Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass
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AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
Good morning, gang. Ready fro an hour of chattage here. Obviously it will be heavy on the baseball, but also remember it's Bracket Buster weekend! NCAA bubble talk also welcome.
John (New York, NY)
If you had to choose one, would you keep Lester or Grienke? Both had great 2nd halfs last year.
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
That;s a great pair to discuss... I actually have them back-to-back in my rankings. I personally like Greinke a slight bit more as a pitcher, but would give Lester the nod, if for no other reason that his team will probably win more games, and therefore, so will he.
Aaron (Winter Haven, FL)
Last Keeper. Dempster or Dye? I give up my 12th rounder for either. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
I think you'll be able to get Dye back before the 12 round of a draft, whereas perhaps not so for Dempster. I usually favor keeping hitters over pitchers, but when you start factoring in "value" it's a different kettle of fish.
What up AJ? I am struggling on whether to keep Hanley Ramirez in a NL Only 3yr keeper auction league at $41, what do you think? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
Ramirez is a top-3 pick in an NL-only, and even if you're paying a few extra bucks to keep him (and you might actually still be getting off cheap with $41) you have to protect him, because you're not likely to get him back.
Hey AJ - given how unpredictable pitchers are, what's your general rule on how high you draft one?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
If we're talking a straight draft, I'm not likely to take many pitchers early - but every rule has an exception. In general, I rank all my pitchers in order and as long as there's a few left in my top tier, I'll continue to load up on hitters before biting.
AJ do you have duke going to the sweet sixteen?????
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Gotta see the brackets first, of course, but Duke does not pass the smell test for me. Not enough size down low, and way too streaky. If they get a 2-seed they may out-talent the 15, but I'm not in love with them beyond that.
Who will be the Florida SP I want...Johnson or Nolasco? Our league counts WHIP too.
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I'm very high on Nolasco this year. He's probably my #1 sleeper pick. Johnson's BB/9 is a little too high for my tastes.
Rock (Verona NJ)
Should Ty Wigginton be drafted in a 10 team league?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Not as a starter, but if you need to go 3-4 deep at CO, then perhaps he goes late.
AJ - Great job on the Pierre rankings. Are you guys going to do "draft strategy" articles like last year? Those were helpful and I used the '8 positions players in first 10 rounds' strategy and rode it to 1st place.
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Thanks, John. Actually, there are some very good articles on strategy already up in the draft kit written by my esteemed colleague Jason Grey. Check them out.
Big Joe (Raider Nation)
Who do you like better out of Crawford and Granderson? I have mixed feelings on both.
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
I like Granderson far better. I think if not for the early injury to Curtis, he'd have been far better last season. He bounced back pretty well, but as for Carl, I thought he was declining a bit even when healthy.
What do you see for Jose Lopez? He is only 25 and ESPN has him ranked 12th among starting 2B. Seems a little low to me.
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
I personally like Lopez a lot more than my colleagues. Especially since he gets so many at-bats and should hit .300 or thereabouts again. The knock is that you may not get RBIs/Runs from him due to the weak supporting cast in the lineup, but I prefer to judge a player on his own skill set, and his is on the rise.
on a perennial keepers League.... Cueto or Gordon......Harden or E.Santana
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I go Gordon and Ervin. In fact for this year, I like Ervin a touch more than Johan.
Buju (South Bend, IN)
Who will have the better season, Sabathia or Lincecum
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
For fantasy, CC. It's just more likely he'll get wins and if he and Tim have the same basic ERA, CC will most likely have more IP, meaning his ERA will be more valuable than Lincecum's.
Who do you like better as last keeper--Hunter Pence or Jason Werth?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Pence. I'm not convinced that Werth is good enough to perform in a non-platoon situation.
Im in a tough spot...Jose Reyes or David Wright?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
That's not really a tough spot. Either should make a good starting point for a roster. I had that choice in our ESPN Mock Draft at pick #4, and I went Reyes, but I can see the argument for Wright, especially if the talk of Jose dropping in the order is legit. Any drop in SB output lowers Reyes significantly.
Hey AJ, if you have the #3 and #22 pick in the draft, who would you eye for both those picks? Best available or rare position filler first.
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
I am not worrying about positional scarcity in Round 1. I'm taking best player available. Which, hopefully leaves me Albert at #3.
What has happened to the 3B position in fantasy baseball lately? After the top 4, the drop off is STEEP even more so than at SS and 2B it appears where there are at least a few later guys with solid upside (Jose Lopez just one example).
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
Part of the issue is simply players who used to qualify at 3B no longer being eligible there, plus possible platoons like in Milwaukee and Minnesota thinning the herd a bit. But I think it's more that the players who might fill those roles don't inspire confidence to repeat the stats, like a Cantu or a Reynolds or Atkins. If they do match last season's output, I don't think the dropoff is all that steep.
Jack (Philadelphia, PA)
AJ, give me your top five running backs going into next season.
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
AP, Turner, Westbrook, Gore, Forte. There's actually a full list of all the ESPN experts early Top-5's up on the Fantasy Football portion of ESPN.com.
Speaking of 3B, what do you think about the Kouz?
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
I've got him as my #14 3B right now, but I don't like him as much as some guys I have rated lower. I just think we've seen the best he has to offer already.
Ryan Ludwick: over/under 30-100
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
Over. Not a fluke.
Justin (Houston, TX)
Keeper League -- Our keepers cost us the round they were taken the previous season. What young player should I take late to stash for the future? (not necessarily productive this year)
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
Obviously you want to consider Wieters, since catcher is typically a weak position. But generally, I'd rather win today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Remember Colby Rasmus?
Steve, Boston, Mass
Roto-league keeper question...I need to drop one of these 3.... Markakis, BJ Upton or McCann?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I'd drop BJ. There's plenty of other OF in the sea.
Should Brandon Phillips be taken in the first round or should he be a later selection?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
He's nowhere near a 1st Rounder. Especially if he is going to be batting cleanup, because that's going to take him out of the 20-20 club for sure.
Are you guys going to have an experts mock draft this year? I've always found that helpful.
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
Absolutely Rich. Several of them, in fact. We just did our 10-team Mixed this week, and the results will probably be up early next week. AL-only and NL-onlys to come.
You like Ervin better than Johan? Testament to Ervin or are you down on JOOOOhan
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
Testament to Ervin. The swapping of closers might tip the W totals towards Johan, but I just like Ervin's control a bit better.
AJ, who do you take...McLouth or Danks?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Nate. I'm in the camp that last season's first half, while not sustainable, wasn't a mirage either. Danks is a solid #3 starter for fantasy, but I don't keep that over a starting OF.
Head To Head League, can keep 4 without giving up any draft picks - Who do you go with between Utley, Holliday, Soria, Cain, Haren, C. Hart, B. Phillips, or Alexei Ramierez?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Utley and Holliday for sure. I'd then keep Haren and finish up with Hart. I don't keep closers - its just a personal philosophy.
Ben (Tempe, AZ)
Hey AJ, Wisconsin had another win last night to extend their win streak. After overcoming a 6 game losing streak do you think they have a good enough resume to make the tournament. They have the 3rd hardest schedule!
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
Wisconsin is certainly on the bubble. but certainly with a better resume than the other 3 Big 10 bubble teams (PSU, OSU, Minny) --- I realize the committee doesn't look at conference affiliation when selecting, but since these other teams make up the bulk of their H2H, I'd rather be at the top of that pack than not. Still, it's so tight right now that no team on the bubble can afford a losing streak.
brian (chi town)
Where do you think Milton Bradley should be taken in drafts this year?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
No sooner than Round 8.
As a loyal Cuse fan I am worried about another 1st round loss in the NCAAs assuming they even make it. Can the Orange go the distance this year?
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
Yes, let's get there first, shall we? Really, 21 wins is a virtual guarantee to make it this season, especially if they stay ahead of Providence in the final standings. But go the distance? I don't think they are as good as any of the 1-seeds. Sweet 16 is pretty safe bet, and Elite 8 possible. Beyond that? I think not.
How much does Illinois' distster against Penn State effect their seeding for the tourny this year? Can you see them making a run this year?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Not much... teams lose. If they lose to them again in the rematch, then that will hurt.
Do you still see A-ROD as a potential top 2 pick after the whole steroid issue?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
I didn't see him as such before, so no. But I am not changing my ranking of A-Rod based on anything that has happened in the last few weeks. In my mind, once the games start, I think A-Rod will be A-Rod.
Fernando (Pembroke Pines)
Hey Massive, Help me out who would you pick in the 1st round between Miguel C, Grady S, or Ryan B? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Pines Posse in the hizzy! I have Grady as my top OF for '09, so I'd go with him.
but what if S-Fraud is suspended for the first 50 games
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
I don't foresee any disciplinary action being taken, but of course, IF a guy is missing 50 games, you factor it in. If he breaks his leg tomorrow in a freak jellybean counting accident, we take it into account --- but not before it does.
Yea or nay on Matt Holliday?
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
i believe the bcs is equal to the playoff system and that neither one is better
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
I disagree. The BCS was put into place to eliminate human bias... and then each season it has consistently been altered to give more weight to the human voters who can easily manipulate the outcome.
Larry Johnson (KC)
where am i playing next year?
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Wouldn't be surprised to see a draft day trade... but to whom? Don't know.
How do you feel about Joey Votto this year? Picked him up in the 17th round and considered it a steal.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Well done, sir. A steal indeed.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
That's all we have time for today, gang. I appreciate the Q's. We'll be back same bat time, same bat channel next week. Until then... we'll see you the next time on VIlla Allegre!