Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday morning, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest sports news from a fantasy perspective.
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday 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
More Fantasy: Fantasy Home Page
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Good morning gang! We've got plenty to talk about... from Giancarlo to Mock Draft 1.0, let the questions commence! Second cup of coffee in hand... let's get started!
Andrew (a cubicle )
AJJJJJJJJJJJ! Are you as against taking Starting Pitching early as Eric is? Have to decide 3 keepers between Pujols, Cano, Pedroia and Kershaw. Would you keep the 3 hitters?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
I think that waiting on SP can certainly pay off, but you can't take chances on a lot of questionable guys, pitchers coming off injuries, if you go that route. You have to grab a bunch of 15-win types all in a row at the middle of the draft, and I think EK did that well in Mock 1.0. I'd certainly, in your example, choose between Cano and Pedroia and throw the other back, keeping Kershaw.
AJ, first year in an auction-style draft. Can you offer up any strategies? What are your thoughts on bidding on players you don't need to drive the price up and get your opponents to spend their money?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
I like to nominate guys who I don't have interest in and take a "lead" in $ for the guys I do want.
Bruce (San Fran)
Who do you like best out of this bunch: Bumgarner, Zimmerman, Kennedy, or Moore?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
Kennedy. Much higher on him than most. It's not like his 2010 was awful. I'll take 17-18 wins and a 3.20 ERA.
Thoughts on injury-prone guys like Johan, Peavy, and Bedard?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
Certainly not going to take more than one... and if I had to choose right now, I'd lean Johan.
Ryan (Hanover, PA)
Have pick #1 and already own Votto, who's my pick?
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Assuming you already have Votto, that basically means other guys are kept as well. So, we're starting at Round 2 at least. Not enough info to make the call here, but you go best player on the board, even if he is 1B.
Kendry Morales. Is he gonna play everyday if he has no setbacks? I think he is a pretty sneaky pick this year. Most have forgotten him.
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Not forgotten, but with Albert there, it means there's less ABs for him, Trumbo, Abreu, Hunter, Wells, Trout, Bourjos... have to wait and see how it shakes out.
John H. (Boca Raton, FL)
What was your reasoning for taking Ortiz over Napoli? Wouldn't you have preferred roster flexibility with Napoli?
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
(Referring to Mock 1.0) Napoli may have given me more flexibility, but I think the stats will be similar, and quite frankly I didn't want to break the seal on catchers at that point.
Allen (Nova Scotia)
Revere was not taken in your mixed mock draft. Is there that much better speed than him out there, or is it a question of playing time and where he hits in the order?
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
Just a lot of "Juan Pierre" types out there and I think there are a lot of players like Revere (Bourgeois and Morgan) for example who fall through the cracks as a result.
Don't you see great value in where Longoria is going in drafts? We are talking about a top 5 pick last year who missed some time and the BA will improve.
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
Last year's draft order shouldn't mean anything. I think he's going exactly where he is going based on his relative value to others going before him.
Jon (New Brunswick)
Ervin Santana under the radar with LAA after the way he finished the year and the number of additions they made? Projections?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Certainly he gets overshadowed by Haren/Weaver and now Wilson is the "new guy" getting buzz. If you think the Angels are going to win 90 games or so, then you kind of have to expect 15 for Ervin with a 3.70 or so ERA.
With OF being so weak and needed 5 of them, do you find yourself taking the position earlier this year?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
I think a pretty good argument can be made for having 10 OF selected in the first three rounds. If you don't get one of those guys, then it kind of forces your hand to grab two in the next rounds or so, and by then 2B/SS are depleted so you might as well take more OF over MI. It's not weak, though.
Tom (4th pick)
It's temping to go with pitching with the 4th pick in a H2H, 20-team league. Is it a mistake? If not, which pitcher to pick first: Halladay or Verlander?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
Splitting hairs, but I go Doc over Justin. Hard to pass on the really shallow MI spots that early though in a 20-teamer.
Do you think Weeks will remain in the leadoff spot with Braun back?
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
Presumably that's where he ends up yes.
Matt (Bean Town)
Any guys in a contract year that is going to turn it on?
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
I don't buy into that "contract year" stuff quite frankly. It's not like players who aren't in contract years don't ever have career years... Except for extreme Manny-type head cases, I think it's a windmill you're tilting at.
Regarding the OF position, you mentioned it not being weak but lets say you play in a 12 team league. That means guys like Pence/D.Jennings are #1 outfielders!
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Not Jennings - he's more like a No. 3, but you could look at it that 30 HR guys like Michael Morse could also be a No. 3...
Ike Davis was mashing before his injury last year. Is he rated fairly low or am I missing something?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
He is rated fairly low, and that's the function of the injury. Once people see a few spring games and that ankle tested, I am sure he'll rise.
Hey AJ. Protect 3 for one year in NL only 10 team: Braun $40, Upton $31, Morse $8 and Dee Gordon $1. Odd man out?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
I'd let Morse go.
Franklin (Santa Cruz)
Don't tell anyone, but 2B is not shallow. You can definitely get someone like Dustin Ackley, Jemile Weeks, Jason Kipnis, Neil Walker, Aaron Hill late in drafts. Would you be happy with those guys as your starting 2B?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
I'd be fine waiting once the top three were off the board, but there's still a huge drop at 2B after Kinsler to the gaggle of 15-15 types.
How is Jennings a #3 OF when he is ranked #12 overall at the position? In a standard league, that makes him a #1
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
What projections are you looking at? http://games.espn.go.com/flb/tools/projections?&slotCategoryId=5
So you think Dan Uggla belongs in the same class as Aaron Hill?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
There's definitely a second tier of Uggla, Zobrist, B. Phillips and a healthy Utley... but the gap between Tier 1 and 2 is far greater than Tier 2 to 3.
Regarding Kendrys, wouldn't you agree that it not a function of Pujols blocking him, as it is whether he can stay healthy. If he's healthy, he will DH every day (or play first to let Albert DH)?
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
Sure, health is the prevailing factor, but you've got Abreu who needs to DH as well and they're promising him 400 ABs... Too many bodies for too few spots to know exactly how it shakes out just yet.
Eric (Boise, ID)
How low of an average BA for a player is a deal breaker for you draft wise?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
None, really. A few lucky bounces can turn a .220 hitter into a .240 hitter in a heartbeat.
"I think the stats will be similar, and quite frankly I didn't want to break the seal on catchers at that point."So doesn't that lead to the logical conclusion of A) Choosing position scarcity given similar stats and B) The broken seal leading to a run on catchers thereby increasing the odds that a higher quality non-catcher falls to you in your next pick anyway? After all, you will have already gotten yours...
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Either way it's a gamble. If Napoli lasted to my next pick, great. If not, I knew I would take Posey and be happy later. As you saw, breaking the seal only led to Napoli and Santana going... proving that drafts are always unpredictable.
Chen of Baltimore or Vizcaino of ATL - either have an impact this year?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
I like Chen a lot actually, but I don't have to draft him. Nobody else will, so I can wait on him and use the waiver wire if one of my other pitchers doesn't pan out. Don't see Vizcaino doing much.
How can you seriously choose a question about chen and vizcaino to post?!?!?There are more pressing issues at hand...such as your thoughts on Sandoval...is this guy a top 3/4 rounder or just a solid 6/7 rounder??
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Easy TJ. Somewhere there's a guy ready to post "How can you seriously choose to answer a Sandoval question?" I would not take Kung Fu in the 3/4 rounds.
12-team keep-5: I'm keeping Longoria, Halladay, King Felix and Granderson. Who's 5th? Bruce, Andrus or Weaver? 5x5 + OPS and QS.
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
I'd probably go with Weaver here and not worry about SP for 10-15 rounds of the draft.
Help!!! Please pick 2 or these 4 keepers. Papi round 9, Sandoval round 10, Victorino round 11 or Wainwright round 19?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
I'd go with Papi and Pablo.
Lou (Down the block)
6th keeper in a points league... Bumgarner, Castro or Lawrie? All young and promising players.
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Lawrie's upside makes him the pick here.
Final two keepers in a 5x5 AL only - Boesch ($5), Walden ($5) or Gardner ($10).
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
Steals premium makes me throw Boesch back.
Gallardo or Price?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Personally, my pick is Price.
Hanley or Wright in Points League?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Upside on late catchers - Perez and Ramos please?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Ramos could get you 20 HR. Perez, average might be nice but nothing much else. Depends on needs at time you make pick.
Pick 3: Cruz, Hosmer, Napoli, Zobrist, Sabathia, Greinke, Price
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
CC, Zobrist, Napoli.
Bob (home office)
Andrus or Alex Gordon in points league?
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Alex > Elvis
Brian (Boston, MA)
What do you expect out of Goldschmidt?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
20 HR, 10 SB, .250 BA
The R (Pasadena)
How high do you have Hosmer ranked?
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Not as high as most, probably. Outside top 50 to be sure...
How many points tend to seperate your tiers when preparing for a points league draft?
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
More of a feel thing, really.
Does Michael Young continue to defy the odds?
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
I'm very high on Young, as you can see from our Mock. I guess that puts me in the yes category.
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
That's the whistle, gang. I am there on Twitter if I didn't get to your question -(@ajmass) Thanks for the Q's. We can't do this without you guys. Until the next time, please do check out my book, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor!