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February 20, 2:36 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (2:59 PM)

Good afternoon, houseguests. Since the power of veto is not going to be used it's another hour of fantasy baseball chat with a touch of Bracketology thrown in for good measure, too. So what in the name of Julie Chen are we waiting for? Who's first?

ryan, bloomington

a friend of mine inherited a real bad team in my keeper league and the commish wont let him pick players from waivers to better his team? fair or not?

AJ Mass
  (3:01 PM)

Of course it is fair. He gets to name his keepers like everyone else and gets to draft like everyone else. He shouldn't get any preferential treatment just because the prior owner wasn't a skilled player.

Josh (Austin, TX)

AJ we are starting 12 team keeper league this year, what we are thinking 5X5 or 6X6, which categories should we use, and how many keepers would you suggest we use, Roto or head to head? Thanks man we really needed your help, I appeciate it.

AJ Mass
  (3:03 PM)

First and foremost, you should do whatever you and your leaguemates want - after all, as long as all of you are happy with it, you'll continue to play. I prefer using categories that are "in flux" over categories that are straight accumulation. For example K/9 over K since a ratio can go up or down, but if you have a huge lead in K's that number isn't going to comeback to the pack. Those are just a few thoughts.

rob albany ny

2nd base ? a.j! with 2nd base one of the weaker postisions can you compare phillips and weeks and who you think will turn out better? where should i look to draft one of these guys in a 10 team h2h? thanks

AJ Mass
  (3:06 PM)

I think Phillips is way better than Weeks. Brandon will be gone within the first three rounds, while you may still steal Weeks at late as in Round 12.

Scott (Philly)

I get to keep three keepers. Keeping Utley and Wright. THen Beckett or Phillips? Can I really keep 2 2Bs, or is that silly? (BBs is a category) 6x6 league.

AJ Mass
  (3:09 PM)

Don't think of it as keeping two 2B... you have X lineup spots and they need to be filled. If you've got three Top 25 guys and they all can start, why would position really matter? Beckett is a top rate starter, but if saves are a category, he's not going to contribute in as many categories as Phillips.

Nick (Greenwich, CT)

Hey AJ! Are you high on Garko this year? I think he can put together a solid year! also...Legit or Bust this year on these 3 Lefties: Willis, Francis, and Hamels???

AJ Mass
  (3:12 PM)

Garko is OK as a backup, but not in my Top 10 at 1B - lack of speed cuts down his overall value and I'm concerned that he won't help in run production as much as other 1Bs. As for the pitchers, a healthy Hamels is a decent pick, but I pass on Dontrelle and Francis.


Hey AJ, is it important to have 1 elite sp in a h2h, keeper league?...i am keeping arod, miguel cabrera, braun, cano, m young, and granderson...we have a "1B/3B" position to fill...someone offer me c.c. or hamels for braun...would you take it?

AJ Mass
  (3:15 PM)

It's important to win your categories. Period. How you do that is up to you. The thing with a weekly H2H is that an ace pitcher is only going to get you AT MOST two starts. A position player gets you 6-7 days of stats each week. I'd rather have that, win all of my hitting categories and then worry about scraping up enough pitching later on to win one or two.

Michael Barrett

Do people forget I was a consistent Top 10 catcher? Sleeper?

AJ Mass
  (3:17 PM)

The key there being WAS. I'm not going out of my way to draft Darrell Porter either.

Steve (NY)

AJ, does that H2H philosophy of yours apply to points leagues as well, especially those where only 5 or 6 pitchers even score as many points as the the 40th best hitter?

AJ Mass
  (3:19 PM)

Certainly the scoring system plays into the mix... but yes, if in general a hitter is going to score more points, then just like a tight end or a kicker in football becomes an afterthought, then so too do pitchers. That doesn't mean at some point it isn't wiser to draft Johan than your 8th hitter, but pitchers will be taken far later and are less valuable.

Steve, Chicago

How much stock do you put in trying to predict wins and saves?

AJ Mass
  (3:22 PM)

Plain and simple... you don't predict wins because you can't. (See: Cain, Matt.) Saves are a little easier to predict, because you can usually guess the really good teams versus the really bad teams... but even then, the gap isn't huge enough between the top team and the tenth best team to make a lick of difference. That's why I prefer to play in leagues without those categories altogether.

Jon (Boston)

Thoughts on Bengie Molina? How much does him batting cleanup bump him in catcher rankings? (Yes I know San Fran is terrible)

AJ Mass
  (3:25 PM)

He's a Top 10 catcher, but there's a Top 2 and then there's another group of 3-4 and then Molina's neighborhood. I think he's in a bad lineup and cleanup or sixth or second wouldn't change his value all that much.

Dave (King of Prussia, PA)

Hey AJ, it seems like everyone in my league is listening to the advice of experts and staying away from pitchers. Does this open a window for someone to swoop in, pick up the good pitchers and roll with super strong pitchng?

AJ Mass
  (3:27 PM)

Absolutely. While I usually go with hitters over pitchers, if Santana is there for me and I take him and then Peavy is there for me and I take him and then Webb or Haren are still there for me--- I'll take them. I'm just not going to plan for the rest of my leaguemates to allow that to happen.

Tarr (Orlando)

Thoughts on Alex Rios? Some people are really high on him this season. You prefer him or Granderson?

AJ Mass
  (3:28 PM)

This kettle of fish again? LOL! I prefer Granderson. Yes I BABIP-pity do.

Jason (Atlanta)

Would you trade Tex for A Gonz and Gallardo? Salaries would work out to be the same but Gallardo would bump BJ Ryan as my last keeper

AJ Mass
  (3:30 PM)

I'd stick with Tex. He's fixing to have a monster year, and I'm not making any pre-season deals for damaged goods like Gallardo.

