“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 reflects on the importance of hearing out new information and trying new things as you are forming your opinions – both in fantasy football and in life. He also breaks down his start and sit decisions for Week 8, including a few players in Sunday’s Rams-Cowboys game.
Take lock; it happens the best of us.
Opinion forms, and instead of considering new information, we stick to our guns. But, over time, those guns can become weaponized against us, making us our own worst enemy.
As part of my annual traditions edition of “Start, Sit & Seth,” we cross the bridge from there to Salem to explain the dangers of take lock just before Halloween.
Too Spooky, or Not Too Spooky?
From the time I first read Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” the spooky streets of Salem captivated me.
Hearing the legends of witchcraft while enjoying a local cider along the New England seaside is a bucket list item, especially this time of the year. But the fact that the festivities fall amidst football season makes the odds of me ever making it there – at least in this lifetime – slim.
So, instead, I live vicariously through media, consuming all the magic- and monster-themed movies I can during the month of October.
Although, amid my binges of the “Halloweentown” series and other Disney fall-time classics, I always neglected perhaps the most popular family friendly Halloween movie of all time.
The reason why? You guessed it; take lock.
A Spell Put On It
I couldn’t have been any older than 10 years old the first time I was introduced to the Sanderson Sisters. Yet, I remember it vividly.
I had just woken up from a nap in my childhood bedroom as the movie was beginning. The initial scene of Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah Sanders (Sarah Jessica Parker) sucking the life out of Emily Binx and turning her brother Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) into a cat proved to be too scary for an impubescent Seth.
I never even made it past the initial flashback to where we meet main characters Max Dennison (Omri Katz) and Allison Watts (Vinessa Shaw) or enough to realize the movie was set in Salem.
It remained that way for the next 15 or so years.
That is until earlier this month. While scrolling through movies to put on the second TV for some comedic relief during another rather disappointing “Sunday Night Football” game, I stumbled onto “Hocus Pocus.” I’m not sure if it was the assurance from my girlfriend or just not being able to stomach Dak Prescott taking another sack with my full attention, I said, “Why not?” and fired it up.
What I witnessed for the next 96 minutes was perhaps one of the greatest Halloween movies I’ve ever seen – even rivaling my beloved “Halloweentown” series.
Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus
The apple at the bottom of this barrel or the candy corn stuck in this cobweb is that I almost never gave “Hocus Pocus” a fair shot.
Because of the damn take lock that I’ve had since I was a kid.
If it weren’t for the Cowboys stinking it up in primetime or my adamant for having a two-TV setup, my future kids might have never seen those spooky streets of Salem or met the hilarious Sanderson Sisters for themselves.
That foolish discipline is how you end up taking Prescott in the 10th round of your fantasy football drafts. It’s up to us to get out of that mindset, as much in life as it is fantasy football.
Take in information and allow it to help you form new opinions and traditions.
It’s the only way we learn to drop underperforming players like Prescott and give Halloween classics like “Hocus Pocus” a chance.
Alright, and here we go.
The following Week 8 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 8:
Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams): I’m on an island, but I love Matthew Stafford this week. The Cowboys’ defense – while filled with talent – has allowed an average of 20 points per game to opposing QBs in the four since losing Trevon Diggs to a season-ending ACL injury. Those quarterbacks were Joshua Dobbs, Mac Jones, Brock Purdy and Justin Herbert. Aside from Herbert, it’s not a group of world-beaters.
While Stafford’s attempts per game have significantly decreased the past two weeks, he’s still finished as the QB14 or 15 in four straight weeks. If he can just score a second touchdown, Stafford can crack QB1 status. With Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua as his weapons, I like his chances to break a streak of unluckiness in the endzone.
Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 8:
Dak Prescott (Dallas): You probably knew where I was going with one, didn’t you? Staying in the same game, I like what the Rams’ young defense has done. They have yet to be lit up any non-rushing QBs, surrendering just four passing TDs this season (tied for the fewest in the NFL).
Meanwhile, Prescott is coming off a season-high QB1 finish his last time out. However, before that performance – largely aided by a broken play resulting in an 18-yard run – he had not finished better than QB17 in any week. This offense, now run by Mike McCarthy, still looks a bit out of sync, and their 210.2 passing yards per game (20th-best) proves just that. With the Rams also ranking top-six in time of possession this season, I don’t envision the Cowboys controlling the ball like usual, limiting Prescott’s upside further.
Running Back I’d Start in Week 8:
Dameon Pierce (Houston): It’s been a struggle to begin the season for Dameon Pierce, coming off a rookie season where he paced as the PPR RB20 on a points-per-game basis. The former Florida Gator is averaging just 8.6 PPR points per game this year, down 4.2 points from last season. The main issue plaguing Pierce has been his inefficiency, averaging 2.9 Yards Per Carry (YPC) compared to 4.3 as a rookie.
That should change this week when the Texans travel to Carolina to face a defense that has allowed the most PPR points to opposing RBs in both the past month and two weeks. Lead running backs Raheem Mostert, David Montgomery, Alexander Mattison and Kenneth Walker have all run for at least 95 yards against the Panthers in their past four matchups, scoring six total TDs along the way.
Pierce’s only concern is that he has Devin Singletary nipping at his heels. Still, Pierce should get the first look, and this defense should play poorly enough to allow him to get going early.
Running Back I’d Sit in Week 8:
Darrell Henderson (Los Angeles Rams): Hello, old friend. After being suddenly cut mid-season by the Rams last season, Darrell Henderson spent some brief time in Jacksonville before being released again. It looked like playing days were over until the Rams re-signed him last week following injuries to RBs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers.
Being familiar with the system, he immediately took over the lead role. Henderson rushed 18 times for 61 yards and one TD, adding a reception on two targets for five yards. As unspectacular as you’d expect he would look right off the couch, Henderson finished with 13.6 PPR points, pacing as the RB17.
Many managers are trying to go back to him this week, but I’d advise against doing so. While hit or miss, the Cowboys have limited some of the league’s better running backs to these totals:
- Week 1: Saquon Barkley (9.3 PPR points)
- Week 2: Breece Hall (0.9 PPR points)
- Week 4: Rhamondre Stevenson (6.0 PPR points)
- Week 6: Austin Ekeler (10.2)
Holding lead RBs – much more talented and in football shape – to pedestrian marks in four of six games doesn’t inspire confidence in Henderson. Plus, he was reverted to the Rams’ practice squad Monday. While he could be re-elevated and resume the lead role, Royce Freeman also saw 43% of the snaps and was far more efficient than Henderson. I’m staying away in Week 8.
Receiver I’d Start in Week 8:
Rashee Rice (Kansas City): Hopefully, the sequel to suggesting Rashee Rice in back-to-back weeks is better than that of “Hocus Pocus.” Rice had a career day in Week 7, gashing the Chargers for five receptions, 60 yards and a TD on six targets. His snap percentage rose to a career-high of 59%, while Kadarius Toney‘s plummeted to 19%. The rookie is now severely outpacing all other Kansas City receivers in base statistics and passes the eye test as an explosive player every time he gets the balls in his hands.
His opponent this outing will be the Denver Broncos, who he just scored 11.2 PPR points against two weeks ago. The Broncos have allowed opposing WRs to score TDs in six of seven games and multiple in three of seven. After just facing them two weeks ago, I expect Andy Reid to out-scheme Sean Payton and use his emerging weapon as part of that. Rice is a mid-tier WR3 with plenty of upside for more.
Receiver I’d Sit in Week 8:
Amari Cooper (Cleveland): After putting their faith in the hands of Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland passing offense is rightfully struggling. The Browns rank 31st in passing yards per game at 171.7 and will get P.J. Walker again under center. With Walker in at QB most of the past two weeks, Amari Cooper is averaging 9.5 PPR points per game. The Alabama product has scored just one TD this season. I don’t see that changing with a QB who has a career five passing TDs to 14 interceptions to his name.
In addition, Cooper faces a Seattle secondary finding its groove. With cornerbacks Riq Woolen, Michael Jackson and Devon Witherspoon all back healthy, the Seahawks have been a bottom-12 matchup for opposing WRs over both the past month and two weeks. I don’t see that changing here, leaving Cooper on the latter side of my start/sit suggestions for Week 8.
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.