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September 8, 10:53 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/Brendan Roberts

Brendan Roberts
  (11:01 AM)

Good morning, everyone! Hope as we begin Week 25 here that you're all fighting for money spots; the fact that you're here suggests so.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:01 AM)

Now, I've been told to keep this chat baseball-related, to help people set lineups, late-season strategies, etc. And I'll adhere to that, 'cause baseball owners need love to, even after an exciting Week 1 of the NFL season. Chris Harris will be along at 3 p.m. ET to answer football questions, and we'll have two chats a day all week to follow. So let's get rollin'.

Aubrey Huff

Will I be back for tonight's game?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:02 AM)

He/you will return soon, but I don't think it'll be today. If the O's were contending ...

Tom Brady (Foxboro)

How can you guys casually chat about baseball when I'm kneeling over in pain?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:03 AM)

Hehe. Because sadly, life (baseball and football) will go on without Tom Brady.

Mike(Charlotte)

I made it to my championship as the 7th seed. Who is a better DH pick this week, VMart or Headley and I picked up Dave Bush for 2 starts, good call?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:05 AM)

I had that Bush question, too, and I examined in last night. I'm worried about that second start at PHI, but I felt today's start vs. CIN was strong enough that I stuck with him. In most leagues, it's wins you want right now, and 1 win out of 2 starts, which I think he'll get, is good enough for me. I'll just cross my fingers Saturday. I'd probably go with V-Mart at DH. Of course, it helps that the Tribe have eight games. Good luck in your playoffs!

JC (NY, NY)

Was is your take on Brandon Morrow and Adnre Either for head-to-head playoff competition? Thanks

Brendan Roberts
  (11:06 AM)

I think they're both money. The Rangers are a tough matchup for Morrow's only start this week ... but so were the Yanks, and then went OK. Plus, he's at home. And Ethier has been producing like an elite player of late and has solidified himself in that lineup. With the Dodgers in playoff contention, he'll be pushing. Two good options there.

Bob (Elwood, IL)

Although I coach 7-8 year olds in baseball and it gets just a harsh with parents so I suppose HS these days is like NFL

Brendan Roberts
  (11:08 AM)

Yeah, in football-heavy towns it is, for sure. Coincidentally, I coach my 8-year-old in baseball, too, and it's rough. Some parents take away some of my love of being around the game. It's so political. I could go on, but ...

Jennifer (S.F.)

Non-keeper, h2h playoffs. Assume I drop Carlos Guillen and position doesn't matter, pick one: Headly, Aybar, Cunningham or Snider?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:10 AM)

Hmm, probably Headley. Longoria should return to 3B at some point this week, or else I'd say Aybar. If it weren't head-to-head, though, I'd still probably say Guillen. But since it is, you have to go for this week.

don (sf)

Would you start petit today at SF? Carmona at Balt? Are they too risky?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:11 AM)

Definitely yes on Petit. The G-men aren't as bad as we thought they'd be, but that's still a money start with ARI fighting with the Dodgers. However, I don't like Carmona at BAL. The O's have hit well, especially at home, and Carmona still seems to have control problems.

Edinson Volquez (Cinci)

Are you starting me tonight?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:11 AM)

Absolutely I am. I think there's still something left in his tank, and I still like the K potential.

Derek (DC)

Is Danks out of gas?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:12 AM)

Unfortunately, I think he is. I watched his last start, and he looks to be laboring quite a bit. Just seems to have an inability to put guys away. I wouldn't mess with him.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:13 AM)

Can't find the question now, but on the follow-up with Guillen, he was supposed to return today, but I'm hearing it could be more like mid-week. This back thing is concerning me.

Tyler (Philadelphia, PA)

What level of production can I expect from Matt Cassel? Can I start him?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:14 AM)

Whoops, a football question. OK one. I'd feel good, given his offensive support. Back to baseball ...

Eric (New York)

BIG DECISION!!! Who would you start this week at 2B: Alexie Ramirez or BJ Upton?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:15 AM)

Have to decide between those two? That's a toughie, but I'd say Upton, for one reason alone: steals. He faces the Red Sox and Yankees, two teams he can run on. Meanwhile, Ramirez is hot but has some mighty tough pitching matchups this week.

Craig (PA)

With a 22 Save lead over the next guy and i can gain a lot of points by gaining 11 holds, is it time to drop closers for setup men? Do you know of any good holds guys that qualify as SP?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:16 AM)

Yup, now would be the time to pull out all the stops. Good holds guys? Nobody obvious comes to mind who fits in that class, but they're easy to find. Just go to your free agents list in your commish program, and sort by holds in the last 30 days. The guys who have been getting holds are usually a good bet to continue getting holds.

George (Canton, OH)

With no Ty Wig in the Astro lineup, would you 1.) Start Snell against them, and 2.) Drop a potentially even more unproductive Tejada for a weekly hot SS?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:18 AM)

I was warned against it, but I like Snell today and this week with two starts. I say go for it. But I would stick with Tejada. He still has more week-to-week upsdie than anyone you'll find on the FA wire.

Rob Boston

Head to Head would you drop Pat Burrell who is in a slump for much needed starting pitching or do you think he comes out of it this week ?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:19 AM)

Burrell is just one of those "caution: flammable" guys who can be frustrating to own at times. But I wouldn't dare drop him during a homestand. The Phils have a full week at home this week, and some favorable matchups. I smell some homers.

ted - Boston

Will there be a football chat today?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:20 AM)

Yup, 3 p.m. ET, guys. Be sure to tune back in for that. I know Chris is already anticipating some questions that he'll get.

Mal Orland Park IL

Hi Either Elijah Dukes or Nate McLouth this week,since McLouth is questionable for the Houston series

Brendan Roberts
  (11:20 AM)

Yeah, McLouth with the stitches. I'd probably say Dukes. He's healthy and hitting on all cylinders.

Lance (Chicago)

HELP!!! Who is a better 2 start spot starter this week. Zach Miner starting against the A's and the White Sox, Vincent Padilla starting against the Mariners and the A's, or Yusmeiro Petit going against the Gianst and the Reds?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:22 AM)

Those matchups are nice, but I'm still really leery about Padilla (health/effectiveness). And Petit is nice, but he's hit a bumpy road. I'd say Miner, who is pitching well. His second start is at CHI, which bothered me until I realized he shut them down about a month ago. It's close, but he'd be my pick.

John--NYC

Pettitte has gotten killed this year vs. the Angels. For my last pitching start of the week--him or Morrow vs. the Angels?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:23 AM)

Oh yes, I mistyped before. Was thinking Morrow had the Rangers ... looks like they moved him back a day to pitch at LA. I'd still take him over Pettitte. That goes to show you how much I believe in him as a starter.

Eric (New York)

How do you feel about Vazquez with 2 starts this week. I feel like he's been up and down...but always with K's

Brendan Roberts
  (11:24 AM)

I LOVE Javier Vazquez. Sometimes has rough outings, but he usually can keep his WHIP in check, and the K's are a near-given. I think he's in for a big week. You have a horse there.

Tim, DC

Follow up to the Danks question. Start him over Garza (@the yankees) or pick up someone like Greinke or Chris Young?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:25 AM)

I wouldn't mess with Danks, honestly. And Garza seems to get overworked (with high pitch counts) by teams that can make him throw. Especially given his last start (perfect game into the eighth) and the matchup (vs. SF), I'd go with Young in a heartbeat.

Mike

Danks or Lowe for the rest of the season?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:25 AM)

Definitely Lowe. He has that sinkerball in the zone right now.

Jim (Detroit, MI)

H2H - Drop Wigg for Stewart?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:26 AM)

Given that it's a h2h league, I'd say so.

Jason NYC

Would you start Denard Span or Jason Werth for the DH spot this week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:26 AM)

I'd say Werth, Jason. (Get that?) Nice homestand for the Phils (even though they're facing mostly righty starters).

Brian (Chicago)

Non-Roto League, simply points: Would you go with Denard Span or Jhonny Peralta over Prince Fielder this week? It seems crazy to me, but I just need to hold off the guy behind and keep 2nd Place.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:27 AM)

I wouldn't dare sit Fielder, ESPECIALLY in a points league, in which his extra bases could be king. Good looking out and maximizing your lineup, but I think you'd have to start him.

Brad (Mi.)

