“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 why setting boundaries around the holidays is important and his start/sit selections for Week 12.
Cult classics and the Hallmark Channel insinuated that going “home for the holidays” was a given.
Racing from place to place for family functions was a right of passage, not an inconvenience.
Sometimes so much so that people-pleasing becomes an art.
Santa’s Sleigh Running on Fumes
I was once the Picasso of it all, loading my five-speed the brim each late November and December. Traveling across the state, ensuring that I attended every function. Throwing disregard for my well-being in areas like sleep, fitness and diet, I’d make it there… I might have been 15 to 20 minutes late, but that’s beside the point.
I’d run myself to the point of exhaustion that the holidays didn’t feel all that holy.
Then, at some point in the last year, well after I referred to myself as the “Grinch in his Mid-20s,” I decided enough was enough. I gave myself permission to pick and choose what I would attend.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still prioritizing loved ones and will again be pulling off the two Thanksgiving dinners in one day trick. But it’s happening on my terms, dates be damned and guilt-free.
A Guilt-Free Holiday Season
I can’t tell you what a freeing feeling this change in mindset has been. I’ve witnessed so many friends and colleagues become different people from late November through the New Year because of holiday stress.
Setting boundaries and realistic expectations is the only true way to negate that. And the beautiful thing is that the status quo changes once you do it the first time. No more hurt feelings or thumbs-down emojis from Grandma.
If you find yourself being more Jack Frost than the Jolly Giant this holiday season, I implore you to do the same.
Fantasy football leagues this time of year should be no different. If it’s not your year, and you’re eliminated from playoff contention, it’s OK to somewhat check out. Sure, you still need to be a good leaguemate. Set your lineup, and if you’re the commissioner, stay in the loop for when complications arise. Yet don’t stare mindlessly at the standings, wondering why you aren’t at the top.
Set boundaries and proper expectations, whether you’re trying to be a homebody for the holidays or just a sane fantasy football manager down the stretch. You’ll thank yourself later.
Alright, and here we go.
The following Week 12 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 12:
Justin Fields (Chicago): I’ve certainly been high-horsing the improvement the Minnesota Vikings’ defense has shown this season. They’ve paced as a top-eight fantasy D/ST this season and a slightly negative matchup for QBs over the past month. Still, they’ve struggled against the elites, allowing QB1 days to Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts.
Justin Fields isn’t in that tier of signal-callers but can make points rain when he’s hot, finishing as a QB1 in the last three games he’s finished. He was injured in the Week 6 matchup against Minnesota, but we still saw Fields rush for 46 yards on 53% of snaps played. In his relief, Tyson Bagent also rushed for a score. I expect Fields to use his legs early and often, scampering to another top-12 finish.
Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 12:
Joshua Dobbs (Minnesota): Staying in the same game, I’m suggesting Joshua Dobbs for the latter side of your Week 12 start/sit decisions. The journeyman has been stellar this season, pacing as the QB15 on a points-per-game basis (minimum of five games played). However, five straight games with a rushing touchdown can certainly prop up fantasy production.
I expect that streak to end in a game against the Bears, one of the six teams yet to allow a rushing TD to quarterbacks. In addition, Chicago has been a bottom-eight matchup for opposing QBs over the last two weeks, limiting Jared Goff and Bryce Young to two combined touchdowns and three interceptions. Adding Montez Sweat has changed things for this Chicago defense, and I expect them to keep Dobbs in check on Monday night.
Running Back I’d Start in Week 12:
Gus Edwards (Baltimore): Look at any sample size you want (full season, the last month or two weeks), and the Los Angeles Chargers have been at least a top-seven matchup for opposing RBs. With Mark Andrews now lost for at least the rest of the regular season, I expect the Baltimore Ravens to lean on their most productive skill player left, Gus Edwards, and exploit this matchup.
After fading him when he first took the job, “Gus Bus” has been sensational for fantasy managers, scoring nine touchdowns in his last five games, finishing as a lock-and-loaded RB1 in four of those contents. With the Ravens having by far the most favorable game scripts (+7.52) and running the ball the second-most times per game (32.1), it’s hard to get away from Edwards – who is third among running backs in total TDs (10) – especially in such a favorable matchup.
Running Backs I’d Sit in Week 12:
Chuba Hubbard & Miles Sanders (Carolina): Whatever clarity we had in the Carolina backfield went out the window last week with Frank Reich resuming playcalling duties. Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders split touches 12-12. The Panthers are 31st in yards per game (266.7) and 29th in points per game (16.3). This makes it hard to trust either back in virtually any matchup, let alone a Tennessee defense that still allows just 3.9 Yards Per Carry (YPC) this season.
Hubbard and Sanders have each only finished as a top-20 option at the position once this season, both coming in games where they scored their only TDs of the season. I don’t expect them to find pay dirt or even finish as a respectable option in Week 12 versus Jeffrey Simmons and company.
Receiver I’d Start in Week 12:
DeVonta Smith (Philadelphia): It’s been somewhat of a down season for the former Heisman Trophy winner, pacing as the WR23 on a points-per-game basis. Still, he’s had three straight games of 14-plus PPR points and has once again become a focal point in the Philadelphia offense with Dallas Goedert sidelined.
DeVonta Smith should see plenty more targets this week against the Buffalo Bills, who have cornerback Dane Jackson and safety Taylor Rapp listed as out, and several other defensive backs who may not be at 100% on Sunday. With Smith still averaging 1.99 fantasy points per target (26th among WRs) and playing against another high-octane offense, he should be in for a big day.
Receiver I’d Sit in Week 12:
Jerry Jeudy (Denver): Jerry Jeudy‘s ceiling has been severely capped this season, maxing out at 13.1 PPR points and the WR29 finish. Now he gets to face the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed the second-least amount of PPR points to opposing WRs. Cleveland defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will dial up the man coverage, where Jeudy has struggled, winning just 24% of routes versus man coverage this season (110th among WRs).
If that’s not enough to deter fantasy managers from using the Alabama product this week, maybe Vegas’s 36.0 total (the third-lowest on Sunday) will.
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.