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.


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