Ten lists of 10: preseason edition
I'm hoping you read my "100 Facts" column. Partially because I think it's pretty good. I rarely like what I write, but this was an exception. If you read it, you probably don't remember fact 25, which talked about how I loved columns like that.
A cousin of that type of column is my 10 lists of 10 column, which I really enjoy writing. Something about the simplicity, the organization of it, the way it's just laid out there and left for you to interpret.
They are often among my most popular columns, so we're in agreement on the appeal. Some of the lists were suggested to me by my followers on Twitter (where you can follow me at MatthewBerryTMR), some of them are just for fun and there's a chance at least one of them is helpful.
Either way, these are 10 lists ... of 10.
List 1: Guys that won't be on any of the teams I own this year based on where they are being drafted
1. Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals
2. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
3. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
4. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
5. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins (I own him in one keeper league, but won't be drafting him)
6. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
7. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals
8. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars
9. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
10. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills
List 2: Things I've noticed through the first two preseason games
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1. The Texans hate Steve Slaton. They had him returning kicks in their second preseason game. Considering the lack of depth at running back on that team and Slaton's injury history, that's a big "screw you" to Slaton and a big ol' vote for "Arian Foster is all we got."
2. Kyle Orton is going to have a good year. As banged up as Denver's defense and running game are, that team is going to have to throw a lot. So far in the first two preseason games, Orton has played in seven series. He has four touchdowns and 261 yards. Yes, it's against mostly vanilla defenses, but still. People forget he was the 14th best fantasy quarterback last season.
3. Many of Orton's passes will go to his teammate Jabar Gaffney, whom I like a lot as a deeper sleeper. He had eight receptions for 135 yards in limited time in the first two Broncos games. Remember, he ended last season strong as well, with 282 yards and two scores in his final two games. That's not a misprint.
4. Brandon Jacobs looks terrible. Sorry. Still terrible. Meanwhile, Ahmad Bradshaw looks great. Jacobs is still going many rounds higher than Bradshaw.
5. At least one and possibly both of Larry Johnson and Willie Parker are not gonna make the Redskins. Given the way Mike Shanahan runs the balls and the way he uses running backs and given that Clinton Portis is coming off an injury, Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams are interesting names, especially if both LJ and Fast Willie get the axe.
6. Michael Turner is at least going to be partially involved in the passing game this season, which means he doesn't head for the sidelines for every third down. I've moved him up a bit as a result.
7. Matt Leinart is not a professional quarterback. OK, I knew that before. In this case, the preseason just underlined what I knew. As long as he is the quarterback, Larry Fitzgerald is in trouble.
8. LaDainian Tomlinson is going to be used a lot more than anyone thinks. I remain high on him as a steal in the 10th round.
9. Mike Williams (the Tampa Bay version) looks NFL ready to me. Like him as a late-round lottery ticket.
10. Fred Taylor is alive. I'm not sure I want to bet on any New England running back this year, but based on draft position and my projected usage, Fred will have the best fantasy value of the Patriot backs, by far.
List 3: My "flag" guysChristopher Harris wrote an article like this in the preseason and Jason Grey did a baseball version. Liked both a lot. So here's my very short version with the guys I feel strongest about this year
1. Kevin Kolb, QB, Eagles: As an elite fantasy quarterback this year.
2. Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens: Same thing.
3. Zach Miller, TE, Raiders: Joins the Tony Gonzalez/Jason Witten tier, just below the Dallas Clark/Antonio Gates elite.
4. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: As a top four running back this year.
5. Devin Aromashodu, WR, Bears: See my "Love/Hate."
6. Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts: See my "100 Facts" column.
7. Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos: See list No. 2.
8. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins: Ridiculous value in the eighth round. The poster child for my "quantity-not-quality, ugly running back" theory.
9. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys: As a top three wide receiver and having a better year than Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Marshall, among many others.
10. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens: Top 20 talent going outside the top 40.
List 4: Best Fantasy Football team names as suggested by my Twitter followers
I can tell you that many names and themes showed up multiple times. "Victorious Secret" was popular, as were "Revis and Butthead," "Favre's Waffle House" and "Korn on the Kolb." Multiple people suggested "Texas Chainsaw Massaquoi," "Breaston Implants" and "Live Free, Addai Hard," along with the YouTube sensation inspired "Double Dwayne Bowe". The off-field issues of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Cromartie and Rick Pitino apparently inspired many this year and the names of past and present players like Mike Vick and Dick Butkus were often used in colorful ways, sometimes together. Putting the Eagles backup quarterback in a box was an especially popular take, as were variations on Tim Tebow's name. You can search for responses to @MatthewBerryTMR on Twitter for more, but here's the best of the ones I can print
1. Breesus is my Homeboy! (from @djclay22)
2. Yippy Ki Yay, Marshall Faulker (from @BrettParkerNeal)
3. Fear Itself. Because there is nothing to fear but fear itself (from @zsober88)
4. I Can Do Anything Aromashacando (from @Adam West 1)
5. Multiple Scoregasms (from @jcantu25)
6. Iupati like it's 1999 (from C.J. Lason (Colorado Springs)
7. Boldin Showers (@AndyLillesve)
8. Favre Dollar Foot Longs (from @troker61)
9. Grenade Free America (@onthe_DL)
10. Breakin' 2: Electric Legedu (from KC in Tewksbury, Mass.)
List 5: Players I've changed my mind on
1. Jay Cutler, QB, Bears: Initially a "Love" in my "Love/Hate" but, while I like him, I'm worried that he can stay upright and that he won't have 30-plus turnovers.
2. Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers: Is there room on the bandwagon for me? Always liked him (currently my No. 4 tight end), but seeing him in the preseason and hearing reports out of Green Bay, well, pass me some more of that Kool-Aid. I'm drinking and he'll be even higher (and third among tight ends) in my next rankings update.
5. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals: Yes, they want to get him into the offense, so they are featuring him more than they will during the regular season, but he will still have more value than I initially thought, which was none. I don't like him but the hate has gone too far, making him a value pick in the ninth round, which is where he's currently being drafted.
7. Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs: Anyone who read me last year knows I love Jamaal Charles like I'm on the moon and he's oxygen. But from all the talk we're hearing and what we're seeing this preseason, Jones will have more value than folks think. Still believe talent wins out and Charles is the guy you want in KC, but Jones will be better than his 10th-round draft status suggests.
8. Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings: Way too much risk for me. I wish him well.
9. Brett Favre, QB, Vikings: The news on the ankle plus the Rice and Harvin injury concerns make me feel that there's nowhere to go but down. I moved him from a solid No. 8 to a very shaky No. 10 on my QB ranks. If you get him, you need a good backup.
10. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots: I'm all in on him. I believe.
List 6: Deep sleepers at running back
1. Kareem Huggins, RB, Buccaneers
2. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns
3. Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings
4. Jerome Felton, RB, Lions
5. Anthony Dixon, RB, 49ers
6. Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers
7. Patrick Cobbs, RB, Dolphins
8. Chris Henry and Jeremiah Johnson, RB, Texans
9. Justin Fargas, RB, Broncos
10. Deji Karim, RB, Jaguars
List 7: The ActressHere are the most popular guesses of who the actress was in my "Love/Hate" article this year. Three things: It's an absolutely true story, the answer is on the following list and it's not the most popular guess, Mira Sorvino. I've ranked them in order of my personal preference.
1. Catherine Zeta-Jones
2. Jennifer Connelly
3. Halle Berry
4. Angelina Jolie
5. Charlize Theron
6. Gwyneth Paltrow
7. Nicole Kidman
8. Julia Roberts
9. Juliette Binoche
10. Tie: Renee Zellweger and Dame Judi Dench
List 8: Guys that keep winding up on my teams
1. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
2. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs
3. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
4. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers
5. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
6. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins
7. Arian Foster, RB, Texans
8. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
9. Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson, RBs, Jets
10. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
List 9: Potential "Fantasy Zombies"These are guys that were completely left for dead but then come back to life to have fantasy value. Laurence Maroney, Vernon Davis and Cedric Benson are recent examples. Suggested to me on Twitter by @jjrizz and @jesspoljak
1. Joey Galloway, WR, Redskins
2. Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos
3. Samkon Gado, RB, Titans
4. Justin Fargas, RB, Broncos
5. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills
6. Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Colts
7. Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR, Raiders
8. Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons
9. Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks
10. Derek Anderson, QB, Cardinals
List 10: Unsexy guys that will help you win your leagueOr as I call them this year, the "Mason/Portis All-Stars." suggested by reader Brian of Grand Haven, MI
1. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
2. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys
3. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills
4. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets
5. Nate Burleson, WR, Lions
6. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers
7. Ryan Grant, RB, Packers
8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks
9. Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Jets
10. Matthew Berry, Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
Bonus List: Honorable Mention for best team names
1. Run, Forsett, Run (from @JesseFriedland)
2. Of Rice and Men
3. Brees Beneath My Wings (both from @pprrankings)
4. My Delhomme is my Cassel
5. Rexy's Greentight Runners (both from @eaglesdawg)
6. Calvin and Jahv's
7. Royal with Teeb's (both from @Matt Martins)
8. Matt Cassel and the Chambers of Completions (from @thetory)
9. Hangin' with Riley Cooper (from Paul in Bensalem, Pa.)
10. The Chronicles of Favria (from @CodyKeyser)
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- realizes half these lists might be useless after this weekend's preseason games. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website 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