Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
Need an in-depth answer to your question? Want your roster or trade offers reviewed? Get a personalized response from an ESPN expert with The Answer Guys. All questions answered within 24 hours, guaranteed. Ask your question .
AJ Mass (10:57 AM)
Good morning gang. We've got an hour of fantasy chat for you on this fine Friday, so why not get started? Who's up first?
I've been offered Magglio for Ibanez straight up from a big Phillies fan. Should I do it?
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
No I would not, for two reasons. One, I actually think Raul has a slightly better fantasy year for you, but more importantly, he's a Phillies fan. When you know the person you are trading with is going to be thinking a bit irrationally because of blind loyalty to a team/player, you never take their first offer. You always squeeze a bit more out of them. Squeeze, Sean. Squeeze.
Last keeper, Beltre, Chris young, or Milledge?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
I would go with Beltre. 3B is not as deep as OF, and even though I think Young is better, there are plenty more OF to be found in the draft.
Scott (Boston, MA)
When you draft, do you typically try to give yourself quota's (I.e. I need 2 CI's and 2 OF's in the first 6 rounds) or do you just look for best available ?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
I think each draft is different, and a lot depends on where int he snake you fall. I'll take more chances if I'm in the middle than if I am on the ends, where I can't afford to reach. In general, I have a list of my Top 100 or so players, regardless of position and try to draft from that list for the first few rounds before then targeting specific positions.
Pick 8: who would you take? Braun,Utley,Seizmore
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
I would go Grady. (See my Diamond Debate with Chris Harris for a full evaluation of Grady v Ryan)
Hello AJ, As always great chat, thanks. I dread pitching early, but if Lincecum falls to you late in the second round of a 12 team draft would you get him, or keep to the strategy offense only in the first five rounds?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
Again, I think you have to be flexible in a draft... I may have come into a draft with a plan to select OF with the first three picks, but if for some reason Hanley Ramirez has fallen to #10, I don't hesitate to take him. Similarly, if Lincecum is your top pitcher on the board and he's sitting there and you know he won't be there next round, you take him.
Monty Hall (Showroom Floor)
I always try to deal two mediums for one big Kahuna - that way I get the best player in the deal and I have an open roster spot to play with. Your thoughts, oh Massive one?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
I'll go for behind curtain #3, Monty. You could be in for a big drop off if the best replacement player is a free agent ZONK who won't help your combined stats match what you gave up, even if the top dog is a BRAND NEW CAR! You have to be sure there is a FA to place in that open spot who can make the deal make sense.
You can stash one of these on your bench - Cahill or Hanson - which one?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I prefer Hanson as a stash, but Cahill may end up giving you stats first.
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
Aviles, Polanco or the newly named starter Skip Schumaker at 2B?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Polanco. He is by no means glamorous, but he is what he is, and you need those reliable "solid yet unsexy" guys to win.
How does an auction league work with trading & FA's?? do salaries have to match up? are all FA's $1??
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Depends on the league rules - there's no "right way". In my auction leagues, I've always used a FAAB to determine the salaries of FA's. In addition, I keep the salary cap in place throughout the season, so any deals have to keep both teams under the cap, though FAAB $ maybe traded in order to even out a deal.
Worried (St. Paul)
Speaking of solid but unsexy, what's the Mauer prognosis?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
Mauer is probably going to miss a few games, and a trip to the DL is likely. However the new meds he is on apparently are helping, so this may be a short stint away, but there's a possibility of a recurrence. 125 games may be more realistic than 150.
What kind of numbers do you see from Hideki this year? Is Daniel Murphy a better option for a 5th outfielder?
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
I like Hideki more for power purposes. Plus I'm not convinced Murphy will be the everyday guy anytime soon, so extra PT won't be that huge a factor.
What is your opinion of Rickie Weeks? Roll the dice or drop for Fontenot???
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
I'd roll the dice on Weeks, and pray the BA doesn't absolutely destroy you.
Meche or Ubaldo?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
Meche. Not that I think he'll win 17 games with KC, but I always try and judge my pitchers by skill set, and hope the wins, which they rarely have any control over, do come.
Given the shallow SS this year, should Reyes be taken #2 in a league with Middle and Corner infield slots?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
I think Reyes should be taken at #1 overall, shallow position or not.
Kelly Shoppach (Cleveland)
What's the latest on how much playing time I will actually get this season?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
You're the man more often than not. V-Mart is going to see far more 1B and DH time, so I'd expect over 100 starts, and for you to play in many games that V-Mart does start behind the plate as a late-innings replacement.
Is Polanco & Jeter basically the same player fantasy-wise?
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
Yes... very little separates the two of them.
James (Newport, RI)
Aubrey Huff was great last year. Does he repeat another .300/30/100 season? Better offense around him. Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
I love Huff and have tried to draft him in every league possible. I think he still has room for growth and like you said, has a lot around him to help out. He's bordering on Top 20 hitter status.
AJ PLEASE! Do you typically draft 5 starters or 4 in a league that has holds as well as saves. Randy Johnson, Parra, and Maholm are out there? My other starters are Halliday, Nolasco, Lester, and Cueto. Ty
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
I tend to draft more starters than RP because there are far fewer to go around. If you want to compete you need as many top-3 guys on their staffs as possible --- holds guys and setup men... there will always be enough on the waiver wire to tinker with your staff after the fact.
Gavin Floyd (Chi-Town)
Why no love for me? It's reasonable to think I might take a step back, but my projections for this year are WAY worse than my numbers last year and I'm owned in less than half of the leagues!
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
17 wins was extremely lucky last year. I don't think you're going to take a step back, because your peripheral stats were among the worst of any Top 50 pitcher last season, if not the worst. It's a case of you being far more lucky than good in 08.
in a Head-2-Head league, how many closers do you roster? if you don't win the catagory the saves (and, thus, the closers) for that week are essentially useless. i have capps and soria. do i trade them for something more useful or overpay for a third closer. nothing available on the wire. thanks.
