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January 23, 2:39 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (3:00 PM)

Good afternoon everybody. We are back again for 60 minutes of fantasy goodness. So we can talk Giants, be it NY or SF and all of their friends... plus as usual, Bracketology Q's are always welcome. Randy says yes, Paula says yes... what do you say?

Turtle (Bloomington, IL):

What kind of numbers do you see Homer Bailey putting up this year?

AJ Mass
  (3:02 PM)

As long as he's not overused and can bring the walks total down a bit, Bailey should be a 10 game winner with an ERA around 4.

Jim (MA)

What kind of a year do you see from Carlos Pena this year?

AJ Mass
  (3:04 PM)

If you're asking if 2007 was a fluke, it wasn't. Do I think he'll hit 50 HR in '08? No. But he might hit 40. However, his batting average and RBI totals will go down some.

Jim (Reno)

Draft strategy question. Load up on consistent players, players with tons of upside, or a mixed bag of both? If you load up on high upside guys can't you cut the ones who don't perform in favor of the hot waiver pickups. Doesn't this increase your teams collective ceiling?

AJ Mass
  (3:08 PM)

The thing about signing the "hot waiver pickups" is that you have to identify which ones are simply "hot" - and will not continue at that pace, and which ones are reaching a new level of ability - who will continue. You're constantly gambling on hot streaks. That's not as likely to succeed as to draft guys who will go 20-20 and hit .300 and ride them out the whole season. Yes your method raises the ceiling... but also lowers the floor as much, if not more.

Frank (VA)

Here's my plan for my auction. Spend $1 on C, 1B, 2b and 3B (I'm keeping Rollins) and spend big on OF because we have to start 5. What do you think?

AJ Mass
  (3:11 PM)

I've got no problem with you going in with that in mind, but in an auction, you can't really be that inflexible. Because how much are you going to spend when Holliday comes up? $40? OK, what if someone bids $41 - do you bail? What if it goes up to $50? Now what if all of the Top 10 OFs are going for $40+? Don't you want to then make a play for David Wright for $30 or lower because you can afford him? I think it is better to have $ value targets for all players.

Allen (Asheville NC)

Mr. Mass, In a keeper league would trade Delmon Young for Alex Gordon? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (3:15 PM)

It's not a bad deal. After all, you're banking on Gordon being a better major leaguer not in 2008, but say in 2015, and I'm not going to tell you I know that answer. I'd keep Young since he's well, younger and the 2008 output of both guys isn't likely to be all that much different.

Rebecca (St. Louis)

Hi AJ, you're still my favorite! If I can get JD Drew real cheap after his bad year, do you think he'll produce solid numbers?

AJ Mass
  (3:17 PM)

I think there is certainly a point at which JD Drew becomes someone I would consider... around Round 14 perhaps... but I personally would not pull the trigger. At best, he doesn't get more than 15 HR.

Joe (Billings, MT)

AJ, I'm doing my first auction league this year and wondering your strategy for "throwing out guys". Do you start with the players you think are overrated, underrated, stars, rookies?

AJ Mass
  (3:21 PM)

First rule of throwing out guys... never nominate someone - even at $1 - if you don't want him ending up on your roster. Because as soon as you do, that's what will happen. Second, I think you feel the room a bit. If a lot of people have more money than you early, you might want to throw out a guy at a position you don't need to level the field a bit. So, if you have Rollins, nominate Reyes and sit back and let the $$$ go. Or if there's a huge run at one position going, you might be able to slip in an underrated player while everyone's brain is focused elsewhere. The more auctions you do, the better you should get at this.

Randy Jackson

AJ, I'm doing some draft prep before tonight's show. Any good pitchers flying under the radar?

AJ Mass
  (3:24 PM)

All depends on your league's radar. People tend to forget about guys like Liriano because they don't appear in your stats from 2007. Then there are guys like Paul Byrd and Doug Davis who are pretty solid to round out a staff who for some reason are overshadowed by teammates.

Craig ( PA)

If I'm already very strong in steals (Reyes, Figgins, Pence), who do you like better between Howard and Wright in terms of AVG, runs, HR's, and RBI's???

AJ Mass
  (3:26 PM)

I don't think I'd think that way. I have Wright higher than Howard, but that's in part because of his steals. Take steals out, and Howard is probably higher, but I'd still rather have Wright, because it allows me to trade a Figgins or a Pence for power later on if I need it.

Brendan (DC)

Who is the best position player to keep as my last keeper - Furcal, M. Young, or Rickie Weeks? (Already lots of SB with Ichiro, Soriano and Byrnes) Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (3:29 PM)

I still like Weeks over the other two. He'll get you 20-20. Although odds are Young gets you the most RBI, Weeks' spread over all 5 categories is a bit broader.

Tony (Jersey)

AJ. If I need pitching help but have excess speed, should I deal Pierre for Billingsley or keep the steals to lock up that category?

