Berry: Love/Hate for Week 10
"Because that's no fun."
That's a quote from me to one of my editors today as I was about to start writing this. I told him I had another mailbag at the end of today's Love/Hate because there have been so many great e-mails and I haven't had time or space to print them all.
To which he replied, "Why not answer some of the ones asking about start or sit questions?" To which I replied the answer above. It's no fun. It's also not necessary. I rank 250 players every Wednesday (just like my colleagues Nate, Chris, Eric and Scott, incidentally). I then update those rankings on Friday. I also rank 100 flex players for those of you who play with that position. So if you have a start or sit question for me, that's the easiest way to get an answer. And I do try to answer as many trade or ethics questions I can through my mailbag or for my cyber friends (join me here: myespn.go.com/MatthewBerry) but the volume is too much to get to all of them.
My basic feeling is that unless it pertains to your team, most mailbag questions aren't that interesting. But the e-mails I choose? Why, they're fun for the whole family. So, more after this week's Love/Hate. Let's get to it.
As always, players I love this week are guys I think exceed certain statistical benchmarks. Guys I hate, I feel will fall short. That simple. Those benchmarks are 175 yards and two touchdowns for quarterbacks (or 15 fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring); 90 yards and/or 30 yards and a touchdown rushing and receiving (or nine fantasy points) for running backs and wide receivers; 60 yards or a touchdown for tight ends; and eight points for kickers and defenses. I used to say no obvious names, but I don't think there is such a thing anymore. Last week, if I had told you to start Anquan Boldin, you would have said that was obvious. It also would have been wrong.
A to-be-determined Falcons running back: Jerious Norwood did not practice on Wednesday and Warrick Dunn was limited. If one of them misses the game, I love the other one on the road at Carolina. But if they split, I don't see either having the kind of game Dunn did last week.
DeShaun Foster, RB, Panthers: In his last five games against Atlanta, Foster has four 100-yard games. Sunday will make it 5-of-6.
J.P. Losman, QB, Bills: Second-favorite quarterback with initials as a first name. (Props to Y.A. Tittle as No. 1, of course. Say Y.A. Tittle out loud and try not to giggle. See? You can't do it.)
Lee Evans, WR, Bills: In three career games at Miami, he has five touchdowns. Oh, and Miami isn't very good.
Bills Defense/Special Teams: Better than you think. True about the Bills, hopefully true about this column.
Priest Holmes, RB, Chiefs: After Bret Michaels in "Rock of Love," this is my favorite comeback of the year. And yes, my quote on my fan profile page is from that show.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs: I'm Gonzo for Gonzo! (I think that safely answers the "Does Berry have any shame at all?" question once and for all.)
Brandon Marshall, WR, Broncos: Only Denver player I trust.
Titans Defense/Special Teams: Only if Quinn Gray plays.
Carson Palmer and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WRs, Bengals: Samari Rolle isn't playing and the Ravens secondary is further banged up. Chris Henry will be decent here, although it depends if Chad Johnson plays. I do know that they're not gonna be running the ball.
Brian Griese, Bernard Berrian and Muhsin Muhammad, Bears: I know, the Raiders' secondary is good. And getting healthy. And they allow only 14 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs. And their run defense is horrific. But Benson is brutal. And they had a bye week to get everything figured out. And Griese looks to Muhammad a lot. This is a gut call. Nothing more.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants: Averaging more than 100 yards a game in his past four.
Lions Defense/Special Teams: Only the Patriots have more fantasy points this year.
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers: Only Charger I trust here.
Seahawks Defense/Special Teams: At home, 49ers in town. Yummy. (Pause.) Yep, it's that kind of hard-core analysis that makes me so beloved.
Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns: Steelers have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 33 consecutive games.
Travis Henry, RB, Broncos: Even if he plays. I may have been wrong on All Day last week, but I was right on Travis in the preseason.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: Champ is a Champ! (And you thought I couldn't go lower than Gonzo for Gonzo ... well, OK, you knew I could, you just didn't think I would.)
Vince Young, QB, Titans: The argument goes something like this:
Arguer No. 1: "All he does is win!"
Arguer No. 2: "Do you own him on your fantasy team?!"
Arguer No. 1: "No, I don't play fantasy."
Arguer No. 2: "Exactly!"
Any Viking not named Peterson: The Packers are good. And at home.
Ryan Grant, RB, Packers: See Manning, Peyton, et al. Except, ignore the part about Aaron Moorehead.
Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins: You have no idea how much I don't want to write this. Because if my Redskins have any chance against Philadelphia, they have to run the ball. But I expect the Eagles to stack the line and make Jason Campbell try to throw his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver. The Eagles have given up only four rushing touchdowns all year and are seventh in rushing yards allowed. Sigh. I just know this game is really gonna anger me.
Josh McCown, QB, Raiders: Yes, I know they are no longer the Bears, but he's still Josh McCown.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants: Has had single-digit fantasy points in three of his past six and, since Week 2, he has not had more than two touchdowns.
Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants: More tattoos than fantasy points this week.
Julius Jones, RB, Cowboys: I know he scored last week. But that was last week.
Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals: Believe it or not, the Lions lead the NFL in interceptions. And Kurt's been known to throw a few, no?
Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions: Are we done with the hype yet? I was right about this guy in the preseason, too.
Phillip Rivers and Chris Chambers, Chargers: If they couldn't do it against Minnesota...
I love the TMR!
Steve (DC): Hey TMR, I know you used to love getting e-mails where people rave and brag about winning because of your advice, but once again, its true. I've followed you since the days of your old site and when you actually had TRUMs sent daily. So far, I've won or been in the money in four baseball leagues, two basketball leagues and two football leagues. You've come a long way from that point and I wanted to congratulate you on your success. A couple of things I've always loved about you were the fact that you never let things bother you much (or at least you don't show it) and you're never afraid to post e-mails and/or criticism about yourself. Honestly, how many people on ESPN, or any website for that matter, proudly posts the sort of information you do and still stand proud of the advice they give? Awesome. P.S. Go 'Skins!
