Fantasy Sports w/Christopher Harris
Send your questions now and join Harris in The Show on Monday at 11 a.m. ET!
Christopher Harris (10:57 AM)
Hi, everyone. It sure is snowy here in New England. I'm ensconced on the couch with 10 inches of snow outside and a beagle at my feet. What better time to talk fantasy sports? Let's get right to it.....
Chris...if, and it is a big if, Rocco Baldelli could get 550 plate appearances, does he have the chance to be a Top 10-12 CFer? Classic risk v reward?
Christopher Harris (11:00 AM)
Hi, Gray. Mark Costello wrote a great novel called "Big If." I recommend it highly, though it's got nothing to do with baseball or Mr. Baldelli. But yes, that phrase definitely captures Baldelli's prospects for '08. He says he's running well and without pain, and the Rays have decided to go with him in center right away, given that apparently Cliff Floyd (argh) is going to be their DH. I'd be happier if Baldelli would start the year at DH...and more sanguine about his prospects of staying healthy. Yeah, absolutely, if he gets a full season in, he's talented enough to be a top-10 CF, no question. I just don't want to be the one betting it happens.
Dom (Massapequa Park, NY)
I know we are in the middle of football playoffs (Go G-Men) but all that means to me is its closer to fantasy baseball season. With that in mind.... Pick one as a keeper (H2H)of Oswalt V. Kazmir and Pronk V. Magglio. Everything else is set for next year, these are my final two keeper decisions. Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, Dom. In non-keeper leagues, I actually only have Oswalt rated four spots ahead of Kazmir...his '07 walk problems are, I think, a bit of a cause for concern. Of course, if you're talking walks, you're talking Kaz, so I still think I have to go Oswalt on that one, even in a keeper league. As for Hafner vs. Ordonez...there was a strong sentiment at ESPN's rankings summit a couple weeks back that Magglio's season was fluky, but I wasn't on that bandwagon. Great lineup, Ordonez hitting in the middle of it...and it's not like Hafner's guaranteed to bouce back all the way. I'd keep Ordonez.
Do you see Soriano living up to his top 10 potential this year stealing more bases or does he continue the "post contract" pace he was at last year?
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, Sam. I rated Soriano 13th overall, so I guess strictly speaking the answer is no on whether he's a top-10 player for me this year, but only barely, and I certainly won't be surprised if he out-produces my rank of him. You're right: steals are key. He obviously fought health issues all season and never really got back to being himself on the basepaths. He just turned 32, and stealing 30 again is no guarantee...but I project him getting that many.
Chris, Good morning. I need help with a football keeper question. I am in a 10 team, 10 keeper league. I am planning on keeping QB:Brady RB: LJ, J. Lewis, L. White, Rudi, T. Jones WR: Plax., Driver, Coles Please help me choose 1 between (unless I should remove someone above), Rivers, Shockey, Owen Daniels, or Reggie Brown Sorry so long,, thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Chad. Choosing between Rivers, Shockey, Daniels and Brown in a relatively shallow league, I think I'd probably keep Shockey. That might be the case if it were a 12- or 16-team league, but because you're going to need a stud starter at every position, by keeping Shockey you're guaranteed of having a stud tight end.
Chris..do you think any of the remainig 3 teams has a chance to beat New England?
Christopher Harris (11:10 AM)
They all have a chance, John, though I don't think anyone will do it. If Tomlinson and Rivers can go for the Chargers, and if they aren't dramatically limited, I think they pose the biggest threat. The Pack and Giants would have to play a perfect game and get lucky with New England turnovers, in my opinion.
Michael (Portland, ME)
Troy Glaus: Scott Rolen numbers, 2004 or 2007?
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Interesting question, Michael, since those two guys look like they're going to be traded for one another. I actually rather like that deal for Toronto, by the way, if only because they're fixing to have just about the best infield defense in baseball, something Mssrs. Halladay and McGowan are going to appreciate a great deal. As for Glaus...I just don't know that we're going to see numbers like he used to produce. Maybe it's 'roids causing him to break down, maybe it's just bad luck, but he's another guy on whom I wouldn't wager a ton to stay healthy.
