they dial it in. Bilal Powell would be the only option for the Jets I would consider for DFS or lineups this week. Tom Brady and the passing game should be huge until (or if) they were to take their foot off the gas pedal.

The Browns look to have minimal interest in getting a win as well. Robert Griffin III's limitations throwing the ball and navigating the pocket offer little passing game upside and their defense is arguably the worst in the NFL. I project the Chargers uncharacteristically rolling to a road win when traveling east and the Browns offering sparse resistance.

Hindery: The Browns are certainly a team that has been lacking in effort over four quarters. Even the occasional weeks when they start out relatively strong, they fade badly in the second half. For some reason, Vegas is still showing some faith in the Browns and I'm struggling with what to make of it. Cleveland has covered just twice all season, yet each week the line is surprisingly low. Against San Diego this week, I was expecting a line in the 8-10 point range with how bad Cleveland has played and the uncertainty at quarterback.

However, despite 70% of the public money on the Chargers, the line has moved towards Cleveland, who stand as just 6-point underdogs. These reverse line movements always give me pause. But in this case, Vegas has been so consistently wrong on the Browns that I am willing to ignore it. Plus, San Francisco would have the #1 draft choice tie-breaker should both Cleveland and San Francisco end up at 1-15. The front office in Cleveland is probably rooting hard for 0-16 and the chance to draft Myles Garrett. Kenneth Farrow makes for an inexpensive, high-upside GPP option who is likely to go low-owned despite the dream matchup.

Howe: More often than not, I'm generally unmoved by playoff implications, at least from a negative-script standpoint. Bad teams are bad, and they may well carry effort concerns as composition of their bad-ness, but I don't think the lack of a coming postseason exacerbates that. At least, I don't plan for it. I think back to the near-winless Colts from a few years back, when they sat at 0-13 with the immortal Dan Orlovsky at quarterback. The world widely assumed that awful, awful team couldn't eke out a win - and in fact, they had a vested interest in losing out to ensure the No. 1 pick. They still pulled together to win two straight divisional games and nearly a third to close out the year. Bear in mind that these are professionals, many of whom are playing for next year's contract offers. The players and coaches, right down to the punt gunners and strength managers, aren't likely to "pack it in" as so many assume; they have interest, often beyond mere pride, to close the season strongly.

Feery: The last two weeks of the regular season are certainly challenging for DFS purposes, and the teams that are completely out of the hunt can be pretty tough to figure. The best way to approach it is on a case-by-case basis and try to determine the team’s ultimate motivation level out. For example, the Jets and the Rams have looked listless for the past few weeks, and there’s no reason to believe that will be changing anytime soon.

Then there are teams like the Chargers, who have been competitive throughout the season, but just haven’t seen things break their way. I expect a team like that to continue pressing, and they’re actually in a really good spot to produce this week against the woeful Browns. One other non-contending team that’s actually a little intriguing to me this week is the Jaguars. Yes, their season is completely in the tank and they just fired their coach, but perhaps that’s a wake-up call for players that may be on the offseason roster bubble. There’s something to be said for a ‘new coach bounce,’ and I have a sneaky suspicion we may see that from the Jaguars this week.

Miglio: The variance in answers here highlights the difficulty in prognosticating fantasy production for teams that are out of the chase. It does seem like a good time to spell veterans and see what's in store for the future, so guys like Matt Forte and Chris Ivory might give more touches away than they would have if they had any shot at a playoff berth. Then again, some teams might be playing for pride. That Jets team that looks completely terrible could rise up and be a thorn in Tom Brady's side, at least for a half. They are bitter AFC East foes, after all, and the Patriots have already sewn up a first-round bye. The Browns might be terrible, but a big part of me thinks they will do everything they can to avoid going 0-16.

Ultimately, though, every other data point is more important. You are guessing at script when thinking about team efforts when that is all probably baked into the Vegas lines already. Cleveland is a six-point underdog at home; act accordingly.

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Game Stacks

Hester: After a week in which we had some low over/unders, we now have a few games north of 50 again. Which game on the slate (whether it's those or any other) would you like to game-stack?

Pasquino: I think that the perceived DFS bonanza game should most definitely be the Saints-Buccaneers game in New Orleans. Drew Brees heads home to the Superdome to take on Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston in what should be a high-scoring contest, but there are a few things to consider before going all in on this one. First, these teams just played in Week 14 in Tampa Bay, with the Buccaneers winning 16-11 in a disappointing offensive showing for both sides. Couple that with how both defenses are improving lately and I can see a middle of the road, 24-20 type game that does not meet fantasy expectations.

I would much rather go after Atlanta’s passing game against Carolina, who will have a very short week of rest (Monday Night Football followed by a Saturday game). Also, the Panthers are bad against the pass but good against the run. Matt Ryan and his starting wideouts should be heavily owned, and I think rightly so. The third game over 50 (Indianapolis at Oakland) could also be a disappointing one, as the Raiders-Chargers was supposed to be a shootout and it was just 19-16 last week. The Colts may be able to get to 20+ points, but I worry about Derek Carr’s finger and what that has meant to the passing game for Oakland. Of all three, I’m sticking with Atlanta, and then would consider the other two for GPP contests.

