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ESPN's Matthew Berry - w/ Fantasy Falcons Hate spewing in Week#1


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Love/Hate for Week 1

By Matthew Berry

ESPN.com

Week 1 Players I Love

Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos (my rank: 9, average rank from the other three: 19): How am I the only one sportin' for Orton? The only one who likes the style that is Kyle? Is ready to get weird for the beard? Okay, the last one was a stretch because sometimes he's shaved, but I ran of out names to make puns with. Did you know he was the 14th-best fantasy quarterback last season? That Jacksonville (27th against the pass in 2009) has no pass rush or secondary that scares you? Seriously, this could be a direct quote from the Jags media guide: In the secondary this year, Jacksonville will start Rashean Mathis and a bunch of homeless guys. Orton has looked terrific this preseason (30-44, 313 yards, two touchdowns), and I've got news for you. Denver is gonna be a pass-first team this season, a la New England. Lotta safe passes, rollouts, checkdowns, nothing flashy. But by the end, it will add up to a top-10 day.

Dennis Dixon, QB, Steelers (15, 26): For those of you in two-quarterback or crazy-deep leagues, I like Dixon this week. Let's say it's a gut call because I have only one start (and last year at that) to go off of. But he did do well against Baltimore in that one start (15 fantasy points), and he's a mobile guy against a Falcons team that will be trying to generate a pass rush without suspended Jonathan Babineaux. Yes, Dunta Robinson helps a secondary that was 28th against the pass last year, but my guess is Atlanta will focus on Rashard Mendenhall and make Dixon beat them. Which he may or may not do, but he will generate a nice chunk of fantasy points in the process.

Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins (9, 22): With a new year, some things change. Such as me putting Ronnie Brown in the love column. And some things stay the same. Such as the Bills can't stop the run.

Jerome Harrison, RB, Browns (6, 25): Last year, there were only four games in which Harrison got at least 17 carries. He never had fewer than 121 rushing yards in any of them. There is no one else on the roster to compete for significant carries this week with Harrison. And, oh yeah, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bad at football.

Arian Foster, RB, Texans (7, 17): Oh, sure, the bandwagon is full now, but where were all of you when I was taking crap by the bucket after his minus-1 in Week 15 last year? But I stuck by him. Through the next two weeks. Through Ben Tate being drafted. Through the preseason. Through many weeks of therapy where I cursed the lot of you behind your back. And now here we are and, once again, I find myself on a bit of an island with young Arian, being the only guy who has him as a top-10 play. Well, that's it. After he goes off at home against last year's 24th-ranked rush defense, don't come snooping around my island. He's mine. All mine. My precious (strokes a picture of Foster in a super creepy way). Yes, my precious. All mine.

Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers (14, 25): See Dixon, Dennis. Dixon is gonna take a few shots downfield in this one, and one of them is gonna connect with Wallace. Keep in mind that last season, only five teams in the NFL gave up more completions of 20-plus yards than the Atlanta Falcons

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos (13, 39): No idea how this guy is owned in only 26 percent of ESPN leagues. The No. 1 wide receiver on a passing offense, he was terrific in his last two games of 2009 (21-for-282 and 2 TDs in two games), he's been terrific this preseason and will be listed as a top waiver-wire pickup next week after he goes off on the Jaguars. Why not grab him now and beat the rush?

Santana Moss, WR, Redskins (10, 30): Always kills the Cowboys. In 10 career games against Dallas, he averages more than 90 yards a game. Plus, he's all the Skins have. They are lining Moss up in the flanker, in the slot, serving drinks in Snyder's suite … seriously, he's doing everything. Expect a nice game on a big stage.

Chris Cooley, TE, Redskins (6, 11): You're gonna accuse me of being a homer, but remember that Kyle Shanahan (the Skins' offensive coordinator) came from Houston. Remember what Owen Daniels did last year? Remember the Redskins have nothing else when Moss is covered or busy refilling ice packs in the training room? Remember the Alamo? Remember when that wasn't a hacky joke? Remember "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure"? Remember, there's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand. Hmm. Where was I?

Cardinals D/ST (8, 15): Uh, what am I missing here? Is it the Rams' rookie quarterback that has folks scared? Or the fact that they might give significant time to a wideout who wasn't on the team two weeks ago? In two games against the Rams last year, the Arizona D averaged better than 12 fantasy points. Clark Haggans and Joey Porter are gonna blitz, blitz, blitz the night away, and that spells fantasy goodness. Well, it suggests it more than it actually spells it, but the Cards D/ST is available in 89 percent of leagues and will be a top-10 defense this week. Just like it was for all of 2009 (look it up!).

Week 1 Players I Hate

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons (21, 11): On the road against a now healthy Steelers defense, the Falcons do not have a vertical passing game. This is a grind-it-out offense and, as a result, Ryan is going to have more great footage of his face in the dirt for his next razor commercial, but no great fantasy day to show for it.

Eli Manning, QB, Giants (13, 9): Frankly, I need to put him lower in my rankings, and I will in my Friday update. And I need to up the Panthers defense for this one. Carolina's defense led the NFL in sacks this preseason (19) and had a lot of "Julius who?" going on, and Eli will have to deal with that pressure while throwing against a pass defense that was fourth-best in the NFL last season.

Michael Turner, RB, Falcons (19, 6): I have him as borderline start in a 10-team, 2-RB league, but, as you can see with my ranks, I'm a believer in the Pittsburgh defense this week (much healthier this year than last, when the Steelers were third against the run). Last season, Pittsburgh gave up only two rushing touchdowns at home all season. The Steelers will take their chances with Ryan beating them, and Turner will be a focal point of their defensive attack. (Incidentally, how come I'm never the focal point of a defensive attack? Seems like that would be fun.) Turner will have a decent day just by the sheer number of carries he's gonna get, but this is not the week he goes off./size]

LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles (34, 23): You know what the real Slim Shady is? One-third of a running back committee on a pass-first team playing against last season's best run defense. Pass. Just like the Eagles will on every play.

Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts (24, 5): At least I'm consistent. Everyone on the message boards is up in arms over this ranking, and I'm not sure I understand why. In two games against the Texans last year, he had a total of 83 yards. Yes, he scored in one game, fine. But he didn't dominate in either game. In fact, other than the Jacksonville game last year (on a big play with busted coverage) he hasn't dominated in a long time. Indy will run more than you think in this game to control the clock and keep the Texans off the field, and when the Colts do pass, they will continue to spread the ball around, especially to Dallas Clark. Lotta new weapons in Indy, but you know what isn't new? Reggie Wayne.

Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins (22, 7): New team, new quarterback, new system, the ability of Miami to run the ball at will and facing a much better secondary than you think (second against the pass last year) -- this combo makes for a very average debut.

Just when the Ravens thought they had escaped from Revis Island, they were back in its clutches. Hmm ... sounds like that could be a plot for a prime-time television drama. Bah, who am I kidding? Nobody would ever watch that.Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens (37, 19): Camp, no camp. I'm a believer in the mystical power of Revis Island.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants (38, 22): See Manning, Eli.

Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons (11, 6): Yeah, if the Falcons light it up against Pittsburgh, I'm gonna look really stupid

Dolphins D/ST (19, 8): Not sure what everyone else sees in Miami. Wanna take me to party there with Snooki and The Situation? Done. I'll even write the anonymous letter. But I don't want the Miami defense. Whatever you think of Buffalo, the Bills will be better than last year. And in this matchup last year (Dolphins at Bills), the Miami D scored four points. In fact, it scored double-digit fantasy points in just two of 16 games last year (admittedly, one was a home game versus the Bills). This is not a good or even start-worthy fantasy defense this week.

Edited by g-dawg
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Um, where's the hate? All of that makes sense.

Well, the name of the column may be an indicator. (I know its not LITERALLY hate) And "Ryan is going to have more great footage of his face in the dirt for his next razor commercial" is another dose.

So that makes sense to you? You think Matt is going to have his face in the dirt all day? Way to be positive.

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I find it funny that he listed Dixon as a love. I've got a feeling he's not going to do that well. At least he admits that if the Falcons light up Pittsburgh, he's going to look pretty stupid.

I also find it hilarious that half my fantasy team is listed in his hate category.

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Well, the name of the column may be an indicator. (I know its not LITERALLY hate) And "Ryan is going to have more great footage of his face in the dirt for his next razor commercial" is another dose.

So that makes sense to you? You think Matt is going to have his face in the dirt all day? Way to be positive.

Oh, I see what we're doing. We're just tossing out logic.

First of all, you're taking hate out of context, but I don't think I need to address that. Also, the comment of Ryan is a joke.

Does what make sense to me? I'm wondering how he backed up his assertions with evidence, and you're conveniently throwing it out the window because he's said negative things about the team. Psst, by the way - this is from a fantasy perspective. On paper, Ryan and Turner SHOULDN'T have good fantasy games, FOR THE REASONS HE MENTIONED.

And yes, I think Ryan is going to fall on his face all day. Wait a second, I never said that. Don't put words into my mouth when you're backed into a corner. Thanks.

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Oh, I see what we're doing. We're just tossing out logic.

First of all, you're taking hate out of context, but I don't think I need to address that. Also, the comment of Ryan is a joke.

Does what make sense to me? I'm wondering how he backed up his assertions with evidence, and you're conveniently throwing it out the window because he's said negative things about the team. Psst, by the way - this is from a fantasy perspective. On paper, Ryan and Turner SHOULDN'T have good fantasy games, FOR THE REASONS HE MENTIONED.

And yes, I think Ryan is going to fall on his face all day. Wait a second, I never said that. Don't put words into my mouth when you're backed into a corner. Thanks.

You said all of it made sense, so yea, I guess I did put words in your mouth. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Thanks, enjoy the game.

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This guy makes valid points. But the game is not a contest of who can score the most fantasy football points. It's about winning. If it is the low scoring game I expect it to be, neither side is gonna light up the fantasy scoreboard. I think we'll see two teams running a lot and neither having great success at it. But if Turner can manage 4 yards and a cloud of dust then I feel pretty good about our chances. If either team has to throw it then they could be in trouble (us because of their defense and them becuase of their QB).

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I didn't realize scoring Fantasy points was condusive to winning football games. I could care less what this talking head has to say about our players, I bet I could find an article where the writer likes Ryan and Turner this week. :mellow:

lol...i seeeeeeriously doubt you're going to find a fantasy article that likes anybody on the Falcons offense...they don't like any offense against a healthy Steelers defense to be fair. not to mention Matt Ryan and our offensive line has historically been bad against 3-4 defenses...i see us with a win, but this isn't going to be a good time to start a Falcon on offense. the only hate I see is for the Falcons defense as a whole...i think those guys will play up to par to keep everybody on the Steelers offense on the bench too, honestly.

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I understand the article IS about fantasy, and Matt Ryan isn't the best fantasy QB. But I highly disagree with the point of Matt being on the ground all day. I am confident our line will hold up well.

did you forget all of last year against 3-4 defenses? I don't think they'll get 5 sacks, but Ryan will take some hits in this game. it's the Steelers opening the season at home

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did you forget all of last year against 3-4 defenses? I don't think they'll get 5 sacks, but Ryan will take some hits in this game. it's the Steelers opening the season at home

Beleive me, I know. I'm just trying to look at the glass half full here. It is the opening game so I'm trying to stay positive.

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I didn't realize scoring Fantasy points was condusive to winning football games. I could care less what this talking head has to say about our players, I bet I could find an article where the writer likes Ryan and Turner this week. :mellow:

This Guy is not talking about which team will win the game. This article is for fantasy football scoring. He has valid points although I would not put Dixon as a must start. (Sleeper would be more like it). Most experts would say start Turner anyway since he is a top 10 fantasy back, but most would forecast to sit Ryan as well as Flacco (faces Jets) if you have another option at QB. It's a fantasy predictor is all.

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