I needed some help. That much was clear.
My normal day for writing this column is Wednesday. It's an all-day and sometimes all-night affair between me, my computer and a copious amount of diet cola. It's not pretty but somehow, someway, it gets done.
Except this week, Field Yates, Stephania Bell and I did a live performance of the Fantasy Focus 06010 podcast Wednesday night in Boston. While it's always really fun and gratifying to go meet fans and do the show live, it also means my time to write was severely truncated. I spent Tuesday night doing the Loves and the Hates, but for the intro this week, I knew I needed help. So I called my dear friend Michelle Beadle. Beadle, of course, is the host of SportsNation, weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN, as well as the new host of NBA Countdown on Wednesdays and Fridays (a well-deserved gig that she'll totally crush).
She also happens to be one of my favorite people on the planet.
I called her and made the pitch. "I have an idea for my next column. You've interviewed thousands upon thousands of people in your career, from all walks of life. You're great at it. So I want you to interview me. Send me any 10 questions, nothing is off limits, ask me anything you want and I'll answer it in my next column. Be funny, serious, whatever you want. What do you think?" Beadle said she was game and so here, now, is Michelle Beadle with the definitive Matthew Berry interview.
Beadle: I'm honored that you asked me to do this. First time, long time.
Berry: Thanks for doing it. Whatcha got?
Beadle: Los Angeles media star Steve Mason had a large role in launching you into the fantasy stratosphere; how did you pay him back?
Berry: Yeah, he really did. Mason, of course, is part of the popular Mason & Ireland radio show on ESPN 710 in L.A., and also does a ton of other stuff. In terms of how I've paid him back, well, I wrote about his kindness and support in my book, I've done a weekly segment on his radio show for about 10 years now, I give him advice on his fantasy team ... and uh, yeah. This is awkward. Not nearly enough. Maybe I'll send candlesticks. Candlesticks always make a nice gift.
Beadle: When you were writing "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles," were you afraid of winning too many Oscars?
Berry: Well I co-wrote it, of course. When we finished the draft, I re-read it and I realized that if we didn't change something, this third sequel of a 16-year-old movie would sweep the Oscars. Then would come instant fame, riches, women and then next thing you know I'm coked out of my mind on a year-long bender with Charlie Sheen. Dodging that was of the utmost importance.
Jokes aside, I've written about that experience a lot but one tidbit I've never mentioned is that -- and this will shock you because it shocked me -- in 1987, Paul Hogan was actually nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay for the first "Crocodile Dundee." Which he would remind us of all the time when we would, um, let me try not to get sued here, uh, when we would disagree on the creative merits of his suggestions. Nightmare. Hey "Croc 3" bought me my first house, so it's like I always tell the kids: If you're gonna sell out, sell out big.
Beadle: Congratulations on the new album. What was the thinking behind naming the band The Maypoles?
Berry: Thanks. Dancing around the Maypole was something I enjoyed as young boy growing up in England.
Now normally I would just go along with the joke, but I already get mistaken for "The British Matt Berry" often enough. If anyone from SAG-AFTRA is reading this or any one of Matt's representatives, can you help me? I continually get residual checks and statements for Matt that aren't mine. I've literally sent 15 emails and made 10 calls and no one will get back to me or fix this. So I just send the checks back and then they keep getting sent back to me. So, yo, British Matt Berry, I keep getting residual checks and official mail for you. Next one I get, I'm buying a pony.
Beadle: You've made cameos across multiple platforms. Have you ever turned anything down?
Berry: Well, I passed on a supermarket opening in Osk Kosh but that was more of a scheduling conflict, so no. I haven't. Loved you in "Sharknado 3," by the way.
Beadle: If you could trade places with anyone at ESPN, who would it be and why?
Berry: Actually a great question. And a tough one. Truthfully, I think I got the best job in America. But there's definitely a few at ESPN I would be happy to switch with. I mean obviously Jesse Palmer. When you said switch places, I get to keep his hair, right? And wardrobe? And crazy genetics? His play-by-play and "Good Morning America" gigs are pretty good too. I always really admired Bill Simmons' role with Grantland when he was with us. I'm an entrepreneurial guy, so I feel that would be awesome to have a hand in a bunch of different things, work with a specific group of folks, while continuing TV and podcast duties. But, if I have to pick just one... I'm gonna say Marcellus Wiley. Gets to do a radio show in L.A. -- I love L.A. and L.A. sports, loved working for 710 a little while -- gets to do a show with you every day where you guys just laugh and laugh; so jealous of that. And gets to live in L.A., which I miss terribly. So yeah, if Marcellus decided to retire, I want that job.
Beadle: You're a New York Times best-selling author. So is Khloé Kardashian. More of a statement than a question.
Berry: And Snooki! Don't forget Snooki! She's a best-seller too! I'm of two minds about of it. On the one hand, yes, you could argue having pop culture names like that as "N.Y. Times Best-Selling Authors" cheapens it a bit, but I prefer to think of it this way: Regardless of if you personally are a fan of a Kardashian or not, the fact is a ton of people are. And that they paid good money to get a book that has that person's name on it means something. So I don't have an issue with it.
A 12-year-old emailed me last year and asked to interview me for his school paper. I said OK but he had to come do it on our podcast, which he did. Got a tour of ESPN, the whole deal, had a great time. And he asked me during it what one professional accomplishment I am most proud of, and I said the book. There were so many naysayers when I was working on it. "Your audience only likes you because it's free; they like you because of fantasy advice; they like you because of ESPN; you'll never get people to actually pay money for something that has no fantasy advice in it, that isn't affiliated with ESPN; only women buy books." I feel it's the best thing I've ever written. It was just me and the screen alone for two long years, and for it to be well-reviewed and then get on the list for about two months meant so much to me, you have no idea. So there, Beadle. I took your snarky question and made an earnest answer out of it. Plus, I got to make a Snooki reference. That, young readers, is what we in the writing biz call a win-win.
Beadle: Have you ever had that feeling when you're floating above yourself as you give serious advice to strangers about fake teams they've drafted and thought, "What the hell am I doing?"
Berry: Only every day of my life. I tweeted this out on the Fourth of July this year and 100 percent meant it: Truly blessed to live in a country where I can make a living wearing makeup and talking about fake football on TV.
Beadle: When did you decide it was safe to give up any backup plan?
Berry: Yeah, here's the weird part. This job is the backup plan.
Beadle: Who are you voting for in the upcoming election?
Berry: So I didn't know Beadle in high school, but I know exactly what she was like. She never got in trouble. Teacher's pet. But what she would do is, when teacher wasn't looking, would whisper to some dumb kid "Hey, you know what would be funny? You should ..." and then the dumb kid would invariably do whatever it was to impress Beadle, she'd laugh and the kid would get detention. Michelle is totally that girl. The instigator. Of course she knows I can't answer that question because my editor has gently and patiently explained to me in great detail what he'd do to me if I tried to insert politics into my column. Nice try, Beadle. But obviously, I'm writing in a vote for President Jim Bob Cooter and Vice President Boaty McBoatface.
Beadle: How much do you regret asking me to do this?
Berry: Not nearly as much as my editor regrets approving this idea.
Let's get to it. Thanks to Michelle Beadle -- watch SportsNation every day at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN! -- and to Thirsty Kyle Soppe of ESPN Fantasy for his help with this column. As always, this is not a start-sit column but rather about players I feel exceed or fall short of expectations. For my thoughts on start/sit, see my rankings, which are updated throughout the week, with the last update at 12:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, after the early inactives are announced. Also, tune into Fantasy Football Now, Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
Quarterbacks I love in Week 7
Matt Ryan, Falcons: In four of the past five seasons, Ryan has ended the month of September as a top-five fantasy QB. He has never finished the season as a top-five QB, though. Now, he does have two top-seven finishes in the past four seasons (we are in the middle of Year 5), so it's not all bad. But the fact remains he has always dropped off after September. I'm here to say ... not this season. I believe, baby. If anything happens to Julio Jones, I get to change my mind, but right now, Ryan is locked in as a must-start. Only Tom Brady comes in higher for me this week against a banged-up San Diego secondary that is 18th against the pass during the past four weeks. Amazingly, on Ryan's run to the current No. 1 QB in fantasy, he has played only two home games. But traditionally, he is even better at home, and this season, he's averaging almost 30 points a game there. Two first names ... always a crowd pleaser.
Andy Dalton, Bengals: The Red Rifle was on the love list last week, and he stepped up, so you know he earns a repeat appearance with the Browns up next. Cleveland has allowed three touchdown passes in four straight games, and Dalton is playing terrific, completing a career-best 67.4 percent of his passes this season. Coming off back-to-back 21-point performances, Dalton makes it three straight against a Browns squad that is giving up 21 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks.
