OK, that's not fair.
I'm sure it will surprise absolutely no one that I subscribe to US Weekly magazine. One of its popular features is something called "Who Wore It Best?" with pictures of two or three celebs all caught wearing the same outfit. People then vote on (wait for it) who wore it best.
Last week's issue had people voting on "Dreamgirls" star and American Idol alumna Jennifer Hudson versus supermodel Heidi Klum. Check it out.
I'm not a huge Jennifer Hudson fan, but I could just see her sitting at lunch, flipping through the mag and then going, "What the heck? Me versus a supermodel? Damn, that's cold. Waiter? Change that sundae to a glass of carrot juice!"
The reason this bothered me a little is it's all about expectations. We expect Jennifer to sing. And sing loud and deep. She's a bigger girl (although she's lost a ton of weight recently), and that helps her pipes. We don't expect her to look like Heidi Klum, because Heidi's entire life and job are about her looking ridiculously hot. And man, she is crazy hot.
You wanna compare my looks (or my picks) to my colleague Eric Karabell's? Fine. But put me against George Clooney? What? Come on, man, give a guy a chance.
Life and, more importantly, this column are about expectations.
You see, I don't hate Frank Gore. In fact, I actually have a fondness for him. My first high-profile gig for ESPN was "The Fantasy Show," which I did with Ron Jaworski and Danni Boatwright. And my big preseason sleeper that year was Gore, who was going in the fifth round or so. I had all these stats of what Norv Turner, as an offensive coordinator, did for running backs, etc., etc. So I pimped him hard, and it made me look very smart when he emerged as a top-10 back. (And it helped ease the pain of my brutal anti-Steven Jackson call that year).
My "hate" of him this year was of his stature as a first-round pick. That's all. I didn't feel he would finish the year as a top-10 fantasy running back for all the reasons I listed in the preseason. (And I stand by that, incidentally. His value is very high right now and will be through the next two weeks. Then I would deal him away.) But I still had Gore as an overall second-rounder in my rankings. And, by the way, I have him as my No. 2 running back overall this week. Because I absolutely love his matchup.
But asking why I "hate" Frank Gore in the preseason and "love" someone like Pierre Thomas for Week 2 is not a fair fight. We don't expect the same things out of them, nor can you compare a one-week matchup to a 16-week season. So when you read -- or don't read (it won't bother me; if you've come this far, I've already got your page click, ha!) -- understand that "Love/Hate" is based on expectations of that player.
Coming off a very good week with a 71 percent success rate for the column (the breakdown is at the bottom of this column). And for those who feel that because I call so many names, it makes it easier, you're totally wrong. If I limited myself to 10 or 15 players, it would be much easier to cherry pick. But 71 percent on almost 70 players last week is pretty good. However, this week is a bit skimpy, as there aren't a ton of matchups I feel strongly about one way or the other.
Week 3 Players I Love:
Michael Turner, RB, Falcons: The Chiefs are almost as bad as the Lions for rushing defense.
Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons: Of course, if I were to hang out with George Clooney, I'd get a lot of high-quality leftovers. Same goes for Turner's wingman Norwood this week.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills: When Lane Kiffin puts his resume together, he won't be listing Lynch as a reference.
Bills Defense/Special Teams: Through the first two weeks of the season, the Bills D/ST is the fourth-highest-scoring fantasy defense. The Bills held their opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in each game so far, so they should be able to handle the Raiders' rushing offense (especially if Darren McFadden is banged up), and a still-shaky JaMarcus Russell should be a turnover machine on the road against the Bills.
Matt Forte, RB, Bears: Already a no-questions-asked every-week starter.
Jason McKie, RB, Bears: Goal-line carries in two straight weeks. Bet he gets a third touchdown.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: Every week, I get into an argument about him versus LenDale White. "White gets goal-line carries!" I get yelled at. "Whatever," is my response. For two straight weeks, Johnson has outscored White in fantasy points, which is the only yardstick in the game we play.
LenDale White, RB, Titans: That said, White will get his as well against the Texans this week.
Justin Gage, WR, Titans: You know what would be fun? To be a headline writer in Tennessee. Think of the puns you could do with Justin. Big photo of him catching a touchdown, and you read, "Gage Against The Machine!" or "Steel Gage Match!" or "Gage-Like Wisdom!" or "Turn The Gage!" or "Gaging Bull!" or OK, I'm gonna stop now.
Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers: You attack Minnesota through the air, not on the ground, and you gotta like getting Steve Smith back. The Minnesota secondary is among the worst seven in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: In case you forgot.
Muhsin Muhammad, WR, Panthers: In his past four games against Minnesota, he has had 14 receptions, almost 200 yards and two touchdowns. Plus, the Vikings will be concerned with stopping Smith and The Daily Show (Jonathan Stewart).
Randy Moss, WR, Patriots: If he scores two touchdowns this week, it'll be his third straight game against Miami doing so. In other words, I'm not worried.
Matt Cassel, QB, Patriots: Uh, you just read the Welker and Moss entries, right?
Sammy Morris, RB, Patriots: I still believe.
