Saturday, January 30, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XLXVI

Welcome to our 70th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available on the front page of

In this week's edition:

^ Fantasy hockey buy low and sell high
^ Fantasy hoops buy low and sell high

Fantasy Hockey Buy Low and Sell High

^ Brad Boyes: A recent 14-game goal drought drastically suppressed the value of one of the game’s best young scorers. That’s over, not least of which due to some line shifting, and better days are ahead.
^ Nicklas Lidstrom: Great numbers for anybody else are still mediocre tallies for the greatest defenseman of our generation. As his injury-crippled team heals, so will his numbers as the skill level of his teammates increases dramatically.
^ Chris Osgood: Over the past two years, his regular season and playoff performances have diverged as greatly as anyone in the history of the game. The Wings know they will need the iceman who shockingly helped carry them last spring once they hit this year’s playoffs. Thus, his opportunities will increase down the stretch as he nears the conference quarterfinals.
^ Mike Richards: He’s getting horrible ink in Philly and his game is in the dumper. Good for you if you’re looking to acquire him, as it would probably take circumstances this dire to make him available. Swoop in, ride out the storm and then benefit when things get better, probably after the long Olympic break.
^ Bobby Ryan: The lack of a signature on a proposed contract extension has been a bit of a distraction, but he’s shown way too much talent at an early age not to have his numbers pop up soon.
^ Henrik Zetterberg: Along with Pavel Datsyuk, he will benefit enormously from getting his legions of injured teammates back and forcing defenses to play him more honestly.

^ Craig Anderson: He’s been seeing a ton of work, he just posted his fifth shutout as part of a gaudy streak and his numbers are as good as they are going to get. Take your profit now.
^ Loui Eriksson: Vast improvement can happen from one year to the next with a young player – just realize that what you’ve seen so far is about as good as it’s going to end with him at the end.
^ Jimmy Howard: See Chris Osgood – as Ozzy inevitably sees more action, Howard will have to see less.
^ Duncan Keith: He’s a leading Norris Trophy candidate and undeniably one of the reasons that Chicago has had the huge year that it has had. Just realize that he’s very unlikely to be able to continue to build on what he’s done thus far and that he is tasty trade bait.
^ Daniel and Henrik Sedin: Everyone knows how great the Sedins are – and that is not the point. But if you expect them to continue on a Crosby/Ovechkin pace on a per-game basis, you may be disappointed. You can probably really clean up for either of them.

Fantasy Hoops Buy Low and Sell High

^ LaMarcus Aldridge: Health has been an issue, but he should be OK down the stretch and he (again this year) doesn’t have to share point or rebound production with Greg Oden.
^ Devin Harris: A friend of ours in the New York media says that he has checked out mentally with the historically awful performance of the Nets. However, that is nothing that a trade won’t fix and rumors are flying. Pay close attention to them.
^ Dwight Howard: His point production is suffering due to opportunities – such as importing noted ball hog Vince Carter. The team cannot make it far in the playoffs with a marginalized franchised player – and they know it and will look to be correcting it.
^ Al Jefferson: This year has been an unexpected setback for AlJeff, but he’s getting closer to 100% on his surgically repaired knee. That’s bad news for the rest of the league.
^ Richard Jefferson: He’s sharing the ball with some other vaunted scorers in San Antone, but (temporarily) there’s one less in the mix. As Tony Parker recovers from his ankle issue, Jefferson will get the chance he needs to recover his offensive traction.
^ Kevin Martin: See Tyreke Evans – as his inevitable regression to the mean looms, Martin will get the chance to push his scoring average closer to 25.

^ Tyreke Evans: Any rookie, no matter how great, is in danger of hitting the vaunted “wall” when they push way past the number of games they’ve ever played before. Let history be your guide.
^ Allen Iverson: Philadelphia is quite frankly certifiably insane to take developmental time away from their young players in order to simply put some meat in the seats. Betting on this immense stupidity continuing throughout the course of the year is a risky proposition.
^ Brandon Jennings: See Tyreke Evans.
^ Chris Kaman: Can he sustain this level of play over a full season? He never has before.
^ Steve Nash: The point production is a tremendous surprise, but not really in line with his career trajectory or advanced mileage. Continue to bet on it at your peril.
^ Gerald Wallace: He’s always been a very good rebounder for not being a 4, but now he’s pushing into double-digits. That level is unrealistic.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XLXV

Welcome to our 69th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available on the front page of

In this week's edition:

^ 2009 fantasy football micro-level season review

2009 Fantasy Football Micro-Level Season Review

QB: As KFFL Senior Editor Cory Bonini predicted on our airwaves, Matt Schaub took a giant leap forward this year and is a legit starting fantasy QB at this point. While Ben Roethlisberger is unlikely to be benefiting statistically from such an unbalanced offense again next year, he will be likely to reside at least at the level of borderline #1 fantasy QB, as should fellow Class of ’04 member Eli Manning. If he gets the help he needs at WR, Jay Cutler could crash the ranks of the top tier, with the same variable being the case for Joe Flacco. Matt Ryan is another likely candidate to break out in what will be his third year in the league. Of the players generally considered #1 QBs this year, the only one even borderline likely to drop out might be Donovan McNabb.

RB: Chris Johnson will be considered the top overall fantasy player in many leagues next year, but the workload he toted with a scatback’s physique should make you very wary. Despite an excellent ’09, Thomas Jones is giving way rapidly to Shonn Greene in New York. You should feel free to believe in Ray Rice, already Baltimore’s top offensive weapon. Running back splits may really devalue all players involved in Dallas and Carolina. Jamaal Charles should be at least a borderline #1 RB. The big rookies of ’09, Beanie Wells and Knowshon Moreno, may approach that point as well. Jerome Harrison is a huge question mark based on Cleveland’s historic unwillingness to play him before his breakout stretch, as well as his unsettled contract situation. LeSean McCoy should be worthy of at least a #2 RB selection as the transition to the future is on full-force in Philly.

WR: Sidney Rice and Miles Austin are crashing the top-tier party, while Calvin Johnson finds himself relegated to #2 despite being one of the five most physically gifted players in the league due to his primitive offense. Greg Jennings did not perform quite to the level that some expected, but with the overall explosiveness of the Packer offense intact and Donald Driver not getting any younger, there is really no reason to worry about him. As great as he was for parts of ’09, Brandon Marshall could well break out even bigger in ’10 if he ends up in the right situation. Considering the shape of Matt Ryan’s growth curve, Roddy White may still only be scratching the surface of his capabilities in the A-T-L.

TE: The exclusivity at the top tier of this position crumbled like the Berlin Wall in ’09, with one of the most radical transformations in the history of fantasy football. The Big Four is now joined on the top tier by a great many others: Brent Celek, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen and Visanthe Shiancoe, to name a few. With others lurking in the same region of productivity (Chris Cooley, Owen Daniels, Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow II), for the first time ever there is absolutely no reason to select a TE before your starting RBs, WRs and QBs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XLXIV

Welcome to our 68th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available on the front page of

In this week's edition:

^ 2009 fantasy football macro-level season review

2009 Fantasy Football Macro-Level Season Review

As the winter rolls on, we’ll take a look back on a micro level at the 2009 season and examine developments with individual players. But this issue will deal with a broader overview at each position.

QB: In the modern age, we have rarely if ever seen the depth at passer that was apparent this past year with no less than 10 QBs totaling over 4,000 yards. And when you consider that none of them are at the point where they are ready for a dropoff next year and that only Brett Favre might not come back in 2010 (yeah, right!) and that the list does not include either ascending passers Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco or legends Kurt Warner or Donovan McNabb – well, there’s no reason to expect less overall explosiveness next year. Since the general fantasy principle of “scarcity equals value” has a decided flip side to it, then it stands to reason that the plenty reduces the value of even the top QBs to third-round at best – and even that might end up being too high in light of the need to obtain top players at RB and WR in the early part of the draft.

RB: As has been the case since the league’s trend away from the “sole back dominating the rock” began to pick up steam around 2005, the phrase “opportunity equals destiny” has been operative at this position. Backs who figured to have the lion’s share of carries for their team (i.e. Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew) did indeed thrive. But the problem with utilizing this theory in too broad of a sense going into a season is that some backs with dominant opportunities will arise from nowhere (such as former draft bust Cedric Benson), some backs in a time share will grab much more playing time (such as Chris Johnson), and some backs with an outstanding opportunity will fail to take advantage of it (such as Matt Forte). The temptation in examining the RB position in 2009 would be to conclude that there are few backs these days who are capable of being the anchor for a fantasy championship (as Johnson, Jones-Drew, Peterson and perhaps one or two other RBs were in many instances). However, no such legitimate trend is underway; for example, backs such as Jamaal Charles and Jerome Harrison only took the reigns later in the year. Another example would be backs like Frank Gore and Michael Turner who were banged-up but should be fine next year. Another example would be a situation like Miami where Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams collectively put up fine numbers in the Wildcat, but where Brown will be back in the saddle next year when he will be healthy. In short, there were no trends that really changed the picture heading into next year; there should still be about 6-8 candidates for RB1 and 6-10 for RB2.

WR: Much like the RB position, there were no real changes at this position from 2009 going into 2010. New faces came and went among the WR1 and WR2 ranks, but this position is by far the most unchanged one going into next year. At first blush, it might appear that few receivers were worthy of first-round or early second-round draft status based on 2009, but when you factor in a fluky-low 11.3 YPC for the great Larry Fitzgerald and further development from the likes of Sidney Rice and Miles Austin, the overall dynamic of the position remains constant.

TE: Along with QB, this position is radically transformed going into 2010. Over the past two years, you pretty much needed to draft one of the Big Four (Clark/Gates/Gonzalez/Witten) in order to have a chance for top production from the historically shallow position. Factor in a host of legit party-crashers from this past season (Celek/V Davis/Finley/H Miller/Olsen/Shiancoe) and others who can keep you competitive at TE (Z Miller/Winslow) and the level of differentiation from the top level is much, much smaller. It’s not accurate to say that “tight end is the new kicker,” but you should now be waiting until at least the fifth round (if not the sixth or seventh barring a panic run) to take your starting TE.

Monday, January 04, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XLXIII

Welcome to our 67th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available on the front page of

In this week's edition:

^ Fantasy Football Playoff Suggested Guidelines/Draft Board

Fantasy Football Playoff Suggested Guidelines/Draft Board

Our recommended guidelines for a fantasy football playoff league are as follows: we advise a format with 6-8 owners, drafting serpentine style for 8 rounds, selecting players at these positions: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D/ST.

Point distribution is as follows: 6 points per rushing/receiving TD, 4 points per passing TD, 1 point per every 10 yards rushing/receiving, 1 point per every 25 yards passing, 1 point per kicking PAT, 3 points per FG (with 1 additional point at 45 yards, 2 additional points at 50 yards and 3 additional points at 55 yards), 1 point per 2-point PAT by pass, 2 points per 2-point PAT by rushing or receiving, 6 points per special teams TD, 1 point per fumble recovery, 2 points per INT.

Now, keeping in mind that one must balance the number of anticipated games versus production in those games (and reminding you yet again about sound acquisition methods and value drafting), here is the draft board for the 2009-10 NFL playoffs:

1 Peterson
2 Fitzgerald
3 Wayne
4 Rivers
5 Colston
6 Gates
7 Clark
8 Addai
9 Brees
10 Manning
11 Favre
12 Austin
13 M Barber
14 Tomlinson
15 Witten
16 R Rice
17 Warner
18 Rodgers
19 Romo
20 V Jackson
21 S Rice
22 Jennings
23 T Jones
24 Grant
25 Celek

1 Rivers
2 Brees
3 Manning
4 Favre
5 Warner
6 Rodgers
7 Romo
8 McNabb
9 Brady
10 Palmer

1 Peterson
2 Addai
3 M Barber
4 Tomlinson
5 R Rice
6 T Jones
7 Grant
8 Maroney
9 Benson
10 F Jones
11 McCoy
12 M Bell
13 R Bush
14 Westbrook
15 Sproles
16 B Wells
17 P Thomas

1 Fitzgerald
2 Wayne
3 Colston
4 Austin
5 V Jackson
6 S Rice
7 Jennings
8 D Jackson
9 Mason
10 Driver
11 Moss
12 B Edwards
13 Cotchery
14 Berrian
15 Boldin
16 Harvin
17 Ochocinco

1 Gates
2 Clark
3 Witten
4 Celek
5 Shockey
6 Finley
7 Shiancoe
8 Keller
9 Heap

1 Kaeding
2 Carney
3 Crosby
4 Akers
5 Rackers
6 Longwell
7 Gostkowski
8 Graham
9 Feely

1 Minnesota
2 New Orleans
3 Dallas
4 San Diego
5 Baltimore
6 Philadelphia
7 Indianapolis
8 Arizona
9 New York Jets
10 Green Bay
11 Cincinnati

UPDATE FROM FDH MANAGING PARTNER RICK MORRIS: Below you may find the lineups from our mock draft this past Wednesday. Note that during the live broadcast I selected the New Orleans D/ST even though they were already off the board. In a certain sense, that makes me "that guy;" however, in my defense I was also MC'ing the draft on live Internet television as I was selecting. Here are the picks, round by round:

1 FDH Lounge Dignitary Mike LaGuardia: Adrian Peterson
2 FDH Lounge Dignitary Paul Teeple: Larry Fitzgerald
3 FDH Lounge Dignitary Nate Noy: Peyton Manning
4 FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris: Reggie Wayne
5 FDH Lounge Dignitary Ryan Isley: Brett Favre
6 FDH New York Bureau Steve Cirvello: Drew Brees

1 Steve: Marques Colston
2 Ryan: Vincent Jackson
3 Rick: Antonio Gates
4 Nate: Randy Moss
5 Paul: Philip Rivers
6 Mike: Joseph Addai

1 Mike: Donovan McNabb
2 Paul: Ray Rice
3 Nate: LaDainian Tomlinson
4 Rick: Kurt Warner
5 Ryan: Ryan Grant
6 Steve: Marion Barber