Philip Rivers, Chargers: It has been an inconsistent season for Rivers, who already has 13 points or fewer in three different games, but I'm team #gonnabeashootoutinthedome this week. Sure, the Falcons managed to corral Paxton Lynch and a less-than-100-percent Russell Wilson, but this is a bit different. I think Ryan has a big game here, which means Rivers is gonna have to chuck it himself -- both teams are top three in the NFL in pass attempts per game. Jameis Winston and the Panthers' duo (Cam Newton and Derek Anderson) combined for 618 yards and seven passing scores in the two home games against the Falcons this season. With extra time to prepare (the Chargers played last Thursday), expect Rivers to come out throwing and go pass for pass with the Falcons. He's a clear top-10 play for me.
Kirk Cousins, Redskins: After a shaky start, Kirk has righted the ship with multiple touchdown passes in three of his past four games, and he has thrown at least 260 yards passing in five of six. Heading now to Jim Bob Cooter Stadium in Detroit -- I just assume they're gonna rename it that soon, so might as well start saying it now -- where the Lions are allowing opponents to complete a league-high 73 percent of passes (17 touchdowns and just three interceptions). No team allows more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and you know the age-old fantasy football rule: If Case Keenum can throw for 321 and three scores against a defense, so can Kirk. And he's still available in nearly 30 percent of leagues, by the way.
Others receiving votes: Over the past two weeks, the No. 1 QB in fantasy is ... Marcus Mariota, thanks in part to the most designed runs of any QB in that time frame. I worry a bit that the Titans just run all over the Colts here, but Indy has allowed multiple touchdown passes in three straight. ... I generally hate traveling teams on Thursday night, but you can throw on the Packers (they've given up at least 17 points to opposing QBs in three of the past four games), and Brian Hoyer now has four straight games of more than 300 yards passing. The Packers' secondary continues to be banged up, and I don't see either team running that effectively here. ... It didn't look good last time we saw Jameis Winston, that's for sure, but the Bucs are coming off the bye and will face a 49ers team that has allowed multiple touchdown passes in five straight games (including the likes of Drew Stanton and Tyrod Taylor).
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 7
Russell Wilson, Seahawks: 11, 11, 13, 24, 10. Those are the point totals by week for Wilson. He's getting healthier, and by the end of it, he'll be among the elite fantasy QBs, but I don't see it starting this weekend. You can actually run on Arizona (17th against the run the past four weeks), but they have the third-lowest completion percentage against and a league-high nine interceptions. Wilson has recorded just 12 carries for five yards in his past three games, and the Seahawks seem to be taking it easy on him with the rushing, keeping his ceiling lower. He's outside my top 10 this week.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals: Podcast fans know how I feel about Palmer, who has just two touchdown passes and five interceptions in his past three games. He scored a total of 26 points in those three weeks. For comparison, six different QBs scored at least 26 in Week 6. Palmer has been looking old and skittish recently. His yards per attempt are down significantly this season (not good on an offense that thrives in chucking it), and he should be under pressure often -- only five teams in the NFL have more sacks than the Seahawks. The days of Palmer being an elite fantasy starter every week appear over. It was fun while it lasted, Carson.
Carson Wentz, Eagles: Remember when Carson Wentz was a thing? Well, he looked like a flustered rookie against Washington and was pressured repeatedly last week. The QB was sacked five times and hit 11 times as the Eagles really missed Lane Johnson. Now here come the Vikings, off a bye, with only two teams in the NFL having more sacks (and the Vikes have played just five games). The Vikings are allowing just 12 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs (that includes games against Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers), so I'm not sure Wentz is even worthy in 2-QB leagues this week. He's outside my top 25.
Running backs I love in Week 7
Le'Veon Bell, Steelers: Just putting him here in case you were all panicked about Ben Roethlisberger missing this game and potentially more. Stop it. Yes, going from Ben to Landry Jones is a downgrade, but the talent of Bell plus the volume of touches keeps him as a rock-solid RB1. Don't get cute.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers: This is mostly based on the matchup. The 49ers are allowing 5.0 yards per carry while coughing up 164 rushing yards more than any other team this season. It's worth noting that the last four running backs the 49ers have faced are LeSean McCoy, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Christine Michael. But still, Rodgers actually looked decent on Monday night in Week 5, and he's going to get all the carries in this one. The 49ers are allowing a league-high 3.29 yards per carry before contact, so Rodgers is a legit RB2 this week.
Spencer Ware, Chiefs: By the time the Chiefs fully ease Jamaal Charles back into the role, he'll be retired. They are taking lots and lots of precaution with their 29-year-old running back who has had two ACL surgeries (hmm, when I say it like that, it actually makes a lot of sense), so Ware has continued to play a larger role in this offense. The best way to defend Drew Brees is to keep him off the field, playing ball-control offense, which you should see a lot of Sunday. Ware is averaging 7.1 yards per touch, so he should have no issue getting into the end zone against a Saints team that has allowed a league-high 11 rushing touchdowns, including multiple such scores in three straight games.
C.J. Anderson, Broncos: Hey, I hear ya, OK? I hear ya. It's been tough sledding recently. But I actually found some positives in last week's game. For all the Devontae Booker talk, Anderson outsnapped Booker 57-15 in that game. He also had one catch, 47 total yards and a touchdown called back by penalty on three plays. If that doesn't happen, his final numbers would have been 17 touches for 118 total yards and a score. The narrative changes quite a bit if that happens. It didn't, of course, and that's part of fantasy football. Bad luck will be a part of it, but I still expect him to get the majority of snaps against a Texans team that has allowed more than 105 rushing yards to running backs or a rushing touchdown in every game this season. Anderson represents a solid play and someone who will be low-owned in DFS tournaments.
Others receiving votes: In the two games Tom Brady has started this season, James White is outsnapping LeGarrette Blount 73-54 and is tied with DeMarco Murray as the ninth-best RB in fantasy in standard scoring (seventh-best in PPR). Now he gets a Steelers team that has already allowed eight scores to opposing running backs and gives up the third-most receptions to opposing backs. ... Like Kirk Cousins, Matt Jones has looked like a different guy recently, with more than 130 total yards in two of three games and at least 16 touches four straight weeks. He'll take on a Lions team allowing the third-most yards per rush before first contact. ... If you're truly desperate, I expect Mike Davis to get the start over an injured Carlos Hyde this weekend against a Bucs team that has coughed up 440 rushing yards and six rushing scores to opposing RBs over the past four games.
Running backs I hate in Week 7
Matt Forte, Jets: Traveling on a short week, the Jets' offense looks like a hot mess, and Forte isn't even the running back playing the most; Bilal Powell has outsnapped him 127-126 the past four games. Averaging just 2.8 yards per carry in his past three, Forte just doesn't look great from the eye test. He scored three touchdowns in Week 2 but hasn't scored in any other week. During the past four weeks, no team has allowed fewer rushing yards per game than the Baltimore Ravens. I'm looking around for better options if I can find them.
Jordan Howard, Bears: It's always dangerous putting the Thursday guys in the column, because if he scores or has a big game, Friday morning is rough. But here's my concern. Last week was the first week Ka'Deem Carey got some real work. It was still the Jordan Howard show, but look closer. Carey gained 16 more rushing yards on six fewer carries (while Howard played 54 snaps to Carey's 26). Howard rushed 15 times for 34 yards, averaging just 2.3 yards per carry, whereas Carey rushed nine times for 50 yards, or 5.6 yards per carry. Maybe it was just a game flow thing, trying to get a spark out of their run game, but ... maybe not? You could certainly see a scenario in which they split touches here, and Green Bay presents a tough matchup, giving up just 0.74 yards before first contact per carry this season (second-best is 1.77). The Bears just lost former Packer and three-time Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton, a terrific run blocker, to injury. So that hurts, too. Given the state of running backs this season, you probably don't have better options, but Howard is a low-end RB2 for me this week, not the top-10 guy he has been the past few weeks. Oh, and if you own Howard, pick up Carey.
Isaiah Crowell, Browns: Part of the appeal here was the volume, and it's just not there recently. Crowell has outsnapped Duke Johnson just 100-97 the past three weeks. Crowell is averaging a mere 1.73 yards per carry the past two games, and it's clear the Browns miss left guard Joel Bitonio, a terrific run blocker who is out for the year after suffering a Lisfranc injury. The Bengals have been run on recently, first by Zeke Elliott and then last week by the Patriots, but Crowell isn't going to get that kind of workload or blocking. He's merely a TD-dependent flex this week.
Raiders running backs: I don't care if Latavius Murray is back or not. Whoever starts will be in a committee going against a surprisingly solid Jags run defense. Jacksonville is ninth-best in rushing yards allowed per game during the past four games, is in the top 10 in fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs and has kept opposing runners below 70 yards in the three of five. You're hoping for a touchdown here, and the Jaguars have given up just three in five games. But given how many Oakland RBs touch the ball, it's hard to say who ends up getting the score. The dreaded west coast team traveling east for a 1 p.m. ET game ... this smells like a trap to me. No thanks.
Wide receivers I love in Week 7
Antonio Brown, Steelers: See Bell, Le'Veon. I'm putting him here because I've seen too many people panic about the Roethlisberger injury. My Twitter timeline filled with people freaking out and quoting stats from last year when Ben was out (which were not good) and the fact that Brown has never caught a touchdown in his NFL career from anyone but Ben Roethlisberger. OK, much of last season when Brown struggled was with Michael Vick at QB and, frankly, he had no business being in the NFL at that point in his career. There was only one game -- ONE - in which Landry Jones' situation was similar to what it is this week. That is, Jones knows he is going to be the starter from the start of the week and gets all the first-team reps with the ones ... and then goes on to both start and finish the game. That was last season in Kansas City (not an easy opponent), and Brown had six catches (on eight targets) for 124 yards. Yes, it's a crazy-small sample size, but it's all we have to go on and, frankly, in this instance it's all we need. It proves what we need to: that we've seen Brown be successful with Jones as the starting QB. Now, we will see if it continues, and certainly there's a chemistry Brown and Roethlisberger have that isn't there with Jones, not to mention this is a tough matchup with the Patriots. But Brown's elite talent, the offensive scheme and his high target floor keep him as a WR1 for me this week and every week Big Ben is out. That may seem obvious to you, but man you should have seen my Twitter feed the night Ben's injury news came out.
Marvin Jones, Lions: I'm putting him here because a lot of people are asking if Golden Tate has surpassed him, and because I'm not worried about Josh Norman in this one. Jones is the only wideout with at least seven fantasy points in all six games this season (no other WR has a streak of more than three games), he has four TDs in his past four games and then you look at Washington. The opposing WR1 has averaged six catches for 88 yards against the Redskins, with three touchdowns. I have Marvin as a top-10 play this week.
Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith, Bears: See Howard, Jordan. With the Bears struggling to run the ball, expect them to throw, throw, throw against a banged-up and struggling Packers defense. Eddie Royal already has been ruled out, so these two and Zach Miller should see double-digit targets each against a secondary that has allowed opposing wideouts an average of 188 yards per game and eight TDs this season.
Tyrell Williams, Chargers: The 6-foot-4 Williams has matched or outscored Travis Benjamin in four straight games and he leads the Chargers in red zone targets with nine (the same total as Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry combined, though Gates has missed some time). I expect Desmond Trufant to be on Benjamin more often than not and you know I expect this game to be a shootout, so Williams is a high-end WR3 this week.
Others receiving votes: I realize how brutal Jeremy Maclin has been, but I'm back in for one more week at home against a Saints team that has given up more than 200 receiving yards to wide receivers in four out of five weeks this season. ... You're already starting Allen Robinson, but I like Allen Hurns this week, as he'll see a lot of burnable D.J. Hayden in a matchup the Jaguars should be able to move the ball in. ... The Steelers are allowing the fourth-highest completion percentage on passes 15 yards or deeper, so the thinking is this might be the week Chris Hogan gets deep for one. ... The Rams have allowed the slot receiver to catch at least seven passes in five of six weeks this season, making Sterling Shepard a viable consideration this week for three-WR leagues.
Wide receivers I hate in Week 7
Jordan Matthews, Eagles: Matthews is banged up and as Carson Wentz has started spreading it around more, Matthews has seen his targets drop to just 4.7 a game during the past three games. Going against a Vikings defense that has allowed just two wide receiver touchdowns all season long (and none from the slot), Matthews is an easy sit.
Willie Snead, Saints: Aside from the obvious Drew Brees home/road splits (the game is in Arrowhead ... ding!), the Chiefs have allowed just one score and an average of 51 yards a game to opposing slot receivers. When you are on the field with Brees you always have a chance to score, but as Coby Fleener and Michael Thomas continue to get more involved with the offense, Snead is a risky WR3/4 this week.