Mamula: After reviewing the Vegas lines and game totals, many games are projected to be lower scoring this week. Jeff mentioned that Tampa Bay beat New Orleans just two weeks ago in Week 14 by a score of only 16-11. That game was projected to be high scoring and disappointed. It is interesting that Vegas went right back to the well with a high projected game total of 52.5 points for the rematch. If the game total was below 50, it would not stand out as a game to target. But with a game total of 52.5 points, Vegas is telling us to expect a shootout.

After two games without a TD, Drew Brees bounced back with an impressive 4 TDs in a difficult road game in Arizona last week. Historically, Brees has dominated at home. Over a 232 game sample size, Brees has 269 TD at home as compared to 193 TD on the road. His completion percentage is 67% at home as compared to 65% on the road. Some QBs are just more comfortable playing at home. When game stacking, I am targeting Brees with Brandin Cooks and/or Michael Thomas. For the Buccaneers, I am targeting Mike Evans in GPP who has disappointed over the past three weeks. Cameron Brate is the number-two receiving option for the Buccaneers so you will want some exposure to him as well.

VanderWoude: The Colts vs. Raiders game has the highest projected total of the week at 53 points, and that is the matchup where I look to game stack. The Saints vs. Bucs matchup will be the most popular game stack, so there is added incentive to stack Colts and Raiders players because they will most likely be less owned.

Both teams are in playoff contention, and both leave something to be desired on defense. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton is my preferred stack, but I also like Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper.

The most interesting position to look at in this game is running back, though. Frank Gore has seen his price decrease across the industry, despite reaching a 3x salary multiple in five of his last seven games. On the other side of the ball, Latavius Murray has scored four touchdowns in his last four games, and the Raiders have increased his volume during the second half of the season. Both running backs are solid points-per-dollar targets and should be considered in both cash games and GPPs.

Parsons: I side with the Saints-Buccaneers game. In a dome is a luxury this time of year and the Saints at home are a shootout formula. Taking a slice of 2011 through 2016, the Saints home games are averaging a total score of 56.8. On the road, the game totals average a full touchdown less. The Saints are also the No.28 pass defense by FootballOutsiders DVOA metric. Expect Tampa Bay to be comfortable through the air. On the Saints side, I would stack Drew Brees with Michael Thomas as Brandin Cooks was fed last week and Thomas is a regression candidate upward considering his last couple games. With Jameis Winston, I would stack Cameron Brate. The Saints are No.11 against No.1 receivers, but No.25 against tight ends in DVOA. Brate has been hot with dominating the seam and in the red zone.

Pasquino: I'm hopping back in to this discussion to mention a game that I don't think was mentioned but caught my eye as I was writing For The Win.  The Seattle-Arizona game has a total of just 43, but Arizona just gave up 48 points to Drew Brees last week in a 48-41 loss. Seattle has been moving the ball better of late, so this is one game that I would not be surprised at all to see not just exceed the total but also become a shootout.

Hindery: The Raiders-Colts game looks like a strong target for tournaments. As Jeff pointed out, the Raiders offense has struggled over the past two weeks. But Oakland’s problems have been almost exclusively in the red zone. In fact, they moved the ball with ease against the Chargers last week, but scored just one touchdown on seven red zone trips. Derek Carr’s finger injury has been largely to blame. Oakland has had to take every snap in shotgun with Carr unable to take snaps from under center. This has hurt the effectiveness of the power runs the Raiders favor in the red zone and caused timing issues on many of the standard routes that are typically ran from 5-step drops. The red zone offense feels like a problem that the Raiders could get solved, especially in a favorable matchup against a mediocre Colts defense. If the Raiders can finish off drives instead of settling for field goals, the points will come in bunches. Derek Carr and Andrew Luck are both incredible in the hurry-up offense when playing from behind, so even if one team jumps out to a big early lead, neither offense will be able to take their foot off of the gas.

As for specific players to target, Michael Crabtree has been the go-to receiver for the Raiders for most of the season. He consistently sees heavy red zone usage. He has at least two red zone targets in seven of the past eight games. T.Y. Hilton is exactly the type of smaller, quicker receiver the Raiders 6’3 starting cornerbacks have struggled with this season. Travis Benjamin, Tyreek Hill, Ted Ginn, Marqise Lee, Steve Smith, Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead have all burned the Oakland secondary for big fantasy games.

Miglio: What could I add to the conversation about high point totals that hasn't already been said? My favorite of the three games is the Saints-Bucs tilt that should make up for that 16-11 debacle earlier this season. Drew Brees is great at home, and this has the feeling of a shootout.

Aside from everything that has been discussed, how about the Washington-Chicago line that sits at 46.5? It started at 47, and neither of those defenses is particularly great. The weather isn't going to be great on Saturday, but it will be downright balmy with a high of 34 degrees compared to last week.

Howe: Buccaneers-Saints is the clear-cut top play, of course. Drew Brees' home prowess has been well-documented and I'd take the overs on both 300 yards and 2.5 touchdowns. But we all know this stuff, so in tournaments, I'm more intrigued by the lesser-owned Falcons-Panthers matchup. The Atlanta defense has put some respectable performances on paper with Desmond Trufant out, but they haven't faced an impressive passing game since his injury. A possibly up-swinging Cam Newton could absolutely take advantage of their lack of secondary talent. Vegas implies that expectation, so I'm expecting with some confidence that the Panthers put solid points on the board. The distribution is up in the air, of course, but it makes sense to throw the discounted Newton into your GPP portfolio. I'm also interested in Jonathan Stewart, who could finish off drives with short touchdowns, and Ted Ginn comes very cheaply for his recent downfield production.

Feery: The Saints-Buccaneers game looks like the obvious choice, but I’m also leaning towards the game between the Colts and Raiders. We have two quality signal callers in the form of Andrew Luck and Derek Carr, solid pass catchers galore, and a high projected total. In short, I’m expecting an old-fashioned shootout in the late afternoon window on Saturday.

As the others have noted, the low score from the last Bucs-Saints game is a little bit of a red flag, but I don’t foresee that having any bearing on the festivities in New Orleans. Drew Brees woke up in a big way last week, and we can safely expect that to continue this week. When the Saints are playing in the friendly confines of the Superdome, Brees finds his way onto my short list for the week nearly every time.

The Washington-Chicago is another potentially interesting one from a game stack perspective, and I’m especially intrigued by Kirk Cousins and a target to be determined, as well as Jordan Howard.

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Under the Tree

Hester: This is the time of year where memories that can last a lifetime are made. Share a great memory with the Footballguys community. What was the best gift you've ever received or given? Why?

Pasquino: Short and sweet – my son was born just nine days before Christmas.  He just turned  17, and that’s the best gift I could ever receive.

Parsons: I am definitely not a 'gift' person as I do not celebrate Christmas or my birthday anymore. However, thinking back to childhood two gifts stand out over the years. The first was a Nerf basketball hoop. So simple but provided endless hours of fun and activity over the years. For around $10 (if I recall), the efficiency of the gift was ridiculously high. The thin orange plastic rim eventually bends down, so I got a new one years later. High ceilings are a must to work on your long-range game.

The second gift was an original NES video game system. This was back in the mid-1980s for all the young folks who only know the newer systems. This was THE thing of that time period. It came with Super Mario Bros. but my parents also got me original Baseball. Not RBI baseball, which came along later, or the other themed games with the system along the way, but just 'Baseball'. The team names were just letters for goodness sake! I wore that game out, hooked up to a garage sale old television my neighbors sold. There were no player names or anything on the game, but I had notebook upon notebook of statistics I would track with teams I dreamed up with real MLB players of the day. I would even cut underperforming players for new ones when they were in a long slump and pause the game to simulate a relief pitcher coming in. Yep, I was a data nerd even in elementary school. Who knew I was playing a form of fantasy even back then. Thanks, mom and dad for those two presents which stand out even three decades later.

Miglio: In all honestly, gifts aren't my love language. I like giving them, but the whole shebang is low on the totem pole for me.

That said, my favorite Christmas gift of all time was definitely my red bike when I was three or four. It was a long time ago. I used to ride that thing around my grandparents' neighborhood all the time. It lived there in their shed for years after I had long outgrown it. The bike reminds me of a much simpler time. I also really liked the telescope I got a few years later, though I lament not having used it more often. I can't remember if this was a gift for me or my siblings, but we used to love playing with this little karaoke recorder with a built-in speaker that could record directly to a cassette tape.

Feery: Jeff beat me to the punch, but I also received an awesome gift three days before Christmas all the way back in the year 2000. My youngest son was born on December 22, and it’s hard to believe he’ll be turning 16 this year.  Best gift ever in my book, but he shares that honor with his older brother.

Howe: I'll second Chad's mention of the NES, just the most dazzling technological advance I'd ever seen in 1988 or so. It officially became Tecmo Time. Both Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl were played into ruin at my house, with tournament records and game-by-game results scribbled onto every blank sheet of typing paper my dad's office contained. The sheer awesomeness of controlling and tracking actual NFL players was just too much to handle. To this day I keep both games tucked away for me-time weekends, about of half of which are spent dominating via Jerry Rice's unstoppability and the frowned-upon Nose Tackle Dive (Tecmoheads are on-board here).

Honorable mention probably goes to my copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness during my teenage years. That was one of my first true favorites, roughly two hours of atmospheric grunge/new wave/belching guitar rock that opened my eyes to what music could be.

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Chris Feery

Dan Hindery

Justin Howe

John Mamula

Alex Miglio

Chad Parsons

Jeff Pasquino

BJ VanderWoude

Ryan Hester - Moderator