Saturday, October 18, 2008

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue VII

Welcome to our seventh-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)
^ Volume I, Issue III (September 19, 2008)
^ Volume I, Issue IV (September 27, 2008)
^ Volume I, Issue V (October 4, 2008)

^ Volume I, Issue VI (October 11, 2008)

In this week's edition:

^ NFL Week 7 game-by-game fantasy preview
^ NFL Week 7 top 5 waiver wire pickups

^ Just released: a direct link to our mega-hoops guide: FANTASY HOOPS DRAFTOLOGY 2008
^ Our first look ahead to Fantasy Baseball 2009: the trends we told you about exclusively at the beginning of the year kept moving forward in 2008

^ The FDH New York Bureau Report

NFL Week 7

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.


(Byes: Arizona, Atlanta Jacksonville, Philadelphia)

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills 1:00 p.m. With the exception of WR2 for both teams (Chambers due to injury, Reed due to being a bust), this is an all-in game for your marginal players.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers 1:00 p.m. Aside from RB Stewart (who is sick but should play) and New Orleans’ foggy WR picture, this is an all-in game as well.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears 1:00 p.m. Both RBs have bad matchups here, but only Forte is even remotely close enough to “the bubble.” You probably can’t do better than him even under these circumstances, though. QB Orton is worth a rare start as the Vikes will dare the Bears to air it out. WR Berrian is the only other occasional starter worth a look here.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. Without QB Palmer, the Bengals are as close to all-out as a team with Ocho Cinco still remaining as a healthy piece can be. The Steelers, conversely, are all-in.

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 p.m. Without RB Johnson, and against the league’s best defense at the moment, avoid all Chiefs like the plague. QB Collins is a good play, as are both of his backs, even if he has nobody worth a start to throw to in this one.

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 1:00 p.m. Yuck! This is an all-out game, considering that RB Brown moved off the bubble earlier in the season and is now an every-week lock.

San Francisco 49ers at N.Y. Giants 1:00 p.m. Start any Giant you have in this bounce-back game, even the locker room assistants! For the Niners, with a QB potentially on the verge of being yanked and a lack of consistency in the receiving corps that should have been no surprise coming into this season, you can’t start anyone outside of your gimme, RB Gore.

Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams 1:00 p.m. Monitor the Dallas QB situation and start whoever the Cowboys use – as well as all other healthy (read: not RB Jones) Cowboy starters. With WR Owens’ double-teams coming to an end with the Williams acquisition, this offense will be back to where it was Week 1 vs. Cleveland. For St. Louis, what else is new? RB Jackson and WR Holt only.

Detroit Lions at Houston Texans 4:05 p.m. Houston is all-in; Detroit only has the Johnsons at RB and WR to recommend. C Johnson is an elite talent, but could fade from the ranks of the every-week starters in the second half if the guano at QB and WR2 drags him down, post-Williams trade.

Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers 4:15 p.m. Neither D is even remotely overwhelming enough to keep this from being an all-in special (with RB Rhodes in for Addai).

N.Y. Jets at Oakland Raiders 4:15 p.m. Aside from a banged-up Coles, start all of your Jets and no Raiders not named McFadden.

Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins 4:15 p.m. Every week, at least one or two games really seem to be puzzles, and this is the biggest one of this week given the Browns’ skitzoid performances this year. For yet another week, every Redskin fantasy starter not named Randle El could be poised for good things, inasmuch as Cleveland struggles with balanced offenses (RB Portis looks like a go). Given the momentum of Monday night, however, QB Anderson, RB Lewis and WR Edwards are good plays, with TE Winslow only a sit-down play because of his, uh, health issues.

Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8:15 p.m. We wouldn’t touch any Seahawk aside from RB Jones with a ten-foot pole. Tampa’s got their own health issues, though, so in the end, we don’t like anybody here except the two starting RBs.


Denver Broncos at New England Patriots 8:30 p.m. While both rushing defenses are very vulnerable, both rushing offenses have a very muddled picture at the moment, so we can’t recommend anyone in good conscience. The banged-up Bronco WRs should play, so they and every-week play Cutler should be in your lineup. QB Cassel, who has been statistically accurate in his passing if decidedly un-Bradylike as a playmaker, should be in along with your obvious play of Moss in what could be a shootout.

NFL Week 7 top 5 waiver wire pickups

1. Brad Johnson: Raise your hand if you forgot this guy was still in the league. Yeah, me too. He certainly won’t give you Romo-esque production while the starter is rehabbing his pinky in Tijuana with Jessica Simpson, but he has the potential to be an above-average producer in this offense, which would be fitting – because he is one of the few above-average and not great QBs in the recent history of the league to win a Super Bowl. There’s a good chance Johnson will produce better than any other backup you’ve got for Romo right now.

2. Dominic Rhodes: As Sunday proved, it’s all about the health of Joseph Addai. With the star banged up, Rhodes got opportunities and that should be the case for at least another week.

3. Hank Baskett: Bad fortune for Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis owners was your good fortune if you were one of the few who put your faith in the Baskett last week. In an offense that is crowded in terms of offensive opportunities, backups like this guy will benefit when they are thrust to the forefront.

4. Rashied Davis: The Bears still aren’t going to be a fantasy juggernaut any time soon, but the passing game is getting marginally more legit and Davis is a reason why.

5. Shawn Alexander: Now the primary backup running back in DC, and somebody familiar with Jim Zorn’s offense, this onetime megastar will likely get the chance at some point to prove that he’s still got something left in the tank.


Our long-awaited fantasy hoops guide, produced in conjunction with our friends at Sportsology, is now available for free download. With some quality non-fantasy content included also as a bonus, you won’t find a more complete guide for your basketball season anywhere and you can’t beat the price!

First look ahead to Fantasy Baseball 2009

In our 2008 fantasy baseball guide, we had an interesting piece that was a continuation of a theme we have been following: how the “detoxing” of baseball would affect the fantasy game. One of our FDH contributors, Nathan Noy, has had amphetamines legally prescribed to him, so he has been in a unique position to speak about the affects that this drug has on the human body. The supposed removal of steroids from baseball has received an incredible amount of media attention; the supposed removal of amphetamines – not so much. So we have tried to examine the affects of removing both ‘roids and “greenies” from the game. We urge you to read the aforementioned column, on Pages 18-19 of the guide, for full background purposes.

First, in terms of steroids: we saw a trend developing with home runs becoming less valuable relative to stolen bases; that is to say, there will always be way more home runs than stolen bases, but the ratio between the two has narrowed over the last few years and correspondingly, the extent to which stolen bases are more valuable than home runs has diminished. Let’s see how this year’s numbers fit into the pattern:


2005: 2.06

2006: 2.22 (up 7.8%)

2007: 2.01 (down 9.5%, down 2.4% over 2 years)

2008: 2.01 (same as 2007, down 2.4% over 3 years)


2005: 1.06

2006: 1.14 (up 7.6%)

2007: 1.20 (up 5.3%, up 13.2% over 2 years)

2008: 1.15 (down 4.2%, up 8.5% over 3 years)


2005: 1.94

2006: 1.95 (up 0.5%)

2007: 1.68 (down 13.9%, down 13.4% over 2 years)

2008: 1.74 (up 3.6%, down 10.3% over 3 years)

We see here that home runs were hit at the same rate in 2007 and 2008, with stolen bases down a bit and thus, the ratio of home runs to stolen bases changed a small amount – but compare 2008 to 2005, before any serious testing was on the horizon. Home runs are still down over that time (despite one “last hurrah” in 2006), while stolen bases are up fairly consistently over that time.

Now, let’s discuss amphetamines. Our theory was that strikeouts would be way up, as hitters would be unable to catch up to power pitches as consistently without artificial means – but walks would also be on the rise as hitters would embrace more strongly than ever the Billy Beane philosophy of working the count as an attempt to counter their fatigue and regain an edge. Let’s see how the 2008 numbers fit into the pattern:


2005: 12.61

2006: 13.03 (up 3.3%)

2007: 13.11 (up 0.6%, up 4% over 2 years)

2008: 13.53 (up 3.2 %, up 7.3% over 3 years)


2005: 6.26

2006: 6.52 (up 4.2%)

2007: 6.58 (up 0.9%, up 5.1% over 2 years)

2008: 6.72 (up 2.1%, up 7.4% over 3 years)

It’s almost spooky how much the numbers are up in almost identical fashion over three years! Clearly, our advice about how power pitchers would be much more valuable than usual in this era has proven to be the case.

Stay tuned for further developments, as we continue to break down these trends.

The FDH New York Bureau Report

By Steve Cirvello

NYB's Sneaky Starts Week #7
QB - Matt Schaub (HOU vs. Det)
RB - Sammy Morris (NWE vs. Den)
WR - Wes Welker (NWE vs. Den)
TE - Owen Daniels (HOU vs. Det)
DEF - New England (vs. Den)
K - Josh Brown (STL vs. Dal)

RED ALERT (player coming off injury who could make fantasy impact) Kellen Winslow TE: Coming off their big win against the Giants on Monday Night, the Browns head into Washington to face a Redskins team that lost at home to the winless Rams. If Derek Anderson is ever going to get back to the level of last season, he'll need to get Winslow involved in the offense, especially in the Red Zone. Washington has always been the type of team where you just don't know if they are going to show up or not week to week. EDITOR'S NOTE: Oh, really?

LOOKEY HERE: Team with favorable fantasy schedule the next three weeks:
Week #7 - @ Oakland
Week #8 - vs. Kansas City
Week #9 - @ Buffalo

If the Jets are going to be any kind of a factor in the AFC East this season, they must take at least two of these three games. All three defenses have been bad this season, and the Jets' passing game must exploit this. The offense must find a way for Brett Favre to get more production out of the TE position (Dustin Keller, Chris Baker) as Coles and Cotchery are sure to face more double coverage as the season goes along, daring the Jets to beat these teams with a running game that up until last week has really underperformed.

The Ricky-O Trio: Questions for FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris

1 - Will the Tennessee Titans walk out of Arrowhead Stadium tomorrow still undefeated?

Yes, they could play 7-on-11 and still handle the Chiefs. They kind of are already since they're dominant despite not really having a passing game.

2 - The Ravens return to their Waterloo of a year ago, where they basically handed the Dolphins their only win of the season. Both teams are 2-3. Who gets back to .500?

I'd love to say that it's my Fish, but I think you have to go with the team with the better defense, which is Baltimore. The kickers are going to be busy in this game.

3 - How much will the Colts miss Joseph Addai at Lambeau Field against the Packers, even though the passing game is clicking of late?
Not very much, and that's coming from somebody who does not think a whole lot of Dom Rhodes. But with the passing game back in gear, Rhodes will be facing a so-so Packer defense on its heels. The Colts better hope they get Addai back soon, though, because they're going to need the legitimacy that he brings that running game pretty soon.


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