Start, Sit & a Sigh of Relief
When the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans kick off the NFL season tonight, fans and fantasy football analysts everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief.
However, there will be no louder sigh than the one coming from a Manhattan apartment where you will find “Tyler” Justin Karp, the content and operations director at Dynasty Football Factory (DFF), settling in for the game.
Tyler, who’s become an up-and-coming name in the fantasy sports media industry since beginning to write for DFF in May 2019, is known as a workhorse in the community, putting out articles, columns and taking Twitter questions on the daily.
“If the season doesn’t happen, it’s going to really hurt me and make me consider a career change because I just won’t have a choice,” he said in a July 27 interview. “For my career, it’d be a deathblow.”
In his short 15 months at DFF, Tyler has penned over 200 individual columns, talking about everything from weekly redraft advice to deep dynasty profiles.
However, Tyler’s road to becoming the fantasy sports grinder he is today isn’t exactly what you’d expect to hear from someone in the industry.
Raised in Manhattan by two doctor parents, Tyler attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, for a degree in natural sciences with the intent of one day becoming a doctor himself.
After a brief cameo in medical school, Tyler applied to Columbia University’s Sports Management master’s program in 2018. Once living back in Manhattan again, he earned his master’s in less than a year and a half.
But that was before his life suddenly changed.
In March, after the pandemic began shutting down portions of the U.S., New York City became the first major hotspot for COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.
“There was a day that they just closed everything,” he said. “It went quick and was not a gradual process. One minute everything is fine, the next everything is closed. This was the moment I realized everything was going to take a turn in a different direction.”
Quickly, all the norms in Tyler’s life went by the wayside. Playing soccer in the park, going bars with friends and even just working out at the gym – all gone.
The one constant throughout the time he was hunkered down? You guessed it: fantasy football.
The game he’d been playing since 2009 suddenly wasn’t a game anymore to the now 25-year-old. It had become a career path with an end goal in sight.
“I decided that I kind of wanted to see if I could make it in this industry,” Tyler said. “I know that’s kind of a pipe dream, but it’s worth a shot since it’s really what I like to do.”
What was an already-heavy workload of writing, grew even larger during the pandemic — to the point where Tyler was putting out 30 columns a month.
Whenever he’s asked how he can continuously crank out content at such a pace, Tyler jokingly chalks it up to being not human and not getting tired like most of us.
In retrospect, I believe that it is his passion for writing and his desire to be great in this industry driving him.
“At the end of the day I want to work in fantasy football for a living,” he said.
And while Tyler’s quantity and quality of work both speak volume about his character and ability. It’s his willingness to help others that truly makes him one of the absolute best out there.
“If you message me asking, ‘I’m trying to break into this industry, how can I do it?’ I will 100% respond to you,” he said. “Just message me.”
It’s this type of goodwill that makes me thankful to say that I was able to work with Tyler at one time.
In fact, seeing his come-up over the last year was a big inspiration to me and helped give me the confidence to create and manage this site.
I’ve been able to learn a lot from Tyler in my short time of knowing him — not just about how to be a great content creator and industry professional but also how to be a good person and a friend while doing it.
You can find Tyler on Twitter @DFF_Karp. And for more of his fantasy football advice and expertise, please consider subscribing to his Patreon.
And now for the first time this regular season, let’s get to it.
The following start/sit selections are based on stats, trends and film research, reflecting value in Points Per Reception (PPR) Redraft Leagues.
Quarterback I’d Start this Week:
Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams): If Jared Goff and the Rams want to win in Week 1, he’s going to have to sling it like his life depended on it to keep up with the Cowboys’ high-powered offense.
I think, after a lackluster season in 2019, Goff bounces back nicely with some positive touchdown regression coming his way. And don’t be surprised that if Darrell Henderson can’t go on Sunday, Goff has 40+ attempts as he did in seven games last year.
Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:
Philip Rivers (Indianapolis): Despite the Colts facing up against Jacksonville, arguably now the worst defense in the NFL, I’m still benching Philip Rivers.
Sure, there will probably be a solid touchdown or two of T.Y. Hilton or Jack Doyle. But, it won’t make up for his scary low floor he possesses due to his lack of rushing. And if the Chargers do get up big, expect them to feed Marlon Mack and rookie Jonathan Taylor over letting the veteran Rivers air it out.
Running Back I’d Start this Week:
Zack Moss (Buffalo): The Buffalo Bills – now equipped with two legitimate deep-play threats, Stefon Diggs and “Smokey” John Brown – will face the New York Jets, who recently traded Pro-Bowl safety Jamal Adams in Week 1.
A few end zone passing interference penalties could be the perfect opportunity for head coach Sean McDermott to test out his new goal line rookie running back Zack Moss.
Moss, who is more of a thumper than the second-year Devin Singletary, will most likely yield the valuable touches. And his better-than-expected pass-catching abilities should keep his floor safe enough to garner the play.
Running Back I’d Sit this Week:
Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams): I’ve talked a lot in previous columns and podcast episodes this summer about how rookie Cam Akers is a huge bust candidate for me here in 2020.
Now, even with Henderson Jr.’s Week 1 status in question, Akers still isn’t listed as the team’s starter.
Nope, instead it’ll be the steady Malcolm Brown who will see first blood on Sunday.
And with the Rams most likely needing to air it out to keep up with Dak Prescott and the “Boys in Blue,” I don’t see a high ceiling for Rams running back early on here.
Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:
Michael Gallup (Dallas): Week 1 will be another prime example of why people need to stop doubting the Dallas Cowboys’ third-year receiver Michael Gallup.
No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper, who only averaged .2 more fantasy points per game than Gallup in 2019, will be shadowed by All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who just secured the bag from the Rams.
Gallup will likely draw coverage from corner Troy Hill. Who? Exactly.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:
DeVante Parker (Miami): I should know better to bet against Ryan Fitzpatrick and that magical beard or DeVante Parker, who miraculously finished as the WR11 last season. But, I’m benching the latter come Sunday.
He’s been dealing with a hamstring for the last two weeks, and when asked about snap counts, head coach Brian Flores said that, without preseason, “It’s hard to think somebody can jump out there and play 60, 70, 80 snaps.”
Not to mention if he does play, he’ll match up against Patriots’ premier cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, who’s been preparing for the matchup since Parker went for 8-137 in Miami’s stunning Week 17 victory against the Patriots last season.
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, you can find me on Twitter @Between_SethFF.