Golden Tate, Lions: OK, so that was nice, but I am going to need to see it more than once. Don't look now, but since getting embarrassed by Antonio Brown in the Monday night opener (it happens to a lot of folks), the Redskins have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in five games. You know I already like Marvin Jones in this game, so I don't see both of them having big games here. I need to see it again from Tate before I trust him in my lineup.
Tight ends I love in Week 7
Delanie Walker, Titans: He has been bad or out in three of the past four weeks, but I'm back on him this week as a top-five play. The Colts have given up at least 70 yards to opposing tight ends in three of the past four games and with them struggling to generate a pass rush (only two teams have fewer sacks), I expect Walker to run more routes in this one.
Zach Miller, Bears: Thursday's game could be really awesome for me or really ugly. But again, I don't think the Bears will run that effectively here and that Brian Hoyer throws a ton. With Eddie Royal out, Miller should see a ton of targets. Since Hoyer took over in Week 3, Miller is the fourth-best tight end in fantasy (second best in PPR scoring), he's second in receptions, seventh in receiving yards and third in targets among tight ends. I've been screaming about this guy since the preseason and yet he's still available in 25 percent of leagues. Miller has the team lead in red zone targets and now gets a Packers team that gives up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Hunter Henry, Chargers: Two first names, still a crowd pleaser. He has scored in three straight, totaled 60 yards or more in four straight and while I wish he ran a few more routes, there's no question Rivers is looking for him. The Falcons are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including 95 yards or a score in five of the past six.
Others receiving votes: Cameron Brate had a quiet game before the bye, but he has been much more involved since the team moved on from Austin Seferian-Jenkins. His upcoming schedule is ridiculously friendly to tight ends, starting with San Francisco on Sunday. Tight ends have caught at least seven passes against the 49ers in three of the past four games. Brate is available in more than 75 percent of leagues. ... If Dwayne Allen were to miss time, deeper leagues should look at Jack Doyle, who has become a reliable outlet for Andrew Luck (he has caught 87 percent of targets this season) and figures to see a lot more work, especially in the red zone.
Tight ends I hate in Week 7
Coby Fleener, Saints: I swear, this isn't just because he vultured a goal-line carry from Mark Ingram, whom I own in two leagues. Of course Fleener scores the first rushing touchdown by a Saints TE since 1976 (hat tip to Mike Triplett). OF COURSE. But nah, as you can tell I'm down on the periphery of the Saints' passing offense this week, especially as it relates to the middle of the field. You know I don't like Snead in part because of K.C.'s success at defending the slot ... well, Fleener is second on the Saints in slot targets. The Chiefs have held the entire tight end position of their opponents to fewer than five points in three of the past four games. Fleener's scoring last week was very fluky (the rush, then the miscommunication with Snead where one of them got their routes mixed up. Supposedly it was Snead, but I still think it was Fleener and Brees is covering for him, because I'm stubborn like that). Fleener is outside my top 10.
Zach Ertz, Eagles: Yeah, so, this Vikings defense? It's good, and hasn't allowed a touchdown to a tight end this season. Meanwhile, Ertz is still finding his way with Wentz, as he has been targeted on just 11.1 percent of the passes since his return two games ago.
Defenses I love in Week 7
Cincinnati Bengals: In five of six weeks, the opposing defense has scored at least six points against the Browns. Cleveland may be without Terrelle Pryor in this one and after a tough loss to the Patriots, the Bengals come back home in a game they need to win. Cincy's defense is inconsistent, but the Bengals have beaten up on the bad teams (19 total fantasy points against Miami and the Jets).
Others receiving votes: Everyone is starting the Vikings, but Philly's defense could be OK here as well. Sam Bradford's return to Philly? Yeah, the Eagles' defensive players are very familiar with him from practice. ... The Patriots are always well-prepared and now get the Landry Jones experience. Even though I think Le'Veon and Antonio are fine here, it doesn't mean I think Landry is.
Defenses I hate in Week 7
Houston Texans: The Broncos should go ball control here, running effectively and wearing down a defense that is tied for 29th against the run the past four weeks. That also means fewer opportunities for turnovers and sacks.
Matthew Berry, The Talented Mr. Roto, sure is glad Beadle didn't ask him for his thoughts on pool noodle etiquette. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a paid spokesman for DraftKings.com and one of the owners of the Fantasy Life app.