Commentary

A little back-and-forth

Updated: December 21, 2010, 3:13 PM ET
By Matthew Berry | ESPN.com

I'm sorry. No. Not gonna happen.

The Talented Mr. Roto

Look, I have to deal with the fact that Rex Grossman is the starting quarterback for my NFL team. It doesn't mean I'm going to suggest you add him to your fantasy team. Look, I know he threw for four touchdowns last week. I know he faces Jacksonville's terrible defense this week. But he's still Rex Grossman, he's still coached by Mike Shanahan and it's Week 16, the most important week of the fantasy playoffs for a lot of you. Grossman is the most obvious pickup this week, unless we learn Arian Foster is out this Sunday. Then Derrick Ward would be a great pickup for this week's game against Denver. And certainly, Toby Gerhart would be interesting if he got the start next week as well.

But for the purposes of a full-blown pickup column? It's Week 16. Any grab you would make is obvious (Blair White? Again? Really?), and frankly, in what is a championship week for many, you're pretty much going with who got you there.

But it's a Tuesday, and we need a TMR column today, so I figured I could just empty out the ol' inbox. We'll do Love/Hate as usual this Thursday and next week, but there will be no Tuesday column next week in Week 17.

And with that, I get e-mail.

Jonathan (Agoura, Calif.): Hello Mr. TMR. I have a Fantasy Football etiquette question for you. I am playing my good friend (in Week 15) and he has Aaron Rodgers as his QB with no backup on his roster. After the news (that he would be out), I went out and picked up what I thought were the top 3 available free agent quarterbacks. My friend responded on our comments board that it was a D-move, "D" being another word for (something we can't print). The guy I beat last week responded that I can't win "legit," even though I beat him down legit enough last week. And yet another member called it "shady." My take is that there are still many (not good, but many) starting quarterbacks out there and my friend (who knew it was possible Rodgers wouldn't go) had almost a week to protect himself. What do you think? Was I playing the game right or should I hang my head in shame and retire from this league?

TMR: No issue whatsoever with this. The best defense is a good offense. If it's fair in the rules, it's fair in the game. He should have backed up Rodgers, especially after he went down with the second concussion. What's not legit about using the waiver wire? We see it all the time in professional sports, when a team will put in a bid on a waived player just to block him from going to a competitor. Good for you, dude. My only issue with this is with your whiny league mates.

Chris (Orlando, Fla.): I was a cast member on [an ABC reality show] last season. … I have been playing fantasy football at a very high level for over 5 years and have shown complete dominance. Fantasy Football live is my favorite show on ESPN. I would like to give my sleeper picks live on your show. It would freak out the guys in my fantasy football league and create fear in their hearts going into the playoffs. I think having a professional FF player like myself offer advice would be epic! I am still contracted with ABC and ready to add a voice to the pro fantasy football players out there. Email me back Berry!

TMR: I assume you mean "Fantasy Football Now" (Sundays, 11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2), which is the actual name of your favorite show, and definitely, the guys in your specific league are our target audience. If we can freak out those nine guys, that's all we care about.

But maybe I'm being too harsh here. Maybe I should not be so quick to dismiss. Maybe, just maybe, you're TV magic. I didn't watch that particular show, but I know someone who does. So I asked Bill Simmons to ask his wife.

The Sports Gal: I don't remember one scene with him.

TMR: Sorry, Chris. Without the Sports Gal's endorsement, I'm not sure how much of a chance you have, because while I don't make the talent decisions on who does or does not appear on the show, I can tell you that just "thinking it would be epic" usually doesn't sway the producers.

Luke Attmadeek (Fargo, N.D. ): Wondering why they call you the Talented Mr. Roto? What exactly is your talent?

TMR: Well, Ryan has an idea, to start.

Ryan Watkins (Rockport, Texas): King Berry, first off I think your voice is like a mix between Fergie and Jesus!

TMR: And this guy finds me a fountain of info.

Dave (Alexandria, Va.): I always thought they said, "She's my tomahtay (a funky version of tomato). Just lettin' it all hang out." I always learn something from your column.

TMR: And, ummm … grandmothers like me.

Nomi Redding (Lawrence, Kan.): I am a 63-year-old grandmother playing in my son-in-law's league. Last year was my first year and I won. This year I went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, but got blown out the first weekend. I played my studs and they got me 33 points. I'll play for 3rd the next two weeks. Enjoy the podcast and your regular features-always read and listen. Thank you for your work.

TMR: Thanks for reading and listening; you are now the official grandmother of the 06010. I love the fact that you play in a league with your son-in-law. I have always said fantasy is a great thing to do with your family. Brings you closer together and helps you keep in touch with cousins and other family members that are not local. Fantasy football is for everyone. OK, everyone but these guys. Thanks to reader Jon Swaner for the link.

Ryan Heuer (Parts Unknown) You are PATHETIC. Way to rank Vernon Davis as your number one tight end this week. He had one catch. How can someone like you have a job? Oh that's right. It's a meaningless pathetic job. "Professional fantasy football advisor." Yeah that'll get the ladies.

TMR: Oh yeah? Well, if it was a meaningless, pathetic job, would someone who had been on a reality dating show want it? Wait, don't answer that. Actually, Ryan, about the ladies. …

Kimberly Downie (Savannah, Ga.): Dear TMR, I am a girl who reads your column (along with the recently engaged Jen W. of San Diego). I started Vincent Jackson tonight based on your "risky" gut instinct. Thank you. You rock. Championship, here I come.

TMR: Glad it worked out. I got many nice compliments on the Vincent Jackson "gut call," like this one. …

Michael Bartlett (Johnson City, Tenn.): I read this weeks article with that guy dogging you at the beginning so I wanted to give you the props you truly deserve. You said that you had a gut feeling about V-Jax this week so I decided that was enough to me to give him the nod. 3 TD's and 110 yards later I jumped up 29-0 going into Sunday. I love you.

TMR: See, Ryan? It's not just ladies. I get the dudes, too. And this one.

Vincent Jackson
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireMy gut call on Vincent Jackson paid off for everyone who read the column or heard the podcast before kickoff, and those who had easy access to a time machine.

Mike Anderson (Grove City Penn.): Funny how you had the "gut feeling" about V Jax after the game. You are a joke.

TMR: (pleased) So I make you laugh?

Ali (Denver): Dear TMR, I just want to say thank you for your help this season. I won my husband's boys club fantasy league and I can say that it was largely due to your column. I don't think they will let me play next year (apparently losing to a girl is the equivalent of going to jail for shooting yourself in the leg), but don't they say that scars heal and the glory lasts forever? Thanks again! P.S. I guarantee at least two of these guys are filling your inbox with hate-mail as we speak.

TMR: Is one of them Stephane Hardinger?

Stephane Hardinger (Philadelphia): Thanks a lot for the great fantasy advice Berry … I sat Mike Williams and Brandon Lloyd for Mike Wallace and Miles Austin and lost by 3 points. How you have this job is beyond me. You are a [expletive deleting something expletive deleted].

TMR: Uh, I clearly have this job because I appeal to the grandmother demographic. Hello?

Alternate response: You're welcome!

Alternate alternate response: So if I read you correctly, you're saying I got you to within three points of victory and you screwed up the rest of our lineup? I've got to say, Stephane, I'm a little bit disappointed in you.

Pete McCabe (Wausau, Wis.): Just wanted to thank you for this season! I had been playing fantasy football for about 5 years now and had never placed above 6th in any of my leagues. I started reading your articles every week this year, and while I haven't jumped on the bandwagon of every suggestion you have made, you have made it easier for me to navigate the waters of fantasy research. This year I have made it to the semifinals in 3 of the 4 leagues I play in and made the playoffs in the 4th. Woohoo! I brew beer for living with a brewpub chain in Wisconsin and wanted to thank you by offering an "all the beer you can drink night for free" if you are ever in Madison or Wausau, Wisconsin. It is just my small way of saying thanks for the part you played in me not having to suffer the negative side of smacktalk in all of my leagues.

TMR: OK, everyone that reads this column? Into the van. Road trip to Wisconsin.

See ya Thursday. And if you're truly desperate for pickups, check out today's Fantasy Focus video show and Eric Karabell's blog.

Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday. OK, most everyone. 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. He is a charter member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his cyberfriend

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