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Start, Sit & Taking Chances

by Seth Woolcock

With Week 4 being the quarter-way mark of the fantasy football regular season, the game begins to become a series of taking chances.

Buying low, selling high and everything in-between becomes a pivotal part of the quest to win a championship. And just like in real-life, every chance you take involves a certain degree of risk.

However, considering that the ballsiest thing I’ve done in the last month is trade Miles Sanders for Baker Mayfield and Sony Michel, I don’t think I’m the best candidate to tell you what taking chances really means.

Instead, we have to go to Los Angeles, California, where two bright-eyed individuals from Pennsylvania continue to take chances in the City of Angels.

There, we find Nate Miller, a free-spirited 24-year-old musician from Meadville, Pennsylvania overlooking Sunset Boulevard from his Silver Lake apartment. He unwinds in only true-Nate fashion, working on his music and chilling out after his day job as a deli clerk.

While over the hill in Sherman Oaks, Casey Kelly, a spunky 23-year-old freelance copywriter and editor from York, Pennsylvania is getting ready to head to the comedy club with her friend after a day of writing and dog walking.

It’s been almost exactly one year since Casey, a former-Penn editor herself, and her best friend, Mary Romeo, made the move to California. 

After graduating from IUP with a degree in journalism and public relations in 2017, Casey and Mary relocated to Harrisburg, where Casey began working for WebFX as a copy editor. 

In June 2018, Mary told Casey that she wanted to move to LA to pursue her dream of being a standup comedian and asked if she would make the drive with her.

Casey, who was working remotely at the time and eventually wanted to dip into other things herself, agreed to make the drive with her friend. 

However, if she was coming, she was coming to stay.

“Whatever happens, happens,” she said. “It’ll be an adventure either way.”

So a few months later, after visiting Mary’s aunt in LA, the two best friends made the five-day, 50-hour move across the country, and they haven’t looked back since.

While Casey misses her friends and family, she is continuing to put her best foot forward in her new home.

In addition to her now-self-employed freelance work, Casey is continuing to say yes to everything that comes her way.

This month, Casey helped copywrite and organize an event in Beverly Hills for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation that raised more than $600,000 for the nonprofit.

“Do it,” she said. “Let whatever is going to happen, happen. And if it doesn’t work out, something will.”

As mentioned, Casey is not the only former-Penn editor who is making their mark on the West Coast.

Nate, who I first met in the summer of 2018 while delivering pizzas together, served as The Penn’s audio editor during the 2018 semester and played a crucial role developing The Penn’s first weekly podcasts. He’s come a long way since moving to LA in April to pursue a music career.

While in high school, Nate dreamed of one day buying a van and moving to California with his best friend to live on the beach. And after graduating from IUP with a degree in journalism and public relations in December, he decided to take the chance.

But instead of a van, Nate and his best friend, Matt Rust, loaded up the Dodge Avenger and set course on a month-long road trip to “The Other Side.”

From chilling in a cabin in the Atlanta wilderness, almost getting hit by a tornado in the Texas desert, to getting altitude sickness in Santa Fe, New Mexico – Nate and Matt faced it all “head-on.”

But it wasn’t until about a month of being in LA amongst all the “pretentious d*****bags,” after a major producer asked him to record a base-line for an upcoming EP, that Nate knew that the chance he took would eventually pay-off. 

“Even if you fail miserably, there’s no real failure,” he said. “The value is in the journey and not the end.”

Nate’s journey continued as it led him to a mansion overlooking Malibu Beach where he attended a mixer for both young musicians and producers. 

Sitting on a couch, in a multi-million-dollar home amongst people who have legitimate musical escalades, Nate couldn’t but look at one and jokingly say, “What the f*** am I doing here?”

Nate, now under the artist name, “Ism,” recently released a new single “The Other Side,” available on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.

And in addition to his own music, Nate, playing the bass, is featured on Säm Wilder’s upcoming EP, “Homebound.” 

So when it comes to your fantasy football team this season, don’t be afraid to take a page out of Nate and Casey’s book. 

Take chances, face it head-on and let whatever’s going to happen, happen.

You never know what might come of it. 

Now, let’s get to it.

Quarterback I’d Start This Week:

Daniel Jones (New York Giants):  Daniel Jones put on quite the show in his debut last week, completing 26/40 attempts for 353 yards and two touchdowns while adding 33 yards and two touchdowns with his legs.

Jones’ 34.2 fantasy points against the Buccaneers were the second-most by any quarterback making his first NFL start, according to ESPN.

Facing a Redskins’ defense this week that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points and an average 122.20 rating to opposing quarterbacks, without All-Pro running back Saquon Barkley, the opportunity to excel is once again in Jones’ favor.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay):  Saying I’d bench James Winston, the former No.1 pick feels like listening to your childhood iPod on replay – unimpressive and repetitive.

However, with the likes of Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler and a defense that has allowed the third least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, it’s something that needs to be heard and done. 

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

James Conner (Pittsburgh):  James Conner makes his second appearance on the start list this season. And while his last appearance didn’t result in an overwhelming output (10.5 fantasy points), it’s a put up or shut up week for the both of us.

Yes, the Cincinnati Bengals, his opponent, have allowed more than 28 fantasy points per game to opposing backs, but this start is more about my faith in Conner’s talent and toughness. 

It’ll be a gut-check game on Monday Night Football for Conner after his fourth-quarter fumble helped lead Pittsburgh to its first 0–3 start since 2013.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Kenyan Drake (Miami):  Even in what you would think would be an enticing matchup against a Chargers’ defense that ranks in the bottom half against the run, Kenyan Drake will return to his rightful place on the sit list due to the current state of the Miami Dolphins and their inability to utilize his talent

Drake, who has only 23 rushes on the season, has clearly outperformed running-mate Kalen Ballage when it comes run efficiency (3.1 YPC to Ballage’s 1.3 YPC). But because Miami is constantly playing from behind, neither of the backs are startable fantasy assets for the time being.

With that being said, I still like Drake as a buy-low candidate moving forward, due to the rumors that the Dolphins are trying to shop him. 

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

Terry McLaurin (Washington):  “Scary Terry.” “Monster McLaurin.” Whatever you want to call him, it doesn’t matter – Terry McLaurin is the real deal. 

The former Buckeye rookie is averaging 20.1 fantasy points per game after hauling in 16 receptions for 257 yards and three touchdowns through the first three weeks – good enough for WR9 on the season.

In a game in which the Redskins might have to air it out to keep up with Jones and the Giants and lining up CB Janoris Jenkins, who Mike Evans just burned for 40-plus fantasy points, McLaurin has a ton of upside heading into Week 4.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

John Ross III (Cincinnati):  John Ross’s “breakout season” stalled last week when Buffalo’s secondary held him to a minuscule 2.2 fantasy stemming from two receptions for 22 yards and a fumble.

And I don’t think Ross gets things going again here in Week 4 against an improved Pittsburgh defense that held all 49ers wide receivers to below 45 receiving yards Sunday, in their first game after acquiring All-Pro Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins for a draft pick.

This column was originally featured at ThePenn.org September 26, 2019.

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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