Fantasy Sports w/Brendan Roberts
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Brendan Roberts (11:00 AM)
Good morning, all. I'm back on today, filling in for Tristan Cockcroft, who is in Arizona doing an experts-league (LABR) draft. Let's talk some baseball!
kenneth a./ philly
I was in an 11 team n.l. league. (keeper & auction). Two owners dropped out. How does that effect prices and inflation.
Brendan Roberts (11:03 AM)
Good question, Kenneth. Obviously, fewer players will be taken (207), and less money will be put into the pool ($2,340, if a 23-player active roster). The biggest two differences is there's now a lot more depth at each position, and there are two fewer players to bid against. So there's even less of a need to bid up big for the top players.
Hey Brendan, in my keeper league i'm wrestling with keeping either Cole Hamels or Brandon Webb? I know Webb is the safer pick, but in my mind Hamels has more upside. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:04 AM)
Yeah, I'm with you, Derek. I think Hamels has more upside. He can put up the same percentage numbers, but with more K's. Wins chance is about the same since Webb tends to go a bit deeper in games.
Thoughts on A-Rod's hip injury? Is it anything to worry about? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:05 AM)
We're trying to get confirmation on this, and hope to have it by the end of my chat. But let's just say it's not looking good for A-Rod.
Pete ((NJ) )
Will Kevin Gregg nail down the Cubs' closer role by opening day?
Brendan Roberts (11:06 AM)
Yes, that's a hot issue right now, seeing as Gregg did have 29 saves last season. My bet is still for Marmol to win the role, and maybe even pitch in the eighth inning more than other closers. Because of the indecision, Marmol is going way later than he would if his job was nailed down. That gives you a great opportunity to get him at the level of mediocre closers. And I say you go for it!
Does Tommy Hanson make the opening day roster ?
Brendan Roberts (11:08 AM)
It's not looking like he will. Not only because the Braves have plenty of starters, but because Hanson also doesn't appear quite ready for it. I saw him pitch his first game, and, although he was probably nervous, he was dangerously out of control. They'll probably start him back in the minors, with the thought of bringing him up maybe mid-May or so.
Pete ((NJ) )
arod out 10 weeks. espn
Brendan Roberts (11:09 AM)
Yup, we're calling it official. A-Rod is out 10 weeks with hip surgery. Oh man, woe is us! Not sure yet who'll fill in at third base, but I'll check on it best I can.
Ben: (Columbus, GA)
Brendan, I've never done a keeper league before and am setting one up this year with 5 keepers. During next year's draft, I've heard that it is more fair to put everyone's keepers in the round that they were selected from this year's draft as opposed to just putting everyone's keepers in the first 5 rounds and then drafting from there. What are the biggest differences? And why is the first scenario the more fair one? What happens if you pick the first scenario and you trade for someone during the season and now have 2 2nd round picks from the previous yr?
Brendan Roberts (11:12 AM)
Seeing as this is new, and it's much easier, I'd prefer you just have straight keepers and not be concerned about rounds. If you want to change things up, then just have a maximum number of years a player can be kept, like 3. But the rounds thing can be just as unfair as anyting else, because when a guy strikes gold by taking Matt Wieters (or some surprise rookie) in the 19th round, he can ride him quite awhile, even if you take off rounds each season (which is what I'd prefer over just the straight round). Hope this makes sense. Tough to fit this in 100 words or less!
What's the best strategy for streaming pitchers? My league has a 12 start limit, should I be trying to max that out every week?
Brendan Roberts (11:14 AM)
Yeah, that's a lot of starts per week. If you consider the average league has 9 pitchers, and the average team has 6 SPs, 2 closers and 1 closer/top middle reliever. So 12 starts among six guys is a lot. But I wouldn't put number of starts over talent. I like to have 3-4 (preferrably 4) reliable starting pitchers I can keep in there almost every week. Ultimately, they'll help you more in the percentage categories than the streamers. Then I stream the last 2 spots between maybe 4-5 guys. That's what I'd recommend.
Any thoughts on Joe Saunders? Guy won 17 gms lst yr. Why rated and owned so low?
Brendan Roberts (11:15 AM)
Yeah, but his K's were low, his percentages weren't 17-winish ... the greater opinion is that the wins just happened to come since he played on such a good team. Sure, the Angels will be good again, but you can't count on that again. BUT, I like the idea of getting him in the late rounds, kinda like people do with Chien-ming Wang.
Why is BJ Upton so low? Concerns about the shoulder? I think he will be in the top 20 with a real shot at going 30/30
Brendan Roberts (11:18 AM)
Nah, we just don't think 30-30 is realistic. The power is lessened (in favor of striking out less), and the average isn't likely to stay over .300, and I'm buyin' that. So you're getting a 40-steal guy with maybe 10-15 homer power. That's pretty good, but not elite anymore. I have no problem with where he's being drafted (around the 35th to 40th spot) right now.
Draft this weekend, where does AROID go? 5th Round? Stashing him on the DL immediately would add value. Best case scenario, he returns June 1 and gets 30 HR, 100 RBIs. Rehab with Yuri could add value as well... Any thoughts?
Brendan Roberts (11:20 AM)
Yeah, I suppose is the question everybody wants to know. Yeah, fifth rounds sounds about right, but probably a little higher (better) if your league has DL slots. Remember that 3B is a deep position, and because he plays there, you can still find a one- or two-month replacement to get you to his elite performance. If the league has a DL slot, I'd still take him probably early in the 4th, or maybe even late 3rd. You don't want to sink your team by spending an early pick on him, but he still should be considered reliable once he returns.
Anthony (Ridgewood, NY)
Brendan - do you see AJ Pierzynski and Gerald Laird as a solid catcher combo in a 10 team AL only keeper league (with 2 starting catchers) or would you be looking to upgrade one or both, even if it potential costs several extra dollars?
Brendan Roberts (11:20 AM)
For an AL-only league, that sounds solid to me. There's not a lot to choose from (and even less in the NL).
over/under 27 saves for George Sherrill?
Brendan Roberts (11:21 AM)
Way under ... I'd guess Chris Ray has the job by the end of April.
In an OBP League, how much higher would you take guys like Adam Dunn, Pena, ect. At 1B, where would these guys now rank?
Brendan Roberts (11:22 AM)
I'm not going to play the name game with 'em, but you're basically taking their weakest spot and making it their strongest. That's huge. Dunn at least would move into the top 25 in my book.
Travis is TRYING to stream, I'm trying to LIMIT it in my league. H2H Categories, should I do weekly lines? Or a starts limit? What's a good limit? 10? I want to discourage streaming and hundreds of transactions (things got out of hand in a points league last year)
Brendan Roberts (11:23 AM)
Well, the head-to-head changes things a bit. Streaming would be risking the two percentage categories since streamers tend to put up worse ERAs and WHIPs versus reliable every-week guys. But if you were to set a limit, yeah, I like 10 the best.
Who do you like better at 3B - Chris Davis or Ryan Zimmerman? I've jumped off the old Zimmerman hype machine for the 35+ HR Davis hype machine.
Brendan Roberts (11:24 AM)
And I'm with you for that. Davis has far more value. Of course, his ballpark sure helps that (although he hit OK on the road in '08).
Judge Smails (Bushwood CC)
What is your general strategy when doing a points based hth snake draft?
Brendan Roberts (11:26 AM)
Obviously depends upon the points setup, but it's worth noting that you no longer need category balance. You get the points any way possible. Assuming it's a standard points in which OBP and SLG are huge, I'd put together a team that looks like a beer-league softball team, and then stream a good 3-plus pitching spots, and maybe not even worry about relievers, if the scoring system warrants it.
Brendan Roberts (11:27 AM)
OK, all, early talk is that Angel Berroa and Cody Ransom are currently in line to start at 3B in the interim. Ugh. They'll probably sign someone. Kudos to the reader who sent in, "Aaron Boone is available!" Good stuff.
Will Gallardo be this years Lincecum?
Brendan Roberts (11:29 AM)
A lot of people seem to think he will be, but it's kinda like the overused phrase, "next Ryan Braun." Those are pretty lofty explanations, and I don't want to set the bar that high. He's talented, but do we even know if he's ready for even 150-plus innings yet? That's what I'd worry about with him -- wearing down. Heck, I still kinda worry about that with Lincecum, too. Maybe not for this year, but the next 3-4.
About what round (snake) is not too early to take RP?
Brendan Roberts (11:31 AM)
Good question. My ESPN workmates would tell you the 8th or so is the earliest you should take one, and that's where they go in our mock drafts because even if you don't believe it, knowing you can wait, you might as well do so. But I have no problem taking part in a closer run in the 5th or 6th round in a 10-team, or 4th or 5th in a 12-teamer. But I usually don't like to be the first guy, just in case (which is why I don't get Papelbon). I wait for someone to take JB, then go after Mariano or Nathan shortly thereafter.
Brendan Roberts (11:32 AM)
Hey, wanted to make sure you all know that A-Rod is still unconfirmed since it's his brother saying this. We're reporting it, so it has some shred of truth, but don't go making moves just yet. OK?
From Tuesday's chat: "Your Adam Dunn example is a good one, because while he does hit homers and get on base, his K's and horrible D hurt his team, too, so I'd want someone with a lower OBP instead." So you would basically want someone who makes more outs?!? Guess you graduated from the Dusty Baker school of baseball...
Brendan Roberts (11:33 AM)
Huh? I guy with a .400 OBP makes fewer outs than someone with a .320 OBP. Next question.
Andy (Austin, TX)
Better "old" guy in an H2H league: Ortiz or Vladdy? Both have risks...
Brendan Roberts (11:33 AM)
Not a fan of either, but Vladdy. If Ortiz wasn't a DH, maybe, but that not only saddles him on draft day, but during the season as well.
Gary (Mt. Laurel, NJ)
Hey Brendan, are you on the Ricky Nolasco bandwagon too? Top 10 starting pitcher by the time year is out or was 2nd half of '08 a fluke? Thanks.
Brendan Roberts (11:35 AM)
I'm not on the bandwagon just yet. With pitchers who come out of the woodwork like that, I usually like to see more than just 10-15 starts of good pitching. Then again, it's worth noting Nolasco had great minor league numbers. I like him if he reaches No. 3 or 4 SP level, but not before that.
Wayne Campbell (Aurora, IL)
Party on Brendan! I have a snake draft this weekend and was curious why in my mocks that Nate McClouth is ranked so high? What is a good round to take him if he slips?
Brendan Roberts (11:38 AM)
He's ranked so high because he had a 25-25 season last year. Nuff said. But I think, looking at his swing and minor league numbers (he had 40 homers in more than 2,000 minor league at-bats), I don't think he'll hit 25 homers again. We have him ranked 48th overall, but I myself would put him more in the 60-65 range or so. Maybe that's just me.
Brendan - Since nobody cares about defense in fantasy, where do you rank Skip Schumaker and his .300 average amongst 2B's?
Brendan Roberts (11:41 AM)
Well, we're still not sure he has the starting job at 2B. That's what everyone is assuming, but I'm reading the reports, and the Cards definitely consider him a work in progress. And were he to nail down the job, there's no saying he'll be able to keep it. So I'm not a buy-high guy on him. In fact, I'd thrown him back in the Rickie Weeks/Kaz Matsui/Felipe Lopez range, if not lower. At least until we know more.
Am I crazy to think Andre Ethier is this year's breakout stud? 30/100 with a .300 AVG?
Brendan Roberts (11:42 AM)
Good question, Scott. I've been hearing a lot of talk about Ethier lately. Such different first- and second-half splits, BUT I believe the second half more. He was quite a prospect, and the scouts said all along he had this kind of ability. Not sure about the 30 homers, but those numbers aren't as far-fetched as many believe, and I think he could hit more in the .310-.315 range. I'm on board with you!
Irv - Dallas
What is your take on the type of year David Price will have?
Brendan Roberts (11:44 AM)
Well, his innings will be severely limited, and it's unlikely the Rays will throw him into a closer role. So we're basically looking at a low-inning fifth starter or middle reliever, which as Joba has shown us, can help only so much. I like him as a late pick (if a non-keeper league) for his upside (K's and ERA), but I don't expect a lot of wins or a great WHIP. Next year will be the year to get him, in my mind.
Justin (Queens, NY)
What do you think Volquez does this year? I've never seen a pitcher with over 200K's and 17 wins and a low 3 era ranked so low (40th among SP's?).
Brendan Roberts (11:46 AM)
Yeah, it's an outrage! Seriously, I fight with my brethren all the time on this. I'm a believer, but he DID come out of nowhere last year, does pitch in a hitters park, plays for a team that won't many games and does lack a little defensively. But to me, 200 K's are 200 K's. If we rank him 40th among SPs, I probably take him more like the 30-33 SP range. I'm with you, Justin.
I've been doing alot of mock drafts. How much should i take these results into account for my real draft?
Brendan Roberts (11:49 AM)
Good question, Bruce. I think you use it as a basis for marking, say, 10-15 guys who in general the public doesn't seem to like, and then you take that to the draft. In other words, you use it selectively, not as a general tool. You can't say "so-and-so was drafted about 45th in my mocks, so he should ..." Instead, you say "I think so-and-so is a top 30 player, but he hasn't gone anywhere near that in any of my drafts, so I probably can wait a round past the top 30." Capisce?
Rut-ro Brendan, I just seen the news about A-Rod. I am picking 5th and was hoping to snag either J-Rey or D Wright. I dont think they will get to me and dont know who to take b/t Braun, Miggy, and Sizemore. I need an experts advice. I'll even throw in some Scooby Snacks!
Brendan Roberts (11:50 AM)
Easy there ,"Raggy" (Shaggy). Yes, the top five (now top 4) picks have been pretty universal, so those two Mets might not make it. If they don't, you can't go wrong with Mr. Braun.
Would you rather keep Pedroia or Morneau? (Already have Pujols...)
Brendan Roberts (11:51 AM)
Definitely Pedroia. I actually like Kinsler more than Pedroia for this season, believe it or not, but he makes for a great long-term keeper.
25 Cent (LA)
How often do you guys update your rankings?
Brendan Roberts (11:52 AM)
Very regularly, at least a couple times per week, as far as I know, especially reacting to big changes. They're not stale, for sure.
Is Ryan Doumit ready to take the next step and join the elite ranks of cathers?
Brendan Roberts (11:53 AM)
I don't see it. First of all, he has quite an injury history, and many of the injuries even happened before he was a regular catcher. So I do worry about injuries with overuse, which hurts his cumulative numbers. But more importantly, I don't see where that batting average came from. I don't see him hitting .300 this season.
Manny or Carlos Lee - I can only keep one!
Brendan Roberts (11:53 AM)
As much as everybody loves Manny, I say Carlos.
ray, burlington, NJ
Brendan-thanks for the chat. What are your expectations for Mannywood this year? can he go 35-120-.330?
Brendan Roberts (11:56 AM)
I just don't see it. As he showed last season, Manny can be as good as any hitter in baseball when he's motivated. But he tends NOT to be motivated in April, or those June day games, or whatever. And he needs a day off now and then, maybe more than most elite players. Last season he was motivated the last two months of the season because of a playoff race and the prospects of a new contract. Without that, can you really count on him? I'm thinking more .318-29-100, and without steals. Good, but not top-25 or maybe even top-40 good. I guess I'm not raving him as much as most others.
Paul (San Francisco)
I may be a homer, but is Randy Johnson a good 12th round pick up in a 12-team 5x5? Great ballpark, still very high K-rate, which ultimately is more predictive of ERA/WHIP than anything else, right?
Brendan Roberts (11:58 AM)
Hmm, 12th round might be a round too high, but if you really want him, it's not outlandish. I'm on board with his potential this season. Better ballpark, good percentage categories, he's still healthy ... only concern is a lack of wins, esp. if his age keeps him below the 185-inning mark. But yeah, go for it.
What are your strategy on a roto draft when it comes to who to throw up on the auction board?
Brendan Roberts (11:59 AM)
As in whose name to toss out? Depends upon the time of the auction. Late I like to throw out one of 3-4 names I could live with, but early on, I try to throw out big-name players to burn off the money, preferrably at positions I'm set for. One more question, guys.
Fact or Fiction: Cole Hamels should be picked BEFORE Johan Santana in Fantasy Leagues? I Say Fact
Brendan Roberts (12:01 PM)
A bold and gutsy call, Andrew, and I like that. But Johan has a better track record, better ballpark, better numbers, and probably will pitch more innings, thus making his percentage categories even more of a chip in your bucket. I say Johan, assuming his arm is OK. Even if Hamels outproduces him because of injury or something, he still shouldn't be taken before him simply because of market value.
Brendan Roberts (12:02 PM)
And that'll do it. I see via e-mail, news, etc. that the fantasy world seems to have turned upside down while I was chatting. Looks like it'll be a busy afternoon -- and that's a good thing! Tristan will take over for me next Tuesday, but I'll be back soon. Thanks for stopping by!
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