Hi reddit, Matthew Berry here. I'm ESPN's Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst and just published my first book Fantasy Life. I love fantasy sports and have been so lucky in being able to do this. I'm really looking forward to answering your questions, so AMA! EDIT - it's unfortunately time for me to go, so I'll have to stop taking questions here. I've really enjoyed this, and hope you check out my book and let me know what you think. I do promise to try and come back at some point this week to answer a few more questions on that fantasy football subreddit someone posted. Also, I'm on Twitter so tweet at me @MatthewberryTMR! Thanks gang.

Comments: 294 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

10bure9640 karma

How much fun was it working a guest spot on a show like The League? How are the cast members actual football knowledge?

matthew_berry50 karma

Had a BLAST. Those guys are great. Really really enjoyed it. We're talking about doing it again this season. Cast members vary in their knowledge of football and fantasy but Steve (he plays Kevin) is a hard core player.

keyb31 karma

In your book description it says "Insane draft day locations. Shake-your-head-in-disbelief punishments. Ingenious attempts at cheating."

Can you give your favorite example of each?

matthew_berry86 karma

DRAFT DAY LOCATION: Guy in Afghanistan who kept drafting through a bombing of his base. Totally true.

PUNISHMENTS: Well, the Tattoo League guys are nuts. Have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b0r408vpIg&feature=youtu.be Also, a guy who had to get his belly button pierced.

CHEATING: A guy who managed to get an entire major league baseball team drunk the night before a day game when he had the starting pitcher on the other team going for him (for a championship)

emiller522030 karma

I just stopped by to say Nate is a weasel

matthew_berry27 karma

I salute you sir. Thanks for downloading. Go Nashville.

Steaktanic29 karma

Would you rather fight 1 duck-sized Adrian Peterson or 100 Adrian Peterson-sized ducks?

matthew_berry113 karma

It's about DAMN TIME I GOT THE DUCK QUESTION! I'll take on the 1 duck sized AP. Upright running style won't help on those short duck legs. I'll go low.

skyscraperdream21 karma

Hey Matt, big fan.

I read somewhere a part from your book about you hosting a fantasy draft for Jay-Z. How was that?

Beyond Jay, who was the most surprising celebrity that was a big fantasy player?

matthew_berry30 karma

Lotta fun. He's cool. Most surprising? Someone told me they were in a fantasy league with Gov Chris Christie. Haven't verified that but I believe it to be true. That was certainly surprising.

MechaToddzilla21 karma

How can I convince my stubborn league-mates to switch to an auction format in fantasy football this year? I need a killer sales pitch here, Berry!

matthew_berry39 karma

Very simple. Do you want to play checkers...or chess? Auction format, where everyone has a shot at every player, is chess. But if they don't think they're smart enough and need the luck of the draw...

muhaski20 karma

Do you regret leaving the soap opera biz?

matthew_berry35 karma


norogernorerunnorent19 karma

Back at Syracuse University you wrote a column for the Daily Orange. One of your columns was about how you had received your very first death threat, from a Molly Ringwald admirer of all things, but you were so disappointed because it was such a generic threat. "I know where you live", that sort of thing...

So I guess my question is, are the fantasy football fans a bit more clever when it comes to insults and facetious threats? And have you apologized yet to Molly Ringwald?

matthew_berry32 karma

WOW! That is amazing. I can't believe you remember that column - I barely remember that column. To answer your questions - no, in general, they are not more clever, though most interact with me on Twitter, so gotta get straight to the death threat there. And no, I have not as of yet. Let me take this chance to publicly apologize to Molly Ringwald. I should not have said whatever it is I said in a college humor column. (Basically, I wasn't a fan).

ramstoria18 karma

Hello TMR!

I'm a big fan and really enjoy reading your Love/Hate column every week for the stories as much as the advice. So I'm glad to see you on reddit and would like to invite you to come stop by /r/fantasyfootball sometime so people can gush over you (and tell you how stupid you are and ruined their team).

I have two questions.

Fantasy Football has become serious business over the last 5 years or so. Do you have a favorite story (personal or that was shared with you as I'm sure you get PLENTY of emails) about a complete personal meltdown, fight among friends, heck maybe a divorce, that was due to fantasy football?

Next, you have Kaepernick ranked 55 and QB7. I play in a league that's about 50% 49ers fans, so what is the farthest you would reach for him? 4th? 2nd? On a slightly related note, how do you feel about fans reaching for their team's players in general?

