The Green-Eyed TMR
Yeah, I saw it.
You can stop asking, OK? Because yes, I saw it. Multiple times, each time more painful than the time before it. I'm not talking about Ryan Moats waltzing into the end zone while my Steve Slaton stood there and watched. I am not talking about my "hate" pick Donovan McNabb making the Giants look like the New York Majesty. (Look it up.)
I am talking, of course, about the wedding of Ivanka Trump to Jared Kushner. I've discussed my fondness for Ivanka before. I am nothing if not respectful, so as Ivanka's relationship with Jared took off and readers continued to be enthralled with the Anne Hathaway-Megan Fox debate, I didn't bring it up much.
But when I finally got around to reading about Ivanka's Oct. 24 wedding this past weekend, I lost it. She's beautiful. She's smart. She's insanely rich. I'm guessing she's a nice, happy person. If I were smart, rich and ridiculously hot, I would be too.
I read all about their happy day. She wore a Vera Wang dress! There were 500 guests! One of them was Regis! That's why I'm using exclamation points! I'm writing this in his voice! Kelly, the crab puffs were amazing!
That's when the hammer dropped. You ready for this? Sit down, because it floored me.
She converted for him.
You heard me. She is now Ivanka Trump, Jewish. It's like, what?! Did this just happen? Did Ivanka Trump somehow get hotter? How is that possible? Smart, beautiful, rich, cool ... and Jewish? All to marry a guy who is not discernibly better looking than I?
This is outrageous. I demand a recount. Or something.
Yes, I realize Kushner's father is worth $2 billion or something, but whatever. She's rich too. She doesn't need the money. And she's certainly more famous than he is. The more I researched, the only conclusion I could come to was that this marriage was, in fact, based on love. Makes me sick to my stomach.
If I knew Jared Kushner, I would first compliment him on the crab puffs. Seriously, heard they were terrific. And then I would say, "Dude, really? You landed Ivanka Trump ... and she converted?"
I am insane with jealousy. The great Kermit the Frog once opined that it ain't easy being green, and let me tell the frog something. You think it ain't easy? Try it when you're a small, petty person consumed with envy like me.
The transformation of Ivanka from gentile goddess to smoking hottie hottiestein was just the tip of the iceberg. For although my jealous wrath started with Jared Kushner, it soon expanded to guys with full heads of hair, guys who didn't play against a team with Matt Forte, Greg Jennings, LaDainian Tomlinson and Miles Austin this past weekend, to people who root for any NFL team other than Washington, to folks who live in Los Angeles, to people with musical ability (I have none whatsoever; I've always wanted to sing and/or play an instrument), to people with artistic ability (can't draw, either), to people who got to see the Beatles and Led Zeppelin live, to George Clooney (it seems like he has a pretty good gig) to people who have found their true love.
What can I say? Jealousy is an ugly green-eyed beast. It makes you petty and small and it makes you not like who you are. And I started thinking about some of the things I have to be thankful for. My health, my family, my fantasy teams that won this past weekend, the fact that some teams' fans have never gotten to see a Super Bowl, let alone win three times, that I still live in the U.S. and not in a country that's far worse off than ours, that I get to write for a living, that I've seen my favorite singer, Neil Diamond, in concert more times than I can count and ... well, Clooney's still got everything over me, but at least I'm not A.J. Burnett this morning.
One of my favorite Bruce Springsteen quotes is, "You have to learn to live with what you can't rise above." And it's true not just in life but also, as is often the case, fantasy football.
We are at the midpoint. You know what you have (yay, Ray Rice) and what you do not (thanks for nothing, Anquan Boldin). If you can rise above it and make some deals, great. If not, learn to live with it. These are your guys. Add to them with the players below and realize no great trade help is on its way. Instead of coveting what others have, make the best with what you've got. Every team (and person) has things it doesn't have but wants. No one person or team is complete and perfect. It's the ones who play the best with the hand they are dealt who ultimately will be happiest.
Don't look back in anger"You used to be the best. To make life be life to me. And I hope that you're still out there. And you're like you used to be. We'll be back in the high life again. All the doors I closed one time will open up again."
Here are some guys I suggested you pick up in previous editions of this column. Somehow, you managed to avoid my genius, or you ran into my idiocy and picked up the wrong guys. Either way, they remarkably are still available in some leagues. Consider this a combo of obvious names and a listing of guys previously discussed. They should be picked up before any of the guys listed below them. I've listed them in the order I would claim them. As always, ownership percentages are for ESPN.com standard 10-team leagues.
I've been talking about Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs (15 percent) for a long time now, and he finally will get his start Sunday at Jacksonville. Incidentally, he has two first names. By the way, looking over last week's column, there are a lot of names who are still available this week in a lot of leagues and are still very good pickups. Check out that column (and other previous columns) to know what I think about various guys. Frankly, last week's TMR is a better list of names than what I am about to do, because I don't like repeating names in the pickup section, and many of this week's obvious guys I already mentioned.
Like, I have no idea what Justin Fargas, RB, Raiders (9 percent) has to do to get picked up, but I've been talking about him for weeks. On a bye now, but he's gonna be the guy for the foreseeable future.
The rest: Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers (39 percent); Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots (65 percent); Correll Buckhalter, RB, Broncos (60 percent); Fred Davis, TE, Redskins (2 percent); Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Vikings (65 percent); Austin Collie, WR, Colts (66 percent); Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers (15 percent); Shonn Greene, RB, Jets (63 percent); Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles (36 percent); Sam Aiken, WR, Patriots (2 percent).
By the way, I haven't mentioned him before, but he's super obvious, so I am sticking him here. Kevin Walter, WR, Texans (69 percent) has been dropped in some leagues, and with Owen Daniels out for the season (we're getting to him, don't worry), he'll see a lot more balls on a very good passing offense. He had six targets last week (second to Andre Johnson's 10) and, well, he used to be good. I like him more than Austin Collie but less than Crabtree, if you're trying to place him in the list above.
Pickups of the week"I'm not drunk, baby. I'm just intoxicated by you."
Ryan Moats, RB, Texans (0.6 percent): I went 5-3 in my eight leagues this past weekend. Guess which three leagues I have Steve Slaton in? Add that to the list, by the way. I was jealous of anyone who didn't own Slaton this past weekend. Anyway, with Tuesday morning's article in the Houston Chronicle talking about how Texans coach Gary Kubiak won't name a starter until they get to Indy (remember, Kubiak suckled the teat of the evil Mike Shanahan), Moats is the no-brainer, must-have, No. 1 pickup of the week. You saw the three scores and the 151 total yards last week, and keep in mind Houston is currently sixth in the NFL in rushing attempts. This team can run, and run it will.
Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers (1 percent): The Chargers finally did what fantasy owners did about two years ago: dropped Chris Chambers. I mentioned Floyd in the Mendoza section of last week's column, and another solid game (along with Chambers' being waived) means Floyd is a nice add if you need receiver depth and the guys above are all gone. He grabbed six fantasy points in three of his past four games (and five in the one he didn't), he's a nice, big target for a team that has a very good quarterback and he's struggling to run the ball. Oh, and he has two first names. And yes, I did just say that Philip Rivers is a very good quarterback. No, I don't have a grudge against him. When I "hate" him, it just means I think he's in for an off week, just like last week's 11-point performance against the Raiders. Kind of hard to ever put him on the "love" list when the expectation is almost always 280 yards and two scores.
Kolby Smith, RB, Chiefs (0 percent): Told you it would get ugly quick. I think Johnson is done in K.C., and Smith has been splitting the first-team carries with Charles in practice this week. I'd rather have Charles, of course, but he won't get all the carries, so for those in deeper leagues, expect Smith to get at least 10 touches against Jacksonville.
Mike Thomas, WR, Jaguars (0 percent): Tied for the league lead in targets last week, he now has five fantasy points in two straight weeks and seems to be coming on. I'm also jealous of anyone who can figure out what the hell is going on in Jacksonville. But with David Garrard playing much better this season at home than on the road and Kansas City coming to town in Week 9, Thomas makes an interesting gamble if you're really stuck.
