Saturday, August 07, 2010

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XXXI

Welcome to our 96th 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 continuing to serialize our brand-new FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2010 guide with a tangible application of draft theory.

Application of Draft Theory with FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones

At FDH, we look forward to all sports that can be applied in a fantasy sense — which, for us is limitless, but that is a comment for another time. With the football season in sight, it's time to prepare for draft season. Most experts would have you believe a litany of absolutes; I have only one. Every fantasy football season, draft, and league are different...don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Whether it’s Randy Moss going from Oakland to New England or Peyton Manning coming off a 48-TD season, situations affect where we draft players. This is even more true in this season than at any other point in recent memory. It is my plan to take you on a journey through an ACTUAL draft. This will illustrate "market value" for players while highlighting the players who can be had at fair-valued prices, relatively speaking.

We are clearly not planting an adventurous flag anywhere when we say that Chris Johnson should be the undisputed #1 pick. However, ask yourself, "when was the last time a guy went for 2,000 yds and did not disappoint the following season?" I'm not saying that you should not select Chris Johnson at #1, I'm just saying don't expect 2,000 yds and 15 TD. With 1,400yds and 18 TD and no sign of slowing down, I say fumbling be damned! Take Adrian Peterson 2nd overall and be happy to do it.

Once you get past #2 overall, the variance really begins. That's right, by the 3rd pick overall, someone will disagree with your picks. According to the composite draft results, the next four picks were almost unanimous: #3 Maurice Jones-Drew (1,700 total yds and 16 TD), #4 Ray Rice (2,000 total yds and eight TD), #5 Michael Turner (900 total yds and ten TD — and if you think he won't improve on that by well over 30%, then sleep on him if you want) and #6 Frank Gore (1,500 total yds and 13 total TD). I would like to add that according to my board, I have Frank Gore and Michael Turner flipped. Matt Ryan and Roddy White are two types of players that aren't in San Fran. Push comes to shove, the Niners are going to lean on Frank Gore drastically, more so than Atlanta will with Turner. With that in mind, Michael Turner should not last longer than 7th overall.

This is generally about where owners start to get froggy and jump on WR's. If you're looking to lock up at least one first-round grade RB, I recommend you do not jump ship just yet. Keep in mind, while St. Louis is still very, very bad, they still lean on Steven Jackson who had 1,700 total yds last season. DeAngelo Williams is still on the board coming off a relatively bad year of 1,300 yds and seven TD, with Jonathan Stewart stealing the red zone touches. #7 Steven Jackson and #8 DeAngelo Williams go in succession to effectively end the run on reliable first round running backs.

#9 is Andre Johnson, the unquestioned #1 WR should absolutely come off the board between 6-10. In my humble opinion, he is only one of two who have any business in the first round and that is only if you believe in Randy Moss in 2010. Andre Johnson had the most receiving yards by over 220 yards (with Wes Welker at 1,348). Now granted, you could hold out for Randy Moss and his 13 TD on the swingaround, but chances are he won't last that long unless you are picking 10th, 11th, or 12th in the first round.

Now comes the part of the first/second round where you have to make a decision. Do you side with upside and potential or do you prefer proven track record and the safe pick? You are either Ryan Matthews (R), Rashard Mendenhall, Shonn Greene and Jamaal Charles or you are Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. For the next round and change, you are specifically one or the other. As it were the next 14 picks go as follows: #10 Randy Moss (1,300 yds and 13 TD), #11 Aaron Rodgers (4,400 yds and 30TD/seven INT), #12 Ryan Matthews (Rookie), #13 Rashard Mendenhall (1,300 total yds and eight TD), #14 Reggie Wayne (1,200 yds and ten TD), #15 Larry Fitzgerald (1,100yds and 13 TD), # 16 Shonn Greene (600 yds and two TD — it should be noted that Greene has all but won the starting job, whereas he split carries with Thomas Jones in 2009), #17 Calvin Johnson (1,000 yds and five TD), #18 Drew Brees (4,400 yds and 34 TD/11 INT), #19 Ryan Grant (1,400 total yds and 11 TD), #20 Roddy White (1,100 yds and 11 TD), #21 Peyton Manning (4,500 yds and 33 TD/16 INT), #22 Jamaal Charles (1,400 total yds and eight TD -- it should be noted that the reason Shonn Greene's numbers are low may be the same reason that Charles' number might take a hit, with the common factor being Thomas Jones), #23 Miles Austin (1,300 yds and 11 TD) and #24 Brandon Marshall (1,100 yds and ten TD -- keep in mind, whether it was minor injury or Josh McDaniel's ego...Marshall missed two games and had less than five receptions in five other games and also, Miami hasn't had a legit #1 WR since...O.J. McDuffie...?).

From here on out, we will hit only the highlights. But after seeing that first and second round, the wheels in your head should already be spinning around the idea of who is still on the board and then how far guys are going to fall. Before we move on, the big three QBs are off the board and it is safe to assume that QBs 4-8 may take as much as 3-5 rounds to come off the board. RBs are starting to get picked over, however, the value of post-2nd round RBs is still very deep. Since the teams involved went RB-heavy in the first two rounds, the occurrence of RBs taken over the next few rounds should be slightly less frequent. WR should be the position of concern. Most owners will defer to the RB/RB approach in the first two rounds. The problem with that is all of the owners who do that are going to throw value out of the window in order to grab WRs. TE is unpicked and so is D/ST and K. I have special notes about some of the following players in brackets.

25 Cedric Benson-with the addition of T.O. and TE Jermaine Gresham, Benson should have holes [Palmer, OchoCinco, T.O., Gresham = balance and plenty of holes and no stacking the box].
26 Sidney Rice — Favre's favorite target...if Favre plays.
27 Marques Colston -- Brees spreads the love, but Colston gets the bulk of it.
28 Steve Smith (CAR) — Off year, but talent-wise, S.Smith is still a top 10 WR [ With M. Moore, they will rely on the run more opening up big time play potential for Smith].
29 DeSean Jackson — He makes plays, but this is too rich for my blood [McNabb is in Washington, is Jackson the same player with Kevin Kolb?].
30 Greg Jennings — Probably the most underrated starting fantasy WR [The #1 WR on a team with best statistical QB from last season].
31 Knowshon Moreno -- Denver is in transition, but Moreno is a major part in 2010 [Mixing in Tebow, D.Thomas replaces Marshall...Knowshon will be the only constant].
32 Matt Schaub — Look at the numbers, he should be a 2nd round pick by the stats.
33 Steve Smith (NYG) -- Seriously, he's a possession WR#2 that had a good season.
34 Pierre Thomas — Overrated last year, I like him better in this range, but still too high [N.O. spreads the ball like no other team, short of Brees, no Saint is worth going very high].
35 Beanie Wells — If healthy, he's a punishing back with Top 20 talent [Boldin has moved on and Leinart is under center; they NEED Wells to figure it out].
36 Tony Romo — Way too high for me, but Miles Austin and Dez Bryant could be sick.
37 Dallas Clark — Coming off a great year, but if the other TEs progress back, he's just another top one.
38 Jahvid Best — I've seen Best go as high as 17th, but I'm still not convinced he's the featured back [Detroit is hoping he is Chris Johnson...that is a HUGE leap of faith. If he's the guy, he'll take a beating unless Kevin Smith is still a major factor with the carries.].
39 Joseph Addai — Great example of 100% of the carries divided by two, I wouldn't touch either Indy RB [With Peyton, Wayne, Clark, Garcon and Gonzalez, Addai AT BEST is the 5th-best offensive option.].
40 Vernon Davis — Finally lived up to the hype in '09, lets see if he can do it two years in a row.
41 Antonio Gates — This is great value for Gates! He had an off year but he's the most consistent TE.
42 Anquan Boldin -- Months from now, Boldin in the 40s may be the value pick of the draft [Boldin is the man now in Baltimore. Flacco can sling the pigskin. With the running game of the Ravens, look for Boldin to return to his form of 2005 (1,400 yds/seven TD). There will be opportunity; I expect Boldin to be the steal of the draft.].
43 Jonathan Stewart — Last year's "Vulture" award winner, no more Delhomme may increase carries.
44 Chad OchoCinco — He's still a Top 20 long as T.O. doesn't take too many of his receptions [One of two things will happen, either Cincy will have the most explosive offense or Ocho OR Owens will have a great season, but not both. Let’s hope for the former.].
45 LeSean McCoy — Decent rookie season, but if he falls, the value would be worth it.
46 Tom Brady -- This is nuts. 46?! Tom Brady will be an all-time great, top four QB at worst.
47 Ronnie Brown -- Wow, this is a reach. There is a Miami RB worth 47, but it’s not Ronnie Brown.
48 Felix Jones — Even if he's everything Jerry Jones wants him to be, he's a minority-carry back. [Barber is still the guy at least 60+% of the time, and with Dez and Austin, I just don't like Felix Jones' chances of being the Marshall Faulk-type X-Factor that Jerry Jones thinks he is.].
49 Philip Rivers — Not bad, but I'm skeptical of SD's offense, with no prime-level LT and Vincent Jackson on the fence.
50 Jermichael Finley — I like the upside, but there is no way I would draft Finley ahead of Jason Witten.
51 Brett Favre -- Like last season, if Favre plays this is a STEAL [With Favre, Minnesota is a legit contender. If he plays, he is still a Top Ten fantasy QB.].
52 Jason Witten -- Most yards by a TE, but has to have a better season in the red zone.
53 Hakeem Nicks — He should make the ascension this season, putting S. Smith back at #2 [With the Giants, something has got to give. This should be the season where the young Nicks and Manningham ascend to give the Giants a new dynamic.].
54 Percy Harvin — He is one of those "X-Factor" offensive players. He should improve on '09.
55 Hines Ward — Big Ben or not, Ward is the man until Wallace figures it out completely.
56 Michael Crabtree -- Gore and the addition of Ginn might allow Crabtree to get to the next level [It’s a really interesting offense in Frisco. Alex Smith is given another chance. Gore and V. Davis have proven their worth, now its time for the young and physically gifted tandem of Crabtree and Ginn, Jr to earn their keep. Crabtree, at least, should do it almost immediately.].
57 Dwayne Bowe — He had promise in '08 and regressed in '09. Let’s hope he get back to 08 form [Like Carolina, KC is transitioning to a running team for the betterment of the offense. Charles and Jones make a formidable duo, which should open up opportunities for Bowe. He just needs to capitalize on those opportunities when they come up.].
58 Matt Forte --This is re-DONK-u-lous value. Forte was a top 5 player going into last year. [When did we forget about the sophomore slump? Forte is a legit fantasy cornerstone. Owners should let him out of the doghouse. The situation hasn't changed, but Forte WILL HAVE a better season.].
59 Mike Sims-Walker -- He was a great waiver-wire pickup, but I need to see more from him.
60 Reggie Bush — Not much consistency as a fantasy back, hope he's a flex or backup for this team.

(target these guys with the right value)
-Tony Gonzalez
-Ricky Williams
-Donald Driver
-Santana Moss
-Pierre Garcon
-Joe Flacco
-TJ Houshmandzadeh
-Wes Welker
-Ben Roethlisberger
-C.J. Spiller
-Marion Barber
-Steve Slaton
-Carson Palmer

(they could fall and you should jump on it)
-Brandon Jacobs
-Jeremy Maclin
-Brent Celek
-Vincent Jackson (only if the value is REALLY good)
-Owen Daniels
-Kellen Winslow
-Terrell Owens
-Donovan McNabb
-Dez Bryant
-Braylon Edwards
-Anthony Gonzalez (keep in mind he was out 90% of
the season)

-Jay Cutler
-Michael Bush
-Justin Forsett
-Thomas Jones
-LaDainian Tomlinson
-Devin Hester
-Donald Brown
-Marshawn Lynch
-Roy Williams

QB Brett Favre
RB Steven Jackson
RB Matt Forte
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Brandon Marshall
WR Anquan Boldin
TE Jason Witten
K David Akers
DEF Baltimore


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