Fantasy Sports w/Christopher Harris
Send your questions now and join Harris in The Show on Monday at 11 a.m. ET!
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, everyone. Sorry, I'm a little late. Let's get right to it.
Is it time to trade LT, i know he will put up decent numbers next year but im not sure i want to keep him. Id rather stockpile draft picks.
Christopher Harris (11:24 AM)
Hi, Gary. I don't think it's time to deal Tomlinson. In fantasy football more than any other fantasy game, having the tippity-top guys gives you such a huge leg up, and the two or three players you'd get in exchange for LT wouldn't be as likely as he is to excel (unless one of them is named Adrian Peterson). I have to admit, I've been thinking long and hard about making Peterson my No. 1 overall selection for next season over Tomlinson. But the guy's still only going to be 29 next year. Backs don't usually fall of a cliff until after age 30.
Chris, is Bedard on the move and what does it do to his and others value? Will Morrow have a chance to close with the Orioles if he is traded with Jones? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Hi, Greg. I don't have any inside information about Bedard. Multiple media outlets have reported this morning that Adam Jones has left his winter-league team on a flight for Baltimore to take a physical, and there's no way Jones is going to the O's without Bedard going the other way. But the O's maintain, at least publicly, that no deal is complete. Everything I've heard indicates it's going to happen, but as of now, it's not a fait accompli. That said, if Bedard goes to the Ms, it helps his value a little...a better park for him to pitch in, without that short porch (though that hurts righties in Camden more than it does lefties). I don't think Morrow is in the deal to Baltimore; at least I hope for M's fans he isn't. I don't think he's a closer...I still like him better as a starter, like he was at UW in college. Jones, on the other hand, becomes a fantasy factor right away. And watch out if Jeff Clement is in the deal. He has elbow soreness, but he could be a big-time hitter.
Joe (Billings, MT)
Lively debate goind on the boards and wanted your opinion. What round should BJ Upton be drafted in the following scenarios, all where he is 2B eligible this year: single season, keeper, and dynasty leagues.
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Joe. I can give you the party line, and then my own feelings. The party line, and by that I mean the rankings that will come out in the Draft Kit and in the magazine, is that Upton is the No. 3 second baseman even in re-draft leagues, behind Utley and Phillips. So you can imagine that Upton would at least be No. 3 in any keeper variation, though I don't think you'd see him above that. As for my personal feelings, I like Upton, but in re-draft leagues I rated him fifth, also behind Brian Roberts and Robinson Cano. My chief concern when it comes to Upton is I worry last year's batting average was a little fluky. He strikes out way too much, and his expected batting average last year was .259. Expect him to be a little closer to that number this year.
Was Delgado hurt last season or is he beginning the decline phase of his career?
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, Cory. Maybe a little bit of both? Clearly, the fractured wrist he suffered in the season's last couple days will have healed, but he was disappointing all year. He's in a contract season this year, but he figures to start hitting sixth in the Mets lineup, which could be an issue. He'll be productive, and I think he'll hit higher than .258. But don't expect many more than 30 dingers.
Evan, New York
Chris, 5 keeper to go along with Wright, Soriano, Morneau, and Ichiro: Joe Mauer, John Lackey, Troy Tulowitski, Francisco Liriano, Nick Markakis, or Ian Kinsler?
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
Hi, Evan. Of those guys, I'd go with either Lackey or Markakis. I had Markakis 37th on my overall preseason list and Lackey 38th. So I can see an argument for either. Considering you're keeping four other hitters, maybe Lackey is your guy. (Tulowitzki is close, but not quite, for me.)
With Santana apparently close to getting dealt to the Mets, do you see Nathan being far behind? If so, do you still draft him as an elite closer or knock him down a few positions?
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Hi, Adam. I'm not sold that Nathan automatically gets dealt before the season starts if Santana goes. There are a couple schools of thought there. One: it's possible Santana being gone means the Twins have enough money to pay Nathan. Two: It's possible (nee probable?) that the market for Nathan would be best at midseason if the Twins decide they don't want to sign him. Honestly, yeah, I think if Nathan is traded, and he's definitely someone else's closer, I think he's still pretty darn good. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more consistent guy over the last few years, and let's face it: a lot of teams out there are going to be better than a Santana-less Twins squad.
Brian (Tulsa, OK)
What is the outlook for Yunel Escobar? I have him as keeper in my NL only league. The cap is $300 and his salary is $2. He has qualifies at SS, 2nd and 3rd. I am thinking he has the most value at 2nd. Thoughts?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Brian. I'm not super-high on Escobar. He had good plate discipline last year, which speaks in his favor, but his expected batting average was .291 (compared to his actual BA of .326), so there was some luck involved in his breakout season. He doesn't have any power, and doesn't have much speed. I think he'll hit .290 with a .750 OPS, but at least he'll probably be an everyday shortstop. I guess he has the most value at short or second, depending on whether you can get a high-output player at the other middle-infield spot. In NL-only leagues, Escobar is eminently ownable. I just don't love him.
If BJ Upton may bat closer to .260 next year, what really separates him from a guy like Kinsler?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi Mac. Not much. I have Kinsler rated one slot behind Upton, at No. 6 among second basemen. Upton probably has more upside, because there's definitely a chance I'm wrong about him, and Kinsler has to shake the injury-prone label. But I'm pro-Kinsler in a big way: if he hits first or second every day, as he should, I think that 20/20 he posted in less than 430 AB last year is repeatable. His underlying numbers are good: he hit right around where his xBA was, and the steals are real.
If Street gets dealt whos next in line for the closers job in Oakland?
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Joe. Well, let's say this: I don't think the A's will trade him, and it definitely won't happen before this summer. Street is under Oakland's control until 2010, so he'd have to bring a mint (which isn't likely to happen until someone gets desperate in July). Anyway, if and when Street goes, I guess Alan Embree is the guy for the moment, which is yucky, but Embree did a good job last year. Justin Duchscherer still has a lot of health concerns, Kiko Calero was hurt last year, too, and Santiago Casilla faded badly. I think right now I'd have to guess Embree.
Might Edmonds bouce back?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Boy, I don't know, Joe. I think he's cooked, at least against lefties. Putting aside injuries (which is very hard to do when it comes to Edmonds), take a look at that vs. LHP line last year: .198/.286/.346. Man, I think *I* might be able to manage that. By the end in St. Louis, they weren't playing him against southpaws, and the Padres are going to have to consider the same. Given the injury risks, I'd stay away.
Last keeper: Delmon Young, Kazmir, Haren? Already got Teixeira, Sizemore, Cano, Tulowitzki. Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Dave. I know Haren is some folks' candidate for a big bust in '08, but I think I'd pick him. I guess I'm just bamboozled by his consistency the past couple years. He's not at all a health risk, and he moves to an easier league. Granted, the ballpark factor hurts a lot. But I just think he's so steady, and will give you 200+ IP, 3.5 ERA, and 175 K or so. I like Kazmir more than a lot of people do, but you have more injury risk with him, and of course the worry that his control could continue to get the better of him. And Delmon could be great, but we haven't seen it from him yet, so I don't quite put him in the same league with the other two.
Marion Barber (Dallas, potentially Miami?)
Why does Jerry Jones lack trust in me? What do I have to do to be the lead guy? Aren't I more proven than McFadden? The DOLPHINS?!? Don't the have Ronnie Brown, where do I fit in?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
I'm worried about this, too. I don't know why the Joneses seem enamored with McFadden to the detriment of Barber. (Well, actually, these are all rumors at the moment....) I wouldn't do anything like that. Barber is a top-10 rusher right now, while McFadden? Sure, he *should* be great. But I wouldn't subject myself to the possibility that he could be Curtis Enis, especially not at the expense of two good picks toward the end of the first round *and* Marion Barber. Can Barber handle a full load? Maybe not. But go get someone to be his understudy, let him be your lead dog, and plug some defensive holes at the end of the first round. They're crazy if they do anything like this deal.
Is Saltalamacchia worth keeping for a 21st round draft pick in a dynasty league. I could also keep Votto, Corpas, Gregg, or Francis for that pick.
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Jim. Salty will probably be a really good hitter, but he's absolutely not guaranteed a spot on Texas's opening day roster. Honestly, if I had my choice? I might lean toward Votto in a dynasty league. I'm surer about him as a pure hitter, and if Salty winds up switching from catcher, there's no question Votto will be worth more in the long run. Now, at the moment, the Rangers don't plan on moving Salty from behind the plate, and he's certainly got a ton more value with his catcher eligibility. But even a sniff of that scares me. I think I'd go with Votto. I'm not counting on either of those guys to be instant stars this year. But in dynasty leagues? Studs.
Michael Young, super sleeper or overvalued b/c of name? I like him a lot, but may be delusional having owned him during his glory days, with his power numbers declining the past couple years.
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Brian. There was a lot of anti-Michael-Young sentiment in the room at our rankings summit early this month, and I didn't share it. Sure, some of what he displayed several years ago seems lost and gone forever: 24 HR and 100 RBI probably aren't coming back. But he's a *great* line-drive hitter. And he still is. I rate him right around seventh among shortstops, in a group that contains Guillen, Furcal and maybe (maybe!) Renteria. So I lean more toward the sleeper end. But don't expect power.
Chris, thanks for the O's analysis, who will close for Texas and Baltimore? Is it Guardado and Bradford? Can Hoey get a look? Will Ryan save 20? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (12:03 PM)
For Baltimore right now, your guess is probably as good as mine...I have to guess it's a L/R split between Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford, as ugly as that sounds. They would love Jim Hoey to step up, but his control issues would have to simply evaporate, and that doesn't usually happen. as for the Rangers, right now it sounds like either C.J. Wilson or Eddie Guardado...the Rangers fell out of love hard with Wilson as the second half wore on last year (as they should have), but if Everyday Eddie can't stay healthy, I think they'd rather keep Benoit in the setup role and try and live with Wilson. But both of those situations are totally subject to fluidity. I wouldn't be surprised to see new names in both situations. As for Ryan...I don't think he'll save 20. He'll be back in the second half, and it'll take him a while to be completely comfortable. Give him 14. (That's a complete "from-thin-air" number, btw.)
Jim (Albany NY)
I think Nick Swisher is going to absolutely blow up in Chicago, 290 .550 100 runs 100 rbis 100 bb sound right to you?
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
Hi, Jim. You've got the wrong guy. Tristan Cockroft is your pro-Swisher man. I'm not sold. His power should bounce back a little: it's a better park, and his ancillary power stats last year stayed pretty strong. But the batting average is going to be more of a problem. I don't see .290 by any stretch. I think you'll see .250. That might be harsh, but that's right around where his xBA was in each of the last two years. I like him, don't love him.
How do you think a Brian Roberts to the Cubs deal would effect Soriano? Less speed but more RBI?
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
Hi, Joe. I have to admit, I haven't given it the full statistical look-over, so this is me firing off the cuff...I think it's safe to say Roberts would probably be the leadoff guy, so yes, Soriano would probably have to run less. But of course I'm not 100% sure he'll run a ton even without Roberts in town, given the condition his legs worked themselves into last year. I'm not sure we'll see *that* many more RBI with Roberts around, but even 10 more would help. So yes, I think your analysis is probably about right, though I don't think we'd see a *huge* difference in either number.
Chris: With Johan possibly (probably?) moving to the Mets, would you give just about anything to get the first pick in an NL-only keeper leauge? I'm thinking about dealing Soriano for that pick. Risky, yes. At worst, I get Haren.
Christopher Harris (12:09 PM)
Hi, Kit. Thanks for your patience. You're asking me to choose between a Soriano/Haren combo and a Santana/???? combo. Boy, I don't know. Even coming off a down year, in re-draft leagues I have Soriano as the No. 13 overall guy (and No. 10 in NL-only, presuming Santana is NL). And Haren is my No. 9 starter overall (and No. 5 in NL-only). I know it's tempting, but I think that's a lot to give up.
Jim (Cambridge, MA)
Was Shandler at the ESPN projection powow? It sounds like it from all the xBA's your throwing around. You should include an adviso - that number is based on skills and certain players don't come anywhere close to it on a regular basis (I.e. Ichiro). It's not what a batter will hit...
Christopher Harris (12:10 PM)
Shandler wasn't there, Jim, but his book was. You're right, of course, xBA isn't about what he'll hit, exactly, but more about whether the numbers he's posted in a past span are sustainable. It's less important to look at the actual number than to look at the trend of whether xBA is above or below (and how far) the actual BA. You're right: Juan Pierre is always going to look terrible in xBA. (Then again, to me, Juan Pierre always looks terrible anyway.)
Chris, what are your thoughts on Felix this year? Where should he be drafted relative to Kazmir in a league transitioning to dynasty format?
Christopher Harris (12:13 PM)
Hi, Dan. You know, I was *really* high on King Felix headed into our rankings meeting. Stephania Bell was there (she's our medical guru), and she threw a little cold water on that, nominating Felix as one of her top candidates to need major elbow surgery, and soon. Now, I'm no medical person, and I respect Stephania a lot. It scares me, because before all this, I rated Felix as my No. 13 starter overall, based on his unlucky hit rate last year. Healthy, I think he'll give you a sub-4 ERA, 15 wins and finally break into the 1.2s in WHIP. But for me he comes with Stephania's warning label attached.
A lot of BJ bashing going on...other than the strikeouts, I don't see a lot difference in Upton's stat line versus Sizemore's (last year)...and that man can do no wrong among fantasy experts.
Christopher Harris (12:15 PM)
Hi, Mike. Very good point, and you know what: I was the loudest anti-Grady guy in the room in that meeting I keep so callously mentioning. It's not that I don't like Grady, but I see a clear statistical trend with him: he's one of those guys who hits for power or average, but not both. If he's going to increase his homers and extra-base hits, it's going to come at the expense of BA, and vice-versa. His contact rate is headed in the wrong direction, as his power headed up in '07. I just worry that until he hits *both* 30 HR *and* .300, he'll be a little overvalued.
Christopher Harris (12:15 PM)
All right everyone, sorry to have gotten a late start, but I think this chat room is in the process of evaporating. Promise to be on time next week, and get to as many questions as I can. Thanks for coming.
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