There come times in every person’s story that are simply, well, heartbreaking. Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we work or how much good karma we carry, life has different ideas.
Don’t worry though, this isn’t one of those stories. No, instead it’s one about the mindset to carry when we do encounter these trying times – both in life and fantasy football.
And to help tell it, we have to go to St. Augustine, Florida, during the 2018 fantasy football season. There we can find Jason Soukup, aka @FL2drinkMinimum, now 38, toes in the sand, lounging along the coast beside his wife and daughter.
The Florida native cracks his second Reef Donkey, an American Pale from Tampa Bay Brewing Company, as his phone buzzes with another fantasy football question coming in from a Twitter follower.
It was nine years prior that Jason, a physical therapist assistant, first played fantasy football. As it was for a lot of people during that time, he got his start in an office league. In his very first season, he lost in the championship to his boss and was forever hooked.
Years of playing later and after listening to ESPN’s “Fantasy Focus” podcast, he downloaded Matthew Berry’s “Fantasy Life” App. He had no idea how just downloading that one app would change his life forever.
After winning some gear through the app, Jason messaged one of the app’s writers with his address. He signed it “2drinkMinimum, Jason Soukup.” And thus, Jason’s fantasy alias was born, and his journey into the fantasy football industry would soon begin.
“You might not always get my humor, but if you go to comedy clubs there’s always a two-drink minimum,” Jason said in a Nov. 20 interview. “I feel like I’m much funnier if you have two drinks. If you have two drinks, we’ll probably have a good time. Later on, it turned into me always having two drinks which means I also have a good time even if everyone else doesn’t.”
Also, on the app he would meet Shane “Swags” Swager (@SwagzillaZeroG) – someone Jason would quickly befriend because of their similar, yet clashing, personalities. After conversing through the app and on the phone for a long time, the two decided to give the whole podcasting thing a shot.
In July 2017, the new friends began the “Fantasy Football Breakdown” podcast. Using the “Fantasy Life” app, the two garnered questions for the show from a chat room Swags had previously set up. Unlike most fantasy sports shows, theirs were unscripted. They simply aimed to give you their best advice on what they would do on the drop of a dime.
Eventually, the duo expanded onto Twitter and also picked up a second show, the “Super Flexible” podcast.
“It was so much fun early on learning from him (Swags) and playing off each other,” Jason said. “I feel like we had good chemistry. We were grinding early doing three, four, five, six episodes a week sometimes.”
During those first few seasons of doing the podcast, Jason lived in a beach condo with his wife and daughter. He works four 10-hour shifts, so on his days off, his daughter would wake him up before 6 a.m., asking to go to the beach.
And that’s exactly what they’d do. Sometimes he’d throw a pole in the water, while others he just relaxed and soaked up the rays – all while waiting for his wife to get home from work to join them.
“It’s very calming, it’s relaxing,” he said. “I can go there and not have to think about anything and just decompress about the day…That’s my Zen area.“
An area with the beach, beers by the pool and a lot of great outdoor dining options with live entertainment – all with fantasy football intertwined throughout.
But, as we all know by now, good things aren’t always meant to last. Eventually, Jason and his family moved away from the beach to ensure his daughter got into a great school district. And this year, as his daughter begins to get older, Jason stepped away from doing the podcasts regularly with Swags.
“First and foremost is my family,” he said. “And that’s just where I decided I needed to be at the time. One day, I hope I’m able to find space for some part of it to return. I do miss a lot of that stuff. It’s just a different part of your head.”
And while many, myself included, miss hearing “2drink” regularly on the podcast and frequenting fantasy football Twitter, his impact remains.
I originally met Jason last year when we both worked for Dynasty Football Factory (DFF). When I left to begin my own venture – this – he was among the first to reach out offering well wishes and the best of luck.
But what really stuck with me about Jason was just the way he chose to live his life: relaxed, fun-loving and considerate of others – just like a two-drink minimum.
“That’s just a part of my life, I guess,” he said. “I’m a little bit more chill. I don’t try to let negative things affect me. There’s no reason to fight the changes of life.”
“I try to say that negative people only give you lessons in life. Because those are the times you can learn the most from it. Find a way to learn from it and move forward. And maybe it doesn’t happen to other people in the future, even if you don’t change that one person,” Jason said.
So, this week, whether you’re dealing with your own inner demons or just your favorite NFL team not having any quarterbacks to play, remember Jason’s mindset. Be chill, be adaptable and, most of all, be kind to others.
Oh, and don’t forget about the two-drink minimum this weekend. You might need it with the way this year has gone, in both life and fantasy football.
Now, 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:
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Miami): Well, well, well, if it isn’t fantasy managers’ old friend, Ryan Fitzpatrick. After being benched for rookie Tua Tagovailoa, it looks like Fitzpatrick has his starting job back…for now at least.
On a points-per-game basis, Ryan Fitzpatrick is averaging 19.9 PPR points per game, 12th best on the season. Still in playoff contention, Miami this week hosts the Cincinnati Bengals, who have let everyone from Philip Rivers to Baker Mayfield look like an MVP candidate. In a time when upside is needed more than ever, Fitzpatrick is a QB1 option for me this week.
Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:
Matt Ryan (Atlanta): I anticipate what’s been a mediocre season for Matt Ryan (QB14) to continue this week as he faces the New Orleans Saints, probably the hottest defense in the league.
The Saints have not allowed a 300-yard passer all season, and with Julio Jones, Hayden Hurst, Todd Gurley and Calvin Ridley all questionable for Sunday, I’m avoiding Ryan like it’s COVID-19 this week.
Running Back I’d Start this Week:
Wayne Gallman (New York Giants): In what’s been yet another dicey season for the New York Giants, Wayne Gallman has been the one consistent bright spot as of late – pacing as the PPR RB6, with a bye, since Week 7.
While their Week 13 opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, have been somewhat sound against opposing backs, they’ve allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this season (tied for seventh most) and are generous to them passing game, as well. With Daniel Jones likely to miss this one, Gallman should be counted on even more, locking him in as an RB2 option.
Running Back I’d Sit this Week:
J.K. Dobbins (Baltimore): Although I called J.K. Dobbins a potential league-winner on the podcast a few weeks ago, I don’t think that’s quite going to come to fruition this season.
The Baltimore backfield is a true running-back-by-committee – only allowing one back, when all three are healthy, to take more than 50 percent of the snap share, which came in Week 11 when Dobbins took 63 percent of them. He’s hit double digits without scoring a touchdown only once this season, and with the Ravens now on the outside looking into the playoffs, I expect them to lean on Lamar Jackson and other veterans to get the job done the rest of the way.
Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:
Deebo Samuel (San Francisco): When healthy this season, Deebo Samuel has been efficient, averaging a combined 6.6 touches per game and averaging 13.2 PPR points along the way.
He’ll face a softened Bills’ defense this week that has been exposed at times, allowing generous totals to both backs and receivers – something that Samuel has been both of this season. As long as Nick Mullens is at quarterback, San Francisco will keep the shallow completions coming, making Samuel a back-end WR2 in PPR formats.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:
Jerry Jeudy (Denver): Despite it not necessarily being his fault, rookie Jerry Jeudy has fallen short of expectations this season as he’s on pace for only 54 receptions, 857 yards and three touchdowns.
With the Broncos being a bottom-of-the-barrel scoring defense, above only the New York Jets in points forced, and Jeudy consistently seeing double coverage from opposing teams in lieu of Courtland Sutton, he is too risky with too little upside to start the rest of the season, despite the fair matchup against Kansas City this go-around.
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.