Fantasy MLB with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest sports news from a fantasy perspective.
Mass, a contributor to ESPN's fantasy coverage of football, baseball and college basketball, also is an MLB Rumor Central writer. He also wrote the book "How Fantasy Sports Explains the World."
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
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AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Good morning, gang! We're here for 60 minutes of fantasy chattage, so why don't we get right to the nuts and bolts of the matter. No quitters! Who wins the leadoff spot today?
AJ, I need a MI replacement for Profar. Who do you like out of Dozier, Owings, Dee Gordon, or Flaherty? Thank you Sir.
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
I really like Owings in the long-term, but for the first half of the season, Dozier might end up with a little bit more value.
Flaherty = Uggla?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
Very close to being so, unless Uggla truly has regained his pop.
Craig (Delaware Water Gap, PA)
14 team H2H category league.... is it better to stream pitchers in a 14 team league than a 12 team league? Or you suggest rostering pitcher depth?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
More owners equals fewer options for streaming, so while the strategy doesn't lose it's underlying mechanics, it's a whole lot harder to pull off.
Who would you rather have on bench in 12 team H2H - Byrd, Arcia or a rookie like Semien?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
If we're talking about a true bench spot, I'll go with upside of Arcia.
The Idiot Savant (Cagayan)
Greetings AJ! What is your outlook for Jedd Gyorko in 2014 and beyond? I am debating on whether or not to go with Gyorko or Kolten Wong as my starting 2B to open the season? Thoughts? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
It's Gyorko and not even close, in my opinion.
Had Corbin need a pitcher: Klueber, W. Peralta or Strally.
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
I'd give Kluber the call, slightly ahead of Straily.
I've not heard one person discuss Carl Crawford, a first rounder not that long ago. Any chance he is worth owning in 12 team league?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
It's a health issue with Carl more than anything else... I've got him outside my top 50 OF, but if you go 60 deep at the position, he's worth a spot.
Kole Calhoun (LAA)
Hey AJ. People seem to seriously be underestimating me this year. I'm going 20/20 with 100 runs and decent avg atop the Angels lineup this year. Agree or disagree?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Maybe 15-10, 60 RBI would be what I'd expect. Prove me wrong...
Steve (Houston, TX)
Spring is coming!!! Heyward or Allen Craig in a 5x5 roto?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
I'm going Heyward in this battle.
Mike P (NY)
Best chat around. Could you see B Dozier being of the same ilk of Jason Kipnis?
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
Let's not go too nuts here... still a big gap for Dozier to make up.
For this year only: Eaton or Yelich?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Yelich for me in this square-off.
Brandon (ga) [via mobile]
I'm in a points league and I'm stacked with positional players. My pitching staff I'm not so sure abt. I have romo, soriano, parnell, reed, Tillman, ventura, porcello, and Kennedy. I have Hamels and minor also but are out with injuries. Ride it out or trade for an ace?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
For now, you ride it out. One of the biggest mistakes I think people make in fantasy sports is trading based on perceived flaws in a team before there are any stats to show they're right in that assessment.
Do you think Taijuan will be a safe play (13-team mixed) when he's back in April or will injuries and inconsistency haunt him?
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
Safe? I don't know if he was truly safe before he got hurt -- he's a young pitcher with a lot of promise and no proven track record. Throw potential injury on top of that? No way I say he's safe.
Last starting pitcher on a NL only league, H. Alvarez or J. Kelly?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
Go with Alvarez.
Middlebrooks or Arenado...who is more likely to have the best year?
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
Likely? Arenado. But if Middlebrooks lives up to the full potential, he'll end up with better stats.
Logistics question. In the draft kit projections: do the numbers get adjusted as developments over the spring unfold? For example, will Y.Ventura's IPs number be different today from what it was when the draft kit was first posted on the website? will J.Pinto's ABs number be different today from what it was when it was first posted? etc etc. Thanks for chatting (and feel free to chat about either of these two guys in an AL Only league!)!
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
Projections and rankings have been getting tweaked as news has broken, so yes, the current numbers are likely not the same as they were when the whole process started. I think Ventura is a solid late-round pick with tons of upside, but he's probably being taken way too soon in drafts. Pinto, I'm not interested in this season in one-and-dones.
