Start, Sit & Pass It On (A Tale of Tradition)
I never fully appreciated the good pairs of blue jeans that my older brother passed on to me. Back then, I also failed to recognize that a lot of my tendencies, like my love for football, both of the real and fantasy variety, came from him.
As we grow older, we tend to forget about the traditions we build just between siblings and friends. I guess back then, we’re just so caught up in whatever we’re doing – our Steelers game watch parties or the backyard football that came at halftime – that we don’t realize that we’re creating customs for ourselves.
As my siblings and I found out, life can come at you fast. Which inadvertently can put an end to any sort of steadfast traditions. I’ve discussed this concept of traditions in a “Start, Sit & Seth” column every year since I began writing them in the fall of 2018.
That first year I explained this fading of most of my traditions and how I hung onto only two traditions from my childhood – fantasy football and watching Disney Channel’s late ‘90s, early 2000s movie series “Halloweentown” each October.
The following season, after being at university and living next to my girlfriend, Katie, we began building our own traditions, like the $6 Bud Light pitchers after midnight at the college bar and getting into the Halloween spirit with pumpkin carving and the “Halloweentown” cast to entertain us.
Last year, I gave my four steps to building your own traditions:
- Realize What & Why It’s Important
- Nostalgia Factor
- Cherish Every Damn Moment of It
- Pass It On
In a world becoming more dominated by all things digital – from media to e-cigarettes – with every Hallows’ Eve that goes by, it seemed only fitting to revisit step No. 4.
As excited as I am to continue to build new traditions with Katie, friends and family, I’m even more excited to physically pass on the traditions I’ve already built, like making pizza mountain pies when camping or gravy over fried potatoes as our Sunday recovery meal – passed on from of my Uncle Greg, of course.
Recently, two of my younger siblings, Noah and Kallee, visited Katie and me for an awesome autumn weekend in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania. We shared a State College staple with them, Yallah Taco, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. We spent Saturday carving pumpkins, drinking local cider and, obviously, binge-watching the “Halloweentown” series.
It was one of the rare days when I felt completely unplugged and present in the moment. And that I think is just one example of the power of tradition – and the amplified power of passing it on.
So, whether your tradition this Halloween weekend is hosting a party, dressing up with your significant other or simply enjoying a fire with a bottle of wine with the cornfields in the distance, pass it on.
Also, the same can be said if you’re somebody who loves fantasy football. Become an ambassador of the tradition we relish for now 18 weeks a year. Recommend that your significant other, loved ones or colleagues give it a go. I assure you that it will make the game that much more enjoyable for you when you’re not the only one riding the roller coaster each season can be.
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:
Teddy Bridgewater (Denver): Quarterbacks seem to be increasingly streaky this season, dropping 30 burgers one game and scoring fewer than double-digit fantasy points the following. However, this isn’t the case for those who face the Washington Football Team’s defense. Quarterbacks who have faced them have finished as a QB1 all six games this season, aside from the season opener.
Enter Teddy Bridgewater who’s scored more than 19.5 fantasy points in four of seven performances in 2021, despite missing arguably his No.1 receiver in Jerry Jeudy since he injured his ankle in Week 1. It hasn’t been lights-out play by Bridgewater this season, but he’s scored two or more touchdowns in five of seven games.
He’ll likely need to chuck it to keep pace with Washington this week as the Denver defense has looked like Swiss cheese the last two weeks with the number of holes they’re giving up. It’s not an exact science, starting a mediocre quarterback against Washington this season, but it’s damn close.
Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:
Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville): Usually, I’d be more enthralled to play a rookie coming off the team’s bye week. But as we’ve learned this season, the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by head coach Urban Meyer, are not a usual team.
Trevor Lawrence has been just alright this season, averaging 15.6 fantasy points per game, which is 25th on a points per game basis. With the Jaguars traveling to Seattle – still a hostile environment to play in despite no Russell Wilson – I’m sitting Lawrence with confidence this week.
In the last three weeks, Seattle has not allowed a quarterback to score more than one touchdown. This is against quality quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger and Jameis Winston. The door for Lawrence to become a viable fantasy option may be closing before it ever really opened this season.
Running Back I’d Start this Week:
Khalil Herbert (Chicago): Rookie sixth-round running back Kahlil Herbert has been the best thing that’s happened to David Montgomery‘s fantasy managers since, well, Montgomery was playing. Herbert is averaging 90.7 rushing yards per game in Montgomery’s absence and has seven receptions over the past two weeks.
Though his snap share could reduce some with Damien Williams back at practice all week after a stint on the COVID-19/Reserve List, it’s not enough to sit him in a matchup against the 49ers. San Francisco may be a run-of-the-mill team against opposing running backs, but they’ve allowed a rushing touchdown to the position in every game this season except for Week 2, where quarterback Jalen Hurts kept it for himself.
Playing for a team that has more rushing yards than passing this season (917 to 871, respectively), Herbert is a strong RB2 for me this week and should be in lineups.
Running Back I’d Sit this Week:
Mike Davis (Atlanta): Well, my last week’s sit selection, Mark Ingram, was traded after his dismal Week 7 performance. So hopefully things won’t be so drastic for Atlanta’s Mike Davis this week. After a consistent start when he scored between 10 and 13.5 PPR points in five straight games, Davis’s floor was exposed in Week 7 as he took just four carries for 10 yards, totaling a single PPR point.
Partly to blame for this is Cordarrelle Patterson, who’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife for the Falcons. He’s seen his touches explode lately, averaging 21 per game over their last two games. With Patterson likely not going anywhere anytime soon and the Panthers still posing as the top defense against the position, it’s best to keep Davis on the pine for now.
Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:
Emmanuel Sanders & Cole Beasley (Buffalo): Back off their bye week, the Bills are back, just in time to receive the Halloween treat that is the Miami Dolphins defense here in Week 8. If Buffalo, which is averaging 33.8 points per game (second-most in the NFL), needed any more help, they’re going to get it from Miami that’s allowing 29.6 points per game (also the second-most in the league).
With this said, and Miami’s cornerbacks still not looking 100 percent, I am happy to have both Buffalo receivers, Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley in my lineups this week. Sanders has been rock-solid this season, averaging 18.5 PPR points over his last four games. Beasley has been a bit more volatile, ranging from 1.5 to 21.8 PPR points, but he has still maxed out at a strong 13 targets in a game, twice. I’m confidently riding with Josh Allen’s sound set of receivers in a week where many top-passing offenses have tougher matchups.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:
Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati): The emergence of rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been great for fantasy managers and Bengals fans alike as Chase is currently the PPR WR3 and the Bengals hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
However, it hasn’t been as great for veteran receiver Tyler Boyd who hasn’t seen double-digit fantasy points since Week 4 against Jacksonville when No. 2 receiver Tee Higgins was out. With the Jets being the most vulnerable team in the league to opposing running backs by a wide margin, but top three against receivers, I expect backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine to be busy.
All this to say that while I’m still starting Chase and Higgins this week because of their safe floors and high-upside, there likely won’t be enough volume to go around that makes Boyd a fantasy-viable option.
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