“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 fifth season. Join him in this edition as he shares the story of BettorFantasy and its team of founders, as well as his start/sit selections for Week 11.
Some stories have a fairytale beginning – a picturesque scene in a beautifully portrayed city or a cinematic landscape.
However, the best stories have real origins, relatably hitting home for both the reader and the writer.
Yes, this is one of those stories.
Stewartsville, N.J., August 2020
It was another humid August night, roughly five miles from the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border. William “Will” Tighe, now 28, and Sahil Patel, also now 28, sat in Will’s parents’ driveway following their fantasy football draft.
Despite the celebratory high from the homecoming to kick off the season, the two lifelong best friends had the future in mind.
“We had this crazy idea that we thought could be huge,” Sahil said in a Nov. 14 interview. “We really sat there for two hours after our draft. The vibes were high-key. We thought we had something and thought what we should do next.”
The next day Sahil and Will got to work on the prototype of what would become BettorFantasy, an app allowing users to sync their fantasy football leagues and predict the winners of weekly matchups. The hope was that this product would up league comradery and keep players engaged for the entire season, even if eliminated from the postseason.
“The moment was great, but what was greater is that we acted on it,” Will said in a Nov. 14 interview.
Though the beginnings of BettorFantasy date back to that summer night in the drive, the story of the friends founding the company goes back much farther – to what Will refers to as their “stereotypical suburban New Jersey upbringings.”
Like most of us growing up in the 2000s, Will’s life mostly revolved around sports, hanging out with friends and the hijinx that came with both.
For Sahil, life was similar, also playing multiple sports growing up. Yet, his experience somewhat differed, growing up with parents who had immigrated to the country from India.
“It was a really unique experience,” Sahil said. “I’m really thankful for the way they raised me. They gave me what I needed, but I didn’t have all the things I’d always wanted… It always taught me to stay humble.”
From spending time with friends like Will and Sean Corman – the third leg of the BettorFantasy founding team who grew up across the street – Sahil learned a lot about some of the things he remains interested in today.
One and maybe most significant of those interests is, of course, fantasy football. The friends began their league together in 2005 when Ladainian Tomlinson was the consensus No. 1 overall pick.
“We had the draft online,” Will said. “I remember printing out a draft board… printing out all the different rankings from the different sites on it and taping them up on it. I just remember it being the most fun two hours of my life, and I was hooked – right then.”
Go Your Own Way
As most friend groups do after graduation, the gang went their separate way after high school.
Will attended Saint Bonaventure University, nestled alongside the Allegheny River in western New York. He bounced around majors, trying to figure out what he wanted to do, before committing to a degree in marketing and communications.
Meanwhile, Sahil found himself studying information technology and economics at Rutgers University. It was there in Brunswick, N.J., that Sahil met Evan Dunatov – the fourth and final founder of BettorFantasy.
As Evan continued working on a law degree that would become increasingly valuable to this future team after graduation in 2016, Sahil became a project manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Sean would also eventually also join him at the firm.
However, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Sahil left JP Morgan to help lead the new product launch of the American Express Business Checking Account.
Will relocated multiple times after college, living everywhere from Lake Placid, N.Y., to Washington, D.C. and, eventually, Cleveland. There in The Forest City, Will was a merchandising and digital media coordinator at the Canterbury Golf Club while also helping launch an app for a separate startup.
Pieces of the Puzzle
This collective of each individual’s experiences in their given fields allowed the team to create an initial prototype just weeks after that night in Will’s driveway.
“None of this would have happened if we didn’t have those experiences already under our belt,” Will said. “…It made it fairly seamless because we knew what went into it, what tools to use and what to do. So it was just a matter of having the idea come to life.”
After using their prototype to collect data and test their hypothesis in the 2020 season, the gang found 13 separate angel investors to help accelerate the process.
“[They] were mostly investing in us as a team,” Sahil said. “That was really special for us to get the help of people we had done business with previously or networks we had created since then.”
In the fall of 2021 – just three months after finding funding and a year after that night in Will’s parents’ driveway, BettorFantasy was officially launched into app stores.
“The team we have is small, but it’s lean, and we’re powerful,” Sahil said. “We have the ability to hit really ambitious goals in short amounts of time with little amounts of capital.”
Bottles popped at the BettorFantasy’s launch party in their hometown on the NFL season opener, Sept. 9, 2021. After waking up the next day, now seeing the physical product they created, Sahil had the conviction to take the next step. He put in his two weeks at American Express the following Monday.
“I think what it came down to is that we didn’t want to wake up the next day and find out somewhat built this idea and it was because we didn’t go full-time and give it a shot,” Sahil said. “We had an idea so we just wanted to be the team to do it and go after it.”
It didn’t take long for Will to follow suit. And with the help of their investors, advisory board and core team, the friends haven’t looked back since.
Execution Is Everything
Today the team continues to get new leagues to sync up while adding new features to their application, like Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games and a gamified loyalty program.
“Will told me this early on,” Sahil said. “‘You can never get too high and you can never get too low. Every day’s been a rollercoaster, and we just learn every single day.’”
The story of BettorFantasy is one of unbreakable friendship, humble beginnings, but maybe most of all, believing in yourself enough to execute.
“Ideas are commodities. Execution is everything,” Sahil said.
We all have aspirations.
They may differ, but each of us has hopes and dreams.
However, it’s not until we pick ourselves up and get to work that they can come true. BettorFantasy, In-Between Media and many other companies and individuals I’ve written about began with an idea.
But the people behind those ideas made it happen. No magic. No one secret formula. Just long hours, late nights and hard work driven by self-belief.
So whether that’s you beginning your own venture or just trying to win a damn fantasy football championship, it all comes down to execution.
In life, it may come with a sacrifice in other areas to get the job done.
As for fantasy football, it’ll require you to stay nimble on the waiver wire, getting deals done before the deadline and doing your due diligence for your start/sit decisions for Week 11.
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 in Week 11:
Daniel Jones (New York Giants): Daniel Jones threw the ball 17 times last week, yet still finished with more than 18 fantasy points. That’s the power of efficiency and a rushing floor bonus.
Jones faces the Lions this week. Anyway you look at it – season-long, last month or last two weeks – the Lions are a horrible defense against quarterbacks. However, they are particularly bad against rushing QBs. They’ve allowed the most rushing attempts (57), second-most rushing yards (372) and tied for the most rushing TDs (four) to the position.
Jones is currently fourth amongst QBs in rushing attempts (69) and fifth in rushing yards (387). Playing at home and in the cold, I like Jones to tuck and run his way to another QB1 finish.
Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 11:
Russell Wilson (Denver): Look, I get that it worked playing Russell Wilson his last time out against the Raiders. But that was then, and this is now.
Wilson will likely be without Jerry Jeudy, his most trusted target of late. WRs KJ Hamler, Kendall Hinton and TE Andrew Beck also did not practice today. Making matters worse, starting guards Graham Glasgow and Tom Compton were limited in practice today.
The Raiders have held three straight QBs to fewer than 250 receiving yards and haven’t allowed two-plus passing touchdowns in the past two weeks. With Wilson possibly limited in receiving options and less than 100 percent healthy protection, I do not believe he can cross the QB1 threshold for the first time since Week 4.
Running Back I’d Start in Week 11:
Kenyan Drake (Baltimore): Gus Edwards remained limited in practice this week, potentially opening the door for Kenyan Drake to start for the second-straight game. Last time he was the starter, he handled 26 total touches on his way to a PPR RB4 finish.
Even in the games that Edwards started, Drake averaged 11.5 touches, meaning he will see some work regardless. In a game against the Panthers where the Ravens should lead, there should be ample opportunity for all Ravens’ RBs. Additionally, the Panthers have allowed six total TDs and an average of 146.5 combined yards per game to opposing RBs over the past month. This prompts a very favorable spot here for Drake and my confidence in him to deliver.
Running Back I’d Sit in Week 11:
Isiah Pacheco (Kansas City): Excitement is building around rookie Isiah Pacheco after Clyde Edwards-Helaire was held without touch in Week 10. Still, Pacheco has not eclipsed double-digit PPR points or even seven PPR points since Week 1. He has virtually zero pass-catching upside, with three targets this season. Plus, he’s only averaging 9.6 carries per game as the starter.
The Chiefs run the ball 23.7 times per game, the 25th most amongst teams. I worry that if Justin Herbert can get some of his receivers back, this becomes a shootout, leaving fewer carries for Pacheco. With the rookie creating just 1.51 yards per touch (53rd best amongst RBs), it’s hard to trust him, even in a favorable matchup.
Wide Receiver I’d Start in Week 11:
Darius Slayton (New York Giants): In addition to liking what Jones can do on the ground this week in Detroit, I also like his passing prowess and his passing weapon, Darius Slayton. Slayton has finished as a PPR WR3 in four of his last five games and is averaging 2.3 fantasy points per target (11th best amongst WRs).
It wasn’t long ago in 2019 that Slayton flashed his potential, finishing as the PPR WR37 as a rookie. He fell out of favor in the Joe Judge era but has bounced back under Brian Daboll. I think Slayton shows his big-play ability this week against the Lions, who have allowed the third most receiving yards to receivers over the past month (697).
Wide Receiver I’d Sit in Week 11:
Allen Robinson (Los Angeles Rams): I believe this is a trap game for Allen Robinson, despite there being no Cooper Kupp. Robinson has seen five or more targets in every game aside from Week 1, yet he’s finished as a PPR WR3 or better only twice in those eight games. That’s a clip of 25 percent.
While the Saints aren’t a fantastic defense, the best receiver stat line over the last three weeks against them is Mack Hollins‘s seven receptions for 64 yards. They have been a top-four defense against the position for the last month. Forgive me if I don’t trust the offense ranked 31st in yards per game and 28th in points per game to crack that case.
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.