I’ve come to realize that it’s often the little things that we take for granted the most.
Subtle nuances – the smell of decaying leaves on a fall morning, that first shower after a haircut or that first taste of a cold Busch Light on a Friday night – are easily forgotten, yet represent feelings like no other.
One of these casual commodities that I recently recognized had escaped my life is one that I’ve been doing since before I could remember.
It began back when I still had trouble pronouncing my “s” and “th” sounds, often featuring the stylings of legendary country musician Tim McGraw or Christian rocker Creed. It evolved into a 16-year-old me, freshly licensed, belting out my heart to the likes of the down-home songs of Eric Church or the weekend anthems of the late Pittsburgh rap legend Mac Miller.
I’m referring to the simple pleasantry of singing in the car. You know the feeling: You just had a shit day at school or work. You get in your vehicle, throw it into gear and for however long your commute is, you feel free – putting on your own private concert right there, courtesy of your local radio station or auxiliary port.
Or what about that road trip you’ll never forget? You and your significant other going up the coast, sunroof open, salt in the air, accompanied by only each other’s renditions of Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” and Miley Cyrus’ “7 Things.”
But, as we age, and the everyday worries and stresses begin to pile up, the singing in the car can begin to fade. We can forget just how fortunate we are to be driving in a used 4×4 down a two-lane road, home from our job to a home filled with those we love.
And can the same not be said for the game of fantasy football? Sometimes we can get so caught up in our leagues’ standings and final result that we forget to just slow down and enjoy the ride.
Monday night’s thriller of a game and the fantasy football miracles that happened late thanks to Lamar Jackson and company reminded me of the feelings that first made me fall in love with this game. I’ll never forget 11 years earlier, when I was only 12 years old, I watched Michael Vick have a similar Monday night performance for the Eagles and my first-ever fantasy football team.
It’s these feelings we get – even just looking back to that Monday night game in 2010 or the East Coast road trip my girlfriend, Katie, and I took in 2019 – that remind us to embrace the subtle nuances of life.
So, the next time you go out back to fire up your old pickup truck or walk into the parking garage to your new hybrid from a long day’s work, don’t forget to jam out and sing along on your drive. It’ll make it all the more worthwhile.
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:
Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams): After back-to-back weeks of finishing outside the top-12 at the position, some fantasy managers are losing faith in Matthew Stafford. This start selection should be a reassurance to not get cute and play the likes of Taylor Heinicke or Trevor Lawrence over the veteran because of their preferred matchup.
I’m of the belief that Stafford’s unflattering three-to-touchdown ratio since Week 4 has more to do with the fact that the games were divisional in nature, against rivals Cardinals and Seahawks, who get to see head coach Sean McVay’s schemes twice a year.
The truth is that the Rams are one of the league’s best teams and they’ll face a beaten-up 1-4 Giants team here in Week 6. The Giants, without standout linebacker Blake Martinez for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, are once again one of the friendliest teams to opposing quarterbacks, allowing an average passer rating of 108.1. And this is against the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Heinicke, Jameis Winston and a struggling Matt Ryan.
The only quarterback currently of the caliber of Stafford that they’ve faced was Dak Prescott last week when he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:
Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee): If you’re a returning reader of “Start, Sit & Seth,” you’re probably noticing a theme with my quarterback sit selections this season. This is the third time Ryan Tannehill, one of the most reliable fantasy QBs over the last two years, has seen this list. And it’s only Week 6.
This season, the former Aggie has had three of his five worst fantasy outputs in his 31 starts for Tennessee. His passing attempts have been inconsistent, ranging from 22 to 49, and his completion percentage is at its lowest since 2015 when he was still in Miami. Also, running back Derrick Henry has more touchdowns on the season than Tannehill.
The good news is receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are both on track to play this week. But the bad news of facing the Buffalo Bills, who have the stingiest defense against opposing quarterbacks, is enough to cancel it out – signaling a benching for the Tennessee faithful.
Running Back I’d Start this Week:
Darrel Williams (Kansas City): With another slew of injuries to running backs occurring in Week 5, including a knee sprain suffered to Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, it’s officially replacement season in the NFL – now starring Darrel Williams.
Williams is a crafty, do-it-all back who’s had a nose for the end zone during his four seasons with the Chiefs. This year, even in a backup role until the second half of last week’s game, Williams has two rushing touchdowns, in addition to his 99 yards rushing yards and 45 yards receiving yards.
My confidence in Williams this week is heightened only by the Chiefs’ matchup with the Washington Football Team. Surprisingly, Washington is allowing an average of 1.2 receiving touchdowns per game to opposing backs and is a bottom-12 defense to the position overall. Williams should see a bulk of the action, being spelled occasionally by Jerick McKinnon, leading to start-worthy fantasy points.
Running Back I’d Sit this Week:
James Conner (Arizona): Since Week 3, James Conner has been the PPR RB14, ahead of players like Aaron Jones and Nick Chubb. This has come on the back of five rushing touchdowns, as the Cardinals favor Conner over backfield mate Chase Edmonds when they get in close.
Despite his touchdown success, I’m avoiding playing Conner this week if I can. His touchdowns equate to 53.1 percent of his overall PPR points. He’s also averaging just 3.2 Yards Per Carry (YPC) and has just four total targets on the season.
As we saw in Week 1 and 2, when he scored 5.3 and 2.6 PPR points, respectively, the floor is low for Conner. I think it bottoms back out here against Cleveland in Week 6 as they’ve allowed just two rushing touchdowns to the position this season – both coming to Austin Ekeler last week.
Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:
Tee Higgins (Cincinnati): Sophomore receiver Tee Higgins has been slightly disappointing lately after he missed Weeks 3 and 4 to injury and returned last week to post just five receptions for 32 yards. However, I think he answers critics this week when the Bengals travel to Detroit to face the 0-5 Lions.
Higgins still has consistency and volume in his favor as he’s averaging 7.3 targets per game and has hit double-digit PPR points in each outing this season. Pair this safe floor with the Lions’ struggling secondary, which has allowed four receivers to post 120+ receiving yards (Deebo Samuel, Davante Adams, Darnell Mooney and Justin Jefferson), and call me intrigued.
Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:
Odell Beckham Jr. (Cleveland): It’s been a bumpy road for those who roster Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) this season, as he missed Week 1 and 2 coming back from a torn ACL and has produced a combined 22.7 PPR points in his three games since.
Last week, Cleveland posted 42 points in a shootout loss to the Chargers. In that defeat, OBJ saw just three targets, which he turned into two receptions for 20 yards.
This week the 5-0 Arizona Cardinals come to Cleveland, watering down expectations for OBJ even more. The Cardinals secondary, while not perfect, is excellent at taking the opposing team’s best players out of the game for chucks at a time. They have yet to allow any team’s No. 1 or No. 2 receiver north of 70 receiving yards all season. This includes the likes of Brown, Jones, Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Samuel – all of whom I consider better receivers than OBJ at this point in his career.
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.