Monday, January 31, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue IV

Welcome to our 117th 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 at

This week, we bring you our elaboration about the key point of controversy from last week’s 2011 Fantasy Baseball Top 100 (First Draft).

Why Tulow is Two

In last week’s edition of our fantasy newsletter, we unveiled our early Top 100 for the 2011 fantasy baseball season. It was unusual in one key regard; more about that below. Many of our draft boards end up being controversial in one way or another, particularly in the placement of players at the very top. In that regard, our 2010 football draft board was actually the exception to the rule in that it had a top five (CJ/Peterson/Rice/MJD/Gore) that was not much different from most others in the industry.

When we differ from many other sources, it’s not because we’re setting out to do so deliberately. Such contrivance is ineffective on the whole. Our approach is simply, to process the available information through the prism of our “value drafting” approach and go wherever that path takes us.

In examining the top of our board, it’s clear where the major point of contention for most fantasy owners would lie. Not only do we buck this year’s pervasive trend of putting Albert Pujols at #1, we’ve bumped him to #3 to make room for Troy Tulowitzki directly after our leader, Hanley Ramirez. Now, we’ve placed Hanley at the top for the past few years, so that’s not a huge surprise. But Tulow at two? Consider his placement on some other leading industry draft boards this year: 4, 4, 5, 6 and 11. Incidentally, while we don’t generally reveal which institutions place which players where, we are making an exception to note that one of the #4 rankings for Tulow came from Matt Berry at ESPN. Inasmuch as Berry has mistaken our past criticism of him for a personal jihad, we do try to point out where we agree with him as well as where we violently disagree – so we give him credit to being relatively close to our position while still not getting there altogether.

There are several valid aspects to why we placed Tulow where we did and why the fact that our brethren have not fallen into line is, frankly, irrelevant:

^ The first and foremost point we would make in our defense is that the shortstop position is historically weak this year in fantasy. As always, power is the key separator at the position – all the more so in this “post-steroid” era – and there are no reliable mashers aside from Hanley and Tulow. You have to go back to the time before the ARod/Nomah/Jeter emergence in the mid-‘90s to find a time when the crop was this fallow.

^ Speaking of how thin the position is, consider this: he has been criticized for periods of injury (2008, 2010) or ineffectiveness (2009). But after the first two months of 2009, he had huge numbers (.326, 27 HR, 76 RBI, 80 R, 16 SB) that look even more eyeball-popping when extrapolated over the whole season (.326, 40 HR, 114 RBI, 120 R, 24 SB). Now take a look at the numbers of his legendary two month-stretch at the end of 2010: .335, 18 HR, 56 RBI, 40 R, 4 SB. Extrapolate those over the course of the full season and you’re looking at the following: .335, 54 HR, 168 RBI, 120 R, 12 SB. For two years in a row, over a prolonged period of play, he has been the best hitter in baseball – again, at a time of absolutely historic power shortage at his position.

^ Last year, we had TT ninth on our board when our peers had him generally slotted from about 15th to 18th. Now look at where they’ve put him this year. Advantage, FDH. So if we were right about him then, that lends credence to the thought that we are right again this year.

^ Tulowitzki is 26 years old this year and his upward trend shows that he is in line to keep progressing – and is just one year shy of the “Magic 27” campaign when hitters really come into their own. So decades of science indicate that we haven’t seen the best of him by a longshot.

^ He forms, along with fellow first-round Rockie luminary Carlos Gonzalez, the best 1-2 punch in baseball at this moment.

^ You would worry about many other players getting the security of a long-term contract – but not Troy. He’s no Shawn Kemp, that’s for sure. His intensity is notable in a profession littered with “red-ass” players, so nothing at all should flag in that regard. He knows how great he has a chance to be and he wants to fully live up to the vast potential.

You can tell from the points made here that our reasoning is multi-pronged, and although we have enumerated just how much we consider Tulow to be a special talent at just the right point of his career ascent, our biggest issue comes back to positional scarcity. If you own Hanley or Tulow, you possess an asset in a reliable power-hitting shortstop that only one other team in your league also has. To extrapolate on this a bit further, in AL-only leagues this year, you shouldn’t draft or bid high on ANY shortstop inasmuch as there is no real point of separation in the field between the top players. But in mixed leagues, you can’t go wrong with either of the shortstops from the teams added to MLB in the 1993 expansion.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue III

Welcome to our 116th 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 at

This week, we bring you our 2011 Fantasy Baseball Top 100 (First Draft).

