Welcome to our special Thanksgiving week edition of What’s on Tap. This week I will wrap up my review of some of the best Pumpkin Ales on the market. Yesterday, you marched your palate through the usual suspects. Whether your entrÃ©e of choice was turkey, ham, or prime rib roast, there are sure to be leftovers. You also probably had some other great side dishes. Mashed potatoes, yams, Stove Top stuffing, green bean casserole, Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce (with built in ridges)!
Did you realize there are beers out there that pair well with each of these side dishes? You can actually pair your entire Thanksgiving Day menu with beer. My friends at www.brewbicle.com pair out the entire meal for you here. That’s good because pairing the food at Thanksgiving is tough for me because I usually don’t course out my spread. I usually just heap everything on top of each other and then shovel it all down my gullet.
This week for Drink it or Dump it, I will be using dollar figures from www.DraftStreet.com. I have only played there twice this year, but they have some fun options including weekly snake drafts. If you miss the excitement of a draft versus the auction format adopted by so many leagues over the recent years than this is a chance to relive some of your draft glory from yesteryear. Of course there are still salary cap leagues there too, so it’s the best of both worlds! Watch my Twitter feed this weekend, if you want the chance to take me on.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Tom Brady, Patriots @ Texans
There was a point this year at which Houston was good against the pass. They gave up ten passing touchdowns over their first seven games. Over their last four games they have allowed eight passing touchdowns, despite pitching a shutout versus Jacksonville’s J.V.-grade offense last week.
Andy Dalton, Bengals @ Chargers
Only four teams have allowed more passing yards than San Diego. The Chargers have also allowed 18 passing touchdowns. Dalton has multiple passing touchdowns in five of six games and at least 300 yards in four of them.
Peyton Manning, Broncos @ Chiefs
A couple weeks back, Kansas City held Peyton Manning to only one touchdown for the first time all season. He did top 300 yards in that game, meaning he has only missed that mark twice this year. The Chiefs will likely be without both of their starting outside linebackers this week, which means more time in the pocket for Manning. It’s not a good idea to give Manning more time in the pocket if you want your defense to succeed.
Cam Newton, Panthers vs. Buccaneers
Only two teams have allowed more passing touchdowns than Tampa Bay. The Bucs may also be without Darrelle Revis this week. Oh yeah, and they also have allowed three quarterback rushing touchdowns already this season.
Matt Ryan, Falcons @ Bills
It is time to dust off old Matty Ice. The Bills are allowing the third most passing touchdowns this year. Ryan struggled some as he lost his top two receiving options, the majority of his offensive line, and his starting running back for a significant amount of time. Despite all of this he actually has topped 300 yards in five games and he just missed that mark last week. He also still has thrown multiple touchdowns in seven of eleven; with only one game in which he was shut out.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals @ Eagles
Dallas snuck past Philadelphia for the league lead in passing yards allowed to quarterbacks while the Eagles were on bye last weekâ¦by one yard. They have only given up 17 touchdowns, but with two of the best QB matchups on Thursday this week, and so few favorable QB matchups this weekend; Palmer becomes a top ten play.
Nick Foles ($12843), Josh McCown ($12637), Philip Rivers ($12600), Colin Kaepernick ($12294), Ryan Fitzpatrick ($11198), Ryan Tannehill ($10789), E.J. Manuel ($10184)
Drew Brees ($14132), Russell Wilson ($12614), Alex Smith ($12440), Andrew Luck ($12224), Brandon Weeden ($10107), Case Keenum ($9952), Joe Flacco ($9359), Mike Glennon ($9298)
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Bears
The Bears have given up just a hair under 1000 rushing yards over their last five games. Last week, Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham averaged a combined 7.8 yards per carry against them. The week prior, Ray Rice gained more rushing yards than he did in his four previous starts combined. Combine all that against Peterson, who has 415-2 against Chicago over their last three meetings.
Matt Forte, Bears @ Vikings
The Vikings have allowed the most total touchdowns to opposing running backs. They have also allowed the second most receptions and the third most receiving yards to opposing backs. Forte has topped 90 combo yards in ten of eleven games, he is about as safe as it gets this week.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks vs. Saints
Lynch has topped 100 combo yards in six games. He also has scored at least once in six games. The Saints’ pass defense is stellar. The only way to beat them is on the ground. Against the run, they are allowing the league’s fourth worst 4.8 yards per carry.
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs vs. Broncos
Jamaal Charles has topped 100 combo yards in every game this season except his matchup against Denver. He has also scored in eight different games and only LeSean McCoy has more total yards on the year. Denver has allowed a total of 14 touchdowns to opposing running backs. Considering he was held out of the end zone in their last meeting, I’d say he is due.
Donald Brown, Colts vs. Titans
After allowing twelve rushing touchdowns over their previous five games, the Titans stopped the Raiders from scoring a rushing touchdown last week. They were kind enough to let Marcel Reece score on a pass reception however. Brown has won over the primary ball carrier role in Indy, but both he and Trent Richardson could sneak one over the goal line this week.
Andre Brown, Giants @ Redskins
The Skins have allowed a total of fourteen running back touchdowns this season. This ties them for the most in the league. Brown is averaging 117 combo yards per game over his three starts. In addition, the Redskins have allowed at least one rushing touchdown in three of their last four games against the Giants. I need to try and come up with a DraftStreet lineup that is predominantly “Brown’s”.
Frank Gore ($10791), Chris Johnson ($10642), Shane Vereen ($9896), Fred Jackson ($9506), Danny Woodhead ($9168), Alfred Morris ($8922), C.J. Spiller ($8249), Ben Tate ($7590), Chris Ogbonnaya ($6854), Ryan Mathews ($6381), Montee Ball ($6021)
LeSean McCoy ($11782), Knowshon Moreno ($9998), Maurice Jones-Drew ($9329), Steven Jackson ($8594), Bobby Rainey ($6658), Benny Cunningham ($6553), Stevan Ridley ($5893)
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Brandon Marshall, Bears @ Vikings
The Vikings are allowing 6-77-0.6 to opposing number one wide receivers. In total they have allowed 12 wide receiver scores. Marshall has topped 100 yards and scored in three of four, and his nine touchdowns ranks third amongst wide receivers. Earlier this year Marshall posted 7-113-1 against these Vikings.
A.J. Green, Bengals @ Chargers.
Only Philadelphia has given up more receiving yards to opposing wide receivers. San Diego has also allowed eight passing touchdowns over their last three games, including one to Dwayne Bowe and three to Demaryius Thomas. A.J. Green was shut down by Joe Haden two weeks ago, but before that he had topped 100 yards in five straight.
Josh Gordon, Browns vs. Jaguars
It doesn’t matter who Josh Gordon has at quarterback; and it doesn’t matter who he is facing. Gordon has become a never bench starter. His last four games have seen him get 49 targets, 27 catches, 538 yards, and three touchdowns. His 988 receiving yards ranks fourth on the season, despite the fact he missed the first two weeks.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals @ Eagles
Fitzgerald has quietly put together an eight touchdown season. Three of which have come the last two weeks. He’s peaking at the right time because Philadelphia is a hot mess on defense. Only two teams have allowed more wide receiver touchdowns, and they have given up 23 more receptions and more than 100 more yards to wide receivers than the next closest team.
Harry Douglas, Falcons @ Bills
One of the two teams allowing more touchdowns to wide receivers than Philly is Buffalo. Douglas is averaging 7.3-102 over the last six games, with a pair of touchdowns.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals @ Eagles
A pair of premium performances has moved Michael Floyd up to 18th in the league amongst wide receivers in terms of yardage. He gets rewarded for this by getting to face the atrocious Eagles defense that I made fun of just two paragraphs up. As long as Palmer isn’t injured, Floyd and Fitz will both approach 100 and score this week.
Alshon Jeffery ($10694), Pierre Garcon ($10682), Keenan Allen ($9989), Victor Cruz ($9642), Anquan Boldin ($8595), Kendall Wright ($8407), Riley Cooper ($8398), Mike Wallace ($8287), Stevie Johnson ($8262), Dwayne Bowe ($7987), Rueben Randle ($7698)
Demaryius Thomas ($12712), DeSean Jackson ($11079), Andre Johnson ($10837), Vincent Jackson ($10432), Wes Welker ($10413), T.Y. Hilton ($8118), Marques Colston ($7010), Danny Amendola ($6838), Cecil Shorts III ($6663), Steve Smith ($6076)
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots @ Texans
Rob Gronkowski has averaged ten targets along with 6-86.6 over his first five games back. He also has scored in three of those games. The Texans are allowing the eighth most touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Jimmy Graham, Saints @ Seahawks
It’s Jimmy Graham, he is a stud. If Seattle decides to let Richard Sherman shadow Graham, than move him down the ranks out of the top four. Otherwise, Graham is tied for the most receiving touchdowns in the league. This includes five in the five games since he returned from injury.
Jordan Cameron, Browns vs. Jaguars
Only Arizona and Minnesota have given up more tight end touchdowns than Jacksonville. In addition, only four teams have given up fewer yards to the position. Jordan Cameron hasn’t scored since Week 5 but that can be blamed on Jason Campbell. In the six games that Brandon Weeden and Cameron played together, he has averaged eight targets, five catches, and 65 yards. In their games together he also has scored two touchdowns.
Jordan Reed, Redskins vs. Giants
This ranking assumes that Jordan Reed passes the concussion protocol. The Giants are allowing 5-55 to opposing tight ends and they have allowed seven tight end touchdowns. Discounting the game two weeks ago that he left early due to the injury, Reed is averaging 6-80 over his last five appearances. He also scored twice during that span.
Delanie Walker, Titans @ Colts
Delanie Walker has posted 19-199-2 over his last three games. Indy has allowed five passing touchdowns over the last three weeks. This includes a 10-91-1 that Walker laid on them a couple weeks back.
Brent Celek, Eagles vs. Cardinals
Arizona has allowed 77 receptions, 13 touchdowns, and 1009 yards to opposing tight ends. Each of these totals ranks last in the league. Celek has scored in Week 1, Week 5, and Week 9, this is Week 13. I’m noticing a trend here.
Martellus Bennett ($7617), Julius Thomas ($7570), Tony Gonzalez ($7530), Charles Clay ($6328), Garrett Graham ($5613), John Carlson ($5190), Rob Housler ($5089), Anthony Fasano ($4200), Ladarius Green ($4179), Zach Miller ($3470)
Greg Olsen ($8222), Coby Fleener ($7748), Antonio Gates ($6291), Scott Chandler ($3505)
Listed below are three more of my favorite pumpkin brews from this season. Enjoy any or all of these with your dessert course this holiday weekend. This week I am detailing two lighter pumpkin ales that are readily available all across the country and an imperial stout that is brewed with pumpkins.
1) Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company out of Boston, MA.
Served: Served at room temperature from the bottle into a 12 oz. Jester King goblet.
Appearance: This pours light brown in color with a thin circle of white bubbles and zero head.
Smell: Very spice forward. I’m getting a lot of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and perhaps some sage???
Taste: Sweet and caramel forward with a cinnamon palate, but not super spicy cinnamon just regular old cinnamon.
Mouth feel: Medium body and refreshing with no aftertaste.
Overall: Another highly drinkable seasonal from the guys at Samuel Adams. I’d enjoy this with some turkey and gravy as a first course or with the apple pie if you are doing multiple pie courses. You are doing multiple pie courses, right???
2) Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewery out of Utica, NY.
Served: Served at refrigerator temperature from the bottle into a 12 oz. Jester King goblet.
Appearance: Dark orange or light amber colored with an extremely thin white ring of bubbles and zero head.
Smell: Fairly light pumpkin aroma with a hint of biscuit and a little bit of grassiness.
Taste: Slightly underwhelmed by the pumpkin flavor, but there is some pumpkin here. I think the pie spice flavor is more defined than the pumpkin itself. I’m also getting some vanilla, making it taste a little bit like a pumpkin spice cheesecake.
Mouth feel: Light bodied and creamy, with no aftertaste.
Overall: This is probably too light to go with dessert, but it would probably pair well with the sweet potatoes or candied yams.
3) Warlock from Southern Tier Brewery out of Lakewood, NY.
Served: Served at refrigerator temperature out of a bomber into a 12 oz. Jester King goblet.
Appearance: Dark black with a quarter inch beige head which retains well.
Smell: This beer has an extreme pumpkin and nutmeg aroma, with a hint of chocolate and vanilla. I think I may be getting a little graham cracker too. My first thing that came to my mind was Pumpkin Mocha.
Taste: Not as sweet as the aroma might suggest this beer still has good flavor throughout. I think it reminds me a little of a cross between the Southern Tier Pumking and their CrÃ¨me Brulee. One of my friends said he thought it tasted a little like a Tootsie Roll. I agree 100%. I’m also getting the taste of toasted pumpkin seeds.
Mouth feel: Â Medium carbonation, but fairly thin for an Imperial Stout. I could drink a lot of this which is scary because it comes in at 8.6%.
Overall: We finally have the winner. This is the beer that I will be drinking with my pumpkin pie. I could also enjoy this with my crown rack of prime rib. It would also work well with some bacon and blue cheese brussel sprouts. If I run out of this before Turkey day, I might try to make it myself my blending some Pumking and Choklat.