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Start, Sit & Kids

by Seth Woolcock

Too chill to grow up, too curious to stay young. Kids.

Each football season as the snow starts to stick to rooftops, a feeling of weariness can come, too. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, if you put in a year’s worth of work, by Dec. 6, you’re ready to deck the halls, just to get a break.

It’s a grind to get to that break, especially as a fantasy football content creator. The NFL season runs long and quick, giving no care to travel plans or increased foot traffic through the house. It’s going, going, going… gone.

When I finally get there, I try to use the time between Christmas and the New Year as a time of reflection recapping and remembering the growth I had, not just this year, but from when I was just a kid with a dream that hadn’t even begun chasing it.

This go-around, with the NFL season being as odd as ever, I wanted to remind myself and readers why we fell in love with the game of fantasy football initially, often as kids. To do that, I tapped into one of the hard-to-miss stories in the fantasy football industry.

June 23, 2021, Lake Wallenpaupack, Pa.

Hutchinson (Hutch) Brown, 14 years old at the time and creator of The Young Fantasy Mind, is about to have what he believes is his big break in the fantasy football industry: hosting Club Fantasy FFL’s “No Punt Intended” with special guest Mike Wright of “The Fantasy Footballers,” the industry’s No. 1 independent podcast.

The only issue is that Hutch also happens to be on vacation in the Pocono Mountains. And right before the show is set to go live, the resort’s Wi-Fi cuts out, placing Hutch minutes away from missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host one of his heroes.

He runs down the hill to the lake toward his Dad, Andrew (Andy) Brown, 44, his mom, and his two brothers yelling, “it’s not working.” Andy follows him back up the hill firing up hotspots, reconnecting to various networks doing everything he can to make sure his son has this opportunity.  

Hutch reconnects to the back-end of the stream just in time, and Mike gives a “Let’s go Pops with the Camaro shirt” shoutout to Andy in the background.

Hutch went on to nail his hosting of the show, and all was well for the remainder of the Brown family vacation. 

This frantic, yet special moment shared between Hutch and his dad is just one of many that encapsulates their relationship, Hutch’s determination and Andy’s willingness to support him.

Empire State of Mind

When he was 15-years-old himself, Andy met his now-wife, Rebekah. After high school, they got married and moved from the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, to New York City to attend school at The City College of New York, where Andy studied music in the fine arts and Rebekah pursued sociology. 

Andy went on to work in various studios, writing and recording music while gigging around the city, but around the time Hutch was born, Andy was inspired to shift careers to nursing after having an amazing experience with one of the outstanding nurses who were taking care of Rebekah.

They settled down with Hutch and eventually his two younger brothers in Astoria, Queens, one of the true nooks of the city. Andy later got a job in south Brooklyn, causing the family to relocate to Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, for a few years. 

In 2019, the Browns returned to the Lehigh Valley, so they could be close to family. But unlike most teenagers who would be devastated moving from the nation’s largest city to the Pennsylvania suburbs, Hutch was in from the get-go.

A Keystone Soul

When Hutch moved back to Pennsylvania, his love for the NFL increased as he would now spend gamedays rooting on the Philadelphia Eagles with his grandfather and cousins.

That year he also began playing fantasy football with a league full of random people, and he found instant success as he drafted Christian McCaffrey in his fantasy MVP season and won the championship. 

“I really just love the game of football,” Hutch said in a Dec. 7 interview. “I love strategy games, like Monopoly and Risk.”

The following season, Hutch created a league that got Andy involved, so he’d have someone to talk to about it. Having the same competitive spirit as his son, Andy eventually reached out to an old bartending friend, Howard Bender, writer for The New York Post Sports and head of Content at Fantasy Alarm, for fantasy advice.

During the conversation, Andy mentioned to Howard that Hutch was attempting to start a fantasy football podcast, and Howard was extremely helpful to Hutch, giving advice and directing him toward Twitter, home of perhaps one of the largest online fantasy football communities.

Hutch spent the next several months researching, planning and creating his podcast, website and supporting social media channels.

