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Family, Football & The Golden Rule

by Nate Polvogt

“Family, Football & This Adventure We Call Life” is a year-round column by Nate Polvogt that shares a Colorado dad’s outlook on life and his weekly advice for fantasy football waiver wire pickups. Nate enters the Week 8 waiver wire run in his third season of writing and with the pride of being hot on 2021 league-winner Rashaad Penny early.

“When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” ― Fred Rogers

The golden rule; treat others as you want to be treated. Waiver Wire Week 8

Pretty simple. It’s one of the first things we learn as kids, and it is hammered into our brains until the day we die. We repeat this phrase to Jackson at least five times daily. It’s also found in numerous religious texts, is the theme of hundreds, if not thousands, of children’s books and is a pop culture staple in various ways. 

Lost In The Grind

This makes me wonder how we forget this simple lesson as we age. Is it because maybe it’s not as simple as an adult? Our lives are busy, and many of us barely have time to come up for air, let alone consider those around us, and it shows. 

Our American society leaves us feeling the need to “grind” every day to be successful, leaving little time for thoughts about anything else. Television, movies, print and social media tell us the only way to thrive truly is to work until you can’t anymore. Work, eat, sleep and repeat. If you don’t, you’re either lazy, unmotivated or both.

That kind of “grind” mentality requires a laser focus on yourself. We are taught that we can only worry about ourselves to be truly victorious in our drive for success. The people you step on, screw over, push aside or ignore along the way are necessary casualties on your way to the grand life. We sometimes use others unknowingly and respect no one unless they have something to offer. 

Drive For “Success”

We all want success. You would be crazy if there weren’t some drive in you to “make it” at whatever you are passionate about. There is no shame in having goals and being willing to work hard for them. However, when that push becomes all-consuming, it trickles down into other parts of your life and our society. 

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my frustration with living in the Denver metro area. The lack of respect and kindness drives me crazy, but it’s not isolated here. It’s not just a Denver problem or a big city problem. It’s a societal problem. We’ve become so fixated on our lives, ambitions and goals that we’ve lost sight of the golden rule. 

No longer do we prioritize people who care for our neighbors. Instead, we pay almost no regard to our environment. We tear down trees and clear natural grasslands to replace them with storage units, apartment complexes and warehouses. We’ve closed our borders to those in need, caging them in some sick display of power rather than helping them escape. We still, in 2022, judge others based on things like culture, ethnicity, race, religion and disabilities. Waiver Wire Week 8

Hope Is Not Lost

This sounds like a scathing indictment of American culture, and it is, but it’s not the verdict. Yes, it can be depressing to turn on the news and see the violence that seems to be plaguing our country. It seems every day brings more senseless death and destruction, but we all know that’s what sells ad space these days. This time of year can be especially tough when the silly commercials that give us a quick break have turned to gloom-and-doom political ads.  

However, there is hope. Quietly, underneath all the noisy divisiveness, selfishness and glorified violence is a society that respects one another. We are teaching our children to respect one another and love everyone, no matter their race, religion or creed. While it’s sometimes tough to see, we are equally attempting to be better role models for the next generation. 

Our world is ultimately what we make it. Refuse to be brought down by the depressing news and callousness of some around us. Instead, despite everything whirling around in the world distracting us, choose to treat others how you want to be treated. Make a concerted effort to smile at strangers more often and say hello. Focus on the positive things around you instead of zeroing in on the bad. Look for the helpers. 

In addition to our feel-good outlook here at In-Between Media, I have an excellent website for you if you’re looking for some positive vibes to refocus your day. It’s all good news all the time and couldn’t be more uplifting. So if you’re feeling down about the world, check out The Good News Network.

On to Football  

After another brutal week of injuries and benchings, our fantasy squads are also looking for the helpers. It wasn’t all negative vibes in Week 7, however. We had two trades that shook up fantasy lineups in mostly good ways and a quarterback emerge as a rest-of-season starter no one saw coming. 

• Colts’ head coach Frank Reich announced Monday that veteran quarterback Matt Ryan would be benched in favor of backup Sam Ehlinger, who has never thrown an NFL regular season pass. 

• Jets’ rookie phenom Breece Hall tore his ACL Sunday, prompting the team to trade for Jacksonville ball carrier James Robinson.

• Cleveland tight end David Njoku, who has been hot the last few weeks, suffered an ankle injury that could keep him out a few weeks, thrusting fellow bookend Harrison Bryant back into the limelight.

• As expected when head coach Matt Rhule was fired two weeks ago, the Carolina Panthers went into fire sale mode, trading away running back Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers shortly after sending Robbie Anderson to the Cardinals.

• Despite being in fire sale mode, quarterback P.J. Walker lit Carolina on fire this past week, leading the previously hapless Panthers to a decisive 21-3 victory over the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His performance has since earned him a more extended look as the team’s starter.

As we march closer to the fantasy football playoffs, it becomes even more important to scour the waiver wire to stay in contention. Admittedly, it’s not always pretty. However, there is still plenty of fantasy relevancy sitting in free agency in your leagues. You just have to dig for it. So let’s get out the shovels and get into this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 8 Waiver Wish List.”

Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 8 Wish List Waiver Wire Week 8

It’s a long NFL season; every week is as important as the next in your push to glory. You win and lose seasons in the trenches.

