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January 22, 2:38 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/A.J. Mass

AJ Mass
  (2:59 PM)

Welcome to the Tuesday 3pm fantasy chat. It's the slow season... Super Bowl media week, and pitchers and catchers still not ready to report. Still, we'll talk fantasy football, baseball and of course, Bracketology as the NCAA season begins to take center stage. Gladiators ready?

Pete (Springfield, MA)

AJ, 2008 projections for Robinson Cano?

AJ Mass
  (3:01 PM)

Pete, Cano should do what he does... hits .300 and gets around 20 HR. A Top 10 second baseman, but near the bottom of that list.

Joe

AJ you've lost some hair

AJ Mass
  (3:03 PM)

Naw, I'm just wearing my Matthew Berry disguise. Always a crowd pleaser.

Dan RI

Cano is bottom half of top 10? Tell me who you think is better?

AJ Mass
  (3:05 PM)

Off the top of my head? Utley, Upton, Phillips and Roberts. Kinsler, Uggla and Weeks all around the same value.

Fred (Junkyard)

Tell me Cuse still has a shot to make it! Liz'beth!

AJ Mass
  (3:07 PM)

Cuse needs to get 7 more wins and I think they are in. The committee can't exclude them last season and say "20 wins overall and 10 in the Big East is not enough because your SOS was weak" and then not take them with 20 wins/10 Big East and a terrific SOS. But they'll need all 7.

Frank

Peavy - best fantasy pitcher and worth the price?

AJ Mass
  (3:09 PM)

I think he is the best fantasy pitcher. But if you're in a standard roto league, pitchers can't help you in every category the way hitters can because starters don't get saves and in general, closers don't get enough wins. So while $40 might be worth it for a 5-cat hitter, it's not for a 4-cat pitcher.

Rebecca (St. Louis)

AJ you're my favorite - Can Javier Vasquez 2008 match Javier Vasquez 2007?

AJ Mass
  (3:12 PM)

Gee, shucks. The K/9 are up, the BB/9 are down. The win total will depend on run support because Vazquez of 06 wasn't too much worse than the 07 version and he went 11-12. But yes, he should have another nice season.

Steve (NY)

AJ, after the top five, and really after the top 8, catcher is horrid this year. What do you think about sleepers like Ruiz, Towles, Suzuki, and Soto?

AJ Mass
  (3:14 PM)

I think Soto is the best of the quartet, but indeed, after I-Rod there's a huge dropoff.

Jeff

In a 11 team league, can I wait on catchers, and pay just $1 and make out ok?

AJ Mass
  (3:16 PM)

As Steve just pointed out, the position is really week after the first few guys, so yes, that's a position you can get your guy later in the draft.

Al

Give me your opinion on the PC Friars this year and impress me with your knowledge (ie name a few players)

AJ Mass
  (3:19 PM)

Al, naming players only would prove that I can use the internet to look them up. But as I am from Queens originally, I'll say "Weyinmi Efejuku - represent!" Friars are definitely in the mix. A long winning streak in-conference from any of these bubble teams will go a long way - and they have several winnable games coming up.

Bill B

Are my Patriots winning the Super Bowl?

AJ Mass
  (3:20 PM)

Let me get back to you after I watch this here sideline videotape I was just handed.

rob (philly)

What's your strategy for keeper leagues in which you sign guys for escalating salaries based on years? Would you rather have Russ Martin for the next 2 years at $10 or the next 3 years at $15?

AJ Mass
  (3:24 PM)

I think I'd go with 2 years with a catcher. It's true, Martin is young, but a) he's only had two seasons so far, and to project ahead for three is a risk, because b) catchers do have a high risk of injury simply because of the position they play. Since a lot of Martin's value comes from his speed, that's got to factor in.

Mark Cuban (Dallas)

Shouldn't you evaluate Peavy compared to other starting pitchers rather than the number of categories he provides? I would argue that the dominance he will provide in 4 categories over most pitchers who also provide 4 categories is larger than that of batters who provide 5 categories marginally better than other hitters who provide 5 categories.

AJ Mass
  (3:27 PM)

I agree that when deciding which pitcher to spend $ on, you compare against other pitchers... but when allocating your budget, you can't pay as much for those pitchers, no matter how dominant they are. A-Rod is worth more than Peavy because he helps in 5 categories, not 4.

Jennifer

I think I can get a pretty good second baseman for $1 if I just wait until everyone has one, what do you think?

AJ Mass
  (3:31 PM)

There are 30 starting 2B in the bigs. In a 10-team league, if you pick last, you will likely get a 2B in the "upper half" of the league... that's true of any position. But you're not likely to get much more than a Placido Polanco with that strategy.

Jon (Boston)

I Calculated that you answer about 12 questions in the span of half an hour therefore each question takes you a full 2 1/2 mins to answer. Why so slow?

AJ Mass
  (3:33 PM)

Because I have to read a whole bunch of questions, try to pick ones that haven't already been answered today... then believe it or not, I like to actually try and think about my answer before I type.

Joe

NOT MANY QUESTIONS!!!!

