“Start, Sit & Seth” is the original column of In-Between Media, bridging feel-good lifestyle advice with redraft fantasy football analysis. Consistently following Seth Woolcock’s journey as a young creator, this series is now in its sixth season. Join him in this edition as he goes behind the scenes with FantasyPros’ Joe Pisapia to dive into the hard work it takes to find success. All this, plus his Week 10 start/sit selections.
Success is a lot like stage curtains. It covers up all the behind-the-scenes work.
Pick your profession.
When you see accomplishment, you see the present, not the road taken to get there.
Stepping Into the Spotlight
In fact, Joe’s road to being one of the headliners of the fantasy football industry began with him going in a whole different direction.
Born and initially raised in an “extremely Italian” Brooklyn neighborhood, just across the East River from Broadway, Joe was determined to be under bright lights himself one day. When it came time to make a decision on his future, he decided those would be stage lights rather than the baseball stadium lights he was also recruited to play under. In 1996, he officially enrolled at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
“I was very committed to the craft and learning the classics, doing all that,” Joe said in a Nov. 1 interview. “… And I loved Shakespeare, and I loved working in that way because I felt like if you could do that, you could do anything. I thought that was the ultimate challenge, and I really wanted to do interesting film and television stuff, especially film at that time in the late ’90s. It was the pinnacle of great independent filmmaking.”
In addition to his schooling in the “birthplace of America,” Joe studied across the pond for a year at the University of Oxford with the Royal Shakespeare Company. While there, some of his teachers even included some of the cast “Harry Potter.”
Subsequently, Joe got both his union and Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) cards and worked around the Philadelphia area in the early 2000s.
However, from the time Joe began school until then, a lot changed in the industry, and much of the independent filmmaking that produced movies like “The Unusual Suspects” and the Miramax films that got Joe excited had dried up. He did have the opportunity to do a lot of theater acting, but as any young character actor knows, reading against colleagues twice your age can be quite challenging.
“I’m very grateful for that career,” Joe said. “I worked a ton, and I made some incredible relationships and have incredible stories, incredible experiences from 15 years or so working in that space between New York, Philadelphia and other locations, too. Then, at some point, you’re kind of done traveling and being all over the place.”
Ultimately, after becoming a dad and, quite frankly, feeling burnt out, Joe began exploring other directions, including writing, directing and hospitality management.
During his daughters’ naps, Joe began pursuing a different hobby-turned-passion – fantasy sports – penning the “The Fantasy Baseball Black Book 2012 Edition.” That eventually parlayed into appearances on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, where Joe began to combine his on-air charisma with his fantasy sports knowledge.
For the better part of the 2010s, Joe freelanced throughout the fantasy sports industry for outlets such as CBS Sports, FanDuel, Fantrax and Fantasy Alarm. He did this in addition to traveling into New York on the weekends to teach stage combat at William Esper Studio.
It was a non-stop grind, hosting multiple shows a day for multiple outlets. By 2015, he had the added responsibility of being a single girl dad to not just one but two daughters. Just when he thought he’d had caught his big break, budget cuts and staff changes shook things up, causing what would “always be a big roller coaster.”
“So there are incredible ups and downs. And then I think at a certain point, you just put your head down, and you try to become relentless,” Joe said.
Eventually, by early 2021, after a coincidental set of circumstances and appearing as a regular guest on the “FantasyPros – Fantasy Football Podcast,” Joe had a full-time position with FantasyPros, now owned by Marzen Media.
And yet, despite landing in what many would call a “dream job,” it hasn’t come without some cruel twists in the road. Joe’s co-host and friend, Mike Tagliere, passed away after battling COVID-19 in 2021.
“Tags and I were so excited to work together, and that was a dream of ours,” Joe said. “We never got to do one in-season football show together because of his untimely passing, which was really hard. It was just very difficult, and then, on top of it, you are then the public face of a tragedy in a place where you’re the new guy. And it’s also your friend. It’s personal. So there’s a lot going on at the time, and the audience is new to you and your style of doing things. So it was a lot.”
Not long after, long-time industry veteran Dan Harris left the company, essentially placing the keys to the show in Joe’s hands.
With the help of his colleagues, Joe began to put the pieces of the program back together. Now working alongside a combination of Pat Fitzmaurice, Derek Brown, Andrew Erikson and Ryan Wormeli, Joe has helped grow the company’s YouTube channel to more than 228K subscribers.
A Look Backstage
“I always say I’m the luckiest guy because I get to talk sports with my friends all day, and that’s literally my job now,” Joe said. “It was a long road to get there. What people don’t understand is there’s a 10-plus-year up-and-down scale.”
While Joe was in the trenches getting his reps, day after day, even thinking about throwing in the towel at one point, it was encouragement from peers like Jeff Mans and Bob Harris that helped get him through.
“It’s only what people see. You know, they see you at FantasyPros hosting shows and getting to do cool stuff like I do every day. But they don’t see the 10 years prior to that, and all the ups and downs, and all the hosting five different shows in a day for five different places, trying to patch independent contracting together to support your kids as a single parent.”
And that’s just it right there, that’s the keynote.
You might see someone today and their successes and think they’re the luckiest people on earth. However, I can tell you, luck has nothing to do with it, my friends.
It’s a commitment to excellence and yourself. It’s accepting more disappointments than successes and a willingness to get back up on that horse every fucking day.
More than anything, it’s being relentless.
So whether you’re like Joey P, trying to find sustainable success in a niche industry, or just wanting to win a fantasy football league or two, that’s the mindset to have.
Alright, and here we go.
The following Week 10 start/sit selections are based on stats, trends and film research, reflecting value in Points Per Reception (PPR) Redraft Leagues.
Quarterback I’d Start in Week 10:
Will Levis (Tennessee): Tampa Bay’s defense against opposing quarterbacks is becoming the worst-kept secret in fantasy football. They’re a top-four matchup for opposing signal callers this season, largely aided by performances since returning from their Week 5 bye. In that span, they’ve allowed the overall QB4, QB2 and QB1 finish. The only quarterback to finish outside the top 12 against them in the past month was Desmond Ridder when both he and Drake London dropped balls going into the end zone, resulting in touchbacks.
Will we get the Will Levis we saw in his rookie debut, scoring 26.6 fantasy points or the one who produced just 8.7 last week? I’m expecting somewhere in the middle, high teens or low 20s. Averaging 7.4 Yards Per Attempt (YPA), the 12th-highest among QBs, expect some chunk plays and deep shots from Levis. Something should break open against Tampa Bay, leading to the Kentucky product’s second QB1 finish in three games.
Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 10:
Derek Carr (New Orleans): Despite his frustration boiling over at times, it’s hard to poke many holes in what Derek Carr is doing right now, especially in this prehistoric Pete Carmichael offense. He’s finished as a low-end QB1 in three of his last four games.
Still, Carr has no upside to speak of, failing to reach even 19 fantasy points once in his first nine games as a Saint. This week, I believe that upside is capped even further against a sneakily improving Minnesota defense. The Vikings have allowed just one QB to top 285 passing yards (Justin Herbert in Week 3). Over the last month, in particular, Minnesota has limited QBs to a three-to-six TD ratio and 13.2 fantasy points.
Considering Carr’s season-high rushing total is 14 yards, there’s not a lot to like, landing him on the latter side of my Week 10 start/sit suggestions.
Running Back I’d Start in Week 10:
Alexander Mattison (Minnesota): Sometimes, volume alone negates a sub-par matchup. That’s the case here with Alexander Mattison in Week 10. Among RBs, Mattison currently ranks seventh in weighted opportunities and ninth in snap share. With Cam Akers suffering another Achilles tear last week, K.J. Osborn in concussion protocol, T.J. Hockenson managing bruised ribs and Justin Jefferson still limited in practice, expect Mattison to carry the load for Minnesota.
While his rushing efficiency remains low at 3.6 Yards Per Carry (YPC), he’s at least 10th among RBs in targets with 34. That should be enough for an RB2 finish against the Saints, who have actually been a middle-of-the-road matchup against the position the past two weeks.
Running Back I’d Sit in Week 10:
Devin Singletary (Houston): It appears as if it’ll be another week for Devin Singletary to be the Texans’ starting RB. Despite his high projections on some platforms, he remains firmly on the latter side of my Week 10 start/sit selections. Despite seeing 15 touches a week ago, the former Buffalo Bill totaled just 28 combined yards.
Though the Bengals are a better matchup than Tampa Bay, they’re steadily improving their run defense, allowing starting RBs to total 45.5 rushing yards in their last four contents. Unless Singletary falls into the endzone, which he hasn’t done all season, it’ll be hard for him to crack double-digit PPR points.
Receiver I’d Start in Week 10:
Tyler Lockett (Seattle): Death taxes and start your receivers against the Washington Commanders. Since Week 3, every fantasy-relevant WR playing Washington has scored at least double-digit PPR points, including a pair of WRs in back-to-back weeks. Over both the last two weeks and the entire season, the Commanders are a top-five matchup against opposing WRs.
This is a massive get-right spot for Geno Smith and the Seahawks, as the Commanders have allowed the fourth-most passing yards and tied for the second-most TDs to opposing QBs. With Washington also letting up 2.2 YPA (tied for the third-most), I’m expecting big plays all afternoon from both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. A safe WR2 day seems certain for Lockett, averaging 7.1 targets per game, with upside for his third PPR WR1 finish of the season.
Receiver I’d Sit in Week 10:
Zay Flowers (Baltimore): After a prolific start to his career, Zay Flowers has two straight weeks of finishing outside the top-65 WRs. Aside from last week, the targets have been there, but the Average Depth of Target (aDOT) hasn’t been at just 7.8 (81st among WRs).
With Flowers being fairly inefficient, averaging 1.6 fantasy points per target (62nd among WRs), it’s hard to see the upside against a Cleveland defense that has limited opposing WRs to the second-least PPR points this season. Oddsmakers have this game as the lowest total on the Sunday afternoon slate at 38.0, making me want to avoid all fringe FLEX plays where possible.
If you have a feel-good story that you would like to share for an opportunity to be featured in an upcoming edition of “Start, Sit & Seth,” please reach out.
And for more fantasy football and uplifting content, especially start/sit advice, you can find me on Twitter @Between_SethFF.