I’ve had a lot taken or attempted to be taken from me in my life by others — my youth, my family, my mental well-being — but I never thought I would have this, my words and my column, taken from me, as well.
Until last week, when hours before publishing my 55th edition of “Start, Sit & Seth” since 2018, I read a column that directly plagiarized some of my original words. To make things worse, this wasn’t just used for someone’s blog, but it was for a reputable company ran by respected writers. And maybe worst of all, it was from someone who I considered a friend and colleague in the fantasy sports industry.
To be clear, this edition of my column is not to belittle the company or the writer. We all mistakes. It is to share a sincere moment of my real life, that allowed me to pause and reflect – both on the journey that writing this column has taken me and the love I have for it and its readers.
When I first penned this column when I was 19 and the editor-in-chief of my campus newspaper, I was open that I was inspired to write this column by one of my heroes – Matthew Berry – who trailblazed the long intro to fantasy football columns in his “Love/Hate” column.
There’s no doubt that without the influence of Berry, I wouldn’t be writing this column and there would be no In-Between Media. Hell, I don’t know where I would be on this Earth or if I’d even be here still if it weren’t for Berry’s brilliant words.
However, though I was inspired by Berry, I very much made “Start, Sit & Seth” my own. I’ve told stories about myself and others across the country – some ordinary, some anything but ordinary – all to compare life to the game of fantasy football that inspires others to live the life they deserve to be living.
Since writing my first word of this series on Sept. 6, 2018 – more than 3 years ago – my life hasn’t been the same. I’ve overcome a heartbreak like no other. I was separated from my siblings for 3 and a half years, testified against my mother and witnessed her being taken away, only to see it on the front page of my hometown newspaper the following day.
This all transpired throughout my time at university, much of it when I was running my campus newspaper, while simultaneously working on a marketing campaign with my professor and waiting tables at a pizza place most Friday nights.
The span of writing this column saw me get my first writing job in the fantasy football industry, followed by graduating from college. It also witnessed me finding my first full-time communications job, only to lose it in the initial wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have since created In-Between Media, setting my own course in the fantasy sports industry. Though, I would eventually be joined on this venture by strangers who would become family.
In the midst of it all, however, I haven’t forgotten how to live. I’ve explored amazing places, made unforgettable memories and held those who I love closer than ever. I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, yet I lived to write about it all.
And now, for the first time, I’ve begun to uncover the adversity that brought me here to my audience. And it only took 55 columns to work up the courage to do so.
So, while I wasn’t the first and I know that I won’t be the last to ever write long introductions leading to fantasy sports advice, I’ll be the only one to do it my way.
And to make sure that this column remains what it is – an extension of me – I’m officially changing my final transition statement to something more personal to me.
It will include a word that I use in the introduction to each episode of “The In-Between Fantasy Football Podcast” and a word I try to live life by. Made popular in media by Matthew McConaughey’s character David Wooderson in the film “Dazed and Confused,” alright is more than just a word – it’s a lifestyle.
One that requires you to let go of the pain of the past, stop overthinking the future and just enjoy the spectacular now.
Alright, and here we go.
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:
Kirk Cousins (Minnesota): It’s getting tough to pick my quarterback start selection every week, as I attempt to stray around from the top 10, who are locked-in plays every week, yet still attempt to predict a QB1 on the week with this selection. If there is one QB outside the locked-in plays I’m confident will finish Week 3 as a QB1, it’s Kirk Cousins.
Cousins finished as a QB1 in both Week 1 and 2, despite playing on the road. Minnesota returns home after an 0-2 start, needing a win against Seattle, who has allowed the 10th least amount of fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Cousins is clicking, as usual, with offensive weapons Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. However, the emergence of second-year receiver K.J. Osborn has helped elevate Cousins to completing 71.6 percent of his passes for 595 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Seattle defense is above-average, but they were worn down late in back-to-back weeks to the likes of Joe Burrow and Dalvin Cook, leaving the door open for Cousins to find fantasy success.
Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:
Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee): Ryan Tannehill has been slow out of the gates this season, currently sitting at the QB26. And I’m afraid it may be more of the same this week at home vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
With starter Carson Wentz either playing at less than 100 percent or not at all, I expect Indianapolis to use a strong time-of-possession game plan here in Week 3, featuring 20-25 carries for Jonathan Taylor and short passes to the likes of Nyheim Hines, Zach Pascal and Jack Doyle. This could shorten the game and limit Tannehill’s opportunity to put up points.
With the loss of Corey Davis and the addition of Julio Jones, the Titans’ passing game hasn’t clicked just yet, causing Tannehill to somewhat struggle, completing 64 percent of passing for just two total touchdowns compared to four turnovers. Brighter days are ahead for Tannehill with the Jets and Jaguars on deck, but this week he’s staying on my bench.
Running Back I’d Start this Week:
Myles Gaskin (Miami): Myles Gaskin’s fantasy upside has been handicapped to this point in 2021, due to the Dolphins’ true running-back-by-committee approach. But I think that all changes this week as the team travels to Las Vegas to play the 2-0 Raiders without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Both Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed have seen run this season but haven’t been effective as they are currently averaging 3.7 and 2.3 Yards Per Carry (YPC), compared to Gaskin’s 5.3 YPC. With Jacoby Brissett as Miami’s starter in lieu of Tagovailoa and Las Vegas’s pass rush being strong so far this season, I expect Miami to feature Gaskin in this week’s game plan both on the ground and through the air.
Running Back I’d Sit this Week:
Darrell Henderson (Los Angeles Rams): If I am a Darrell Henderson fantasy manager, I’m doing everything I can in my power to avoid playing him in Week 3.
Henderson is dealing with a rib injury, something that he could possibly reinjure and end his day early. And if he does play, he faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that’s been one of the best for seasons against the opposing running backs. This includes limiting Dallas’s Ezekiel Elliot to 5.9 PPR points on 13 total touches.
With the Rams also likely needing to throw, rather than run, to keep up with Tom Brady and the red-hot Tampa Bay passing game, Sony Michel also deserves to be on benches, in the absence of Henderson.
Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh): Though Juju Smith-Schuster hasn’t been a fantasy rockstar so far this season as he’s PPR WR38 through two weeks, he’s had 15 targets, second on the team to only Diontae Johnson, who is currently questionable for Sunday with a knee injury.
With Ben Roethlisberger also banged up with a pectoral injury and the offensive line playing poor, I expect Pittsburgh to revert back to their dink-and-dunk style of passing here in Week 3 against division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals – providing a safe fantasy floor for Smith-Schuster this week.
Though the Bengals’ defense has looked somewhat improved this season, they’re still surrendering an average of 1.5 touchdowns to receivers per game, opening the ceiling up to match Smith-Schuster’s floor – elevating him into starting lineups.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:
Kenny Golladay (New York Giants): A lot has gone wrong since Kenny Golladay signed a four-year, $72-million deal with the Giants in March.
The preseason hamstring injury, the backseat he seems to have taken to fellow receiver Sterling Shepard, a new lingering hip injury that limited him in Wednesday’s practice and even an outburst caught on camera last Thursday that featured Golladay yelling at offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
His opponent in Week 3 has certainly been susceptible to both opposing quarterbacks and receivers this season, having some fantasy managers thrusting Golladay into lineups. But know that they’ve also faced two of the league’s hotter quarterbacks, Brady and transformative second-year Jalen Hurts.
Not Daniel Jones, that despite fantasy success, has completed only 63.8 percent of his passes for a pair of touchdowns. Golladay might turn things around down the road. But with still so much on the line in Week 3, I’m not trusting him in lineups.
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.