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December 27, 2:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports with Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry
  (2:03 PM)

Hi guys: Thanks for stopping by. Happy holidays! Let's get to it.

Roth (Elmhurst)

Who goes number 1 next year? AP? Foster? Megatron? Brees?

Matthew Berry
  (2:04 PM)

My Love / Hate should be up soon and in it I put my way too early for 2013 Top 30 in it. I had AP #1 overall. QB is REALLY DEEP next year. Almost all RB's in round 1.

Sean (Colorado)

All my leagues are finished (2 titles, 4 leagues) and all that's left is the real world. Is there any reason to participate in this chat?

Matthew Berry
  (2:04 PM)

Just to brag. Well done.

Danny C (NY)

Is Luck still a good start for week 17 even though his team has clinched a spot already?

Matthew Berry
  (2:05 PM)

I think he will be ok. He'll play - Colts say they aren't resting - but not a great matchup with HOU. Think 15 points or so. Solid, not just amazing

Samuel Allred (Dallas, Texas)

Dear Matthew Berry, I am not a greedy guy. I'm ok with getting second place from time to time and I don't mind knowing that people around me might be living better lives then mine. But this week, I've been pushed over the edge of humble moderation by the 2012 fantasy tightend. The inability of these infuriating athletes to contribute even the smallest trickle of points to my fantasy campaign has sunk me into a sullen depression that has damaged my self-confidence, my grades, and even my love for sports. All I ask is for a guy who can give me something, anything; Just a little glimmer of hope in this final week of fantasy football that can restore my faith in myself and in humanity. Yours truly, Sam-16 year old wannabeliever.

Matthew Berry
  (2:06 PM)

Hang tough, Sam. We've all been there. Without the lows, you can't appreciate the highs. Remember that. You'll be back next year. Hell, you'll probably have my job when you graduate.

Greg (CA)

When you get old do you start finding 20 year olds less attractive?

Matthew Berry
  (2:08 PM)

Hahahaha. Depends on the person in question, I suppose. I mean, I love me some Johnny Manziel...

sam (chicago, il)

Should I start Danario Alexander and/or Antonio Brown over Julio Jones this week? Jones is obviously a better WR but worried about him getting bench since ATL clinched. But Tampa is such a good matchup

Matthew Berry
  (2:10 PM)

I'm avoiding ATL if I can. Depends on how confident you feel in rest of your team vs opponent. Julio ultimate risk / reward. Personally, I'd prefer to go with the other guys ... like both DX & Brown this week. But if you need to swing for fences, Julio is your guy.

Chad (St. Louis, MO)

Hey Matthew, Love the PodCasts. I won my 12 team league (1 Keeper in the round you drafted him w/o restrictions) with the help of Mr RGIII. But for my one keeper, should it be RGIII in the 8th Round, Russell Wilson as an undrafted player (last round), or Cobb as an undrafted player (last round)? My head says RGIII, but if Wilson is legit, he would be a great value in the last round of a keeper draft.

Matthew Berry
  (2:13 PM)

I hear you. And I do think Wilson is legit. But I keep RG3. SEA will still run the ball first and the defense will prevent many shoot out type scenarios. It's tempting and no issue if you go that way, but RG3 could be the #1 QB next year if Garcon stays healthy all year and if they get another WR?...Love Cobb too - I have him as a top 10 WR, so would consider him too, since QB is deep next year. But I'm probably going RG3 right now.

Brady (River Falls WI )

where do you see Spiller/luck being drafted next year.

Matthew Berry
  (2:14 PM)

Spiller I have as a top 5 RB and a 1st rounder. Luck is in the 8-12 range for QB's - prob 5th-6th round if not later (again, QB deep)

Brad (Allentown, NJ)

WR Keeper Question....Demaryius Thomas or Brandon Marshall?

Matthew Berry
  (2:15 PM)

Marshall if just for next year, DT if you can keep indefinitely.

Bobby (Athens, GA)

I need some Hard Justice as the GM of my league. We're all college friends, and we use the trophy feature on ESPN to reward and mock each other. Should an award for the fewest or most points for the season include the playoffs and consolation brackets?

