“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 complicated feelings that come when tragedy strikes a community, as well as his start and sit decisions for Week 6.
It’s a weird feeling – becoming a college alumnus.
With each semester that passes, you feel more and more removed. Professors retire. Programs are cut. Buildings get torn down. Classes and grades become lessons learned, while those late nights with friends fade into distant memories.
Year after year, you keep telling yourself that you’ll make it back for homecoming.
Yet, obligations, including paying off the ticket to play, prevent it. Classmates and colleagues move. Soon enough, we’re all settling down in one way or another: houses, tying the knot and making little ones of our own.
The Town of Indiana, Pennsylvania
I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in the fall of 2019. I left with my bachelor’s in journalism and public relations, but also so much more.
I got the girl. Yes, your classic kind of university love story. Meeting someone in your major the first weekend of classes your freshman year. The timing isn’t quite right at first, but by winter break, you’re inseparable.
Though it has never really seemed to matter, I got the grades. Cheers to cum laude, snitches. I also got the friends. You know, the kind you grind all week with – working long hours at the student paper or the local pizza joint – just to kick back for even longer hours when that closing sign goes up.
The experience was top-notch, never lacking the opportunity for growth and to acquire new skills. Extracurriculars parlayed nicely into the higher education communications world I found and quickly exited after graduation – and now entrepreneurship in the fantasy sports/sports betting industry that I have since pursued.
But perhaps one of the best commodities IUP gave me and countless others was community. And no, not the synthetic garbage that every college promises in infomercials with drone shots and base drops. Rather, the kind that gives you a home and a family when you felt like you didn’t have one. Something so special that it fostered the kind of free thinking that led to this – In-Between Media (IBT).
The only cruel crime of it all is that if we’re not around our alma mater, we can slowly lose sense of it. Sites like the Oak Grove amid a busy afternoon or Philadelphia Street on the first Friday of the fall semester slowly slip out of our minds.
That is until some pretty fucked-up stuff – the kind that feels personal – happens in the town you once called home, reminding you of everything it gave you.
Harrowing Homecoming Weekend
That’s what happened this past weekend when Indiana, Pa., was the lead story of my nightly news, nearly 200 miles away.
On Saturday, Oct. 8 – the weekend of IUP’s latest homecoming celebration – a mass shooting occurred at 12:35 a.m. ET at the Chevy Chase Community Center in White Township, Indiana County, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
Just about 1.2 miles from the edge of IUP’s campus, a 22-year-old man from Pittsburgh was pronounced dead at the scene, and another eight 18-23-year-olds suffered gunshot wounds. The investigation continues, but little information is known by the public outside of it being a confrontation at a private party.
I used to write the police blotter for the paper. Some rowdy stuff is always bound to go down in a college town like Indiana. But never in a million years would I have thought that something of this magnitude of evil could happen in that community. Let alone happen on homecoming weekend, right around the corner from where I got groceries, on the same block where we played pickleball.
While I am absolutely heartbroken for the victims and their families, I remain optimistic that the Indiana and IUP communities will overcome this tragedy. It’s what they’ve always been about – perseverance and comebacks with a forever-entrenched underdog mentality.
Here’s what IUP Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Thomas Segar had to say on the matter:
“IUP is a community that cares deeply about one another, and we continue to be supported in all ways by our home and our alumni community. We have received incredibly touching messages from alumni and friends from all over the nation, offering their concerns and help, including alumni who specialize in helping people recover from trauma to provide their expertise as we move forward. The response from the Indiana community has been focused on support and concern about the welfare of our students and their families.
In turn, we are reaching out to our community and to the Chevy Chase Community Center to offer our assistance. This organization is a positive force in this community in all possible ways, working to provide meals and a sense of belonging to individuals in need. It’s just unthinkable that this senseless violence would happen in a place of peace and love. We are very proud to be able to provide hot meals to the Chevy Chase Community Center this week to help them continue their mission of feeding the hungry.
Tragedy truly tests the character of an individual, and in this case, the heart of our community. I am very proud that this community has remained steadfast, responding in love, support and caring.”
Once a Crimson Hawk, Always a Crimson Hawk
IBT and the four proud alums that help make up this company – Katie Mest, Elliot Hicks, Kyle Scott and myself – are sending all our good vibes back to the place that brought us all together. The temporary home that allowed us to grow from kids to adults while doing it our way. For as long as the bell tower above Sutton Hall continues to ring, we’ll forever be indebted to those communities for helping us find our own.
Tonight, I’ll hold my family, the one Indiana gave me, a little tighter. And I will continue doing this, creating content that hopefully means something to someone, using the skills IUP instilled in me.
You also better believe that I will enjoy every minute of the fantasy football league that took on a life of its own while in attendance there. The same one that propelled me into my career today and that brings my oldest friends back together every season. IUP will always be a part of it.
And for that, I say, “Go Hawks.”
Alright, and here we go.
