Chat with Brendan Roberts
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Brendan Roberts (3:00 PM)
Hi, gang. This is the week I toss in football questions, but I'll also try to hit as many baseball questions as I can for those of you in the fantasy baseball crunch time. Let's get to the questions!
Baseball is not over! Would you start Gallardo and Niemann tonight? Thank you
Brendan Roberts (3:01 PM)
Definitely Gallardo. Can't overthink this one.
Chris (Lynchburg, VA)
Brendan, I'm all of a sudden in a real race in a league that I've led since Opening Day. I need saves. Madsen's available in that league. What's the Phillies situation at closer?
Brendan Roberts (3:03 PM)
It's tough to tell since Lidge got the first save in Sunday's doubleheader. Here's how I see it, with no real factual proof: Lidge is the closer, with a very short leash, both during outings and between them. If he puts two guys on base and Madsen hasn't been used, they might go to him. Or if he struggles again, they go back to Madsen. But Charlie Manuel has stuck by Lidge, and is doing so as of now. Is he worth a pickup? If that's the best shot at getting them, I'd say yes.
Gifford (Ocean NJ)
Worried about Royal or braylon edwards
Brendan Roberts (3:04 PM)
You mean Royal stealing Edwards touches? Nah, Royal is just your typical red zone tight end who will catch the TD every once awhile. I saw flashes from Braylon, and while I didn't see the play, I think he had a TD called back by penalty or something. Stick with him.
Do you think Jay Bruce will produce much over the last few weeks? Would you keep rolling him out there vs. righties?
Brendan Roberts (3:06 PM)
I definitely would. By all accounts, he's healthy again, and I hear he's been taking a ton of batting practice to try to "wear out" the wrist, and it withstood it. Once he's back in game shape, which should be soon, he'll really help you. I say he's worth starting, especially this week with a home stand.
mike randle (chicago il)
what was lovie smith thinking calling that direct snap with a two point lead in the fourth qr with one min to go
Brendan Roberts (3:07 PM)
Yeah, I saw that too. But I don't think Smith called that. In fact, I don't even think Garrett Wolfe knew he did. Apparently there was some sort of signal for Wolfe to call a direct snap, and the long snapper felt Wolfe called it. He snapped it to Wolfe, who himself seemed surprised to get it. He got what he could, but that was some "audible miscommunication" there. I saw a lot of mistakes like that in the first week.
Jeff (Portland, ME)
Any concerns the Braves will limit Hanson this week? He is a two-starter, but will he start both games and pitch over 5 innings? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (3:09 PM)
Yeah, I think he will. There was talk the Braves would limit Hanson, and I suppose they have to some extent, but they seem to be letting him go so far as far as innings and throwing a usual number of pitches (ie. they're not stopping him at 75 or whatever). My guess is because he's a big guy with a natural motion, they aren't concerned. So I think he's definitely a safe start.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
This really isnt fantasy baseball focus is it? Mr. Roberts, Im pretty sure last week you said the floor was open to all questions...Ive been saving my fantasy curling and badminton questions up for this week!
Brendan Roberts (3:10 PM)
Ha, ha. Baseball and football. I shoulda clarified. Here's my extent of badminton and curling knowledge ... (crickets)
Fred Jackson was a monster yesterday! Any chance he's the top back Even after loser-boy comes back from suspension?
Brendan Roberts (3:12 PM)
Loser boy, I guess, equals Marshawn Lynch. Nah, most coaches don't like to straight yank a starter's job without giving the starter a chance to respond, which Lynch might well do. But I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a straight platoon, with an equal number of touches. That's very possible, albeit not good for fantasy. Jackson looked good, but I was also quite unimpressed with the Pats run defense. I think it's overrated after some of the losses it has been hit with. That's what I take from that more than anything.
Shane (Los Angles, CA)
Which is the truer statement: LT is no longer an elite RB and wont hit 1100yrds, 11TDs this year. OR The Raiders rush defense is vastly improved with the additions of Ellis
Brendan Roberts (3:15 PM)
The additions of Ellis and Seymour. Man, Seymour (and Ellis, to a lesser extent) was flying all over the field. Very impressive. Too bad JaMarcus Russell is the most inaccurate starting QB in football. ... Anywho, LT got hurt midway through the game, but in my eyes, he didn't even look that great in the first half. He looked bigger and slower. And that Sproles is something else. I was on the LT bandwagon before the season, but I've jumped off it even after one game. I don't see how LT is going to get as many touches as he used to, and he needs that to produce like the back you describe above. I'd be a concerned LT owner.
Gifford (Ocean NJ)
Eddie Royal, not Robert Royal.
Brendan Roberts (3:16 PM)
Oh, Eddie Royal. I thought you were talking about Mr. TD and 60 yards Robert Royal of the Browns. Nah, I wouldn't be concerned with Eddie Royal, although I don't think that big season is gonna come with Orton at QB. Royal had just enough downfield plays to give him the occasional monster game, and I don't see that from Orton. Same number of catches, but fewer yards.
Need steals for remainder of the year....please rankin steals and overall for 2010...Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera, and Erick Ayabr...I would stream with Stephen Drew
Brendan Roberts (3:18 PM)
Elvis and Everth have similar speed, but Elvis is the all-around better fantasy option. So for what you're looking for, definitely Elvis. Aybar is intriguing, given his batting average, but if you need steals, Elvis is your guy. He's only going to get better, considering he spent the first two months of the season learning the nuances of stealing at this level.
Baseball (STILL IN THE HUNT!)
As a flier for the next few weeks - Chris B Young or Cuddyer?
Brendan Roberts (3:19 PM)
A lot tougher than it would have been a month ago, huh? I'd still probably say Cuddyer. Slightly more favorable matchups, in my eyes, and a safer bet to produce.
What are your thoughts on Earl Bennett? Would you play him over B Edwards this week?
Brendan Roberts (3:21 PM)
It was clear to me that Jay Cutler was looking for Bennett on several occasions Sunday night, even when he couldn't get the ball to him. But I wouldn't say he has the upside that Braylon does in any given week, and especially not with the Bears facing the Steelers.
Dodgers starters have been money lately. Do you like Kuroda at home against the Pirates?
Brendan Roberts (3:22 PM)
I like just about any pitcher at home against the Pirates, especially one who is pretty solid and plays for a winning team that suddenly has a little sense of urgency. Start Kuroda.
What happened to JP Howell? Who is the Tampa closer?
Brendan Roberts (3:24 PM)
Was just looking at it this morning. It's still Howell. He hasn't given the team a reason to change, despite an ugly outing last week. It's just the Rays haven't been given many opportunities. Last night he "saved" a four-run lead (no save, but they used him as such). No worries, Howell's still the guy.
Please help - Nolasco killed me last night. I need to stream some starters. Your take on Gallardo and Niemann tonight? THX!
Brendan Roberts (3:24 PM)
It might not have shown up ... I say Yo-Ga.
R U starting 9 time targeted Brandon Marshall this week? Other choices are A. Bryant,D. Hester
Brendan Roberts (3:27 PM)
Three very similar choices. Well, two. I think you throw out Hester versus PIT. I'm not sure the Bucs throw enough for Bryant to be too intriguing against BUF. So it's Marshall, in my eyes. ... A lot of people are down on Marshall for his play Sunday, but I'm not as much. Just like Royal, the big plays will be lacking, but he became more and more of the offense as the game wore on, and they did look for him a lot, especially over the middle. If he's running short routes over the middle, he fits Orton's "throw-to" qualifications. Like I said, the yards might not be there, but I foresee a lot of catches from him.
I have Gallardo too and intend to start him? What about Lackey at Fenway?
Brendan Roberts (3:28 PM)
I've been hearing way too many great reports of Lackey's stuff of late to sit him down, tough matchup or not. He reportedly looks as good as he all season, like he was never injured. That's a very good sign that he'll give you at least six strong innings.
I dropped Cuddyer lost him to waivers,picked up Swish this week.Vlad's a FA.Swish or Vlad for Playoffs?
Brendan Roberts (3:28 PM)
Oh, definitely Vlad. He's got the power stroke going again, and hits for a better average.
How long before AJ Feely replaces Delhomme?
Brendan Roberts (3:30 PM)
A good question, but I don't think anytime soon. It was just one game, and Delhomme is a proven leader for that team. Every time I looked over at that Panthers game, the Eagles were throwing him all over the field, and the pressure was as much to blame for his horrible game as Delhomme himself, in my eyes. But not every team can bring it like the Eagles, and usually the Panthers take control with the ground game. They will in future games, and consider this game a fluke. In fact, I still think he has a backup's or No. 2 QB's value.
I've got number 1 waiver priority this week: Henderson the real deal? Or does Bress spread it around too much?
Brendan Roberts (3:32 PM)
Henderson is always good for a big game or two early in the season to pique your interest. But yeah, Brees spreads it around -- man, they have a lot of weapons with Shockey and Bush healthy -- and the Saints were hosting the Lions, no small thing either. I wouldn't burn No. 1 on Henderson. Seek a running back in a position to succeed, or something with more consistent upside.
Is Franklin Morales, Kerry Wood, or Fuentes a better keeper than Roy Oswalt going into next year? I'd love to have a third closer, but these are shakier options. Oswalt would be my 7th keeper SP, and it would likely help me avoid the dregs of the unkepmt, er, unkept SP options.
Brendan Roberts (3:35 PM)
Ha, well put. Not really sure about what happened with Oswalt this season, but he seems to be healthy to be now, and I still believe he'll bounce back. That said, if teams are keeping that many players, then the chances you'll find saves on draft/auction day aren't good. Ya know, I probably would say Fuentes would be the tougher guy to get back, and a better fit for your team (you already have six SPs). Not conventionaly, but Fuentes would be my pick. Not great closer, but on a great team.
You buying Pedro's resurgence? Is he a better option now than say D. Lowe?
Brendan Roberts (3:37 PM)
I honestly feel he is. He's vintage Pedro, and seems to be as motivated as anytime in the past three years. Must be the playoff race, lack of expectations, and more than anything, the fresh arm. Lowe, meanwhile, has had enough "blow-up" outings of late to concern me that I'd choose Pedro and hope for more wins.
Speaking of Oswalt, what do you expect from him tonight? While he's struggled lately and is battling a balky back (try saying that 10x fast!) he completely OWNS the Reds in his career. I'm torn on whether to start him and I'm sure many owners are debating the same thing in playoffs. Thanks for your help!
Brendan Roberts (3:37 PM)
Yeah, I would start him in Cincy. He does own the Reds in his career ... and he's facing Kip Wells, so good chance for a win.
Which guy should I add for Mendenhall. McGahee, Cadillac Williams, or Mike Bell?
Brendan Roberts (3:40 PM)
Cadillac. I think he has the best shot to shine going forward. McGahee still is behind Rice in the pecking order, and Bell has Pierre Thomas coming back soon. Cadillac just might be the top dog in Tampa Bay, at least for now. To me, it was telling when he had that long run Sunday, was horse-collared at the 3-yard line and limped off, Ward came in and got two plays, and Cadillac came right back in when he had caught his breath. He looks every bit like the "No. 1 back" in that rotation.
Trade Fitzy for Slaton? I have Wayne, Holmes, Bryant and Holt as my other WR's.
Brendan Roberts (3:41 PM)
Nah, I still like Fitzy more. With Breaston missing Sunday and Boldin not seeming 100 percent, Fitzgerald might be even more valuable. Plus, Slaton didn't look too good. Now, if he threw in a useable second player, then maybe.
Is Seath Smiths hot streak over?
Brendan Roberts (3:43 PM)
How many times have we seen this happen ... a Rockies hitter emerges and gets red-hot, and it just happens to come on a Rockies homestand. And then he heads on the road and goes, what, 2-for-12 in his first three games? Yeah, Smith's hot streak is over ... until he returns home all next week. That's my prediction.
Start Big Z is a tiny bit of confidence tonight?
Brendan Roberts (3:44 PM)
I think you're safe starting Zambrano. Three earned runs and one win in his past 12 innings. (As an aside, try typing Zambrano when you're typing fast.)
This week...Lance Moore or Justin Gage at WR3? Also have Roddy White and Lee Evans starting.
Brendan Roberts (3:46 PM)
Kinda combining a few of my earlier posts here ... the Saints play at Philly, and I don't like the pressure the Eagles put on QBs. If anything, Brees will have trouble getting the ball downfield to Moore, who is more of a downfield receiver. And the Titans host the Texans, who didn't get much pressure on the Jets on Sunday. Definitely Gage in my books.
Is Hamilton gonna be back for the weekend? If so is he worth starting?
Brendan Roberts (3:48 PM)
Not something you can bet on either way. He got two shots in the back over the weekend, and I'm not hearing much about him improving quickly. Plus, he has missed a bunch of time, and the Rangers likely will ease him back into the lineup with a couple of pinch-hit appearances before he returns fully. Just too much that has to happen for you to start him this week or count on much from him this weekend.
Hey Brendan, Love how you're still helping with Baseball. Keeper questions - Josh Johnson or Jon Lester for arms and who's a better keeper Weiters or Bruce???
Brendan Roberts (3:50 PM)
Hey, happy to help any way I can! I like both those pitchers, but to me, Lester has the superior stuff (only because he has superior stuff) and the better chance at wins. He's my keeper there. And I still keep Wieters, believe it or not. I think we've only begun to see what he can do, and a full offseason to prepare will do him wonders. Don't get me wrong, I like Bruce's upside, but it might be more like Adam Dunn upside at the very most, and likely not next season.
Michael (Portland, ME)
Smoltz turn got skipped. The rest will do him good or something to worry about?
Brendan Roberts (3:51 PM)
Smoltz and the Cardinals hold fast that they aren't concerned, and he'd have gone were it the playoffs. I think you're OK to start him both this week and going forward.
Can Carlos Gonzalez keep it up on the road? Even if he's not homering in the thin air, at least he's providing steals.
Brendan Roberts (3:52 PM)
Very true. C-Gonz has shown a slight drop in batting average, which is typical, but an ability to maintain his homer and steals count on the road. Yeah, I think you're safe in starting him this week. Ride out the week, and then he returns home.
Hey BR! with McNabb hurtin' start Cutler or Collins?
Brendan Roberts (3:54 PM)
That's a tough one cause Cutler faces the Steelers and Collins the Texans. But I think the way to beat the Steelers is by passing, not running the ball, and they're missing Polamalu in the deep middle of the secondary, which is where Cutler likes to throw (and threw plenty Sunday). I say you don't overthink this one and stay with Cutler. The Bears might not score much, but he should get his yards.
this is the final week for my league, Im in the title game. Mark Reynolds has sucked lately ... should I look at dropping him for someone like Matt Diaz or Rajai, or am I overthinking?
Brendan Roberts (3:55 PM)
I think you're overthinking it. Good lookin' out, but Reynolds has been such a great all-around option for you all season ... plus, he and the D-backs return home this weekend. That should help.
Your thoughts on Michael Brantley and SB's/AVG going forward?
Brendan Roberts (3:57 PM)
I really like Brantley. In fact, I'm not sure he has quite the same upside, but I think he has a lot of similarities to Sizemore. As in, he'll maybe hit .270-.280 with a good 20-30 steals. That's how I see it. And I think he's mature and developed enough that we could see him approach his prime as soon as next season.
Keeper Question (South Carolina Braves Fan)
Thanks for a great baseball season full of great chats! Who do you like best out of these young players: Hanson, Adam Jones, Alcides Escobar, Eric Young, Gordon Beckham, Denard Span, or Julio Borbon?
Brendan Roberts (3:58 PM)
Hey, thank YOU for tuning in! Oy, a full array of talent. I like about all of them, but the one I think I like the best, and the one I think you'd have the toughest time getting back, is Hanson, although Jones is very close too.
Michael (Portland, ME)
Drop Felipe Lopez for EY Jr? I need the steals.
Brendan Roberts (3:58 PM)
Yeah, I would do that. EY should be able to get you steals, even if it's just as a pinch runner.
Forte Vs PIT seems a little scary, especially with the new "Cutler" offense. Any chance you would start Cadillac, Run DMC, or Jamal Lewis over him?
Brendan Roberts (3:59 PM)
A very good question, Tyler, but probably not. The Bears also lack goal-line options, so even if Forte does get shut down, I could still see a one-yarder from him. Very tempting to sit him, but in my mind, you don't sit down your first-rounder this early in the season.
Brendan Roberts (4:01 PM)
And that does it, folks. Thanks for joining me! Apologies if I didn't get your e-mail ... just as a note, I try not to answer the questions in which I have to rank and explain a series of 5-6 players. They take me a lot longer to answer, and we also have rankings on the site midweek. No problems with folks asking them, but just an explanation for why I might not get to them. See ya next week!