Start, Sit & The In-Between: An Introduction
Whether or not we as humans like to admit it, we are often in pursuit of something.
It can be concrete. That little-known vacation spot you’ve been anticipating for weeks to visit. Walking the stage at your college graduation. Standing at the altar.
The journey’s end can also be that of an emotional and spiritual one.
Nirvana. Euphoria. Heaven.
It is that, amongst all the other endless situations that the different stages of our lives bring us, that make us all in-between something.
I, as a 21-year-old from rural Western Pennsylvania entering my final college semester, have felt this more than ever.
For those of you who have not read one of my columns before, I’m Seth Woolcock, an aspiring fantasy football writer.
And yes, this is a fantasy football column. And yes, we’re going to talk about fantasy football.
How this typically works is I open each one of my “Start, Sit & Seth” columns with a personal anecdote or story from my life that eventually ties back into fantasy football.
As mentioned in my first column from last season, it was a technique I first came across in Mathew Berry’s “Love/hate column” that he writes for ESPN. If you’re into fantasy football and have never read them, go do it. They’re amazing.
If you came to this column looking specifically for fantasy football advice and couldn’t care less about the life advice, skip down about another 400 words. There should be some type of bolded heading.
For those of you who didn’t skip straight to the fantasy analysis, thank you. And without further hesitation, I would like to welcome you to “The In-Between.”
“The In-Between” or “In-Between Media” is the new identity for my media content. It currently specifically focuses on fantasy football, and I will continue to be developed as I prepare to end my collegiate career and enter a professional one.
The concept came to me this summer. A summer that followed a similar blueprint of every summer since I was 14, filled with flux and change.
I was fresh out of my junior year of college. After finishing my year as The Penn’s editor-in-chief, I had to face the reality that again, life very soon was going to change for me.
And even though some would say I played college differently than most, spending most of my time working rather than partying, I still didn’t feel like the adult I had become.
I had four different jobs, my own place, car, great friends and the girl of my dreams.
But, the one thing I didn’t have was clarity.
Clarity of where I was going to be in just six short months once I had a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations in my hand.
Maybe I’d find a job locally. Stay put. Be here for my girlfriend, Katie’s, final semester.
It’s comfortable. It’s safe.
Or who knows, maybe I’d move halfway across the country on a whim of making it, as so many of my friends have.
Either way, then and now I’m in this transitioning phase, the in-between.
And not just that. I as an individual also felt that I was somewhere in-between.
Somewhere between a boy and a man, I’m not the small-town kid I was three years ago. But, as my recent struggling adventures to visit Katie in New York City can attest to, I’m not cut out for the city – even if that’s where some of my dreams want to take me.
I’m that get-five-hours-of-sleep-a-night-because-I’m-working-so-much kind of guy. But I also know how to have fun on time off.
I’m confident, yet more self-conscious than most.
Regardless, I’m in-between.
And chances are if you’re reading this still, you probably are too.
So, let’s jump on in…between.
This column typically looks at weekly start and sit decisions, based on matchups, stat trends and multiple other factors.
However, this preseason edition of “Start, Sit & Seth” will include players I would start (have on my draft board based on their current average draft positions (ADP)) and sit (have off my draft board because of their current ADP).
Also, keep in mind that these analyses are for points per reception (PPR) re-draft leagues.
Quarterbacks I’d Start this Season:
Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh): Ben Roethlisberger, coming off a season where he was QB3, came to Steelers’ Training Camp in Latrobe rejuvenated after the Steelers shed major weight, losing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Sure, these gentlemen are insanely talented, but better locker room chemistry oftentimes outweighs raw talent.
Roethlisberger told multiple beat reporters at camp this season that he feels like he, “loves football again.” Motivated, healthy and going at QB13? What’s not to love? Big year coming for Big Ben.
Kyler Murray (Arizona): The No. 1 overall pick hasn’t lit the world on fire thus far in the preseason (23-36, 193 passing yards through three games).
But, that should be great news for fantasy owners who haven’t drafted yet.
Kyler Murray is sliding down draft boards and currently going QB15 at a very fair ADP of 117.
If this guy runs and throws even three quarters as much as he did in college last season, he could be a huge value if left on the board long enough.
Quarterbacks I’d Sit this Season:
Carson Wentz (Philadelphia): Despite Carson Wentz and the Eagles returning to Lincoln Financial with some of the best talent in the league this season, drafting him at or around his current ESPN ADP of 77 is not worth the risk.
Even though we have seen Wentz’s ceiling (QB5 in 13 games in 2017), we’ve also seen his floor (QB23 in 11 games in 2018) due to injuries. Until you see it, you’re better off waiting with so much depth at the position this season.
Drew Brees (New Orleans): Again, due to the nature of depth at quarterback this season, Drew Brees falls into the same category as Wentz.
And while Brees has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback in each of the last seven seasons, there are also probably lowly or non-drafted quarterbacks who could finish in the top five.
Robert Griffin at QB4 in 2012, Andy Dalton at QB5 in 2013, Blake Bortles at QB4 in 2015 and Alex Smith at QB4 in 2017 all fall into that category.
Running Backs I’d Start this Season:
Marlon Mack (Indianapolis): This was going to be the section where I hyped up Marlon Mack to be an RB2 with the potential to be a top five RB by season’s end. Then, Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement put a damper on that.
However, all signs in Indianapolis point to Mack, who is currently being drafted at RB 23, being a true, three-down-back. And Jacoby Brissett, the new leader of the pack in Indianapolis, has the potential to be better than others expect.
With most likely fewer trips to the red zone for Mack, now Luck-less, his upside is most likely limited to a solid RB2 with the floor of a shaky flex play.
Phillip Lindsay (Denver): In his first season after being an undrafted walk on for his hometown team, Phillip Lindsay toted 1037 rushing yards on just 192 carries, averaging an impressive 5.4 yards per carry.
This popular week one waiver wire steal from last season finished the season as RB13 in PPR formats and is currently being drafted as RB28.
Yes, the Broncos have indicated they want to go to more of a committee with Royce Freeman potentially getting more action. But that could be a positive, rather than a negative.
After bolstering its run protection in the draft (Noah Fant, TE and Dalton Risner, OT) and another year for the defense to mature, Denver could be Seattle of the AFC, trying to win on the ground and with defense.
Running Backs I’d Sit this Season:
Mark Ingram (Baltimore): Don’t get me wrong – Mark Ingram, the former Heisman Trophy winner may still have some juice left, but Ravens running backs usually come at too high of a price for their return capital. Just ask last year’s Alex Collins owners, or 2017 Justin Forsett owners.
While the Ravens, under second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson, are going to attempt to run the ball, I prefer rookie Justice Hill, who had more than 3,500 yards in three seasons at Oklahoma State.
Kenyan Drake (Miami): This has been a familiar place for Kenyan Drake – on my sit lists during the last year. And the saddest part is it’s not because I don’t think Drake is a talented back. It’s the situation.
Drake, who’s still dealing with an injury, is on a team that many are projecting to finish the season in dead last and has second-year back Kalen Ballage nipping at his heals for carries.
With an ADP in the 50s, Drake is too high of a price to pay for the limited upside he presents.
Wide Receivers I’d Start this Season:
Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati): The common excuse to why Tyler Boyd is sliding to an ADP of WR25 is that he wasn’t very productive without AJ Green on the field last season. However, most of those games were with Jeff Driskel under center.
In a Marvin Lewis lead system last season, Boyd brought in 76 receptions and eclipsed the century yardage mark for the first time in his career. Now, under the direction of rookie head coach Zac Taylor and fresh off a new contract, Boyd could have an Adam Thielen-like season for half the price.
Browns Wide Receivers (Cleveland): Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) and Jarvis Landry could be in for one of the biggest seasons a wideout has in Cleveland in a very long time. Their quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns with a healthy passer rating of 107.4 in his final eight games under Freddie Kitchens when throwing the ball at least 15 yards downfield.
Add OBJ, one of the best downfield threats to his arsenal, and we could see a new offensive juggernaut being formed in Cleveland. OBJ, who has WR1 upside, is currently being drafted as WR5 at ADP of 11, and Landry is being drafted at WR 32. Barring injury, these two should have no problem paying back their draft capital.
Wide Receivers I’d Sit this Season:
Antonio Brown (Oakland): I know this might come off as a Pittsburgh fan dissing their former star wideout, but it’s not. Antonio Brown (AB), who carries an ADP of 16, has already threatened retirement over a helmet and showed up to camp with frostbitten feet.
This guy legitimately might be insane. And if Oakland starts out the season losing, who knows what AB will do by week 8?
A.J. Green (Cincinnati): It only makes sense that if I start Boyd, I have to sit A.J. Green, right? In his eight seasons in the NFL, Green has only played 16 games in four. Currently dealing with an ankle issue and looking for a new contract once the season’s end, I don’t see Green playing all 16. If there is a passing-of-the-torch season in Cincinnati, this is it.
This column was originally featured at ThePenn.org August 29, 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.