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Start, Sit & Fútbol Americano | Fantasy Football Week 11 Start/Sits

Start, Sit & Fútbol Americano

by Seth Woolcock

“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 shares the story of NFL Fantasy en Español’s Gemma Martinez and reveals his start/sit selections for Week 11.

Along with the double-digit weeks of the fantasy football season often comes a funk.

Routine is great, but it can also lead to ruts – especially in an industry where you’re hanging on by every touchdown, flag thrown and a tenth of the all-powerful fantasy point. 

That’s where yours truly finds himself heading into Week 11: coming off consecutive losses in my league of record for the first time since early this season and still very much in the thick of the seemingly never-ending content cycle.

However, sometimes, when we’re in a funk, the best thing we can do is find a new perspective. So that’s exactly what we’re doing – finding one – specifically from south of the border.

Say “Hola” to Gemma Martinez

Gemma Martinez is a 41-year-old fantasy content generator for NFL Fantasy en Español from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Today, Gemma is a pioneer not only for women in the fantasy football space but for Spanish speakers as a whole.

Her journey here begins deep within her roots from the border town just two hours east of San Diego.

“From a very young age, I liked the NFL,” Gemma said in a Nov. 12 email interview. “For my family, the NFL playoffs, the conference championships games and the Super Bowl were like Christmas at my grandmother’s house. Now that my grandmother is gone, we continue to get together at my uncle’s house and make carne asada. That’s why I’ve always said that ‘Football is family.’”

Years later, in 2012, when dating Mauricio Gutiérrez, also a fantasy football content creator for NFL Fantasy en Español and other Spanish-speaking platforms, she became aware of the game. Initially, he told her he was writing about fantasy football for a website, covering their weekly waivers column.

“At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about,” Gemma said. “‘Waivers, what is that? What is fantasy football?’ And when he explained it to me, I was surprised… I thought, ‘How cool is this? I can be the owner of my own virtual football team.’”

Eventually, Mauricio invited Gemma to co-manage a team with him. She enjoyed it so much that the next year, she wanted her own team and dove headfirst into consuming fantasy football content. 

She’s been hooked ever since and continues to play in leagues with her friends, family and girlfriends.

“I love it. I think that fantasy football makes you connect with people,” Gemma said.

It’s a Familia Thing

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Gemma was like a lot of us… searching for connection and community. She found it on Twitter after following multiple accounts that discussed the NFL and fantasy football.

One account she regularly interacted with was Football Girls MX, a group of Spanish-speaking women creating NFL content. The team eventually contacted Gemma, asking her to create fantasy content for them. She initially declined the offer.

“At that time, I didn’t know that I could generate fantasy content,” Gemma said. “Not because I didn’t want to. I was afraid of being crossed out as not knowing. But they kept insisting because they saw potential in me. That’s when I realized that if these girls would support me, I could do it and that there was no other woman in Mexico who explained fantasy for Spanish-speaking women.”

Mauricio and Gemma with ESPN's Liz Loza at the Winter FSGA Conference in Las Vegas.

Mauricio and Gemma with ESPN’s Liz Loza at the Winter FSGA Conference in Las Vegas.

Holding her bachelor’s degree in marketing administration, Gemma began by mostly making infographics for Football Girls MX, explaining fantasy football to their audience. In addition, she started generating the Monday injury report for Estadio Fantasy.

“That year, I realized that Latin and Hispanic women wanted to play fantasy, but they did not play for fear or shame of asking something too obvious and that men could comment something bad or make fun of them,” she said.

By 2021, Gemma was in the thick of it, creating rankings, articles, videos and even live streaming. She also had the opportunity to participate in the Scott Fish Bowl (#SFB11). Eventually, she proposed the first league of 100% women in Spanish, which became known as the Football Girls Fantasy Bowl.

Today, Gemma works alongside her husband, Mauricio, for NFL Fantasy en Español. She’s known for her short videos, specifically ¨Gemmas Ocultas,” or in English, “Hidden Gems,” where she discloses her sleepers of the week. The Football Girls Fantasy Bowl is now in its third season and has 84 women participating from different countries such as the U.S., Mexico, Chile, Panama, Spain, Guatemala and Canada.

Mauricio and Gemma pose for a picture at Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix

In the past year alone, Gema has traveled to Canton, Ohio, for the Fantasy Football Expo, where she was part of the first Queens Classic Draft inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a Women of Fantasy Football panel. She also kicked it in Las Vegas at the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association’s (FSGA) Winter Conference and even attended Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix. 

Not only did Gemma and Mauricio attend the game, but they also participated in the media week, where she asked Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes which Kansas City player he would pick in fantasy football next season. His answers were, of course, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Isiah Pacheco.

“This year was a dream came true,” Gemma said. “It [fantasy football] has allowed me to meet valuable people, not only from Mexico but also from the U.S. and other parts of the world, with whom I share common interests. I have also been able to introduce fantasy football to women who like the NFL but who do not know about fantasy. Many, after knowing that it exists, have been encouraged to play… It’s a safe space for us, where we can have fun and increase our passion for the NFL.”

Fantasy Football: The String That Ties Us Together

According to Gemma, every year, the Latin American market continues to grow rapidly for the NFL, so much so that Mexico is now the largest NFL market outside of the U.S. 

The NFL has helped in the past by bringing games to Mexico City and incorporating the country in opportunities like announcing NFL Draft picks remotely. 

Industry improvements like the NFL Fantasy app now available in Spanish and content available for Spanish speakers have also helped. Still, the game is “barely” growing in Spanish-speaking countries, according to Gemma, largely because of the language barrier. That’s why Gemma encourages more companies to generate more fantasy football content in Spanish.

According to Gemma, the easiest way English-speaking fans can help is by “being open to interacting with the Latino and Spanish-speaking community.”

After hearing Gemma’s story, that’s something I’ll certainly be more mindful of moving forward. Considering I got only one “A” in my three semesters of Spanish in college, you probably won’t see any Spanish content from me personally any time soon. However, it’s something that I want to strive to add one day here at In-Between Media (IBT), while, in the meantime, we work on being more inclusive and attentive to our fellow football fans.

I’m confident that seeing this new perspective – one where it is a lot more difficult to consume and create content around the game we love because of a language barrier – is enough to break me out of my funk and hopefully any readers out of theirs, too.

Even when things aren’t going our way and another touchdown run is called back, let’s try our best to be grateful for a game connecting so many across this beautiful world, making dreams come true along the way.

Alright, and here we go.

Fantasy football CTA

The following Week 11 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:

Brock Purdy (San Francisco):  Attacking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for our QB start backfired last week. However, we think that has more to do with Will Levis continuing to be inaccurate on the road than anything. It may have also been some addition by subtraction, with Tampa Bay tightening up without cornerback Carlton Davis active. The sixth-year veteran should be out there this weekend, helping this defense turn back into the pumpkin that is a top-five matchup for opposing signal-callers both on the season and over the past four weeks.

In games with left tackle Trent Williams and his full complement of weapons healthy, Brock Purdy has finished as a QB1 in four of seven weeks. In one of the weeks he didn’t, Purdy paced as the QB13, and in another, he faced inadequate weather in Cleveland. Purdy is on pace for 4,400 yards and 28 TDs. That sort of production has mid-tier QB1 upside and belongs in your lineups regularly, especially against a cake matchup like Tampa Bay.

Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 11:

Russell Wilson (Denver):  I remain a firm believer that the Minnesota Vikings, inspired by Joshua Dobbs‘ recent heroics, are legitimate contenders. In addition to the offense rallying around the “Passtronaut,” the defense has come alive the past month. Brian Flores’s unit has limited opponents to the 11th-fewest fantasy points and a five-to-six touchdown-to-interception ratio over the last four weeks.

Russell Wilson has taken 30 sacks this season, tied for the third-most. I expect the NFL’s co-defensive sack leader, Danielle Hunter (12 sacks), and linebacker D.J. Wonnum (five sacks), to make life tough for Wilson and company.

In a good week for the QB position, I can’t justify starting Wilson when he has just one finish higher than QB9 this season, coming in Week 2, largely due to a completed hail mary.

Running Backs I’d Start in Week 11:

Raheem Mostert & De’Von Achane (Miami):  Both veteran Raheem Mostert and rookie De’Von Achane have remained limited in practice this week, but nothing has indicated they won’t both be active come Sunday.

Mostert hopes to continue his stellar season where he paces as the PPR RB4 on a points-per-game basis. Ahead of him on that list is Achane, who remains the greatest mystery in fantasy football. The rookie averaged 25.4 PPR points per game in four contests earlier this season before landing on Injured Reserved (IR).

Though I expect Achane’s insane 7.1 Yards Before Contact (YBC) and 12.1 Yards Per Carry (YPC) to come down, his and Mostert’s efficiency should remain strong against the Raiders. Las Vegas allows 4.6 YPC and has seen the fourth-most rushing back attempts this season. This cultivates for them to be the fourth-friendliest matchup for opposing RBs this season and the third-friendliest over the past month. Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins should be motivated to run it up on the Raiders after catching strays from analysts over their bye week.

Running Back I’d Sit in Week 11:

Chuba Hubbard (Carolina):  One of my favorite offseason sleepers, Chuba Hubbard, has seemingly taken over the Carolina Panthers backfield. In the past three weeks, the former Oklahoma State Cowboy has out-carried high-priced free agent signing Miles Sanders 40-10. Still, Hubbard has averaged just eight PPR points per game over that span, as Sanders and Raheem Blackshear remain somewhat involved in the passing game.

Carolina faces the Cowboys with an implied points total of just 15.5. It’s hard to want to back any Panther outside of Adam Thielen, with scoring opportunities likely being limited. Dallas has also been a bottom-eight matchup against opposing RBs, both over the past month and on the season, further cutting into Hubabrd’s upside. Unless genuinely desperate, Hubbard is better off left on the outside looking in of your start/sit decisions in Week 11.

Receiver I’d Start in Week 11:

Tank Dell (Houston):  The third-round rookie has had a phenomenal start to his career when healthy, averaging 14.9 PPR points per game, the 16th-most at the position (minimum four games played). It’s a middle-of-the-road matchup against the Cardinals, but this start recommendation for Week 11 comes down more to the process of elimination.

Noah Brown, who had broken out the last two weeks – mainly working out of the slot – didn’t practice Thursday. After missing last week’s win against the Bengals, Nico Collins logged a Limited practice (LP) Thursday but will likely still not be close to 100% if active Sunday. While he’s not a huge factor, Robert Woods was a full-go in practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a foot injury.

Dell is seemingly the healthiest Houston WR. Whoever has been out there between him, Collins and Brown the past two weeks have all scored double-digit PPR points with upside for a lot more. We expect a similar performance on Sunday.

Receiver I’d Sit in Week 11:

Brandin Cooks (Dallas):  Coming off a 32.3 PPR-point performance, it’ll be tough for fantasy managers to get away from Brandin Cooks. However, it’s important to remember that it was just Cooks’ third game this season with over seven PPR points. He’s also only met that number in games he scored.

Expecting Cook to get there again against the Carolina Panthers this week is a true roll of the dice. Due to offenses not having to score to beat Carolina, they’ve been a bottom-four matchup for opposing receivers this season and over the past month. In their past three games, an average of 14.7 targets per game and no touchdowns have gone to WRs. If the Cowboys get up early and Cook isn’t an early scorer, it might be a long day for managers who started the 10-year veteran.

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.

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