1 Steve: Thomas Jones
2 Ryan: Sidney Rice
3 Rick: Laurence Maroney
4 Nate: Cedric Benson
5 Paul: Brian Westbrook
6 Mike: Dallas Clark

1 Mike: Miles Austin
2 Paul: Brent Celek
3 Nate: Jeremy Shockey
4 Rick: Greg Jennings
5 Ryan: LeSean McCoy
6 Steve: Jason Witten

1 Steve: Braylon Edwards
2 Ryan: Minnesota D/ST
3 Rick: Felix Jones
4 Nate: Indianapolis D/ST
5 Paul: Derrick Mason
6 Mike: New Orleans D/ST

1 Mike: John Carney
2 Paul: San Diego D/ST
3 Nate: Ryan Longwell
4 Rick: Nate Kaeding
5 Ryan: Todd Heap
6 Steve: NYJ D/ST

1 Steve: Neil Rackers
2 Ryan: Matt Stover
3 Rick: Dallas D/ST
4 Nate: Chad Ochocinco
5 Paul: David Akers
6 Mike: Anquan Boldin

Sunday, January 03, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XLXII

Welcome to our 66th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available on the front page of

In this week's edition:

^ NFL Week 17 Preview

NFL Week 17 Preview

Here’s a few standard preface notes:

^ Notwithstanding the claims of any website to be your “home for Sunday morning injury report news,” nothing beats Google News – nothing. Entering a player name into this search engine trumps any other means of gathering information because it culls the data from an unbelievably wide variety of sources.

^ Especially earlier in the season, it’s always good to refer to a strong baseline of where players should have been drafted – and nothing beats FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009.

^ Unless there are any injury questions, we never discuss “gimme” players. Such core players should be started week in and week out unless there is any question surrounding their playing status. Winning teams only need to worry about “playing the matchups” with one, two or (at the most, during bye weeks) three spots in the lineup. Some websites promise you a crystal ball for how to manage high-risk, high-reward juggling during the season. We don’t. We play the percentages. That approach may be boring, but it’s highly effective and much more intellectually honest in what we promise you.

^ By the way, here are your core players who should not be benched if healthy
QB: Brady, Brees, P Manning, McNabb, Rivers, Rodgers, Romo, Warner
RB: M Barber, R Brown, Forte, Gore, Grant, S Jackson, Jacobs, C Johnson, Jones-Drew, Peterson, Portis, Slaton, Tomlinson, Turner, Westbrook, D Williams
WR: Boldin, Bowe, Colston, Fitzgerald, Jennings, A Johnson, C Johnson, Houshmandzadeh, V Jackson, Marshall, Moss, Ochocinco, S Smith (Carolina), Wayne, R White
TE: Clark, Gates, Gonzalez, Witten

^ Here are the players added to that list since the start of the year:
RB: Benson
WR: Burleson, Driver, S Smith (NY Giants)
TE: H Miller, V Davis

^ And here are the players who were on our list, but have been removed from it:
RB: Lynch
WR: Owens, R Williams

^ Links for each game take you to the CBS Sports home page for each game, with stats, analysis and even video previews.

^ All times listed are EDT.

^ Of the non-gimme players we like this week, the stronger plays are the ones in all caps.

With so many games tainted by the usual “Week 17” issues this year, we sincerely hope that your championship was already secured last week and that your chances are not held hostage to so many events out of the control of any fantasy football owner.

Week 17
Sunday, Jan. 3
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1 p.m. All-out on marginal starters on both teams
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. WR Meachem, all-out on marginal Panther starters
Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m. QB Garrard, WR Sims-Walker, RB Harrison
Chicago at Detroit, 1 p.m. QB Cutler, TE OLSEN, all-out on marginal Lion starters
New England at Houston, 1 p.m. All-out on marginal Patriot starters, QB SCHAUB
Pittsburgh at Miami, 1 p.m. QB Roethlisberger, WR Holmes, WR Ward, QB Henne
N.Y. Giants at Minnesota, 1 p.m. QB Manning, QB FAVRE
San Francisco at St. Louis, 1 p.m. WR CRABTREE, WR Morgan, all-out on marginal Rams
Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. All-out on marginal Falcons, TE Winslow
Philadelphia at Dallas, 4:15 p.m. WR Jackson, RB Jones, WR Austin
Green Bay at Arizona, 4:15 p.m. TE Lee, WR Breaston
Kansas City at Denver, 4:15 p.m. RB Charles, RB MORENO
Baltimore at Oakland, 4:15 p.m. QB Flacco, RB RICE, all-out on marginal Raiders
Washington at San Diego, 4:15 p.m. WR MOSS, all-out on margial Chargers
Tennessee at Seattle, 4:15 p.m. All-out on marginal Titans, QB Hasselbeck, TE Carlson
Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets, 8:15 p.m. All-out on marginal Bengals, QB Jones, WR Edwards, TE Keller