Matthew Berry
  (2:16 PM)

Yes, include it all. Champ wins in "post-season" so the last place person should as well. Plus, it gives you somehting to play for in Weeks 14-17 even if you're not in playoffs.

Chris (Fresno)

Big fan of the podcast and columns. I know the constant mantra is "start your studs." However, with the whoa crazy craziness that Week 17 brings, do I go with Lame-Duck Brees or I-Have-A-Lot-To-Play-For Russell Wilson?

Matthew Berry
  (2:18 PM)

All of these type of which guy to start questions can be answered here: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/12ranksWeek17RB/fantasy-football-week-17-running-back-rankings (I have factored all the will/won't play risk in my ranks)

Matthew (Kentucky)

Hey Matthew (great name btw!), I just wanted to thank you for all your help this season and doing a great job. You helped me win two of my leagues and get third in another! Thanks again and Happy New Year!

Matthew Berry
  (2:18 PM)

Congrats!

Dan (San Jose)

Happy Holidays you sexy beast!!! Call me please

Matthew Berry
  (2:18 PM)

Done.

Eric (Austin)

How much will Reggie Wayne come up in your rankings with the news of the Colts not resting their starters?

Matthew Berry
  (2:20 PM)

Almost none. Last time he faced HOU, Joseph folowed him all over and really shut him down - his worst game of the season. If any Colt is gonna miss some of the game, it's Wayne and HOU needs to win, so expect them to shadown Wayne like that again

Andrew (Long Island)

No question here. I just wanted to stop by and thank you. Listened to every 06010 pod, read every one of your articles from the preseason throughout the year. End result was a league championship title in my jelly bean league. So again, thank you and have a happy new year. Thanks to you, I will be.

Matthew Berry
  (2:20 PM)

Aw, shucks. Thanks man!

Rob (Frankfort, IL )

Keeper question...8 man league auction league with 3 keepers and a $140 cap...Start 2 QB, 3 RB, 3 WR...AJ Green for $20 and Cam Newton for $16 are easy choices...My 3rd keeper is a tough choice...DeMarco Murray for $11, Marques Colston for $5 or Trent Richardson for $41???

Matthew Berry
  (2:22 PM)

Murray is your keeper to me.

Seth (San Diego)

Are there are any second string running backs you could see taking the starting job by the beginning of next season? Daryl Richardson? David Wilson? Bilal Powell?

Matthew Berry
  (2:24 PM)

Good question. Richardson definitely, though I don't feel STL sees him as an every down back. Expect to see someone else in there along with him. But they like him. Jaquizzz Rodgers jumps to mind - can't see Turner back. Don't expect DeAngelo back - a healthy J Stewart could be very interesting with the gig to himself... Dwyer, as I don't Mendenhall back and PIT will get their O Line fixed... And Lamar Miller in MIA. Don't think they re-sign Reggie.

Bali (Sacramento)

Is there any danger of the following players not playing the whole game due to playoff resting implications: Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, Brandon Lloyd. Thank you TMR

Matthew Berry
  (2:25 PM)

No, I expect all of them to play full games barring injury

Jeff H (Boston)

Will there be a Week 17 Love/Hate? Never have had a question answered before, 4 choices at QB...stuck in championship game week 17.

Matthew Berry
  (2:25 PM)

Yep

Rick (Philly)

(Insert cool comment or funny joke to catch your attention here): Last Keeper Spot : Fred Jackson or Denario Alexander?

Matthew Berry
  (2:26 PM)

I really like Alexander. I htink it's him unless Jackson winds up in some amazing spot.

Jenny (New York City)

Mr. Berry just wanna say that your advice led me to winning my first fantasy football league. Pretty good for a girl....

Matthew Berry
  (2:26 PM)

Pretty good for anyone, Jenny. Well done.

David (NEw York)

I know this is a football chat but since your an analyst and a chatter I was wondering why there are no fantasy basketball chats?

Matthew Berry
  (2:27 PM)

Great question. I'll ask. There should be. Not my department.

Tommy (FR)

Berry, how many leagues were you in this year, and what positions did you finish in each?

Matthew Berry
  (2:29 PM)

8 leagues, 6 playoffs, 3 titles, 3 third places.Wrote about Stern show league that I missed the playoffs in - brutal injuries there and my longtime deep dynasty league where I'm in semi rebuilding mode. 4tm most pts (12 team lg), most pts against, but CJ1K's up and down season was ultimately my undoing along with McGahee's injury (it's a deep dynasty lg - nothing on waiver wire)...

Matthew Berry
  (2:30 PM)

Oh, and my kid won the family league for us

Nate (Canton)

Which two are the safest plays in ppr format this week? Roddy, Cruz, James Jones, and Blackmon.

Matthew Berry
  (2:31 PM)

Safe? Not Roddy. I'd probably go Cruz and Blackmon. JJ high upside but if Jordy is back and Cobb also plays along with Jennings, JJ could also be shut out.

Randy (Miami)

When are you going to put up a top keepers list? And who do you have top 5?

Matthew Berry
  (2:32 PM)

I haven't done a keeper rank before but if I do, it will be in off-season. My current top 5 for 2013: AP, Foster, Rice, Martin, Lynch.

Arty (Halifax)

Do you really like Bironas over the official kicker of the 06010 this week? Maybe you're not the prettiest girl in the bar...

Matthew Berry
  (2:33 PM)

Have Bironas at 14, Walsh at 2. You're insane.

Erik (Madtown, WI)

14 team non-ppr keeper question, we keep two and lose their ADP from the previous year, I can keep Brees for 1st Rd, Megatron for 1st Rd, Lynch for 2nd Rd, Martin for 7th Rd and/or Spiller for 7th Rd. If I want to keep two from the same round I will have to work some trades to get a second pick in that round. Thoughts? Thanks!

Matthew Berry
  (2:34 PM)

Would try to keep Martin and Spiller if possible. If not, that's a personal preference - very close - and then I'd keep Lynch.

Kenny (Ashburn)

Keeper two out of the three. Harvin, Green, Julio... ppr .5 with return yardage

Matthew Berry
  (2:36 PM)

Wow. Can't believe I am saying this... but I throw back Julio.

Jordan (NJ)

Keeper League for 1 season only. All else equal with a $150 budget, Charles at $36 or AJ Green at $28. I'm already keeping Alfred Morris for $12.

Matthew Berry
  (2:36 PM)

Green.

John (NY)

Leshoure or Stevie Johnson in the flex?

Matthew Berry
  (2:37 PM)

Johnson. He tends to do well vs Jets, decent matchup for him, don't love LeShoure vs CHI

Brian (NH)

Hey Matthew. What are your thoughts on McCoy for next season? We don't know who will be coaching yet, but do yo think he becomes more of a focal point and the Eagles improve their OLine?

Matthew Berry
  (2:37 PM)

Yes and yes

Michelle (Charleston, SC )

Matthew, first off, thank you so much for a wonderful season. Love the pod-casts and love reading your love/hate. You helped take me to the championship. (I lost by 6 points) But I'm pretty happy with those results. Which format do you prefer for keeper leagues? The following season the player goes 2 rounds ahead of where you drafted him, or the player goes at the same round you drafted him but the following year if you keep again, they take the spot of first round pick. Maximum of 3 keepers.

Matthew Berry
  (2:38 PM)

Prefer keeping at same round for 1 year. There should be a reward for nailing a player like that.

Sean (Chicago)

Is it crazy to spend $131 out of $200 to keep both Foster and McCoy? I have D Thomas at $9 and Harvin at $14 to help balance it out. Thanks!

Matthew Berry
  (2:39 PM)

Not crazy at all, though you might be able to get McCoy back cheaper. It's about the sum of all parts so if you have those WR's cheap to balance it out and feel you can get a cheap QB because of depth at position, no issue.

Matt (Naples, Florida)

Why does everyone call you Matthew? Do you have something against Matt?

Matthew Berry
  (2:42 PM)

It's a long story - I wrote about it here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=tmr100422

Drew (New York)

2 keepers. Can keep AP for early 2nd, Cobb for a 6th, Spiller for an 8th....

Matthew Berry
  (2:43 PM)

Throwing back Cobb. Love him but have both RB's ranked higher

Nate (Ohio)

I saw you ranked Roddy 33 among receivers this week. Is that under the assumption that he only plays one or two series this week?

Matthew Berry
  (2:43 PM)

Correct

Chris (NY)

How do you pick your FLEX Appeal players on Fantasy Football Now? Is there a link where they can be nominatedon a weekly basis? Speaking of flex, roll with Mikel LeShoure, Lloyd, David Wilson, Stevie Johnson or Ryan Grant?

Matthew Berry
  (2:44 PM)

People tweet @ESPNFANTASY using hashtag #FFNOWFLEX. Prefer Lloyd of those.

Sean (Keeperville)

12-team league, .5 PPR. -- Keep Amendola in the 10th round or Demaryius in the 4th?

Matthew Berry
  (2:45 PM)

Wow, that's tough. Think I still keep Thomas though, until we see Amendola make it through a seaosn healthy

Chris (NY)

Would you bench even Matt Bryant if he was your kicker?

Matthew Berry
  (2:45 PM)

Bryant is fine.

Jared (Charleston)

I am 32. Will you be my adopted dad so I can follow in the family business?

Matthew Berry
  (2:45 PM)

Done. Come here, son.

Michael (CT)

This wasn't a question until a few weeks ago, but you would you consider keeping Kaepernick, a last rounder over Luck who was a 7th?

Matthew Berry
  (2:46 PM)

It's a legit question but I'd still keep Luck.

ken (birmingham)

champ. game down 23. Flex: Chris Johnson or McCoy? Thanks Pal!

Matthew Berry
  (2:46 PM)

McCoy has more upside...

Will B. (Va Beach)

How'd the War Room league finish up?

Matthew Berry
  (2:46 PM)

I won!

John (West Virginia )

In a 12 team 3 player keeper league. I'm already gonna keep Brees and AJ Green. Out of these 3 which one should I keep: Doug Martin, CJ Spiller or Demarco Murray??

Matthew Berry
  (2:47 PM)

MArtin or Spiller - it's a total pick'em. I have them right next to each other. Probably Martin but it's really close.

Matt (Little Rock, AR )

I have no power at home, and icy roads, but I heard you were doing this, and braved it to the coffee shop just to say thanks for all the hard work you do... so... thanks! I won my main league this year and part of the joy should be yours to share! (although none of the money) :). Keep it up, and look forward to next year!

Matthew Berry
  (2:48 PM)

Means a lot, Matt. Really appreciate that. Be safe out there!

Frank (Peachtree City, GA)

I just wanted to say thank you. My league projected a 5-10 season for my team coming out of the draft. I finshed 10-5 and am playing for the championship in week 17. I enjoy the podcast and Love and Hate is my must read article each Thursday. Thanks again.

Matthew Berry
  (2:48 PM)

Thanks, Frank. Appreciate the kind words.

Drew (New York)

2 keepers: AP (2nd round), Cobb (6th), Spiller (8th). Points for return yards....

Matthew Berry
  (2:49 PM)

Damn. Very tough. Would love to kow what Cobb scored in your league. You can't throw back AP. So now... I guess I'm keeping Spiller and throwing back Cobb but wow, that's tough. Well done.

Ryan (Folsom)

How often do you just go with your gut? I did not last week and it cost me the championship. I did too much analysis and started Shorts over Colston even though my gut was telling me to start Colston. Now, I feel the deep pain of regret.

Matthew Berry
  (2:51 PM)

At some level, every call is gut level. You can make stats say anything. I try not to let my gut weigh in, however, until I've looked at everything I can. And look - I ranked Shorts top 20 last week - many people liked him - how could you expect him to be that poor after what he had done all year. And then you can't predict injury... Don't beat yourself up. It happens. Just know for the future that you should start who you can live with - both in good and bad performances....

JJ (Indianapolis)

Do you see Ryan Grant doing anything this week? Thanks!

Matthew Berry
  (2:52 PM)

Not much, no, especially with Green back. Avoid the situation if at all possible.

Nik (CA)

I've never played fantasy this late in a season, thanks for all your help!Leshoure, Steve Johnson, Lloyd or Witten in the Flex this week? Starting Graham at TE.

Matthew Berry
  (2:53 PM)

Witten might be the safest play. Lloyd has most upside. Depends what you need.

Scott (Lakewood, CO)

Up by 40 at the half of championship, so I want to make the SAFE play. Flex: Battle, J. Rodgers, or LaFell? Also, Bills, Bengals or Packers D?

Matthew Berry
  (2:54 PM)

Battle and Bengals just barely over Bills

Matthew (Syracuse, NY)

Hey Matthew, in a 12 team keeper league who do you prefer between DMC or David Wilson. I'm thinking out with the old and in with the new.

Matthew Berry
  (2:54 PM)

As long as Bradshaw is there, still gotta go DMC but the fact you are even asking tells you everything you need to know about DMC

Tim (MI)

Congrats on being married and happy and all, but it's making your writing more sappy and sweet. We want snarky, tortured Matty. He amuses snarky, tortured Tim more.

Matthew Berry
  (2:57 PM)

Hahaha. Yeah, I've definitely gotten softer in my old age. Of course, recent events htis year have made me more reflective as well. I tend to save my bitter, snarky tone for the podcast... check me out there. And I'll work on being more tortured next year. Won't be hard to do.

Brad (Cincy)

Is Matt Ryan among the elite QBs next year or are there just a Top 6? Seems he is close, but much rather have than Romo or Stafford or Luck, right?

Matthew Berry
  (2:59 PM)

MY QB's for next year: Rodgers, Brady, Brees, RG3, Cam, Peyton are top six. Don't think Ryan is in that category yet. I'm more with you - he's in the Romo / Luck / Stafford area.

kevin (chicopee)

well a horrible chat with some of the questions you answered

Matthew Berry
  (2:59 PM)

Another satisfied customer!

Mark (Akron)

Simple for you ....not for me....PPR Flex DMac or D. Alexander? love the podcasts...shameless PLUG!

Matthew Berry
  (3:00 PM)

Alexander. McFadden has been terrible, bad QB, SD is 4th vs run.

Matthew (Syracuse, NY)

When is the book release date??

Matthew Berry
  (3:00 PM)

Next summer! Thankds for asking - almost done with it. Best thing I've ever written.

Tom (Bath)

So Eli has plummeted into the ranks of slug qbs for next year?

Matthew Berry
  (3:00 PM)

Definitely.

Martin (NY)

Can you let us know your way too early 2013 wr ranks?

Matthew Berry
  (3:02 PM)

Calvin, AJ, Marshall, Roddy, Harvin, D Thomas, Dez, Cobb, Julio, V Jax.

Bryan (New Jersey)

You just said you had Spiller as a top 5 RB then gave your top 5 and he isn't in it? Explain please

Matthew Berry
  (3:03 PM)

Have him at RB 6, my fault. Very very close between him, Rice, Martin, Lynch. Think AP.Foster is a tier and then there's a next tier and all are in it...

Brandon (RI)

Just another thank you for the 06010 podcast (pass along thanks to Nate and Stephania as well, not Pod). Frequent baseball listener and decided to give football podcast a chance, won some jelly beans. Can't wait for the baseball podcast in a few months.

Matthew Berry
  (3:04 PM)

Thanks Brandon.

Zach (CT)

Shot you an email earlier but not holding my breath on a response. I just moved to Avon and am need of sports bar recommendations in the area (Bristol, West Hartford, etc). Have any favorites?

Matthew Berry
  (3:05 PM)

I like Sliders

Michelle (Charleston, SC )

What was it like being on "The League"? Any chance we see you make an appearance again?

Matthew Berry
  (3:05 PM)

Much fun. Great experience. Potentially in season 5.

Taylor (Seattle)

Is it possible for an ESPN employee to write a book and it not debut on the bestseller list?

Matthew Berry
  (3:07 PM)

Ha! Yes, actually. Not going to call out any of my co-workers but actually many more books by my colleagues than not have NOT been best sellers. Other than Bill Simmons and some of the Mike & Mike books, I actually can't think of a book written by an ESPN personality that was a best seller.

Sam (Boston)

4th Keeper spot in PPR League - Julio, McCoy, Richardson? Already keeping RG3, Rice, AJ Green

Matthew Berry
  (3:08 PM)

It's between McCoy and Richardson. Richardson was terrific in PPR this year... I might go him until we know what QB/Coach is in PHI next year

John (Pittsburgh)

Can I ask a hard justice question on here?

Matthew Berry
  (3:08 PM)

Sure

Alex (DC)

In the 2nd week of my two week championship and down by 10 (thanks to playing Texans D over Seahawks - who knew?), but am facing an injury crisis; lost Shorts as my WR2, and now Maclin seems unlikely to play (left practice early yesterday and didn't practice today) - thoughts on Jordan Shipley against the Titans?

Matthew Berry
  (3:09 PM)

Ugh. NOt a bad desperation play but I'd consider Avant vs NYG

Peter (CT)

You answered the same keeper question twice so answer mine instead :) Can keep 2, standard rules: DT 3rd, Cobb 9th, Dwyer 10, Antonio Brown 12, Kaep 14. Thanks!!!

Matthew Berry
  (3:10 PM)

I did? Sorry - flying through them quickly. Depends on size of league. If it's a 10 team lg, I keep DT and Cobb. If it's deeper and QB is more of a premium, I keep Cobb and Kaep.

Thomas (Charlotte)

Good call preseason on hating T. Rich (sarcasm). Dude was an ATM!!!

Matthew Berry
  (3:11 PM)

He really was. CLE as a whole was much better offensively than I thought. I was definitely wrong on him.

Ben (PA)

Does it ever get heated between you and Nate in the pod-dome? Sometimes he seems to get quickly annoyed with your extended analysis/long windedness.

Matthew Berry
  (3:12 PM)

Yes, he does. It splits down the middle. Some people get annoyed by Nate interrupting, some hate my long windedness. It is what it is. But it never spills over into real life between us if that's what you mean. He's him and I'm me.... I like ot talk, he gets annoyed easily. Hopefully that's the charm of the show - we are exactly like that in real life, for better or worse.

Alex (columbus)

Keep one. $200 auction. Ppr. Dez $23. Harvin $23. Stafford $5

Matthew Berry
  (3:13 PM)

Harvin, but I'm not rationla about him. Totally understand if you went Dez.

John (Pittsburgh)

we have a fun league with friends and wives. To make a long story short one of the wives moved out over relationship problems. Husband took over the team and ended up winning our league. He just admitted to me that he was setting her lineup since early november. should i take a league vote whether to just refund all 8 participants their entry fee and apologize for the inconvenience or just pay it out to my friends wife and not invite them back next year?

Matthew Berry
  (3:17 PM)

I'm a bit confused. If the husband "officially" took over the wife's team - in other words, everyone knew the husband was the coach - then there's no issue. It was his team, he wins.If he was running it in "secret" and it showed up on the website as the wife's team and no one said anything because the split was private / quiet etc... then the wife's team won and she's entitled to the $. Personally, I'd call the wife and ask her waht she wants to do. If she admits that year, the husband has been running it, then it really should go to him. I can't imagine it's a ton of money in a friendly friends and wives 8 team league. My guess is you're getting more worried about it than necessary

AC (Ottawa)

Upon reading your chats, you're right. Reading people praise you sucks. But I am glad to see not all your readers/followers are jerks. Keep up the good work.

Matthew Berry
  (3:18 PM)

Hahaha. See? Not funny. But it's a nice way to end the season and head into the New Year. Thanks for stopping by gang and for be there every week. Really appreciate it. Hope you have a great Week 17 and safe and healthy New Year. I'll try to answer more questions on Twitter and Facebook this weekend. Love / Hate will be up soon as will updated ranks. Peace out!