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start sit week 16

Start, Sit & Rooftops

by Seth Woolcock

Maybe it’s the cool air or the scenic landscapes. Perhaps it’s because up there, our problems seem so small in the grand scheme of things.

I’m not sure what it is about rooftops. But if I could, I would frequent them more times a year than the big man in red that makes a living off it on Christmas Eve. I’ve had an infatuation with scenic views, elevated platforms and the good vibes associated with them since I can remember.

I was in middle school when I climbed to my first rooftop – our former elementary school, later known as “The Elm” after it was shut down and became the neighborhood teenage parking lot hangout. It wasn’t much, but for a town with a population of 4,000, it felt like the top of the world.

High School Senior Week, June 2016

The next notable rooftop I found myself on was Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (formerly Trump Taj Mahal) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I had freshly graduated from high school and thought I had life somewhat figured out for the moment.

My friend Chris and I found ourselves in an elevator that was different from the others with a bright button labeled “rooftop.” Naturally, being on my first vacation away from family, I smashed that button.

We stepped out on a rooftop that overlooked a penthouse and the split between the shore and city. It was unlike anything my sheltered 18-year-old self had ever seen.

Rooftops: Coming to Terms with the Come-Down

I would eventually retire from my “rooftop hunting” days. Though for every trip I’ve been on since I target Airbnbs and venues with those breathtaking outlooks. 

Recently, I find myself most at peace writing on our third-floor deck or second-floor living room, overlooking a Tweet-worthy neighborhood-to-university view. Only now do I realize why.

Outlooking views give us the vantage to see what’s coming. Certainty. In a life that can be filled with more surprises each year as we age, we welcome any conviction. 

Just as our stay was not ever-lasting on the Hard Rock’s rooftop, we all have to come down eventually. We might experience some switch-up when we do. Good or bad, we’ll be better for it.

Week 15 of the 2021 fantasy football season will forever be known as perhaps the wildest curveball of a time fantasy football managers have ever experienced in their careers. Even the most veteran of players were likely no match for the number of season-ending and in-game injuries, positive COVID-19 tests and historically low-scoring performances across the NFL last week.

A lot of good teams and fantasy football players’ egos were lost along the way, but we’re better for it. It makes us appreciate normalcy and when our favorite players are healthy, performing at a high level.

Though it may not be a “normal” final few weeks of the fantasy football season, it’s the last we’ll have for at least another eight months. So enjoy it and your rooftops in life while you can.

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:

Tyler Huntley (Baltimore):  Despite fantasy managers’ optimism, Lamar Jackson missed practice again today, leaving the door open for Tyler Huntley to start his second-straight game in a crucial Week 16 matchup against the division rival Cincinnati Bengals.

Last week Huntley proved why Jackson advocated bringing him to Baltimore after sharing a friendship in high school. Huntley completed 28 of 40 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for an additional 73 rushes yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Cincinnati has been a middle-of-the-road defense against quarterbacks as of late, but they’ve been a bottom-two team against tight ends in the past 2 weeks, sacrificing an average of 10.5 receptions for 133 yards per game. Huntley has shown a special connection with tight end Mark Andrews. That alone, coupled with his sweet moves on the ground, gives me the confidence to fire him up as a QB1 if Jackson is absent again this week. 

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Carson Wentz (Indianapolis):  This sit selection is not spicy, nor bold. Just a friendly seasonal reminder of Carson Wentz’s limitations as an NFL quarterback and how they affect fantasy lineups.

Wentz has had a fine season, better than some expected with 3,000+ yards and 23 touchdowns to six interceptions. But as the Colts have climbed closer to playoff contention, the more they’ve limited Wentz’s volume. In three of the past four games, Wentz was held to 22 or fewer attempts, having had just 12 attempts last week against New England.

Despite the recently-favorable matchup that the Cardinals have been to quarterbacks, don’t be fooled into playing Wentz. This offense runs through Jonathan Taylor and will continue to this week as the Colts look to control the time of possession, keeping the ball out of the hands of Kyler Murray.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

Ronald Jones (Tampa Bay):  After being huge on Leonard Fournette all off and in season, it may come as a surprise that I’m also in on his counterpunch Ronald Jones’s this week. But with Fournette and Giovanni Bernard both out this week with injuries, Jones II is a sure-fire RB2 with upside.

I still question Jones’s explosiveness, shiftiness and hands compared to Fournette. But what I don’t question is the opportunity he has this week. With only him, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell likely to be active, the backfield and the six targets per game that Fournette was averaging are Jones’s for the taking.

With Chris Godwin done for the season due to an ACL tear and Mike Evans questionable with a hamstring, I expect Jones to see at least 20 touches. Against a Carolina defense that’s allowed four rushing touchdowns to running backs in the last three weeks, it should pay dividends for your lineups.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Darrell Henderson (Los Angeles Rams):  Darrell Henderson and his fantasy managers are falling victim to a team with two sound backs with visions of a Lombardi Trophy. In his first game back from a two-game absence, Henderson took 27 percent of the snaps to Sony Michel’s 73 percent to produce just 4.7 PPR points. 

The truth is that Michel has looked solid, averaging 4.7 Yards Per Carry (YPC) over the last three contests. So there is no rush for head coach Sean McVay to over-use Henderson as he gets back to full-health from COVID-19 and risk half of their one-two punch for the playoffs.

With Minnesota’s running back Dalvin Cook now out this week due to COVID-19, I expect this to be a high-flying affair with high volume for pass catchers but fewer rushing attempts. If possible, I’d prefer to avoid the Rams’ backfield in its entirety this week. But if I had to choose one, it’s Michel over Henderson.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Gabriel Davis (Buffalo) After averaging 17.3 PPR points over his last three games, Gabriel Davis finds himself as the No. 2 receiver for the Buffalo Bills this week, the fifth-most pass-friendly team in the NFL.

Davis got the best of the Patriots two weeks ago, catching two of four targets for 30 yards and a touchdown in a Lake Erie wind storm. With better conditions expected, Cole Beasley out with COVID-19 and Emmanuel Sanders just now getting back to full-speed recovering from the knee injury, I’m rolling with Davis this week as a high-ceiling flex play.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Jamison Crowder (New York Jets):  Sometimes you can chase all the targets you want in fantasy football and they don’t add up to fantasy points. Jamison Crowder is one of those players as of late. 

He was my sit selection last week and once again saw a healthy dose of targets (eight) in Week 15. Yet, he turned in his third game in the last four where he fell below the double-digit PPR line. Even against a hit-or-miss Jacksonville secondary, Crowder’s upside is capped.

If you’re desperate enough to start a Jets’ receiver, you may be better off playing Braxton Berrios, who has hit the double-digit mark in his last two games and has as many touchdowns as Crowder on the season (two), despite playing 54 percent of Crowder’s total snaps.

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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