Sunday, March 21, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XI

Welcome to our 76th 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, we bring you Draft Day/Auction Day Back to Basics.

Draft Day/Auction Day Back to Basics

First and foremost, we now have online the most useful guide you could possibly want, FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2010. Here is the Table of Contents:

Page 1: Draft Philosophy Overview, Top 72 Overall
Page 2: Starting Pitcher Rankings, Draft Board Decoder, Lessons of “The Stat”
Page 3: Starting Pitcher Rankings Cont’, 2010 Don’t Be That Guy
Page 4: Starting Pitcher Rankings Cont’, Relief Pitcher Rankings, 2010 Sleepers
Page 5: Catcher Rankings, 2010 Overvalued, 2010 Undervalued, Offseason Movement Winners and Losers
Page 6: First Base Rankings, Injury Risk Management
Page 7: Second Base Rankings, Designated Hitter Rankings, 2010 Position Battle Overview
Page 8: Shortstop Rankings, 2009 Prospect Rankings, Long-Term Keeper League Prospect Rankings
Page 9: 2010 AL & NL Scarcity, 2010 Players With a Wide Range of Opinion
Page 10: Respect Mah Eligibilitah!
Page 11: Third Base Rankings, Suggested League Guidelines
Pages 12-13: Outfield Rankings
Pages 14-17: 2010 Mock Draft and Analysis
Page 18: Dollar Bin Players
Pages 19-20: Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium Memories, Hall of Famer Andre Dawson
Pages 21-22: 2010 Topps Cards Review
Page 23: FDH Standings/Awards Predictions for 2010 MLB, FDH Minor League System Rankings
Page 24: 2010 Fantasy Overview, 2009 Legitimate Breakthroughs/Reclamation Cases

The following pieces of advice distill the high-level information that we have been preaching this winter and spring down to a few more basic notes to remember:

^ The note from Page 24 about speed being very much overvalued this year cannot be repeated nearly often enough. In 2006, we predicted that the baby steps that MLB was taking to removing steroid and HGH use from the game would result in a change in the way we viewed the relationship between home runs and stolen bases. Ever since the “steroid era” really took flight in the late ‘90s, it had been an article of faith that stolen bases were infinitely more valuable than home runs. However, over the past four seasons, our prediction has come to pass without much acknowledgement from the fantasy industry that this has been the case. The ratio of home runs to stolen bases has gone from approximately 2 to 1 to approximately 1.6 to 1. Think long and hard about that before you drink the Kool-Aid on slappys such as Jacoby Ellsbury (5th on the industry consensus draft board among outfielders in our draft guide), Ichiro (tied for 8th on the consensus draft board in the outfield) or Michael Bourn (tied for 34th on the consensus draft board in the outfield).

^ Power is especially the true differentiator at catcher and the middle infield. Joe Mauer never even came close to living up to his perennially exalted draft status until last season when he had his amazing power spike. As such, beware of players such as Erick Aybar who have demonstrated the ability to make contact but little else.

^ Another prediction that we made that has come true over the past four years regards the removal of amphetamines from the game. “Greenies” were a staple of the sport for decades and we indicated that because players could no longer use this tool to combat the “dog days of summer,” that they would find themselves struggling even more to catch up to the high heat of power pitchers. Indeed, the number of strikeouts per game has skyrocketed to well over 13 per game and hurlers who make hitters miss have never been worth more. With this in mind, pitchers such as Jair Jurjjens must be regarded in a manner more wary than their ERA and WHIP might otherwise indicate.

^ We have one player tagged with a first-round value on our board who might raise a few eyebrows with that designation: Troy Tulowitzki. He is more apt to be classified as a second or perhaps even third-round value elsewhere in the industry. It is true that he followed up his superlative 2007 rookie campaign with a banged-up disappointment in 2008 and a very rough first two months last year before breaking out big-time. Here were his numbers for the season: .297, 32 HR, 92 RBI, 101 R, 20 SB. Now examine the numbers from June 1 forward: .326, 26 HR, 73 RBI, 76 R, 15 SB. He was arguably the best hitter in baseball the last four months of the season. While it is true that his speed uptick was unprecedented for his career, his overall potential clearly paints him as a Top 10 player for the 2010 season.

^ Our “Respect Mah Eligibilitah” lists the eligibility of players in leagues with 10, 15 and 20-game eligibility rules at each position. Some players, such as Victor Martinez, have secondary eligibility at positions where the would rarely be used (first base) because they are infinitely more valuable at their main position (catcher). But there are other players who are actually worth relatively equivalent amounts at different positions, such as Gordon Beckham (second base and third base), Mark Reynolds (first base and third base) and Kevin Youkilis (first base and third base). Players with this kind of flexibility are especially valuable, because they allow you to draft one less backup in the late rounds and instead gravitate towards the best player still available. Also, because our rankings take this factor into consideration, adherence to the board will make you more likely to end up with one or more of them – such as Bill Hall’s 2006 breakout season when our board favored him because he entered the year eligible at three positions.


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