Do you think Scherzer takes one of Petit's starts this week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:28 AM)

I wouldn't be surprised if he does, or maybe Unit can't make it back in time for Saturday. Who knows? But unfortunately, you can't start Scherzer without knowing for sure he'll be getting a start. Even as a reliever, he's out till Friday.

Joe (NY)

Either over Dunn, Wells, Pence or Span this week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:29 AM)

Hmm, over Dunn, too? Now that one is a lot closer ... but I'd still take Ethier right now. Love what that series at COL could do for him.

Joel (East Longmeadow, MA)

Starting the playoffs this week: Longoria (BOS and NYY) or Beltre (TX and ANA)?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:29 AM)

Another close one, but I'd say Longoria.

Jack (Pitt)

Need to keep my whip down and get wins - pick one for tonight: AJ at Chicago or Volquez at Milwaukee. Thanks.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:30 AM)

Given your parameters, I'd probably say AJ Burnett at CHW. I think the Sox without Quentin are less likely to hurt him.

Tim (Philly)

Your thoughts on Dave Bush and his start vs. Volquez tonight? Will he rebound from his horrible start last week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:31 AM)

I think he will. The matchup is favorable enough for him. Now, whether he can do well at PHI is another story ...

Nat(RSN)

Is Haren done this year? In watching his outing on Friday night against the Dodgers, I noticed his fastball was horid, no velocity or command. Could he have a tired arm?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:32 AM)

Yeah, I watched that start, too. He looked annoyed and/or disinterested, too. Terrible body language. But I think he bounces back, at least to some degree, at SF and gets the win. I'd stick with him.

Clyde (Austin)

Hey Brendan - Are you trusting Jered "cuts like a staple" Weaver for his two start gig (NYY & SEA) this week? Many thanks!

Brendan Roberts
  (11:33 AM)

Ha, ha. Nice nickname. Given that both starts are at home, yes I am. He has very different home/road splits, and I think he'll do well.

Jason (NYC)

Any word on Way Rod's injury yesterday? Either, Byrd, or Winn for the rest of the season? Thanks!

Brendan Roberts
  (11:34 AM)

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any info, but the fact that he left in the second inning with noticeable pain, I'm expecting him to miss time. Definitely Ethier in your above trio.

Mark: (Jacksonville, FL)

WOW, I need help in a hurry. Trade deadline in 30 mins, for the season. Who do you prefer for the stretch run and for next year, Chris Young or Jason Bay? PLEASE HELP

Brendan Roberts
  (11:34 AM)

Bay, easily. Nice homestand for the Sawx this week, and good sked beyond.

Remy (Seattle, WA)

What is up with Berkman? He is killing me in my playoff run. Sit him against Snell tonight?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:35 AM)

No way I'd sit Berkman. He's been a little cold -- but be careful not to evaluate him versus his first-half numbers. Over the past month, he's still been pretty good.

Dave (Frisco, Texas )

Danks does look like toast so I am considering these players: Pelfrey, Morrow, Arroyo, Litsch. Who do you like out of these four? Better yet, could you rank them? Thanks.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:36 AM)

Time to play the matchups. Ranking 'em: Pelfrey (at home vs. WAS), Morrow, Arroyo, Litsch. That's just for this week, though. I think it's time you streamed that spot.

Mark (Raleigh)

Start Wolf for 2 or D.Lowe for 1 this week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:38 AM)

It's close, but I'd still say Lowe. The only reason you go for two-start guys is wins and K's. Wolf likely will K more, but I think Lowe has just as good a shot at one win with his start at SD than Wolf does with two starts. He's the safer play.

Barry (Philly)

Snell or Campillo this week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:38 AM)

Can't believe I'm typing this, but Snell. I think he'll do fine this week. Just keep the ball in the zone, Ian!

Mike (DC)

Barry Zito - I got a hunch. Or is it indigestion?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:39 AM)

If it's indigestion, then I have it, too. I can't vouch for the wins, but I saw Zito pitch at COL, and I like how he looks right now. Good velocity and command. I give you my blessing to start him.

MT (Nashville, TN)

Sit Webb this week even against the Reds? Would you use Grienke instead?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:40 AM)

Good question, MT. But looking at his overall numbers and consistency season to season, you just can't justify sitting B-Webb. You know he can't stay bad.

