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Start, Sit & New Traditions

by Seth Woolcock

Exactly one year ago to the day, in a “Start, Sit & Seth” column, I discussed traditions.

By definition, traditions are long-standing customs that are passed on.

In that column I wrote, “For me, with my life being full of flux and change since I was young, I didn’t have many traditions, and the ones I did have faded over the years.”

I go on to tell how the only long-standing tradition I have is that every year I watch “Halloweentown,” the late ‘90s/early 2000s Disney Channel movie series about a young witch navigating a fictional, other-dimensional world filled with magic and monsters.

Well, here we are a whole year later, and I don’t feel like that statement is accurate anymore. 

Somehow, without even fully being aware of it myself, I’ve been making my own new traditions.

First, there are college traditions.

I’m talking about after a long week’s work, playing “F*ck the Dealer” and getting $6 Bud Light pitchers at Culp’s after Midnight on a Saturday night.

Then waking up the next morning for breakfast at Crouse’s and a round of disc golf at the Co-Op Park – just to make it home before Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff.

And then next thing you know, it’s Monday, and you’re back at The Penn, a special place where extraordinarily talented people come together with camraderie and dedication to bring you the newspaper twice a week and so much more additional online content.

Then, there are those traditions you hope to keep after college is far in the rearview: “Start, Sit & Seth,” for example. 

Every week, I dedicate to this column trying to bring you, my readers, a fresh, feel-good story about life and fantasy football, in addition to some serviceable start/sit advice.

Also, in an attempt to create some new traditions of this year, Katie and I attempted carving pumpkins this week.

However, us being us, the pumpkins didn’t turn out as we had hoped. Katie’s scene from “A Nightmare Before Christmas” turned into a sick-looking swirl, while my attempt at recreating “The In-Between” logo was saved by a last-ditch effort of turning it into a generic-looking football.

But even though the pumpkin carving didn’t go exactly as planned, we still had fun in the process. 

In addition to learning that we have a long way to go before we’re on the same pumpkin-carving levels our dads were when we were growing up, we made some banging roasted pumpkin seeds.

Oh, and you bet that the original “Halloweentown” was playing the whole time.

My main point here is simply this:  Both in life and fantasy football, it’s OK to go back and change your opinions and thoughts about something after taking in new information and experiences.

Yes, Cincinnati Bengals’ running back Joe Mixon was a top-10 running back last season and was taken early in drafts this season expected to be the same thing.

However, despite the talent, due to poor game scripts, offensive line issues, etc., that’s not what Mixon is anymore in fantasy football.

And no, I’m sure you didn’t see the Denver Broncos second-year wide receiver Courtland Sutton becoming a borderline WR1 (I know I didn’t) throughout the first seven weeks of the season. But, hey, here we are halfway through the season and that’s the reality.

Check out the season’s scoring leaders up to this point, and find trends and stats that help you formulate new opinions on a team or player. 

Again, I know that a lot has changed in the fantasy football landscape in eight short weeks. But I believe that’s a huge part of why I and millions of others play the game.

 Just pause, reflect on the new information and/or experiences and make decisions from there.

Here we go.

Quarterback I’d Start this Week:

Matthew Stafford (Detroit):  Hot off a four-touchdown performance? Check. Losing his feature running back to IR? Check. And facing a Giants team that allows more than 21 fantasy points to the opposing quarterbacks? You got it. Check.

All signals are a go to start Matthew Stafford, QB12 on the season with a bye. And if he can continue to produce under head coach Matt Patricia, he could have weekly QB1 upside moving forward.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Carson Wentz (Philadelphia):  Despite Carson Wentz is coming off a season-worst 6.8 fantasy points performance against the Cowboys, it’s not the main factor as to why he finds himself on the sit list for the third time this season.

Since losing big-play WR DeSean Jackson following Week 1, Wentz’s completion percentage, yards and fantasy points have all dropped and failed to reach any of Week 1’s totals.

With D-Jax looking like he’ll miss his seventh straight game and the Bills allowing only one QB1 week to opposing quarterbacks playing at home, Wentz is a hard sit for me here in Week 8. 

Running Backs I’d Start this Week:

Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles):  In a season that’s been complete opposites for both Austin Ekeler (RB3) and Melvin Gordon (RB66), they’re both starts this week.

Shockingly, the Bears have been pretty poor against opposing running backs, allowing on average a rushing touchdown and 7.5 receptions per game.

With the Chargers losing three straight and struggling on offense, I see them trying to get back on track by getting their backs going early and often, both through the air and on the ground.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Damien Williams (Kansas City):  Say hello to Damien Williams, or in this case goodbye, to the player that has the most rushes this season without a 10-yard gain.

Williams, who’s scored more than nine fantasy points only once this season (Week 1), was even less inefficient in Week 7 (11 total touches for 6 yards) and now has Matt Moore most likely starting under center. 

Yeah, no thanks.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Kenny Stills (Houston):  Houston’s newly-appointed WR2, Kenny Stills, should capitalize on the opportunity on Sunday when the Texans get the Raiders at home.

In addition to allowing the second-most points to opposing wide receivers this season, they’re also allowing the second-most yards per completion to those receivers (15.85 YPC).

If he’s still available in any of your leagues, go grab him. As I don’t think he’ll be out there much longer after owners realize the potential of this juicy matchup.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Curtis Samuel (Carolina):  Typically a weekly flex play, Curtis Samuel gets a downgrade here in Week 8 as he and current-starting quarterback Kyle Allen travel across the country to lay a red-hot 49’ers defense. 

Although Allen has yet to throw an interception this season, he’s been sacked 10 times and is prone to fumbles (six). 

My guess is that Nick Bosa forces Allen to get rid of the ball quickly, potentially limiting Samuel, who has averaged 12.9 yards per reception this season.

This column was originally featured at ThePenn.org October 24, 2019.

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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