Saturday, November 01, 2008

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue IX

Welcome to our ninth 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)

^ Volume I, Issue VII (October 18, 2008)

^ Volume I, Issue VIII (October 25, 2008)

In this week's edition:

^ NFL Week 9 game-by-game fantasy preview
^ NFL Week 9 top 5 waiver wire pickups

^ A first look at where you can slot your baseball players in ’09: RESPECT MAH ELIGIBILITAH!

^ The FDH New York Bureau Report

NFL Week 9

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.

In addition, every week right here we will provide you a link to your ultimate Sunday morning last-minute news source: Google News. Although any updates from responsible news providers are very useful, pay particular attention to those who come from team beat reporters, because they are closest to the action.


(Byes: Carolina, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco)

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo Bills 1:00 p.m. RB Jones is not a great play if you have someone of roughly equal productivity on your bench. Aside from that, it’s hard to argue against QB Favre or WRs Coles and Cotchery if they play (they almost certainly will). The Bills are all-in except their WR2 spot; the only difference this week is WR Reed rates as “do not play – hurt” instead of “do not play – sucks.”

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears 1:00 p.m. WR Johnson has deteriorated to a spot starter completely due to circumstances beyond his control, as he is already one of the best receivers in the league. He’s the only good fantasy option for the Lions this week. For the Bears, the only option aside from the every-week-gimme of RB Forte is QB Orton – without any of his inconsistent WRs.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. A Jags team coming off of last week’s embarrassing loss at home to Cleveland – facing the horrible Bengals? Batten down the hatches. Go with QB Garrard, both RBs, WR Jones and the highly under-the-radar WR Porter. The two Bengal WRs are the only fantasy hope for their awful team.

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns 1:00 p.m. RB McClain is the only good option for a sub-par Baltimore fantasy offense (with a banged-up McGahee). For the Browns, go with WR Edwards, now a spot starter fantasy-wise and TE Heiden (trending upwards) along with gimme starter TE Winslow. Pay RB Lewis no heed despite blather from other analysts about how “motivated” he is against the Ravens. We’d be motivated against Art Modell’s old team as well, but just as effective as Lewis at running on that defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 p.m. Regardless of the ankle of RB Charles, stay away from all Chiefs not named Bowe and Gonzalez. The Bucs merit an all-in recommendation.

Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 p.m. Ironically, RB Slaton, who has been such a great surprise this year, is the only Texan to keep his team from meriting an all-in recommendation. The superb Viking run D is too imposing for us to tout Slaton this week. WR Berrian is the only non-gimme (read: non-AP) pick for Minnesota.

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams 1:00 p.m. QB Bulger and WR Avery have really come alive since the coaching switch and are worthy of joining RB Jackson (if he plays – check Google News Sunday morning!) and WR Holt in your lineups. For that matter, consider RB Pittman after last week’s game if Jackson is a late scratch. It’s all-in for the Cards in what should be quite a shootout.

Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans 1:00 p.m. QB Rogers and RB Grant don’t merit hard-and-fast benching recommendations, but beware of them against this monstrous defense. It’s just the usual suspects for Tennessee this week: both RBs and TE Scaife.

Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos 4:05 p.m. The whole backfield looks good for Miami against this defense: QB Pennington and RB Williams joining gimme-starter RB Brown. Stay with WR Ginn after last week’s outburst in the absence of CB Bailey for Denver. Aside from a RB quagmire that injuries have temporarily created, the Broncos are all-in.

Dallas Cowboys at N.Y. Giants 4:15 p.m. For the Giants, it’s all-in with Smith in the role of fantasy WR2 yet again. RB Jones is out again and TE Witten is not a good bet because of the ribs, but we like everybody else in this highly consequential shootout.

Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders 4:15 p.m. All of Atlanta’s budding “triplets” should be in this week, while the Raiders are reduced to RB Fargas (in McFadden’s absence) and WR Walker.

Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks 4:15 p.m. For Philly, as with Tennessee, it’s just the usual suspects this week: QB/RB/WR1. For the Seahawks, again, RB Jones is the alpha and omega of usefulness.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts 8:15 p.m. Oh, how circumstances have altered what looked like a sublime midseason shootout back in August! The Patriot RB situation is a mess and should be avoided at all costs, so WR Welker and QB Cassel are the only recommended companions to WR Moss in fantasy lineups this week. The desperate Colts are all-in if RB Addai and WR Wayne are not late scratches.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins 8:30 p.m. Although it may seem a bit counterintuitive given the stoutness of these defenses, it’s an all-in game if RB Parker and WR Moss are good to go. The balance of both teams should keep the defenses back on their heels.

NFL Week 9 top 5 waiver wire pickups

1. Ted Ginn, Jr.: As with our first pick last week, Javon Walker, yesterday’s fantasy bust is today’s waiver wire value. Too many owners followed the regrettable lead of Cam Cameron and assumed that this wondrous athlete and track star would immediately succeed at the pro level. But NFL route-running has been a process for this young man to learn and Sunday’s effort shows that he is finally well on his way.

2. Shaun Hill: Few recommendations can be summed up in one phrase, but this one can: Mike Martz system QB. There aren’t many positions in San Fran that are going to be immune from shuffling under new head coach Mike Singletary, but Hill is at least worth a flier on your bench.

3. Steve Heiden: Yes, this week’s crop of recommendations includes a backup tight end, proof indeed that few players really came out of nowhere on Sunday. But for the second time in three games, Heiden replaced starter Kellen Winslow and was an integral part of an offense that can really produce at least in stretches. Look for him to play a lot the rest of the way with Winslow in two tight-end sets. He’s got soft hands and he might be playing his way up to the level of interchangeable tight ends just below the top tier.

4. Chaz Schilens: The winner of this week’s “Benjarvus Green-Ellis Who The Heck Is This Guy Award” is Chaz Schilens. His 3-for-76 performance on Sunday isn’t the element that recommends him so much as the good impression that he has left on new coach Tom Cable – and as we mentioned with Shaun Hill, coaching changes have fantasy consequences. You have to like Schilens so long as he can remain a “Cable guy.”

5. Antonio Pittman: Certainly, the Rams are going to go back to Steven Jackson when he is healthy, but Pittman looked like his collegiate self for the first time in his pro career. In a newly creative Rams offense – there’s that coaching change factor again – Pittman could do some real damage in formations that would include both he and Jackson and he’s now earned that kind of consideration.


Each February, we herald the coming of a new baseball season with our fantasy baseball guide. For the first time in 2009, it will be co-produced with our pals at Sportsology as all of our guides now are. We’ll be sure to let you know everything about FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009 as the release date approaches.

This week, we’ll preview one of the many useful features you’ll find in there. RESPECT MAH ELIGILITAH is the segment that tells you explicitly which players are eligible at what positions in games with 10-game eligibility, 15-game eligibility and 20-game eligibility. Here are some of the more interesting examples of multi-positional eligibility for next season:

10 Games

^ W. Aybar (1B/2B/3B)

^ M. Cabrera (1B/3B)

^ Inge (C/3B/OF)

^ R. Martin (C/3B)

^ V. Martinez (C/1B)

^ A. Ramirez (2B/SS/OF)

^ I. Stewart (2B/3B)

15 Games

^ W. Aybar (1B/3B)

^ Dunn (1B/OF)

^ Lo Duca (C/1B)

^ A. Ramirez (2B/SS)

20 Games

^ Atkins (1B/3B)

^ Blalock (1B/3B)

^ Cantu (1B/3B)

^ C. Davis (1B/3B)

^ DeRosa (2B/3B/OF)

^ DeWitt (2B/3B)

^ C. Duncan (1B/OF)

^ C. Guillen (1B/3B)

^ C. Jackson (1B/OF)

^ Huff (1B/3B)

^ Inge (C/3B)

^ Swisher (1B/OF)

^ Wigginton (3B/OF)

^ B. Wood (SS/3B)

^ Youkilis (1B/3B)

FDH New York Bureau Report

By Steve Cirvello

NYB's Sneaky Starts Week #9

QB - Kyle Orton (CHI vs. DET)

RB - Ernest Graham (TAM vs. KC)

WR - Ted Ginn (MIA at DEN)

TE - Donald Lee (GRB at TEN)

DEF - ATL (at Oak)

K - Kris Brown (HOU at MIN)

RED ALERT (player coming off injury who could make fantasy impact) JOSEPH ADDAI - RB: Addai is due to return for the Colts on Sunday night against New England. These teams appear to be going in opposite directions at the moment, so it is critical for Indy to get their main ground threat back in the lineup. The Colts have already lost to Tennessee, and if they fall further behind in the AFC South standings, they could have to battle New England for a playoff spot. If Addai plays, Indy will need to control the clock and get him the ball around twenty times so the Pats don't focus solely on Peyton Manning and the passing game.

LOOKEY HERE: Team with favorable fantasy schedule the next three weeks:


Week #9 - at Seattle

Week #10 - vs. NY Giants

Week #11 - at Cincinnati

The Eagles have two winnable road games sandwiched around a big divisional game against the Giants. Philly could make a major statement if they can run the table during this stretch. They'll be facing two backup QB's and leaky defenses on the road, and would like nothing more than to deal the defending champs a beating at home in front of a rowdy crowd. Perhaps they'll invite a couple of members of the Phillies to show up for that one with the World Series trophy to get some added incentive.

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

1 - If you had to chose, would you start BenJarvis Green-Ellis or Kevin Faulk as a #2 or Flex option this week?

That’s like asking if I would like death by lethal injection or firing squad! I like Mr. Funny Name over the scatback if I have to choose, inasmuch as he is a more plausible every-down back just because of their respective builds.

2 - The Bills have had the Jets' number in recent years. Would it be fair to start any and all Jets on your team and view this one as a statement game for them?

I’m not wild about RB Jones in this matchup, although I am perennially a skeptic of his, so take that for what it’s worth. I do like Favre and his WRs if they are both good to go and with the Jets’ penchant this year for playing up or down to the level of their opponents and their desperation about staying in the race for the division title, yes, it’s probably fair to regard what I think will be the success of their passing game reflecting on the outcome of the game.

3 - What is the state of the Dallas Cowboys offense this week on the road against the Giants with Romo and possibly Witten out of the lineup. Should fantasy managers just raise the white flag in this one and bench all of their wide receivers? I don’t like Witten and will be benching him in the one league where I have him (albeit, it is a non-mandatory TE league). But no, I don’t think anybody else other than QB Johnson is optional – and I even like him this week because Dallas might have to work the old chuck-and-duck to stay in the game. To me, WR Owens is firmly in the camp of “if he’s healthy, he plays no matter what” and WR Williams is at least close to that in this offense. Other fantasy services (i.e. “Mr. Roto”) will disagree with our philosophy, as they “play matchups” to an extreme that would even allow for sitting Adrian Peterson on the day he broke the single-game rushing record (and due to some fine Google-bombing, when you search under “matt berry bench peterson chargers), up pops my colleague Jason Jones’ fine critique! We always err on the side of avoiding overmanaging.


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