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February 13, 2:46 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (2:59 PM)

Good afternoon, everyone. We'll have five minutes of questions, then we'll cede the floor to the other side for five minutes of questions and then ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Enough! Let's talk some fantasy baseball and some Bracketology, why don't we? Now who's gonna get this BABIP-pidy doo-dah started?

Steve Philly

I have to choose between keeping clay bucholtz and adam Wainwright

AJ Mass
  (3:00 PM)

With all the Schilling mess I'd give the edge to Clay, who'll get the benefits. Plus Cards have a sad lineup beyond Albert.

Nate, Wa

What's your preferred position in a 12-team draft this year? Do you like the #1 pick for A-Rod or something in the meaty middle?

AJ Mass
  (3:02 PM)

I prefer a pick in the middle in a snake every year. I don't like having to wait for more picks than there are owners. I'd rather go 6, 19 than 1, 24.

Ryan ( Platteville, WI)

AJ, My question regards fantasy football and the top 5 picks, I have LT and Peterson 1 and 2 respectively on my board, the rest of my top 5 is still up in the air. What is your top 5 as of now?

AJ Mass
  (3:03 PM)

I have none. There's so much movement between now and the draft, and then there's the draft itself... a lot can change, so I don't worry about rating the players until then.

Heath (Hattiesburg, Ms)

Is John Smolts still a good pick up this season, he's on top of the hill and I don't Know how much he has left. He is a gamer though!

AJ Mass
  (3:05 PM)

Smoltz is OK - he's far more likely than Glavine to reach the 7th on any given night. I have him still as #13 pitcher.

Mark: Dallas TX

AJ, how do you value minor leaguers in a trade? I'm thinking about offering Maybin ($1) for Kazmir ($17). I already have Yovani(6), Verlander(6), Liriano(6), Snell(6). I'm thinking with Kazmir, I'd be set with starting pitching going into the auction and I can focus on hitting and cheap closers.

AJ Mass
  (3:07 PM)

If this isn't a keeper league, I don't go anywhere near Maybin --- so yes, I make the deal.

steve moorestown nj

would you keep markakis over wainwirght

AJ Mass
  (3:09 PM)

Yes I would. Markakis is a Top 50 player, and Wainwright is closer to Top 150.

Ethan (Memphis)

Which of these guys having a breakout season would least surprise you? Haren, Hamels or Verlander?

AJ Mass
  (3:11 PM)

Breakout? I'd say they've all already broken out. I think if Verlander had a FAR better season than the other two that would surprise me the most, but they'll all be good.

Mike, Tampa

Tejada or Michael Young at SS?

AJ Mass
  (3:12 PM)

I go Young. I'd do so anyway, but with the cloud hanging over Tejada, that's even more incentive to avoid him.

Chris (Orlando)

AJ, your thoughts on Magglio Ordonez. I can keep him in the 6th rd or Chipper in the 11th.

AJ Mass
  (3:13 PM)

I'd keep Chipper in the 11th. That's more of a value - six rounds worth.

Luke (Cary NC)

If you can only keep 2, would you take Hanley, Holliday, or Braun. Hanley doesnt seem to have much protection with Cabrera gone.

AJ Mass
  (3:16 PM)

If I can only keep two, I let Braun go. Hanley's speed won't be effected by his protection, and I'm not drinking the Braun Kool-aid just yet.

Hoopachoo (NYC)

So stay away from Cain because the Giants aren't going to win a lot of games? I say he has some value if you can pick him up late. Of course, I could be an idiot.

AJ Mass
  (3:17 PM)

On the contrary, you shouldn't stay away from Cain. He'll help you in 3 categories, but just don't pay No. 1 starter price for him, since he's less likely to get those W's.

Craig ( PA)

$260 cap league. I was considering Adam Dunn a good valued keeper at $12, then I saw espn's initial auction values and he is listed at only $12. Don't you think a 100/40/100/10 outfielder is worth more than $12 even if he hits .260??

AJ Mass
  (3:21 PM)

I'm higher on Dunn than some of my colleagues and I haven't looked at the auction $ yet. I would have Dunn higher - closer to the $20-25 range.

Luke (Madison, WI)

Even despite Ben Sheets' chronic injuries, why is he rated so low for starting pitchers?

AJ Mass
  (3:24 PM)

I think the injuries have to factor in... and 35 is generous considering his lack of dominance of late.

Bill (Washington, DC)

I'm in a Congressional fantasy league. Should I keep Rep. Waxman for $12 or Rep. Davis for $8. I feel like Waxman is past his prime, but Davis is a risk to the waffling category.

AJ Mass
  (3:25 PM)

Tee hee.

Pete (NYC)

Hey AJ, quick question. Who would you rather receive in a trade - Sizemore & Webb or Santana & Magglio.

AJ Mass
  (3:27 PM)

Edge: Sizemore over Ordonez Edge: Santana over Webb But I think Santana will have such a big season, his edge overcomes Magglio's deficit. Show me the Johan.

Kyle, Chi

In these chats every day and never had a question answered. Do you think Chris Snyder gets 400+ bats for Arizona? Montero had a lot of hype as a prospect and i can see one of them offering sleeper potential at a position that lacks depth. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:29 PM)

Actually just started working on my D-Backs Preview. I'd say there'll be some sort of platoon, but Melvin says Snyder is the starter... that means about 400 AB to me, but not much more. If Montero can start to hit righties, that may change.

Chris (Washington, DC)

I am the commish of a new league (weekly lineups, H2H, 5x5). We are debating whether to use six utility pitcher (P) slots or mandate SPs and RPs. What are your thoughts on the advantages and drawbacks of both?

AJ Mass
  (3:32 PM)

If it's weekly, then you need to do two things: 1) Don't allow pickups during the week for pitchers. 2) Use averages over solid numbers as categories -- K/9 rather than K. If you do this, then it really shouldn't matter as much how the SP/RP splits break down.

Chris (Harrisburg)

AJ47, what do you think about Torii Hunter this year - better or worse with the Angels?

AJ Mass
  (3:34 PM)

I say better. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.

Dave (King of Prussia, PA)

Hey AJ, in a standard 5x5 league, where would you take guys like Bedard and CC in the draft? Around picks 30-40?

AJ Mass
  (3:35 PM)

That's probably the neighborhood you'd likely see them go. Personally I like to wait on my pitchers, but then again my staffs rarely have CC and Bedard as a result.

Bill J.(Boston)

I've created a new statistic to project offensive output. It's called ABPIPHROBP. At Bats Per Inning Pitched Per Home Run On Base Percentage. Basically, you multiply a hitter's at bats, home runs, and on base percentage, divide by pi, and take the square root of the resulting logarithm. What do you think?

AJ Mass
  (3:36 PM)


Alex (SLC,UT)

Disregarding SB, would you rather have Wright, Holliday, or Cabrera at #4 in a 16 teamer?

AJ Mass
  (3:37 PM)

I might still take Wright because with 16 teams I'd rather fill my infield before my OF.

John (WI)

This is my first year in a baseball league after years of football. Any general draft strategies that I should follow?

AJ Mass
  (3:39 PM)

The most general - do your homework. I've drafted in leagues with people who have played for years --- but when a name like Cameron Maybin comes up, they're flipping through their magazines. They often lose.

Patrick (Seattle, WA)

Keeper points league question: I have to choose between Bobby Abreu, Chris B. Young and AJ Burnett. Do I go with consistency or upside?

AJ Mass
  (3:42 PM)

Not knowing the scoring system, it's hard to know how your pitchers are valued vs. hitters. But in general, I want to win this year first and foremost - so I go consistency over upside. Abreu.

Ethan (Memphis)

What kind of mix are you looking for on your bench, half veterans, half young upside guys, 70/30 upside/veterans?

AJ Mass
  (3:44 PM)

I want playing time on my bench. I don't really care what kind of package it comes in - I simply want the guy who I can trust will get ABs or IPs if I need to insert them. That probably ends up being more of a veteran slant since they're likely to have the edge in playing time, but if it ends up being a bunch of newbies, so be it.

Steve (DC)

Balanced, non-streaky players have always served my h2h teams the best. Beyond strikeouts and strikeouts per walk for hitters (or anecdotal observations for specific players), are there any other metrics you've found that might be suggestive of a player's "streakiness?"

AJ Mass
  (3:46 PM)

Almost every player will go through hot and cold spells during a season. Certainly, if there's a track record, you can check month to month splits and see if anything jumps out at you, but in a H2H, sometimes "streakiness" is simply the result of "they played the Yanks and Red Sox this week" vs. "they played the Rays and Royals"

Joe (indy)

What chances for the Boilermakers?

AJ Mass
  (3:49 PM)

Hard to believe the Big 10 leader has to win vs. Wisconsin and Mich St to get noticed, huh? They're a NCAA lock (two games left vs. N'western to boot) and should be no worse than a 4.

Corey (Boston)

Will the manager change from Grady Little to Joe Torre this season effect Russell Martin's stats at all?

AJ Mass
  (3:50 PM)

I don't think so. Could the steal totals go down? Yeah, Torre may not decide to run as much, but he's not stupid. He'll play to his team's strengths.


How long would u resign Verlander and Liriano for in AL only 5x5? i can resign for 2 yrs at $6, 3 at $11, 4 at $16, or 5 at $21. Thanks

AJ Mass
  (3:52 PM)

Quite frankly, it's hard for me to take any pitcher on for more than 3 years. Wouldn't want an injury to kill $16 + on my cap. With 3, you're gambling on health. I might not do that for Liriano.

Joe (NYC)

You said earlier that you tend to wait to draft pitchers. What round do you usually start picking them and what caliber guys do you usually end up with? thanks!

AJ Mass
  (3:55 PM)

I don't have a hard and fast round... I'll usually wait until the first 8 or so are gone to even consider it. Then I can pick up a John Lackey-type to anchor the staff and a bunch of younger guys with potential later on - I do often end up with a bunch of Traschels and Reuters - but I can then trade my hitters or work the waiver wire to compensate.

Jack (LA)

Purdue a 4-seed huh? Too bad the Big Ten sucks and they have a SOS of 109.

AJ Mass
  (3:57 PM)

SOS is actually 82, and irrelevant when the Big 10 record is 11-1.

Craig ( PA)

Who is the better keeper? Smoltz $12, Rich Hill $5, Javier Vazquez $3??

AJ Mass
  (3:58 PM)

I think Rich Hill at $5 is a steal and a half.

JJ, Liberty Twp OH

Torre will play to the Dodgers' strenghts? Does that mean we've seen the last of Juan Pierre?

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

At some point, after numerous fielding gaffes, Torre may decide to rid himself of Juan... but he may also have 40 steals by then.

Gary (Sarasota)

Tulowitzki or Jeter, who you got

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

Tulo. Love that Mile High air.

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

Time for one more.

Luke (Cary NC)

With Mauer, V. Martinez, and R. Martin off the board, which catcher would you take and it what round. it seems to be a shallow position

AJ Mass
  (4:02 PM)

I'd go with Brian McCann - and probably around round 7, since as you correctly point out, it is a tad shallow.

AJ Mass
  (4:03 PM)

Thanks a lot to all who asked questions... and to those who I couldn't get too, much apologies, but when the Congressman says my time is up, my time is up.