AJ Mass
  (3:32 PM)

If you win steals by 1, you get just as many points as if you win it by 100. So, if you feel you won't need Pierre, getting Chad now will be a lot easier than once the season starts and he starts piling up the wins. People don't trade 23-year old pitchers who start strong.

Dan (RI)

If I have to start 5 OF, does it make sense to get 5 very good ones and then get not as good infielders because I'm more likely to be able to replace infielders on the waiver wire than outfield because OK pickings will be so slim?

AJ Mass
  (3:37 PM)

Look at it this way. If you start 3 MI and 3 CO... in a 10 team league that's 60 out of 120 starters (30 MLB teams X 4). Outfielders? 50 out of 90. So, your premise appears to be correct... but then you're playing with 5 OF and 6 sub-par IF slots - putting yourself at a disadvantage. You need the best roster to win, so spread it out.

Scott (NY)

I have Arod (1st), Sizemore (2nd), Peavy (3rd), Vernon Wells (21st), Jason Bay (22nd0, or Carlos Pena (23rd roud) what 3 do i keep.

AJ Mass
  (3:40 PM)

Pena and Bay are steals. I would also keep A-Rod, unless I had 1st overall pick and could keep Peavy and "select" A-Rod at 1. Otherwise, I'd let Jake go back.

Craig ( PA)

Interesting, so in a 5 x 5 head to head league, where I'm going to win steals just about every week, you'd still rather Wright over Howard, even though Howard gives you better overall production in the other 4 categories you're trying to win each week, and can even carry you in HR's and RBI's some weeks???

AJ Mass
  (3:44 PM)

Actually in a head-to-head it makes even MORE sense to keep Wright. Over the course of a season, the more guys I have contributing to each category, the better my chances of winning it in any isolated week. Especially because HR hitters are so streaky, a guy who hits 40 for a season may get 8 in a week then go cold for two.

Timmy (Lexington)

Kentucky? Ready for the NCAA's now?

AJ Mass
  (3:46 PM)

Really nice win over Tennessee, and equally nice was seeing the fans not rush the court when it was done. The only thing storming the court says about your school is that you know you're garbage and shouldn't have won. UK acts like they should win. Still an uphill climb for Wildcats. Let's get to .500 first, then see what happens.


Aj..I've had it with the pats. From the Vrabel leg whip on Rivers this past week, to spy gate, to pushing reporters, to not shaking your opponents hand, to trading for a wr that totally quit on his teammates last season...this team has become very hard to root for and I even live up here!!! I know you are a Pats fan but come on admit they are a classless, dirty team

AJ Mass
  (3:49 PM)

I respect what the Pats have accomplished, but I don't know why you think I am a Pats fan. I'm a Giants fan from waaaaay back in the Scott Brunner days. And I have no issues with NE - but I do hope the Giants win.

Rebecca (St. Louis)

Where's Matthew Berry hiding? I don't think he's been doing any work lately.

AJ Mass
  (3:50 PM)

Don't you worry. Matt's like a cobra... you may not see him, but he's always there. And then when he strikes... it's too late to stop him.


Go Giants!! Do I keep Westbrook or Addai?

AJ Mass
  (3:52 PM)

Obviously it's a long ways off and rosters will change... but if the Eagles made the playoffs, Westbrook could very well have finished top 5 in the MVP vote. I keep Brian.

Dan (Iowa)

What teams make it up from the Big 10 and where would you seed them?

AJ Mass
  (3:55 PM)

Too early to seed teams. But it is not too early to see which teams are in the mix and which ones are not. Right now we're looking at 4 Bids. Hoosiers, Badgers and Spartans for sure. Purdue just edges out OSU and Gophers for the 4th spot.

Stan (Ohio)

I've watched Drake play and they're not that good. Why are they ranked?

AJ Mass
  (3:57 PM)

Drake is pretty good actually. I'm not saying that the 17-1 translates to Indiana's record for example... but going on the road in any conference and winning is not easy. The Top 25 is meaningless anyway... let the school have its moment. They'll make the NCAA's and that's what matters.

AJ Mass
  (3:58 PM)

Just have time for a few more questions, folks.


NCAA quiz - What team does Lamont Ulmer play for? Get it right and you have my respect forever (or at least until you give me bad advice)

AJ Mass
  (3:59 PM)

John, not gonna lie to you, I only know this b/c I watched the Rams beat my Orange earlier in the year.

george (boston)

when will baseball draft stuff be posted? ballpark it...

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

I'd say you're likely to have it in time for Valentine's Day if I were to ballpark it.


If he didn't know, like he wouldn't just look it up, he is on a pc afterall.......In an AL only baseball league, do you trade Santana ( for equal value ) and not take teh chance of him going to the NL?

AJ Mass
  (4:02 PM)

LOL, Matt. I think if Santana hasn't gone yet, I might take the chance and hold on to him. After all, who can truly afford him? Yankees, Red Sox and Mets? That's still a 2/3 chance he stays AL.

AJ Mass
  (4:02 PM)

Gang, it was fun, but time to run. We'll be back next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel.