Adam ja Allison dating

In the intro to HGTV’s hit show “Windy City Rehab,” flipper Alison Victoria explains how closely she works with general contractor Donovan Eckhardt, who owns Greymark Development Group in ... Things started out rough when Adam (26, writer) brought vegan/vegetarian Reante (28, packaging employee) to a sausage making class. Even though the twosome had fun dancing a little during dinner ... Online Dating at Every year, hundreds of thousands of people find love on pioneered the Internet dating industry, launching in 1995 and today serves millions of singles in 24 continues to redefine the way single men and single women meet, flirt, date and fall in love, proving time and again that you can make love happen through online dating ... The Dating Den is Marni’s popular podcast. Every week on the Dating Den you’ll get the raw truth from top experts and real people on the important dating, sex, and relationship issues you want to know about. Who's Dated Who? Who's Dating Who? Celebrity gossip. Hollywood news. Relationships, Engagements, weddings, divorces, pregnancies, babies and... Adam Allison. We have 90 records for Adam Allison ranging in age from 24 years old to 76 years old. Adam has been found in 17 states including Kentucky, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and 12 others. Daria & Allison. All Daria (27, cinematographer) and Allison (25, fashion designer) want this holiday season is each other! Sparks flew immediately when the former blind dater invited her match to ... Summary: Allison Adam is 43 years old today because Allison's birthday is on 04/07/1977. Before moving to Allison's current city of Gig Harbor, WA, Allison lived in Laramie WY. Allison also answers to Allison M Tormohlen, Allison M Adam and Adam M Allison, and perhaps a couple of other names. Adam Lambert Allison Iraheta Danny Gokey Well I agree kinda, but It would be better if Adam was in the top 2 and lost, like in season 7. David Cook won, but David Arcluta won, too.

Week 12 Matchup Strategy Guide - Part 3

2019.11.23 23:44 Roto_G Week 12 Matchup Strategy Guide - Part 3

Part 3 of 3

Part 1 Right Here:

Part 2 Right Here:


DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.
DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run.
ATS = Against the spread
DVOA from

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3)

Jaguars ATS: 5-5-0 Titans ATS: 4-5-1
Projected Team Totals: Jaguars 19.25 Titans 22.5


Opp (TEN) Pass DVOA: #22
Opp (TEN) Run DVOA: #4
Injuries to Watch DEF (TEN): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (JAX): TE Seth DeValve (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: D.J. Chark vs. Adoree’ Jackson (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): D.J. Chark (23%) Dede Westbrook (19%) Leonard Fournette (16%) Chris Conley (15%) Keelan Cole (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Leonard Fournette (71%, 15, 7) Ryquell Armstead (22%, 3, 2) Devine Ozigbo (7%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The return of Nick Foles (upgrade) didn’t go according to plan, as Jacksonville was throttled by the Colts, 33-13. Foles himself didn’t look too shabby, compiling 295-yards passing and two touchdowns with an interception in his first game back from a broken clavicle. Going up against a top-5 Run DVOA and a bottom-tier Pass DVOA in the Titans, one would surmise that Doug Morrone’s game plan would be to pass on TEN rather than run, but we also thought that should be the Colts game plan for Thursday Night Football and look where that got us... Either way, Foles gets the upgrade, it’s likely he’ll need to throw to overcome a suddenly surging TEN team fresh off an upset of KC - the Titans give up 17.6 FPPG to QBs and 23.3 to wideouts - consider Foles a back-end QB1 option.
It’s likely that waiver wire pickup of the year D.J. Chark (upgrade) is shadowed by stud CB Adoree Jackson. Jackson is ranked as PFF’s No. 36 corner this season (Rotoworld), so he’s no slouch. Still, Chark has earned every week WR1/2 treatment, and most wideouts have won their matches with Jackson over the last two years (Rotoworld). The loss of CB Malcolm Butler for TEN is big from a depth perspective, but Butler has hardly been elite this season. With Butler out and Jackson on Chark, it sets Chris Conley (upgrade PPR) up nicely with a date against CB LeShaun Sims (Rotoworld). Conley can be considered as a solid WR3 streamer this week in most PPR formats. Dede Westbrook (stash) also draws a solid matchup against Slot CB Logan Ryan, but he’s been hard to trust in lineups this season. With Foles back last week, he disappointed with a 4-30-0 receiving line on just 6 targets. It’s just one game however, and we saw in preseason plus Week 1 before Foles went down, how heavily Westbrook was used. Stash him if you can, but it’s probably best to take a wait and see approach before getting him in your lineup. JAX continues to be heavily injured at the TE position, with Josh Oliver (OUT) being the latest causality to hit the IR. No need to roster a JAX TE at this point.
RB Breakdown
After last week's blowout loss to IND, Doug Marrone mentioned that it was a “Big Mistake” not to run Leonard Fournette (downgrade) more often. While that may be, the lack of running game wasn’t the sole reason they lost. As long as Fournette continues to get the touches, he’ll stay in the RB1 ranks. This week projects as tough sledding though, TEN ranks 4th in Run DVOA, only gives up 102-yards rushing per game, and cedes only 17.7 FPPG to RBs. Start Fournette as usual, just keep expectations in check. His volume and passing game usage have kept his floor high all year, and it seems likely that positive touchdown regression is coming. Ryquell Armstead remains Fournette’s handcuff.


Opp (JAX) Pass DVOA: #11
Opp (JAX) Run DVOA: #30
Injuries to Watch DEF (JAX): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (TEN): OL Kevin Pamphile (D) TE Delanie Walker (D)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Delanie Walker (18%) Corey Davis (16%) A.J. Brown (15%) Adam Humphries (14%) Jonnu Smith (11%) Derrick Henry (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 10: Derrick Henry (71%, 25, 2) Dion Lewis (29%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Unfortunately for us Oregon Duck fans, the Ryan Tannehill (downgrade) experiment is going swimmingly as the Titans are now 3-1 with the Texas A&M product at the controls. You weren’t starting him in any format anyway, but JAX has been significantly tougher to beat through the air than on the ground, so the volume shouldn’t be there to consider streaming the journeyman QB - JAX cedes 17.8 FPPG to QBs and 20.7 FPPG to WRs.
Along those same lines, you shouldn't be considering any of the TEN receivers either, the volume just hasn’t been there. A.J. Brown is seeing the most targets with Tannehill under center, but averaging only 5/6 per game. That’s just not enough to bank on. Corey Davis and Adam Humphries are the same story. It’s expected that Delanie Walker sits again this week even though he’s returned to practice, making Jonnu Smith a viable streamer for one more week. Consider him a low-end TE1 while Walker remains sidelined - JAX gives up 7.4 FPPG to the position.
RB Breakdown
If you took the risk on Derrick Henry (upgrade), congratulations, you have been handsomely rewarded. The former Alabama running back has crushed his way to the overall RB7 position, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. On tap is a matchup against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, fire up Henry as usual - JAX gives up 134.6-yards a game on the ground, plus 21.1 FPPG to RBs. Henry should again vie for the overall RB1 finish this week. Dion Lewis (downgrade) just isn’t seeing the field enough to warrant consideration in any format.
Score Prediction: Titans 27, Jaguars 24

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-6.5)

Cowboys ATS: 6-4-0 Patriots ATS: 7-3-0
Projected Team Totals: Cowboys 19.5 Patriots 26


Opp (NE) Pass DVOA: #1
Opp (NE) Run DVOA: #13
Injuries to Watch DEF (NE): LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (Q) S Patrick Chung (Q) S Nate Ebner (Q) CB Jason McCourty (Q) DE John Simon (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (DAL): OG Connor Williams (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Stephon Gilmore (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Michael Gallup (23%) Amari Cooper (22%) Randall Cobb (16%) Jason Witten (14%) Ezekiel Elliott (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Ezekiel Elliot (89%, 18, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Cowboys picked up a much needed win against the Lions last week, but now head on the road to play one of the best teams in the league. Dak Prescott (downgrade) has turned out to be a huge draft bargain for owners that snagged him, as he a top-5 fantasy QB on the season in most formats. However, the Patriots boast the #1 pass defense DVOA, and have given up the fewest FPPG to QBs this year. The only QB to really break them down was Lamar Jackson, and while Prescott does have quality mobility in the pocket, he’s certainly no LJax when it comes to dual-threat abilities. Prescott is still a low-end QB1 due to his weapons and quality play all year long, but owners would be wise to weigh their options before plugging him into lineups. The Cowboys low projected team total is concerning, and the Patriots have been a machine at creating turnovers.
While it doesn’t provide owners much solace in retrospect, Amari Cooper (downgrade) admitted a knee injury limited him against the Lions last week. He claims that the injury won’t affect him this week, so he’ll be close to 100%. However, the bigger concern is the Patriots ability to shut down #1 WRs, more specifically Stephon Gillmore’s shut down abilities at CB. Cooper will likely see Gillmore in shadow coverage most of the day, so he’s deserving of a slight downgrade. In previous seasons, Cooper had been extremely susceptible to shadow matchups, but he seems to have overcome that somewhat this year. While a low-floor game is possible, Cooper should still be fired up as a high-end WR2 in this tough matchup. Michael Gallup may benefit from the increased attention to Cooper, but the rest of the Patriots secondary isn’t exactly exploitable. The Patriots have given up more than 200 yards passing only twice this year, so its unwise to expect a big day from any Cowboys receiver (Rotoworld). Instead, consider Gallup a solid WR2, and fire him up in most season-long leagues while avoiding him in DFS formats. Randall Cobb (bench) has been surprisingly productive the past two weeks, but is best to avoid this week against the Patriots. He’s no more than a WR4 this week, but should still be owned in most leagues, especially in PPR formats.
RB Breakdown
The Cowboys have gone away from their run game slightly the past two weeks, instead focusing on their electrifying passing game. That may change this week, as the Patriots will likely limit Prescott’s ability to fling the ball around at will, and the game-flow may dictate a grind it out defensive battle. Ezekiel Elliot (auto-start) remains a true workhorse, playing 89% of the snaps last week, and may be asked to carry the offense this week with the Pats slightly more vulnerable to the run than the pass. They still give up the fewest FPPG to RBs, but the Cowboys elite offensive line will make this a matchup to watch. Consider Elliott an elite RB1 this week on volume and talent alone, as he can get his points in a variety of ways.


Opp (DAL) Pass DVOA: #19
Opp (DAL) Run DVOA: #17
Injuries to Watch DEF (DAL): LB Leighton Vander Esch (OUT) LB Joe Thomas (Q) S Donovan Wilson (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (NE): QB Tom Brady (Q, expected to play) OT Marcus Cannon (Q) WR Phillip Dorsett (Q) WR Julian Edelman (Q, expected to play) RB Damien Harris (Q) WR Mohamed Sanu (Q, likely OUT) WR Matthew Slater (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Julian Edelman (25%) Mohamed Sanu (18%) James White (17%) Phillip Dorsett (13%) Rex Burkhead (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: James White (38%, 9, 7) Sony Michel (26%, 12, 4) Rex Burkhead (25%, 7, 3) Brandon Bolden (12%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
It’s hasn’t always been pretty, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick continue to find ways to win. This year, it’s been 100% due to the Pats outstanding defense, as Brady has been mostly relegated to an elite game manager in his old age - well that, and the lack of elite offensive weapons around the GOAT. The Cowboys have been very good against the pass from a fantasy standpoint - only giving up 14.8 FPPG to QBs, and 16.8 FPPG to WRs, 4th best - but their DVOA metrics show that they boast a bottom-half secondary. Regardless, it’s hard to recommend Brady as a sure-fire QB1 with all the injuries piling up on offense.
Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) are likely out for Sunday, although they haven’t been formerly ruled out yet so be sure to check back before kickoff. That leaves Julian Edleman (upgrade volume), and rookies N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers to hold down the fort. Outside of Edleman who can be considered an every week WR1, there isn’t much to like here. Harry caught 3 passes for 18-yards in his Patriots debut last week, but only played 32 snaps. Meyers played even less last week, catching just 1 pass for 7-yards. He has largely been out of the rotation when all the other NE wideouts are healthy. If you must stream a Patriots wideout, it seems like Harry is the better bet, but the matchup isn’t great, plus it’s nearly impossible to predict where the volume goes week to week in Belichick's game plans. It’s just as likely that the running backs or tight ends pick up the slack, rather than the rookie wideouts. Ben Watson has played a near full time role in the last four games, soaking up 11-15 targets for 124 scoreless yards (Rotoworld). He can’t be trusted as a TE1, but does have some streaming appeal considering the injuries to the receiving corps - DAL gives up 8.8 FPPG to TEs, 5th worst.
RB Breakdown
Dallas has been decent against the run this year, but they will be missing their best run-stopping linebacker in Leighton Vander Esch. This is great news for Sony Michel (upgrade standard), who has mostly disappointed this year - failing to clear 100-yards rushing in a single game so far - his six rushing touchdowns have saved his value. DAL has given up one rushing touchdown a game so far in 2019, 23rd worst in the NFL, so it’s likely that Sony finds his way into the endzone again. That is, if touchdown opportunities are not vultured. New England played four running backs last week, as James White (upgrade PPR), Rex Burkhead, and even Brandon Bolden saw snaps. Michel and White are the only two that should be considered, with Michel better suited for standard formats and White for PPR.
Score Prediction: Patriots 24, Dallas 17

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3)

Packers ATS: 7-3-0 **49ers ATS: 5-4-1
Projected Team Totals: Packers 22.25 49ers 25.25


Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2
Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #19
Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (GB): OG Cole Madison (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Davante Adams (27%) Aaron Jones (13%) Marquez Valdes-Scantling (12%) Jimmy Graham (12%) Geronimo Allison (12%) Allen Lazard (12%) Jamaal Williams (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 10: Aaron Jones (50%, 13, 0) Jamaal Williams (50%, 13, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Held in check Week 10 by a solid Panthers secondary, Aaron Rodgers (downgrade) comes out of the bye to face an even more impressive defense. The Niners rank as the second best pass defense by DVOA and have given up the second fewest FPPG to QBs this season. Rodgers’ entire group of weapons is healthy, and he looks as impressive as ever in terms of efficiency and ball placement. However, the biggest difference this year has been his lack of TDs, as the running backs have vultured a huge number of the scoring opportunities. Now going up against a vaunted Niners pass defense on the road in a game that has the makings of a defensive grind-it-out type battle, Rodgers is deserving of a downgrade this week. He’s still a solid top-15 option, but is outside the top-10 for us this week. If you have a safe alternative option with higher upside, benching Rodgers wouldn’t be the worst call. Rodgers floor has been relatively safe this year, scoring under 12 points just once, but his ceiling is capped by the lack of TDs and the difficult matchup.
Somehow still searching for his first TD of the year, Davante Adams is healthy and ready to return to his WR1 ways. This might not be the best week for a blowup spot, but Adams has been a target share monster when healthy this year. He was able to push through a tough matchup against the Panthers before the bye in Week 10, and should have little trouble producing a solid line again this week. The Niners are a shy-away type matchup - 7th fewest FPPG to WRs - but Adams is too talented and too secured of a role to consider benching. The Niners also don’t shadow receivers, so Adams will be able to lineup in different spots and find ways to exploit any hole or gap in the coverage. Expect Rodgers to pepper him with targets, and view him as a WR1 this week on volume and talent alone. Unfortunately for the Packers secondary targets, the volume and consistency just hasn’t been there. With Adams healthy, none of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (drop), Geronimo Allison (deep PPR), Allen Lazard (drop), or Jimmy Graham (downgrade) have been able to surpass 6 targets in the past two weeks. MVS saw his snap % drop to 16% in Week 10, so he is drop in most formats at this point. Allison could have some deep PPR value down the stretch, but is also a drop depending on league size and depth. Lazard has actually been the #2 WR the past two weeks for the Packers, but is unlikely to be a worthwhile target the rest of the way. Graham is worth rostering in most leagues, as the TE position is so shallow and Graham has shown some big-play and red zone ability this year, but this likely isn’t the week to use him. The Niners have given up the second fewest FPPG to opposing TEs, and Graham’s floor is extremely low if he doesn’t score a TD. Keep him on benches this week.
RB Breakdown
Despite having only three games with 100+ total yards, Aaron Jones (auto-start) has been able to churn out high-end RB1 value on the strength of 14 total TDs. The Niners are suddenly somewhat vulnerable on the ground - 19th ranked DVOA but 2nd fewest FPPG to RBs on the season - and the Packers boast one of the best run-blocking units in the league. Expect them to look to #establishtherun early on, and Jones should receive multiple opportunities near the goal-line. He’s still in a committee, but Jones is a solid RB1 again this week. The other half of the RBBC is Jamaal Williams (PPR RB2), and his pass-game chops and trustworthy hands have earned him a near 50% share of this backfield. With Jones getting almost all of the goal-line opportunities, Williams has scored most of his TDs on short passes, but Rodgers is the best graded QB in the NFL at throwing to his RBs (ESPN). Williams makes for an intriguing RB2/flex, but is more valuable in PPR formats due to his uncertain carry count each week. Both backs should likely be in lineups, but Jones has a significant edge on Williams due to his role as the goal-line back on one of the better offenses in the NFL.


