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February 6, 3:21 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (2:58 PM)

Happy Wednesday, y'all. We've got another 60 minutes of chatty goodness ahead of us, so let's get the ball rolling. Baseball season is steadily approaching and the NCAA conference races are heating up as well.

Joe V. (St. Louis)

Who will have a better fantasy year in 2008...Vladimir Guerrero or Mark Teixeira?

AJ Mass
  (3:00 PM)

I think Teixeira hits more home runs, but Vlad hits for a higher average and gets a few steals as well. Overall I think that gives Vlad slightly higher value.

Chuck (LA)

Has USC done enough to make the tournament ?

AJ Mass
  (3:01 PM)

Not yet, but 4 more wins should do it. Their SOS is pretty good, and we can forgive the opening loss to Mercer.

Gino (Bronx)

In a keeper league already have Berkman, Lee, Abrue, and Tulowitzki. Do I pick Russell Martin or Brandon Webb?

AJ Mass
  (3:02 PM)

I think there's so little catching out there, that I'd keep Martin.

Ray, NJ

AJ-does Rider finally win the MAAC and make it to the big dance this year? That Jason Thompson is one talented player.

AJ Mass
  (3:04 PM)

It's a shame that in the smaller conferences the NCAA bid goes to whoever wins 3 in a row. Thompson is good, but Siena always has home court advantage.


Do you recommend trying to use an earlier pick on catchers like V-Mart or Martin, or just wait til much later rounds to draft an average catcher?

AJ Mass
  (3:06 PM)

It depends on exactly how early we're talking about. I probably wouldn't pick either before Round 5. However, once one is gone, I might jump on the other immediately to avoid getting stuck later.

Marsh (St. Louis)

Who you got tonight....UNC or Duke?

AJ Mass
  (3:07 PM)

I like Duke. Now if Carolina was completely healthy, maybe that would be different. But it is what it is.


Hey AJ, should I bump up the values of the Nationals since they are in a more hitter friendly stadium?

AJ Mass
  (3:11 PM)

I would think the HR numbers would have to go up, but I wouldn't go nuts making adjustments.The lineup is different and the whole style of play may be completely different as the team gets used to a new environment. Too soon to really tell... everyone thought San Diego was going to be a whole lot different park before they started playing there.

Gino (Bronx)

Aside from catcher what positions do you think are thin this year? give me one sleeper this year at any position.

AJ Mass
  (3:13 PM)

I think shortstop is thin in the sense that there's a definite elite trio, then another three solid guys, and then a whole lot of ??? I like Escobar of the Braves to rise to the top of the ??? group of guys.

Fred (Here)

Drake! Drake! Drake!

AJ Mass
  (3:15 PM)

Yes, yes. They're doing quite nicely. Calm down.

Mike: Dallas TX

Do you think Manny comes back rejuvenated? Do you keep him over Webb or Bedard?

AJ Mass
  (3:16 PM)

Manny will once again be Manny. 25 HRs or so. But I think I'd take either pitcher over him.

Steve (NY)

I'll assume Michael Young is your third solid guy after Jeter and Tulo. You consider Guillen, Renteria, and Tejada to all be question marks?

AJ Mass
  (3:18 PM)

No, it's Guillen. Young's dropoff of power over the last few seasons definitely lowers him back into the ??? territory.

Bob, AZ

What are your projects for Rich Hill this year...does he take a step forward or is about the same?

AJ Mass
  (3:20 PM)

I think he can definitely take a step forward. He's been keeping the ball down at a fairly consistent rate, and he'd be a nice late No. 2/ early No. 3 starter.

Tyler (iowa)

Is there anywhere that I could find a mock draft for the upcoming baseball season.

AJ Mass
  (3:21 PM)

I believe our draft kit will be up early next week.


Hey AJ, in a dynasty league where we keep 13 guys, with the first rd pick, would you go best available or fill a need?

AJ Mass
  (3:23 PM)

I think you have to look hard at where the positional scarcity is once you've essentially started your draft in Round 14. If there's really a huge dropoff in talent at one position that you have a great need for, I think you address that.

Hoopachoo (NYC)

Jorge Garcia deserves an emmy nod for the Hurley episode this year. Oh yeah, no possible way Wildcats move to a top seed, right (Beastley will carry that team far IMHO.)

AJ Mass
  (3:26 PM)

You've got to follow up a huge win with a win over Missouri in order to get near a #1. They didn't, so they won't. And we really hope this writer's strike goes away this weekend. I'd hate to see Hurley have a coronary before they can finish out the series.

Mike: Dallas TX

Do you think Soriano and Bay will bounce back? I see a lot of people undervaluing them due to subpar 2007 seasons.

AJ Mass
  (3:28 PM)

I agree with you. Many people have their minds made up based solely on last season's stats, and while that is not something to ignore, it's not the whole story either. Soriano's power numbers improved in second half, and Bay kept his up as well, even though the average was atrocious. I think both are bouncing back.

james : minerva, ohio

what kind of season do you think travis hafner will have. A 25 homerun season or a 4o homerun season.

AJ Mass
  (3:30 PM)

Hafner forgot how to hit the ball in the air last season.Can't hit homers if the ball stays on the ground. I think he'll be closer to 30 than 40.

Mike (San Diego)

Speaking of Hill...Please Rank: R. Hill, Escobar, B. Myers. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:33 PM)

Your order is correct. Worried about Escobar staying healthy and I'm not sure he gets as many wins, as run support was pretty good last year.

Craig ( PA)

$260 5x5 H2H keeper league. Is $12 good value for Chone Figgins? Would you rather keep him or keep Mike Lowell at 3B and also keep a guy like Rich Hill? (I already have Reyes for a lot of steals)

AJ Mass
  (3:36 PM)

I would definitely keep Figgins over Lowell given the choice between the two. You can always trade his steals away after you build a lead and get some help in pitching, and a guy like Hill might not have a big enough name to be snatched up by your opponents quickly. (You could still get him back cheap.)

Zach (Bishop, IL)

Who puts up better number for Chicago in 2008....Pie or Fukudome?

AJ Mass
  (3:39 PM)

So tough when you don't see Japanese players except on limited tape. I think Pie has a slight edge because I'm not convinced the overseas power numbers translate well.

scott (nyc)

h2h points keeper league, who do you like more. hideki matsui or matt kemp

AJ Mass
  (3:40 PM)

I'll take the 10 year cushion and go with Kemp. Even if I'm wrong in 2008, I won't likely be in 2013.


would you rather have upton or cano at 2nd base? Would you keep both if you could?

AJ Mass
  (3:42 PM)

Since I can play Upton in the OF, I would consider keeping both if I could. And quite frankly, with an extra MI position to fill, that's another reason to keep both. I realize your league's lineup requirements may differ.

John (San Francisco)

What type of year do you predict for Victorino? Was last year's first half an aberration?

AJ Mass
  (3:44 PM)

I don't think it was an aberration, because if you doubled his second half stats to account for the calf injury, they'd be comparable. He's a good No. 3 OF.

PJ Charlotte, NC

Who you got in the Mac East? Bobcats Zips of Flashes!

AJ Mass
  (3:47 PM)

Going to go Bobcats. Played a real nice game vs. St. Mary's and didn't completely embarass against Kansas.

Rick (NY)

Who do you like more for this year and long term: Tim Hudson or Francisco Liriano?

AJ Mass
  (3:49 PM)

Liriano longterm, but I would go Hudson for this season. I don't trust guys first year back from TJ surgery, but assuming he survives OK, then it's all good.

Dan (Baltimore)

Keep three out of Rollins, BJ Upton, Berkman, Weeks, Webb, Oswalt, Lackey?

AJ Mass
  (3:51 PM)

Rollins. Upton. Berkman. I do like Lackey slightly better than Webb, but I'm going hitters over pitchers all things being equal.

matt (omaha)

NOMAAAAAHHHHH has fallen off the fantasy landscape. Is he worthy of a pick-up? Would you even take him over Andy LaRoche in LA?

AJ Mass
  (3:52 PM)

Did you say No More? That's what I thought you said.

Josh (NJ)

Who do you think will be the number 1 sleeper in fantasy baseball this year? For Pitcher and Hitter.

AJ Mass
  (3:54 PM)

Josh, that's such a hard question... not because I don't have names, but because "sleeper" loses its meaning if too many people start talking about the same guys. Take a guy like Curtis Granderson. Is he a sleeper? What about Hunter Pence? Maybe. But if everyone in your league has the same "sleepers" in mind, they're not anymore.

Todd (New York)

AJ: When (or if) will you come out with an analysis of the NCAA Men's BB tournament teams? A piece on the RPI and prospects of different top (and bubble) clubs would be very much appreciated.

AJ Mass
  (3:55 PM)

I think Joe Lunardi has pretty much got that covered right here on ESPN.

AJ Mass
  (3:56 PM)

Folks, we've only got time for a few more...

John (NY)

10 team keeper league where you keep 5 players at the round they were originally drafted with 5 year 'contracts'. I'm keeping Chipper for the last time this year. Which round should I draft Longoria as my 3B of the future? I don't NEED production from him this year, but want to lock him up. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (3:59 PM)

Again this is where knowing your league can help you out a lot. Their habits go a long way to answering this question. But I'd rather take him a few rounds early than a few rounds late. 12th Round would be probably be right value-wise.

Josh (NJ)

Who do you think will be the biggest surprise player, for pitcher and hitter?

AJ Mass
  (3:59 PM)

See previous answer... replace "sleeper" with "surprise"...LOL

Jason (Denver)

Keep four out of, A Soriano, Abreu, Hafner, Vlad, Dunn, B Roberts, Chris Young (SD)?

AJ Mass
  (4:01 PM)

I'll take Soriano, Abreu, Vlad and Roberts.

Joe vs. (The Volcano)

Cap of $260, Santana will cost __ down to Haren (say 10th SP overall) will cost __ ? Trying to grasp the top end disparity in auctions. Thanks, AJ.

AJ Mass
  (4:03 PM)

Santana - $38 ($42 in East Coast leagues) 10th pitcher - $27. Just a ballpark.

AJ Mass
  (4:03 PM)

Thanks everyone - that's my time. We'll be back next week with another chat or two. Check out the New York Mets preview now posted on the Fantasy Baseball page... and have a great evening!