The Talented Mr. Roto: I'm telling you for the last time


A fairly light week in terms of players to pick up and lots of mail to get to, including some fun reactions to yesterday's TRUM, so let's just dive right in.

Working the Wire

Here are some players who have recently seen a rise in value and who may be available in your league.

David Garrard, QB, Jaguars: Here's what I wrote in last week's TMR column:

"I've been saying it since he got the starting gig, but no one gives this guy respect so I'm gonna keep saying it. He has 15 fantasy points in each of the two starts since coming back from injury. He has double-digit fantasy points in seven of eight games this year. In three of his past four games, he has been the 12th-, 10th- and seventh-best fantasy quarterback of the week. He's still available in more than 60 percent of ESPN.com standard leagues. He's very solid, will never kill you (Hey, Eli, I'm looking at you) and is more than likely still available."

You can now update those stats to include at least 15 fantasy points in three of his past four after he threw for 257 yards and two scores (and he ran for a two-point conversion) against the Colts. And oh yeah, he's still available in a lot of leagues.

Mike Furrey, WR, Lions: With Roy Williams likely out for the year, last year's No. 2 wide receiver in terms of total receptions in the NFL (It's true! Look it up!) should join the starting lineup. The Lions have a very tough schedule ahead (Dallas, San Diego, Kansas City and Green Bay) and they'll be behind in almost all of them. Which means what, class? … Exactly.

Bryant Johnson, WR, Cardinals: Whether they play this Sunday or not, one thing is for certain: Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are banged up. And the Cardinals are going to throw. Wait. That's two things. Hmm … Anyway, Johnson will get a lot more looks, just like he did Sunday when he had 56 yards receiving and a score.

Kyle Boller, QB, Ravens: Hear me out. There's no competition for the gig now that McNair is done for the year. Despite what they showed Monday night, the Ravens' defense isn't all that great, so they'll be behind more often. In the last three games of 2005, Boller had six touchdowns, and he's piled up 33 fantasy points in the past three weeks.

Kellen Clemens, QB, Jets: We're heavy on the QBs this week and here's another one with a really good matchup on Sunday. Clemens looked good against Miami and now plays Cleveland. And as I have been known to mention, no team in the NFL has given up more touchdown passes than the Cleveland Browns.

Chris Redman, QB, Falcons: I like him. Always have. Okay, that's not true. But I did point out at the start of the season when the whole Vick thing went down that Redman had played under Bobby Petrino (when he was the O-coordinator at Louisville) and, you know, was good in college. Anyway, he looked solid last week and he might get the start this week. If he does, he'll play the Saints on "Monday Night Football," as seen on ESPN and ESPNHD. What can I say, I'm a company man. New Orleans is 28th in the NFL against the pass and I like him.

From The Obvious Name Department

Here are some players who have recently seen an increase in value and may still be available in shallower leagues, or leagues where you play with morons.

Chris Brown, RB, Titans: I really should just reprint last week's column. Here's what I wrote about Brown seven days ago: "No, he isn't any good. But he got the same number of carries as LenDale White did this past Sunday and actually had one more yard. White has been brutal the past three weeks, the other Chris Henry (as he is known) is still on suspension and the Titans must run the ball to be successful. Entirely possible Brown is your starter sooner rather than later and Tennessee has some nice matchups coming up, including the Texans in week 13."

Well, one week later and Brown once again had basically the same amount of yards as White and a score as well. And now that LenDale's finger is busted up, Brown figures to continue to be in the mix.

Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles: What can I say? I've seen him dropped in some leagues. And while he's not the McNabb of old, he's still Donovan McNabb, you know?

Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: Do you know who he is now? They say Marshawn Lynch is coming back this week and he very well might. But the Bills aren't going anywhere, Lynch is the franchise and, as Stephania Bell likes to say, high ankle sprains are slow to heal sometimes. Why would they risk it? If Jackson wasn't grabbed and gets the start on Sunday, he'll do very well against Miami. Otherwise known as the "If Thomas Jones can do it …" rule.

Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons: Free Jerious! I wrote that yesterday. Seriously, I should run a bunch of links to past articles and call it a day. Anyway, he's the best running back they have, Petrino says Dunn is the guy, blah blah blah. Same dance, but one of these days … Sunday was a nice game and if you have the roster space, it's certainly a worthwhile gamble that Petrino realizes he's not going anywhere this year and his future is not with Dunn.

Standing on the Sidelines

Here are some players who have recently seen a spike in value and who you should keep an eye on or pick up in really deep leagues.

Brock Berlin, QB, Rams: He might be the starter on Sunday. He faces the Bengals. He has Torry Holt. That's, um … all I got.

Lorenzo Booker and Samkon Gado, RBs, Dolphins: I'm actually more interested in Booker, who was a nice participant in the passing game Sunday (six receptions, 63 yards) than I am in Gado, who was supposed to start if Chatman couldn't go last week. Booker is much more a part of the Dolphins' future than Gado (or Chatman for that matter) and in a Cam Cameron offense, a running back who can catch has a big place. I mention Gado here, not because I am excited about him, but because he might start on Sunday against the Bills, and that's worth something.

Brad Smith, WR, Jets: Is he good? No. But Jerricho Cotchery is out for the season. The Jets play Cleveland on Sunday. And he's worth keeping on your radar because of that.

Ladell Betts, RB, Redskins: I mentioned him last week but I'm listing him again because Clinton Portis just doesn't look right to me and I think we see more of Betts sooner rather than later.

JaMarcus Russell, QB, Raiders: More for keeper leagues than anything else, but I watched him play on Sunday and I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw. He's going to be very good one day and that day will be here sooner than you'd think.

Matty's Mailbag

Reaction from Monday's TRUM:

Adam (St. Louis): Matt, I love your stories, but I have to think they are just that, stories. I was with you all the way until you said she could play Madden? Yeah right! What? You expect us to believe that you dated the one single female on the planet who has a knack for the Madden, and on top of that has stick skills?

TMR: What you decide to believe is entirely up to you.

Jim (Stamford): "Me: Oh yeah? Why? Her: Because my physical therapist came over and we were up all night long." Great story. True or not, it is almost a verbatim "Seinfeld" rip-off, as Costanza's new girlfriend tells him, "My ex-boyfriend came over last night, and yada yada yada, I'm really tired today." I can't wait for next week's story about the time you went into a deli and a mustachioed, abrasive immigrant chef you cleverly dubbed the "Soup Fascist" kicks you out for engaging in baby-talk with your girlfriend.

TMR: Three quick thoughts here.

  1. If I were going to rip off a sitcom, I'd probably choose one less well-known or quoted than the most popular one in the history of the world.

  2. If I were going to rip off a "Seinfeld" episode, it would be the "Master of My Domain" episode, the single best half-hour episode ever.

  3. The "yada yada" moment you reference was about the frustration with not knowing what the yada yada stood for. In my story, I was very clear on what my girl was telling me. There was no gray area that she and he were playing video games. None. You dig?

Pete (Ames): Hi Matt, I have two theories on life that have served me well. First, all women are crazy. You just have to find one that is crazy in a way you can handle over an extended period of time. Second, don't block entry ways, especially to retrieve something from your pocket or handbag. Just move along and do it at a later point when you can step off to the side.

TMR: Makes sense.

Steve Le Blanc (Osterville, Mass.): TMR, I have to admit. I didn't get you at first. When I first started reading you this year, my first thought was "Who cares about his personal life?" But man you sold me. I now proclaim you Lord of the Crazy Chicks … Keep posting the stories, and the fantasy advice, which has been great this year.

TMR: Lord of the Crazy Chicks. And Mom thought I'd never amount to anything.

Paul (Colorado Springs, Colo.): TMR, I have reached a new low when I look forward to your next article with information about your dating situations …

TMR: And my victory is complete …

That's all I got kids. You can be my cyberfriend here: myespn.go.com/MatthewBerry

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.

Cyberstalk the TMR