Maurice Morris, RB, Lions (1 percent): With 83 total yards and a two-point conversion last week, he needs to be on the radar, especially with Kevin Smith's injury history. All that said, he's on the Lions and is still Maurice Morris, so, you know, eyes wide open with this one. More valuable as a Kevin Smith handcuff than anything else.
So yeah, I just lost Owen Daniels.Great. Perfect. Terrific. No, really, this is just what I needed.
With Chris Cooley going down the week before, we now have two top-five tight ends out for the season (or at least the next month, in Cooley's case).
Here's a list of tight ends who are available in a bunch of leagues and whom I would grab to replace Daniels, in the order I would grab them. Keep in mind you also can just mix and match the whole way. Like, I really like Kevin Boss this week against San Diego, but if I were ranking for the rest of the season, he wouldn't be as high on my list.
Benjamin Watson, TE, Patriots (23 percent): Touchdowns in two of his past three games.
Fred Davis, TE, Redskins (2 percent): He'd be my No. 1 if Cooley weren't expected back.
Dustin Keller, TE, Jets (56 percent): Bye this week, but we've seen him do it before, and he finally showed up last week.
Kevin Boss, TE, Giants (39 percent): Well, look whom Eli finally found.
Spencer Havner, TE, Packers (1 percent): I don't expect three touchdowns in two games to be reasonable going forward, of course, but you can't ignore it, either.
Bo Scaife, TE, Titans (5 percent): He did have four targets last week with Vince Young in there ...
Just below the Mendoza Line:"But it's wafer-thin!"
It's a baseball saying, but it's appropriate here as well. (As far as I'm concerned, OK?) Here are some guys who shouldn't be picked up in 10-team leagues, but for those in 12-team or deeper leagues, I like them, and you should keep an eye on them.
If you need a quarterback, I could see Alex Smith being passable against the Titans this week. ... I don't think Joel Dreessen is worth a pickup, but I do expect Jacoby Jones to be more involved in the Texans' offense going forward. ... Looks as if Brian Westbrook should be back this week and LeSean McCoy is obviously his backup, but Leonard Weaver's workload last week should be noted. ... It's hard to trust any Lions wide receiver, but if Calvin Johnson misses any more time, Bryant Johnson did have eight targets last week.
Speaking of untrustworthy, Vince Young has his picture next to that word in the dictionary. But it's worth noting that Justin Gage had a 3-for-41 day in VY's first game. ... The Dolphins say Brian Hartline will get more involved. Hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen against the Patriots in Foxborough, but a name to know nonetheless. ... As the Browns search for any signs of offensive life, it's worth observing that Josh Cribbs had seven touches for 51 yards Sunday. ... I missed with Danny Amendola last week, so I'm a bit gun-shy on the Rams, but I've mentioned Keenan Burton before and will do so again after a 5-for-54 day last week. ... Heads up, Ryan Grant owners. There was an Ahman Green sighting in Green Bay. ... Finally, Kelley Washington is up and down, but his six targets led the Ravens last week as he had a 4-for-58 Sunday.
Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You
As always, these are not guys I'm saying you should drop, and as always, some of you will ignore that caveat. But if you need roster space (especially in a third consecutive six-team bye week), I have no issue with dropping these guys. They're good players who will have productive weeks but I feel ultimately won't lead you to the promised land, based on schedules and who else is available in ESPN.com standard 10-team leagues.
John Carlson, Owen Daniels (to reiterate, he's out for the season), Fred Jackson, Mohamed Massaquoi, Earl Bennett, Tashard Choice, Darren McFadden, Josh Morgan, Glen Coffee, Eli Manning, Domenik Hixon, Chester Taylor, Terrell Owens, Eddie Royal, Willis McGahee, Lance Moore, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, Sammy Morris, Derrick Ward, Laveranues Coles, Roy Williams, the New York Giants' D/ST.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is also jealous of people with better blurbs than his. He is also the creator of RotoPass.com, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend
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