The following Week 6 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 6:
Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams): I featured the 35-year-old gunslinger as my “Shore Thing Sleeper” a week ago. He came through, finishing with 277 yards, two touchdowns and one INT, good for 16.9 fantasy points and the QB14 finish in Cooper Kupp‘s first game healthy this season. Matthew Stafford now gets the Cardinals at home. Arizona has allowed season-best performances to both Daniel Jones (30.7) and Joe Burrow (22.4 fantasy points).
It’s now the former No. 1 overall pick’s time to have the same kind of ceiling game. Stafford continues to rank No. 2 in the league in passing attempts (203) and yards (1,451). The only thing holding him back is a career-low 2.5 TD%. Kupp continuing to work more and more into the offense should help speed that positive regression up, starting this week in So-Fi Stadium.
Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 6:
C.J. Stroud (Houston): Rookie QB C.J. Stroud has been putting in that good work this season, ranking third in passing yards (1,461) and fifth in attempts (186) while passing for seven TDs and no interceptions. He’s hit for above 20 fantasy points three times this season.
Yet, I recommend having the Ohio State product on the latter side of your Week 6 start/sit selections. The New Orleans Saints will be his competition in this go-around, and no QB has thrown for even 260 yards against them this season. They’ve caused more interceptions (seven) than allowed passing TDs (six) and rank as a bottom-eight matchup for QBs over the last two weeks and on the season as a whole.
With Stroud also likely being without his explosive rookie WR Tank Dell, it further limits the upside and projects him closer to his Week 5 finish of QB17.
Running Back I’d Start in Week 6:
Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis): A majority of the time, my start/sit selections are based on underlying analytics and matchups. But this one is a straight bet on talent, opportunity and a sensational system. Jonathan Taylor had a strict snap count in his first game back with the Colts a week ago. He handled five carries early but ultimately finished with just six carries for 18 yards and one reception for 16 yards. Still, we saw the explosiveness on his lone reception.
I’m projecting Taylor to see his number of snaps increase into the 20-30 range, which could still be enough to reward fantasy managers. The Colts are 12th in rushing Yards Per Carry (YPC) with a 4.4 clip and tied for fifth in rushing TDs (seven). With no Anthony Richardson for the foreseeable future, head coach Shane Steichen will need to get the ball in the hands of his best player sooner rather than later.
The Jaguars appear like a tough matchup on paper, holding RBs to the seventh-fewest PPR points this season. However, a closer look shows that it’s been on the back of limiting touchdowns, as Dameon Pierce is the only back to score on them this season. Bijan Robinson went for 105 rushing yards against them in Week 4. Isiah Pacheco totaled 70 in Week 4, and Pierce and Devin Singletary combined for 72. Jacksonville can be beaten on the ground, and Steichen should use that as a weapon against them.
Running Back I’d Sit in Week 6:
Gus Edwards (Baltimore): It’s appearing as if the wheels are finally beginning to fall off for Gus Edwards. In his age 28 season, two years removed from a torn ACL, the Rutgers product is averaging a career-low 4.3 YPC and 46.4% Rushing Success Rate. Edwards has just three targets on the season and has only broken seven PPR points in a Week 2 game where he found the endzone.
The Ravens will be in London, England, this week to face the Titans. Tennesee did just get gashed by Zack Moss last week, with two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jeffery Simmons in and out of the lineup. But before that, Mike Vrabel‘s defense had limited starting RBs to totals of 67, 18, 13 and 45 yards in the month prior.
With a tough matchup and no ceiling to speak of, it’s touchdown or bust for Edwards. I’ll go with the odds and say he doesn’t get one.
Receiver I’d Start in Week 6:
K.J. Osborn (Minnesota): If you had the hindsight and were rostering K.J. Osborn before the Justin Jefferson injury, or if you scooped him up off the waiver wire, congrats! You have a solid PPR WR3 this week with upside for plenty more. The fourth-year man was already seventh in the NFL in routes run and averaging 4.3 targets per game prior to Week 5. After Jefferson went down, Osborn finished the game with nine targets.
Having a bottom-half defense in scoring and total yardage, the Vikings will likely be in a track meet with the recently resurgent Chicago Bears. The good news is that for as bad as Minnesota’s defense is, Chicago’s is worse, ranking bottom-four in both scoring and total yardage. That lends to Chicago being a plus matchup for WRs, one that Osborn and rookie Jordan Addison should feast on.
Receiver I’d Sit in Week 6:
Jahan Dotson (Washington): It’s been a fall from grace and preseason hype for second-year Washington receiver Jahan Dotson. The former first-round pick has just one game of double-digit PPR points and is currently pacing as the WR62 on the season. Having just a 15.7% target share doesn’t help, but neither does Dotson’s catch rate of 56.7% and a shockingly low Yards Per Target (YPT) of 4.7.
The Commanders face the Falcons this week in a game with a total of just 42.0. This is partly due to an Atlanta defense that has vastly improved, allowing the seventh-least amount of total yards per game (295.2). Fourth-year cornerback AJ Terrell is a big reason why. He’ll likely see a mixture of both Dotson and Terry McLaurin. Dotson hasn’t had much of a floor this whole season, that’s especially the case in Week 6 against the Falcons.
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.