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start sit week 12

Start, Sit & The Life We Make

by Seth Woolcock

I ran away from home at the age of 19 with just the clothes on my back and a backpack, filled a phone charger, my wallet and something to take off the edge.

As I ran across the way and into the woods, I didn’t know that this day would very much change the direction of my life forever and that it would also be the official cutting of ties with the people that physically chased me out the door.

Since then, I’ve done everything I can to experience this unforgiving world and uncover my place within it. I’ve found myself on rooftops overlooking the New York City skyline, a downtown dive bar in the birthplace of professional football with strangers who’ve become family and in the Pennsylvania wilderness, ringing in newlyweds with the most beautiful date.

I rediscovered long-lost family, repaired relationships that deserved to be and found so much love in places I never would have expected.

It hasn’t always been easy. There have been far more days of manifesting than direct results in my young career. As many failures and shortcomings as victories and triumphs. But there’s also been so much fun had and so many memories created along the way that make it all worth it. 

So today, Thanksgiving 2021 – nearly 4-and-a-half years since I ran – I’ll try to soak it in a little more, smile a little more and hug those I love a little tighter as I give thanks to the life I’m living, the one I made for myself.

As you’re hopefully indulging yourself, celebrating times with both blood and water, I encourage you to do the same. Recognize and be grateful for the life you’ve made for yourself and the ones who helped you get there.

When it comes to that family of virtual shares of NFL players that you call a roster, do the same. Whether you’re winning or not, it’s likely the only time you’ll have this certain cast of players on your team at the same time. You might have more misses this season (cue Allen Robinson, Mike Davis and Nelson Agholor) than you do hits (enter Leonard Fournette and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown).

But that’s just what will make it that much sweeter when you eventually get to your destination – a fantasy football championship. Until then, just like in life when we’re at “A” trying to get to ”B,” don’t forget to enjoy the in-between.

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:

Cam Newton (Carolina):  In his return to Carolina, it didn’t take long for Cam Newton to vault himself back into the QB1 discussion.

In his first full start, he scored 26.2 fantasy points as a result of completing 21 of 27 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for an additional 46 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries. As long as Newton can continue to make the most with his legs and score on the ground, he will be fantasy viable. 

This week he gets a solid matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Prior to their Week 11 matchup against the immobile Joe Flacco, the Dolphins surrendered an average of 39 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks in their last three games. This, along with the general dysfunction in Miami right now just boosts Newton’s ceiling up even higher, well into the mid-QB1 ranks this week.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Tyrod Taylor (Houston):  Some fantasy managers are gearing up to start Houston Texans’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor this week as they face the New York Jets. Despite finishing as a QB1 in Week 11, I’m fading the down-south signal-caller this week.

The truth is that 12 of Taylor’s 18 fantasy points last week came from his two rushing touchdowns. I don’t expect Taylor to find similar success on the ground this week as the Jets have allowed just 19 rushing yards on 13 carries to opposing quarterbacks over the last month. On the season, they’ve allowed just a league-low 66 rushing yards against the position.

With linebacker C.J. Mosley likely spying on Taylor to limit his rushing and up-and-coming cornerback Bryce Hall playing tight on Brandin Cooks, Taylor’s No. 1 receiver, I have little confidence in both Taylor and the Houston organization as a whole this week.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

Devonta Freeman (Baltimore):  Twitter followers of mine and listeners of our podcast that are reading this may be worried that I’m becoming a Devonta Freeman truther with the recent love I’ve shown him. But this isn’t about a sudden infatuation with the eight-year pro out of Florida State University, but more just a love for his recent results.

Freeman has been the PPR RB18 since Week 6 and has looked stellar while doing it, averaging 4.6 Yards Per Carry (YPC) – his most since 2018. Latavius Murray, who’s been less effective than Freeman this season, is getting healthier as the weeks go on, which could cut down Freeman’s ceiling a bit. But Freeman held steady last week, posting his third straight game of 58 percent snap share.

This week, Freeman and the Ravens host the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have been gashed by running backs over the last month, allowing an average of 30.8 PPR points to them per game. Freeman should capitalize as Lamar Jackson continues to get healthy from the non-COVID-19 virus he’s been dealing with.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Zack Moss (Buffalo):  It’s been a desolate landscape for running backs in Buffalo the last few years, and this season has been no different. After being a healthy scratch in Week 1, Zack Moss was building momentum before Week 9. Since then, Moss has averaged just 35 percent of the snaps and 4.5 PPR points per game.

It won’t get better here in Week 12 as the Bills travel New Orleans to face the Saints. Though the Saints’ defense has faded some lately, they’re still holding running backs to 3.2 YPC and a rushing touchdown in one out of every 2.5 games.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

DeVonta Smith (Philadelphia):  Quietly, rookie DeVonta Smith is having a very solid rookie season, already posting 46 receptions for 664 yards and four touchdowns. 

His success could continue this week as he gets a matchup in MetLife Stadium against the division rival New York Giants, who are in a tailspin at this point in the season – most recently firing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

With every notable receiver having great games against the Giants this season – from Cooper Kupp to more recently Chris Godwin and Hunter Renfrow – I like Smith’s outlook this week to produce solid WR2 numbers.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Chase Claypool (Pittsburgh):  It’s been a disappointing season for Chase Claypool, who comes into Week 12 as the PPR WR44. Claypool currently sits third on the team in targets, behind Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris with rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth gaining on him.

I don’t see Week 12 as a time when Claypool turns the corner as they face the Bengals this week, which is the No. 1 ranked defense against receivers over the past two weeks. I expect the Steelers to combat the Bengals stout defensive line and high-flying offense with plenty of rushing attempts for Harris and quick dump-offs to the receivers.

This doesn’t bode well for Claypool’s big-play ability, and he is best left on the bench this week.

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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