Saturday, July 24, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XXIX

Welcome to our 94th 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 are starting to serialize our forthcoming FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2010 guide and as such, we bring you our Fantasy Football Overvalued and Undervalued Players and our Fantasy Football Wild Cards for 2010

Fantasy Football Overvalued and Undervalued

NOTE: Our Overvalued and Undervalued players are rated as such by comparing where they came in on the FDH draft board versus the “experts’” draft board (an average of our leading peers in the industry).

Overvalued QB: Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Vince Young
Undervalued QB: Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer

Overvalued RB: Fred Jackson, Jonathan Stewart
Undervalued RB: Matt Forte, Steve Slaton

Overvalued WR: Dez Bryant, Jericho Cotchery, Lee Evans, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Calvin Johnson, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Mohammad Massaquoi
Undervalued WR: Kenny Britt, Antonio Bryant, Malcom Floyd, Pierre Garson, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Mike Wallace, Wes Welker

Overvalued TE: none
Undervalued TE: Jermaine Gresham

Overvalued K: Kris Brown, Robbie Gould, Adam Vinatieri
Undervalued K: none

Overvalued D/ST: New Orleans
Undervalued D/ST: none

Fantasy Football Wild Cards for 2010

NOTE: “Wild Card” players are the ones with the widest variance of opinion on the “experts’” draft board. As such, they are the hardest ones to predict where they will go in your drafts, because their draft slot can only be guessed by knowing which fantasy magazine or website is being used to assess them.

QB: Jason Campbell, Matt Leinart, Kyle Orton, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford

RB: Jahvid Best, Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Bush, Justin Forsett, Arian Foster, Thomas Jones, Montario Hardesty, Laurence Maroney, Kevin Smith, LenDale White

WR: Donnie Avery, Antonio Bryant, Chris Chambers, Jericho Cotchery, Josh Cribbs, Early Doucet, Julian Edelman, Malcom Floyd, Devery Henderson, Devin Hester, Vincent Jackson, Terrell Owens, Eddie Royal, Chaz Schilens, Wes Welker, Roy E Williams

TE: John Carlson, Jermaine Gresham

K: Matt Bryant, Dan Carpenter, Jay Feely, Jason Hanson, Garrett Hartley, Matt Prater, Jeff Reed

D/ST: Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minnesota, New England, Tennessee

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XXVIII

Welcome to our 93rd 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 are starting to serialize our forthcoming FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2010 guide and as such, we bring you our Fantasy Football “Don’t Be That Guy” and suggested fantasy football league guidelines.

Fantasy Football “Don’t Be That Guy”

^ Don’t be that guy who is unprepared and whines in the mid to late rounds that everyone worth taking is already gone. They’re not; you’re just woefully unprepared.

^ Don’t be that guy who doesn’t properly understand your league’s scoring system. League setups are like snowflakes; no two are the same. Our draft board is configured to conform to a fairly basic scoring system, but your league could well have some quirks that would force you to make adaptations to our board. Be aware of them.

^ Don’t be that guy who doesn’t pay enough attention and selects players who are already off the board. It’s impolite to your leaguemates and it will invariably break your concentration when everyone howls at you and you’ve got to go back to Square One on a backup pick. To ensure that you are aware of everything that is going on during your draft, utilize a “grid” to track all teams, with the number of rounds going down the left side and the teams listed in order along the top.

^ Don’t be that guy who approaches the draft like it’s a night of epic decision-making. If you’ve done your homework, it’s not. You merely find out where you’re drafting and you “let the draft come to you.” Trust your draft board, abide by it and don’t overrule your rankings lightly. Weeks of preparation will trump minutes of frantic guessing anytime.

^ Don’t be that guy who has ironclad rules, like the weenies who always say, “I’m going to take running backs with my first two picks.” Really? No matter how picked-over they are? That’s insane. To a certain extent, this goes back to the last point about letting the draft come to you. When everyone else zigs, you zag and you’ll get value with every pick.

Suggested Fantasy Football League Guidelines

Many leagues start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1TE, 1 K and some D/ST combination. Some leagues allow the TE position to be WR or TE (in which case, only a few TEs merit any consideration) and some have a “flex” position, which is generally 1 additional RB or WR. With leagues who utilize defense, some deploy a team D/ST unit and some use individual D players. No leagues should contain less than 12 owners.

The most common scoring system is a variation of the following: 4 points per passing TD, 1 point per 25 yards passing, 1 point per passing 2-point PAT, 6 points per receiving or rushing TD, 1 point per 10 yards rushing or receiving, 2 points per rushing or receiving 2-point PAT, 2 points per “big play touchdown” (50 or more yards), 1 point per kicking PAT, 3 points per FG, with a 1-point bonus at 45 yards, a 2-point bonus at 50 yards and a 3-point bonus at 55 yards, 6 points per defensive or special teams TD, 1 point per interception, sack or fumble recovered and 2 points per safety. In leagues that award 6 points for passing TDs, QBs are worth much more.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XXVII

Welcome to our 92nd 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 are starting to serialize our forthcoming FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2010 guide and as such, we bring you our FDH five fantasy football guidelines for 2010.

FDH Five Fantasy Football Guidelines for 2010

^ The first round ain’t the first round anymore. Well, it is, literally, but not in any of the “feel” ways that matter in your gut. You don’t have to inch down many spots from the top to feel real trepidation about the price you are paying for the players available (Ray Rice? Isn’t he prone to getting TD-vultured a lot? Michael Turner? What was HIS story last year? Steven Jackson? Won’t he be seeing a ton of eight-in-the-box?). If your preparation has been thorough – and it should of course start with our draft materials! – then ignore those feelings. It’s classic overthinking to avoid players at this point just because they don’t “feel right.” If you’re completely honest with yourself, nobody is going to “feel right” at this point. The majority of players will actually BE right in the end, though (relative to the other players in that vicinity), and what matters is navigating the landscape of the possible to the best of your ability. Having said that, though, the second, third and even fourth-round picks take on weight that would have seemed unlikely a few years back, as the age of “win with two studs and merely good production in the rest of the lineup” is gone.

^ RB tandems and rotations don’t have to be your enemy. The first point relates largely to the league-wide trend that we have been following since 2005 of what we call the “2/3 – 1/3 model” with the dominant tailback becoming nearly extinct in favor of a system where one back is the clear lead but the #2 plays a significant role. With more of those old-school, every-down backs still in circulation, there would be more of a feeling of certainty in Round One. Having said that, though, this more complicated terrain can still be navigated in fine fashion by the uber-prepared. Recognize that “handcuffing” is a technique that is more relevant than ever. It first gained widespread attention early in the 2000s – an example back then would see an owner hedging his early pick of Priest Holmes with Larry Johnson. Now, with #2 RBs generally worth more than they were then – for reasons outlined above – it’s harder to handcuff your top back or perhaps even your second one without overpaying, although it’s still a good idea on those occasions when you can get value. However, handcuffing your #3 and #4 RBs can be worthwhile also and can be done by paying cheap, late-round prices. Jamal Lewis had nothing but a trail of particulate matter behind him on the bench last year according to the coaching staff, but if you had believed in the upside in Jerome Harrison, you would have really profited down the stretch. Larry Johnson was another aging back without anybody behind him that Todd Haley wanted to turn to, but when circumstances made a move inevitable, Jamal Charles really produced. Granted, some of these depth charts can seem somewhat inscrutable on Draft Day, but if you target one or two and make educated guesses, you can end up holding a winning lottery ticket.

^ Whether on Draft Day or during the season, don’t overthink. This also ties back to the first point somewhat in the sense that deciding against a first-round pick purely because something about it causes you discomfort is an insufficient reason. It is critical to follow your board during the course of the draft, keeping in mind to zig where everyone else zags, but it is equally if not more important to trust it as the season progresses. Generally speaking, your first few picks are players who should be left in the lineup every week if they are healthy. Football is the major fantasy sport with the smallest sample size by far and as such, the highs and lows are magnified to a degree that invites over-analysis. Now, the question of motive has to surface here as to why the industry operates this way. While fantasy football is the game for the masses, it is also the one with the most luck involved in it and the one where an owner is most likely to be completely screwed with a bad draft. Sadly, these truths are not much propagated in an industry that consists of so many touts peddling tales of their own indispensable qualities. Encouraging overthinking is in their own narrow interest. We heard our share of touts playing upon the general sense of disgust with Matt Forte and encouraging owners to bench him. While his 929 yards rushing and four touchdowns were a harsh letdown for a consensus high first-round pick, they were also in all likelihood better than anything you had in the deepest crevices of your bench. We assure you, there is nothing punitive towards the likes of Forte when you bench him, only your own bottom line. Unless you had a breakout player like Jerome Harrison on your bench – keeping in mind that there are of course exceptions to every rule – you would have been better off taking your medicine with Forte and hoping for the best. It’s fine to “play the matchups,” but by and large, you should leave that to the more marginal parts of your lineup.

