Sunday, August 30, 2009

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XXXIV

Welcome to our 50th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available on the front page of

In this week's edition:

^ Evaluating Matt Berry's latest advice
^ Recapping our college football team draft

Evaluating Matt Berry's latest advice

FDH has been fairly critical of Matt Berry over time (if you listen hard enough, you can hear a solitary, frustrated voice from the Bristol campus yelling out, "More than a little critical, fellas!"). And true, some of it has been in over-the-top ways, which we have admitted in retrospect in ways that lesser men would not. We're stand-up guys like that.

Having said that, our animus has stemmed from the ways that the man with the biggest megaphone in our industry has represented all of us -- a responsibility which, like it or not, he has. Our recent industry summit, at which ESPN was not represented because of concerns over our concerns with them, focused in part on the responsibility we have to our content consumers not to embrace our inner say-anything Skip Baylesses at the expense of credible commentary.

So, with the publication of this year's Berry Manifesto for the football season, it's worth a look to see if the level of concern we have raised in the past is justified.

Shockingly, it is not (at least for this moment in time).

First of all, there's none of this "don't take Terrell Owens no matter what" gaga polluting his analysis this year. That's a big step forward in and of itself. And the pragmatism he shows in advising that a big-time WR could well be a first-round pick is a far cry from the "Take a RB no matter how picked-over they may be" advice of years past. Now, he still says, "Don't take a kicker until the last round," which is still a bit of know-nothingism since it disregards our second-favorite word during a draft -- "context," with "value" of course being Number 1, and since Berry actually uses "value" in his column, he probably owes us something! But the kicker advice is not terribly consequential, fortunately.

On balance, his advice is rich in context and research, areas for which we have found fault in the past when he has been more sound-byte oriented in our opinion. Were there any points that made us ponder anything we have not thought of before? No -- and we're honest enough to admit that some pundits in the industry deliver that punch in our estimation. Is his advice on a par with what you will find in our FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009 guide? To quote Chad Ocho, "Child please!" But that's kind of setting an unfair benchmark for the poor guy, don't you think?

But even this mildly qualified praise is light years ahead of what we've written previously. It certainly gives the lie to the bunker mentality at "Bristol Fantasy Central" that those who criticize an approach are by definition ankle-biting haters -- but then again, we knew that take was without credibility anyway. We were prepared to be more generous when circumstances dictated -- and when Matt Berry called our bluff by stepping up his game this year, we proved it. Did our words and those of others critical of a more "show biz" approach to fantasy sports at the Worldwide Leader cause a reevaluation of approach and rededication? If so, we applaud him, but at any rate, we're just grateful that the man most identified with our industry is upholding his responsibility to put us collectively in a credible light.

Recapping our college football team draft

Our fourth annual FDH college football team draft took place on our August 26 episode of THE FDH LOUNGE (you can scroll down to that date on the program's home page and click the link to listen to the episode).

It's a fun way to add some additional competitive interest to your college football viewing during the course of the season. Our panel was comprised of the following participants:

1 The FDH New York Bureau Steve Cirvello
2 host/producer TJ Zuppe
3 FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones
4 Googling Atlee Hammaker proprietor Platinum Smalls
5 FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris

We drafted in standard serpentine fashion.

1 Steve: Florida
3 Jason: Texas
4 Smalls: Ohio State
5 Rick: Oklahoma

1 Rick: Alabama
2 Smalls: LSU
3 Jason: Penn State
4 TJ: Boise State
5 Steve: Oklahoma State

1 Steve: Mississippi
2 TJ: Georgia
3 Jason: Virginia Tech
4 Smalls: California
5 Rick: Georgia Tech

1 Rick: Oregon
2 Smalls: Florida State
3 Jason: TCU
4 TJ: Texas Tech
5 Steve: Kansas

1 Steve: BYU
2 TJ: Utah
3 Jason: North Carolina
4 Smalls: Michigan State
5 Rick: Iowa

1 Rick: Notre Dame
2 Smalls: Missouri
3 Jason: West Virginia
4 TJ: Nebraska
5 Steve: Rutgers


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