Greg Oden: AP
What can the Blazers expect from Greg Oden this season after missing what would have been his rookie campaign with microfracture knee surgery. How about a player who performs at 93 percent of what he was before the surgery. So finds Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus, who takes a look at the history of the procedure in the NBA and how players have come out on the other side. Oden may suffer in terms of stamina and scoring, but he should be a defensive beast from the start. Guess that's good news if you're looking for blocks and boards.
Not all of the markets are cratering. FantasyFootball.com offers a Dow Jones Report that won't make you cringe, analyzing who in the NFL is outperforming preseason expectations -- take a bow, Aaron Rodgers -- and who is underperforming (that's your cue, LT).
We were one of the many scared off by Albert Pujols elbow injury this season, figuring that once the Cards were out of the playoff race, Pujols would be shutdown for the season. Well, the Cards stayed in the race a lot longer than we figured, and Pujols played the full season, leading many owners with a lot of egg on their faces. We won't make the same mistake next year, and the Sports of Boston blog agrees, placing Pujols atop its mock 2009 first round baseball draft. Consider us warned.
The hardest working man in fantasy basketball, Evil E, aka the author of RotoEvil, has just published his NBA fantasy draft guide for the coming season. For a small fee, you'll get everything from player analyses to depth charts to sleepers, busts and potential surprises. You'll also get updates throughout the exhibition season. We could go on, but that's wasting time you could be spending perusing the info.
Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs: Al Bello/Getty Images
Brandon Jacobs has been a beast this season. But the Giants running back isn't averaging 5.8 yards per game solely on his own talent. Cold Hard Football Facts finds that the Giants' offensive line is clearing the way for New York to rush to an historic year on the ground, according to their Offensive Hog Index. Not modern-era historic, mind you, but Jim brown-historic.
The key to winning keeper leagues is -- surprise - having the best keepers. Part of the equation is salary, if you're in an auction league. Just as important is finding the talents who will improve. Kevin Kleps of About.com has a few wise suggestions, targeting the best players under 25 years old, which should put you in good stead next season, if not the next decade.
Point guards may be all the rage in fantasy hoops, but finding good big men is equally important. But not everyone can have Dwight Howard; some are left with Darko Milicic, some are left after the draft wondering what the hell they just did. Er ... um ... y'know other guys. Now of my friend had this piece by RotoExperts.com, detailing which big men you should avoid on draft day, well, then I might have gone home happy last October. Did I say I? I mean ... ah, hell, you know what I mean.
In the regular season, teams that pass well, and produce plenty of offense, tend to win more than defense-oriented clubs. But Michael Salfino at the Projo Fantasy Sports Blog finds that defense is the clearer path to winning this season. What does that mean for you? How about finding a way to sit your marginal starters against this season's staunchest defenses.
At long last, SI.com has a fantasy football game, complete with all of the drafts, waiver wires, stats and analysis you need. Take the grand tour here and sign up a league. Heck, sign up two leagues if you want. We'll be waiting.