start sit week 17

Start, Sit & Shooting Stars

Something doesn’t have to be forever – friendships, chapters of our lives, fantasy football seasons – to be impactful.

As humans, we have the tendency to believe that if something isn’t everlasting, it doesn’t hold value. But, as we learn each Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m., nothing lasts forever. Everything has an expiration date, albeit unknown to us.

With the ball dropping, marking a new year, I challenge you to recognize these shooting stars that have made an impact on your life.

Instead of being bitter about the absence of that time, person, place or thing from your life now, it’s better to reflect on the value added and move forward, better because of it. This is not an easy task, but it is a rewarding one. 

I know this firsthand. 

As a writer, I’ve always enjoyed and found inspiration from social interactions. Seemingly, I always made friends in whatever situation I found myself in – my hometown, a rival school I moved to when I was 16, a niche Pennsylvania state school or the fantasy football industry.

Each of these chapters of my life held different friend groups, people I considered family at times. However, as it often happens as we age, most of these groups drifted apart for one reason or another. 

I am lucky enough to have pulled certain spectacular people from most of these circles, but the days of consistent contact and friendly banter with a greater group seem like distant memories.

For a long time, it pained me to my core to have people I had known almost my whole life, shared so many coming-of-age memories with, just bail… seemingly overnight. I rode a teeter-totter between the feeling of betrayal and self-doubt, thinking I had to be directly responsible for the drifting.

Now, knowing a little more about how it works, I simply recognize them and our former stomping grounds for what they are in my life – shooting stars. Something meant to shape me, but not come along for the long haul. 

When you allow these feelings of bitterness to fade into mutual respect of space and time you’d be surprised how much of a weight it can take off your shoulders.

As fantasy football seasons too begin to fade the same way they began for most of us – trophy-less – I encourage you to do the same. Reflect on the 2021 season for being the beautiful mess it was, and allow it to be like most of life’s treasures: fleeting fun in a world of few forevers and shooting stars.

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):  Week 15 saw Taysom Hill’s worst fantasy output as a starting quarterback that we’ve seen throughout his short stint at the position (9.5 fantasy points). But I’m going back to the bayou with my Week 17 start selection. 

Hill has been a QB1 in each of his other six career starts, due to him averaging 64 rushing yards and two total touchdowns in those performances. I expect this success to continue in Week 17 as the Panthers’ defense has been sound-not-stingy against the position over the past month, allowing six passing touchdowns to just one interception.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Trey Lance (San Francisco):  There is a lot of hype once again circling rookie quarterback Trey Lance as he looks to make his second-career start against the Houston Texans this week in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo ailing a sprained thumb. Rightfully so, as Lance is a dynamic, world-class talent.

However, despite that he was my favorite quarterback in that draft class, I’m sitting him in championship matchups this week. In his one start in Week 5, Lance rushed for 89 years on 16 carries, yet still finished as the week’s QB20.

Despite the Texans being a poor roster on paper, they’ve steadily improved, allowing the second-least amount of rushing yards to quarterbacks (147) and are top eight in interceptions (16). With so much on the line this week, it’s too risky to start Lance in his second start.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

Sony Michel (Los Angeles Rams):  Sony Michel might be a league-winner.  Seven words I never thought I would write this season, but just another example of the shifting tides each season can bring. 

Michel has averaged 105.6 rushing per game over the past month and has been the PPR RB3 during that span. With Darrell Henderson out for the rest of the season, this likely remains Michel’s backfield the rest of the way, minus a few snaps for Jake Funk and Cam Akers miraculously back off the Achilles tear.

Michel should have no problem posting high-end RB2 or low-end RB1 numbers again this week as the Rams travel to Baltimore. Baltimore has been lit up by the position over the past 2 weeks, allowing four total touchdowns and being the bottom-ranked team over the fortnight aside from division rival the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Saquon Barkley (New York Giants):  The New York Giants have averaged 11.8 points scored per game since offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was fired on Nov. 23. Maybe more amazing is that Devontae Booker has averaged more Yards Per Carry (YPC) than Saquon Barkley in each of those contents.

In just four games started this season, Booker has more rushing and receiving yards than Barkley, the former No. 2 overall NFL draft pick and has just one fewer touchdown. This disappointing performance from Barkley, in addition the Giants’ offense being an utter mess under Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon is enough to warrant Barkley’s benching by itself.

Going against a Chicago defense that has allowed the second-least amount of targets to opposing running backs over the last month (15) completely wipes out any floor for Barkley this week and the cherry on top in championship weekend.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati):  Pittsburgh-University-prodigy-turned-Ohio-hero Tyler Boyd enters championship weekend off back-to-back games with at least 17 PPR points. He’s been more consistent than not since the Bengals Week 10 bye, and warrants the start this week.

Boyd is the PPR WR16 since Week 11, one spot above teammate Ja’Marr Chase. He’s been a WR2 or better in 33.3 percent of his games this season and a WR3 or better in 53.3 percent of games – proving he has a sound floor.

This week that floor is matched by a healthy ceiling due to the Chiefs’ inability to cover slot receivers. In the two games before last week’s blowout of Pittsburgh, Kansas City allowed a combined 19 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns to slot receivers. Though Boyd may not have quite the same opportunity Keenan Allen and Hunter Renfrow have for their respective teams, it’s enough to warrant the Week 17 start as a WR2 or flex.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Terry McLaurin (Washington):  Chances are if you have started Terry McLaurin much over the last 5 weeks, you’re not playing for your fantasy football title. Either way, whether you have or haven’t been starting the former Ohio State Buckeye, don’t this week.

McLaurin is the WR72 during that same span, totaling just 28.4 PPR points. Just brutal. This week he’s facing the surging Philadelphia Eagles and Darius Slay who’s propelled the team to a top-two season against the position. This is an easy sit selection this week, although McLaurin is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL.

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.