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Start, Sit & Uncle Greg

by Seth Woolcock

“Stick to the game plan.”

The famous words from my Uncle Greg.

The way he described the five-word phrase was to control what you can, and don’t get caught up in what you can’t.

Something about that saying has stuck with me over the last year and a half as I try to navigate the crazy balance of college, work, social life, a relationship and a bunch of outside circumstances that I can’t control.

I’ve been doing my best to not worry about the outside bullshit that I can’t control and just “stick to the game plan.”

If you want to know what this game plan is, and how to stick to it I’m probably not your guy.

But Greg, he’s your guy.

Growing up in Manheim, Pa., in Lancaster County, Greg, now 42, attended the IUP main campus after a year at the Kittanning campus, which no longer exists. 

Once Greg made it Indiana, he was still trying to figure it all out. He, and his boys, Jeremy, Bryan, Clown and Woody were your typical, run-of-the-mill college kids.

“I needed those four and a half years at IUP,” Greg said.

His senior year, Greg, who had at least somewhat figured it out by this point, met my Aunt Betsy while the two were both living in a house on Oakland Avenue that was split into apartments.

By the time Greg graduated with his criminology degree in the spring, he and Betsy were “all-in” (another famous Greg line) together.

The two returned to Lancaster together. Betsy finished her schooling at Millersville as Greg began his criminology career working with kids who had been removed out of public school.

After meeting so many whose lives were in shambles at such a young age, Greg decided he wanted to help kids before they got to that point. So he returned to school, this time for a teaching degree.

In 2004, after graduation, Greg was hired at an elementary school as a fifth-grade teacher, and he’s been there ever since.  

In 2010, Greg and Betsy welcomed a beautiful baby girl to the world.

So even though Greg’s game had some twists and turns in it, how do I know that Greg in fact “stuck to the game plan?”

He’s the teacher who bumps “Omilli” by Lil Wayne in his Nissan Rouge every day before going into work. Inspires students, and then returns home to make some authentic dinner for his family.

He’s the guy who loves spending his Saturday mornings in front of the TV watching sports and the afternoon in the garden.

He’s the guy who finds the best in every day. He tells about past times but isn’t stuck in it like so many of us. 

He looks to the future but knows how to live in the moment.

Any time that anybody spends around Greg and Betsy is filled with pure happiness.

And in other aspects of life, including fantasy football, sticking to the game plan can be crucial to your success.

Even if your fantasy team is heading to the tank or you’re up and want to make major trades, stick to your game plan.

You drafted your players for a reason, you woke at 4:32 a.m. to grab those players off free agency for a reason.

Trust the fantasy analysis of yourself and others, and let’s get to it.

Quarterback I’d Start this Week:

Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams):  Even with a lackluster performance last week against the “12th Man” in Seattle, Jared Goff is still on a heater as the Rams continue to emulate the “Greatest Show on Turf.”

This week, he’s going up against a Denver defense that is no longer what it used to be, giving up three touchdowns to Sam Darnold recently.

Goff has one of the best play-callers and has so many offensive weapons around him. I don’t know how you sit him. He’ll be on that “Colorado high” come Sunday. Don’t let it be on your bench.

Quarterback I’d Sit this Week:

Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay):  I get it, James Winston is in a very good offense and going up against the Falcons, who have one of the worst defenses against the pass. 

But Winston is still starting his first game of the season. In Week 4 in only a half of action, Winston threw two interceptions. 

Don’t get cute this week if you have better options.

Running Back I’d Start this Week:

T.J. Yeldon (Jacksonville):  In Leonard Fournette’s absence, T.J. Yeldon is averaging more than 4.3 yards per carry, and that’s not even the impressive part. 

Yeldon has 22 receptions for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Until Fournette is back, start Yeldon, and let the good times roll.

Running Back I’d Sit this Week:

Devonta Freeman & Tevin Coleman (Atlanta):  A once fantasy-friendly backfield has become a fantasy owner’s worst nightmare. 

The Falcons are beginning to use a 40-40-20 split running back by committee, and Ito Smith is vulturing goal-line carries, a premiere part of  Devonta Freeman’s fantasy value. 

The backfield is beginning to look like the 2018 version of last seasons’ Patriots and Eagles backfield. I want no part until we have more information about how it looks moving forward.

Wide Receiver I’d Start this Week:

DeSean Jackson (Tampa Bay):  I know what you’re going to say, how can I say to start DeSean Jackson while I would bench his quarterback?

Well, Atlanta is giving up the ninth most yardage  per play thus far, and Jackson averages 24.9 yards per catch thus far. If you need a flex play with a high ceiling this week, Jackson should have it covered.

Wide Receiver I’d Sit this Week:

Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia):  After starting the season with two eight-reception games, Agholor has reeled in five or fewer receptions in each of the matchups. 

Only averaging 7.3 yards per catch, Agholor relies on those receptions to make up for his lack of big playability. Play it safe this week and find a better option than Agholor.

Tight End I’d Start this Week:

David Njoku (Cleveland):  Well, well, well, we meet again, old friend. 

David Njoku was ranked in my top-10 tight ends coming into the season. And after a slow start to the season, Njoku and rookie QB Baker Mayfield seem to have a connection. 

Njoku led the Browns in targets last week and has reeled in 11 receptions for 121 yards in the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, George Kittle broke out against the Chargers, piling up 25 fantasy points. 

I wouldn’t expect those numbers, but Njoku should be started this week unless you have a top-five option.

Tight End I’d Sit this Week:

Geoff Swaim (Dallas):  Geoff Swaim is not the tight end you’re looking for (in an Obi-Wan Kenobi voice). Dallas is 28th in total offense, and Swaim only has 14 receptions a game. You can do better, young Padawan.

This column was originally featured at ThePenn.org October 11, 2018.

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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