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Start, Sit & Reasons

by Seth Woolcock

As human beings, we have a natural tendency to question and wonder why.

We form queries about the simple things. 

Why does the snooze button in the morning give us only nine more minutes to sleep? 

Why does beer taste better on Friday with every hour we creep closer to 40 for the week?

And why, when we drink too many, do we wake up on Saturday morning feeling like we just got hit by a truck?

We also question the more complex and cruel parts of life, such as death, heartbreak and all the moments that leave us on our knees crying on our knees, asking “why?”

And while, after some research or soul searching, we can usually ponder a few thought-provoking responses, I like to think of it as country musician Luke Combs once said:

“I guess it’s all a part of a bigger plan/Some of it I’ll never understand/But they got their reasons just like you.”

You see, while I’m a critical thinker to my core and always find myself on a quest to discover these hidden answers in life, sometimes it’s just better to know they have their reasons, move forward and not spend energy trying to figure out why.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering why someone gets choked up every time they say a certain name or question why you can find them in the same barstool every night, drinking something away, just know, “they got their reasons, just like you.” 

And the same can be said for fantasy football.

Sometimes we’re going to question why our league mates make a certain trade or drop certain players, especially when it’s something we wouldn’t do ourselves.

We’re going to wonder why Jonathan Taylor saw only 11 carries to Jordan Wilkins’ 20 in Week 8. But as Philip Rivers reminded us in his post-game interview, they have their reasons.

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 League.

Quarterback I’d Start this Week:

Lamar Jackson (Baltimore):  Similar to last week when fantasy managers were questioning whether they should trust Mike Evans in Week 8 and moving forward, some are now questioning the validity of starting 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. 

Look, it hasn’t been great for Jackson as he currently sits at QB14 on the season, averaging 26 percent fewer fantasy points per game than last season. But despite this and despite facing the No. 1 ranked defense against quarterbacks, I’m still rolling Jackson out there this week.

Yes, this is somewhat of a gut call that Jackson, led by John Harbaugh, one of the best coaches in the NFL, will turn things around this season. But the floor is also there as Jackson is still averaging 58.7 rushing yards per game. His bottom line is safe, and the potential for that 2019-like upside is still very much there.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh):  I know that this sit selection may come as a surprise to many as Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking on an anemic Dallas Cowboys team here in Week 9.

But Roethlisberger, who hasn’t had to do much this season because of the stout Pittsburgh defense, could disappoint owners once again. He’s had only one QB1 finish this season (QB10 in Week 1), and I don’t know that either Ben DiNucci or Cooper Rush will force the Steelers to air it out and score points. If you’re content with what looks to be a middle-of-the-road QB2 performance this week, start Roethlisberger. But if you’re looking for serious upside, look elsewhere.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

Leonard Fournette (Tampa Bay):  Leonard Fournette has been a curious case in fantasy this season. Now on the Buccaneers, the veteran, usually known for his downhill running, has claimed the role of the receiving back in Tampa Bay.

But in what looks to be an extremely decisive game against New Orleans on Sunday night, I’m expecting Fournette to once again take a bulk of the snaps to ensure Tom Brady is kept upright against a solid Saints’ defensive front.

He’s hit double digits in his last two games since returning from injury, and I think he does it again as New Orleans has been somewhat kind to opposing backs, allowing 78.3 yards rushing and 6.3 targets per game.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Joshua Kelley (Los Angeles Chargers):  It’s mind-boggling to me that, despite rookie running back Joshua Kelley scoring only double-digit PPR points in three of his seven games this season, experts are continuing to rank him inside their top 30 at the position and managers are continuing to start him.

Sure, I get that Las Vegas’ rushing defense is ranked 28th. But still, both Justin Jackson and Troymaine Pope (if active) will compete with Kelley for touches. And with Kelley having such a wide range of outcomes in receiving targets this season, the floor is just too scary to fire up the rookie come Sunday. 

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Mike Evans (Tampa Bay):  The notion that even after last Week’s 5-55-1 performance from Evans, he is continuing to be doubted and sat on benches is ludicrous. Yeah sure, Antonio Brown is suiting up this week and will take some targets. 

But Brown’s presence should also draw some coverage away from Evans, who has still scored double-digit PPR points in 5/8 games and is tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns (seven).

New Orleans’ secondary has been exposed time after time this season, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. And I don’t think that stops in primetime this week with Tom Brady feeling as good as he is right now. Evans should be started this week and just about every week for the foreseeable future.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Corey Davis (Tennessee):  Truthfully, it’s been a blast to see Corey Davis finally finding sustained success in Tennessee. Hats off to him, head coach Mike Vrabel and quarterback Ryan Tannehill for finally making it all come together for the former Western Michigan standout.

Davis has reached double-digit points in each game he’s played this season (five), and he’s coming off a season-high 26.8 PPR points.

However, this week he is also facing a resurgent Chicago Bears’ defense that is single-handedly keeping them in games. Cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and the lesser-known Jaylon Johnson have played tough down the stretch for Chicago, and, with the help of safety Eddie Jackson, they are limiting opposing receivers to just 15.3 PPR points per game.

I’ve liked Davis all season long and that’ll continue moving forward as well. Just not this week in the Music City.

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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