Opp (GB) Pass DVOA: #16
Opp (GB) Run DVOA: #28
Injuries to Watch DEF (GB): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): OT Joe Staley (OUT) RB Matt Breida (D) TE George Kittle (Q) WR Deebo Samuel (Q) WR Emmanuel Sanders (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): George Kittle (25%) Deebo Samuel (18%) Emmanuel Sanders (15%) Ross Dwelley (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Tevin Coleman (49%, 15, 4) Raheem Mostert (49%, 8, 3) Jeff Wilson (1%, 1, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Despite missing many of his top weapons, Jimmy Garappollo (downgrade) shredded the Cardinals vulnerable secondary for 424 yards and 4 TDs last week. It’s not clear which (if any) of the injured Niners will return this week, but Jimmy G proved he can put up numbers in the right matchup. Unfortunately, the Packers have been quite stout against the pass this year, and this projects as a game the Niners will win with good defense and a solid running game. Green Bay has given up the 8th fewest FPPG to QBs but their pass DVOA has slipped the past few weeks to just about league-average. If all of his weapons are healthy, Jimmy G is worth consideration as a QB2 streamer, but if he’s working with Kendrick Bourne and Ross Dwelley as his top targets, it will be hard to roll him out there against a good defense. Keep an eye on the injury report before you consider plugging him into your lineup, and be wary of chasing the points from last week’s matchup against an Arizona team known for giving up big fantasy lines.
Saturday injury reports from beat writers suggest that the Niners may be close to full health in the passing game this weekend. George Kittle (upgrade if healthy) has a good chance to play and faces a Packers defense giving up the 3rd most FPPG to TEs. If he is active, and there aren’t any reports about a limited snap count, deactivate and drop Ross Dwelley, and immediately plug Kittle back into your lineup as a solid TE1. Emmanuel Sanders (downgrade) and Deebo Samuel are also expected to play, but both are listed as game-time decisions. If active, Sanders should be viewed as a low-end WR3 due to his solid volume but potential for re-injury and tough matchup. Samuel is also in the WR3 mix, as he is coming off back-to-back 100+ yard receiving games. The Packers haven’t shadowed receivers since early in the season, but they do boast a quality secondary - they’ve given up the 8th fewest FPPG to WRs. Keep a close eye on injury reports leading up to kickoff, but be aware that tough decisions may be required due to the late evening kickoff. Proceed with caution with all three of the Niners top passing options, but your patience may be rewarded if this turns into a shootout (as Vegas projects with a 47.5 oveunder). Still, this is a run-heavy offense with a quarterback that hasn’t been overly impressive outside of his blow-up performances against the Cardinals, so keep expectations in check.
RB Breakdown
Well that was fun. Tevin Coleman (upgrade) and Raheem Mostert (flex deep-PPR) split the backfield with Matt Breida (doubtful) out last week, but Jeff Wilson (why?) outscored them both on his one snap and one touch, busting a 25-yard TD catch to seal the game for the Niners. Breida is likely to sit again this week, so we THINK that Coleman will lead the backfield with Mostert mixing in as a change-of-pace and on passing downs. However, in this backfield you just never know. The opportunity is there - the Packers give up the 3rd most FPPG to RBs - and the Niners will likely look to exploit it given Green Bay’s stout secondary. Despite the uncertainty, treat Coleman as a solid RB2 who is likely to bounce-back this week. Mostert is a flex option in deeper PPR leagues, but his role is less solidified and his chances of a TD are lower than Coleman’s. We like the Niners chances of having success on the ground, and Coleman is the likely beneficiary. Keep an eye on Breida’s injury status, as his involvement would complicate things.
Score Prediction: Packers 21, Niners 20

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)

Seahawks ATS: 5-5-0 Eagles ATS: 4-6-0
Projected Team Totals: Seahawks 23.25 Eagles 24.75


Opp (PHI) Pass DVOA: #12
Opp (PHI) Run DVOA: #7
Injuries to Watch DEF (PHI): S Ruby Ford (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (SEA): TE Luke Willson (D)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Tyler Lockett (23%) D.K. Metcalf (20%) Jaron Brown (11%) Chris Carson (10%) David Moore (8%) Josh Gordon (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 10: Chris Carson (95%, 28, 4) Rashaad Penny (4%, 2, 0) Nick Bellore (1%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Seattle's defense has not been good by most metrics this year, but sometimes it doesn’t matter when you have the best quarterback in the league, Russell Wilson (upgrade). Philly got everyone back in their secondary at the beginning of November, and it shows in DVOA, they have steadily climbed the rankings almost into the top-10. Regardless, Wilson should be active in all lineups, he’s been too good to sit. PHI gives up 17.1 FPPG to QBs and a whopping 27 FPPG to WRs - but both of those numbers are heavily skewed by Philly’s injured secondary in the beginning of the season.
Tyler Lockett (upgrade) spent a few nights in a bay area hospital after a season defining win against division rival SF in Week 10, but he has healed over the bye week and is ready to rock and roll. This game carries the second highest projected point total of the week, and Lockett needs to be in all lineups. Both Lockett and D.K. Metcalf (upgrade) have been force fed fantasy friendly targets this season - Lockett has 8 end zone targets; Metcalf has 13 - Lockett has 17 deep ball targets; Metcalf has 16 (Rotoworld). Lockett is a WR1 and Metcalf an upside WR2. Josh Gordon was mixed-in last week, but still only saw a 37% snap rate. He’s a strong candidate to see the field more, but it’s likely that David Moore and Malik Turner stay in the rotation, spoiling Flash as a solid fantasy option. He should be stashed but not started. SEA continues to find fantasy relevant TE gold this year, with Jacob Hollister being the latest to breakout. Ed Dickson was placed back on IR Friday, after being activated on Wednesday, and Luke Willson is making his way back from a hammy injury. Still, with a dearth of options at the TE position, you could do worse, continue to roll Hollister out there as a low-end TE1.

RB Breakdown

Another congratulations seems in order, for those who took the leap and drafted Chris Carson (downgrade). He’s turned into an every week RB1, and most folks got him outside of the first three rounds during draft season. Great work. Sadly, PHI has a very imposing front seven - they cede only 86-rushing yards per game, and just 15.4 FPPG to the position. Still, Carson has earned every week RB1 treatment regardless of matchup, so get him active, just keep expectations in check. Rashaad Penny has essentially been a bust in the NFL to this point, Carson owners can handcuff if they feel the need, but he shouldn’t be rostered in shallow formats.


Opp (SEA) Pass DVOA: #18
Opp (SEA) Run DVOA: #16
Injuries to Watch DEF (SEA): DE Jadeveon Clowney (Q) CB Neiko THorpe (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (PHI): T Lane Johnson (OUT) WR Nelson Agholor (Q) RB Jordan Howard (Q) WR Alshon Jeffery (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Zach Ertz (25%) Alshon Jeffery (24%) Nelson Agholor (18%) Dallas Goedert (13%) DeSean Jackson (13%) Miles Sanders (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Miles Sanders (82%, 13, 4) Boston Scott (18%, 7, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Eagles season has been extremely up and down, resulting in a 5-5 record, yet they still have a window to make playoffs. That would involve getting ahead of the 6-4 Cowboys to win the NFC East, as the NFC wildcard is probably already locked up between SF/SEA/MIN. Carson Wentz has been dealing with a plethora of injuries to his wideouts, and it’s likely that he will again be without at least one. Due to the injuries, it’s hard to recommend Wentz as anything more than a low-end QB1/2 streamer, even in a good matchup - SEA gives up 18.8 FPPG to QBs and 23.1 to WRs.
Both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are considered truly questionable for Sunday, but it’s not like Agholor should have been in lineups anyhow. Jeffery has been as touchdown dependent as they come, but if he suits up, he can be treated as a low-upside WR3. It’s unlikely that Jordan Matthews is relevant even with the injuries, so continue to fade the veteran wideout. PHI has been utilizing two-TE formations in the absence of Jeffery (Rotoworld), and will likely continue to do so with the injuries to the wideouts. Zach Ertz (upgrade) and Dallas Goedert (upgrade) continue to be the focal points of the passing game, and should be in most lineups moving forward - SEA surrenders 8.8 FPPG to TEs, 8th worst. Goedert himself is averaging 5.6 targets a game over the last 5 (ESPN), he needs to be treated as a low-end TE1 on a weekly basis.
RB Breakdown
With Jordan Howard sitting last week, Miles Sanders (upgrade PPR) was handed the keys to the backfield, but the tough matchup against the Patriots prevented any sort of breakout. Still, Sanders saw 85% of snaps, and if Howard is again inactive, he can be rolled into lineups as an upside RB2. Jay Ajayi is expected to be involved in some capacity, but he can’t be trusted in any format. It would not surprise us, however, if Ajayi managed to snipe a few goal line carries from the talented rookie. If Howard is active, the RBBC is likely in full effect again, relegating both Howard and Sanders to just flex status. Still, it seems likely than not that Howard sits again, as he hadn’t been cleared for contact as of Friday afternoon. SEA cedes 17.4 FPPG to RBs. It’s worth mentioning that All-Pro Tackle Lane Johnson is sitting, which could very well hurt the PHI run game.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Eagles 23

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Los Angeles Rams

Ravens ATS: 5-5-0 Rams ATS: 7-3-0
Projected Team Totals: Ravens 24.75 Rams 21.75


Opp (LAR) Pass DVOA: #17
Opp (LAR) Run DVOA: #3
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAR): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (BAL): WR Chris Moore (D)
Key WCB matchups: Marquise Brown vs. Jalen Ramsey (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Mark Andrews (24%) Marquise Brown (21%) Nick Boyle (11%) Willie Snead (10%) Mark Ingram (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Mark Ingram (46%, 16, 4) Gus Edwards (40%, 8, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The MVP season just keeps rolling along for Lamar Jackson (cheat code). Although his only game over 300 passing yards was Week 1 against the Dolphins non-existent defense, he has more rushing yards than many teams’ starting running back. The Rams are aren’t an overly imposing matchup - 17th ranked pass DVOA and 12th fewest FPPG to QBs - but not even the Patriots vaunted defense was able to stop LJax. He’s likely to finish top-3 overall among fantasy QBs, and has a great shot at the #1 overall spot. Lock him into your lineup as usual.
The Ravens have been one of the more run-heavy teams in the league, and when they do throw, the ball is spread around quite nicely. The only consistent pass-game option for fantasy has been TE Mark Andrews (auto-start). Expect Andrews to remain Jackson’s main option moving forward, especially in a week where Jalen Ramsey will be shadowing the top WR for Baltimore, Marquise Brown (downgrade). Andrews is a top-6 TE1 again this week, while Brown is deserving of a downgrade due to the stud CB’s coverage. Ramsey has shut down almost ever WR he’s been matched up against, and Brown hasn’t been a high volume player since returning from his ankle injury. Brown is more of a WR4 this week, albeit one with the upside for a big-play TD every week, and should be benched if owners have a more trustworthy option. All other Baltimore pass-catchers are off the fantasy radar at the moment, so don’t get cute and consider starting Willie Snead, Seth Roberts, or Miles Boykin. The volume simply isn’t there, even with Ramsey’s attention on Brown, it would be impossible to say which WR would have a breakout week.
RB Breakdown
The Ravens have done an excellent job of distributing the carries to keep their stud RBs healthy. Mark Ingram (auto-start) has consistently received around 50% snaps and 15-20 touches, even in close games that may have tempted them to use him more. This is good for his long-term health and production, and it hasn’t hurt his ability to pop big games for fantasy owners. Gus Edwards (downgrade) also got in on the action last week, breaking a 63-yard TD run to finish with 100+ yards for the first time this season. It would be unwise to chase these points this week, as Edwards was on pace for his usual 4-8 points before the long run. The Rams are a tough matchup on the ground - 3rd ranked DVOA and 10th fewest FPPG to RBs - so Edwards doesn’t make for a good streamer this week. Ingram remains in the RB1 mix despite the tough matchup, and his involvement in all areas of the game on one of the best offenses in the NFL keeps his floor and ceiling as high as most elite backs.