^ If scarcity equals value, then plenty equals less value. While the running back position has been working its way through its own evolution over the past few years and the wide receiver position isn’t wildly different than in past years, the quarterback and tight end slots are certainly deeper than usual. TE is probably deeper than it’s ever been, which greatly depresses the value of top stars like Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates. Instead of a top tier that runs about four or five deep, this year most estimates would peg it going down to at least eight or nine and that is a radical difference in terms of where the big boys should fall. At quarterback, the difference is slightly less dramatic – a top tier that has expanded from about six players to about nine – but it is accompanied by a second tier brimming with more breakout candidates than usual. Whether you are looking at Carson Palmer with his newly renovated receiving core or Mike Shanahan statistical reclamation project Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb at the helm of the Philly offense or young stud Matt Ryan or Chad Henne (now paired up with Brandon Marshall), you have a great many highly intriguing possibilities. Remember that Matt Schaub was ranked on this tier by most last year and look at his progression during the season. You can certainly wait on a top QB this year, although of course you want to snag somebody still on that top tier and then grab somebody on the next level who you feel could constitute excellent trade bait come midseason.

^ The rookie crop should be somewhere between the flukish highs of ’08 and the downer of ’09. Neither of the past two seasons should be taken as a guide to this year’s rookie landscape – but the land in-between? That’s another story. San Diego RB Ryan Mathews, the heir to LT in that sweet offense, is the most likely candidate for a huge year. While none of the rest are likely to exceed him, there are some decent candidates to ascend to the level of RB1 or RB2 by year’s end. Scatbacks CJ Spiller of Buffalo and Jahvid Best of Detroit would be blazing the same trail as Chris Johnson, so they can’t be ruled out purely because of size (the very similar Joe McKnight is likely to be crowded out in Year One in New York because of the need to get LT carries as a backup). Conversely, power backs Ben Tate of Houston and Montario Harvesty have opportunities to fill move-the-chains voids for their new teams. WRs Dez Bryant of Dallas, Golden Tate of Seattle and WR Demaryius Thomas of Denver all start the year with WR3 potential and the chance to ascend to something more.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XXVI

Welcome to our 91st 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 our Buy Low, Sell High lists for fantasy baseball. NOTE: These lists are predicated on our belief at FDH in regression to the mean (super-hot players will most often fall back to a range just above or below their most likely season projections) and progression to the mean (just the opposite for slumping players). Absent the injury factor, these truisms play out over the course of a 162-game season to a remarkable degree.

Fantasy Baseball Buy Low

^ Tommy Hanson: The adjustments he made on Saturday prove that he is on his way to ending his slump, and given his prodigious ability, you can’t wait much longer to get him at a reasonable price.

^ Dan Haren: If his sub-par numbers (by his excellent standards, that is) were really a matter for concern, then top contenders would not be sniffing around Arizona hoping for a deadline deal.

^ John Lackey: We are admittedly always big marks for this guy, but his most recent start shows that the other numbers may soon catch up to the shiny win total.

^ Derek Lee: If you’re going to buy low, then really get a player at rock bottom – and a televised throwdown with Carlos Zambrano fits that bill.

^ Adam Lind: We had him on our list last time and we’re keeping him there, because ’09 showed his upside and his owners have got to be desperate and beyond reason at this point.

^ Nick Markakis: His drought has been power-only, and shows signs of abating, which makes him potentially very valuable with his contact rate.

^ Joe Mauer: We’ve never been high on his power potential (notwithstanding an ’09 that looks more like a fluke every day), but this low rate is unsustainable as well.

^ Mark Teixeira: He’s on this list just about every year at this point and always lights it up past that point.

Fantasy Baseball Sell High

^ Brennan Boesch: Nothing in his minor-league record pointed to this type of insane production, so be ready for it to end at any point.

^ Marlon Byrd: Of his gaudy numbers, a good many of them came early in the season, so he’s already on the way back to earth.

^ Jon Garland: Success in his career has only ever been sporadic – don’t believe.

^ Carl Pavano: It’s possible that this season simply represents the culmination of a long comeback from Tommy John surgery, but that belief also represents a decent risk – especially if you have a chance to take your profit from him.

^ Andy Pettitte: More than a run better than his career ERA at age 38? Oooooohkay.