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TMR: If the process and analysis were good, I'm bummed but can live with it even if the result wasn't what I predicted. But I get mad when I've missed something in the data or film that would have helped me get to a better prediction. I make more than 200 calls on players a week, so it's impossible to nail them all. Matt Barrie (Sports Center): What was your legitimate reaction when you heard an anchor with the same name was getting hired? I have a whole issue with my name, and I thought ESPN wouldn't hire someone else named, say, Jay Bilas or anyone they cared about. Then I saw you on air and met you and I was like: Great, he's really good on air. People say another chapter of Westley and Buttercup is inconceivable, but I do not think it means what they think it means. It's a great group of guys and Jay doesn't need anyone's help, but every once in a while he'll ask my opinion on a player or a potential trade. I've enjoyed the series The Players Tribune has done with this premise, and I've thought I should do one as a column intro, so my first piece of advice is not to blow a potential intro on one question! Rushing to a response, an action or a reaction is often not the right answer and leads to more complications. The Eagles helped resurrect Eli Manning last week and were a contributing stop on the Alex Smith fantasy superstar tour.
On Wednesday, I sent the following text to a bunch of my ESPN friends and colleagues.You want to know who averages more than 13.5 points per game since 2015 (all games, not just road ones)? For his career, he has completed just 44.4 percent of passes against pressure while throwing for just two touchdowns with six picks (the second-worst TD-to-INT rate among qualified QBs who have made at least 16 starts in that stretch).Losing Darren Sproles doesn't help this passing game, either.The Panthers are tied for the fourth-most receptions allowed to opposing running backs, so I like White as a flex this week. With Adrian Peterson still stewing on the sidelines and the Saints yet to really unleash Alvin Kamara (just three total carries the past two weeks), I like Mark Ingram's chances to get into the end zone this week against a Dolphins team that has given up a rushing touchdown in both games this season. The Steelers have allowed 23 receptions to opposing running backs, third most in the league, and have given up 152 yards after the catch to RBs as well, sixth most in the NFL.On a Ravens team that is still looking for weapons, I'm back on Javorius Allen this week as a flex, despite the disaster that was London last week.Many facets of social media are also taxing, along with the idea that I am supposed to win every league I'm in or nail every single prediction. The best parts of my job are way too numerous to mention, but here's a quick list: people I've met both at ESPN and because of the job, the best podcast fans anywhere in the world, the absolute blast that is the daily TV show, getting to do things like FF Now on Sunday and then watch football all day with NFL legends, walking the halls of ESPN every day. Michelle Beadle (NBA Countdown/Sports Nation): If you had to remove the "dame" from one of them, whom would it be? I know you've taken your lumps for writing "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles." You have a chance to redeem yourself. Elle Duncan (Sports Center): Is a hot dog a sandwich? I got way too many to use in one column (I didn't expect such a great response! Thanks, as always, to Jacob Nitzberg and Kyle Soppe for the help at various points and a reminder: This is NOT a start/sit column. Since 2015, he's averaging 19.8 fantasy points per game from October through the end of the regular season (versus 16.5 in September). 1 home game against an Indy team that has given up more than 300 yards or multiple touchdown passes in every game this season -- against the likes of Jared Goff, Carson Palmer and De Shone Kizer -- he's a top-three play for me.
I mean, hell -- the fact that I actually get paid to talk fantasy football all day. Adam Schefter (ESPN NFL Insider): How do you handle the inevitable disappointment of not batting 1.000 on each of your starts and sits each week? But yeah -- when you have a big miss (and I had a few doozies last week), it sucks. What's the one movie that doesn't have a sequel that deserves one? TMR: My favorite movie of all time (also my favorite book) is "The Princess Bride." So yeah, give me more of that, please. But specific to your question, I would tell my younger self (and maybe my current self) not to take everything so seriously, that everything happens for a reason, that some of the biggest disappointments you will have will ultimately lead to some of the greatest joys, that often many of the issues you will encounter are self-inflicted and to take pause more often than not. Handle success with grace and realize no journey is taken alone, so give help and credit wherever you can. Don't swallow your pride; the people you are doing it for won't help you anyway, and you'll just resent them. Philip Rivers, Chargers: If you can't stomach putting him in your lineup after last week, hey, I get it. The Eagles' secondary is already really banged up and now it looks like Fletcher Cox won't play either, helping keep the pocket clean for Slingin' Philip Rivers.
Others receiving votes: I thought Andy Dalton looked much better last week in Lambeau than he did during the first two games this season, so Bill Lazor seems to be having a positive effect on the Red Rifle.
In Dalton's past four games against the Browns, he's got a 72.5 percent completion rate, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions.
This is important because the Packers allow the sixth-most yards before contact per carry in the NFL.
Cohen is getting work even when Jordan Howard is right (16 touches last week), and he also leads all running backs in targets and receptions, meaning he's in there if the Bears are winning or getting blown out. Others receiving votes: James White disappointed in Week 3, but overall the usage has been solid.
This is what it said: Doing a goofy thing for my column tomorrow where I am asking various colleagues to ask me one question -- a self-made interview, if you will -- and I will answer them in my column with attribution. I got so many great questions, I am actually saving some of them to do this again.