Opp (BAL) Pass DVOA: #3
Opp (BAL) Run DVOA: #25
Injuries to Watch DEF (BAL): DT Michael Pierce (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAR): WR Brandin Cooks (Q) OT Rob Havenstein (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Cooper Kupp (25%) Robert Woods (20%) Gerald Everett (15%) Brandin Cooks (14%) Todd Gurley (9%) Josh Reynolds (8%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11: Todd Gurley (75%, 28, 3) Malcolm Brown (20%, 5, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Rams offense has a lot of issues, but Jared Goff (downgrade) has been chief among them. Coming off a breakout season, many thought he would be a top-10 QB considering the high pace of the offense and his wealth of weapons, but instead he sits outside the top-20 in most formats. The Ravens are a tough matchup with their secondary at full health - giving up the 6th fewest FPPG to QBs - so it’s safe to bench Goff (or drop him) outside of deep 2 QB leagues. His fantasy playoff schedule isn’t overly favorable, but he does face the Cardinals next week, so perhaps consider keeping him on your roster for Week 13 before moving on to better options. The one factor Goff has going for him this week is that he’s playing at home, but that’s becoming a thinner and thinner argument these days.
The good news is that Cooper Kupp was able to get a catch last week after being goose-egged in Week 10 vs. the Steelers. The bad news: he caught three balls for 53 scoreless yards. The Ravens have been somewhat vulnerable to slot WRs this season - giving up solid lines to Julian Edelman, Jarvis Landry, Juju Smith-Schuster, and others - and Kupp is likely to be extremely active as Goff’s top target this week even if he gets Marlon Humphrey in coverage. Consider Kupp on the WR1/2 borderline, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him breakout of his slump with a big game on Sunday. Brandin Cooks (downgrade) is likely to return this week, but will face tough matchups on the outside and is becoming a dangerous re-injury threat every game. Consider him a boom-bust WR3 that has a low floor in this suddenly deficient offense. Robert Woods has been able to put up decent lines despite his lack of TDs (1 total) and remains in low-end WR2 range for this week. He should be in your lineup, but owners shouldn’t get their hopes up for a “boom” week. Gerald Everett (downgrade volume) surprisingly saw only 25% of the snaps last week, and now looks to be part of a 3-way timeshare at TE. The Rams should look to establish the run again this week, considering that is the Ravens weakness, so Everett is a only a TE2 while splitting time with the run-blocking TEs on the Rams roster. There are likely better streaming options.
RB Breakdown
Sean McVay finally unleashed Todd Gurley (upgrade) last week, and while he still looks like he’s lost a step this year, the results were quite positive for the Rams. He racked up 100+ total yards for the first time since Week 1, and dominated both the snaps and touches in the backfield. The Ravens aren’t an overly imposing matchup on the ground - 25th ranked run DVOA but 8th fewest FPPG to RBs - and with Goff struggling, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams go back to Gurley for 20+ touches again this week. The issue will be whether he can hold up to that type of workload, but with LAR in must-win mode, it’s now or never for Gurley. He’s been off the injury report through practice this week, which is a great sign after such a heavy workload. Consider Gurley an RB1 this week, as his increased usage in the pass-game would be a huge positive development for his value. Malcolm Brown (stash) remains a premier hand-cuff due to his position behind Gurley’s balky knees, but he has almost no standalone value at this point. Keep him rostered if you have the space.
Score Prediction: Ravens 24, Rams 20
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2019.10.05 23:58 Roto_G Week 5 - Matchup Strategy Guide (Part 2) - DFA

Part 1 right here:

New England Patriots (-15.5) at Washington Redskins

Patriots ATS: 2-2-0 Redskins ATS: 1-3-0
Projected Team Totals: Patriots 28.75 Redskins 13.25


Opp (WAS) Pass DVOA: #29
Opp (WAS) Run DVOA: #17
Injuries to Watch DEF (WAS): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (NE): RB Rex Burkhead (out)
Key WCB matchups: Josh Gordon vs. Josh Norman, Norman doesn’t follow to slot (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Julian Edelman (21%), James White (20%), Josh Gordon (18%), Phillip Dorsett (15%), Rex Burkhead (12%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Sony Michel (45%, 17, 0) James White (54%, 9, 10)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Patriots encountered their first challenge of 2019, but came out on top against the Bills. Tom Brady (upgrade) had one of the worst statistical games of his career, but gets a much better matchup this week against the Redskins barely there pass defense. He can be treated as a top-10 QB1 this week, although his ceiling may be limited if the Redskins are unable to keep the game even mildly competitive. Julian Edelman (upgrade) is on track to play again this week, and owners should put last week’s dud in the rear view mirror. Edelman has a solid target share, and is an excellent WR2 in PPR leagues, with only a mild downgrade in standard leagues. Josh Gordon (downgrade PPR) hasn’t lived up to the billing yet this year, and gets a somewhat challenging shadow matchup against Josh Norman. He is certainly capable of burning Norman for a big play or two, but the Patriots may not need a high passing volume to win this week. He is a boom-bust WR3, especially in PPR leagues because of his lower target share. Phillip Dorsett (upgrade) is in a great spot as a streamer or DFS play, as he will likely avoid Norman, and could easily break free for a long TD against the Redskins poorly graded coverage safeties (PFF). Consider him a WR3/4 with excellent upside this week. Benjamin Watson (stash) returns this week after a 4 game suspension, and there’s a chance he becomes a relevant TE this year in fantasy. It's impossible to project his role at this point, making him a low floor start this week, but is worth stashing for owners desperate at the position.
RB Breakdown
The Patriots weren’t able to get much going on offense last week, and the run game was no exception. Sony Michel (upgrade standard) only managed 63 scoreless yards, and wasn’t targeted. His lack of involvement in the passing game keeps his floor extremely low, and makes him almost unusable in PPR leagues. However, the likely positive game-flow in this one gives him an excellent chance to punch in a rushing TD and get a solid volume of carries. He’s a low-end RB2 in standard, and a RB3/flex in PPR leagues. James White (downgrade) returned to his usual role last week, rushing only once but catching multiple passes and playing over 50% of the snaps. White will need to make a big play in the pass game or convert a red zone catch into a TD to be useful this week, and his volume will likely take a hit if the Patriots take a huge first half lead. He’s a decent flex in PPR leagues, but is a risky start in standard leagues. Rex Burkhead is out this week.


Opp (NE) Pass DVOA: #1
Opp (NE) Run DVOA: #2
Injuries to Watch DEF (NE): S Patrick Chung (Q), LB Dont’a Hightower (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (WAS): WR Terry McLaurin (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Terry McLaurin vs. Stephon Gilmore (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Terry McLaurin (19%), Chris Thompson (18%), Paul Richardson (16%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Adrian Peterson (39%, 11, 0) Chris Thompson (53%, 8, 5)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Redskins continue to look directionless, both on the field and as a franchise. It will likely get even worse this week against arguably the best defense in the league this year. Colt McCoy (just don’t) has been volunteered as tribute this week, and will get the start over Dwane Haskins (investment protection) and Case Keenum (injury). McCoy has over performed expectations before, but it would be a miracle if he’s able to make it out of this game with fewer than 3 turnovers. Terry McLaurin (downgrade) is questionable to play this week, and even if he does suit up, he gets rewarded with a matchup against Happy Gilmore’s Island. He can’t be trusted in lineups as more than a WR4, despite his status as the clear #1 in the offense. His best hope would be to pile up yardage in garbage time, but considering he may not even play, there’s really no reason for WAS to risk their young star’s health in a blowout. All options in this passing game should be avoided, unless McLaurin is cleared of injury and an owner is in a desperate spot.
RB Breakdown
Washington’s offensive line is in a fierce competition for worst in the league, and the absence of All-Pro Trent Williams continues to be a huge problem. Adrian Peterson (downgrade) hasn’t been able to put together a good rushing performance this year, and is almost guaranteed to get phased out this week due to game-flow. Avoid him at all costs, especially in any PPR format. Chris Thompson (upgrade PPR) will be needed more than ever this week, especially if McLaurin is ruled out. He is the only player on the Redskins that has a reasonable case to be started, and should probably be reserved for PPR leagues. He’s the best bet to lead the Redskins in receiving this week and makes for a decent flex.
Score Prediction: Patriots 27, Redskins 14

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Ravens ATS: 1-3-0 Steelers ATS: 2-2-0
Projected Team Totals: Ravens 24 Steelers 20.5


Opp (PIT) Pass DVOA: #19
Opp (PIT) Run DVOA: #20
Injuries to Watch DEF (PIT): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (BAL): None
Key WCB matchups: None. Steelers secondary improved with Minkah Fitzpatrick addition (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Marquise Brown (24%), Mark Andrews (23%), Willie Snead (8%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Mark Ingram (46%, 13, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Even with Cleveland’s top-2 CBs out last week, Lamar Jackson was unable to jumpstart a suddenly struggling Ravens passing game. Jackson’s rushing upside keeps his weekly floor and ceiling extremely high, so he remains a weekly elite QB1. Marquise Brown (downgrade PPR) has racked up insanely high air yardage totals this season, but has been equally inefficient with potential yards. Some of this is due to Jackson’s inaccuracy the past two weeks, but some can also be chalked up to rookie inconsistencies and the fact that Brown’s usage has yet to expand beyond lower percentage throws. Brown can blow up on any given week, and has a potentially exploitable matchup against Joe Haden, but the Steelers defense has been much improved against the pass since adding Minkah Fitzpatrick. Consider Brown an upside WR2/3 this week, with a downgrade in PPR leagues in this run first offense. Mark Andrews (upgrade) has been taken off the injury report, and is due for a big game. The Steelers have been middle of the pack against TEs, but Andrews involvement in the red zone and overall volume make him a top 6 TE again this week. No other Baltimore pass catchers have the volume to be trusted in lineups.
RB Breakdown
The Ravens haven’t given Mark Ingram (upgrade) workhorse level volume this year, but he has made the most of his touches. The Steelers aren’t elite against the run, and will get plenty of opportunities to rack up the points in likely positive game flow. Somewhat surprisingly, Ingram has been elite in both of his road games, and has put up duds at home both weeks. It’s a small sample size, but perhaps the trend is partly due to the Ravens added commitment to the run when in hostile territory. On the road again this week, and with the Ravens Vegas line favorites, consider him a low-end RB1 with a high floor due to his all around usage (red zone and pass game). Gus Edwards appears to be the primary handcuff to Ingram because of his early down usage, but if Ingram were to get injured, Justice Hill would likely get a bigger role as well. Neither is useful outside of extremely deep leagues at this point.


Opp (BAL) Pass DVOA: #25
Opp (BAL) Run DVOA: #28
Injuries to Watch DEF (BAL): CB Jimmy Smith (out), DT Brandon Williams (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (PIT): WR Juju Smith Schuster (Q), TE Vance McDonald (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None (Rotoworld), Ravens secondary banged up
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Juju Smith-Schuster (19%), Dionte Johnson (15%), James Conner (14%), Vance McDonald (12%), Jaylen Samuels (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: James Conner (68%, 18, 8) Jaylen Samuels (26%, 18, 8)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The post Big Ben era has gotten off to a rocky start, and the Steelers have yet to take the training wheels off of Mason Rudolph (downgrade). His incredibly low average depth of target is holding back every WR and TE option in this offense for the time being, including last year’s breakout star Juju Smith-Schuster. The lack of downfield passing has hurt him the past few weeks, and with the Steelers running all kinds of gimmicky formations to limit Rudolph’s exposure, it’s hard to project a significant increase in volume coming soon. However, this week’s matchup against a banged up Baltimore secondary and explosive offense may be just the script that Juju needs to produce. Consider him a low-end WR2 this week, albeit with upside if the Steelers get down big and are forced to throw. Dionte Johnson has scored a TD in back to back weeks, but both have been on somewhat fluky plays. His low target share in an offense that is taking very few shots downfield keeps him in the dart throw WR4 area. Vance McDonald is questionable to play after missing last week, and his backup Nick Vannett is not a fantasy option. If McDonald does play, he would be on the TE1/2 borderline but should get a decent target share of short to intermediate throws. Ideally, all options in this passing game should be avoided, but Juju will likely need to be in lineups considering where owners drafted him. With his talent, it only takes one play for him to payoff.
RB Breakdown
The Steelers game plan last week to beat the hapless Bengals was to basically have their QB do as little as possible. They lined up James Conner (upgrade) and Jaylen Samuels (stash) in the backfield together at times, and even had Samuels throw a few short pop passes to Conner on motion plays. Conner’s carry volume in the positive game script was not as high as owners would like, but his involvement in the passing game should translate to this week’s likely negative game-flow matchup against the Ravens. If the Ravens are without nose tackle Brandon Wililams this week, it would be a further upgrade to his matchup. Conner has been removed from the injury report after a full practice on Thursday, so all systems are go for him to be fired up as a solid RB2, especially in PPR leagues. Samuels is a tough start with Conner fully healthy, but he could still get 10-15 touches. Consider him a low-end flex, worth starting in deep PPR leagues potentially, but keep him stashed in all leagues.
Score Prediction: Ravens 28, Steelers 17

Chicago Bears (-5.5) at Oakland Raiders

Bears ATS: 2-2-0 Raiders ATS: 2-2-0
Projected Team Totals: Bears 23 Raiders 17.5


Opp (OAK) Pass DVOA: #27
Opp (OAK) Run DVOA: #9
Injuries to Watch DEF (OAK): DE Clelin Ferrel (Q), Vontaze Burfict (out for year)
Injuries to Watch OFF (CHI): WR Taylor Gabriel (out)
Key WCB matchups: None (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Allen Robinson (25%), Tarik Cohen (18%), Trey Burton (12%), David Montgomery (9%).
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: David Montgomery (69%, 24, 5 Tarik Cohen (39%, 7, 5)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The question hanging over the Bears right now is whether Mitchell Trubisky’s (out, shoulder) injury actually makes this offense better in the short term. Chase Daniel has been confirmed as the Week 5 starter after playing most of last week’s game in relief of an injured Trubisky, and was able to acquit himself decently well. He is not a fantasy option outside of deep 2 QB leagues because of this offense’s overall lack of production, but he should keep the main weapons viable and possibly even be a slight upgrade. Allen Robinson (upgrade PPR) got 23% of Daniel’s Week 4 targets, and should be given a slight upgrade considering the poor play and lack of depth in the Oakland secondary. Consider him on the WR2/3 borderline. Taylor Gabriel is out again this week due to his Week 3 concussion, so Anthony Miller may get a few more targets than usual. Considering he only saw 2 targets from Daniel last week, it’s tough to put him anywhere higher than a WR4/5 dart throw, especially in this low volume offense. Trey Burton (upgrade PPR) did get 4 targets from Daniels, and appears back to full health. The Raiders have given up the 5th most FPPG to opposing TEs, so this could be a week he racks up 5+ catches for 50+ yards. He’s more of a high-end TE2 due to the uncertainty of targets, but makes for a somewhat appealing streamer for those looking for a decently high floor that are ok with a low ceiling.
RB Breakdown
The shift to a full workload for David Montgomery (upgrade) continued last week, as he received 21 carries and caught 3 passes. His efficiency has been continually poor this year, but it’s not clear if that is due to his vision and burst, or more to poor offensive line play. Although the Raiders have been stout against the run, the absence of Vontaze Burfict (longest suspension for on-field actions in NFL history) is a slight downgrade to their rush defense. The Bears’ defense should put Montgomery in position to work with a short field and neutral or positive game-script for much of the day, so he could be coming for somewhat of a breakout week. Consider him a RB2 with a solid floor (due to receiving work), that could hit the endzone at least once if the Bears get a lead. Tarik Cohen (downgrade) surprisingly was faded out of the game plan almost entirely last week, getting only one carry turning his 5 targets into three catches for 7 yards. He was able to get into the endzone on one of his catches, but aside from that was very quiet. Cohen is a roll of the dice flex in PPR leagues, but this doesn’t project as a week the Bears will be working from behind so he’s generally less appealing, especially in non-PPR leagues.


Opp (CHI) Pass DVOA: #6
Opp (CHI) Run DVOA: #3
Injuries to Watch DEF (CHI): DT Akiem Hicks (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (OAK): WR Tyrell Williams (Q), OL Richie Incognito (Q), WR J.J. Nelson (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None, Bears lock down opposing WRs (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Darren Waller (29%), Tyrell Williams (19%), J.J. Nelson (15%), Josh Jacobs (4%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Josh Jacobs (54%, 19, 2)

QB/WTE Breakdown

Similar to last year, the Raiders got off to a great start by winning Week 1 and have since faded massively. Derek Carr (downgrade) has been his normal dink and dunk self, and isn’t taking enough shots downfield to bring any kind of fantasy relevance. This week’s matchup against the Bears dominating defense makes him unusable even in 2 QB leagues. Tyrell Williams (downgrade) is questionable to play, and even if he suits up makes for more of a WR4 considering the potency of the Bears secondary. Darren Waller (upgrade PPR) is likely the only member of the Raiders offense that owners can start somewhat confidently, as he has caught 6+ passes in every game this year. The Bears are only middle of the road against opposing TEs, and given the pressure Carr will face all game long, Waller will see at least 6-8 targets. He is a must start mid-level TE1 because of his high floor in PPR formats, but can be benched in standard formats if owners have an alternative TE1 option with a better matchup.