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
In H2H leagues, I always load up on closers early. If I can get 3 or 4 top saves guys in the first ten rounds, along with an ace or two, I'll win all my pitching categories more often than not. Then I'll grab all the Taveras, Ellsbury, Crisp, Gomez, Bourn guys I can and hope to nail steals as well. It's all or nothing in my eyes with closers.
Any chance Nick Johnson stays healthy this year and becomes a relevant fantasy option?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
Chance? Sure. And maybe Megan Joy wins American Idol too.
Some say Jed Lowrie has limited offensive upside. Some look at his doubles and see a little more room for power. Nobody believed in Pedroia's power potential either. What are your thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
I think Lowrie has the potential... certainly enough to be a Michael Young type of hitter. Plus it certainly helps that he plays his home games in teeny tiny Fenway.
Chris (Tulsa, OK)
What do you imagine Evan Longoria's long-term fantasy value being? Do you see him getting a perennial top-10 overall ranking (such as David Wright), or is he more like a top 25 overall or lower guy? What about Wieters? Do his bat and position scarcity put him as a perennial top-10 overall player if he hits like people think he should?
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
Long-term, Evan should progress to being a top-25 hitter perennially at a bare minimum, even though I think people will draft him way too early this season... but as for position scarcity, I think that's very overrated because it has less to do with the stats an individual gives you and more to do with the lack of stats that a large group of other players give you. Few catchers will ever reach top-10, if any simply because of the wear and tear of the position.
What's your thought on punting the catcher position? Even the best don't strike me as really good overall players - and since most of the league will just have an average guy behind the plate anyway, there seems to be no real benefit to drafting Russell Martin early over Benji Molina in the last round...
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Goes right to the point of the last question. I might take a solid catcher in the middle rounds if one of the top-4 has slipped a bit, but in one mock draft I did, Kelly Shoppach (20 HR) lasted until Round 23. No need to "punt" but no need to overspend either.
Factoring in my recent abdominal imjury, what kind of season do you expect from me this year?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
I'm not going to be that concerned if you play today as scheduled. Strains and hammies and other "aches" in the spring aren't a big deal to me. It's the tears and hips and bad backs that are far more concerning.
Cooter (Hazard County)
AJ....I'm dumbfounded. AL only draft tonight, pick number 4. Assuming 1-3 is Cabrera, Sizemore and Tex(?), which way do I go? Pedroia, Kinsler, Hamilton? I usually am pretty confident with picks, but I just don't know with this one. Please!!!
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
I like Pedroia next, but if you want to gamble that Kinsler or Roberts will still be there the next round, you can take Hamilton.
Standard Auction H2H, grab reyes at all costs?? which first rounder do you have to get?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
In an auction, I don't "have to get" anyone. Obviously there are certain guys I like more than others, but I set a personal cap going in for each player and although I adjust it as the draft goes along, I'm not paying more than my predetermined number.
Pablo Sandoval San Francisco
Would you trade Adam Dunn for me straight up?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Probably not, unless it was a keeper league. Although if I already had the HR depth, then I might unload the BA.
Loney or Laroche? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
Loney. I still think Laroche might be able to have that stellar season we're all waiting for, but Loney is going to help you a little bit more in categories across the board.
Allen (Asheville NC)
Can Cain win more than 10 this year?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Absolutely. There's not all that much difference in W-L totals with him and Lincecum from last year... it was the difference in run support that destroyed Cain and that's out of his control for the most part. Even one or two extra runs every other start could have him with 15 Ws.
Ricky Ricardo (Hollywood, CA)
Hola, Babalu! Wang or Kuroda?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Kuroda. Wang wins because of the lineup, but K's few and help you little in the other categories.
Ziti (H-Burg, PA)
Jayson Werth or Lastings Milledge. Pick one and tell me why. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Werth. He was by far the better half of the platoon with Jenkins last year and given the everyday shot, his production should skyrocket. Now, I love Milledge, and am really pulling for him... but with Lastings, it's basing it on faith, whereas with Jayson it's on prior results... that wins out.
Thoughts on Eric Byrnes this year? Doesn't have a starting job but is the speed back?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
I'm doubtful. Not saying he can't "pick and choose" his way to 20 SB, but I think his days as a legit and reliable source of SB is gone.
Quick one: Cliff Lee or Dice K?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Cliff Lee. I'm not a big Dice-K fan, even if there is always the possibility of a no-no each time he pitches... it's those bad starts sprinkled in there that I fear.
You're ducking any questions on Chris Carpenter aren't you? You're scared that he's going to be a top 25 SP by years end. FEAR THE CARP!!
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Not at all, Joey. I'm on Taiyo's side. I'm not drafting him too early, but I am most definitely drafting him after I have a few "non-injury risk" starters lined up.
I picked up A-rod in the 4th round last night and later picked Alex Gordan as insurance. Was this the right spot for A-rod?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
If you wanted him, then that's where you needed to draft him. He's not going to last much longer in most leagues.
Jon (Bennington, VT)
Which tandem would you prefer to have in a standard 5x5 AL only league: Sizemore & Kendrick or Kinsler & Bay?
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Ian and Jason, please.
Jason (St Louis)
Why do you draft several closers in the first 10 rounds when most "experts" say not to pay for saves?
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
We're talking H2H, and not any other format. You don't pay for saves in a roto or points league where stats count over the season. In H2H, you need to maximize save opportunities for the week, and that means hoarding closers.
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
The monkey cuckoo clock on the wall just ooked at me, so it's time to go. Thanks for the Q's - it's always a pleasure. We'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre.