Saturday, December 20, 2008

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume I, Issue XVI

Welcome to our 16th 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), Volume I, Issue XI (November 15, 2008), Volume I, Issue XII (November 21, 2008), Volume 1, Issue XIII (November 30, 2008), Volume 1, Issue XIV (December 7, 2008), Volume I, Issue XV (December 14, 2008)

In this week's edition:

^ NFL Week 16 game-by-game fantasy preview

^ College football bowl pool guide

^ FDH New York Bureau Report

NFL Week 16

NOTE: Our advice, as it does on our FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER weekly program (Wednesdays, 9:00-9:30 PM EST as part of THE FDH LOUNGE on, is based on avoiding the obvious and trying to be of actual help to you.

As always, your best Sunday morning option for last-minute injury news: 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. Additionally, here is the CBS Sports NFL Injury page and the CBS Sports NFL Scoreboard page, with all of the individual game rundowns there.

For your Fantasy Championship Weekend, we bring you our list of our top marginal plays by position. If you don’t have “gimmes” at each spot in your lineup, and few are so lucky in reality, then you may require the services of a few of these players:


1. Jay Cutler

2. Shaun Hill

3. Matt Schaub

4. Chad Pennington

5. Marc Bulger


1. Pierre Thomas

2. Sammy Morris

3. Carnell Williams

4. Ricky Williams

5. Jamal Lewis


1. Calvin Johnson

2. Lance Moore

3. Kevin Walter

4. Amani Toomer

5. DeSean Jackson


1. Tony Scheffler

2. Kevin Boss

3. Greg Olsen

4. Dustin Keller

5. Vernon Davis

College football bowl pool guide

It’s bowl season once again! Now, we always urge you to join fantasy-oriented games – in this instance, drafting teams to be part of your “stable” as you tally points through the bowl games – but regardless of the format of your bowl pool, here’s our guide as to how we’d slot the teams in each game. These games are all rated “against the number.”

Wake Forest -3 over Navy

Fresno State -3 over Colorado State

Memphis +11 ½ over South Florida

BYU +3 ½ over Arizona

Troy -4 ½ over Southern Mississippi

Boise State +2 ½ over TCU

Hawaii +1 ½ over Notre Dame

Central Michigan -6 over Florida Atlantic

North Carolina +1 ½ over West Virginia

Wisconsin +5 ½ over Florida State

Miami +8 over California

Northern Illinois -1 over Louisiana Tech

Rutgers -7 over North Carolina State

Missouri -12 ½ over Northwestern

Nevada -2 over Maryland

Western Michigan +2 ½ over Rice

Oklahoma State -3 over Oregon

Houston -3 ½ over Air Force

Oregon State -2 ½ over Pittsburgh

Vanderbilt +3 ½ over Boston College

Minnesota +9 ½ over Kansas

Georgia Tech -4 over LSU

Iowa -3 ½ over South Carolina

Nebraska +2 ½ over Clemson

Georgia -7 ½ over Michigan State

USC -9 over Penn State

Cincinnati -2 ½ over Virginia Tech

Texas Tech -4 ½ over Mississippi State

East Carolina -3 over Kentucky

Utah +10 over Alabama

Buffalo +4 ½ over UConn

Texas -8 ½ over Ohio State

Tulsa +2 ½ over Ball State

Florida -3 over Oklahoma

FDH New York Bureau Report

By Steve Cirvello

NYB's Sneaky Starts Week #16

QB: Tyler Thigpen (KC vs. MIA)

RB: Maurice Morris (SEA vs. NYJ)

WR: Nate Washington (PIT at TEN)

TE: LJ Smith (PHI at WSH)

K: Kris Brown (HOU at OAK)


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

BRANDON JACOBS - RB: The 'Earth' of the famed Earth, Wind and Fire triad of the Giants' backfield is currently listed as questionable, but just as Marion Barber last week, with everything riding on this game in their own building, I can't imagine Jacobs not seeing some significant action. There is a possibility the G-Men may use Derrick Ward aka 'Wind' between the 20's and use Jacobs to pound it down Carolina's throats inside the red zone if they feel he's only good for 10-15 touches in the game.

LOOKEY HERE (teams with favorable fantasy schedule the last two weeks): Of the possible playoff-bound teams, the New England Patriots clearly have the best chance to run the table with games at home against a Cardinals team that has nothing really to play for, and a Bills team that simply cannot compete with the Pats, and may just dog it for their final two games after the horrendous loss to the Jets last week.

THE RICKY-O TRIO (Three questions for FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris):

1 - The Eagles need to run the table to even have a chance to make the playoffs. Do any of their wideouts have a 100-yd game in them these last two weeks?

I’m very cautious given their tendency to spread the ball around and the fact that many other teams have more reliable options. DeSean Jackson has 25 more receptions than the next WR on the team and he has the explosiveness to merit consideration, but don’t go any further down the food chain.

2 - The still-winless Lions host the Saints this week, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Which team do you think comes into this game with the bigger chip on their shoulder? Is this an "all-in" type fantasy matchup?

Nah, nothing with the Lions can be all-in as they’re presently constituted. The mere fact that I recommend Calvin Johnson shows you my insane level of appreciation for this ability to rise above the guano around him, because there is no delivery system for him at all right now. Kevin Smith is a decent bet at RB given that the Saints didn’t make the defensive progression I thought they would this year with Vilma & Ellis (I picked them to win the NFC!). The Saints have to be all-in yet again, with both RB options a strong possibility although Thomas is a far stronger play than Bush.

3 - If you had to predict Larry Johnson's stat line for this week's game against Miami, what would it be?

Probably something good, but not great. Let’s say 18 carries, 81 yards, one touchdown, and two receptions for 13 yards. Realistically, there’s nothing less scientific than forecasting specific stat lines regardless of what some “fortune tellers” in this industry will tell you, but it can be fun. Let’s see how close this comes.


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