It was the best horrible week ever.
Horrible because my beloved Redskins got lit up like a Christmas tree. Horrible because I had four different teams playing against Terrell Owens. Seriously, how hard is it to stop the play ... the third time you see it?
So except for the leagues in which I own Tom Brady, I got rolled. But it was also a really good week for ... well, me. Regular readers know I often print hate mail, so it seemed appropriate to print a few others.
Ryan (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Just wanted to give you half the credit for helping me win my fantasy matchup this past weekend. There were two reasons I started Maurice Morris over Marion Barber this week. 1) Your brilliant "Love/Hate" column gave Morris the love and Barber the hate. 2) Maurice Morris. Two first names. Always a crowd pleaser.
Max Bittner (Voorhees, N.J.) Holy moley! Nice call on Chester Taylor!
Rod (Honolulu, Hawaii) Hey TMR. Wrote you once this year about the Cleo Lemon call in Week 6 (again ... excellent). In regards to a perfect fantasy season. I'm 11-0 and cautiously optimistic& I'll keep you posted as the weeks tick by. Later!
TMR: I didn't really need to print that last one; I got a lot of "perfect season" e-mails, but it seemed a nice way to remind folks of my "start Cleo Lemon" call (four touchdowns!) in his first ever start for Miami. What the hey. I'm cheap that way.
Darth Vader (Death Star) TMR, how could you possibly think that Justin Fargas will get at least nine fantasy points against the Vikings! (breathing noise) If you only knew the power of the Vikings! You are unwise to lower their defense! (breathing noise) The TMR is as senseless as he is stupid. (breathing noise ... then using force choke on the TMR) Now you shall know the true power of the Vikings and the Dark Side!
TMR: He had 89 total yards. One point short. I will never again question the power of the Dark Side. Seriously, though. The first two e-mails were rare, as you -- and by "you" I mean folks who do fantasy analysis for a living -- don't always get the "nice call" e-mails. I get a lot of "I love your stuff TMR" e-mails, but in regards to specific calls, you usually don't get credit for those.
You usually get ones like this one, sent on Nov. 15. That would be three days before kickoff, for those who don't have a calendar handy.
Alex (Narragansett, R.I.) First, let me start by saying that you are an idiot. I'm glad you think it's funny that 99 percent of people who write in absolutely hate you. The other 1 percent are either [ & blah blah blah. I'm cutting a bunch of personal attacks here. They weren't that funny, original or grammatically correct. Here's where it gets interesting &] Now on to how bad you are at your job. Marion Barber will have a great day against Washington because after Romo lights them up for 5 TDs, they will only have five men in the box, and then will come the Mariano Rivera of football, Marion Barber. If given the chance, Barber could very well be the best running back in the NFL, if he got 25-30 carries every week. The Boys need to shop Julius Jones to somewhere like Cincinnati and get someone like T.J. Houshz, or Chris Henry (T.O and Terry Glenn are good, but old, and can't go on forever). Then, draft a corner next year, and there's your Super Bowl champs. Garrard will have a crappy week, mostly because you think he will be good. I am also waiting to laugh at you so badly when the Lions offensive line steps up and Kitna tosses at least three TDs, two to Williams, one to McDonald or Johnson. The Vikings had one fluke last week but will shut down Fargas this week. Nobody on the Ravens except Willis will have a good day. Graham will be splitting carries this week with the returning Michael Pittman and guess what, they're both gonna suck. Reggie Bush is [bad word meaning not very good] and will continue to prove that, count on it. Meanwhile, his chubby backup at USC (LenDale White) will continue to light it up. Frank Gore is garbage as well this season and should be exiled. You hate any Jet except Coles? How about Washington with his all-purpose yards and return yards? God, you are stupid. That's all I got for you today moron. PS, Die.
TMR: Thanks for summarizing many of this week's "Love / Hate" picks. I often say, I'm usually a lot more right than wrong, but when I miss, I miss big (Peterson, Cincy's defense). And I'm just bringing up this week because I thought it was a particularly strong one.
Very pleased with "Love" calls on the above-mentioned David Garrard (189, two touchdowns) and Earnest Graham (108 total yards, touchdown), Daunte Culpepper and Ronald Curry; Chester Taylor, Kyle Boller (279, touchdown) ; Anquan Boldin (lots of folks didn't like him because of the hip) ; Matt Schaub, Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson and Morris among others plus the correct "Hate" of Barber, Tony Gonzalez, Warrick Dunn (who a lot of folks liked).
But for the most part, it was a very good terrible week. Because while most people play and root for their teams, I mostly root for my picks. Make no mistake, I want to win. But I play in so many leagues representing ESPN or internally here (everyone wants the fantasy monkey in their league) that it's ... well, a lot. There's only a few leagues that I really care about. The things I root for the most, however, are my picks. I love getting e-mails like the first one from Ryan. Hate it if I've contributed to someone losing.
Anyways, here's some other reactions to Week 11.
... That Peyton Manning is no longer an every-week starter. Howie Schwab and I discussed this on the Fantasy Insider show on Sunday (11 a.m. ET on ESPNEWS, he said pimpingly). Consider he has only six touchdowns in his last five games. He has had only two games all year with more than two touchdown passes (or the kind of game you use an early pick on). Forget being an elite fantasy quarterback, he wasn't even an elite Manning quarterback yesterday.
There's a decent chance Tony Dungy sits him at some point to rest for the playoffs, and without Marvin Harrison, he's just not the same guy. All that said, he'll still be a stud on Thanksgiving.
... That Chester Taylor is not a fluke. He was averaging 5 yards per carry coming into the game.
That Fargas had 89 total yards against a very good run defense. He is now an automatic flex start in 12-team leagues.
... That the same should be said about Jamal Lewis, who looked much better than expected against his former team.
... That I'd rather have both guys the rest of the way than Gore. If you look at my preseason Love / Hate from June 28, you will see Gore on the "Hate" list. It is "pat- myself-on-the-back Monday" after all.
... That Donald Lee now has three touchdowns in his last two games.
... That although the yardage wasn't high, it's worth noting Greg Olsen had seven receptions.
... That I don't care what Shaun Alexander's health is. Morris is the running back you want going forward.
.... That I continue to get freaked out by the UPS whiteboard guy. He draws so much in just 30 seconds. Did he have to draw for the audition? Did they hire the best artist who could act or the best actor who could draw? Why can't he cut his hair? I always think he's going to run out of time. It's unsettling.
... That with no running game, the Lions went back to their old ways: throwing a lot, and losing. I was wrong about the Giants defense shutting them down, but they (the Giants) did have a good fantasy day. And Jon Kitna should be good to go on Thanksgiving.
... That Jacksonville's Reggie Williams now has two touchdowns in his past three games.
... That this is me, ignoring Devard Darling.
... That I am not worried about any of the Steelers and if I could buy at a slight discount, I would.
... That while Graham did have a good game, it's worth noting that Pittman had 61 yards on 12 touches.
Justin (Dallas) Wow, after reading all your hate mail I have this overwhelming urge to hate on you, too, even though you haven't given me any bad advice because I've never read your predictions before ... And I'm in first place ... And on a six-game winning streak. Wonder if those things are related? Here's to continued success as a result of not looking at anything you predict!
TMR: The online equivalent of downloading but not listening. Rock on!