Patriots Defense/Special Teams: This could get ugly.
Santana Moss, WR, Redskins: Very quietly, going back to last year, he now has a touchdown in four straight games.
J.T. O'Sullivan, Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson, 49ers: I have J.T. fifth overall in my quarterback rankings this week. Here's why: one of the worst defenses in the NFL, playing on the road at San Francisco, against a team that has a lot of offensive weapons and can put up points. Add to that the revenge factor; I think if Mike Martz has any chance at all to run up the score, he will, just to shove it in Matt Millen's face. You really have to like J.T.'s chances. And, of course, I have already mentioned Gore.
Steven Jackson, RB, Rams: Patience, young padawan. Patience.
Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks: I'm licking my lips right now at the thought of this. No, it's not attractive. This is why I do it in private, as opposed to when I am hanging out with George Clooney. Or Karabell.
All your Broncos: When my Redskins put up those kind of points against the Saints
Reggie Bush, RB, Saints: See now, Kim Kardashian against Jennifer Hudson? That's a fair fight.
Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: With Marques Colston out, the Saints have been more inclined to use Reggie Bush as a receiver, and in two games, Thomas has had 20 touches for 100 yards and a score. With the Broncos' run defense being suspect and the game being at Denver, expect the Saints to try to control the clock and the crowd by running even more.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: If there was ever a week for a guy to be motivated
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: In four career games against Indy, MJD has almost 450 total yards and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, there are only four teams in the NFL that have given up more rushing yards than the Colts this year. And that was before Indy lost Bob Sanders.
Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens: Has at least 100 yards rushing in each of his past three games against Cleveland.
Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens: In his past two games against the Browns, he has had 16 receptions for 161 yards.
Green Bay versus Dallas: Seriously, is there anyone from this game you're not starting?
Week 3 Players I Hate:
Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs: Now he's not even getting goal-line carries. The diapers are off -- can we get him some Depends?
Earnest Graham, RB, Buccaneers: You probably don't have better options, but with Brian Griese leading the charge into his old Chicago stomping grounds, I don't like the looks of this offense. And consider this: In the past three years at home -- 24 games in all -- the Bears have given up only 14 rushing touchdowns.
Brian Griese, QB, Buccaneers: Don't get cute.
All your Texans except Andre Johnson: Some people don't realize how good the Titans' defense is.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: DeAngelo? Denied! (Pause) You're not gonna believe this, but I came up with that in like three seconds. Sometimes, genius just comes to you.
Gus Frerotte, QB, Vikings: See Griese, Brian.
All your Dolphins: We talked about the ugly thing, right?
Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals: Going back to last year, not only does he have just five touchdowns in his past seven games, but he has yet to throw a touchdown this year.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints: I have him at No. 11 in my quarterback rankings this week, which means I don't think he's a starter in a standard 10-team league. I just don't think he played that well on the road at Washington, Denver is a tough place to play, the Broncos have a better-than-they-have-shown-so-far secondary and it looks like Brees really misses Colston.
David Patten, WR, Saints: Patten Down The Hatches! Sorry, I had one left over from my Justin Gage run.
Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars: This is Maurice's week.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers: Jets secondary? Better than you think.
Week 2 review
"Loves" I got right: Chris Johnson, Justin Gage, Marshawn Lynch, Dwayne Bowe, Matt Forte, Aaron Rogers, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Brandon Jackson, Jon Kitna, Calvin Johnson, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Brandon Jacobs, Reggie Bush, Earnest Graham, Julius Jones, Brian Griese (I said he'd be
OK, and he was OK), John Carlson, Philip Rivers, Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Tim Hightower, Hines Ward, Willie Parker, Santonio Holmes and the Steelers D/ST.
"Hates" I got right: Carson Palmer, Kenny Watson, JaMarcus Russell, Ronald Curry, Fred Taylor, Jake Delhomme, DeAngelo Williams, Marc Bulger, Matt Ryan, Vernon Davis, Matt Hasselbeck, Laveranues Coles, Selvin Young, Andre Hall and Jamal Lewis.
"Loves" I got wrong: Robert Royal, David Garrard, Larry Johnson, Marvin Harrison, Tarvaris Jackson (to be fair, though, Brad Childress was even more wrong than me), Ryan Grant, Jeremy Shockey, Courtney Taylor, Matt Cassel, Sammy Morris, Brett Favre, Jerricho Cotchery, Ricky Williams, Anthony Fasano, Edgerrin James and Derek Anderson.
Guys I considered pushes because of injury or because they were neither great nor terrible: Roy Williams, Ben Roethlisberger, LaDainian Tomlinson, Dallas Clark, Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton and Tony Romo. Yes, Romo was a push. I had him in the "Hate" section but said you had to play him -- just thought he might be off because of Jinxica. And to be fair, he did have a few turnovers.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is part of the Emmy Award winning Fantasy Football Now, airing at noon ET Sundays on ESPN.com. He also can be seen on "Sunday Countdown" on ESPN and is a four-time award winner from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, including a writer of the year award. He also is the creator of RotoPass.com, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend