Saturday, November 15, 2008

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue XI

Welcome to our eleventh 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)

^ Volume I, Issue IX (November 1, 2008)

^ Volume I, Issue X (November 8, 2008)

In this week's edition:

^ NFL Week 11 game-by-game fantasy preview
^ NFL Week 11 top 5 waiver wire pickups

^ Recap of our college hoops team draft

^ The FDH New York Bureau Report

NFL Week 11

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.


Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 p.m. Don’t play around with the RB situation in Denver, in terms of Hillis, Bell or whoever at this point. TE Scheffler is working his way back towards every-week status at a lean position. Borderline plays QB Ryan and WR Jenkins have excellent matchups this week for the Falcons.

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers 1:00 p.m. This game looks the same at first glance as it does with 60 minutes of studying the particulars: all-in for Carolina, all-out for Detroit.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. This is the “usual suspects” game: only WR Jackson looking consistent enough to join the gimmes at QB and RB and only the WR combo in the ‘Nati posing a realistic chance of putting up numbers here. D coordinator Jim Johnson will put QB Fitzpatrick through some medieval torture.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers 1:00 p.m. QB Orton looks good to go, play him if it turns out that he is on Sunday morning. Do not, however, go to Grossman if he is not. This should be a rare week off for Green Bay RB Grant, while WR Driver, who is probably still a borderline starter, should be in your lineup along with QB Rogers and the gimme in WR Jennings.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 p.m. No to QB Rosenfels, who is owned by the Colts; yes to WR Walter for at least the chance of a TD and yes (reluctantly) to RB Slaton, who will have to run against S Sanders this time. Indy’s all-in, with Gonzalez now firmly entrenched in the fantasy WR2 slot.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars 4:15 p.m. Don’t be fooled by QB Collins’ performance last week against nine-in-the-box; it’s still just the usuals who are worth anything for the Titans (RB/RB/TE). For the Jags, we like WR Porter with a banged-up Jones, Jones-Drew as the only RB and QB Garrard nailed to your bench.

New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 p.m. The Saints are all-in except for their inconsistent WR2 spot (although Moore is making a nice bid for that fantasy slot recently). For the Saints, a returning RB Johnson and streaking WR Bradley are nice relatively under-the radar picks.

Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins 1:00 p.m. In a game with few fantasy implications, RB Fargas (in place of the rook with turf toe), RB Williams (Wildcat power!) and QB Pennington (almost 2/3 of passes complete this year) are the only picks to join gimme RB Brown in your lineups.

Baltimore Ravens at N.Y. Giants 1:00 p.m. Counterintuitive though it may seem with Baltimore’s recent progress (against a very, very soft schedule), they are all-out in this game with the Giants remaining all-in (with WR Smith in the WR2 fantasy slot as per usual).

Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 p.m. Once again, WR Berrian is the only marginal player worth a look for the Vikes, while WR Galloway should be back in your lineups for Tampa along with batterymate Garcia. RB Graham gets a rare “bench” recommendation against a ferocious run D.

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 p.m. QB Hill/WR Hill are nice “deep sleepers” for the Niners this week, with QB Bulger and WR Avery once again joining gimmes RB Jackson and WR Holt as good plays.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 p.m. This is another “usual suspects” game: just RB Jones for Seattle and all-in for Arizona with the exception of TE – except for the fact that WR3 Breaston looks good as well.

San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:15 p.m. A San Diego team that is reaching full potential offensively has to be all-in here, with Pittsburgh matching that recommendation with the exception of hurt TE Miller.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins 8:15 p.m. With a returning QB Romo and a healing TE Witten, the Cowboys are all-in. Beware the ‘Skins RB situation with the injuries, but they are all-in except for that; yes, that includes WR2 Randle El, who has often been the exception to our all-in recommendations for Washington this year. His contributions will be more necessary in the short passing game with a questionable rushing situation.


Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills 8:30 p.m. QB Edwards should join his fellow “Triplets” in your fantasy lineups this week, while QB Quinn, RB Lewis and now non-gimme WR Edwards look to try to match their counterparts. TE Winslow should still not be considered a marginal starter, but rather still an every-week player at that position.

NFL Week 11 top 5 waiver wire pickups

1. Dustin Keller: He finally made the impact people have been expecting in a big way on Sunday and there should be more of that to come. Brett Favre likes to get his tight ends involved in the offense – just ask Bubba Franks – so this rookie could make a name for himself at a very thin position down the stretch.

2. Todd Heap: As we’ve said before, yesterday’s fantasy bust can become today’s value. This tight end with the soft hands has been routinely overrated by fantasy owners for the past few years, but with rookie Joe Flacco at the helm, he’s providing a nice security blanket in terms of checkdowns and his production is starting to approximate what it used to be.

3. Jason Hill: The Hill-to-Hill combo shows how quickly things can change in this league. Both the QB and the receiver were buried on the bench during the Mike Nolan regime, but they’re getting opportunities under new boss Mike Singletary. Jason Hill has nobody holding him back at this position and he’s starting to assert himself as the lead receiver.

4. Mark Bradley: Speaking of yesterday’s busts becoming today’s producers, Bradley is belatedly becoming a decent fantasy option and a major reason Kansas City’s offense has moved from putrid to borderline acceptable at times.

5. Peyton Hillis: As the last man standing in the MASH unit that is the Broncos running back depth chart, Hillis will receive opportunities as long as he is healthy. If you doubt what somebody converting from fullback can do behind the offensive line with this system, here are four words for you: Mike Anderson, Reuben Droughns.

College hoops team draft recap

On THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER this past week (Wednesdays, 7-9 PM EST on, we held our annual college hoops team draft. Essentially, it consists of drafting NCAA basketball teams and accruing points based on how they fare in the regular season polls, the chase for conference regular-season and tournament titles and in the NCAA tournament. Our suggested league guidelines and draft board can be found here.

We drafted in the following order:

1. STN host Ben Chew

2. FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones

3. FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris

4. STN host Don Peterson

5. STN host/producer Ryan Scott

Here were the round-by-round results:

First Round

1. Ben: North Carolina

2. Jason: UCLA

3. Rick: UConn

4. Don: Duke

5. Ryan: Louisville

Second Round

1. Ryan: Pittsburgh

2. Don: Michigan State

3. Rick: Texas

4. Jason: Memphis

5. Ben: Gonzaga

Third Round

1. Ben: Arizona State

2. Jason: Tennessee

3. Rick: Notre Dame

4. Don: Georgetown

5. Ryan: USC

Fourth Round

1. Ryan: Oklahoma

2. Don: Xavier

3. Rick: Purdue

4. Jason: Marquette

5. Ben: Siena

Fifth Round

1. Ben: St. Mary’s

2. Jason: Wake Forest

3. Rick: Miami

4. Don: Kansas

5. Ryan: Davidson

Sixth Round

1. Ryan: Ohio State

2. Don: Wisconsin

3. Rick: Florida

4. Jason: Villanova

5. Ben: Washington

Seventh Round

1. Ben: UNLV

2. Jason: Stanford

3. Rick: Drake

4. Don: Cleveland State

5. Ryan: Baylor

Eighth Round

1. Ryan: Creighton

2. Don: Kent State

3. Rick: Butler

4. Jason: Vanderbilt

5. Ben: Clemson

NOTES: Don ended up pretty heavy on “legacy teams,” especially early! Ben chased a lot of mid-majors, trying to earn a lot of bonus points for conference championships (both regular season and tournament titles are worth 90 points). Whether by intentional strategy or happenstance, Ryan ended up with teams who have the players who may well go 1-2 in next year’s NBA Draft (Blake Griffin of Oklahoma and BJ Mullens of Ohio State).

FDH New York Bureau Report

By Steve Cirvello

NYB Sneaky Starts Week #11

QB: Matt Hasselbeck (SEA vs ARZ)

RB: Mewelde Moore (PIT vs SD)

WR: Devery Henderson (NWO vs KC)

TE: Anthony Fasano (MIA vs OAK)

K: Matt Stover (BAL vs. NYG)


RED ALERT (player coming of injury who could have fantasy impact):

DARREN MCFADDEN - RB: We all know the Raiders offense has been awful this season, what else is new, so getting a player of McFadden's caliber back in the lineup (he hasn't played since Oakland's upset win over the Jets in Week 7, could give them a boost. Miami has been playing over their head somewhat this year, and this could be a letdown game for them. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Is McFadden all the way back? We shall see.]

LOOKEY HERE: (team with favorable fantasy schedule the next three weeks):


Week #11: vs. HOU

Week #12: at SD

Week #13: at CLE

With the AFC South Division title almost out of reach, the time is now for Peyton Manning and the Colts to string together a nice winning streak, and that means points galore. They have virtually owned the Texans over the years, and they will face two teams on the road that give up more points than everyone thought they would this season. The pressure is on and Indy has the offensive weapons to meet the challenge.

The Ricky-O Trio (questions for FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris):

1 - Are either of the key offensive players that are scheduled to return for the Seahawks (Hasselbeck, Branch) worth a start at home against an Arizona team that is in first place but has been historically bad on the road in Seattle?

Nope. The Tampa Bay Rays historically were bad, but that stopped being relevant this season. Past history is only worth so much and with Ken Whisenhunt building a winner in Arizona, he’s got them focused on the next step up the ladder, which is proving themselves on the road – and what better place to do it than at Seattle, where they have struggled as you noted? I don’t see this game as different than any for either of these teams recently, which means start your Cards and sit most of your Hawks.

2 - Who would get the nod this week between Trent Edwards, Aaron Rodgers and Jason Campbell?

Tough call, I like them all to varying degrees. Rodgers goes against the toughest D, so we’ll eliminate him based on the matchup. In the other two prime time games, Campbell and the banged-up RB situation he’ll have to deal with will be going up against the desperation of the Cowboys, while Edwards’ Bills themselves will be desperate against a banged-up Browns team. The Bills will be playing for revenge also, as last year’s blizzard game snuffed out the same faint playoff hopes they are trying to keep alive right now. In the end, I’ll take Edwards and an offense at full strength except for the (no great) loss of Josh Reed.

3 - The defensive battle of the day should be Ravens vs Giants, so are any of the running backs on these teams worth starting?

Brandon Jacobs is at the point now where you pretty much have to play him every week, if only for the goal line chances – but he’s been more than a TD back this year. For the Ravens, the committee situation rules out any of the specific backs until any of them steps up a bit more, or gets the opportunity to do so.


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