- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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It's everything that is wrong with television and society.
Which is why "Rock of Love" was so brilliant. Jes won. And then, true to her classy self, she brushed Bret off. Hi-Larry-Us. She comes on a reunion show where she won the heart of a guy and then rejected him? Just awesome.
I've been rejected by women before (and will be again -- I'll fill in the joke for you) but not on national TV and not by someone I've picked over 19 other girls. Lacey continues to come off as so insincere and crazy, I'm continually amazed I haven't dated her. Dated quite a few of those. And how about Brandi C and Kristia discussing how they now live together and share a bed? This is why America is great.
You know, there's a lot of things you can relate to the phrase "awkward and desperate" but 7,000-year-old Rodeo's plea to Brett might have defined it. Dude -- and yes, dude is the correct phrase when referring to Rodeo -- have some self respect. Learn to take "no" for an answer.
Speaking of awkward and desperate, chances are your team might be this week. There are tons of injuries and six teams on a bye this weekend, so you need to hit your free agent pool.
Working the wire
Here are some players who recently have seen a spike in value and who might be available in your league.
Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals: I only have one problem with Warner getting the starting gig in Arizona, because there are a lot of positives here: He's had five touchdowns in his last three games while only playing part time; the Cardinals are eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game; his upcoming schedule is nice (six of his next nine are against teams in the bottom half of the league in pass defense); and yes, he's an injury risk, but this season, who isn't? But the re-emergence of Kurt Warner means the re-emergence of Brenda Warner, and I have to tell you: Not since Doug Christie's crazy wife has there been a more annoying "better half" to an athlete. Where's Anna Benson when you need her? Now, she's fun.
Cleo Lemon, QB, Dolphins: That's right, it's Cleo Time! Hmmm. One more try. That's right, it's Lemon Time! I really can't decide on which one I like and of course, you have to consider "Clementime!" as sort of a bar play on the name Clementine. Clementine, by the way, is the name of Cybil Sheppard's daughter. And when I was a kid, "Moonlighting" might have been my favorite show of all time. And I loved Cybil. What does any of this have to do with Cleo Lemon? Nothing, but there's not a lot to tell, and I have a word count to meet. Lemon is the quarterback for the Dolphins this week and they face Cleveland. No team in the NFL has given up as many touchdown passes as the Cleveland Browns. I like him this week.
Brodie Croyle or Damon Huard, QB, Chiefs: It's a good week to have a quarterback on a bye. Lots of options out there, including Croyle, who should get the start this week over the banged-up Huard (the Kansas City Star is saying Herman Edwards won't decide until midweek), but whoever gets the start this week, I like. I'm actually more of fan of Croyle than Huard (Croyle looked solid in going 6-of-13 with a touchdown in relief last week), but either guy should have a nice start this Sunday against the Bengals. Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez are two nice options for whoever is going against the Bengals' 28th-ranked pass defense.
Greg Olsen, TE, Bears: He looked good, son. Strong. With Brian Griese breathing some life into the Bears offense (and Cedric Benson still sucking life out of it), Griese will continue to take to the air, and I expect Olsen to continue to emerge as a big target. He had four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown in Week 6, and the Bears have a great pass defense schedule coming up (Vikings, Eagles, Lions, Raiders, Seahawks are the next five -- all of them in the bottom half of the league in pass defense). Things look bright.
Dennis Northcutt, WR, Jaguars: Getting Maurice Jones-Drew back from the dead only helps Northcutt, who is very quietly the leading receiver on the Jaguars. David Garrard keeps looking for him, and he had four receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown this past weekend. Lots of people were looking at him, and I've mentioned him before, but I saw him dropped on a lot of waiver wires due to the bye last week. He has a solid matchup this Sunday against the Texans.
Arizona Defense / Special Teams: With either David Carr or Matt Moore under center this weekend for the Panthers, things are looking bleak in Carolina these days. That's just another reason to take a flyer on the Cardinals this week if you need a defense. They've been in the top 10 of fantasy defenses the past two weeks and are at home this week.
From the obvious name department
Here's a list of guys who have seen an increase in value who might be available in more shallow leagues or leagues where you play with morons.
Patrick Crayton had another good game Monday night, and it's clear Tony Romo continues to look for him... Don't look now, but Ike Hilliard has 15 receptions in his last two games... Daunte Culpepper is actually not a great play this week against the Chargers, but when you score five touchdowns in your last game, you deserve a mention. And so, there it is. I like him more long term than some, but if you're looking for just a one week guy, I'd rather have Lemon or Warner... With the news that Deion Branch will miss two weeks, the value of Seattle wide receivers Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu all rise. I rank them in that order, depending on who is available... We now can narrow the Packers running backs down to either Vernand Morency or DeShawn Wynn. I'd rather have Wynn, but it's fairly close... Mike Karney now has 50 percent of the rushing touchdowns for New Orleans, and regardless of what Sean Payton says, I believe this continues. I wouldn't be surprised to see him vulture four or five by the end of the season... That's more like it. Brian Leonard had 135 total yards on Sunday, and if Steven Jackson misses starts beyond this week's game with Baltimore, the Rams get the run-friendly Seahawks and Browns in their next two . . .My guess is Anquan Boldin plays this week, but if not, it's worth noting that Bryant Johnson had six receptions for 80 yards on Sunday.
Standing on the sidelines
Here are some guys that have recently seen an increase in value and who you should keep an eye on, but not add except in deeper leagues.
Of running backs that have at least 70 carries this season, no back has a lower yards-per-carry average than Cedric Benson of the Bears and his 3.0 YPC. Backup Adrian Peterson makes a great flyer if you have the bench space... Najeh Davenport now has three rushing touchdowns on the season, and even though he is on a bye this week, he could have a Jerome Bettis (late career) type season this year . . .He didn't have a huge game, but Drew Bennett did have a touchdown, and if Isaac Bruce continues to miss time, Bennett will have significant value. He's a guy I've always liked... Jason Wright is definitely worth a flyer if you have the space. It looks like Jamal Lewis will be fine for this Sunday, but Wright had over 100 total yards in relief of Lewis on Sunday and this week gets the Dolphins' 31st-ranked run defense... Finally, it's worth noting that with Javon Walker on the shelf, it wasn't Brandon Stokley who benefited as many of us thought, but rather Glenn Martinez, who had six receptions for 70 yards in the blowout loss.
Hands up! Who is watching a reality show between Lacey and Flavor Flav? Exactly. Every single one of us.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is ESPN's Sr. 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.
Matthew Berry lauds the return of Kurt Warner, and laments the return of Brenda.