This past weekend was a doozy. If you remained unscathed, congratulations. You are among a lucky few. The rest of us are trying to figure out what to make of the new backfield situations in San Francisco and Carolina, what to do about D.K. Metcalf, and whether or not it’s time to drop Kyle Pitts and settle into streaming tight ends.

This week, I have a running back who came out of nowhere (even though he shouldn’t have), a veteran wide receiver back from the dead, if only for a few weeks and a tight end with far too much hype for my liking. So let’s get down to it. Waiver Wire Week 8

HOT — Aji Chombo Pepper

Gus Edwards (RB, Baltimore Ravens)

Like most fantasy managers, I headed into Week 7 confident in my decision to start Baltimore running back Kenyan Drake in multiple leagues. It was justified because of a solid performance where he put up 19.7 Point Per Reception (PPR) fantasy points in the absence of J.K. Dobbins. In addition, fellow running back Gus Edwards was active for the first time in 2022. So it made sense that Drake would again handle most of the Ravens’ carries. 

What transpired was not even close to what we expected. Drake saw his carries cut in half – 34 in Week 6 to 17 in Week 7. Meanwhile, Edwards led the team in backfield touches (16) and rushing yards (66). All this while seeing only one more snap than Drake. He also scored the team’s only two touchdowns in a 23-20 win over the Cleveland Browns. The man who hadn’t played a meaningful game in nearly two years finished his debut as the PPR RB910 and was the 12th highest-graded running back in Week 7, per PFF

The Ravens are a run-first offense and for a good reason. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is arguably the best mobile quarterback in the league and makes things happen with his legs. However, for him to be effective, they need another consistent ball carrier, and that appears to be Edwards. Baltimore is running the ball on an average of 48.8 percent of offensive snaps. With Dobbins on Injured Reserve (IR) for at least the next three weeks, Edwards should provide a reliable floor with a consistent path to 15-plus touches a game.

What To Do

The options on the waiver wire at running back are thin. Of the likely available options, Edwards has the most straightforward path to reliable reproduction with touchdown upside. He is only rostered in 16.3 percent of ESPN leagues, so teams needing a fill-in at running back will be paying up for him. Spend at least 25 percent of your Free Agency Acquisition Budget (FAAB) if that’s also you. You could be out of luck if you don’t have high waiver wire priority. 

MEDIUM — Byadgi Chili Pepper

Marquise Goodwin (WR, Seattle Seahawks) 

When Seattle wide receiver D.K. Metcalf went down clutching his knee on Sunday, you could hear the entire fantasy football community collectively gasp. Fortunately, the knee injury wasn’t as bad as initially feared, but Metcalf will still miss some time despite wanting to practice this week. So the next man up for the Geno Smith-led Seahawks offense is veteran wide receiver, Marquise Goodwin. 

After Metcalf when down in the first half of Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers, Goodwin stepped into the team’s WR2 role behind fellow pass catcher Tyler Lockett. Goodwin was very effective, catching four of his five targets for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Those stats were good enough for 22.7 PPR points, making him the overall WR6 on the week. 

We don’t know precisely how long Metcalf will be sidelined. But if he doesn’t suit up in Week 8 expect Goodwin to take most of his snaps again out wide He was effective enough to be the second option for Smith when Lockett was drawing double coverage or a shadow. They’ll need him to be effective against a stout Giants’ pass defense in Week 8. 

What To Do

Unless Metcalf suffers a setback, Goodwin is only a starting option for a short time. He could have possible FLEX value when Metcalf returns if he impresses, but I wouldn’t bank on it. He won’t be flying off the waiver shelves this week. You can lowball the FAAB under two percent of your total budget. If he has a big week again, you could hold until he sees his opportunities shrink. Waiver Wire Week 8

MILD — Orange Snacking Pepper

Foster Moreau (Tight End, Las Vegas Raiders) Waiver Wire Week 8

Las Vegas tight end Foster Moreau returned to the Raiders’ sidelines this week, having missed two weeks with a knee injury. The timing couldn’t have been better, as fellow tight end Darren Waller was ruled out of the Week 7 matchup against Houston with a hamstring injury. So Moreau stepped in, catching three of his five targets for 28 yards. Not a bad performance in his first game back, especially considering the offense ran through ball carrier Josh Jacobs

While Waller’s status is unclear for Week 8, the talented tight end could sit against the New Orleans Saints. There should be some tempered expectations for Moreau, as he again starts for the silver and black. Despite a 96 percent snap share in Week 7, Moreau only ran 20 routes. His five targets were second on the team to wide receiver Davante Adams, but his Average Depth of Target (ADoT) was a paltry 4.5 yards. His yards per route run was a meager 1.47. Translation:  Moreau is unlikely to get high-value targets. 

What To Do

I am all in favor of streaming tight ends this season. It’s a necessity for many managers, myself included. However, I am not a fan of chasing position production on a wing and prayer. Rostering Moreau is precisely that. Of his 56 offensive snaps, 26 were run-blocking assignments. This week, the Raiders face the third-best defense in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

Waller will likely return in Week 9, so unless you are beyond desperate and your waiver wire is bare, stay away from Moreau. Instead, pivot towards some players with a higher upside and touchdown potential, such as the Saints’ Juwan Johnson.  

I hope you find my spicy and not-so-spicy Week 6 waiver wire pickups and notes useful. Until next time!

Halloween is right around the corner, so here is a spooky #DadJoke to keep us in the spirit:

What does a panda ghost eat?


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

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