RB Breakdown

Despite Jon Gruden’s continued insistence that the Raiders want to involve Josh Jacobs (downgrade) more in the passing game, it has yet to really materialize. He hasn’t gone over 2 targets in a game yet this year, and his snap %’s have hovered around 50% the past three weeks. The Chicago front seven has been truly elite against the run, and considering the Raiders have one of the lower implied point totals on the week, he is a poor bet for a TD. His lack of pass game involvement also lowers his floor, which means he has to be viewed as more RB3 than RB2 in this incredibly tough matchup. Owners may have no choice but to start him, but do so knowing full well that the outlook is not very promising. Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington are far off the fantasy radar, and neither makes for a great handcuff.
Score Prediction: Bears 21, Raiders 13

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)

Broncos ATS: 1-3-0 Chargers ATS: 1-2-1
Projected Team Totals: Broncos 19 Chargers 25.5


Opp (LAC) Pass DVOA: #30
Opp (LAC) Run DVOA: #21
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAC): DE Melvin Ingram, S Nasir Adderley, LB Thomas Davis
Injuries to Watch OFF (DEN): T Ja’Wuan James
Key WCB matchups: Cpurtland Sutton vs. Casey Hayward (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Emmanuel Sanders (23%), Courtland Sutton (21%), Phillip Lindsay (13%), Royce Freeman (13%), DaeSean Hamilton (13%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Royce Freeman (58%, 10, 6), Phillip Lindsay (42%, 10, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Sitting at 0-4, the Broncos are essentially out of playoff contention - the 1992 Chargers are the only team to make the postseason after starting winless through four weeks since the NFL expanded the playoffs in 1990 ( Joe Flacco put up a respectable 303 yards passing and tossed 3 scores, but avoid him in fantasy. This lead to Emmanuel Sanders (upgrade PPR) and Courtland Sutton (downgrade) both having great days in the losing effort. Really, this Broncos team isn’t as bad as their record would indicate, they’ve given up two game winning field goals at home in the final seconds, truly heartbreaking, but such is life in the weekly grind of the NFL. Look for both Sanders and Sutton to remain WR2’s moving forward, but the matchup for Sutton this week is one that should be avoided if possible. He’s going up against Chargers stud CB Casey Hayward, a matchup that Hayward has dominated in the past (Rotoworld). The Chargers PASS DVOA numbers don’t reflect the secondary we expected, but seeing as they’ve been hit with the injury apocalypse to start the season, it makes sense. Outside of the safety position (the Chargers have lost multiple safeties for the season), the Bolts look to be getting healthy in the secondary, and this looks like a spot to avoid the Denver passing game if possible. Noah Fant caught his first touchdown last week and the Chargers give up 9.4 FPPG to tight ends; so he’s on the streaming radar as a TE2.
RB Breakdown
Phillip Lindsay (upgrade) and Royce Freeman (upgrade) continue to split work evenly, but not in the way some would expect. Rather than each having a clear role in a facet of the game (running/passing), they are operating as the clear lead back while in the game and rotating in shifts. This has lead to unpredictable production from both and it’s impossible to predict which one will be on the field when Denver puts together a drive. Both should be considered low-end RB2’s this week - the Bolts are giving up 17.1 FPPG to running backs and have not been strong against the run this year.


Opp (DEN) Pass DVOA: #28
Opp (DEN) Run DVOA: #26
Injuries to Watch DEF (DEN): DB Kareem Jackson (expected to play), ILB Josey Jewell
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAC): WR Dontrell Inman (IR), WR Travis Benjamin, WR Mike Williams (expected to play)
Key WCB matchups: Keenan Allen vs. Chris Harris Jr. (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Keenan Allen (32%), Austin Ekeler (17%), Mike Williams (13%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Austin Ekeler (63%, 23, 5), Troymaine Pope (37%, 12, 2)
QB/WTE Breakdown
It’s impossible to read into last weeks dismantling of the Dolphins by the Chargers, heck, even Tyrod Taylor got into the game. Philip Rivers is the definition of consistency, throwing between 293 yards and 333 in every game this year. He’s a back-end QB1 and his appeal is in the high floor, not the low ceiling. The Bolts receiving corps has also been hit by the injury Armageddon; Dontrell Inman was placed on the IR with a quad injury suffered last week, and both Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin are dealing with respective ailments. Keenan Allen should continue to soak up massive amounts of targets, but his date with CB Chris Harris Jr. is not desirable. The volume should at least guarantee a high floor and Allen remains a WR1. Mike Williams looks to be ready to return this week, and could see a large piece of the target share pie if fully healthy - he’s a WR3 with upside, we just don’t know what his role in the passing game will be or if he’ll be limited. The absence of any red zone threat tight end makes Williams even more appealing - the Bolts are also dealing with a myriad of injuries at tight end. Lance Kendricks was the only healthy tight end on the roster at the end of Sunday’s game against the Fin’s (, and he wasn’t a Charger two weeks ago.
RB Breakdown
Melvin Gordon is back. Or is he? Turns out he wasn’t needed after all Sunday and he didn’t even see one snap. Sounds like he’s going to be eased back into gameshape, but can we really believe coach speak at this point… Austin Ekeler (upgrade) will still be extremely involved, if not as a running back, but as a wideout. Consider both RB2s, but give the edge to Ekeler - we know for sure that he’ll see consistent volume.
Score Prediction: Broncos 21, Chargers 20

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)

Packers ATS: 3-1-0 Cowboys ATS: 3-1-0
Projected Team Totals: Packers 21.75 Cowboys 25.25


Opp (DAL) Pass DVOA: #14
Opp (DAL) Run DVOA: #14
Injuries to Watch DEF (DAL): DT Antwaun Woods (questionable), DT Tyrone Crawford (questionable)
Injuries to Watch OFF (GB): WR Devante Adams (out), RB Jamaal Williams (out)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Davante Adams (25%), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (19%), Aaron Jones (10%), Jimmy Graham (11%) Geronimo Allison (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Aaron Jones (99%, 19, 7), Jamaal Williams - left game INJ (1%, 1, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Devante Adams (out-toe) was given the doubtful tag for the matchup against Dallas early in the week after leaving TNF, throwing doubt on his availability in the short term moving forward. His absence leaves 25% of Aaron Rodgers targets up for grabs and the likely bet is that Geronimo Allison (upgrade) and Jimmy Graham (upgrade) will assume larger roles this week. Marquez Valdez-Scantling also receives a small upgrade and is the preferred play of the wideouts, but he is already assuming 19% of the target share. Dallas’ defense, although ranking right in the middle in terms of DVOA, is only giving up 12.6 FPPG to quarterbacks and 17.4 FPPG to wideouts so far, top-5 in the NFL. The real issue for Rodgers and his pass catchers is the amount of opportunity they’ll see - Dallas ranks 20th in pace of play (footballoutsiders) and will look to limit Packer possessions by establishing the run. Rodgers is a back-end QB1, but keep expectations tempered considering the tough road matchup without his number one target. MVS can be treated as a solid WR2 this week, while Allison is a feast-or-famine WR3. Jimmy draws the best matchup on paper and appears to be fully healthy after seeing 71% of snaps in Week 4 with 9 targets. After Adams left with his injury, Graham was targeted three times in a row ( showing that he may become the primary target sans the star receiver. His floor is still scary low, but he’s a low-end TE1 in a good matchup this week.
RB Breakdown
Jamaal Williams (out) remains out after taking a huge hit against the Eagles last week. Aaron Jones (upgrade PPR) assumed an every down role after Williams left, but only managed 21 yards on 13 carries against the Eagles menacing front 7, salvaging his fantasy line by finding pay dirt. The matchup against the Cowboys doesn’t get any easier as they are only giving up 14.8 FPPG to running backs. The encouraging takeaway from the week before was that Jones was heavily involved in the passing game, receiving 7 targets. If the every down role continues in Williams’ absence along with the passing game usage, Jones will establish a higher weekly floor for owners and become game-script proof. Treat him as a high-end RB2 this week.


Opp (GB) Pass DVOA: #5
Opp (GB) Run DVOA: #27
Injuries to Watch DEF (GB): CB Kevin King (doubtful), LB Oren Burks (questionable), LB Kyler Fackrell (doubtful), DL Montravius Adams (questionable)
Injuries to Watch OFF (DAL): OT Tyron Smith (out), OT La’el Collins (questionable), WR Michael Gallup (expected to play)
Key WCB matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Jaire Alexander (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Michael Gallup (24%), Amari Cooper (23%), Randall Cobb (17%), Jason Witten (13%), Ezekiel Elliot (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Ezekiel Elliot (96%, 24, 7), Tony Pollard (4%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Dak Prescott has become a top-3 fantasy quarterback seemingly overnight playing for a new contract. The Packers tough secondary may be his toughest test yet, but he gets emerging receiver Michael Gallup back, and Green Bay may be without CB Kevin King (upgraded to questionable today) who graded out as their best corner in Week 4 (PFF). Prescott is a QB1 per usual, but the Cowboys may look to run the ball against a weak run defense (27.6 FPPG to running backs), just like the Eagles did the week before - limiting Prescott’s upside. Interestingly, in Week 4, emerging Green Bay stud CB Jaire Alexander did not shadow Alshon Jeffery as expected, and it remains to be seen if that was due to Alshon being a slower, big body receiver (Rotoworld), or if the Packers are choosing not to deploy him in shadow coverage. Amari Cooper (downgrade) is expected to draw Alexander in coverage, but even if he doesn’t, Kevin King slowed down Alshon to a 3-38-1 line. The matchup and gameplan should work against the Cowboys passing game this week, plus their starting LT is expected to be out. Michael Gallup is a feast-or-famine WR4 in a bad matchup, owners should wait and see that he’s healthy before deploying him. Devin Smith will be relegated to a role player with the return of Gallup and isn’t an option. Jason Witten continues to turn back the clock, receiving 4 targets every week as Dallas continues to feed him the rock. He’s emerging as a low-end TE1, albeit one without much upside.
RB Breakdown
Ezekiel Elliot is top running back option and this week is no different. The blueprint that the Eagles established to beat the Packers last week will likely be replicated by the Cowboys, setting Zeke up to eat. Tony Pollard is no more than a handcuff. Score Prediction: Packers 20, Cowboys 17

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-11)

Colts ATS: 2-1-0 Chiefs ATS: 3-1-0
Projected Team Totals: Colts 22.75 Chiefs 33.75


Opp (KC) Pass DVOA: #9
Opp (KC) Run DVOA: #31
Injuries to Watch DEF (KC): LB Dorian O’Daniel (out)
Injuries to Watch OFF (IND): WR Parris Campbell (out), T.Y. Hilton (questionable), Marlon Mack (expected to play)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): T.Y. Hilton (27%), Devin Funchess (19%), Eric Ebron (12%), Jack Doyle (12%), Nyheim Hines (12%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Marlon Mack (35%, 11, 0), Nyheim Hines (44%, 9, 6), Jordan Wilkins (21%, 4, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
It’s safe to wonder after a home loss to the Raiders if the Colts are a different team without T.Y. Hilton. Regardless, the passing attack is going to need to perform this week likely without Hilton; the Chiefs will score their usual 35 points. Jacoby Brissett while solid so far, wasn’t expected to be an option for 1QB leagues. Surprisingly, through four games he’s got the 9th most points for the position,- and will continue to score points this week as he will need to throw 40+ times to keep up with the potent KC offense - he’s a back-end QB1. T.Y. Hilton is looking extremely iffy to play, and coach Frank Reich has even admitted that the Colts Week 6 bye is factoring into their decision on whether or not to play the star wideout; it looks like Hilton will most likely sit. This game carries easily the highest projected point total of the week and someone will need to catch the ball for Indy. Zach Pascal is coming off of back to back weeks with either 70 yards or a touchdown, his status as a WR3 is completely dependent on Hilton’s health. Deon Cain and Chester Rodgers have also seen similar snap counts and target share in the absence of Hilton, and it’s really anyone’s guess who will produce. Pascal seems like the best bet considering the past few games. Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle also saw a similar amount of targets last week as the wideouts and really, the whole situation should be avoided outside of Brissett if possible.
RB Breakdown
Marlon Mack was unable to return in the second half against the Raiders with an ankle injury, but is expected to play this week. The Chiefs have been weak against the run, but it may not matter - most weeks Mahomes is able to build a lead so the opposing team has to abandon the run altogether. Consider Mack a game-script dependent RB2 in a good matchup. It’s looking like this could be a Nyheim Hines upgrade PPR) week if there ever was one. He will be on the field when the Colts face negative game-flow and could see an uptick in targets this week. Consider him a back-end flex option that receives an upgrade in full PPR formats.


Opp (IND) Pass DVOA: #9
Opp (IND) Run DVOA: #32
Injuries to Watch DEF (IND): S Malik Hooker (out), LB Darius Leonard (out), DE Tyquan Lewis (out), S Rolan Milligan (questionable), LB Anthony Walker (questionable), CB Rock Ya-Sin (questionable)
Injuries to Watch OFF (KC): WR Tyreek Hill (out), WR Sammy Watkins (questionable), T Eric Fisher (out)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Sammy Watkins (24%), Travis Kelce (21%), Damien Williams (14%), Demarcus Robinson (13%), Mecole Hardman (11%), Darrell Williams (11%), LeSean McCoy (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: LeSean McCoy (45%, 13, 4) Darrell Williams (50%, 11, 4) Darwin Thompson (5%, 0, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Lions finally gave the Chiefs a game in Week 4, but Patrick Mahomes did P-Mahomey things to win, getting it done with his legs this time. Mahomes is the QB1 regardless of matchup, however, going against a weak run defense and a stingy secondary (although banged up) it would seem like the Chiefs may opt to run the ball a bit more..or not. Mahomes can never be counted out and it doesn’t seem like matchups matter to Andy Ried - Kansas City seems to move the ball however they want to. Tyreek Hill (out) is set to miss another game, but surprisingly (is it?) Sammy Watkins has popped up on the injury report as questionable. Monitor his status, but if he is unable to go then Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson would both receive a bump in usage. Hardman demonstrated his extremely low floor last week, actually receiving negative fantasy points due to a lost fumble. Both are big play dependent WR3/4’s. Travis Kelce continues his assault on the league, clearing 80 yards in every game so far. He only has one touchdown on the year and that will probably change in a hurry. He’s a good bet for some positive touchdown regression this week, fire him up as the overall TE1.
RB Breakdown
Damien Williams is set to return after missing the last couple with a knee injury. He’s expected to mix in with LeSean McCoy, bumping Darrell Williams back to the bench and fading Darwin Thompson back into obscurity. It’s anyone's guess who receives the lion's share of touches, but based on Week 1, it seems like McCoy will be deployed as purely a runner while Williams will be the pass-catching back. Both offer immense upside against a defense ranked dead last against the run and hemorrhaging 20.5 FPPG to running backs. Williams and LeSean should both be considered solid RB2s.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 34, Colts 24

Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (-4)

Browns ATS: 2-2-0 49ers ATS: 2-1-0
Projected Team Totals: Browns 21.25 49ers 25.25


Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2
Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #6
Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (DNP)
Injuries to Watch OFF (CLE): WR Jarvis Landry (likely to play), TE David Njoku (out)
Key WCB matchups: None, Richard Sherman hasn’t shadowed WRs with SF (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Odell Beckham Jr. (26%), Jarvis Landry (24%), Nick Chubb (14%), David Njoku (10%), Ricky Seals-Jones (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 4: Nick Chubb (64%, 23, 4) Dontrell Hilliard (36%, 8, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Week 4 was a welcome sight for Browns’ fans and fantasy owners alike, as the offense came alive in a beatdown of a solid Ravens team on the road. The formula for success was to give Nick Chubb a huge workload, while getting the ball out of Baker Mayfield’s (downgrade) hands on quick routes. Mayfield hasn’t had the time in the pocket to throw for almost any long downfield completions, but his 17 fantasy points last week represented a season high. As long as the O-Line remains a problem his ceiling will be capped in what should be a run and short pass oriented offense going forward. This week’s matchup against a stout Niners passing defense will be a real test not only for the Browns but also to find out if the SF secondary is for real. Mayfield is just outside the QB1 ranks this week, and can be benched for alternative options, but his weapons keep him in the mix for 15+ points again this week. Odell Beckham Jr. (upgrade) only caught two passes for 20 yards last week, while watching his teammate Jarvis Landry (downgrade standard) go off for a season high 167 yards. Beckham is unlikely to face shadow coverage, and should have a solid matchup against Emmanuel Mosley (2018 UDFA). Look for Mayfield to get Beckham rolling this week early and often, and he can be treated as a borderline WR1 based on talent alone. Landry needs volume to reach his ceiling, but does have a great floor in PPR, especially with the need for short passes behind this shoddy line. His projected matchup with SF’s stud slot CB K’waun Williams is a slight concern, so he’s only a WR3 in PPR with a slight downgrade in standard. He has cleared the concussion protocol and practiced in full on Friday, so if you need him, he’ll be good to go on Monday night.
RB Breakdown
Head Coach Freddie Kitchens said after Week 2 that he “would love to get (Chubb) more touches”, and has managed to make it happen the past two weeks. Nick Chubb (upgrade) ran hard last week into a weak Ravens front seven, and ended with a monster line. The Niners have a better rush DVOA than Baltimore, but Chubb’s volume keeps him in the RB1 slot with ease at this point. We aren’t sure exactly who Kitchens had to ask to get Chubb more touches (Chubb’s parents maybe?), but we can only hope that the permission slip isn’t rescinded any time soon. Backup Dontrell Hilliard is a weak handcuff with Kareem Hunt due back in a few weeks, so if you must roster one of them make it Hunt.


Opp (CLE) Pass DVOA: #7
Opp (CLE) Run DVOA: #19
Injuries to Watch DEF (CLE): CB Greedy Williams (Q, unlikely to play), CB Denzel Ward (out), S Morgan Burnett (Q, likely to play)
Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): RB Tevin Coleman (questionable)
Key WCB matchups: None (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (season): George Kittle (25%), Deebo Samuel (16%), Marquise Goodwin (9%), Tevin Coleman (11%), Matt Breida (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 3: Matt Breida (41%, 16, 3) Raheem Mostert (30%, 12, 1)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Kyle Shanahan is riding high at 3-0 coming off of an early bye week. His offense hasn’t been flawless through three games, but has done enough to keep a few weapons valuable. In the passing game, Jimmy Garappolo (downgrade) continues to struggle with turnovers (3 in Week 3) but makes plays when his weapons are schemed into space properly. His ceiling is extremely low in this run heavy offense, so he isn’t an option except in deep 2 QB leagues. Deebo Samuel has been Jimmy G’s preferred target so far this season, and Samuel’s 16% target share makes him a risky week to week proposition. He’ll take aim at an injured Browns secondary this week, but after watching the backups hold the Rams and Ravens receivers to mostly poor lines the last two weeks, it’s hard to get overly excited about Samuel’s potential. There just isn’t enough volume to sustain multiple fantasy relevant WRs most weeks, and much like the run game, Shanahan tends not to have one WR get a high majority of the work. He’s a WR4 with upside based on his speed. George Kittle is an obvious TE1, and is due for some positive TD regression after barely missing and/or having a few wiped out due to penalty. Expect him to hit soon, and don’t even think about benching him. Dante Pettis has been mostly phased out, so unless you think he’s just on timeout for missing bedtime and will return to a full snap count soon, he’s not a start in any depth of league.
RB Breakdown
One of the more frustrating backfields to predict this season, the Niners have managed to force fantasy owners to pick up potentially four different running backs this season. That’s kind of rude honestly. Tevin Coleman is tentatively expected to return from injury this week, and will likely get a few early down carries and a sprinkle of targets, but should be stashed not started this week. The Browns are vulnerable to the run, but unless you recently found a new car with no license plates and the keys in the ignition, starting Coleman this week seems unwise. Matt Breida is probably the safest option considering his swiss army like usage and his 41% snap count in a tight Week 3 game keep him in the flex range. Raheem Mostert (stash) is likely relegated to 5-8 touch COP work, and Jeff Wilson should only be owned in leagues that don’t count yardage. Ideally this backfield is one to avoid entirely, but owners in desperate need can roll with Breida and expect something in the range of 7-12 points.
Score Prediction: Browns 21, Niners 17
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2017.06.16 13:04 feedreddit N.Y. DAILY NEWS: Trump’s new NY HUD director planned Eric Trump’s wedding, has no housing experience -- DEMS drub GOP at baseball game -- A RECORD 24,959 tickets sold -- PENCE hires McGuireWoods’ Cullen -- B’DAY: Bres

