Commentary

Berry: 50 things you need to know

Updated: August 28, 2007, 4:05 PM ET
By Matthew Berry | ESPN.com

You can lead a horse to a bar, but it has to order the drink itself. Or something like that. The idea is that there is only so much you can do.

And so it goes with a fantasy football analyst. Specifically, a fantasy football analyst who talks about himself in the third person in a Yoda-like way. Talented Mr. Roto wants to help you he does.

So here are 50 things you need to know (but probably don't). Some you have heard before, some have nothing to do with fantasy football, all of them will make you a better, happier, more well-rounded human being. Or at least kill 10 minutes on your lunch break.

By the way, a special shout-out to my good college buddy Jon McDaid, from whom I got the idea for (and in some cases completely stole) the "life" facts. You'll see.

50 Things You Need To Know (but probably don't)

  1. Last season, Joseph Addai had a 4.8 yards-per-carry average. That's higher than Edgerrin James ever had as a Colt. He had more than 1,000 yards rushing while getting only 52 percent of the Colts' rushing attempts. Only 10 running backs had more total fantasy points last season, yet Addai started exactly zero games.

  2. Among active players, only LaDainian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander have more rushing yards in the past three seasons than Rudi Johnson. In that span, he has never had fewer than 1,400 total yards or fewer than 12 touchdowns. He plays St. Louis in Week 14, San Francisco in Week 15, Cleveland in Week 16 and Miami in Week 17.

  3. The Baltimore Ravens were 11th in the NFL in rushing attempts last season. And Jamal Lewis, with his 3.6 yards-per-carry average, had more than 1,200 total yards and nine touchdowns. For a much-worse Buffalo team, Willis McGahee had 3.8 yards per carry. How does he not get double-digit touchdowns and at least 1,400 total yards?

  4. Last season, Ahman Green had more than 1,400 total yards in 14 games. Last season, the Houston Texans had 13 rushing touchdowns as a team and averaged more than 100 yards rushing per game, both numbers better than those of the Packers last season. And the Texans did it with Samkon Gado, Wali Lundy and Ron Dayne carrying the rock.

  5. This one is courtesy of Russell Baxter, who is the head NFL researcher here at ESPN. Every Sunday on the "ESPNEWS Fantasy Insider show" (11 a.m. ET -- on ESPNEWS, naturally) he drops a cool nugget on us like this one from last week: In each of his six seasons as a starter, Tom Brady has thrown touchdown passes to at least nine different players, including 11 last season and 12 in 2005. The most any player has caught in one season is seven. (TE Christian Fauria in 2002 and WR David Patten in 2004).

  6. Last season, only nine running backs in the NFL had more rushing touchdowns than Brandon Jacobs. (He had nine.) He had double-digit rushing attempts in only three of 15 games.

  7. Using ESPN standard scoring, only LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, Larry Johnson, Frank Gore and Willie Parker had more total fantasy points last season than Brian Westbrook. Use point-per-reception scoring, and Fast Willie falls off the list.

  8. In the last seven games of 2006, only Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer had more touchdown passes than J.P. Losman.

  9. Last season, Philip Rivers had only one game in which he threw more than two touchdowns and only two games in which he had more than 300 yards passing. There were eight games in which he had one or zero touchdown passes.

  10. In 16 seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Norv Turner has had two 1,000-yard pass catchers in one season only once. Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell both had more than 1,000 yards in 1999. In fact, Turner has had even one 1,000-yard receiver only nine of those 16 seasons, and three of the nine were Michael Irvin. And now he has Tomlinson. I'm guessing Antonio Gates will get 1,000 yards, but that's it.

  11. If you drive by a kid selling lemonade on the side of the street, you stop and buy a cup. Always.

  12. Only one wide receiver (Houston's Andre Johnson) had more receptions than Detroit's Mike Furrey last season.

  13. Over the last four games of 2006, Santonio Holmes was seventh in receiving yards. That means he had more than Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, Steve Smith, Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens, to name a few.

  14. Last season, Tampa Bay had six rushing touchdowns. Mike Alstott had three. That means 50 percent of the Bucs' rushing touchdowns aren't playing this year.

  15. Never date a woman who was a psychology major in college. (Some of these tidbits don't have statistics to back them up; you're just gonna have to trust me.)

  16. In the past three seasons, only two wide receivers (Chad Johnson and Torry Holt) have more receiving yards than Donald Driver.

  17. In the past three seasons, only four wide receivers (Chad Johnson, Torry Holt, Donald Driver and Marvin Harrison) have more receiving yards than Reggie Wayne.

  18. Marvin Harrison has had double-digit touchdowns in eight straight seasons.

  19. Steve Smith has done it only once.

  20. Same for Chad Johnson, who has never done it with Carson Palmer.

  21. There were 11 games last season in which Chad Johnson scored 10 or fewer fantasy points.

  22. Unless a band has at least three original members in it, it can't use the name. It's no longer "The Who," for example.

  23. On a bad team with no quarterback, Ronnie Brown still had more than 1,200 total yards.

  24. No team had fewer rushing attempts last season than the Detroit Lions.

  25. Darrell Jackson has played in only 19 of his team's past 32 games.

  26. Only six tight ends had more touchdowns last season than Owen Daniels. And he played only 14 games.

  27. Owen Daniels had the same number of touchdowns (five) as Tony Gonzalez, L.J. Smith and Heath Miller.

  28. You don't buy chocolate milk. You buy milk, you buy the chocolate mix, you make it.

  29. The last three years that offensive coordinator Al Saunders had a consistent quarterback, Trent Green had three straight 4,000 passing-yard seasons. Expect Jason Campbell to start all 16 games this season, and look for the Redskins to be behind and throwing.

  30. Travis Henry has played all 16 games only once in a six-year career.

  31. Last season, the New York Jets had 15 rushing touchdowns, ninth-best in the NFL -- with Leon Washington and Kevan Barlow leading the way.

  32. Over the past three seasons, only Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez have more receiving yards than Jason Witten (2,491) among tight ends.

  33. In that same three-year span, only Antonio Gates and Jeremy Shockey have more touchdowns than Chris Cooley (19).

  34. Or Alge Crumpler, who is tied with Cooley.

  35. I don't care what the score is, you stay until the end of the game.

  36. Despite his starting only eight games last season, there were only seven running backs in the NFL with more total yards from scrimmage than Ladell Betts.

  37. No. 1 on that list of total yards? Steven Jackson. LT was No. 2.

  38. Throwing out his seasons in Cleveland and Detroit, Jeff Garcia (in a West Coast offense) has 147 total touchdowns in 82 games. His career completion percentage is 60 percent.

  39. No Mike Martz offense has been outside the top 5 in passing.

  40. Never date a girl who has a bunch of guy friends and no girlfriends. She might not know why, but you do.

  41. In the last six games of 2006, Chad Pennington had more passing yards than Carson Palmer, Drew Brees or Tom Brady.

  42. In that same span, only five quarterbacks had more touchdown passes than Jay Cutler.

  43. In 2006, only five teams in the NFL had fewer rushing touchdowns than the Seattle Seahawks. They had eight. Shaun Alexander played in 10 games.

  44. If a kid is selling something for school, he or she has to come to the office. I'm not buying anything from the mom or dad. But if the kid comes, you always buy.

  45. Last season, the Colts led the NFL with 31 receiving touchdowns -- the same number as accumulated by the Philadelphia Eagles.

  46. Last season, Steve Smith had 169 fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring. Lee Evans had 168.

  47. Using the same scoring, Larry Fitzgerald had 126 fantasy points last season -- same as Jerricho Cotchery.

  48. Despite his playing in only 10 games, there were only seven quarterbacks who had more fantasy points than Donovan McNabb in 2006.

  49. Larry Johnson's first 10 weeks look like this: at Houston, at Chicago, versus Minnesota, at San Diego, versus Jacksonville, versus Cincinnati, at Oakland, bye week, versus Green Bay, versus Denver. The Texans, Raiders and Packers are the only good matchups for LJ to start the season.

  50. Take it from a guy who left a nice Hollywood career to start an obscure fantasy sports Web site. Just do what you love. Success, money and happiness will follow.

Cyberstalk the TMR.

• Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN
• Member, FSWA and FSTA Halls of Fame
• Best-selling author of "Fantasy Life"

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