Sunday, June 14, 2009

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XXIV

Welcome to our 40th 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), Volume II, Issue XV (April 11, 2009), Volume II, Issue XVI (April 18, 2009), Volume II, Issue XVII (April 26, 2009), Volume II, Issue XVIII (May 2, 2009), Volume II, Issue XIX (May 10, 2009), Volume II, Issue XX (May 16, 2009), Volume II, Issue XXI (May 25, 2009), Volume II, Issue XXII (May 31, 2009), Volume II, Issue XXIII (June 7, 2009).

In this week's issue:

^ FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones breaks down RBs this year's football season
^ Top 10 recent baseball prospect call-ups

FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones breaks down top RBs for this year's football season

[Courtesy of his new sports blog Laundry on the Field, our Senior Editor Jason Jones evaluates this year's crop of top running backs in fantasy football.]

For the longest time I have asserted that LaDanainian Tomlinson is the unquestioned #1 pick until further notice...This is further notice. I don't even think that I in good conscious can even put him in the top five among RBs. Without a shadow of a doubt, it should be obvious that Adrian Peterson is 1 and Michael Turner is 2. After that begins the conjecture.

If you subscribe to the school of thought that dictates you base the bulk of your decision on previous season's production, you might just go chalk. Names like Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, Clinton Portis, and Marion Barber may come to mind. The other premier concept is to take a rough estimate on a players 2-3 year clip of production. These players would include, Willie Parker, Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, Larry Johnson, etc. I would like to include the "upside" aspect to the argument. This would include players who had good rookie or second year campaigns or rookies that have yet to play that could have significant seasons.

I supply this idea due to the fact that my first fantasy football championship had a couple of Vikings that no one gave much credit to at the time, but who's draft value was undeniable. The 2000 Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss. Both of which were taken at great value rounds and proved to be a major contributor to that run. A more recent example is Adrian Peterson's rookie season. He was my 3rd RB taken in the sixth round. Don't let Matthew Berry tell that it is never a smart idea to draft rookies or for upside.

Running backs at the top of the draft is just not going to be as sure a thing as in the past. It will take a greater deal of research and the crunching of numbers to hit RB just right this season. Understand that the following 15 RBs list takes into consideration all of the previously stated criteria as well as details like, new coaching staff/philosophy, additional offensive players (LT,WR, TE) that may effect how a RB performs, stylistic strengths and weaknesses, and other factors.

Adrian Peterson
Michael Turner
Brian Westbrook
LaDainain Tomlinson
Steven Jackson
Willie Parker
Marion Barber
Knowshon Moreno (R)
Matt Forte
DeAngelo Williams
Clinton Portis
Chris Johnson
Marshawn Lynch
Maurice Jones-Drew
Jamal Lewis

Please understand that it is early JUNE. This list will be picked over and re-evaluated at least 20 more times before the start of the regular season. Just my initial observations.

Top 10 recent baseball prospect call-ups

From Evan Longoria to Ryan Braun, some of the greatest rookie call-ups in recent years have started the season in the minor leagues. With ballclubs looking to cut down on players' service time and keep their initial rights for as long as possible, fantasy owners have had to adjust to discerning the value of potential impact rookies as spring turns to summer.

This year's crop is one of the greatest in recent memory. As such, we have ranked them for you in terms of non-keeper impact. Here are the top 10 recent call-ups of 2009.

1 Matt Wieters (C, Baltimore): How's this for pressure? The kid's already got his own website with his version of "Chuck Norris facts!" Over the long haul, he projects to an even better version of Brian McCann (one of our favorites, year-in and year-out), or perhaps even Gary Carter or, dare we say, Johnny Bench! For this year, figure in poor-man's-McCann production, which still puts him very high on the list of desirable catchers.

2 Tommy Hanson (RHP, Atlanta): He projects as a prototype #1 arm and he has a chance to have a great first trip around the league this summer. Averaging out to a #2 or #3 in the short term is great value for the price he is likely to command in your league.

3 David Price (LHP, Tampa Bay): And so it begins in earnest. He's back up, likely for good, and like Hanson he will have many nights when he shows great flashes of his potential.

4 Carlos Gonzalez (OF, Colorado): The key prospect in the Matt Holliday deal, this five-tool prospect will demonstrate that last year's rough initial outing is not indicative of his long-term future. Before long, with apologies to Tulow, he will be known as THE player that the Rockies are rebuilding around.

5 Andrew McCutchen (OF, Pittsburgh): Speaking of five tools ... well, he's still growing into the power, but that will surely come in time. For now, his lethal speed is his greatest weapon.

6 David Huff (LHP, Cleveland): This southpaw, who flashed pinpoint control in the minor leagues, will get many opportunities this summer because of the simply miserable state of Cleveland pitching. Unless he is judged to be seriously regressing, he'll keep getting opportunities.

7 Gordon Beckham (SS, Chicago White Sox): Like many of the players on this list, he has amazing long-term upside. For the short term, think slightly better-than-average power and contact at a traditionally weak position.

8 Reid Brignac (SS, Tampa Bay): For a high-profile prospect, his arrival was quieter than most of these other players. The Rays have other options at the position and may not have him on a long leash, so think Beckham with more risk.

9 Sean West (LHP, Florida): He's pitched very well on average for the Marlins, but he'll be hard-pressed to keep a spot once the rotation is back at full strength. He could very well force their hand, but that's a lot for a fantasy owner to count on in terms of measuring the risk.

10 Ross Detwiler (LHP, Washington): Like Huff, the horrific nature of his team's pitching staff is his greatest strength in terms of the length of the leash furnished to him.


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