Looking to pick up a SP: Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez or Eovaldi?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
Of that trio, I have Nate ranked the highest.
hideki rohloff (Tokyo )
Fowler Rajai melky Sizemore or pagan pick 3 for bench spots 14 team league. Thank u
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
Gamble on Grady. Melky and Dexter get the other two spots for me.
Concerned you may not have the 2nd up of coffee "in hand"...anyways..Justin Smoak?? Should he be back on our radar??
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
Bad cold - no coffee today... Re: Smoak. Just concerned about the whole lineup there in Seattle and the playing time with so many interchangeable bodies. Show me a solid April and I'll buy in.
What kind of year do you expect from Aaron Hicks of the Twins?
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
I like Hicks as a sleeper pick late. Could give you 10/20 HR/SB and, if so, a mice return on investment.
My team is lacking speed and I have 3 bench spotys, should I stash Polanco and wait for the callup?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
Not expecting the Pirates to bring him up this year personally -- certainly not before ASB -- but you can always hold him in the spot until you need it.
Scott (Irvington, NY)
Aaron Hill is being undervalued in most auctions-- agree or disagree?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
I don't know -- I've got him as No. 16 at his position, so if he's getting more auction $$$ then that is worth, it's too much.
Scott (Irvington, NY)
I am hoping for 30Hr and 90 Rbi with an avg. that won't kill me out of Abreu, any chance I am not delusional?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
Jose could get you the power numbers, but I think it will come with a sad BA. As for Bobby, considering he does not have a uniform to wear at the moment, I've got as much chance of doing it as he does.
Nuke LaLoosh (Durham)
How would rate the long term prospects (I'm in a Keeper Lg) of these 3 young SPs = Y.Ventura, T.Walker, & Z.Wheeler?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
For this year, I go: Ventura, Wheeler, Walker. I send Ventura to #3 for the long run.
LaTroy Hawkins...How long do you expect him to keep the CL job? If Brothers is closing in April, where do you rank him (Brothers) among CL? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
I think he keeps the job until he loses it. Could be one inning and could be not at all. But the same goes for Brothers... likely to bounce back and forth between the pair all year, and as such, I can't put either in top 25.
Grady Size or Ryan Flaherty for a bench spot?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
For a bench spot, I think you go Flaherty. The risk with Grady is that he breaks down, so if you're going to roll the dice with him, he needs to be in the lineup until that happens -- not on the bench.
Doug (Great Neck, NY)
AJ, I'm bullish on Nova - 15-17 wins and 180K's in the offing?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
I think you're at the best-case scenario there, but it's possible.
Also lost Profar but lots of FA still. Do I got with D.Murphy, Kendrick, Dozier, Walker or Uggla?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
I'd go with either Murphy or Dozier.
Dynasty League - Bogaerts or Addison Russell?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
I go with Xander.
Will buxton be a major leaguer this year?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Looking likely to start the year on the DL. That means the Twins are going to give him plenty of time at Double-A before even thinking about promoting. Maybe September...
Rss [via mobile]
Markakis, Schiertholtz or Bernardina. I need an extra RF
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
I'd go with Markakis.
Took Machado in the 5th rd of a 12 h2h league. did i reach?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Advice to all fantasy owners. Your draft is done. Your team is now your team. Unless you're in a keeper league where retention is tied to draft round, erase that information from your mind. It no longer matters. Don't use it to assess how a player is doing or if you should/shouldn't trade him. It no longer matters.
John NY [via mobile]
In a H2h league...allowed 12 starts per week for 5 SP slots, important to load up on pitching and use all 12 each week at the cost of hitting depth on my bench?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
You don't want to blow up your ERA/WHIP just to get those starts in. If you need the K's and W's late in the week, go ahead and use them. But odds are you're going to need the counting stats more on the hitting end.
Hi AJ, which Reds starter do you like this year between Latos and Bailey?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Have both in the 20's. Latos better when 100 percent.
Another Grady question. You like him as a late round pick over power guys like Rasmus or Chris Carter? Thanks AJ!
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Worst case scenario, you pass on those guys and you hope they're still there on the waiver wire in a few weeks if Grady tanks. Upside for Sizemore too good to pass up if he stays healthy.
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
That's all the time we've got for today, gang! Thanks to all who participated, and remember that I'm on Twitter (@ajmass) if I did not get to yours... "Yes It's Hot in Here" comes out in just over two weeks! Pre-order available on Amazon and all the other usual places. Until the next time -- the tribe has spoken! Take care!