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Family, Football & Finding Happiness

by Nate Polvogt

“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.”  Ralph Marston

Life is mostly what you make of it. There are situations beyond our control, of course. Death, taxes and family come to mind. Depression, anxiety and stress tend to creep in, as well. I, like many of you, am not immune to these things. It’s less about what life throws at you and more about how you handle it. 

Sometimes the fog of the world around you makes it hard to see the other side of things. Depression and anxiety are no joke. I spent years in my own head, literally angry at life and the world. I felt alone even though I wasn’t. I felt like everything that could go wrong inevitably would, and it did. I was rarely truly happy because I didn’t know how to be. 

It can feel easier to just give up and come to terms with the fact that everything sucks. Believe me, I’ve done it many times. “What’s the point?” is a phrase I’ve used in my head repeatedly over the years.

“Why even try when it feels absolutely useless? The world is against me,” I would tell myself.

In my struggles with these things over the last 39 years of my life, this is what I’ve realized:  Happiness is a state of mind, not a situation. You can choose to strive to be happy despite all the crap going on around you. It’s not easy. It’s not always successful. But it is absolutely worth the battle. 

In the last few years, I’ve tried to spend more time thinking about the positive aspects around me and blocking out the negative. People are always going to try to hold you back and keep you down. It’s human nature. It’s a way in which we attempt to make ourselves feel like others’ lives are worse. It’s an empty attempt to elevate yourself that will never give you what you want. 

Another key thought to remember is that you can’t please everyone. It’s OK if sometimes you have to let others figure things out themselves. It’s alright to not be everything to everyone around you. It’s a nearly impossible task that will only make you feel worse. If you feel you let someone down, remember (this sounds selfish, I promise you it isn’t):

A broken wrench isn’t going to fix a broken pipe. It is useless to itself and to others until it is repaired. That holds true for human beings, as well. 

In the end, I want to leave a positive impact on the world around me. I cannot do that if I can’t first be happy on my own. It’s like on an airplane when they tell you that in case of emergency, first put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to help anyone else. Your happiness should always come first. If you’re not happy and whole, you cannot help others around you. 

But don’t feel like you have to fight the fight on your own. Life can feel lonely when things aren’t sunshine and rainbows. Know that even in the darkest days, you have people around you who love you and want nothing more to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did. It can quite literally change your life. 

Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 6

The insanity that has been the 2021 season hasn’t slowed down. It seems like we see a major injury every week that makes it tougher and tougher to set our lineups. The latest twists include losing Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Detroit wide receiver Quintez Cephus for the season, Kansas City running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for a few weeks and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley for an undetermined amount of time, all to injury. 

Throw into the equation that bye-weeks are among us and it’s going to get interesting. Claiming the right additions off the waiver wire is at a pivotal point.

It’s a lot to figure out as a fantasy manager. Who is the next man up in these situations? Who is going to be that deep roster add that can fill the void left by injuries and disappointing performances? If I had a crystal ball I would tell you with certainty who you should add to your rosters this week.  I don’t, so I’m going to do my best to find those diamonds in the rough for you heading into Week 6. 

Let’s get down to it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild!”

HOT 7 Pot Bubblegum

Khalil Herbert (RB, Chicago Bears)

Khalil Herbert is my HOT selection this week because of the massive amount of injuries to running backs. The position is getting thin and most teams are going to need a running back. He is 8.2 percent rostered in ESPN leagues, making him most likely available in your league. 

Herbert saw a 53 percent snap share in Week 5 and was arguably more effective in his opportunities than running back Damien Williams. He was only a touchdown away from being a top-20 RB in Week 5. The real kicker here is that everyone seems enamored with Williams, making Herbert a cheap addition to your roster. 

With Green Bay coming to town with one of the better pass defenses in the league, Chicago will likely try to run the ball early to keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers, making Herbert a nice dart throw with solid upside, even if he is splitting carries with Williams while David Montgomery is on the Injured Reserved List (IR).  

MEDIUM — Prairie Fire

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, Detroit Lions)

Surprisingly, I’m writing about Amon-Ra St. Brown this early in the season. I certainly didn’t expect it, yet here we are. With solid performances the last two weeks, 13 and 13.5 Points Per Reception (PPR) points, respectively, he is definitely seeing quality involvement in the passing game.

He will likely continue to see an increased target share and with Cephus possibly done for the season with a broken collarbone and T.J. Hockenson being far less effective than expected.

Outside of D’Andre Swift and Hockenson, quarterback Jared Goff doesn’t have a whole lot of options in the passing game. Couple that with an 0-5 team that is almost constantly playing from behind and you may just strike gold with St. Brown. He is only rostered in 5.4 percent of ESPN leagues and is worth using a higher waiver priority claim or a small chunk of your Free Agency Acquisition Budget (FAAB) to acquire him. 

MILD Cascabel

Devontae Booker (RB, New York Giants)

It seems like every season there is a point where Devontae Booker enters the waiver wire conversation. With Barkley likely to miss Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams, Booker will likely see the majority of rushing opportunities for the Giants.  

After seeing 88 percent of the snaps in Week 5 after Barkley’s injury, he managed to amass 20.8 fantasy points, which is just the third time in his career he had eclipsed 20. He may seem like a great addition for at least a week, but I urge major caution here. The Los Angeles Rams’ defense is one of the best in the league and Booker has never been a player who has been reliable in the NFL. What’s changed? 

If you only need a few-week rental, Booker could be your man. Please note the “could” in that last sentence. His addition would amount to a small patch on a bigger leak. Don’t blow your FAAB budget on him. He isn’t going to be a long-term solution to your roster woes. 

And now, the final segment that needs no introduction: the #dadjoke.

What did the ocean say to the beach? 

Nothing, it just waved.

As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @JeNateJackFF

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