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April 3, 11:30 AM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning on a rainy dreary Friday on the East Coast. Hopefully we can bring a bit of sunshiny goodness with an hour of fantasy chattage - after all, Opening Day is just around the corner! Let's begin, shall we?

Mike (Raleigh, NC)

A guy in our league traded Granderson for Choo straight up. The next day he traded Furcal for Peralta. Obviously he's an Indians fan, should we strike the veto on this furcal deal?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

You seriously are more upset with the second deal? Granderson for Choo strikes me as the one that's hugely lopsided. However, if he simply wants as many Indians as possible the correct answer is the offer him Ryan Garko for Tim Lincecum as soon as possible.

JR (Hourston, TX)

For this year, Fowler or Rasmus? For the great beyond?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

It looks like Dexter has won over his team and will likely start eating into Smith's time. Rasmus looks more and more to be one of those AAAA prospects who never quite pan out.

Derrick (D.C.)

Does Dukes have a full time role in a crowded National Outfield?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

A role, yes. A regular everyday role? Probably not. Obviously Acta will play the hot bat, so if Dukes hits he should stay in the lineup, but the leash will be short now that Willingham is there.

Bud Reddington-Cheshire,Ma.

Will David Price pitch 150 to 200 innings this year for Tampa?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

200? Not a chance. He's going to be kept to 150 for the season, including the minors.

Matt, CO

Should I drop Sonnanstine for Duchscherer, and stash Duch on my DL?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I actually like Andy. I'd keep him rather than hope Duch is A-OK.

Todd (Philly)

Kendry Morales or Daniel Murphy for overall fantasy stats this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

All the scout talk I've read is that Murphy is nothing but hitting gold - and he's getting the ABs. Gotta lean to him.

Travis C. (Lake Highlands)

How do I account for guys like Matt Wieters in an auction draft in a keeper league? Does ESPN have auction prices for keeper leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

In a keeper league, the hot rookie prospect is always going to have an inflated value, if for no other reason than the hype - which Wieters has certainly received. You can see the ADP in Auction Dollars in our Live Draft Results. Wieters is $3. But in a keeper league, that probably doubles at least.

TITO (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

I didn't draft a 2B until the last round of my draft and got stuck with Placido Polanco...any possible 2B sleepers that you can think of?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

That's pretty good in my book - he's my #10 at the position, so I think you made out quite well. Sleepers? Getz and Schumacher.

Kyle (LA)

OK, everyone is hyping Daniel Murphy and he may be decent, but since he is only eligible in LF, isn't he still going to be worse than a replacement player due to lack of pop?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Nobody is saying he's anything more than a 5th OF just yet. However, if he hits .300, I'd probably rather have that than a "replacement player" with 10-15 HR and a .230 average.

HOFFA (Detroit)

Is Wieters worth a spot on the bench, or move on?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

So that's where you are! If you have the room, he's definitely worth a stash. He'll be up this year at some point. But he's not going to be Johnny Bench in 2009 either. Only if you have the room...

Ruby (Seattle)

Who helps fantasy teams more--Cantu or felipe Lopez?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Cantu. He's not glamorous, and yes there is a chance that he power was a fluke, but overall, he does more in a standard category league for your team.

Fast Phil from Philly

AJ, what are you expecting from the red-hot Jayson Werth this season? Could he out perform Ibanez?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I think he could have a great season. He put up terrific stats when he played, and I wasn't surprised to see Jenkins get the boot because he served no purpose. I think Ibanez stillis the better Phille to have, but I expect Werth to rise up the rankings.

Rich (SB)

AJ, do you believe in Aubrey Huff? I was worried about my 3B, but am starting to feel pretty okay with Huff and Sandoval as a backup.

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

If you were looking for affirmation, you've come to the right place. There probably isn't an ESPN Fantasy analyst with more love for Huff. I believe he ends 2009 in the top-20 of hitters. And while I'm not as high on Sandoval as most, as a backup player, you're OK.

Nick (NYC)

Who do you like better this year at catcher, Posada or Bengie?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Bengie. Posada's age and injuries have dropped him way down on my wish list.