TJ (Canada)

I have made our pts championship and would appreciate some help. Please pick one from each. I have Butler and Crisp for 1 DH opening and Varitek and Sandoval for CA. Thanks.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:41 AM)

I'd probably say Butler edges Crisp in the first one, but I'd go with Varitek -- reluctantly. The Sox have a nice homestand, and I V-tek will get plenty of chances. I myself have been looking for his replacement for weeks, but the sked keeps suggesting I stick with him. I would in this case, too.

Mark NYC

Alright, would you start Mora this week over Sheff with runs and BA being the key catgegories?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:43 AM)

Sheff. Mora was asked last week if he expects to play at all during this homestand, and he said "no way." I wouldn't mess with him.

Chuck, NYC

Who do i roll with for saves...Wheeler or Percival? thanks.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:43 AM)

Um, neither. Just kidding. Percival is still the closer, and Maddon confirmed that last night. If it's saves you want, he'd have to be the guy you go with.

Jason NYC

Would you start Reynolds or Cantu at 3B this week?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:44 AM)

It's close, but I'd have to go with Reynolds for that one. Faces some homer-favorable starting pitchers this week.

Karl (Tampa, FL)

I currently have LaRoche and Jacobs in my H2H league. Would you drop either of them for Butler?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:46 AM)

Nah, I wouldn't. In that case, you have to go with the projected starters page for your answers (since both hit righties well, but not lefties). Jacobs faces all righties this week and is still starting near everyday, and LaRoche faces just one lefty. Both are fine.

Frank (SF, CA)

Hafner should be activated this week. Any expectations for Pronk?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:47 AM)

Not much, but I'm glad you asked that. Folks, if you're looking for a bat and are desperate, why not give him a shot. He beats the tar (in terms of upside) out of fringe options. Why not, I ask you. Why not?

Milton (NY)

I sat Brandon Phillips for JJ Hardy at utility this week. Good move? I'd like his steal capability in the lineup, but he has been just awful since Dunn was traded (oddly enough, so has Conor Jackson, my 1B, who you THINK would have benefited).

Brendan Roberts
  (11:48 AM)

Another NYC comment, Chuck! (kind of.) Ha, ha. Yeah, Phillips has been pretty bad, and he's on the road. At this point in the season, the move makes sense. C-Jax, by the way, is still hitting the ball well, from what I hear. He's just not catching any breaks.

Mike (DC)

Further on Hafner - will he take AB's from Shoo?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:49 AM)

I think he'll take at-bats from everyone -- Choo, Garko, Shoppach, even V-Mart -- but not enough to make a noticeable difference.

Eric (FL)

Brendan, are you a Mat Gamel fan? Do you think they will move him to 1B if Fielder is traded in the offseason? Would you keep him in a 12 team league with only 8 keepers?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:51 AM)

I'm a HUGE Gamel fan. I haven't heard anything about Fielder trade rumors, and I'd doubt them if I did. I think Gamels will have to find room at third base. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the Crew are ready to turn it over to him yet. Considering my philosophy is to play for next year with my keeper selections, unfortunately I think you'll have to go with another eight guys. I just can't figure him to start from the get-go.

Chuck (NYC)

I appreciate you humoring my stupidity. Being that its a monday and FF and Baseball Playoffs are the only thing that on my mind, i am not being too productiive at work.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:52 AM)

Ha, ha. No problem, Chuck. If your boss busts you, blame me. That goes for any of you ...

Ron (NYC)

Blanton or Sanchez tonight?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:53 AM)

Definitely Blanton. I'd take any pitcher versus the Marlins right now. Wainwright was pretty good yesterday, but they're really struggling offensively right now. They look futile, and given that it's a nice home start ...

Stu ( Baltimore)

Wait a minute! Phillips still has a chance for 25/25, he's about to hit 80 runs and 80 rbi's. It's not like he's of no use!

Brendan Roberts
  (11:54 AM)

Good point, Stu. But those are his season numbers He did much of that damage in the first four months. He hasn't been near the same player for the past month-plus. If it were a bad few weeks, sure. But a month or more ... I still like Phillips, and he should start in 90 percent of leagues, but if you're trying to pull out all the stops at this point in the season, I'd go with a hot hand. Sometimes you just have to think month to month, and then week to week.

Ethan (SF)

Lightning Round - H2H Points League penalizes K's. Which one out of: Burrell, J. Guillen or Lind?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:56 AM)

Penalizes for K's ... Hmm, I'd still say Burrell. That's how much I believe in him during the home stand. When he's on, which I think he'll get to be this week, he's a points-league horse since he can draw walks, too.

Will (St. Louis)

I want to establish my rotation in a keeper league - is YoGa safe for next year?

Brendan Roberts
  (11:57 AM)

Yup, I think he is. Heard from someone up there that he has been super-diligent and committed in his rehab. That's a good sign, and he's still a young pitcher with a great arm. He's safe.

Ron (NYC)

Konerko or Kemp this week? Paulie is on fire and has 7 games at home. Kemp is in a slump.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:58 AM)

Wow, another tough call, but I'd go with your instinct and stick with Konerko. He's started his second-half outburtst later than usual, but he's definitely in it. When on, he's an upper-tier option who can't be sat.

Stu ( Baltimore)

He did bat only .200 last month. Point taken!

Brendan Roberts
  (11:58 AM)

Glad to help, Stu. But I appreciate you bringing up your point. It was a good one.

Xavier (Seattle)

I know he's hot, but I can't realistically go Ethier over Bay/Kemp/Hart, can I? I'd have to drop one of them to get Ethier.

Brendan Roberts
  (11:59 AM)

Hmm, just thinking about rankings my hitters week to week, nope, I can't justify dropping one of those guys for him. Too bad you're loaded in the OF! (Not really.)

Ted (NYC)

Okay, then, Wells or Konerko?

Brendan Roberts
  (12:00 PM)

Also close, but I'd still say Paulie Boy. Don't like V-Wells' sked this week.

Tom (Grand Rapids, MI)

Maddux tonight vs. his forer team? he did allright against them last week, I worry they might pound him tonight despite playing in Petco

Brendan Roberts
  (12:01 PM)

I don't think the Padres could pound anything but hamburger meat. I would start Maddux tonight with complete confidence. His second start at COL ... now that I'm not so sure. But I msyelf am going with him in a mixed league for this week.

Dave (Tampa)

How about Wells or Abreu?

Brendan Roberts
  (12:01 PM)

Probably Abreu. OK, two more.

Larry (Omaha)

Do you realize most of your response have been to people from NYC? Come on, the rest of us need help, too!!!

Brendan Roberts
  (12:02 PM)

Now, now, Larry. I wouldn't say most ... I won't forget my Midwestern brothers (and other regions). OK, I'll find a Midwestern guy to finish it off.

Jeff (Iowa)

Konerko or Delgado?

Brendan Roberts
  (12:03 PM)

Yup, Iowa. That works! As hot as Konerko has been, Delgado has been just as hot. I wouldnt' dare sit him right now. He's my choice here.

Dave (Tampa)

Hey, Larry's whining doesn't count as a question does it? Does this?

Brendan Roberts
  (12:04 PM)

Good point, Dave. I'll take one more ...

Marc (Toronto, Canada)

Navarro, Sandoval, or Snyder at C for the rest of the year?

Brendan Roberts
  (12:05 PM)

From Canada! How's that? Ha, ha. I was looking at Sandoval, and as much as he's been playing (and hitting), I think he's a good start from here till the end of the season. I like some different catcher matchups better for this week, but he'd be my choice of those three, edging out Snyder.

Matt (St. Louis)

PLEASE. Is it safe to start Huff this week? Head to Head Playoffs man!

Brendan Roberts
  (12:05 PM)

Yes, go with him.

Brendan Roberts
  (12:06 PM)

OK, guys, I gotta run. Got baseball and football to work on. But ...

Brendan Roberts
  (12:07 PM)

... good luck in Week 25. Don't let me down. Finish strong. I want to hear H2H playoff success stories in this space next week, and Roto-surge stories. As the old guy on Family Guy would say ...

Brendan Roberts
  (12:07 PM)

"Hey muscly-armed boy ... bringin' me any good news?" Bring me some good news!