Is Braun more valuable in fastasy in LF or 3B?
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
That's an awesome question, Buck. In a normal year, it'd be a no-brainer: third base is traditionally a much scarcer position, so we'd easily say 3B. But think of the third basemen this year: A-Rod, Wright, Cabrera, Aramis Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Chone Figgins, Garrett Atkins. Just because most fantasy leagues count outfield as just one spot, there's still probably quite a bit more depth in the outfield, so Braun probably eventually will lose a little fantasy value when he's no longer eligible at 3B. Fortunately, that won't happen this year.
jacoby ellsbury, boston
last week cockcroft said i'd hit double digit homers, despite my 380 SLG in AAA and that it took me 1100 minor league ABs to get 10 homers. where do i get drafted?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Tristan is definitely higher on Ellsbury than I am (and he's a Yankees fan and I'm a Sox fan!); I remember him boosting Ellsbury during our rankings session. Me, I'm not so sure Ellsbury starts the year in the bigs. When it looked like Coco Crisp was definitely a goner, obviously, it seemed like Ellsbury was destined to be the CF on baseball's (arguably) best team. But whither Coco? And whither the Johan Santana trade? Either way, I agree with the stats you quoted: I don't think Ellsbury's a power hitter. Maybe you give him 600 ABs, he could hit you 10. But I don't think he'll get that many ABs, honestly. He's a high-upside guy for runs and steals, but he's not the kind of hitter he showed in his call-up last season. I wouldn't want to draft him to be a starter on my fantasy team this year.
Soto or Towles? Last keeper spot: Atkins, Wainwright, V. Wells?
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
Hi, Jason. I like Soto more than Towles this year, simply because I think he's going to be given a much more legitimate shot to be the starter. For some reason, the Astros re-signed Brad Ausmus, so there's really no guarantee Towles makes the team, though he certainly should. Lou Piniella has been known to change his mind, but for now he's talked about Soto all winter like the kid's going to be his starting catcher. Longer term, I might actually like Towles as a prospect a little more.
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Oh, and for Jason's last keeper spot: I probably like Atkins.
Scott (Fort Wayne)
I'm in an NL-only 5x5 roto league: Pick two pitchers to keep between Rich Hill, Yovanni Gallardo, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez. Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:20 AM)
Hi, Scott. I think I'm going young and non-Met in this foursome: Hill and Gallardo. Hill, I think, is my favorite out of that group of four at the moment. And I have Gallardo just a notch or two ahead of Pedro. (Obviously in a keeper league the gap would be wider.)
joe torre, LA
how badly am i going to screw up the outfield situation? fantasy owners should have no clue where to draft any of the 4 of them
Christopher Harris (11:22 AM)
Ha. You're right, you silver-tongued devil. Matt Kemp is the cause celebre of the Dodgers outfield this offseason, but Torre comes into this situation without bias, and you know he's not going to be bullied into playing anyone he doesn't want to play. Myself, I'd be seriously thinking about shipping Juan Pierre elsewhere, because the prospect of him as your everyday left fielder is a disaster defensively. I think Andruw Jones is going to play every day (obviously) and I think Kemp gets every shot to play RF. But as long as Pierre and Ethier are there, it's a little scary for Kemp owners. I'd still draft Kemp before Jones, though.
Hey Chris, I hope this isn't to long. Could i get your opinion on my dynasty league team. It is a 12 team roto and we get to keep our entire starting lineup every year. This is our 2nd season and I am clearly building for the future. I dont mind losing this year if this team will compete for years to come. You think this team can compete in a couple years or am I relying on the kids to much? C-Johjima, 1B-Teix, 2B-Utley, SS-Tulo, 3B-Gordon, OF-Delmon, Kemp, Rios, Bruce, DH-Kendrick, SP-Sabathia, Verlander, Cain, Lincecum, Hughes. Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Ryan. This is a very good team for 2010, but yeah, you're right, you're probably not going to be competitive in a mixed-league fantasy league with this squad. Texeira can clearly play on any team, as can Utley, Rios and Tulowitzki, and Sabathia and Verlander are elite right now, IMO. But definitely you're giving up current contribution for future performance with the rest of the guys. Jay Bruce, in particular, might not even be in the majors or have a starting job (though I think he should...you never know what Dusty Baker's going to do). The upsides of everyone you list there, though, are huge. I'm probably lowest on Kendrick of everyone here, which isn't to say I don't like him, but I just don't see that he's the insane multi-category threat everyone claims.
how do you think the Dall loss affects fantasy production for next season? Do you think Romo, Owens come back more motivated and determined or do you think it affects the cowboys confidence? What type of stats do you expect from TO next season?
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Hi, David. I honestly don't think it affects much, fantasy-wise. More concerning to me will be if Jason Garrett leaves, because I really don't think Wade Phillips does a whole lot with the offense. Garrett has interviewed with Atlanta and Baltimore, and the fact that the Cowboys got bounced "early" means teams will be less reluctant to hire him (because they'll have more time to make the decision earlier). Things fluctuate so much from year to year that you can never say anything with certainty in the NFL, but I think Romo and T.O. will deservedly go in the top five at their respective positions next year.
asdrubal cabrera, cleveland
i've put up numbers all over the board at various levels the last 2 years. should i make a fantasy bench this year, and how good am i in a keeper/dynasty format?
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
I like Cabrera, and was probably his biggest advocate at the rankings summit. Just because he doesn't have an elite pedigree doesn't mean he's not a potential solid big-leaguer. His peripheral numbers from last year indicate that a .280 BA with, say, 55 RBI and 15 SB is definitely sustainable over a full year. Need to make sure he's really the 2B, but everything I've seen indicates the Tribe actually thinks he's the future SS, so hopefully they won't boot him any time soon.
Rob (Grand Rapids, MI)
Pick 5 to keep: Sizemore, Vlad, Rollins, Webb, Mauer, Figgins, Verlander, Teix, Byrnes, or Uggla. If I could get BJ Upton, who would you keep him over? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Rob. That's a good group to choose from. I have them in this order: Rollins, Webb, Guerrero, Teixiera and Verlander. And of those five, I probably wouldn't keep Upton over any of 'em, despite the scarcity at 2B.
Last keeper spot, I'm thin on pitching....keep F. Morales, T. Pena, Marmol, Hughes, or Liriano? All salaries are similar. Also, would you think a package of Street (11)/Cano (11)/Zimmerman(3) could pull in a high quality starter in a trade in most leagues? Numbers in parenthesis would be salaries for this season.
Christopher Harris (11:33 AM)
Hi, Jason. You're thin on pitching, but are you thin on starters or relievers? If you're thin on relievers, I think Marmol would be my choice...lights-out and there's an opening for him, though Kerry Wood could step into the breach. Of the starters, I'm going to say Hughes. I don't think Liriano gets back to being himself until the end of this year or, more likely, 2009.
Chris, in a 12-team 7x7 keeper league expanding to 14 teams. We get to protect 3 players for the expansion draft, who should be my last protected guy, Morneau at $17 or Sizemore at $23? Strikeouts count against batters. Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
It really is the keeper time of year, isn't it? I'm probably the least-excited about Sizemore of anyone who writes for ESPN.com, because I think his stats indicate he's a classic "trade-off" hitter...a guy who'll *either* hit for power or average, but not both. That said, i still like him more than Morneau, despite the fact that you're in a league where K's count against hitters. (Clearly, Sizemore is going to strike out more.) I'll pay the extra $6 and keep Sizemore.
Can top starters Haren and Bedard repeat their dominace in '08 or should we expect both to regress a bit toward their career averages? What if Beadrd gets traded to the M's as rumored?
Christopher Harris (11:39 AM)
Hi, Greg. I'm really high on Bedard this year. I've honestly bought in. The peripheral numbers are phenomenal, and the strikeouts are out of this world. As always, the question with him is health, but I don't feel like the injuries that've sidelined him in the past are indicative of major arm problems (Stephania Bell can certainly answer those concerns better than I can). And frankly, I like him maybe even a little better if he goes to Seattle, where the team is likely to be just as good, if not a little better, and the ballpark is huge. As for Haren, I have him inside my top 10, too, though he's making a very unfavorable ballpark switch. He'll have a far better team behind him (defensively it's probably about a wash...neither is all that good), and he's been just about the steadiest hand around for a few years. I like him a lot, too.
brewers pitching staff, milwaukee
how much higher should we get drafted now that two terrible defenders (hall in CF, braun at 3B) are getting moved for 2 better fielders (cameron in CF, hall at 3B)?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
I don't know that defense was a reason to definitely draft or not draft any Milwaukee starters. They all seem to have their own issues. Gallardo has tons of upside, but he's a kid and has never pitched a full season's worth of big-league innings. Ben Sheets can be a horse, but I for one am through relying on him staying healthy for a full year. Dave Bush is an enigma. Chris Capuano? Jeff Suppan? Ew. I agree with the statement...the defense is better because Braun isn't at third. But I don't know that it really changes my opinion of the pitchers.
Better keeper: Rios or Granderson?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
My ESPN brethren would string me up for saying this, but I like Granderson more. You hate the strikeouts for sure, and maybe they do indicate that he's not going to be a 20-20-20-20 man again. He needs to make more contact, he needs to hit lefties better...but I think he will, and it's such a great lineup. Rios is very, very close in my rankings. But I actually have Granderson higher (though I can promise you, I'm about the only one around Bristol).
Do I start for the Bengals in week 1 next season?
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Obviously, I'm not privvy to the Bengals plans, and they'll definitely change more than once between now and next September. But you're asking for an educated guess, and I'm going to say: yes. I've been saying all year I think Watson's skills match the Bengals' offense much better than Rudi Johnson's, and I'm not going to be surprised to see Rudi get moved. Remember the Bengals also have Kenny Irons, for whom they have big hopes.
Fielder or C. Lee? (Assuming the rumors are true and Lee becomes 1b eligible this year)
How are we suppose to take the ESPN player rater seriously when James Shields is ranked in the top 30?
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, Cory. Yeah, I know. The old Player Rater has some serious issues, but there's good news: the new Player Rater is on the way. It's in testing right now, so it shouldn't be long. That said, I do like James Shields, though you're right, he shouldn't be a top 30 player overall.
What do you think about Cedric Benson in a TD only keeper league? He has to at least have value there...right?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Does he have value? Sure. Does he have value enough for me to keep him? Hm. It would depend on league format. Nothing about Benson has indicated he's a starting NFL rusher. I know the Bears' line wasn't good this year, but it's old, and it's likely that there'll be line problems again next year as well. I'm not high on Benson.
How about James Shields, can he repeat his breakout '07 season this year? You have to love his low walk totals and the Rays defense has improved significantly i think.
Christopher Harris (11:50 AM)
Hi, Greg. I'm not sure about the Rays being so much better defensively. Jason Bartlett is okay, but they'll miss Delmon Young's arm, for sure. That said, I do think Shields is a legit fantasy contributor. He probably belongs in the 20 to 30 area among starting pitchers heading into March fantasy drafts, I'd say.
Selvin Young(mile high)
do I start week 1 for the broncos next season?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
I feel like this question gets asked, legitimately, every week. And my answer is still the same: betting on what Mike Shanahan is going to do with his running backs is a good way to go poor. I don't think Travis Henry will be back with Denver, so that would appear to make Young the early favorite. But Shanny just loves rookie rushers...and if they're undrafted, so much the better. Plus this offseason he's come out and said he thinks Young is more effective when he gets 10 to 15 touches a game, and no more, because of his size. That makes me think it's going to be hard to pencil in Young as a no-doubt guy to get legit starter carries.
You posted my question but didn't respond?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
Argh. I don't know what happened to the posting mechanism, but I *wrote* an answer. Apparently it's gone. Let's see if I can remember what I said. First, I don't think Carlos Lee will be Houston's first baseman (despite the fact that he took some grounders in September)...I think it'll be Berkman. But either way, I think I like Fielder just a little more than Lee.
right, 5 k/bb and a 1.11 whip isn't outstanding or anything
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
I think I just said I'd rate him in the 20s among starters. I like the guy.
Where does BJ Upton rank as OF only?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Justin. Well, it's math I haven't done, since in most leagues (including default ESPN.com games), Upton will be 2B-eligible this year. Obviously that helps his value a ton, and I have him as my third second baseman, behind Utley and Phillips. Among outfielders, he'd clearly be lower...maybe around the 15 to 20 range? I'd put him near guys like Hunter Pence and Corey Hart, maybe?
Mike (Albany NY)
Chris: Need to keep 3-OF's from Granderson, C. Young, Del. Young Markakis, Ellsbury and Victorino. Thanks for the help!!
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
Hi, Mike. Granderson and Markakis stick out from that list as obvious options to me. I think they're both going to build on their excellent 2007s. And Chris Young's contact problems scare me enough to say I'm going to take Delmon Young as the third guy, but I have to admit, I think I'd probably be in the minority on that opinion.
Trent (San Fran)
Hey Chris. just curious when does fantasy Baseball Start and when can I sign up?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Trent. I'm being told right around the second week of February is when our Fantasy Baseball game will launch, and you'll be able to sign up....
Jim (Bristol, CT)
Keep two from the following: Sabathia, Hamels, Bedard, Dice K
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Hi, Jim. Good group...nice to have options. For me, I like Bedard and Sabathia, though an argument can be made for Hamels over either. Dice K could be fantastic this year, but we need to see him produce a season like the other three before we can put him in that group, I think.
Who has more value in the outfield, Sizemore or Braun?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
I like Braun better, Ben. Clearly Sizemore's been doing it longer, but Braun just seems like a can't-miss kid who'll make a lot more contact than Grady.
Laura (milwaukee, wi)
2 player PPR keeper league. I'm keeping Addai. Who should be my 2nd. Reggie wayne, reggie bush or willie parker?
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
Hi, Laura. I think it probably shouldn't be Bush...he's got a heck of a lot of uncertainty surrounding him right now, and may have played himself out of a shot at the full-time role (especially with Deuce McAllister likely back at full strength, though who knows how long that'll last). I'd probably pick Parker, but if you don't have to make a decision just yet, I would like to get some favorable reports on his rehab from the broken ankle before I had to decide for sure.
Christopher Harris (12:03 PM)
All right, gang, I've got to get to work on a heck of a lot of baseball writing, so I'm going to do one more before the chat room evaporates, as it tends to do when I run long.
Chris, now that Braun is definitely moving to left field, how would you rank the 2nd tier of 3Bs (A-Rod, Cabrera, Wright being the 1st) for a league transitioning to dynasty format? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
Hi, Dan. Even in a dynasty format, I'd have Aramis Ramirez next, with Chipper Jones following him. I know they're not young, and they're not locks to stay healthy (hello, Chipper!), but the guy after that for me would be Chone Figgins, and while he's definitely younger, I'm not sold on him producing enough with the bat to justify the steals he gives you. So I go: Ramirez, Jones, Figgins, Atkins, Zimmerman. Clearly not very "dynasty"-oriented at the top, but there you have it.
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
OK, gang, I've got to roll. Thanks to everyone who came and asked questions, and I hope I helped. As always, I'm thoroughly grateful for your attention and your readership...I have a great job, and I know it wouldn't be possible without your interest. Thank you very, very much.
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