Picking apart Matthew Berry’s 2017 Love/Hate column
ESPN personality Matthew Berry may be the most famous “fantasy football expert” in the world—a lot of that has to do with his platform being ESPN and the wide variety of shows he is put on, but overall I don’t see him being a genius in the industry by any stretch. Every year, Berry brings out his Love/Hate for that season in fantasy football, and sadly a lot of drafters live and die by his words.
After reading his Love/Hate column for 2017, I decided to pick apart everything I disagreed with—and there is quite a bit. We’ll go by position in honor of our buddy Matthew Berry…
Matthew Berry LOVES: Tyrod Taylor
Did you laugh like I did? Of course Berry mentions Taylor’s running ability (550+ yards in each of the last two seasons) as the main factor to drafting Taylor in 2017. He even mentions the reason why I’m not buying into Taylor this season as one reason why he is a bargain! Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who worked with Tyrod in Baltimore—according to Berry, “a familiarity with new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison (they were together in Baltimore) helps, as Dennison is a fan of getting the QB out in space and will certainly take advantage of Tyrod’s mobility.”
That statement is wildly inaccurate. Yes, the duo worked together in Baltimore, but Tyrod has looked lost in Dennison’s offense this Training Camp and going back through Dennison’s career here are the most rushing yards any of his quarterback’s have ever had in his offense….
Plummer: 112 yards
Cutler: 205 yards
Cutler: 200 yards
Schaub: 28 yards
Schaub: 9 yards
Schaub: -9 yards
Taylor is a different athlete, but a young Jay Cutler and Jake Plummer had some athleticism to their bodies—Dennison’s system doesn’t have the quarterback scrambling or using designed boot-legs, sorry Matthew Berry. If anything, Dennison runs a more west-coast based attack focused on short-to-intermediate passes.
Taylor barely averages 200 yards passing a game and if his rushing total decreases he could be on the waiver wire in most formats. To add salt to Matthew Berry’s wound, if the Bills struggle to start the season do not be surprised if they bench Taylor for rookie QB Nathan Peterman who is rising the depth chart and looking solid in camp.
Matthew Berry LOVES: Adrian Peterson
My first thought…is Matthew Berry attempting sabotage people’s fantasy seasons? Berry calls Peterson a legit RB2—to me he’s not even rosterable after week four. Here’s why: Adrian Peterson at this point of his career should be considered injury-prone (Berry doesn’t believe so), he’s missed 28 of his last 48 games—that’s 58% of games missed. When he was healthy last season, he averaged 1.9 YPC and failed to score a touchdown. Father Time is undefeated and with AP at the wrong side of thirty (32 years old to be exact) the likelihood of a rebound season worth the value of a RB2 is honestly insane.
Matthew Berry HATES: Jarvis Landry
Berry mentions the fact that he doesn’t believe the Dolphins will pass the ball that much in 2017. Well, they didn’t last season either (5th lowest passing percentage), but Landry received 131 targets, catching 72% of those targets—good for 94 receptions. Landry is a great PPR option—one who you can get great value for with his ADP dropping since the Tannehill injury and subsequent Cutler signing.
I don’t believe Cutler will be a great fantasy play in 2017, but I don’t think Landry is losing much going from Tannehill to Jay. In the last three mock drafts I have done, Landry has been the 39th WR selected, between the 8th-11th round. That kind of value is too good to pass up.
Matthew Berry HATES: Martellus Bennett
Berry is quick to point out that Jared Cook was not a fantasy stud (like he was supposed to be, according to Matthew Berry a couple of years ago–that part was left out) playing with Aaron Rodgers and he believes Bennett will not be a part of the offense in Green Bay. Another justification Berry made for a poor Bennett season is because Bill Belichick did not sign him in the offseason—-Huh? Yea, that makes sense Matt.
Let’s look at Bennett’s success, especially for where he is being drafted in 2017…
ADP: 8th TE selected 96th overall
For a 9th round pick, I like Bennett’s chances for solid value. In his last five seasons when he has played in all 16 games he has had no less than 55 receptions and 700 yards receiving. For being the eighth tight end selected, I like those numbers.