Thank a lot!

matthew_berry22 karma

Thanks. Appreciate the invite. Well, I wouldn't call a fight over fantasy football anything I would "favorite" but I've heard some crazy ones. One that's in the book is about a fist fight between a father and son that ended up with the son in jail and the dad in the hospital. Crazy.

I wouldn't reach for Kaep. Much as a I like him, QB is so deep I'm happy with whoever is left. Earliest I would consider drafting him is the 5th round.

RogueInteger17 karma

I don't think Steven Jackson is going to have an RB2 year. I just don't see him playing well in Atlanta where he's one of a multitude of weapons.

Am I bat shit crazy?

matthew_berry51 karma

Kinda yeah. Last 3 years, only 2 teams have run more inside an opponents 10 yards line than ATL. Last 3 years, only 1 team has run LESS inside an opponent's 10 yard line than STL. Over that time frame, S JAX was 7th in yards after contact in goal to go situations, better than Adrian Peterson, among others. He is still an elite RB, now he has the opportunity.

NuRhoBeta15 karma

Who's your number 1 this year?

matthew_berry37 karma


stockpickr13 karma

A few questions:

  1. You have the coolest title I've ever seen. Are there Jr. Fantasy Analysts? I can't get over this and how it would have sounded fifty years ago.
  2. How much did you sell your site for?
  3. Want an assistant? If so, I accept.

matthew_berry17 karma

  1. Thanks. Feels made up. There are no "Jr analysts"
  2. I was very happy with the price.
  3. You are too kind. I'm good for now, though.

bencordoza11 karma

Which one do you love more, fantasy or real?

matthew_berry18 karma

Hahaha. Fantasy, of course.

strings_struck11 karma

Have you accepted that Memphis is the most famous city in Tennessee yet?

matthew_berry31 karma


MeVersusShark11 karma

Mr Berry,

Longtime podcast listener. In your opinion, what players have the best and worst draft value this year relative to their average draft position?

matthew_berry14 karma

QB's going high (like Brady in the 2nd) are worst and because of depth, there are some really good WR values, like Bowe, going late

PsylentStorm10 karma

Hey there... I love the flair you put into your articles.

After Jimmy Graham (and maybe Gronk), when do you feel is the best place to take the next tier of TEs (Witten, Gonzalez, Davis)? After you've secured your RB/WR corps? Or do you take them a little earlier (say, in the 4th) to lock them up?

matthew_berry16 karma

In a ten team league, I want to be either one of the first guys to grab a TE or the last. Lot of sameness once you get past the studs.

DarkKnightXIII9 karma

Mr Berry,

Even if your new book Fantasy Life holds the #1 spot of the New York Times Bestseller list for the next 100 consecutive weeks, I want you to know that your two part Beverly Hills 90210 podcast with Bill Simmons will always stand as your Magnum Opus.

My girlfriend and I were once stuck in brutal stand-still traffic, and we decided to give that podcast a listen strictly to kill time, despite neither of us having ever watched one episode of the series.

We listened and laughed for all two+ hours, eventually started watching the old 90210 reruns on the Soap channel, and no hyperbole, I upload and listen to that podcast whenever I'm in desperate need of a guaranteed laugh.

Whether you're ranting on Fantasy Focus or raving about 90210's hamhandedness, you always bring this welcoming warmth and genuine passion in addition to your humor and insight in all of your many platforms and endeavors (well, maybe not Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, but pretty much everything else).

So I want to thank you. The world needs more of your brand of warmth and passion in the entertainment industry.

matthew_berry15 karma

Thanks. I can not tell you how much pleasure it gives me that the BS Report I did with Bill on 90210 was, for a long time, the most downloaded episode of the BS Report ever. And now it's only second to the Obama one I believe. 2 40 year old dudes talking about a teenage soap opera that was 20 years old at the time? Hilarious.

DashDingo8 karma

Hey Matt,

Huge fan here (literally...I'm 6'7, 400 pounds) but I digress - I think it's super rad hearing you give the Skins love during your podcasts and on ESPN segements...makes me feel warm inside. HTTR!!

matthew_berry9 karma


Steaktanic8 karma

Funniest live draft penalties you've ever witnessed/been a part of?

matthew_berry20 karma

One league you got to throw a tomatoes at a guy who made a draft day mistake

theverybest2647 karma

Hello Mr. Berry! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you. Every Thursday I eagerly await your Love/Hate column, and every weekday morning I feverishly refresh the Podcenter for my Fantasy Focus fix (you and Nate have unmatched chemistry.) I really appreciate your work and the entertainment and knowledge you give me.
Also, love the book so far! When will I get the exclusive chapter and the autograph?

matthew_berry11 karma

Thanks Mom. No seriously, that's very kind of you to say. Info about the autograph/chapter/chat for people who pre-ordered go out later this week. You'll get soon.

Arts-n-crafts-store7 karma

How much of your work feels like work as opposed to "I can't believe they pay me to do this" ?

matthew_berry23 karma

Look, any job has aspects to it that you're not crazy about but at the end of the day, come on. I get paid by ESPN to play and discuss fantasy sports. I'm very lucky. So a few things, but not a lot.

Steaktanic6 karma

Out of these porcelain dolls, who do you think will stay healthy this year? Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray or Darren McFadden?

matthew_berry7 karma

If I had to pick one, I'll pick Murray but I don't feel great about any of them.

makokitten6 karma

How did you end up becoming a fantasy sports analyst?

matthew_berry18 karma

It's a long story and one I detail in the book, but in essence, I've been playing since I was 14, got a job freelancing for a site (rotoworld) in 1999, built up an audience there, left to start my own site in 2004, sold the site to ESPN and came to work there in later 2006.

aytchyaboy6 karma

Welcome TMR and thanks for doing this! I was just curious, of all the online feedback (emails, social media, etc) you receive from readers/listeners, what do you think the ratio of people who thank you for good advice vs people who bash or blame you for their losses is? I notice you frequently have to remind people things like ‘there is A LOT of luck involved in fantasy’, ‘in the end the decisions are yours alone’, or ‘I don’t really KNOW what’s going to happen any more than you do.’ Do you think this disconnect is a side-effect from the nature of fantasy sports or a more general social phenomenon associated with the digital age we live in?

matthew_berry8 karma

It's about 85/15 positive to negative. I highlight the negative because it's easy to be funny off of them. Printing or RT positive comments comes across as self serving to me. I believe it's a result of no repercussions (can be anonymous online), the incredible ability of social media to connect anyone to anyone, including fans to athletes, celebs or yes, fantasy analysts. And when your team tanks you want to vent your frustration, so you take it out on me or a player or whoever. Most people forget there's a real person there. But hey - it's a small price to pay for an awesome job and everyone in the public eye has to deal with it, so no worries. Most people on social media are awesome and far outweigh the bad.

TMR_Defender6 karma

How do you feel about the rise of PPR?

matthew_berry6 karma

Think it's overblown. I like it a lot but research I've seen suggests about 25% of people play PPR. A lot but not the majority

pee_diddy6 karma

Why do you think the patriots picked up Tebow? Do you think the Hoodie knew about Hernandez and saw this as insurance (move Tebow to TE?)

matthew_berry9 karma

Not at all. Remember, McDaniels (NE OC) drafted Tebow. Think thy saw he's a talented athlete but raw QB. They can always use athletes and will find interesting ways to use him but it's a good situation because with Brady around there's no QB controversy.

steveo8315 karma

Hey Matthew! Can't wait to read your new book. Some of us over at r/fantasyfootball put together a list of questions. We'd love for you to either answer some of them here, or take a detour later and answer them there!


My question: How do you see the world of fantasy football evolving over the next 10-15 years? New tech, changed rules, etc.

matthew_berry3 karma

Thanks. Have to run soon but promise to get to some of those at some point this week, okay? Think rules stay the same, basically. Technology continues to improve making it easier to play/get info/etc. There will be more people like me - that is to say - pure fantasy analysts who do a decent amount on TV. Daily games will continue to grow. And there will be even more integration of fantasy news and analysis into sports news shows like NFL Live, SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday NFL Countdown, etc

MiguelKantorito5 karma


What's your thoughts on the best draft spots this year in a standard league? It seems like drafting later in round 1 is the sweet spot, based on the depth of starting RB's this year. With McCoy, Rice, Spiller, Morris, S. Jackson, Forte, Richardson as that mixed bag "second tier" RB, it seems that choosing two of them is better than grabbing Foster + WR combo.

Also, let me in the Man's League!

matthew_berry3 karma

Yeah, I agree. Can't argue with one, but I like being later in the round so you get two RB's with the wrap around.

Steaktanic5 karma

Why did you write your book and what was your favorite part about writing it?

matthew_berry7 karma

Wrote it because I had so many great fantasy stories and I wanted to do something with them. Also, because I thought it would be a way help make fantasy more mainstream. You don't have to play to know a guy forced to get a Justin Bieber tattoo is funny. And third, it sounds trite but it's true - I felt like I finally had a last chapter with my wife and kids and landing at ESPN

stengebt5 karma

What fantasy sports do you play? And do you kick everybody's ass on a regular basis?

matthew_berry4 karma

Football, baseball, basketball, I do all sorts of pick em games like Streak for the Cash, I play fantasy summer movie league on SummerMovieLeague.com ... And overall, yeah, I do pretty well.

freedomthebucket5 karma

Hey Matthew, I sent you a question on a whim last year and you texted/emailed me back your response pretty quickly (which was kind of amazing). Are you married and if so, does your wife accept that you are only available 6 days a week during football season?

matthew_berry8 karma

Cool. I try to get to as many as possible - sometimes the volume gets to be too much. I am married and yes, she reluctantly understands that's part of the gig. She's happy when football season is over though!

mubinusprime5 karma

Hi Mr. Berry I am a big fan of you and would like to thank you for helping my in my Fantasy Football career. My question is: * how many times have you won in your league * I have the 12th pick in my draft (14 player league) how does Trent Richardson as the 12th pick

P.S. I look forward to your "Love/Hate" segment

matthew_berry11 karma

Would be surprised if Richardson lasts that long. Like him as a RB 1 this year - Norv is a bad HC but a good OC - he'll get most out of TR. Too many to count in terms of leagues. Also, I've lost too many to count as well.

RogueInteger4 karma

Matthew -- you've written back a number of people in our league, and it's been awesome; it's the "off the field highlight reel."

Can we expect to see you reappear on the League this year?

matthew_berry7 karma

Hopefully. We've talked about it.

Tj1985134 karma

Doug Martin or Marshawn Lynch?

matthew_berry11 karma

Both studs, like Martin by a hair

mubinusprime4 karma

Does it ever get annoying when so many people ask you for advice. Secondly when you go out do people constantly ask you who they should start this week?

matthew_berry8 karma

Never annoying - flattering that someone value's my opinion enough to ask for it. When I am out in public, I wouldn't say "constantly" but it does happen a decent amount. All good. Happy to help. Like I said, I take it as a compliment.

PlaysForDays4 karma

Presuming that you're not against them in a league, what is your policy on your close personal friends asking you for fantasy help?

matthew_berry5 karma

I always help them.

d0k74_j0n353 karma

Ryan Braun- good guy or bad guy? How about A-Rod?

matthew_berry15 karma

Purely my opinion? Braun - good guy. A Rod? Bad guy.

Searingm13 karma


Are there any fun rituals that you do in your leagues?

Do you prefer standard scoring or ppr?

Do you draft by looking purely at the statistical side of the game or do you occasionally take a pick and hope it works out ?

Do you have a favorite team?


matthew_berry8 karma

Washington is my fave NFL team. Prefer standard in 10 or 12 team, PPR in larger. The ESPN War Room League is a lot of fun since we all watch together on Sundays. I do a mixture of stats, scouting, position scarcity and team need during the draft along with reacting to what others are doing. Practice makes perfect - I encourage folks to do as many mock drafts as possible

anaccount10453 karma

Hello Matthew, one question.

Is Nate a Weasel?

matthew_berry6 karma

Don't take my word for it. Take Hulk Hogan's. Or 50 Cent. Or DeMarco Murray. Or Daniel Radcliffe. Or...

digables3 karma

What's the most common mistake you see fantasy owners make?

matthew_berry13 karma

Panic. Making rash decisions. It's a long season. Patience, young padawan.

jam2352 karma

What FF player will benefit most from a change in offensive scheme?

What player do you find yourself drafting most often with your last non-kicker non-defense pick? Why?

matthew_berry10 karma

Not just scheme but also other personnel - Larry Fitzgerald.

Searingm12 karma

Who will be this year's Doug Martin/ Alfred Morris? Ball, Lacy, Stacy, Wilson?

matthew_berry3 karma

Of those, I like Wilson and Ball the most.

diggmedown2 karma

Hey Matthew, I fully intend on buying and reading your book asap.

My question : What should I name my Fantasy team this year?

matthew_berry10 karma

Guessing there's gonna be a lot of Sharknado inspired names...

jhsm2 karma

Do you ever interact with the College GameDay guys? Is Mark May as insufferable as he appears?

matthew_berry2 karma

Not really. I've met them all once or twice. They are on the road and I am in Bristol, so no real chance to interact. I've never had anything but really nice experiences with Mark. I'm a Washington fan, so I love hearing about his time with the team.