Scott, IA

DYNASTY LEAGUE HELP...AJ i am joining a dynasty points keeper league this year, and Homeruns are worth 5 while everything else is worth one for hitting. Wins are worth 10 and losses -5. I was just wondering should I move up the top pitchers on my draft board and the big HR hitters, and drop guys like Reyes? Also does this move up the top prospects since it is a dynasty league?

AJ Mass
  (3:33 PM)

This goes back to the question before about "predicting wins" - I don't like the category because it's not a true measure of a good pitcher. You get a pitcher who throws 7 shutout innings and his team fails to score. Zero points. Another pitcher throws 8 innings of 1 run ball and loses, 1-0. You get (-5) points. The third guy gives up 5 in the first, struggles through five innings, giving up 7, but wins 10-7. You get 10 points. It's silly to me - and also why I still don't draft pitchers any sooner.

Jimbo - Arizona

YO AJ! Will Chis B Young do anything this year but his solo homers. Would you prefer him or hunter Pence?

AJ Mass
  (3:36 PM)

Just finished up my D-backs preview - should be posted sometime next week. I agree the hoopla shouldn't be too great on Young b/c of the solo shots, but Chase Field should give him better stats than he's gotten. I like him a bit more than Pence, but another low RBI year and I may change my tune.

Jason (Atlanta)

Wait a second AJ, two weeks ago you told me you didn't put any fantasy "studs" in your Atlanta column because they didn't have any, and now you're telling me Tex is going to have a "monster" year. Which is it?

AJ Mass
  (3:39 PM)

Allow a guy a little hyperbole every now and again, huh? A "fantasy stud" in our preview definition is a guy who we think will absolutely get huge numbers across all categories... a Top 20 overall kind of guy. Teixeira can hit 40 HR and 120 RBI and I'd call that a "monster" year for him. But his average could be 285 and zero steals prevent me from calling him a "fantasy stud".

Brad (Philly)

AJ, do you prefer MASS or WEIGHT as the better measurement of a players heaviness?

AJ Mass
  (3:40 PM)

I prefer DESTINY, er, I mean DENSITY!

John (SF)

What kind of year do you see Dustin McGowan having? Worth keeping at $9?

AJ Mass
  (3:43 PM)

Around a 4.00 ERA and 7-8 K's a game. Probably around .500 record. In a $260 cap league, I'd probably pass.

Jordan (Peoria)

Obviously risking alot on health but how good is Chipper if he stays relatively healthy?

AJ Mass
  (3:45 PM)

That's the million dollar question, isn't it? I think Chipper did amazingly well last season, especially since he says he couldn't feel his own hands until December. He's worth a 4th round pick or thereabouts, and that's with the injury risk.

Buck (SD)

Why does ESPN only cater to rotisserie leagues? If you are in a points league I find your projections and rankings useless.

AJ Mass
  (3:48 PM)

Buck, our projections are based on who we think (as a department) are the best players for a fantasy team. But, as there are nearly an infinite number of scoring systems for points leagues, it would be folly for us to try and rank the players in that regard. Still, while you may need to take the rankings with a grain of salt, we didn't sit there and rate them based on any one format over another. I think the pecking order can still be valuable to you.

Jimmy (Cleveland)

Based on health concerns, should I shop Pujols around for another solid 1B and try to pick up an extra draft pick or two, or just sit tight and get what I can from Albert?

AJ Mass
  (3:50 PM)

To borrow from Mr. Eastwood... are you feeling lucky? Personally, I am not going near Albert this season, and I went on record with that BEFORE the injury concerns were made public. That's my take on it - get what you can. Either way, we're rolling the dice.

Shawn (MN)

AJ last keeper Vlad or Teix? I'm already keeping Utley & Wright.

AJ Mass
  (3:51 PM)

After my monster prediction... I'd have to say it's really close, but because I need more OF than 1B, I'm going to go Vlad by a nose.

Steve (MA via E. Hartford)

Quick one...McCann or Hafner in a keeper?

AJ Mass
  (3:54 PM)

McCann is only 24, and catcher is thin... but at the same time, because it is thin, you're not really hurting yourself as much by skipping the position. I think I'll go Travis, in spite of myself.

jay (fort thomas, germany)

quick question, how do you handle players being traded to and from the league in an nl-only?

AJ Mass
  (3:56 PM)

Up to you, but decide NOW and write it down before the season starts. Some leagues allow the stats to continue, but I don't like that rule. I say if a guy gets traded to the AL, you have to cut him... you could allow the team who loses the highest salaried player in a multi-player deal to get first dibs on the guys who come over to the NL in a deal, or you can simply say those are the breaks. It certainly allows for a lot of trading just before the actual MLB deadline, as people try to get what they can for rumored to be dealt guys.

George Mcfly

Don't steal my lines, you could never bag Lea Thompson. Best chance of reaching 200K's who I can draft late?

AJ Mass
  (3:59 PM)

Gallardo, because of the injury, may slip. Perez and Maine of the Mets perhaps... here's a deep deep sleeper - if he makes the O's rotation: Radhames Liz

AJ Mass
  (3:59 PM)

I've time for one more...

Jason (San Jose)

Keeper League. Would you trade David Ortiz and Vlad to get HanRam in return?

AJ Mass
  (4:02 PM)

Depends on who you're filling in that offensive spot in the lineup. Hanley is an upgrade for sure, but unless you're going to be able to slot in a guy like Hafner or Pena, I say no-go.

AJ Mass
  (4:03 PM)

Thanks gang. That's all for today. Remember to check out the Draft Kit. It's a great resource of info. See you all the next time on Villa Allegre!