Week 8 is basically the halfway point of the season. I tend to get a lot of tweets, emails and Facebook posts and unfortunately, due to volume, I don't always get to every single one. But because we are at the halfway point, let's check in with folks and see what's going on. Note that I've changed many of the names and locations to protect the innocent, but each one is a real email or comment I've received, so consider yourself warned.
Bill (Topeka, Kansas): How in the world do you make millions commenting on Fantasy Football, when week after week, year after year you are so completely and utterly wrong?
TMR: Year after year? Always nice to meet a longtime fan!
Frank (Los Angeles): How do you have a job with ESPN? I spent a second-round draft pick on Montee Ball because you were so "High on Ball." Then you say "Bishop Sankey will have his coming-out party" and he puts up 8 rushes for 27 yards. That just makes me wonder if you have any idea what you are talking about in the NFL! I'm not saying you should quit your day job, but maybe not make such bold predictions. I wish you the best of luck in your career with ESPN.
TMR: I don't believe you're really wishing me luck. But thank you.
Jane (North Dakota): I trust that you are smart enough to know how stupid you are.
TMR: You think I'm smart? Aw, shucks.
Anthony (Lexington, Kentucky): Please know you are a [bad word] moron and I can get better advice from a large stone in my backyard. [Bad word]head.
TMR: I appreciate that you said "please." Manners are so important these days.
TMR: That sounds promising. Does the large stone in your backyard have a Twitter account that I can follow?
TMR: Moron? Jane from North Dakota thinks I'm smart.
Johnny (Plano, Texas): I gotta say I hate this column. So much blathering. Last time being tricked into clicking on this link.
TMR: Thank you for clicking on another link to post that comment!
David Greenberg (posted on Facebook Oct. 17 at 10:29 a.m.): What an awkward creep Berry is. Painful to watch his facial expressions and overall gait. What a loser.
TMR: Damn it. I knew those overall gait lessons weren't working.
David Greenberg (posted on Facebook Oct. 17 at 1:54 p.m.): Berry looks like an alien. What a creep.
TMR: Three hours later and that's the best you come up with?
Katey (Baton Rouge, Louisiana): Anyone who plays fantasy football could do his job and he the worst [sic] always do the opposite of what stupid berry [sic] says.. [sic] I hope he reads these but doesnt [sic] matter he still getting paid millions [sic] so he prolly [sic] laughs.. [sic] I hate him more now [sic]
TMR: You know whom you should really hate? Whoever taught you grammar and spelling.
Donny (Oklahoma City): I'm not going to join the I'm-sure-very-loud chorus of people complaining about what an awful call you made with Cordarrelle Patterson.
TMR: Thanks for keeping that to yourself.
Ben (Nevada): Getting later and later on these love/hate columns. Would be nice to have by Tuesday night for pickups. Here we sit Thursday morning and still no article. It's pretty much useless if we can't have it as an asset before the games start. C'mon man. Stop this laziness.
TMR: If it makes you feel better, Michael in Pittsburgh thinks it's pretty much useless no matter when it's posted. Right, Michael?
Michael (Pittsburgh): Matthew Barry [sic] you are the worst. Anyone who listens to you is guaranteed to lose.
TMR: Guarantees are hard to find in fantasy football. Appreciate you recognizing my consistency.
Jeff (San Francisco): Dude, you're not Bill Simmons. Half of a column shouldn't be some nonsense that relates in no way to fantasy football. I don't think your editors have a combined IQ of 50, or they're just as lazy as you. Can't find more to say about fantasy football? I'm tired of scrolling through 2,500 words just to find advice to not follow. You get paid too much to procrastinate your job for a 10-minute intro.
TMR: Sorry you have to scroll through 2,500 words to find advice not to follow. I'm sure there's a solution there, I'm just too lazy to think of it. As for my editors, you shouldn't be so hard on them; they took the time to edit your paragraph to make it legible.
Paul (San Antonio): I had a great deal of respect for you up until I read your love/hate article this week. Although you know your football, you are sadly ignorant concerning the murder of JFK. If you used one half of your research ability to study the case I believe you would change your opinion. Oswald, my friend, did not "act alone." Please refrain from spreading false information in the future. I fear someone may actually believe you.
TMR: Look, my false information can't just be about fantasy football. Sometimes I have to mix it up!
Kevin Centazzo (Bristol, Rhode Island): Hello Matthew, I'm a mild fan of yours.
TMR: It's a start!
Huge shoutout and thanks to Zach Rodgers of ESPN Stats & Information. He's all that and a bag of chips. Let's get to it.
Quarterbacks I love in Week 8
Russell Wilson, Seattle: Obscure Love/Hate rule: You throw for 300 yards and rush for 100, you make the list the next week. Says it right there in the handbook and everything. Helps that he's facing a Panthers defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Carson Palmer, Arizona: You know me, always trying to win you free drinks. This year, only two quarterbacks have thrown at least two passing touchdowns in every game they've played: Peyton Manning and ... Carson Palmer. Sure, Palmer missed three games due to injury, but what do you care? You're busy guzzling it down before the other guy realizes. As long as he's upright, Palmer will continue to put up numbers, especially against an Eagles team giving up the third-most passing touchdowns per game this season. Top-10 play for me.
Tony Romo, Dallas: Still a little rusty in Week 1, Romo has had at least 11 fantasy points in every game since then. The only other quarterbacks with at least 11 fantasy points in their past six games are Manning, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton. It pains me to write this, but my belief is that Dallas kills Washington on Monday night. In a big way. And a decent part of that is because no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Washington, who also just lost Brian Orakpo for the season. A bad defense just got worse.
If you're desperate: Ryan Tannehill is averaging 20 fantasy points a game over his past three and gets, you know, Jacksonville. Jags have allowed the most yards on deep passes this season. For you new kids in class, that is a bad stat to be first in. ... Every non-Tampa Bay quarterback has thrown for at least two touchdowns against the Rams this year; Alex Smith should keep the streak alive.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 8
Matt Ryan, Atlanta: Banged-up offensive line, not in the Georgia Dome (this game is in London, so get him out of your lineup before you go to bed Saturday night) and he's averaging just 12.3 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. You know who else is averaging 12.3 points per game during that span? Charlie Whitehurst. The Lions are playing lights-out football, allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore: I know, I know. The Bengals defense has been brutal. But I've decided I believe less in the idea of Joe Flacco, fantasy superstar, than I do in the idea of the Bengals defense having no talent whatsoever. In six career games in Cincinnati, Flacco has thrown nearly twice as many interceptions (nine) as touchdowns (five), while averaging only 164.2 passing yards per game. And as bad as the Bengals defense has been this year, it has limited opposing quarterbacks to 224.3 yards and one touchdown per game at home this season. I mean, Cam ran all over them, but Flacco isn't Cam. Outside my top 15.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: Twelve points against Jacksonville, 11 against Cleveland, 16 against the Texans. What gives you confidence to start him against a Colts team allowing the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season?
Running backs I love in Week 8
Andre Ellington, Arizona: With 25 targets the past three weeks, the man they call "Andre" (because that's his first name) is second among running backs behind Matt Forte. A big part of the passing game, obviously, and only the Chargers have allowed more receiving touchdowns to running backs than the Eagles. Plus, I am playing against him in the War Room league this week, so you know he is going off. Top-10 play this week and worth the price in daily leagues.
Joique Bell, Detroit: At least 20 touches each of the past two weeks with a touchdown in each game, Reggie Bush is banged up and I don't expect Calvin Johnson to play in this game. Which means more running, more short passes, more Joique. You get 20 touches against the Falcons, you get to start for me.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota: Week 4 was the first time McKinnon got more than two carries in a game. Since that game, he has averaged 5.5 yards per carry, fourth best among qualified running backs over that span. This will shock you, but I have a stat that portrays the Buccaneers' run defense poorly: They are tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns allowed per game.
Lamar Miller, Miami: Your leaders in red zone carries this year? Oh, just the usual suspects. DeMarco Murray. Marshawn Lynch. Lamar Miller? Lamar Miller. It's only taken a year and a half of me hyping this guy, but he's finally paid off as a top-10 fantasy back. Running behind a solid offensive line, Miler is getting in close these days and should have nice success against a Jaguars team that has allowed the third-most red zone rushes this season.
If you're desperate: I do kinda like Darren McFadden this week. Wait, that Darren McFadden? Yes, that Darren McFadden. At least 14 touches in every game since Week 1, his yards per carry average is his highest since 2011 and it's a nice matchup with Cleveland. ... Mark Ingram is back and with Pierre Thomas banged up, you'll see some Travaris Cadet on passing downs, but that also should mean even a few more touches for Ingram against a Packers team giving up the most rushing yards a game.
Running backs I hate in Week 8
Tre Mason, St. Louis: Get ready for a theme. I am sure you are very excited about your brand-new shiny free-agent acquisition, but I need to see more before I am starting him in a standard league. They seem to prefer Benny Cunningham in pass protection (14 snaps to six for Mason on pass plays last week, per Pro Football Focus) and he'll vulture the touchdowns. They seem to be going with a hot-hand approach so there's no guarantee they stick with Mason if he struggles out of the gate, and Kansas City has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this year. Not a top-20 play for me this week and, worth noting, his next three games are against San Francisco, Arizona and Denver, all of them top-five run defenses.
Denard Robinson, Jacksonville: Not a believer in the Jags offensive line (only two teams in the NFL are worse at run blocking, per Pro Football Focus), Robinson averaged just 1.4 yards after contact prior to last week, which would rank 44th among 52 qualified running backs this year. Also not a good stat, for those of you keeping track. Kudos for beating up on Cleveland, but Miami is a different story, allowing the fourth-fewest yards after contact per rush this season and is top 10 in fewest rush yards per game allowed. Unless you think Robinson gets into the end zone (and that seems unlikely), he's not a top-20 play this week either.
Steven Jackson, Atlanta: Has yet to reach 60 rushing yards in a game this season, he's touchdown-dependent for his fantasy value and, against a Lions defense that has allowed just four touchdowns to opposing running backs -- and the seventh-fewest fantasy points -- I'm not crazy about his chances.
Bishop Sankey, Tennessee: Same stat as last week: still only one rush inside an opponent's 10-yard line. Bleah. Definitely got some stuff wrong in the preseason (cough, Cordarrelle, cough), but I never got the Sankey love. He was on the hate list then, on the hate list again. On the plus side, however, if you are even still considering using Sankey, chances are you're already out of your playoff hunt, so it doesn't really matter what you do at this point. Keep rolling with him, brother!
Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown, Buffalo: Told you there was a theme. If I had to start one, I'm starting Dixon, but I'm really hoping I don't have to. Bills are 24th in rushing attempts over the past three weeks (since Kyle Orton took over), they'll split work and it's a poor matchup with a Jets team tied for the third-fewest rushing touchdowns allowed.
Wide receivers I love in Week 8
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia: Does anyone call him "The Mac Daddy?" What about "Daddy Mac?" They should. Dude definitely deserves a nickname, as owing him makes you wanna jump, jump. I know, I know. What do you want from me? It's midseason. They're not all winners, kids. The point you should be focusing on is that prior to the Eagles' blowout win against the Giants in Week 6, Maclin was the only wide receiver with at least 10 targets in each of the first five weeks. Now he's off a bye and facing an Arizona team that has allowed the most yards after the catch to wide receivers this year. Top-five play for me.
Golden Tate, Detroit: You. Your mom. My mom. A sock puppet. An animated sock puppet that doesn't even really exist. Keith Richards. Oprah. Sorry, just listing some of the people I would be comfortable starting against Atlanta's defense these days, as the Falcons have allowed the most yards per reception to opposing wide receivers, given up over 270 passing yards a game and allowed four scores to opposing wide receivers in the past three games. I'm probably exaggerating, I mean really, how would an imaginary sock puppet catch the ball, really, but Tate is top of the list. Sixth among wide receivers in fantasy points since Week 4 (when Calvin Johnson started not being Megatron), Tate is an easy top-10 play for me this week, and a Matthew Stafford-Tate combo is worth a look in salary cap or Eliminator-style competitions.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo: Was on the love list last week and returns for the same reason. A target monster in every non-Darrelle Revis game since Orton took over, Watkins is second only to Julio Jones in deep pass targets (15-plus yards). As luck would have it, only one other team has allowed more deep passes to go for touchdowns than the Jets. Given how banged-up the Bills' run game is, expect Orton to look for Watkins early and often against New York.
T.Y Hilton, Indianapolis: A legit top-10 wide receiver who isn't being treated as such, Hilton is fourth in fantasy points the past five weeks, behind only Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle: He'll play a lot more slot with Percy Harvin gone, had a huge game last week and now gets a Panthers team that has allowed the most receiving touchdowns to wideouts this year. Also, I am playing against him in the War Room league, which means he is guaranteed to go off alongside Ellington.
If you're desperate: Since Blake Bortles started playing in Week 4, Allen Robinson is top 10 in receptions, top 14 in targets and 26th in the NFL in yardage. ... I like Andre Holmes to be the winner of the "who gets to face the guy not named Joe Haden" contest this week. Buster Skrine? Justin Gilbert? I don't care who they throw out there. ... With Teddy Bridgewater at QB, Greg Jennings leads the Vikes in targets and receiving yards, and takes on a struggling Bucs secondary that had given up 27 fantasy points a game to opposing wide receivers before giving up five scores to the Ravens. ... I haven't wanted to buy in on Terrance Williams because the touchdown-to-target rate was unsustainable (I mean... five touchdowns on just 13 receptions in five games is pretty insane), but against Washington, I don't see much of a reason that he'll slow down.
Wide receivers I hate in Week 8
Keenan Allen, Chargers: I keep putting him on this list and will continue to do so until he gives me a reason not to. Has yet to top five fantasy points in any game not against the Jaguars this season. Philip Rivers spreads it around too much, and while we know Allen has big-game potential in him, hard to think it'll emerge against a Broncos team allowing the fewest yards per reception to opposing wide receivers.
Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati: Had a nice little run there until falling back to Earth (along with the rest of the Bengals) last week, Sanu now finds A.J. Green back (I'm expecting Green to play) and a very tough matchup against Baltimore. The Ravens have allowed just seven passing touchdowns, tied for fewest in the league. Did you know Sanu has just two receptions and zero scores in the red zone this entire season? So they're not looking for him in close, he'll need a big play to score (which is tough to do against Baltimore to begin with) and he's competing with Green for those chances. Not in my top 30.
Wes Welker, Denver: Just one red zone target in four games, he's the clear fourth option in Denver's passing game and the matchup doesn't help as the Chargers have allowed the fewest receptions to opposing slot receivers this year.
Tight ends I love in Week 8
Greg Olsen, Carolina: In case you were scared of Seattle, don't be. The Seahawks have allowed the most touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. Meanwhile, it's time for people to realize Olsen is elite: No tight end has more receptions or yards than him this season.
Jordan Reed, Washington: Never been about the talent, just the health. And the health right now is good. Small sample size and all that, but in two games since returning from injury in Week 6, Reed ranks in the top four among tight ends in targets, receptions and yards. Who knows what we'll get with Colt McCoy under center Monday night, but I feel fairly confident that Washington will be behind, they will be throwing and they will be throwing to Reed, as the Cowboys have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
If you're desperate: Tight ends have scored 18 or more fantasy points against Arizona in four of six games this year, making Zach Ertz worth strong consideration. ... Dwayne Allen now has a touchdown in four of five games, more fantasy points on the year than Jimmy Graham and is one of only five tight ends with at least three receptions and 30 yards in six games. (The others? Rob Gronkowski, Olsen, Delanie Walker and Martellus Bennett). I like him against Pittsburgh. ... Trent Dilfer and I co-authored an Insider article the other day talking about a variety of fantasy football topics, including the effect of the Percy Harvin on the Jets. Among the guys he thinks benefits is Jace Amaro. Only Olsen and Bennett have more receptions among tight ends the past five weeks and Buffalo has given up the fourth-most reception to tight ends this year. Amaro is a very sneaky PPR play this week.
Tight ends I hate in Week 8
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland: If you can't do it against Jacksonville ... he's yet to have a game with more than three receptions this season and the Raiders have allowed the fourth-fewest receptions to opposing tight ends. Mostly because you can run on them so easily no one ever has to throw, but still. Do you feel good about starting Cameron this week? Because neither do I.
Jason Witten, Dallas: One. That's it. Jason Witten has one red zone reception this season. Gavin Escobar is emerging, the Cowboys are run-first and, for what it's worth, a similarly struggling Washington defense held Witten in check last year, as he had just 2.5 receptions and 20 yards per game.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco: Because he's on a bye this week. Just making sure you're still paying attention and still reading.
Defenses I love in Week 8
Miami Dolphins: Only one team has failed to record double-digit fantasy points against the Jags: the Browns, last week. And they scored eight.
Kansas City Chiefs: Over the past five weeks, K.C. has ranked seventh in defensive fantasy points, averaging 7.8 points per game. And now they are at Arrowhead against St. Louis. The Rams have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season.
Minnesota Vikings: There are only three fantasy defenses this year with positive fantasy points in seven games: Detroit, Baltimore and ... your Minnesota Vikings. Feels as though they are playing a bit over their heads, but good for Mike Zimmer & Co. I certainly am rolling with them this week, as the Buccaneers allow over 10 fantasy points a game to opposing defenses, fourth most in the NFL.
If you're desperate: The Bills have given up at least 11 points to opposing defenses since Orton took over, and Fred Jackson being out certainly doesn't help, so the New York Jets should be OK this week.
Defenses I hate in Week 8
Cincinnati Bengals: Three straight weeks now without accumulating positive fantasy points, the longest active streak for a fantasy defense. Very easily could be four in a row. The Ravens have limited opposing fantasy defenses to 1.7 fantasy points per game this season. Cincy drives me crazy.
Seattle Seahawks: Did you know Seattle is 22nd among fantasy defenses in ESPN standard scoring? That they have just one double-digit game this year and that was in Week 1? That they have played three road games this year and here are their totals: minus-1, 2, 1? This is the greatest example ever of why we always say to wait until the last two rounds to draft a defense, and more important, why you should never worry about strength of schedule in the preseason. You just don't know how it's going to play out. Anyway, I have no confidence in them at all heading to Carolina. Outside my top 10.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- loves to hear from his readers. Berry is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. You also may have heard: He has written a book.