N.Y. DAILY NEWS: Trump’s new NY HUD director planned Eric Trump’s wedding, has no housing experience -- DEMS drub GOP at baseball game -- A RECORD 24,959 tickets sold -- PENCE hires McGuireWoods’ Cullen -- B’DAY: Bres
by [email protected] (Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
Good Friday morning. THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: “President Trump chooses inexperienced woman who planned his son Eric’s wedding to run N.Y. federal housing programs,” by Greg Smith: “She’s arranged tournaments at Trump golf courses, served as the liaison to the Trump family during his presidential campaign, and even arranged Eric Trump’s wedding. Now President Trump has appointed longtime loyalist Lynne Patton -- who has zero housing experience and claims a law degree the school says she never earned -- to run the office that oversees federal housing programs in New York.
“Patton was appointed Wednesday to head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, where she’ll oversee distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars. Patton’s tight relationship with the Trump clan dates back to 2009, when she began serving as the family’s ‘event planner.’ … She also claims on her LinkedIn page to have obtained a juris doctorate degree in 2000 from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut. Next to the J.D. notation is written (N/A) without explanation. On Thursday school registrar Jim Benson said Patton attended for two semesters but did not graduate. She also listed Yale University but HUD officials couldn’t explain why that was there. Patton, who begins her Region II job July 5, did not return calls seeking comment.
“As head of the biggest HUD regional office in the U.S., Patton will oversee distribution of billions in cash to public housing authorities -- including NYCHA -- as well as tens of thousands of rental vouchers and block grants that fund housing inspections and senior citizen programs.”
-- N.Y. DAILY NEWS COVER: “She planned Eric Trump’s nups & falsely touts law degree. Now Prez has decided new housing boss in N.Y. is ... THE WEDDING SCAMMER”
-- LYNNE’S LinkedIn page says she has the following specialties: “Public Engagement, Community Outreach & Revitalization, Strategic Networking, High-Net Worth Fundraising, Client Ambassador, Celebrity Talent Acquisition, Event Planning, Promotions, Social Media Strategy, Philanthropic Auctions & Tournaments, Public & Media Relations.”
THE U.S. is sending 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, per the AP. Donald Trump ran for president saying he’d end foreign entanglements. PRESIDENT TRUMP is going to Miami today to announce changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba.
FLASH -- AP at 5:09 a.m.: “Russia claims it has killed IS leader al-Baghdadi,” by Bassem Mroue in Beirut and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow: “The Russian Defense Ministry said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders. There had been previous reports of al-Baghdadi being killed but they did not turn out to be true. The IS leader last released an audio on Nov. 3, urging his followers to keep up the fight for Mosul as they defend the city against a major offensive that began weeks earlier. The spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition said in a statement Friday he could not confirm the Russian claim.”
RACHAEL BADE and KYLE CHENEY bring us the scene from the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park: “Rodney Davis stood in the shadow of the Nationals Park scoreboard and wiped away a tear. Just a day earlier, the Republican congressman from Illinois — and catcher for the Republican congressional baseball team -- watched his colleague Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, get shot on a practice baseball field in Virginia, while other lawmakers and aides scrambled for cover. …
“‘This is what our country needs after such a tragic act,’ said Davis, his arm still scabbed and scraped from diving away from the gunman’s bullets on Wednesday….Florida Democrat Charlie Crist was spotted walking around in a suit, a young staffer trailing him carrying his suit jacket.”
-- COLD WATER ALERT. This is a kumbaya moment -- and we’d emphasize moment. It is, of course, impossible to predict the future. Remember: a gunman shot then-Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords in the head. Nothing changed. We’re skeptical much will change this time. Speaker Paul Ryan told Jake Tapper on CNN that “we can have different ideas without being vitriolic.” Yes, they can. But there is no evidence to show they will. We hope we’re wrong.
TAPPER had a joint interview with Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, and Anderson Cooper had Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. A good night for CNN.
-- COOPER got this gem of an interaction. Classic line from McConnell when asked about Trump calling the investigation a witch hunt: COOPER: "President Trump made a statement last night with Congressman Scalise. It was getting bipartisan praise for his tone. Today tweeting about -- calling this a witch hunt against him, just talking about the people leading it being disturbed, I think was his term, or conflicted. Is that appropriate? MCCONNELL: "I typically don't comment on the president's tweeting habits." COOPER: "Do you think it is a witch hunt?" MCCONNELL: "I don't have any observations about that. We had here an example of a horrendous event that we all condemn, and we're here together tonight to make the point to the American people that there's a whole lot of cooperation in the Congress, even though it may not be covered, on a daily basis."
THE WHITE HOUSE SHOWED UP! -- “At congressional baseball game, newfound unity has its limits,” by Yahoo’s Hunter Walker: “As she talked to Yahoo News, [Kellyanne] Conway spotted top White House adviser Gary Cohn, who was in a dark suit. She called Cohn over. ‘Look how Gary Cohn dresses for a baseball game. He dresses like Gary Cohn! Gary come here!’ Conway beckoned. ‘He came out of the womb looking like that,’ quipped Mulvaney as Cohn strolled over. ‘This is New York chic,’ said Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs banker. As Cohn posed for photos with Conway, Mulvaney reached over and put an LSU hat on his head. Cohn couldn’t see the cap. ‘Does it make me a hillbilly?’ Cohn asked. ‘We couldn’t make you a hillbilly if we tried,’ Mulvaney said.”
NYT NATIONAL BASEBALL WRITER TYLER KEPNER on the game. Good nugget: “A record 24,959 tickets were sold for the charity exhibition -- a higher attendance than Thursday’s major league games in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota and Oakland.”
CLICKERS -- “Prayers and pitches: Scenes from the congressional baseball game” -- 33 pix … 27 PHOTOS by the Washington Post
SPOTTED at the Anheuser-Busch and Buffalo Wild Wings game watch party in the PNC Diamond Club: Sean and Rebecca Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), John Delaney (R-Md.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Carl Hulse, Cate Martel, Naomi Jagoda, Allison Brennan, Roland Foster, Kate Pointer.
-- Photo of Tyson’s lobbyist Matt Mika’s friends and colleagues
THE LATEST ON SCALISE -- RACHAEL BADE: “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican shot during a congressional baseball practice Wednesday, is doing better but remains in critical condition and will be hospitalized for an extended period of time, according to a statement from his doctors. MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement Thursday evening that Scalise underwent another surgery ‘related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg.’ ‘He remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours,’ the statement said. ‘The Congressman will require additional operations, and will be in the hospital for some time. At the request of the family, we will continue to provide periodic updates.’” Bade on the emotional times on the Hill
-- KEY LINE HERE: Scalise will be hospitalized for an “extended period of time.” This will be a long recovery.
THE NEXT FRONTIER -- “Rattled by shooting, lawmakers want more personal protection,” by Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade: “Lawmakers are debating a range of heightened security measures following Wednesday’s shooting that critically injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, with a growing number of Republicans even seeking to carry their own guns into the Capitol for personal safety. Rattled by the mass shooting by a gunman with an apparent political agenda, lawmakers are struggling with how to balance ensuring security for members of Congress while keeping themselves accessible to voters.
“The gamut of options includes new rules ramping up the law enforcement presence at big group events with lawmakers, equipping Capitol Police with more advanced weapons, and allowing individual members to spend taxpayer or campaign dollars on personal security measures. And several GOP lawmakers want the green light to bring their personal firearms onto Capitol grounds, a move that immediately alarmed Democrats who favor tougher gun restrictions.”
-- MANY LAWMAKERS have mused about each getting their own Capitol Police officer. But that would be a hugely pricey government expense.
ON THE ALLEGED GUNMAN -- “Scalise Gunman Dodged 2006 Charge That Would Bar Gun Purchases,” by Bloomberg’s Ari Natter: “James Hodgkinson, 66, was arrested after a 2006 incident in which he was accused of beating his foster daughter, according to court records. The case crumbled after the victim decided not to testify ... Under federal law, someone found guilty of domestic battery of a family member can be barred from legally owning a firearm.”
WAPO’S ASHLEY PARKER, the pride of Montgomery County, scooped that Vice President Mike Pence has hired Richard Cullen, the chairman of McGuireWoods, to represent him. NUSSBAUM reminds us that McGuireWoods also once employed Jim Comey! And the firm also currently represents former Rep. Aaron Schock, who is facing 24 counts of criminal charges related to alleged crimes during his time in office.
SCOOP -- “Trump transition officials ordered to save Russia documents,” by Josh Dawsey: “Aides and volunteers on Donald Trump’s presidential transition were instructed Thursday to save any records related to ‘several pending investigations into potential attempts by Russia interests to influence the 2016 election,’ according to a memo provided to POLITICO. In the memo from a transition lawyer, campaign officials were told to preserve all documents related to the Russian Federation, Ukraine and a number of campaign advisers and officials, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, advisers Carter Page, Rick Gates and Roger Stone, and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn.”
-- GOLDEN BOY ALERT: “Special counsel is investigating Jared Kushner’s business dealings,” by WaPo’s Sari Horowitz, Matt Zapotosky and Adam Entous: “FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign-policy adviser for the campaign.”
THE PUSHBACK --“Rosenstein prods media for ‘anonymous allegations’ on Russia probe,” by Darren Samuelsohn: “A top Trump Justice Department official issued an unusual, vague statement Thursday night, casting doubt on a series of recent media reports detailing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's growing probe into the Trump campaign for potential collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared to be taking issue with recent Washington Post and New York Times stories that President Donald Trump himself is now the subject of an obstruction of justice probe, as well as a separate new report from the Post that Mueller is looking into White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s finances. ...
"’Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country - let alone the branch or agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,’ Rosenstein said. ‘Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.’
“Rosenstein’s statement caught many in Washington off guard, in part because it was so generic and didn't actually specify which news reports it was addressing. It’s also notable because of who issued it: With Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused from all things related to the Russia probe, Rosenstein as the No. 2 DOJ official has the reins over the Mueller probe. He’ll get Mueller’s budget and he also has the power to block major investigative steps -- with the caveat he must report to Congress if that happens.”
[email protected]: “The Washington Post has updated the Kushner story to reflect the officials cited are indeed U.S. officials.”
JOSH DAWSEY, “White House aides fret over Trump’s Russia probe obsession”: “The greatest threat to Trump and his presidency, say administration officials and outside advisers, comes from his own conduct and obsessive behavior after he took office. While congressional and FBI investigations may prove Trump or his team broke laws before he took office, his advisers say they’re more worried that the things he’s done since the inauguration may have left him exposed to obstruction of justice or other charges. Trump, for months, has bristled almost daily about the ongoing probes. He has sometimes, without prompting, injected. ‘I’m not under investigation’ into conversations with associates and allies. He has watched hours of TV coverage every day -- sometimes even storing morning news shows on his TiVo to watch in the evening -- and complained nonstop.”
THE COUNSEL -- “Mueller, Known for Being Above the Fray, Is Now in the Thick of It,” by NYT’s Scott Shane and Charlie Savage: “Veterans of past Washington battles on the borders of law and politics said that the president’s pushback was to be expected, but that its ferocity and timing were unusual. Just one month into the job, Mr. Mueller has not yet finished hiring staff members or installing a computer network -- deliberately segregated from the main Justice Department -- in the Patrick Henry Building in downtown Washington.
“‘It’s early in the game to begin to impugn the prosecutors,’ said Philip Allen Lacovara, a Watergate prosecutor and a Republican. ‘It’s a pre-emptive nuclear strike. If you’re afraid of what the prosecutors are going to find out, you try to debunk anything they might come up with in advance by attacking them.’”
JUST POSTED -- POLITICO MAGAZINE'S TIM ALBERTA: "Man on a Wire: Mike Pence’s Tightrope Act... He might be the most consequential vice president ever. He could well be the next commander in chief. And the one person in America he can’t have thinking about that is his boss."
SHOCKING! -- “Senate likely to miss its Obamacare repeal deadline,” by Jen Haberkorn: “Senate Republicans are getting dangerously close to missing their deadline to hold a Senate health care vote by month’s end, potentially derailing fulfillment of their seven-year-old campaign promise to repeal Obamacare. The Senate left Washington on Thursday with a seemingly insurmountable health care to-do list: When they return on Monday, Republicans will have just two weeks before the Fourth of July recess to overcome the remaining big divides on policy – including what year to roll back Medicaid expansion and how deeply to cut the program that covers health care for low-income people. They also must settle on how to bring down health insurance premiums and when to cut the taxes that paid for Obamacare -- not to mention the vexing issue of whether to defund Planned Parenthood.”
ALEX ISENSTADT, “GOP sirens blaze over Georgia special election”: “The GOP is bracing for the prospect of a loss in Tuesday’s Georgia’s special election that could have far-reaching implications for President Donald Trump and his party’s fortunes in 2018. As grim confidential polling data circulates among GOP strategists, interviews with nearly two dozen Republican operatives and officials reveal that they are preparing for the possibility of an unnerving defeat that could spur lawmakers to distance themselves from Trump and his already-troubled legislative agenda, and potentially encourage a wave of retirements. ...
“While Republicans privately lampoon Ossoff’s campaign skills -- deriding him as an inexperienced, talking-point driven candidate -- they acknowledge his cash advantage has made him a lethal opponent. ‘We’re going to find out if a monkey banging cymbals together spending $25 million can get elected,’ the NRCC’s executive director John Rogers told a group of Capitol Hill chiefs of staff this week, said one person present for the meeting. His meaning was clear to those in attendance: Ossoff might seem like a mechanical candidate, but he had to be taken seriously.”
SORRY MEGYN! Alex Jones says he will release a tape of his entire day with Megyn Kelly tonight. Her interview is slated to run Sunday.
-- PAGE SIX: “Megyn Kelly interview completely overhauled after backlash”
FASCINATING LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES -- “At Last, Jeff Bezos Offers a Hint of His Philanthropic Plans,” by NYT’s Robert Frank: Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, is well on his way to becoming the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $80 billion. What’s less certain is what he plans to do with his fortune, and how he could reinvent philanthropy.
“On Thursday, after questions from The New York Times about the level of his giving, Mr. Bezos posted on Twitter a ‘request for ideas’ for philanthropy. ‘I’m thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time -- working on the long term,’ he wrote. ‘For philanthropy, I find I’m drawn to the other end of the spectrum: the right now.’”
TRUMP INC. -- “With shift on Cuba, Trump could undercut his company’s hotel-industry rivals,” by WaPo’s Drew Harwell and Jonathan O'Connell: “[A]s the owner of a real estate company with a big stake in hotels and resorts, Trump brings an added element to an issue that is unique to his presidency — the ability, through his official actions, to undermine a growth area for his industry rivals who have raced in recent years to establish a foothold in a lucrative new market. Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which merged with Marriott International to form the world’s largest hotel chain, last year debuted the first Cuban hotel managed by a U.S. company in nearly 60 years, taking advantage of President Barack Obama’s 2014 move to normalize relations with Cuba and lighten regulations enforcing the U.S. embargo on the island.”
K-STREET FILES -- “Sudan Ramps Up Washington Lobbying as Sanctions Deadline Looms,” by Bloomberg’s Jen Jacobs and Nick Wadhams: “Sudan is on the cusp of ending its long status as a pariah in Washington, and the African nation is bolstering its stable of lobbyists to ensure that it happens soon. The government of President Umar al-Bashir -- which is listed by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism -- has hired Washington law firm Squire Patton Boggs LLP at a cost of $40,000 a month to lobby on its behalf as part of its accelerating campaign to ensure that President Donald Trump permanently lifts sanctions against the country ahead of a deadline next month, according to a filing with the Justice Department.”
BREAKING LATE LAST NIGHT -- “Trump won’t alter status of current Dreamers,” by Josh Gerstein: “President Donald Trump’s administration has issued its most explicit promise to date that so-called Dreamers can keep their permission to work legally in the U.S. ‘No work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates,’ the Department of Homeland Security said in guidance posted on its website Thursday night. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said recently that the administration is not seeking to deport those who received quasi-legal status under a policy President Barack Obama adopted in 2012. However, the new statement from DHS seems to be a forward-looking promise not to take action against those in the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, an initiative for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children.”
LISTEN IN -- The Pollsters -- Kristen Soltis Anderson and Margie Omero -- had Anna on their podcast to talk all things Playbook. The bipartisan duo is @thepollsters on Twitter and Facebook. Listen and subscribe
HOW A STREET IN BROOKLYN IS CHANGING THE ENERGY GRID: The shared economy is flourishing, with companies like Airbnb and Lyft capitalizing on the growing popularity of shared services. Can their success be replicated in the energy industry? In the latest installment of POLITICO Magazine’s “What Works” series, we look at Brooklyn-based LO3 that devised a micro grid system that uses a phone app and smart meters to enable neighbors with solar panels to strike deals amongst themselves on the amount of electricity they buy from each other and at what price. We also look at the revitalization of Tampa, Florida – a broken down deep water port revitalized after 40 years of public and private investment. Read more on Tampa’s revitalization … about Brooklyn’s energy grid … Photo gallery
SUNDAY SO FAR – “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) ... Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) ... Jay Sekulow ... Robert Scheer. Panel: Brit Hume, Julie Pace, Lisa Boothe, Juan Williams
-- CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) ... Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Political panel: Ramesh Ponnuru, Phil Rucker, Nancy Cordes, and Jamelle Bouie
-- NBC’s “Meet the Press”: panel: David Brooks, Danielle Pletka, Amy Walters and Eugene Robinson
-- CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) ... Jay Sekulow ... Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
-- CNN’s “Inside Politics”: Karoun Demirjian, Abby Phillip, Jeff Zeleny, Phil Mattingly
SPOTTED: Georgetown coach and NBA legend Patrick Ewing stopping by Wolf Blitzer’s table at Cafe Milano last night to pay his respects ... Carly Fiorina at the American/JetBlue terminal at DCA yesterday.
OUT AND ABOUT --- POOL REPORT: “President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended the official investiture ceremony for Justice Neil Gorsuch Thursday afternoon at the Supreme Court. After the other eight justices took their seats on the dais, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein presented the Justice’s commission, which was read by the court’s clerk. Chief Justice Roberts then administered the judicial oath to Justice Gorsuch. The courtroom was filled with friends and family of the Justice, as well as his devoted clerks Mike Davis, Jameel Jaffer, Janie Nitze, Matt Owen, and David Feder.”
-- SPOTTED: retired Justice John Paul Stevens, Maureen Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), (who voted against Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Don McGahn (whose birthday is today) and wife Shannon, Mark Paoletta, Marc Short, Makan Delrahim, James Burnham, Mike McGinley, Chris Grieco, Lucas Walker, Leonard Leo, Jonathan Bunch, Rob Collins, Ann Donaldson, Ed Whelan, Michael Keneally, Liz Horning, Gustav Eyler, Ryan Newman, Brett Talley, Patrick Bumatay, Wan Kim, Eric Tung, Tobi and Evan Young, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Kenneth Starr, Liz Johnson, Mary Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Bopp, Rachel Brand, Greg Katsas, Ted Lehman, Theresa Wardon, Nicole Gustafson, Greg Garre, Megan Lacey.
-- Last night, the Picnic Theatre Company staged its second sold-out performance of Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” at Dumbarton House gardens, directed by Steve Rochlin and featuring Christina Sevilla, Emily Lenzner, Nova Daly, Charles Kovatch, Fran Holuba, Daniela Kelley, Antonio Olivo, Kevin Rooney and Bob Gerber. Pics Peter Cherukuri, Jay Newton-Small, Anu Rangappa, Matea Gold, Jon Lenzner, Debbie Berger, Courtney Carlson, Amb. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri, Amb. Tatiana Gfoeller, Sanna Kangasharju, David Van Ongevalle, Andreas Ledergerber and Andy Oros.
-- Collective SuperPAC, a national PAC dedicated to building black political power, kicked off the first ever Black Campaign School with a special reception last night at the Blackburn Center at Howard University. The event was co-sponsored by Priorities USA, EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and ActBlue. SPOTTED: Quentin and Stefanie Brown James, Stacey Abrams, Shavonda Sumter, Tishaura Jones, Guy Cecil, Donna Brazile, Symone Sanders, Jamal Simmons, Leah Daughtry, Dan McNally and Tim Lim.
-- Longtime friends and colleagues of Carolyn Brehm gathered at Jones Day last night to celebrate her retirement and welcome Selina Jackson into her position as VP of global government affairs for Proctor & Gamble. SPOTTED: Amb. Richard Boucher, Jay Timmons, Joel Johnson, Poppy McDonald, William Lane, Sean Mulvaney, Mike Prentiss, Richard Goodstein, Ira Shapiro, Sean Broderick, DJ Peterson.
TRANSITIONS – KIKI BURGER has started at PR firm Sunshine Sachs, where she’s helping manage political and non-profit clients out of their LA office. She is an alum of Rock the Vote and Susan G. Komen. … Linda Chavez, the president of the Becoming American Institute and a syndicated columnist, has joined the Niskanen Center as a senior fellow.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- POLITICO night editor Craig Howie (who helps edit Playbook on the weekend), and wife, Niki, a landscape designer at Through the Garden, early this morning welcomed Leif Diño Howie, born 2:52 a.m. in Winchester, Va., to 7lb 14oz. “Everyone happy and healthy hooray!” Pic
-- Joanne Denyeau, planning producer at MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” and Mike Kramer, SVP at Westchester Chubb company, recently welcomed Ruth Anne Kramer. “We lovingly call her Ruthie. Ruthie has a big brother, Joey Kramer. He turns 2 in August.” Pic
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Phil Singer, CEO and founder of Marathon Strategies. How he’s celebrating: “Israel. Kim and I are taking the kids on their first big overseas trip.” How he thinks the Trump presidency is going: “Amazing if you work at the Kremlin.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A:
BIRTHDAYS: Don McGahn is 49 ... Politico’s John Bresnahan and Zach Stanton ... Brandi Hoffine, associate VP for comms and strategy at UC ... NPR’s Steve Inskeep, the pride of Carmel, Indiana … Marcus Brauchli, co-founder and managing partner of North Base Media and a WSJ and WaPo alum ... Phil Cox, founding partner at 50-State and former RGA exec. director, is 43 … former Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) is 48 ... Adam Talbot, director at West Wing Writers ... Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) is 37 ... Jim Dau is 41 ... Indira Lakshmanan, journalism ethics chair at Poynter and columnist for the Boston Globe, celebrating with her husband at Fiola Mare (h/t Nihal Krishan) ... Caity Rogowski (h/t Jon Haber) ... Jenna Galper (h/ts Alexandra De Luca and Helen Brosnan) ... PBS NewsHour politics producer Rachel Wellford (h/ts Nick Massella and Simone Pathe) ... Reid Wilson, national correspondent at The Hill … Liz Bourgeois, executive comms manager at Facebook ... Jessica Boulanger, SVP of comms. at Business Roundtable ... former Amb. Daniel C. Kurtzer is 68 ... Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergman is 45 (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Brett Bethune, intern for Sen. Claire McCaskill (R-Mo), is 2-1 (h/t mom Anne) ...
... Aaron McLear, director of public affairs for the West at Uber, is 4-0, celebrating at The Battery in SF (h/t Niki Christoff) ... Matt Vari, a digital strategist at Mothership Strategies, email aficionado and Diet Coke enthusiast, is 25 (h/t Jonas Murphy) ... Angie Kelley, VP for immigration policy at CAP ... Reid Wilson, former Clinton EPA ... Sarah Schoeffel ... Matthew Bartlett … WTOP alum Bob Madigan … John Leo ... Snap’s Kara Rivers ... Nicole Luna ... Mark Tapscott … Francisco “Frank” Sanchez, chairman of CNS Global Advisors ... Jill McNaughton … Pat Roth of Phoenix ... Pedro Moreno ... Katie Nelson Thomson ... NPR’s Jessica Taylor ... Joel R. Maliniak ... Jeffrey Block ... Don Harris ... Peter O’Toole, alum of Burson-Marsteller, GE and Pfizer ... David J. Jones ... Jon Kevin Lauck ... Traci Nobles ... John Shaw ... David Eades … Jill McNaughton ... Steve Welchert, star of the 1977-1981 University of Iowa Football team ... Caryl Terrell ... Troy Perry (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... author Joyce Carol Oates is 79 ... golfer Phil Mickelson is 47 (h/ts AP)
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2015.04.03 22:34 Hambone3110 [OC][JVerse] 19: Baptisms (Part 2 of 4)

A JVerse story.
Chapter 19, Part 2/4 of the Kevin Jenkins series.
Chapter 19, part 1 HERE
Chapter 19, part 3 HERE
Chapter 19, part 4 HERE
Date Point: 4y 9m 1w AV
Clan Fastpaw Orbital Defence station "Pride and Vision", Orbiting Planet Gorai.
"Brother? What are you doing?"
Gyotin coughed, embarrassed, and unfolded himself slightly. The Zafu he’d had imported from Earth wasn’t really ideal for Gaoians - humans had longer legs with a slightly better range of motion in the hip and a slightly different take on the theme of "spine" - but he had found a comfortable, straight-backed position that served the purpose of keeping him steady and centered and pain-free.
"It’s… something I picked up from the humans." he said. He rose and embraced his old friend. Tagral had been a cub in the same commune as Gyotin, and had followed his sire into the Fastpaw clan, whereas Gyotin had chosen a slightly more wildcard route in life under the now-notorious Chir.
"Picking things up from humans seems to be very easy." Tagral sniffed, returning the hug. “You should see what the females are all eating these days. The mother of my most recent cub seemed to be looking forward to these “pancake” things more than the actual siring.”
"You don’t sound like you approve. Congratulations on the cub, though."
"We can’t ever be deathworlders, brother." Tagral warned him. “I’m worried that if we try to imitate them too much, we’ll forget what being Gaoian is like.”
Gyotin lowered his ears slightly. "I don’t think we’re in danger of that." he said.
"No? When you’re doing… whatever that is." he indicated the Zafu, candle and incense.
"Meditayshun." Gyotin said, using the English word though it fit awkwardly in his muzzle. There was no word with an equivalent meaning in any dialect of Gaoian that he knew of.
"And what does that translate to?"
"It… doesn’t."
"You see? An alien concept. A Deathworlder concept, brother. You’re playing with something very dangerous."
"I know that better than you do." Gyotin retorted, hackles rising slightly. “Humans are incredibly dangerous, I’ve seen it first hand.”
"So why this?"
Gyotin looked his brother in the eye and quoted. "Ignorance is comfortable, but deadly. Recognise that?"
"No." Tagral admitted.
"You don’t recognise the words of your own Clanfather?" Gyotin asked.
"Really? The Clanfather said that?"
"He did. Humans are dangerous, but so is a pulse gun, and what are the first things you learn about pulse guns, before you’re allowed to even fire one?"
"Keep your claw off the trigger unless you are firing, always assume that it will discharge, never aim it at somebody unless you intend to kill them if you must, beware of what you might hit should you miss." Tagral recited.
"Exactly. How to handle something dangerous, in a safe way. That’s ‘why this’." Gyotin said, indicating his meditation equipment again. “Nobody knows how to handle humans safely, yet.”
He looked his brother in the eye and repeated that last word for emphasis. "Yet."
Tagral had opened his mouth to retort, but shut it again, ears starting to droop as he thought through what Gyotin was saying.
"What… what is this meditayshun thing anyway?"
"You… sit and think. Breathe in and out slowly while concentrating on the breathing."
Tagral blinked. "That’s all?"
"It sounds simple, doesn’t it?" Gyotin said. “But… well, sit down and try it...”
Date Point: 4y 9m 1w AV
Folctha Colony, Cimbren, The Far Reaches
Sara Tisdale.
"Hey, these are good!"
Sara beamed. One of the great frustrations of her life this last couple of weeks had been the abundance of real news crews and real reporters to try and talk with, to try and get some kind of an education from in how to become a journalist herself, and pretty much every single one had just chewed her out for daring to address them, or at least just shooed her away.
It was a real pleasure to meet a reporter who was more than a stuck-up pretty face in a suit who could stand in front of a camera.
She blushed happily as the Al-Jazeera reporter scrolled through her camera, admiring shots she had taken. It kind of helped that he was really handsome too. "Oooh…" he suddenly examined a few of her snaps with considerable interest. “These are some great ‘before’ shots. We could use these for our next report.”
"You could?"
"Oh yeah. This one… no, no. This one especially. Hey, you used exactly the right filter on this."
She knew her ears were going pink, but was too happy to really care. "Thanks!"
"Tell you what, I think I’ve got some… yeah, here we go. This is our standard contract, if you can get your folks to sign this on your behalf then I can use your pictures and you’ll get credited and paid for them. Does that sound good?"
It sounded like everything Sara wanted, and her delight didn’t contain itself. She practically bounced on the spot as she took the paperwork and her camera back and dashed away, promising to get the pictures to him ASAP.
The mental image of her own name appearing on a global news broadcast had her so distracted that she only noticed the convoy of trucks when a hand grabbed the back of her collar and firmly yanked her back from the road.
"Watch yourself there, love."
Sara watched the huge vehicles rumble by, thoroughly sobered by the sight of those huge, crushing wheels that she had very nearly run under. "Shit. Thank you!"
Captain Powell seemed amused, which was a strange sight on his face. Usually he looked so intense. "Oi, didn’t your mum and da’ teach you not to swear?" he asked.
"Not really." Sara shrugged. “Dad says that ‘fuck’ is one of the oldest and most important words in the English language and that everyone uses it anyway so there’s no real point in being squeamish about it… besides, I’ve heard you swear all the time!”
This seemed to amuse the captain no end. "Aye? I’ll have to watch myself in future I guess. You never know what bad habits you might pick up off an old war-horse like me… Wait, I recognise you. You’re the one who tried to sneak onto the base trying to take pictures of us."
Sara laughed. "Yep!"
Powell shook his head, clearly still amused but also clearly wanting to be serious. "You know that’s all top-secret stuff in there, aye?" he asked.
"All those classified tents and portacabins?" Sara teased him. “Please, it’s not like I actually managed to sneak onto the base.”
Powell grunted.
"Yet." She added.
"By ‘eck you’ve got some cheek." he said, but the glitter in his eyes said that he enjoyed that, to some extent. “Seriously though, you could have got in very serious trouble, and the only reason you didn’t is because I’m a foo- a big softie and I don’t want to have to throw that kind of trouble at you. It’d ruin your hopes of becoming a journalist.”
"What, for being curious?"
"Aye. Those rules exist for a reason miss, even if you don’t know what that reason is."
"But if I knew the reason why, then the rules wouldn’t be needed, would they?" she objected “Rules should be explained.”
Powell gave a rueful shake of his head. "I thought you’d say summat like that." he said. “Alright, would it persuade you not to try again if I just asked nicely?”
He rolled his eyes. "Okay, well. Asking nicely, I’d be grateful if you - seeing as I just stopped you from being run over - never tried a stunt like that ever again."
"What’s the magic word?"
Powell made a kind of a laugh, one big silent one that rushed out through his nose. "Please." he said, though his expression was starting to get serious and Sara decided not to push her luck.
"Okay. Since you asked nicely."
Powell stuck out his hand and they shook on it, after which he nodded at the departing rear of the last vehicle in the convoy.
"Get on with you, go on. And try not to become the next lorry’s hood ornament, aye?"
"I’ll be careful."
"I hope so, my arm’s not that bleedin’ long. Off wi’ you."
Date Point: 4y 9m 1w AV
Starship Sanctuary, Free Trade Station 1090 "Endless Possibility"
The Mwrwkwel system, the Signal Stars
Julian Etsicitty
"That was an apology, dumbass."
"You’re kidding. Giving me a gun is her way of saying sorry?"
Lewis laughed. He was surrounded by holographic screens, the central one of which was, for now, blank. Around it floated a halo of smaller screens full of notes, useful lines of code, or places for him to write notes. All the tools of the hacker’s trade.
"Julian, dude, you and Allison are, like, the craziest fucking badasses I’ve ever met, but you both SUCK at being real with each other."
"Docking in ten minutes." Amir called.
"Real with each other?"
It was Amir’s turn to laugh. "Bruv, I could lean against the sexual tension between you two." he said.
"What sexual tension? She treats me like I’m a goddamn toy!"
"Dude." Lewis grinned. “Trust us. She wants you.”
"She wants you bad." Amir agreed.
"Oh come on. I knew girls like her back in high school, they’d flirt and giggle at you then laugh in your face if you asked them to Prom."
"I’m sensing a life history there." Amir deadpanned.
"You’re not in high school no more, man." Lewis told him. “And that’s not what she’s up to.”
Julian watched him work as lines of code assembled themselves on the large central screen directly in front of Lewis’ face. "So what IS she up to?"
"Come on, do we need to spell it out for you?" Amir asked.
"Apparently you do!"
"Dude, it’s simple." Lewis told him. “She’s nervous around you. She doesn’t know how to talk to you.”
"Give me a break, she’s got confidence for years."
"All a front, bro."
Amir nodded. "You’re shit with girls. She’s shit with dudes. You get flustered, get mad at her and go hide. She gets flustered, doesn’t know what to say to you, so she gives you a bit of T and A because she’s hoping you’ll take the bait."
"That’s not what she told me." Kirk ducked into the room. “How are we doing?”
"Docking in, uh… seven." Amir said.
"Piece of cake, they’re still using version four point two." Lewis said. “And yeah, I saw that conversation. Protip, Kirk, women never tell men the whole truth about what they’re thinking.”
"Sexist, bruv." Amir chided him.
Lewis just shrugged. "True, though."
"What did she say?" Julian.
"Doesn’t matter." Lewis said, dismissively. “Point being, she wouldn’t be acting like that if she wasn’t into you.” His screen chirped and he grinned. “In like Flynn. Running our sniffers.”
"Six minutes." Amir added.
"So, what do I do?" Julian asked.
"Fucking… take the bait, dude!" Lewis said. “She gives you an ass to stare at? Stare away! She wants to get up close and personal on the mat or in target practice? Fucking enjoy it!”
Julian turned to the only nonhuman present. "Kirk?"
"Leave me out of this." the alien said. “I don’t do that whole cliched ‘alien commentary on human behaviour’ thing.”
"Isn’t that itself a…?" Amir began, then abandoned the question when Kirk gave him what they all guessed was a tired, patient stare, though the effect was spoiled slightly by the fact that the positioning of his eyes made it hard for him to look at anything nearby with both of them. “Never mind. Docking in five minutes… mark.”
"I still kind of feel like I’m being used." Julian objected.
Kirk slapped him upside the head as hard as he could. "Mind on the job. You two can sort it out between yourselves."
Chastised, Julian nodded. "Right. Sure… what’ve we got, Lewis?"
"Oxygen recycling, grav plate power draw and… yep, food ration dispenser bills are all up by a bit next to her population." Lewis said. “Right up to half an hour ago. Reckon we’ve got a human on board, boss.”
"Good." Kirk did one of his slow nods. “We’re a long way from Hunter space here so hopefully he’s been able to live openly.”
"Hey, this is weird." Lewis added.
"What is?"
"Looks like all those metrics spiked by one human’s worth about... five months ago. There was somebody else here, but they either died or moved on, and there’s nothing in the census logs about a dead human, so… yeah, she moved on."
"Yep. Definitely a woman. The one still on board is a dude."
Amir frowned at him. "How do you know that?" he asked.
"I programmed the sniffer to check the sewage processor logs for haemoglobin contamination warnings every fourth week."
"Blood, dude. Every month. Think about it."
Amir blinked then realisation dawned with an uncomfortable grimace. "Oh! Oh, right! Uh… three minutes."
"Weird though. See here? This was just her, then there’s two of them on the station for, like, a week or so, then it’s just him. You think they didn’t get along?"
Kirk patted Lewis on the shoulder and turned to Julian. "Go get Allison and meet me at the airlock."
"Uh. D-do I, uh-"
"Get over it, Julian. I need you two working together. You can sort out your [unpronounceable crackle of untranslated alien syllables] when we’re back in deep space."
"...Yes, boss."
"Something else, K." Lewis said, as Julian exited the flight deck.
"I’ve synched with the military relay. Look at this."
Lewis called up a graph of four writhing coloured lines: piracy, smuggler activity, Alliance scouts, and Hunter raids.
The Hunter line became a vertical cliff at a date three weeks previously.
Kirk leaned in, as if by his taking a closer look the data might change.
"No sightings? No raids? Nothing?"
"Just this." Lewis zoomed in a little, and a tiny blip in the otherwise flatlined Hunter activity became visible.
"What is that?"
"The whole Swarm-of-Swarms, tracked by a Kwmbwrw listening post, hauling ass back towards Hunter space at ninety kilolights."
As Kirk stood back up, Lewis looked up at him. "What does that mean, dude?"
Kirk’s four arms described a convoluted approximation of a human shrug. "I have no idea. But it worries me."
Date Point: 4y 9m 1w 2d AV
Folctha Colony, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches
Ava Rios
Returning to Cimbrean was a lurch, not least because the trip was so much more crowded this time around. Everyone was jammed in as much as was safe.
Adam wasn’t there to see her step through the decontamination field. Gabriel was. She wasn’t sure if she was ready to face him yet but…
The thought got abandoned as he stepped forward and hugged her, hard.
"Me asustaste." he said, simply.
Tears sprang up unbidden. "Lo siento." she whispered back, returning the hug, realising just how lucky she really was. “I swear it was an accident, I do.”
"It’s okay… You’re lucky it was only the once. The doctors reckon that plant’s probably really addictive, and the Tisdales and a few of the others who were using it are apparently really suffering." He turned back down the hill towards the town, which seemed to have grown alarmingly justin the few days of her visit to Earth. “How are you feeling?”
"It sucked." she confessed. “I had the shakes, I felt weak… it hurt.”
"Weird how there’s no drug on Earth that’ll hook you so bad, but there is here on Cimbrean." Gabriel mused.
"Where’s Adam?"
That brought a slight frown to her face, which she tried, and failed, to suppress. Okay, so her return to Cimbrean had only been authorised an hour or so ago, so if they’d gone down to the lake there was no way he could have known, but it still bothered her that her boyfriend was hanging out with Sara, and how.
"Have they been… doing that a lot?" She asked.
"While they still have a lake to swim in, yeah."
They passed the faith center. There really were a lot of people running about the place, wearing tough clothes, one or two half wrapped up in plastic protective gear. A gang of men she didn’t recognise were busily moving crates and pallets of equipment out of the barn that served as the cargo terminus for the jump array, hoisting the equipment easily in the low gravity.
"While they…? Why wouldn’t they have a lake to swim in?" she asked. “And are these those research teams you mentioned? What are they doing here?”
Gabriel stopped. "You mean you didn’t hear?" he asked.
"...Hear what?"
Date Point: 4y 9m 1w AV
"How are you finding it, sir?"
The captain didn’t hear her at first, but eventually the question seemed to percolate into his brain. McDaniel could hardly blame him. Her own experience of Gaoian politics was an awful lot like trying to conduct international negotiations with nations that occupied the same land, cities and facilities rather than having their own geographic territory. It wasn’t that Gaoians were deliberately abstruse, or at least not more so than any human diplomat. It was that the only time you could be absolutely certain which clan a given Gaoian belonged to was if they happened to be female.
That fact alone might have been a comfort and help, had Gorai been home to a larger female population. Apparently the route from homeworld to colony was less than perfectly secure and more than one colonial transport had gone missing en route. The Corti Directorate had been unsuccessfully implicated in a few of those cases, the Hunters in most of the rest, and the best efforts of the male naval clans to patrol the spacelane linking the two worlds had not completely restored a sense of confidence that might encourage Mothers to bring their Sisters and cubs with them to the new world. Despite the much larger population and more complete infrastructure, Gorai was in some ways less of a success story than Cimbrean.
In any case, two weeks of dealing with Gaoian politics was starting to wear on her sanity, and she was much more comfortable with such things than the Captain who, she guessed, had probably been staring fuzzily at the same document for five minutes before she entered.
"Sorry Lieutenant, what was that?"
"I asked how you’re finding it, sir." McDaniel repeated herself, patiently.
"Like hiking through a minefield." Bathini confessed. “This is a diplomat’s work, not a ship captain’s.”
McDaniel nodded. "I brought you a cup of tea, sir." she said, setting it down. Technically, as Caledonia’s First Lieutenant, delivering tea was a bit below her, but she had always found that little touches like that went a long way, especially when it came to meetings involving sensitive information. The captain accepted it as if she was a beneficent angel.
"Good news also, I think we may be able to eliminate Father Mo from the list of potential Hierarchy agents." she said. “The out-of-character behaviour Father Reyiki mentioned to you is almost certainly because the most recent cub he sired died shortly after the birth.”
"With their medical technology, I’m amazed that still happens." Bathini mused, reading the note she handed him which elaborated on the subject. “A genetic defect?”
"Yes sir. A mutation. Not his fault, but if I understand their society correctly then that kind of thing carries a substantial stigma and has probably shot his chances of ever arranging another mating contract ever again."
"Plausible." the captain conceded “But I’m not convinced it’s enough to take him off the list entirely. The Hierarchy are ruthless, they might have arranged the cub’s death to provide plausible deniability for his behaviour. Knock him down to a yellow.”
McDaniel nodded, and jotted a quick note to herself, recording the instruction. Orders fresh from Earth, delivered by a member of Tawhaki Flight, were now to assume Hierarchy activity wherever neural implants of any description were involved. Given that neural augmentations were practically ubiquitous among Gaoian diplomats and senior clan leaders, that meant that every single one had to be considered not only in terms of what they were trying to achieve for their clan and their disposition towards humanity, but also in terms of their potential to act as a Hierarchy agent.
Bathini’s comparison to hiking through a minefield was, if anything, understatement. The orders had included a rough-and-ready risk colour-code to try and classify the probability that any given person was host to one of the enemy, running from white (no implants), then blue for lowest risk up through green, yellow, orange, red for "high likelihood" and then black for “confirmed Hierarchy member”.
Of course, the mere existence of the Hierarchy was still need-to-know information, but Caledonia’s captain and her First Lieutenant both definitely needed to know.
Bathini signed a few more documents, sipped his tea then leaned back and stretched. McDaniel could hear the popping in his spine as he worked the kinks out. "God I’m sick of politics." he groused. “What’s that you’ve got there?” he indicated the folder she was carrying.
"Latest update on the Type 2 space destroyers, captain." She handed it over. “Ceres Base is restructuring but a lot of their people are recovering from having their translators removed, including the team leader who was overseeing construction of the shipyard. The project’s delayed by a good few months while they find a suitable replacement or wait for him to convalesce.”
"Funny how getting the damn thing installed was so easy but getting it out again proved to be so major."
"Well it might work to our advantage. BAE say that the delay is giving them time to test some systems that they would like to update the Type Two’s design with."
Bathini snorted. "A bird in the hand, Lieutenant..." he said.
"Not to argue with you sir, but I don’t think we can count on the Hunters to have failed to learn anything from our last battle. Some new tricks might be just what we need to keep our edge."
"On which note, any news about Myrmidon?"
McDaniel shook her head "As per their last prediction I imagine sir, seeing as we haven’t heard from them."
"Good, I suppose." Bathini said.
"You suppose, sir?"
"Oh, this is more Manning’s thing than mine. I keep hoping they’ll make a sudden unexpected leap forward so he can take over... “ he tailed off as he sipped his tea again. “how soon can we be done here?"
"We’re fully charged sir and the last of the ETs shipped out this morning. We’ve had a request from Gyotin, however."
"We have?"
"He said he wants to come back to Cimbrean with us. Apparently he’s attracted a few males to join him in forming a new clan, and wants to set up a Gaoian enclave and embassy in Folctha."
Bathini considered this. "He is aware of the ecological disaster, right?"
"He says so sir, yes. He says he’s confident that they can protect themselves."
"Fair enough. What’s in it for us?"
"He’s offering to bring a Dominion-spec FTL comms relay with him, sir."
"For us, or for the embassy?"
"One each, sir."
Bathini raised his eyebrows at her. She smiled shyly. "Yes captain, you do have me to thank for that."
"How long does he need?"
"Two days, sir."
"Well then. Sound out the Gorai planetary authority, ask them if there’s any way we can arrange shore leave for some of the crew during those two days, what precautions they would want us to take and so on. And tell Chief Williams that I will be coming down like a tonne of bricks on any seaman who displays anything less than exemplary behaviour during shore leave."
"Aye Aye. Will that be all, captain?"
"Thank you, it will. I need some rest, see you at oh-six-hundred."
"Yes sir. Good night."
McDaniel let herself out and took a second to catch her breath.
There were moments when the sheer strangeness just caught up with her. The promising start to her career as a Midshipman aboard the decidedly aquatic HMS Duncan really hadn’t prepared her to be First Lieutenant aboard a captured alien spaceship, nor for negotiating with an alien species, let alone one that looked so disarmingly Procyonid. And all just days after a vicious skirmish with monsters straight out of a Hollywood movie.
If it were just those things, she speculated that maybe she’d be adjusting. But when Gyotin had expressed an interest to live among humans and study Buddhism… and had attracted friends who shared that interest?
It kind of drove home the fact that less than five years ago, during her first days aboard HMS Albion, humanity had still been treating the idea of being alone in the universe as a big unanswered question. Every so often, the absurdity of it all gave her a ringing slap in the face.
She could hardly blame the Captain for wanting to get the hell out of Gaoian space. What the shit had happened to the world? It used to make sense.
She shook the thought off. When it came down to it, keeping a ship running smoothly hadn’t changed much. The universe might have turned out to be indescribably weird, but the realities of a warship were a comfortable anchor.
She ducked past a petty officer and his team, who stood aside en route to whatever they were doing, and bustled towards the bridge, glad to be busy.
Date Point 4y 9m 1w AV
Free Trade Station 1090 Endless Possibility"
Mwrwkwel system, the Signal Stars
Allison Buehler
"I think I found our human."
"Good. That’s good, right?"
"Yeah, but I don’t understand half of what he’s saying."
Allison stopped alongside Kirk, who shared a confused glance with her. "What do you mean?"
"Just… listen."
What followed over Julian’s shotgun microphone was scarcely comprehensible, but Allison recognised it immediately.
"I an’ I cyaan do it, bredda. Dis ya’s dread heavy, ya no see it?"
She laughed. "Man, we’ve got a lively one. What’s he doing?"
"Arguing with some Kwmbwrw shopkeeper. Listen." his mic rustled again.
"Blood clot gwan f‘dem ya Locayl saps?! I an’ I need-"
"What is he saying?" Kirk demanded.
"Fuck if I know." Allison shrugged. “Here’s hoping he can tone the Patois down.”
"Good luck." Julian muttered over the link.
As always, she cleared the crowd simply by being there and looking lean and dangerous, but this was definitely a station that was used to having a human about. The glances she received weren’t the usual disbelieving "could-that-really-be-one-of-the-legendary-Deathworlders?" stares, but simple curiosity at seeing more of her species. She had learned to tell the difference.
Their target turned out to be a tall guy who, yes, was vigorously arguing with a Kwmbwrw shopkeeper over the matter of a large sign which the alien seemed to expect him to lift into place and mount over the shop’s window all by himself, obviously overestimating the famed Deathworlder strength.
"This guy giving you trouble, fella?" She asked.
The human turned, and an almost cliched brilliant white smile cut across his face, causing the shopkeeper to flinch away. "Well would ya look at that." he said. “I an’ I get an actual angel take me away from all this.”
Allison mentally rolled her eyes. Give her Julian’s awkwardness over too-smooth any day. "Cute. You say that to every girl who walks into your life?"
"Only the beauties."
Her comm crackled. "Jesus. Laying it on a bit thick there, pal."
As Kirk stepped forward to introduce himself, Allison exploited the dermal patch microphone on her throat to mutter a reply. "Just a bit." she agreed.
"Can we leave him here?"
"What’s the matter, Etsicitty? Jealous?"
Answer came there none. Allison smirked, then returned her attention to their new rescue, who treated her to another smile.
"So what’s your name?" She asked.
"I’m Zane." He said, extending a hand.
She shook it. "Allison." She replied, then nodded to his side. “That’s Julian.”
"Juli-? Ya!" Zane flinched a good foot sideways upon glancing down at where Etsicitty had appeared next to him. “Coo yah screechie creation stepper! Bad bwai gone fi give I a heart attack!"
"My bad." Julian’s remorse didn’t extend beyond the words themselves. His tone, expression and language said otherwise. “Kirk, Lewis reckons he’s got a lead on the woman who was here five months ago.”
"This Lewis bwai found Xiù?" Zane asked.
"You met her?"
"First human she laid eyes on in years, sight? She move on though. Restless child, that one."
"You didn’t go with her? People tend to band together out here." Julian noted.
"Dawta had her fund, ya nuh see? She made her way sellin’ food. ET nyam her cooking right up." He shrugged. “She wan’ fi move on, I couldn’t afford it, seen?”
"Did she say why?" Allison asked. Again, Zane shrugged.
"Babylon." He opined.
"Well, I guess we’re going after her next, while the trail’s warm." Allison said. “That might mean a delay getting you back to Earth.”
"Ah, me donkya. ‘S a dread galaxy out there, no place for a biscuit on her own, nuh?"
"True enough." Allison agreed.
"We’re parked on flight deck two-thirteen." Kirk informed him. “If you have any personal effects you want to gather, we’ll move on as soon as you’re aboard.”
They watched Zane go as he produced a vigorous agreement that he’d be there.
"I hope the ship’s translator can handle him." Kirk said.
"Mm." Allison agreed. To Julian, very quietly, she murmured “Did something about his story about this Xiù seem off to you?”
"I didn’t want to say it."
Allison nodded, frowning in thought. "He creeps me out." she decided.
"Yeah. Who comes up with a line that smooth at a moment’s notice the first time he sees a woman in months?"
She laughed a little, ignoring the way Kirk’s ear flicked as he tried to eavesdrop. "Jealous, Etsicitty?"
She paused mid-stride and turned to look at him, but he’d vanished into the crowd.
Date point 4y 9m 1w AV
Cimbrean, The Far Reaches
Adam Arés
Folctha had changed drastically in just the last two weeks, since news of the disaster had broken, on the same day that Ava and a few of the others had been shipped back to Earth. What had been a large-ish clearing out of the forest had been cleared right back for more than a mile around. Heavy forestry equipment: Bunchers, Forwarders, Harvesters, Loaders, Skidders and more had been JA’d to Cimbrean as rapidly as the Earth end of the Array could charge, the aim being to create a "safe zone" around Folctha with a buffer of Terran plants that would, hopefully, prevent the bacterial filth from ever reaching the town.
The drive into Folctha, therefore, had gone from being an exhilarating blur of trees and undergrowth whipping by on either side, to a dreary crawl across an open and increasingly muddy field that was being turned and tilled ready to receive the planting of Terran crop species.
Exactly what was to be done with all of the now-endangered lumber was unclear. If the evidence of the forest was anything to go by then the living wood, once dead, decayed rapidly under the aggressive attention of Deathworld bacteria, and if that was the case then the only hope for the wood to have any use at all was to ship it offworld and sell it to alien collectors who might be interested in the definitely finite quantity that might survive.
The alternative, Adam guessed, being to burn the lot, but that could only exacerbate the huge CO2 emission problem than the Decay Zone was already causing.
In any event, the picturesque little forest town that Folctha had once been was gone: in its place was a field of machinery, lumber stockpiles, tree stumps and the tarpaulin-shrouded blocks of crated spares and equipment. The plans that Adam had seen drawn up would leave Folctha looking beautiful again, but that would come only after a months or years-long process of interventive botanical therapy.
It was like the whole of Cimbrean’s story in miniature. Destroying Folctha had taken days. Building a replacement that might match it would take years at the minimum, assuming it was possible at all.
The sight, plus the bad news about the lake, put him in a melancholy mood that was only lifted when they pulled into the vehicle pool only for Ava to be waiting for him by the side of the cleared patch of compressed dirt that served for a parking lot. She was dressed in her hard-wearing colonist’s clothing - thick hiking trousers, study boots, a jumper and the tough jacket with the custom "From The Ashes" embroidery that mirrored his own, plus a sheepish smile, but she looked just as beautiful as if she had been wearing a summer dress.
They collided in a huge hug.
"No me hagas eso de nuevo." he begged her, through her hair.
She giggled and tightened her hug. "Te extrañé." she replied.
"Estás bien?"
"Sí." she reassured him. “Siento haberte asustado.
Spanish had become their private language. So few people spoke it on Cimbrean that it was perfect for intimate moments like these, even though English was first language to both of them.
"Me alegro de que estés bien." He told her. “Te amo.
"Yo también te quiero."
That was everything he had needed to hear. They switched back to English as he took her hand and they started to head back towards the palace, neither noticing Sara’s little harrumph at being ignored. There was a Thing scheduled for tonight, and they were hunting the local game animals as much as they could, appreciating what they could get before the poor creatures went extinct. The smell of roasting meat was already on the wind.
"This place went to Hell while I was gone." Ava commented. Adam sighed.
"Yeah." he agreed. “Two weeks ago it was paradise, wasn’t it?”
"Yeah... “ she looked down. “Hard to believe one person did that much damage. How was the lake, is it still good?"
"For now, yeah. We’re, uh… planning to head down there again tomorrow after school, while there’s still time."
"Can I come with?" She asked. “I want to try again.”
Adam hugged her tight around the waist. "It’s okay to have hangups." he said. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to...”
Ava laughed and stood on tiptoe to kiss him. "I want to." she reassured him. “Its… important.”
"You’ll enjoy it." Adam promised her.
She smiled a little uncertainly, then looked him up and down. "So look at you! You’re all tanned and fit! You’ve been keeping up your exercise while I was gone."
"Yeah." He grinned. “You like?”
If her expression was anything to go by, she liked. But her tone was light as she reached up and ruffled his hair. "You’ll do."
They stood aside as a Mule towing a variety of heavy equipment grunted its way down the street, which was beginning to be in dire need of a proper asphalt surface. "Where the heck did that come from?" Ava asked. “The Jump Array’s over that way isn’t it?”
"They built a new one."
"Who did?"
Adam indicated a team of men in high-visibility jackets and hardhats who were riding in a trailer being towed by another Mule as they bounced past. "Some guy called Moses Byron got involved." he said. “Big billionaire hombre, said some stuff about wanting to turn Cimbrean into ‘the breadbasket of the human race’.”
He shrugged. "Like half these people work for the guy. They’ve got their own Array over that way now, twice the size and I heard they’re going to build one twice the size of that."
"How the heck is anybody keeping this whole thing organised?" Ava asked
"You got me. I don’t think anybody really is." Adam told her. “It’s been insane. There was, like, a quiet day or two after the news broke, and then people and gear just started arriving and it hasn’t stopped since. Dad reckons we’re either going to completely screw this up or settle into a rhythm sometime soon where we can start getting organised again, but for now it’s… he called it ‘anarchy on a good day’. I offered to help out with policing but he said… Well, he said no.”
"You sure he didn’t say ‘over my dead body’?"
Adam laughed. "Yeah, that’s closer." he admitted. “There was swearing.”
"Do you think there’s anything we can do to help?" she asked.
"I wish." Adam said. “I’ve been trying to find something useful to do and everybody says things like ‘just don’t get in the way, kid’ or whatever.”
"Ugh." She grimaced. “I hate that.”
"You and me both. I need to be doing stuff, you know?"
"Tell me about it. I had a lot of time to sit and think in the Hospital and it just…"
She trailed off, but Adam knew exactly what she meant. Quiet time, thinking time, was remembering time. Remembering time… hurt. He'd stopped watching the news because one of the reporters covering the unfolding events on Cimbrean had a SoCal accent and tone of voice that reminded him painfully of his mother.
"Hey… you’re here, and I missed you." he said, taking her hand. “Can we just forget about all this and just... hang out?”
She paused, smiled, and wiggled her head into his shoulder, hugging his arm as they approached the warm and noisy circle where the first of the night’s whole roasts was just starting to be sliced up.. "Yeah." she agreed. “Let’s do that.”
Continued in Chapter 19, Part 3
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