Saturday, April 11, 2009

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XV

Welcome to our 31st 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), Volume I, Issue XVI (December 20, 2008), Volume I, Issue XVII (December 28, 2008), Volume II, Issue I (January 3, 2009), Volume II, Issue II (January 11, 2009), Volume II, Issue III (January 20, 2009), Volume II, Issue IV (January 24, 2009), Volume II, Issue V (January 29, 2009), Volume II, Issue VI (February 8, 2009), Volume II, Issue VII (February 17, 2009), Volume II, Issue VIII (February 23, 2009), Volume II, Issue IX (February 28, 2009), Volume II, Issue X (March 8, 2009), Volume II, Issue XI (March 15, 2009), Volume II, Issue XII (March 21, 2009), Volume II, Issue XIII (March 31, 2009), Volume II, Issue XIV (April 4, 2009)

In this week's issue, we bring you:

^ Baseball players whose surroundings could increase their value in '09
^ 2009 FDH fantasy football rookie report
^ 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs draft board

Baseball Players Whose Surroundings Could Increase Their Value in '09

^ Florida starting pitchers. The Marlins possess what might well be the best rotation in the division, with excellent young starters rounding into form and in some cases all the way back from injury setbacks. Because ownership has assembled this team on the cheap, they are decidedly young all the way around and they aren't being picked by many to get past the Phillies and Mets because of the fact that it would be a long shot for the team to completely mature in one year. But they do have the firepower to at least hang in all year long if everything goes well and a Marlin team at or above .500 for most of the way would mean that these youngsters would have surpassed the value you likely paid for them.

^ San Francisco starting pitchers (sans Tim Lincecum). It's unlikely that the Giant ace and defending National League Cy Young Award winner is going to be able to surpass by much if at all the high price he commanded everywhere this year. But his counterparts in the rotation are another story. Even in the weakest division in baseball, it's unlikely that a team as offensively deficient as San Fran can win it. But, like the Marlins, they might be able to at least hang on the periphery of the playoff race for a good chunk of the season. And that's all it would take for these arms already working out of one of the best pitchers' parks in the game to increase their value dramatically.

^ Arizona hitters. Sure, the killjoys will tell you that the chemistry here is all bad, what with so many young clubbers who are showing signs of being strikeout machines (when exactly is "Mark Reynolds Oscillating Fan Night" at the ballpark?) -- so this recommendation carries with it both decent risk and reward. But think of the upside if these guys figure it out collectively! With better plate discipline up and down the line, this lineup immediately becomes one of the best in the National League if not all of baseball. To be sure, this is not a small "what-if" when examining this lineup because thousands of hitters in the history of Major League Baseball have been unable to develop better patience at the plate. But if this team can collectively get their act together, few will be able to stop them.

^ Jermaine Dye. Year in and year out, fantasy owners always sleep on this guy and this year was no different. And surely every year that goes by brings the beer-league softball lineup known as the White Sox that much closer to the precipice erected by Father Time. But, if that lineup, which already benefits from playing in a pathetic division, can stay at a high level in '09, the man who could well be their most dangerous hitter will certainly benefit -- again. Not that anyone will remember it next spring!

2009 FDH Fantasy Football Rookie Report

NOTE: This feature is reproduced from PRO FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009, a joint presentation of The FDH Lounge,, and Sportsology that is being released this week.

The lackluster nature of the 2009 NFL Draft class will certainly trickle down to the rookie fantasy class. Even if this were not the case, it would still be unlikely to have a great number of breakthrough stars right off the bat because of a trend we have been noting since 2005: the fact that teams are moving away from having a singular franchise back and towards a combo model. We at FDH have referred to it in some ways as a “2/3, 1/3” model, as lead backs for teams are for the most part rarely toting the rock on an absolute full-time basis.

Since even Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco — wildly successful rookie QBs by anybody’s standards — still didn’t move past fantasy backup status last year, it proved yet again that players at that position never make an impact in their first year. So don’t be sucked in by Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez under any circumstances.

Additionally, rookie tight ends rarely matter in fantasy football and this year will be no different as Brandon Pettigrew should not be counted on to start for your team this year. So ultimately, running back and wide receiver are the only positions left to discuss.

All of the RBs with any fantasy value whatsoever fit the aforementioned picture. Chris “Beanie” Wells doesn’t project as an absolute full-time back, but he’ll rack up enough “power back” carries to merit #2 fantasy RB status. Knowshon Moreno is the smaller-back equivalent of Wells in that regard. Donald Brown and LeSean McCoy are smaller backs who probably profile as #3 fantasy backs in the NFL next year.

There are a couple of decent options at fantasy wideout, although the caveat about how no rook should rate higher than an #2 option still applies. Michael Crabtree would probably be slotted at that ceiling, however. From there, Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Kenny Britt are likely to contribute as #3 or #4 wideouts, in that order. Beware of Percy Harvin, yet another gadget player coming into the league without a fully defined offensive position. Let somebody else pay for his elusiveness in the open field while you scoop up somebody who can contribute in varied ways.

2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Draft Board

1 Alexander Ovechkin
2 Martin Brodeur
3 Zach Parise
4 Mike Green
5 Alexander Semin
6 Jeff Carter
7 Henrik Zetterberg
8 Joe Thornton
9 Nicklas Lidstrom
10 Marc Savard
11 Patrik Elias
12 Pavel Datsyuk
13 Evgeni Malkin
14 Sidney Crosby
15 Daniel Sedin
16 Nicklas Backstrom
17 Jarome Iginla
18 Henrik Sedin
19 Brian Rafalski
20 Phil Kessel
21 Mike Richards
22 Tim Thomas
23 Miikka Kiprusoff
24 Jamie Langenbrunner
25 Simon Gagne
26 Michael Cammaleri
27 Marian Hossa
28 Johan Franzen
29 Martin Havlat
30 Roberto Luongo
31 Dion Phaneuf
32 Cam Ward
33 Patrick Marleau
34 Dan Boyle
35 David Krejci
36 Andrei Markov
37 Evgeni Nabokov
38 Jonathan Toews
39 Ryan Getzlaf
40 Travis Zajac
41 Eric Staal
42 Patrick Kane
43 Rick Nash
44 Zdeno Chara
45 Jose Theodore
46 Corey Perry
47 Henrik Lundqvist
48 Steve Mason
49 Brian Campbell
50 Martin Biron

Honorable Mention
Scott Niedermayer
Chris Pronger
Chris Osgood
Nikolai Khabibulin
Nicklas Kronwall
Cristobal Huet
Chris Mason
Jonas Hiller
Marc-Andre Fleury
Carey Price
Ty Conklin
Ray Whitney
Brad Boyes


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