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Start, Sit & Going Your Own Way

by Seth Woolcock

The last time In-Between Media readers heard from “Tyler” Justin Karp, content and operations director at Dynasty Football Factory (DFF), he was breathing a sigh of relief as the 2020 NFL season kicked off despite the looming threat of COVID-19.

Since then, Tyler has done his best to carry on throughout what’s been an utterly unusual time in both life and fantasy football. In past years, as the wintertide began rolling through the East Coast, Tyler would trade his rooftop podcast-listening sessions atop his Manhattan apartment for cozy coffee outings and holiday happy hours with friends. 

However, like most of us, Tyler has sacrificed a lot of the things that come with the season’s tidings. So, no, it probably won’t be a scene straight out of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” “Elf” or really any New York-set Christmas movie for Tyler this year, but he will continue doing his thing – probably writing and planning more content for a loaded Christmas weekend of football.

What else will be different for Tyler this year is the lack of traditional redraft leagues he will be preparing for come Week 16. And it’s not because his teams weren’t good enough to make it to the championship, but rather he doesn’t have the same number of teams as usual.

Around Week 7, after facing another spell of bad luck and trying to manage the constant COVID-19 effects on players and entire games, Tyler graciously bowed out of two of his redraft leagues – something uncommonly done nor admitted to by fantasy analysts. 

“It came to me one day when I was just like ‘do I really like doing this?’” he said in a Dec. 9 interview. “’Do I really want to put in these waiver claims?‘ It’s kind of a cliché, but I’ve seen it said multiple times where you know you’re in too many leagues on Tuesday when you go to set your waivers and you don’t want to do it.”

While Tyler began his fantasy journey like most of us, strictly playing redraft, he’s since transitioned more into playing and analyzing dynasty leagues, specifically SuperFlex dynasty leagues. And while this decision does partially stem from his fascination with the multiple-faceted ways to manage a dynasty team, he’s also willing to admit his own personality also factored into the decision. 

“I hate to quit in the middle of the season, but I’m glad I did,” he said. “I don’t feel bad that essentially a lot of the reason I quit was because I was a sore loser. I know it was the right decision.”

Like most deeply rooted in fantasy football, Tyler tends to let wins and losses affect his mood. However, unlike most of us, Tyler did not find joy in winning in these leagues, but only disdain from losing.

What ended up being the breaking point in these leagues for Tyler was the constant role COVID-19 was having in his roster decisions and the game as a whole.

“It felt like a chore to go through my rosters every time there was COVID-19 news every day. It’s one thing to adjust your lineup based on it, but to have to make a ton of transactions…it was not fun.”

And though Tyler went against the grain, doing something few fantasy analysts do and leave leagues, he did it the right way and for the right reasons.

“You always have to remember that you’re the one who has to live with your life,” he said. “You have to live with yourself and live with your own feelings. If you’re not happy, that’s going to make everyone that interacts with you unhappy, and you’re the one who has to go to sleep with that. So, if there’s something you can do to make yourself happier, do it. It doesn’t matter what other people think about you.” 

It takes a strong person to be able to identify negativity in one’s life – especially when it’s something that others are telling you should not be seen as bleak. And since leaving these leagues, Tyler has found peace of mind, while also more so finding himself.

“Negativity weighs you down. If there’s something in your life that’s a constant source of negativity, get rid of it,” he said. “Usually it’s not a fantasy football league.”

And Tyler’s right. At the end of the day in life, whether it’s a toxic relationship, family member, friendship or hopefully just a fantasy football league, you have to do what’s best for yourself and your own well-being, even if that means cutting it out.

Now, let’s get to it.

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:

Taysom Hill (New Orleans):  While Taysom Hill was initially a hot waiver add because of his TE eligibility in some formats, I don’t think any of us knew just how valuable he would be in a regular QB slot. In the three weeks since Hill has become the starter, he has been the QB6 during that span, averaging 22.1 fantasy points per game. 

Hill will face the Eagles this week, and Darius Slay was just burned in back-to-back weeks by D.K. Metcalf and Davante Adams for a combined 20 receptions, 298 yards and two touchdowns – setting up Michael Thomas nicely. With that in mind and Taysom Hill averaging 58.7 rushing yards since becoming the starter, I am comfortable with rolling him out as we enter the fantasy football playoffs.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Kirk Cousins (Minnesota):  One of the few quarterbacks hotter than Hill lately is Kirk Cousins, who is the QB4 over the same stretch – largely in part to his trusty receivers, Adam Theilen and Justin Jefferson.

But this week is a whole different beast for Kirk Cousins as he faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are second in the league in interceptions, which has been Cousins’ Achilles’ heel this season, as he’s on pace to break his previous career-high. With this much on the line, it’s hard to trust an average quarterback in a mediocre matchup.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

Wayne Gallman (New York Giants):  I know that I’m pushing Wayne Gallman as my running back start in back-to-back weeks, but I just can’t get enough of the fourth-year back right now. And he’s not being started nearly enough, as he was in only 56 percent of Sleeper leagues last week.

He’s scored more than 13 PPR points in six straight games, and Devonta Freeman was just placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, in addition to already being on the Injured Reserve (IR) list, assuring Gallman’s already secured workload.

He’ll see the Cardinals, who are an all-around mediocre defense, averaging 24.7 points and a generous 123 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses. Set Gallman in your lineup if you want steady production featuring a high floor.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Devontae Booker (Las Vegas):  Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame, on me. I simply cannot and will not trust Devontae Booker this week after posting a whopping 6.1 PPR points in his starting debut against the Jets.

I’ve been hesitant all season to play second-string running backs once they are promoted, as they are usually limited in the next game once the defense knows to prepare for them, and Booker is no exception moving forward. Until Josh Jacobs returns, I’m not playing any Las Vegas running back, especially here against the fewer than four yards per carry.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Chase Claypool (Pittsburgh):  There’s no doubt that rookie Chase Claypool will not have a cupcake matchup against Sean McDermott’s always formidable Buffalo Bills defense this week.

But when it comes to fantasy football playoffs, it often comes down to upside. And few have more of it than Claypool. 

He hit double-digit PPR points in six straight games prior to Monday’s matchup with Washington, and let’s not forget about his 42.6 PPR point performance in Week 5.  I expect the Steelers’ entire offense to come to play in Buffalo on Sunday after an upset defeat to Washington and that includes Chase Claypool who looks to rebound himself.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Jakobi Meyers (New England):  Well, it was fun while it lasted with Jakobi Meyers. After back-to-back big performances in Weeks 9 and 10, he’s scored a combined 20.5 fantasy points in his three matchups since. And can you really blame him?

Cam Newton is averaging 186.6 passing yards per game this season and has not even topped 100 yards in his last two matchups. Yet, the Patriots have won handily against formidable teams like the Cardinals and Chargers.

The lack of volume in New England and likely seeing Jalen Ramsey and an elite Rams defense makes Meyers an easy sit call here, and frankly a drop consideration as well, heading into the fantasy playoffs.

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.

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