AJ Mass
  (3:34 PM)

And then there's all of these ALL CAPS comments with !!! that take up space in the inbox which makes it even harder to find the real questions. : )

Brian (MD)

I know its an odd time, but this deal is calling to me. LJ and Bradshaw (Jacobs owner) for Cotchery, LenDale and the 11th pick in the rookie draft. (18 player dynasty)

AJ Mass
  (3:36 PM)

I'd rather have two RBs than one. I'd side with the LJ/Bradshaw half of the deal.

Brian (Tulsa, OK)

NL League only 5 X 5 roto style with $300.00 cap. I need to cut at least one: Kemp ($1), Justin Upton ($6), Votto ($6), Tulo ($3), Escobar qualifies SS, 2B, 3B ($2), Snell ($1), Lincecum ($15) and Valverde ($18).

AJ Mass
  (3:37 PM)

I'd cut Valverde. You can always find saves.

Giselle (New York)

Im really starting to like fantasy experts more than athletes, especially you. What positions in a standard league would you be okay with waiting until the end of the draft to pick up the leftover scraps? 2b, ss, catcher?

AJ Mass
  (3:41 PM)

I think every draft has it's own pace and feel. If you have a whole bunch of owners who are planning on sitting on C or 2B or SS, then it might make sense to pounce and get some of those positions filled earlier than you had planned. It's always best to be flexible - but certainly if you miss on the top C or SS, you might want to wait until later. Now... Quid pro quo, Giselle. Tell us about the boot.

Brian (Tulsa, OK)

Thanks. Is Lincecum a good value at $15.00?

AJ Mass
  (3:43 PM)

Yes. I think he's probably going to go around $20 in many leagues.

Terry Francona

AJ, I'm soliciting opinions on what I should do with my CF position?

AJ Mass
  (3:44 PM)

I'd give the kid first dibs. You can always turn to Coco if that doesn't work.

Brian (CT)

Speaking of waiting on SS...Stephen Drew going to hit over 15 HR this year and steal 15 bases?

AJ Mass
  (3:45 PM)

I don't think the speed numbers will be what you're looking for, but 15 HR is about right.

The Evil Hoodie

AJ...can you believe that the Giants are actually going to show up for the Bowl? Talk about bulletin board material...the league is disrespecting us once again!!

AJ Mass
  (3:46 PM)

The real question is who the Pats will select to match up with Eli in the DSRL.

Rebecca (not St. Louis)

You're my favorite too AJ. Tell these people how much better an auction is compared to a draft. Once you go auction, you never go back!

AJ Mass
  (3:48 PM)

Both have their place. Auctions are a better test of adjusting on the fly... there's not as much crazy variance in a straight draft - but as long as you're with a group of owners who you like, it doesn't really matter to me which method you use.

MAC (NY)

Any word on John Patterson? Will he be a serviceable fantasy player this season?

AJ Mass
  (3:50 PM)

The surgery he had was the same surgery he had the year before which was supposed to fix his nerve problems. I wouldn't bank on his not needing yet another surgery in 2008.

Simon C

Who's the best OF? And also, don't forget to watch me on Idol tonight!

AJ Mass
  (3:51 PM)

I think right now I'd go with Matt Holliday. And if you watch Idol tonight, count how many singers go with Jennifer Holliday.

JIM ---- BOSTON

BETTER KEEPER-----HAMELS OR LACKEY?

AJ Mass
  (3:53 PM)

Personally, I like Lackey better. But it is really close. If Cole gets his curve over, he's unhittable... but if not - it makes for a lot of longballs.

brian (orl)

SPs are more valuable than hitters cuz fewer contribute to those 4 categories. Hitters may contribute to 5 categories, but stats get diluted due to more hitters in lineup than pitchers. Usually 5 or 6 SPs affect 4 categories, while 10-12 hitters contribute to 5 categories.

AJ Mass
  (3:55 PM)

You're forgetting that two pitching categories (ERA and WHIP) are negative categories. One bad outing and you've been hurt hard. A hitter can go into a prolonged slump and all those other hitters can keep your BA up - but you don't ever lose HRs or RBIs or SBs.

Kyle (UMAss)

Who is Jennifer Holliday?

AJ Mass
  (3:56 PM)

Kids! So internet savvy yet so unable to do a quick Google search.

Mike: Dallas TX

Aj, rank Webb, Haren and Bedard for this year.

AJ Mass
  (3:57 PM)

I go in the order you wrote them. Webb, Haren, Bedard. But we're talking splitting hairs as they're all Top 10 quality.

AJ Mass
  (3:58 PM)

Just have time for one more...

Adam (Marysville, WA)

over 5 year span better keeper Brandon Phillips or Carlos Betran?

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

In 5 years, Phillips will be as old as Carlos is today - and Carlos has had trouble staying healthy for a whole season. I'd say Brandon.

AJ Mass
  (4:01 PM)

Thanks everyone - we'll be back again tomorrow at 3pm in our regularly scheduled chat, where I will be telling you I'm not going! Other door.