Matthew (Lawrence, KS): Just wanted to say you do a great job. Also, I was wondering if you knew Roto meant "a person of poverty and vulgar habits of urban origin." (God Bless Wikipedia) Anyway, just wondering if that applies to you or perhaps would be more fitting for a certain decrepit and washed-up podcast producer. Well, keep up the good work. P.S. Also being a Matthew might bias me somewhat.
TMR: Just to be clear, I'm not a person of poverty.
I hate the TMR!
"Football's not my fantasy" (Parts Unknown): In your p.m. chat on Nov. 1, you said you're not answering start/sit questions because we could look at your rankings. Are you aware that you can start either a wide receiver or a running back at the flex spot? How can we decipher whether to start Donald Driver or Brandon Jacobs, for example, by looking at position rankings? I know I will never see a response to this e-mail because I have e-mailed numerous times for advice and got nothing (I usually don't listen to you guys anyway, thank god, Lee Evans got me 30-plus last week). With all that said, and knowing no one will ever see this, please stop trying to be funny on "Fantasy Focus," it makes me want to [have a gastrointestinal reaction] and you can tell the hosts hate you. There is a small possibility you will see this, so sorry if I offended you.
TMR: As long as you're sorry.
Sarah (Texarkana, TX): Having been a fantasy football widow last season, I have decided to join the ranks of the fantasy players this year. Therefore, I have been watching your little advice shows on ESPN and have been very disappointed in your apparent ageism. You have continually referenced the "aged" quarterbacks such as Vinnie Testaverde and Brett Favre, pointing out their seemingly multiple flaws, and even went so far as to advise that Favre should be benched. Well, neither is on my team, but I would not be ashamed if they were. Apparently you have no value for football players over the age of 28 and would prefer the likes of such stars as Rex Grossman, Vince Young and the animal lover Michael Vick. While these older guys' bodies have been beaten and battered a bit more, they have experience and know-how that has shone this season. Testaverde being on the team one week and winning a game with the Panthers? ... let's see one of your "young studs" do that. I just hope that when you are 38 or 43 you are not "washed up" from the pontificating you seem to do so arrogantly.
TMR: Wow. Really not sure how to answer that, but I'll take a few stabs at it. Pick your favorite.
- Joke's on you, lady! I've been washed up for a long time!
- Be honest. You were being sarcastic about calling Vick an animal lover.
- How dare you call Rex Grossman a star!
- My apparent ageism is all you've been disappointed in? Awesome!
- Wouldn't be ashamed if Vinny were on your team? Yep, you're a rookie all right.
- Sarah, you're bonkers. Are you sure we haven't dated?
I'm not sure how I feel about the TMR!
Greg (Costa Mesa, CA): This is the sad state of my life: It is nearly 7:00 p.m. on the East Coast, and I am actually a bit perturbed that your marginally useful (at best) Love/Hate column for Week 9 is not yet posted. I wish I could just quit you.
TMR: You and me both, brother.
Jack (Glen Ridge): Matt Berry sucks at being funny, sucks overall. Good picks though.
Tim (Chicago): TMR, I have slowly become a big fan of your work. I have to say that you have grown on me much the same way that beer once grew on me. At first I was disgusted by you, as I was by beer when I first tried it. However, for some reason I continued to read your columns, and drink beer. It has gotten to the point where I now look forward to your chats and columns every day, much the same way I look forward to cracking a cold one every Friday.
TMR: Speaking of beer, I'm funnier after you've had a few of them.
I'm a flip-flopper
Eric (Florida): Now you're starting the sell-high talk on Kevin Jones, is this going to be like LJ and you do a complete about face after I sell him? I about threw my computer out the window when I heard you say in the mock draft that LJ is going to win a lot of guys a championship after selling him as a direct result of your bad-mouthing him for weeks on end and saying "sell" after Oakland. You even were saying I-told-you-so about drafting him high. You predicted he'd hit a 100 yards in the Cincinnati and Oakland games when you were saying all that, so what changed? It sure wasn't his paltry yards-per-carry or the "Bunguls" stopping him on the goal line or the whopping 13 yards he got in the second half on 15 carries. I'm a tad upset I followed your advice and will think of you with each passing game while my opponent is rolling with LJ and I'm looking like a fool that handed it to him.
TMR: Still upset?
Or am I?
Dan (Queens): After reading every fantasy article available to me, each guy seems to contradict himself and other articles every week. You are by far the most consistent, and, for the most part, you stick by your guns.
TMR: I'm not sure if I like your e-mail or not.
I want to dress up like the TMR next Halloween!
Nick (Salem): Mr. Berry, Hey, I don't know if you ever reply to any of the messages you get, but I just wanted to let you know that you're pretty much my idol. I'm 15, and I want to have your job when I am older. I love fantasy sports and I read all of your articles. I just wanted to talk to you and ask you how you got your job. Also, what university did you attend? If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it, but if you don't have time that is OK. I understand. Thanks for your time. Please reply if you can.
TMR: First piece of advice? Aim higher. I'll e-mail you the rest.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is ESPN's senior director of fantasy, in charge of content. He was just as surprised as you to find out it's a real job. He is a four-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner and the only writer in the industry with wins in multiple sports (NFL, MLB, NBA). Be sure to check him out every Sunday morning on "ESPNEWS Fantasy Insider" at 11 a.m. ET and then on ESPN.com's "Fantasy Football Now," which is live starting at noon ET.
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