2011 Fantasy Baseball Top 100 (First Draft)

NOTE: Hanley and Tulow are 1-2 overall based on their extremely disproportionate value at the position, a gaping difference of these two over the field at the position that is unusual in most years.

1 Hanley Ramirez SS

2 Troy Tulowitzki SS

3 Albert Pujols 1B

4 Joey Votto 1B

5 Ryan Braun OF

6 Miguel Cabrera 1B

7 Carlos Gonzalez OF

8 Evan Longoria 3B

9 Josh Hamilton OF

10 Chase Utley 2B

11 Robinson Cano 2B

12 David Wright 3B

13 Matt Kemp OF

14 Adrian Gonzalez 1B

15 Roy Halladay SP

16 Felix Hernandez SP

17 Ryan Howard 1B

18 Matt Holliday OF

19 Ryan Zimmerman 3B

20 Tim Lincecum SP

21 Justin Morneau 1B

22 Buster Posey C

23 Cliff Lee SP

24 Adam Wainwright SP

25 Josh Johnson SP

26 David Price SP

27 Zack Greinke SP

28 Kevin Youkilis 1B

29 Brian McCann C

30 Alex Rodriguez 3B

31 Carl Crawford OF

32 Dan Uggla 2B

33 Clayton Kershaw SP

34 Justin Upton OF

35 Mat Latos SP

36 Tommy Hanson SP

37 Mark Teixeira 1B

38 Nelson Cruz OF

39 Rickie Weeks 2B

40 Dustin Pedroia 2B

41 Ian Kinsler 2B

42 Brandon Phillips 2B

43 Aaron Hill 2B

44 Prince Fielder 1B

45 Carlos Santana C

46 Joakim Soria RP

47 Joe Mauer C

48 Matt Cain SP

49 Jayson Werth OF

50 Shin-Soo Choo OF

51 Mariano Rivera RP

52 Carlos Marmol RP

53 CC Sabathia SP

54 Jered Weaver SP

55 Roy Oswalt SP

56 Victor Martinez C

57 Cole Hamels SP

58 Neftali Perez RP

59 Alex Rios OF

60 Jason Heyward OF

61 Pablo Sandoval 3B

62 Andrew Bailey RP

63 Adrian Beltre 3B

64 Heath Bell RP

65 Mike Napoli C

66 Vladimir Guerrero DH

67 Jay Bruce OF

68 Jose Bautista 3B/OF

69 Francisco Liriano SP

70 Jon Lester SP

71 Yovani Gallardo SP

72 Dan Haren SP

73 Chris Young OF

74 Andre Ethier OF

75 Delmon Young OF

76 Andrew McCutchen OF

77 Justin Verlander SP

78 Aramis Ramirez 3B

79 Hunter Pence OF

80 Jorge Posada C

81 Bobby Abreu OF

82 Jimmy Rollins SS

83 Kendry Morales 1B

84 Alexei Ramirez SS

85 Billy Butler 1B

86 Adam Dunn 1B

87 Chris Carpenter SP

88 Grady Sizemore OF

89 Ted Lilly SP

90 Brett Anderson SP

91 Joe Nathan RP

92 David Ortiz DH

93 Paul Konerko 1B

94 Jose Reyes SS

95 Mark Reynolds 3B

96 Chris Perez RP

97 Madison Bumgarner SP

98 John Lackey SP

99 Johnny Cueto SP

100 Jose Valverde RP

Saturday, January 15, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue II

Welcome to our 115th 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 at

This week, we bring you our 2011 Fantasy Tennis Draft Board, Suggested League Guidelines and Mock Draft.

2011 Fantasy Tennis Draft Board, Suggested League Guidelines and Mock Draft

NOTE: Each player is listed with his or her ATP or WTP point total from 2010 and total winnings from 2010.


1 Rafael Nadal, 12450, $10,171,998

2 Roger Federer, 9145, $7,698,289


3 Kim Clijsters, 6635, $5,035,060

4 Serena Williams, 5355, $4,266,011

5 Novak Djokovic, 6240, $4,278,857

6 Vera Zvonareva, 6785, $3,444,641

7 Caroline Wozniacki, 8035, $4,446,488

8 Venus Williams, 4985, $2,614,782

9 Andy Murray, 5760, $4,046,805

10 Juan Martin del Potro, N/A


11 Robin Soderling, 5580, $3,731,527

12 Tomas Berdych, 3955, $2,509,122

13 Andy Roddick, 3665, $1,917,612

14 Samantha Stosur, 4982, $2,090,340

15 Jelena Jankovic, 4445, $2,136,991

16 Justine Henin, 3415, $1,401,960

17 Francesca Schiavone, 4935, $2,456,634

18 Ana Ivanovic, 2600, $774,025

19 Maria Sharapova, 2591, $651,279

20 Dinara Safina, N/A

21 Li Na, 3555, $1,158,898

22 Mardy Fish, 1991, $933,878

23 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2345, $1,166,151

24 David Ferrer, 3735, $2,593,353

25 Fernando Verdasco, 3240, $1,971,365

26 Gael Monfils, 2560, $1,303,546

27 Nikolay Davydenko, 1655, $948,392

^ Ideally, a league should be configured using standard serpentine rules.

^ A league should contain five owners selecting five players apiece, with each team consisting of two men, two women and one extra "wild card" pick of either gender.

^ Tournaments utilized are the Masters events on the men's tour and the Premier events on the women's tour, in addition to the Grand Slam events. All points for the Grand Slam events are doubled -- and here is how points are awarded in the standard 10 tournaments on each tour: 3 points for making the quarterfinals, an additional 5 points for making the semifinals, an additional 7 points for making the finals and and additional 10 points for winning the tournament. convened a four-owner mock draft on January 13 with FDH Managing Editor Rick Morris, FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones and FDH Tennis Correspondents Jon Adams and Mike Vili.


Rick: Rafael Nadal

Jon: Roger Federer

Mike: Kim Clijsters

Jason: Serena Williams


Jason: Novak Djokovic

Mike: Vera Zvonareva

Jon: Caroline Wozniacki

Rick: Venus Williams


Rick: Andy Murray

Jon: Juan Martin del Potro

Mike: Andy Roddick

Jason: Robin Soderling


Jason: Maria Sharapova

Mike: Tomas Berdych

Jon: Jelena Jankovic

Rick: Samantha Stosur


Rick: Justine Henin

Jon: Ana Ivanovic

Mike: Li Na

Jason: Mardy Fish

Saturday, January 08, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue I

Welcome to our 114th 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 at

This week, we bring you our 2010-11 Playoff Fantasy Football Draft Board & Suggested Guidelines.

2010-11 Playoff Fantasy Football Draft Board & Suggested Guidelines

We recommend five or six owners drafting serpentine-style with point distribution 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. The one part we’re changing up this year is the use of team positions rather than individual ones (i.e. “Indianapolis QBs” instead of “Peyton Manning”), utilizing 1 team QB, 2 team RBs, 2 team “receivers” (with points for WRs and TEs both counting), 1 team K and 1 team D/ST.

Here is the draft board by position:


1 NE

2 NO

3 Indy

4 Phil

5 Pit

6 GB

7 Chi

8 Balt


1 NE

2 Pit

3 Atl


5 Balt

6 Phil

7 Chi

8 Indy

9 KC

10 NO

11 GB

12 Sea


1 Indy

2 NO

3 NE

4 Pit

5 Phil

6 GB


8 Balt

9 Atl

10 Chi

11 KC

12 Sea


1 NE

2 Pit

3 Balt

4 Atl

5 Phl

6 Indy


8 GB


1 Balt

2 Pit

3 NO


5 Atl

6 Phil

7 NE

8 GB

Here was the outcome of our mock draft on the January 4 episode of THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER, a show-within-a-show on THE FDH LOUNGE (Tuesdays, 7-10 PM EST on


1 FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones: NE QB

2 FDH Lounge Dignitary Chris Galloway: NO QB

3 FDH Senior Producer Steve Cirvello: NO WR

4 FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris: NE RB

5 FDH Entertainment Editor Samantha Jones: Pit RB

6 FDH Lounge Dignitary Nate Noy: NE WR


1 Nate: Indy WR

2 Samm: Indy QB

3 Rick: Atl RB

4 Steve: Phil QB

5 Chris: NYJ RB

6 Jason: Pit WR


1 Jason: Balt RB

2 Chris: Phil WR

3 Steve: Phil RB

4 Rick: GB WR

5 Samm: NYJ WR

6 Nate: Chi RB


1 Nate: NO RB

2 Samm: Indy RB

3 Rick: Balt WR

4 Steve: KC RB

5 Chris: Atl WR

6 Jason: KC WR


1 Jason: GB RB

2 Chris: NE K

3 Steve: Chi WR

4 Rick: Pit K

5 Samm: Pit D/ST

6 Nate: NE D/ST


1 Nate: Atl K

2 Samm: Phil K

3 Rick: Pit QB (side note: most amusing because of Rick’s immense loathing of Big Ben as a Miami of Ohio grad and Pittsburgh Steeler)

4 Steve: Balt D/ST

5 Chris: NYJ D/ST

6 Jason: Balt K


1 Jason: Phil D/ST

2 Chris Sea RB

3 Steve: Indy K

4 Rick: NO D/ST

5 Samm: Sea WR

6 Nate: Atl QB

Sunday, January 02, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume III, Issue XLXI

Welcome to our 113th 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 at

This week, we bring you our 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 2010.

^ 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. With a full slate of games, and players drafted in a certain order for a multiplicity of reasons, we especially don’t advocate much juggling for the first two weeks of the season. 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 or available (players listed in their order on our draft board):

QB: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Michael Vick

RB: Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mathews, Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, Shonn Greene, Matt Forte, Cedric Benson, Jonathan Stewart, LeSean McCoy, Ronnie Brown

WR: Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Roddy White, Miles Austin, Greg Jennings, DeSean Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, Marques Colston, Steve Smith (Carolina), Chad Ochocinco, Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith (NY Giants), Dwayne Bowe, Michael Crabtree, Donald Driver, Vincent Jackson

TE:, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, Brent Celek, Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Jermichael Finley

^ Here are the players who have been added to the list this season:

QB: Michael Vick

RB: Arian Foster, LaDainian Tomlinson, Peyton Hillis

WR: Wes Welker, Terrell Owens, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Lloyd, Steve Johnson, Mike Wallace

TE: none

^ Here are the players who have been removed from that list this season:

QB: Tony Romo, Brett Favre

RB: Ryan Grant, DeAngelo Williams, Beanie Wells, Frank Gore

WR: Pierre Garcon, Mike Wallace (since restored to the list, see above)

TE: Dallas Clark

^ Links for each game take you to the home page for each game, with stats and analysis.

^ All times listed are EDT.

^ Teams listed as “All-In” have a combination of all of the above players and any marginal players reaching a status where QB/RB1/RB2/WR1/WR2/TE all should be played. Teams listed as “All-Out” should have only the above “locks” for their team in a fantasy lineup, with all marginal players being benched.

^ All advice is relative, because there are exceptions to every rule. There are no marginal players who absolutely should be played or benched, but the ones we refer to here should be in the vast majority of circumstances.

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

Sun. Jan. 02

Dolphins at Patriots, 1:00 PM All-out on marginal Dolphins and Patriots

Buccaneers at Saints, 1:00 PM RB Blount, WR L Moore, TE Winslow

Panthers at Falcons, 1:00 PM All-out on marginal Panthers, QB Ryan

Cowboys at Eagles, 4:15 PM All-out on marginal Cowboys, WR MACLIN

Raiders at Chiefs, 1:00 PM TE Miller, all-out on marginal Chiefs

Titans at Colts, 4:15 PM WR Britt, all-out on marginal Colts

Jaguars at Texans, 4:15 PM QB GARRARD, all-out on marginal Texans

Bengals at Ravens, 1:00 PM QB Palmer, WR MASON

Bears at Packers 4:15 PM All-out on marginal Bears and Packers

Vikings at Lions, 1:00 PM All-out on marginal Vikings, TE Pettigrew

Giants at Redskins, 4:15 PM QB E MANNING, RB Bradshaw, WR Manningham, TE Cooley

Steelers at Browns, 1:00 PM QB Roethlisberger, all-out on marginal Browns

Bills at Jets, 1:00 PM WR S Johnson, all-out on marginal Jets

Chargers at Broncos, 4:15 PM All-out on marginal Chargers and Broncos

Rams at Seahawks, 8:20 PM All-out on marginal Rams and Seahawks

Cardinals at 49ers, 4:15 PM All-out on marginal Cardinals and 49ers