It’s Oct. 31, somewhere between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on Halloween morning. I find myself at the local corner bar, drinking a Bud Light aluminum bottle, singing along to Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.”
Sitting next to me is a blonde-haired, green-eyed girl, wearing a homemade orange pumpkin top, working on a Captain and Coke. She’s half-singing, half laughing out loud.
To passers-by, peering through the tap rooms’ windows, it looks like any other dreary night in the sleepless college town. But to me, standing there with her – singing in a room full of strangers – it felt like time stood still.
The funny thing is, that this isn’t the first moment that being with her made me feel like time had stopped. As I write this I can say I have nearly 5 years’ worth of these memories.
In just over a week, we’ll celebrate 5 years together. In some ways, the years have gone by in the blink of an eye. But looking back at old photographs shows just how young we were when we first began dating.
Though I’m known for offering my life advice, amongst other things, how I ever got a girl like Katie will forever be a mystery. Earlier this year on our podcast, Field Yates, ESPN’s NFL Insider and host of The Fantasy Focus Football Podcast, told me that in relationships there’s often a “reacher” and a “settler.” The trick for the “reachers” – guys like he and I – is to get girls like Katie to settle for us and our quirkiness.
As our anniversary approaches, I’ll continue to reflect on the moments we’ve shared – many of which I’ve told within the words of this very column series. I’ll also count my lucky stars that we found each other when we did and remained by each other’s sides through thick and thin since.
Reflecting on and celebrating milestones in life, is, in part, what makes them so special. The same can be said for the fantasy football season.
As we’ve reached the unofficial halfway point in the NFL regular season, don’t forget to reminisce on how we got here and what we’ve witnessed. The breakouts, the heartbreaks and everything in-between can teach us a lot about ourselves and this game we love, despite all the zigs and zags that come with it.
Likely, it’ll just make us that much more thankful for the ride.
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:
Tua Tagovailoa (Miami): Readers from the offseason still hanging with me this long, know I was personally down on second-year quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, coming into the season. But with a defense that has spiraled and above-average offensive weapons, Tagovailoa has proved to be a serviceable fantasy QB at times this season.
He’s been the QB6 on a points-per-game basis over the last three weeks, since returning to injury. This week, his strong fantasy output should continue against the struggling 1-7 Houston Texans. In back-to-back games against the Rams and Cardinals, Houston has allowed three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks and has been vulnerable to just about all skill positions of note.
I’m getting Tagovailoa and as many of his skill position players in my lineup this week as possible and sleeping soundly at night doing so.
Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:
Daniel Jones (New York Giants): Despite having his offensive weapons consistently in and out of the lineup, Daniel Jones has had a fair fantasy season as he currently sits at the QB14 overall.
However, he’s struggled as of late, throwing just three touchdowns to four interceptions in his last three games. He faces the Raiders this week, fresh off their bye and the news of Henry Ruggs’ dismissal from the team. With the Raiders housing one of the league’s best pass rushes, I expect the Giants’ offensive line to struggle and for Jones to be hit often.
All this, combined with the unknown health status of Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney, should leave Jones outside the top-12 at the position this week and out of your fantasy lineups, as well.
Running Back I’d Start this Week:
Jeremy McNichols (Tennessee): With Derrick Henry becoming the most recent of the 20+ starting RBs to suffer an injury this season, it’s becoming increasingly trying times in the fantasy football landscape. Trying enough that I’m making journeyman running back, Jeremy McNichols my RB start selection of Week 9.
Prior to Henry’s injury, McNichols was posting career highs in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. In addition to his pass-catching skills, McNichols ran for more than 3,000 yards during his time at BYU.
This week McNichols will face the Los Angeles Rams with 36-year-old Adrian Peterson accompanying him in the backfield. Gameflow suggests McNichols could see a majority of the snaps. And the Rams’ have struggled to contain similar-style backs like D’Andre Swift and Chase Edmonds. In a world of unproven backup running backs, McNichols is as good as any this week and can be in lineups.
Running Back I’d Sit this Week:
Kenneth Gainwell (Philadelphia): There’s been a new head coach in Philadelphia this season, yet it’s still more of the same. Death, taxes and a running back by committee. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell and his fantasy managers are the latest victims of this tactic.
Last week, Gainwell was expected to be the No. 1 back, due to the injury to starter Miles Sanders and the success that Gainwell had earlier this season. Instead, we saw Boston Scott and Jordan Howard both going for two touchdowns and double-digit PPR points, while Gainwell was left out in the cold with just 2.7 PPR points.
This time around, the Eagles will face the Chargers, one of the best matchups on paper for fantasy running backs. I caution fantasy managers who are tempted to give Gainwell another chance in this favorable matchup. He has seen more than 50 percent of the snaps just once this season and has only posted double-digit PPR points in games where he’s seen a touchdown or had more than 50 percent of snaps.
With Scott and Howard’s presence making it unlikely for Gainwell to get either the majority of snaps or a touchdown, the risk outweighs the reward on this one.
Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:
Jaylen Waddle (Miami): Rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle is another Miami player I missed on in my offseason projections. Waddle has paced well, already hauling in 48 receptions on 69 targets – both of which are top-10 in the NFL.
Where Waddle has struggled is Yards After the Catch (YAC) and Yards Per Reception (YPR). The good news is that Houston has noticeably struggled in this area as they currently allow the fifth-most YPR this season to opposing receivers at 14.4. I expect Waddle to be the next talented skill-position player to leave his mark on his Houston defense. Fire him up as a low-end WR2 or FLEX option this week.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:
Laviska Shenault (Jacksonville): Unfortunately Laviska Shenault’s breakout season, aka “Viska SZN” as some analysts referred to it, ended before it ever really got going. The versatile, second-year receiver has had just three games with double-digit PPR points and is now the PPR WR58.
Keep in mind that the majority of Shenault’s struggles have come in the absence of DJ Chark Jr., the team’s leading receiver from the past two seasons. After Chark’s injury, the Jaguars shifted Shenault’s role more to a downfield flyer than the dink-and-dunk gadget role he was in. Unintentionally, this has brought fantasy value to Jamal Agnew, who is now filling Shenault’s former role.
This week, playing against the Buffalo Bills, the No. 1 defense against receivers, Shenault is an easy sit decision.
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.