Friday, September 19, 2008

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue III

Welcome to our third-ever edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on In case you missed it, here are the previous issues:

^ Volume I, Issue I (September 4, 2008)
^ Volume I, Issue II (September 13, 2008)

In this week's edition:

^ NFL Week 3 game-by-game preview
^ host/analyst Ben Chew's Super-Sleepers for Week 3 and beyond
^ Our Top 5 waiver wire recommendations for NFL Week 3, as unveiled on STN earlier this week
^ The pursuit of value across fantasy sports, as exemplified by our brand-new FANTASY HOCKEY DRAFTOLOGY 2008, a FREE download

As always, we urge to you subscribe to this newsletter via the available feed options on Blogger. It has come to our attention, however, that there do not appear to be means to subscribe to this via any aggregate news readers at the moment; if that is true, it is because it is being published on the older Blogger platform. Our sister publication in cyberspace, the all-subjects periodical The FDH Lounge Multimedia Magazine, is on the newer Blogger platform and can be subscribed to in that manner. As such, for the forseeable future, we will publish a link to this newsletter on The Lounge each week so that those of you who subscribe via aggregate news readers can have the content show up in the most convenient manner.

NFL Week 3

NOTE: Our advice, as it does on our FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER weekly program (Wednesdays, 7-9 PM EDT on, is based on helping you determine which of your marginal starters are worth a play this week. Hopefully, your initial draft/auction efforts were successful, because frankly, “playing the matchups” is far from an exact science regardless of what you will be told by other advisory services claiming to possess a crystal ball. But our weekly game notes are designed to try to help you maximize the potential of your situation. We will post this preface to the notes every week to remind you of the context of our advice. Also, each of our game previews links to the page for that game on, with statistical information and a video preview of each game.


Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 p.m. LJ’s not yet off the “play every week” list, but he’s edging ever closer after last week’s debacle. Burner Turner is worth a go at RB, but better defenses than KC are going to be effective against him when they collapse in to stop the run with a rookie QB at the helm.

Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills 1:00 p.m. Michael Bush should pick up where he left off with last week’s strong effort off the bench. This is going to be a great spot start for QB Edwards if you’ve got him in a rotation or have a so-so starter in front of him on your roster.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears 1:00 p.m. This is an absolutely horrible game for fantasy production. Forte isn’t a great play, but you could go with him – he and Galloway are the only players really worth a look here.

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 p.m. For Carolina, already surprisingly strong without Steve Smith and now getting him back, it’s an all-in game for their marginal fantasy players (i.e. anybody not named Steve Smith). For Minnesota, it’s all-out on the marginals as we wait to see what the Gus Frerotte era will look like for the purple folks.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 1:00 p.m. It’s pretty easy to sum this one up for the non-gimme fantasy players here: all-out for Miami (actually all out on ANY of their players since they have no gimmes at this particular moment in time) and all-in for New England.

Cincinnati Bengals at N.Y. Giants 1:00 p.m. Like LJ, Carson Palmer is edging ever-closer to not being an every-week starter. If he can’t produce numbers this week once his team falls behind by a few TDs, it’s a grim sign. Stay away from RB Perry until he starts to show something. For the Giants, like last week, it’s an all-in recommendation with the exception of whoever you might envision as their #2 WR right now.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans 1:00 p.m. Wait for the Houston RB situation to crystallize a bit before you give credence to any of the contestants. For Tennessee, RBs Johnson and White (purely in a vulture role) are the only feasible candidates.

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins 1:00 p.m. All-in for what could be an excellent shootout – except for Randle El, who still has to demonstrate his ability to break plays open in this new offense.

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos 4:05 p.m. For the Saints, continue to pass on playing any of their WRs in the absence of Colston until any of them show more consistency. The Cutler/Marshall/Royal combo should play every week until further notice in Denver; none of the RBs should play until further notice as the rotation could still break a couple of different ways.

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 p.m. Avoid RB Smith here as his pro adjustment has been mediocre thus far (but should improve in subsequent weeks). Kitna is a solid play, as is WR Williams if you consider him to be somebody on your bubble at the moment (you probably shouldn’t). For the Niners, for the first time quite possibly since the Steve Young era, it’s an all-in recommendation.

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 p.m. RB Jackson probably isn’t on your bubble yet – and he shouldn’t be. WR Holt might be – and he probably shouldn’t be, at least not yet. He merits a start here in any case. For the once-mighty Hawks’ offense, it’s an all-out recommendation with the exception of RB JJ.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens 4:15 p.m. Although you can smell the Browns’ desperation through your monitor as you’re reading this, QB DA is not a worthy start this week as his early-season woes continued against Pittsburgh and don’t figure to get much better against this defense. Don’t smirk, Ravens fans – your team earns the “all out” fantasy designation this week as the RB situation isn’t bad overall collectively but lacks predictability at this point in terms of individual production.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts 4:15 p.m. As with Steven Jackson, RBs Taylor and Jones-Drew probably aren’t on your bubble yet, and shouldn’t be – and should start this game regardless. We said last week that Indy would continue to get better offensively – they won’t be especially explosive in this game, but they’re an all-in team until further notice.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles 4:15 p.m. Both Pittsburgh WRs should continue to be looked to for production, especially off a short week for the Philly “D.” Desean Jackson is now officially a fantasy gimme, but only the “gimme triumvirate” for the Eagles should play.

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers 8:15 p.m. Crayton hasn’t shown it yet, but he could become a gimme starter at some point this year if the offense continues to play at such a high level. At any rate, start him here, thereby making Dallas an “all-in” team this week. For Green Bay, monitor the injury report, but lean towards RB Jackson over Grant as of right now.


N.Y. Jets at San Diego Chargers 8:30 p.m. As a deep threat, Cotchery is a natural fit for Favre’s gunslinging approach, and he should start here. So should Stuckey, for the same reasons. Monitor LT’s status and consider Sproles (a complete boom-or-bust option) if the megastar can’t go. WR Jackson looks like the better option for San Diego’s receiving corps and Rivers is edging towards becoming an every-week play.

Ben Chew's NFL Week 3 Super-Sleepers

As heard on THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER (7-9 PM EDT, Wednesdays, ...

^ Brian Griese

^ Gus Frerotte

^ Koren Robinson

^ Justin Gage

^ Owen Daniels

^ Chanci Stuckey

FDH Top 5 Waiver-Wire Recommendations for NFL Week 3
This is reproduced from our commentary on this subject, which now runs early each week on ...

These players were all owned in fewer than 40% of leagues on last week. As always, none of these players should be counted on to serve as a magic bullet if you had a bad draft or auction and any services promising to help magically restore a bad team at this point are, frankly, fraudulent.

  1. JT O’Sullivan. The Martz effect at QB is working again. While anyone reminded of Kurt Warner’s path from grocery bagger to Super Bowl MVP is getting carried away right now, once again Mike Martz has found an unheralded quarterback who can execute his system. His most likely upside at this point remains as a spot starter in fantasy, but that’s got to sound pretty good right now to any Carson Palmer or Matt Hasselbeck owners looking for another option.
  2. Bryant Johnson. While his more accomplished counterpart Isaac The Bartender Bruce is generally more widely owned, and is getting lots of love for a great game this past weekend, in 2008 it’s Johnson whose game is more closely tailored to the Martz offense. He’s got a lot less city miles on that chassis than Ike does.
  3. Darren Sproles. He’s one of the 2 or 3 most dangerous players in the league in space, though like Reggie Bush last year he’s going to get exposed if he has to play for a prolonged period of time and has to try to run inside. Physically, he might look like Hornswaggle’s little brother, but any time he touches the ball he’s a threat to score and LT’s injury situation opens the door for him. He’s certainly worth a look if you have an open roster spot.
  4. Michael Bush. From complete afterthought to potential starter – the McFadden and Fargas injuries have given an opportunity to this bruiser from Louisville. He’s unproven at the NFL level, but he was the best 3rd running back in the league and he’s a monster to bring down. It will take some adjustments to the offense to accommodate his pure north-south game, though, and Lane Kiffin is already a bit, shall we say, distracted these days.
  5. Pierre Thomas. As the gravy-train, goal-line vulture back of the moment in New Orleans, Thomas is showing signs of becoming a latter-day fantasy version of Leroy Hoard. Deuce who?

HONORABLE MENTION goes to Kerry Collins, who has the same garbage receivers Vince Young was saddled with, but who has the confidence of the coaching staff and team. He’ll be in the lineup for quite awhile and he makes a decent fantasy backup at this point.


On Wednesday night's GOON SQUAD program on STN (9-10 PM EDT), we had a great discussion with our good friend Russ Cohen of Sportsology, the fine website that we partnered up with for our brand new FANTASY HOCKEY DRAFTOLOGY 2008 publication -- which you can download for free here. Our 100-page guide goes beyond fantasy (encompassing among other things, this summer's NHL Entry Draft, a look back at past drafts, a preview of this fall's hot new hockey video games and a look at the offseason), but since this is the fantasy newsletter, we'll keep it on that topic for now.

We agreed that it was ludricrous that the NHL Yearbook rates 23 centers (or centres, for our Canadian readers!) among the top 50 non-goalies this year. With center serving as the deepest position, by definition it cannot be the heaviest-represented among the upper ranks, because acceptable depth players can be found later here than at any other position. For more thoughts specifically on the application of value in fantasy sports, read our mission statement on value drafting.

Where we really got into a fun, free-wheeling discussion with Russ was when the subject turned to specific players. For example, he differed with FDH's draft board slotting of Henrik Sedin, feeling that the Swedish star was penalized far too much for his lack of goal scoring and not rewarded nearly enough for his superlative assist tallies. It's hard to do justice to the breakdown of how the participants thought Sedin fared against Steve Stamkos, goal-scoring phenom Johan Franzen and Brad Richards, so we urge you to listen to the archives. This discussion fell in the last quarter of the program. The pros and cons of the different players, laid out head to head by our debaters, shed light on the evaluation process that fantasy analysts must use to compile their draft boards -- and in that sense, it made for useful listening for fantasy players in any sport, not just hockey.


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