Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 11, 2:31 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Howdy gang. As you may have figured out. I'm not Nate. Another bubble surprise, perhaps? Nevertheless, I am here to talk fantasy baseball and NCAA Championship Week. Let's get this started, OK?

Mark, NY NY

Who are some candidates to become closers within the first few months of the season who are flying under the radar?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Chicago and Arizona are two places with situations that need sorting out over the long run. Marmol and Lyon may be there now, but its far from a lock to last. Pena/Qualls and Wood/Howry may well jump in sooner rather than later.

Mike (NJ)

AJ- I have done roto leagues for many years and we are changing to a H2H this year. Can I please get a quick explanation of how this should change my draft strategy? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

In a sense, it shouldn't. After all you are still trying to get the best players on your team. But you might want to jump on pitchers a bit earlier because on a week-to-week basis, having an ace is more valuable to you.

(rex morristown,nj)

WHat are your thoughts on Time LIncecum ????

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I like Lincecum. I happen to like Cain better, but that's more of a personal preference than anything else. Still, with SF due for another long season, if Wins is a category, you have to lower both on your draft lists.

aaron (state college, pa)

AJ...Drafting right now....12,13 picks....pick two...Cabrera, Ortiz, Pujols, Prince, Sizemore...head to head league. What are your thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I'd go Grady and Prince. I'm still not going to be the one who goes with Albert and I think Miggy's numbers get diluted with all the offense, not the other way around.

Adam (Chicago)

AJ, I don't want to be "that guy", but I swear no one will answer this question for me. Where would you expect Adam Dunn to be taken in a 12 team league that uses OBP instead of AVG?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I like Dunn a lot. He a definite second - third rounder in my book...but with Dusty going on a tirade that he hates OBP and wants players to swing first and ask questions later, perhaps his OBP falls a bit this season.

Big Fat Bartolo Colon (Ft. Myers)

Do I really have a legitmate shot to make the rotation? Can I fool any nonsimulated hitters anymore or am I merely a product of injuries to way better pitchers?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Yes, especially if this Beckett injury ends up being serious. I'm still not drafting you until very late... I don't buy that you return to Cy Young form as far as I can throw you.

Bob (boston)

7th keeper in an 11-team NL only league - K. Johnson or Y. Escobar?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Escobar. More positional flexibility and he's my prime sleeper candidate for the Braves.

Todd (Fargo)

Do you recommend avoiding drafting the same player in two different leagues? I had a draft a week ago and took David Wright 4th, and I have the 5th pick in another draft on Sunday. I was looking at either Wright again or going with Miggy Cabrera, what do you think? Thanks...

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

This is a total personal preference, Todd. I don't like to play in too many leagues, since I don't like to be watching a game and simultaneously rooting for and against the same player. When I do play in multiple leagues, I treat each draft the same though, and if Wright is the highest guy on my board, I take him, regardless of what has happened in other drafts.

Big Fat Bartolo Colon (Ft. Myers)

Really? Awesome! I love the major league buffets!!! Tell Berry I miss him.

Gray (Chicago)

Who wins the #5 spots in Minnesota and Oakland?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Slowey probably beats out Humber for the 5-spot in Minnesota. For the A's? Hard to say. Wouldn't even go near Duscherer at 4 at all.

Adam (NY)

Pitt...bubble team or in the tourney regardless of what happens this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Bubble team... they are in right now, and another win probably locks it in, but if Butler loses and we get a few more surprises, we might need to revisit.

Andy (VA)

AJ - I'm about to participate in a 20-team roto 5x5 draft. Any advice for approaching a really deep league?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Don't do it? Just kidding, but really you want to go best player on the board regardless of position. With so long in between picks, you can't afford to reach for anyone without a starting job or some other sleeper like you could in a 10-team draft.

Bryan (Montclair, NJ)

Brandon Webb = Top 5 SP this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Absolutely. Arizona will win 90 again, and he'll lead the charge.

Laff (Chi)

AJ, We talked last week about UK before the USC game. With 2 wins last week they have to be in right? What are your thoughts on Kouzmanoff?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

The conference record is so good, you have to put them in right now. Still, there is so little separating the last 10 in and last 10 out, that you don't want to give the committee any excuse by losing first SEC game. I still say they're in.... just don't get blown out. Kouz is a nice late pickup. Not going to be my first choice at 3B, but for a CO spot, absolutely.

Bear NYC

Hey AJ- How do you think Howie Kendrick will perform this year for my squad. I know he's a great hitter but looks like his power production/lack of steals might hurt him?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

From what I hear, the team isn't looking for Kendrick to provide power. As long as there's no expectation, then Kendrick will play - which is the most important thing - and should give you the 300+ average.

Fantasy Football Loser (Your League)

Reyes or Hanley? I figure Reyes will be better this year, Hanley a little worse. So who ends up on top? And while you're at it, Miggy or Wright?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I like Hanley over Reyes. He has more power and I'm not worried about the loss of Cabrera... who goes way behind Wright in my book.

Pete (Columbus)

Bran Phillips batting 4th? Does this hurt him b/c we wanted 30/30 or help him because RBIs should take a big leap and he can still steal 20+?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

The X-factor is Dusty. Numbers should be similar to last year, even in cleanup spot... but Dusty has to let his team run, and that's something we can neither predict nor control.

James (Fort Worth, TX)

I noticed that Bedard will start the season on the ESPN undroppable list. Do you think that he deserves this spot? Aren't there pitchers like Beckett who are better then him?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Bedard is the first AL-pitcher being drafted in ESPN Live Drafts. Anyone who has drafted Beckett and is now worried about his back is certainly not arguing for his addition to the undroppable list.

Brad (Philly)

Hi AJ, in a H2H league, should I be worried about having too many players from the same team? I had a draft last night and ended up with a bunch of Orioles (B. Roberts, Markakis, R. Hernandez, Sherrill), Blue Jays (McGownan, B.J. Ryan, Marcum) and Indians (Sizemore, Hafner). That's almost 40% of my roster on three teams. What do you think? It's a 12-team, mixed, H2H league. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Danger Will Robinson!!! It's definitely a problem. I don't have a schedule handy, but you could have both the O's and Jays facing quality teams like the Yanks and Red Sox in the same week. You always want to spread the risk around.

JP (Boston)

Did the Zags kill any chance of Umass making the tourney?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Still in their own hands. Probably the only safe teams in A-10 will be the ones who reach the final game in A.C. But with 3 teams likely now going from WCC - that probably means only 2 from A-10.

Kevin (Boston)

Hey AJ, what are your thoughts on Capps and Snell down there in Pitt, got both of them in h2h league got them late just wondering if I am giong to any value on them

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

I like Snell. Don't love him. But getting him late probably will get you value from the pick. Capps will get saves. That's all that matters. Even bad teams' closers can get you 30. Again, late saves are nothing to sneeze at.

Brad (Santa Barbara)

AJ, First year for FB...In a H2H league how do you feel about going either all offense or all pitching in the first few rounds?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I don't like the all pitching, because there's far too much risk. Take a look at Beckett for example... pick your pitchers too high and if they go down, you're too far behind in the hitting categories... plus, pitchers usually don't contribute as much to a win each week as regular players. All offense is much more preferable a strategy.

Steve (Miami)

I think the worst spot to draft is second since you just miss A-Rod and have to pick any of 5 guys that could drop to 6. Who would you take?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

I agree. Especially with the long turnaround time until your next pick. I always prefer dead center for my draft position. At #2, I would go with one of the three shortstops. Personally, I'm a rebel and like Rollins best, but Hanley or Reyes going there is what you going to see in many drafts.

Matt,MPLS

You worried about Beltran's knees?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I'm worried about Beltran's knees, Church's head, Delgado 's hip, Alou's hernia, Endy's legs, Pedro's shoulder... I even fear Mr. Met's tearing an ACL.

Patrick (Seattle, WA)

Why do so many people care about the first round? You don't win championships in the early part of the draft, unless you had a chance to get Dan Marino in 1984.

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

But you do lose them... Ken O'Brien anyone?

Jack (Chicago)

In a H2H wiuth k/9 as a cat, what do you think about drafting all Offense untill it is completely filled up and then filling in with high K-rate pitchers, setup guys probably, and punt the rest of the pitching. If you win by one every week you win the league right? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

This strategy could work... which is why many leagues put in some sort of IP requirements. However, in many ways you are putting all those eggs in one basket... lose to your opponent in K/9 and you CAN'T win your game. Essentially, you render your offense, which you're spending all that energy on, moot.

Jacob (DETROIT):

What is the best way to draft 2B, SS, 3B in any order in a 16 team league if you draft 5th?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

When it comes to me, I pick the best player available. If that's Wright, I go Wright, if it's Reyes, I go Reyes, if it's Utley, I go Utley. By the time it gets back to me, I'll reevaluate, but I don't worry about filling a particular position each round. I might even wait several rounds before drafting a 2B, say, if I don't grab one early.

Jay (Rye Brook)

Hi AJ, I understand that Duscherer might not get a lot of wins being a pitcher on the A's but you single him out...why, he has had so much sucess as a reliever with so many pitches, I have been waiting for years to see him start, why are you down on Duscherer?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Not singling him out for any reason than he's the likely No. 4 guy in Oakland... so why worry about No. 5 when Justin has so many issues? Sorry if I don't jump up and down over a 30-year-old with an arthritic hip who has never been asked to pitch even 100 IP in the bigs.

Ben (SF)

I have Rollins, Sizemore and Braun. I can only keep two. I just can't see any reasoning why Sizemore would be kept, even though I kind of want to. Please help!

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Ben - it's your team... "I kind of want to" is really all the reasoning you need. All three are generally around the same value, though with Rollins being one of "three shortstops" and Braun being one of "four third basemen" they are harder to replace than Grady, who is one of "ten OF's" in their general tiers.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Time for one more question, gang.

Dan (RI)

Do you think Cueto makes the opening day rotation and is he worth a buck?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Looking an awful lot like. There's still that Baker factor, but worth a buck? Absolutely.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Gang, I gotta run. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon at 3pm for another chat. Thanks for all of your questions. Have a great day!