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Family, Football & #Movember

by Nate Polvogt

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” – John Green

At times, we all have to do things we maybe don’t want to do. This month, for me it was sporting a mustache for #Movember. If you’re not familiar with #Movember, it is a movement to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health. Participants, such as myself, sport a mustache for the entire month, ensuring solitude at home and laughs in public. 

This is my first time participating in this event. My wife, Jen, loves the sentiment but hates the facial hair. I can’t blame her. I can rock a beard all day, but the single swatch of hair now residing above my lip isn’t a flattering look for me at all. I will, however, carry on with it because this is a cause that is important to me. 

There is a good portion of my writing that deals with mental health in some fashion, so the fact that I am involved in #Movember shouldn’t be a surprise. If we are being honest, more men deal with mental health issues than are willing to admit it. I was that person for a very long time. There is a stigma attached to men who struggle with mental wellness. We are supposed to be masculine and tough. We aren’t supposed to show emotion or ask for help. We needlessly suffer because society has told us we must. 

We think our struggles only affect us and that couldn’t be further from the truth. My failure to deal with my anxiety and self-worth issues was not only a dark and isolating time for me but for those around me. I was angry all the time, closed off, searching for ways to deal with it on my own and sought validation in unhealthy and destructive ways. 

The people around me had no idea why I was the way I was. Most assumed I was just a selfish asshole, which couldn’t be further from the truth in reality. But how could they know? 

My struggles hit a breaking point a little over 2 years ago. I had been in therapy for a few years, but the truth is, even in therapy I refused to admit I wasn’t well. Nothing had changed. My marriage was tense, to say the least. I wasn’t present, helpful or kind. I had a hair-trigger temper and I was distant. It was like I was going through the motions in life with no joy or awareness of those around me. 

The harsh realization that I was quite literally ruining my life came quickly. If I didn’t admit I needed real help, I was going to lose my wife and my son. With Jen’s help, of course, I finally opened up. My new therapist, Rob, alongside Jen, helped me be OK with feeling vulnerable. It was OK to not be OK for the first time in my life. 

I know now I will always be a work in progress, and that’s OK too. If you suffer from anxiety, you know that it rarely makes sense and you can’t always avoid it or make it go away. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. There are people in your life, even if you don’t know it, who are always there to listen – Friends, family, even acquaintances you wouldn’t expect to care. 

If you feel like you don’t have anyone, other resources can help. While I was never to the point of feeling suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is a great resource if you need someone to talk to. You can also check out the #Movember website for more resources. Don’t think you need to go at this alone. 

If you’re interested in helping the #Movember cause, I am part of a team of fantasy football analysts organized by Dave Kluge from Footballguys and FantasyPros. We are working to raise money and awareness to this cause close to our hearts. Join our team to help us spread the word or donate today on the #Movember website. 

Kluge and @FantasySven will be hosting a podathon on Nov. 30 starting at 4:00 p.m. EST until 8:00 p.m. We have some amazing guests joining us to help spread the word. I will be talking and tweeting about this event more as we get closer to the day, so please stay tuned and join us for a mix of fantasy football, mental health awareness and laughs for an amazing cause! 

Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 10

Some of our fantasy rosters might also be feeling like a charity case at this point in the season. As a manager, it’s been 9 weeks of dealing with adversity and trying to set a winning lineup. It hasn’t been easy, but nothing worth doing in life ever is, right? 

This week, things continue to be murky on the waiver wire, but there are some players out there who can, at least for a few weeks, provide some roster relief. Let’s get to it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild!”

HOT — Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR, Cleveland Browns)

It’s true, I wrote about Donovan Peoples-Jones as my HOT waiver wire addition in my Week 7 edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild.” It’s also true he is still only rostered in 5.4 percent of ESPN leagues. So here we are again. This one is simple and I won’t spend a ton of time telling you what you already know. 

The Cleveland Browns are finally free and clear of the distraction that was Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) and it showed in a convincing Week 9 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Baker Mayfield looked composed, running back Nick Chubb was on fire, and Peoples-Jones took his rightful place in the Browns offense as their deep threat. 

While only managing two catches for 86 yards on Sunday, one was for a long touchdown. In Week 6, the last time he was on the field before Week 9, he had four catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Without OBJ, the sky’s the limit for Peoples-Jones.

MEDIUM — Dundicut

Olamide Zaccheaus (WR, Atlanta Falcons)

When Calvin Ridley announced that he is stepping away from football indefinitely ahead of Week 9, we all wondered who outside of tight end Kyle Pitts and running back Cordarrelle Patterson,  ]would take over for Atlanta and fill his role. The two names kicked around most were Tajae Sharpe and Russell Gage

Olamide Zaccheaus finished Week 9 as the PPR WR4.

Apparently, we should have been talking about Olamide Zaccheaus. In Week 10 when Sharpe and Gage combined for 15.6 Points Per Reception (PPR) fantasy points, Zaccheaus dropped a 20.8-point game. We saw flashes of him being on the verge of fantasy relevancy earlier in the season in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Then, he had a modest 12.2 point showing but had a season-high six targets in that game. 

Fast-forward to the “Ridley-less” Falcons in Week 9 and Zaccheaus showed that Matt Ryan is trusting him with high-value targets. His Average Depth of Target (ADoT) was a team-leading 23.5 yards, while his average Yards Per Reception (YPR) was 19.3. 

Zaccheaus just might be the new deep threat for Ryan. With how bare waiver wire options are this far into the season, that’s great news. He is only rostered in 0.3 percent of leagues on ESPN. Crazy, right? Also, likely only a few people will think this continues, meaning you’ll likely to make a waiver claim to acquire him. If you want to play it safe, go ahead and bid on him, but no need to burn a high waiver priority or much of your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) on him. 

MILD Peppadew

Trevor Siemian (QB, New Orleans Saints)

Believe me, I want this to be a Cinderella story as much as the next person, especially being a Denver Broncos fan. I was sincerely hoping this would be Trevor Siemian‘s opportunity to show that he was a good quarterback who had just been in some bad situations. While it still could be, it’s not going to be worth rostering him, even in superflex or two-quarterback leagues, to find out. 

The situation in New Orleans is a bit deceiving. Despite their 5-3 record and being just one game behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this team does not have much in the way of high-end offensive talent. Deonte Harris leads the team in receiving yards, while Alvin Kamara is No. 1 in terms of targets and receptions. Michael Thomas is done for the year and they were so desperate for backfield help that they traded for former-Saint Mark Ingram

Yes, Siemian looked decent this past weekend against the Atlanta Falcons. But also, he looked good against the Falcons’ below-average defense. He managed to accrue 16 fantasy points. That said, QB/utility player Taysom Hill is still in the mix and their next four games are against Tennessee, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Dallas. I’m still hoping for a Cinderella story for him, but I won’t be running to get him on the waiver wire this week. 

And there you have it, folks. Take it or leave it and good luck in Week 10!

In honor of #Movember, I’m going to go with a mustache joke for this week’s #DadJoke.

Why did the mustache go to the bank? 

For a shavings account.

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

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