“I had never used any social media before this,” Hutch said. “So I was basically learning how to use social media from scratch. I had to research social media marketing strategies. It took me six months to get this podcast and Twitter account together.”

Eventually, with the permission of his parents, Hutch posted on Twitter, introducing himself to the community and revealing his age.

“My wife and I were hesitant at first,” Andy said in a Dec. 7 interview. “With him being 14 at the time, I didn’t we were sorta like, ‘I don’t know.’ When he said he was going to introduce himself, I didn’t want him to put his age out there. I didn’t want that to be a thing. It’s really interesting because I was totally wrong. Him putting his age out there I think was a key factor in that initial energy.”

Since Hitting “Tweet”

Ever since clicking “tweet,” Hutch’s life hasn’t been the same. That initial post gained a ton of traction throughout the industry. He quickly gained a following and got to have some life-changing experiences, like the one previously mentioned when he hosted Wright. Later in the summer, Hutch had another tweet blow-up  this time referencing that his dad had come through and gotten them both tickets to the Fantasy Football Expo in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 13-15, the same weekend as Andy and Rebekah’s wedding anniversary. 

Hutch with Joshua Hudson and Ryan Weisse of Club Fantasy FFL at Jerzee’s Cafe in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 14.

Yet another example of the type of parents Andy and Rebekah are. The kind that supports their kids, even if it means putting their own plans on hold. 

Hutch’s tweet caught the attention of Bob Lung, the Expo’s organizer and host. Lung then asked Hutch if he would like to take part in this year’s King’s Classic Draft, competing alongside industry legends like ESPN’s Mike Clay and Fantasy Football DiehardsBob Harris.

To Andy’s surprise, when Hutch and he walked into the hotel where the expo was hosted, they were greeted by a crowd of fellow creators who recognized Hutch.

“These grown adults are running over and know my kid, and we’re in Canton, Ohio,” Andy said. “I texted my wife and said, ‘Babe, people know him here.’ As a dad, it’s pretty cool. Especially when I see how hard he’s worked and how much time, energy and passion he’s put into it.”

But the surprises didn’t stop there. Andy Behrens of Yahoo Sports recognized Hutch while they were eating dinner. And Hutch also connected with the auctioneer of the King’s Classic Draft, who ended up being a teacher who ran a fantasy football club at Hutch’s brother school  which Hutch had coincidentally already signed up to help run.

Not This Kid

Andy and Hutch take a photo following their “DFS Showdown” this season.

As the August skies faded and the time came for Hutch to return to high school, some people may have assumed he would take a halt on content creating. But not this kid.

For the past 13 weeks, Hutch has put out three podcast episodes per week, in addition to his weekly rankings, TikTok videos and articles for Dynasty League Football. It hasn’t always been easy, trying to balance school, working out and family obligations with content creation, but Hutch hasn’t used that as an excuse.

Andy has even got in on the action, competing against Hutch in their “DFS Showdown,” where they go head-to-head on DraftKings, sharing their lineups in a video on Sunday mornings.

“When you see your kid passionate about something, it’s hard to really go wrong when you let them pursue it at some level, as long as it’s a safe and healthy thing,” he said. “I see him actively learning and growing, gaining life skills and maturity. I think that it’s worth every moment he does it.”

Kids: Case Cracked

Hearing and knowing that Andy’s open-mindedness was enough to help Hutch have this opportunity is special, and something I hope that all current and future parents tap into.

Seeing their relationship first-hand, both in a hotel bar in Canton and again recently, is perhaps unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Learning Hutch’s origins into fantasy football the game and then the industry takes me back to when I first began playing when I was 11 years old and when I first began creating content at 19.

It also inspires me to fight through the weariness that rolls in with the sub-freezing temperatures and sub-optimal fantasy outputs of December. And I hope it does for whoever is reading this, too, because we got this.

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 this Week:

Taysom Hill (New Orleans):  Outside of “Thursday Night Football,” it is a desolate week to be streaming the quarterback position. Though I attempt to select someone other than the chalk stream of the week, I’ll eat in Week 13 as Taysom Hill travels to the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets.

Hill is dealing with an injury known as a “Mallet Finger,” so his passing upside may be limited. But that shouldn’t matter too much as 40.5 percent of his 24.7 fantasy points accumulated last week came from his legs. 

Though Hill is a quarterback, his running style looks as close to a running back as I’ve ever seen from the position. And the Jets have surrendered more rushing touchdowns (18), and the third most rushing yards (1,411) to running backs in the league.

With running back Mark Ingram now on the COVID-19/Reserve List and Alvin Kamara possibly suiting up for the first time since Week 9, Hill will be relied upon to move the chains for the Saints, both on the ground and through the air  making him well worth the play at QB.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee):  I advised dropping Ryan Tannehill a few weeks ago, yet he’s still slated to be started in 16.6 percent of ESPN leagues, more than higher scoring quarterbacks like Taylor Heinicke.

Tannehill has finished as a QB1 four times this season—but never better than the QB7 overall as his season-high total is 23.5 PPR points. Without A.J. Brown in the lineup in Week 11, Tannehill scored 8.1 PPR points as the Titans ran the ball a total of 34 times to Tannehill’s 21 attempts.

I expect this low-volume and low-ceiling to continue for Tannehill as the Titans face Jacksonville this week. Jacksonville is a very average pass defense, but its run defense is exploitable. Sony Michel and Cordarrelle Patterson both ran for more than 100 yards and had three touchdowns between them over the past two weeks. This is where Tennessee is likely to attack, leaving Tannehill as an easy sit this week.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

D’Onta Foreman (Tennessee):  As mentioned above, I expected the Titans to have a run-heavy gameplan, likely featuring fifth-year running back D’Onta Foreman. Foreman’s finally got his shot since tearing his Achilles in 2017 and has looked good averaging a career-high 4.6 Yards Per Carry (YPC) and catching all four of his targets for 66 yards.

This is as good of a chance as any to get his first touchdown of the season as the Jaguars have allowed rushing scores in four straight games. Jeremy McNichols may be back this week, but that should cut into backfield mate Dontrell Hilliard’s volume if anything, securing potential RB2 numbers for Foreman.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Jeff Wilson Jr. (San Francisco):  If San Francisco starting running back Elijah Mitchell is out this week with a concussion and knee injury, Jeff Wilson Jr. would likely get his second start of the season. But that doesn’t mean he should start in your fantasy lineup.

Wilson has averaged 2.7 YPC on 31 carries since coming back from the torn meniscus last month and scored just 5.8 PPR points in Week 11 without Mitchell on 21 total touches. I expect that low-efficiency to continue as Cincinnati, his Week 14 opponent, has allowed just 188 rushing yards to running backs over the past month and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to them during that span.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Darnell Mooney (Chicago):  Darnell Mooney needs to be started in more leagues this week. Mooney looks like he’s taken the step forward to being a consistent fantasy producer and perhaps the Bears’ future No. 1 receiver. 

Since Week 9, Mooney is the PPR WR12 with a bye and is averaging an eye-popping 9.3 targets per game. He’ll face the division rival Green Bay Packers this week. And while it’s tough to predict divisional games, the 4-8 Bears should be trailing, creating plenty of time for Mooney to exploit the Packers’ secondary. Over the past month, Green Bay has allowed the second-most PPR points to opposing receivers, and over the last two weeks, they have allowed the most an average total of 54 PPR points to the corps.

It may not be completely wheels up the rest of the way for Mooney, put it’s pretty darn close, despite a revolving door under center. This week though? He’s cleared for takeoff.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Courtland Sutton & Tim Patrick (Denver):  Week 7 and Week 9. Those are the last weeks that Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick have scored double-digit PPR points, respectively. Since Week 7, which includes Tim Patrick’s 18.5 PPR point outburst in Week 9, these receivers combine to be the PPR WR26, one spot ahead of the Los Angeles Rams’ Van Jefferson.

Optics aren’t great, largely in part that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has averaged 231.3 passing yards per game at just 7.3 Yards Per Attempt (YPA). In a game against the Detroit Lions that is tied for the lowest over/under on the Week 14 slate, I’m staying clear of all Denver receivers and dropping all but maybe Jerry Jeudy if I haven’t already. 

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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