Doug (Mpls, Mn)

Really need some help AJ. What side do you want to be on? Ryan Braun, Mark Reynolds, Jimmy Rollins or Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, Stephen Drew? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I'd rather have the first trio. It comes down to me having little faith in Upton.

Mike (NY)

Hey AJ, So I am an A Rod owner. Subsequently I am in need of a 3B now, Should i trade Hart for Milledge and Ryan Zimmerman.

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

You're giving up the best player in the batch there, and I wouldn't do that before the season starts. Pick up a serviceable 3B off the waiver wire and see where you are in a few weeks.

Doug (Durham)

Any idea when Smoltz and/or Arod get moved to the DL? I need to fill those spots with active players!

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

It's always a timing thing in the early going. They'll both be retroactively placed when the team decides to file the paperwork, but whether or not that happens before Sunday is anybody's guess.

Mike (Brooklyn)

How long till Rodney losts the gig?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Rodney doesn't "have" the gig. I think both pitchers will be used when the situation calls for them. Just as the NFL is evolving into RB 1 and RB 1A, MLB is evolving into Closer 1 and Closer 1A, and I think we have to stop getting hung up on who is "The" Closer.

Thomas and Percy (Sodor)

Who to you rate higher in a 5x5? Garett Atkins or Chipper Jones

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

I rate Chipper higher. Say hello to Sir Hatt for me.

tim (orlando)

Who is your #1 Closer ?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Mariano, slightly ahead of Papelbon.

Jasper (Philly)

Hi AJ. Would you trade away Ludwick for either Ethier or Pence? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Nope. I like Ludwick and think he's the tops of that trio.

Joe (VA)

Pick one: Getz, Fontenot, I. Stewart, Weeks, Schumaker. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Getz. The right lineup, and the biggest upside.

Matt (Nooga)

How do you feel about stacking your pitching and focusing on one batting category (i.e. steals or HR) and punting all other categories in a H2H league?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I often use this strategy in H2H. Load up on closers and one or two aces early, then grab guys like Gomez, Tavarez, Crisp and Freel late to win all pitching categories and SB.

Brian (NY)

Please comment on Edwin Jackson and Bartolo C. Are they good enough for the back end of a 10 team AL only?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

In that limited talent pool, you're going to need to take a few chances. I'd hate to have both on my team, but I'd probably rather gamble on a Porcello than a portly Bartolo.

Sir Topham Hatt (South Central LA)

AJ, what are your thoughts on Javier Vazquez? He will be a Top ___ Starting Pitcher in 2009.

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Braves? 10-team Mixed-league I have him as a No. 3.

Jeff (Miami)

Pls pick a starter and why? J Sanchez, Pettite, or Snell Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Pettitte. He's got 15-win potential, and was a top-30 starter last season.


Choo or Adam Jones as my backup outfielder?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Jones. Potential for a monster season - and that's what you want from your backup - better potential, since you're not going to use either if they're "OK"


Hello AJ. I have the 4th pick in AL starting pitchers. Who would you put in that slot?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

After Halladay, CC and Cliff are gone? I'd probably trade down... It's a tough call, but I think I go AJ slightly over Shields.

jim ogh

Doesnt matter who the closer is? This is a fantasy chat last I checked, so to the people here is does. Dont be so condescending to people.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Jim, you completely missed the point. Just because the media forces managers to "declare" a closer doesn't mean that when September rolls around that person will have 40 saves and the guy who didn't "win the job" out of spring training will have 0 saves. Gregg/Marmol and Rodney/Lyon and Street/Corpas... these battles will play out all season and in all three cases there's a good chance that the "loser" ends up with more saves for the season.


Doing my first H2H league...based on your strategy have I made a bad decision with taking hitting in the first 5 rounds? Lincecum,Johan,CC,Webb Halladay,Haren, and peavy all off the board how can i turn this thing around??? all closers are on the board

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Billy, that strategy is only one of many. You can just as easily win (or lose) by sweeping the hitting categories and getting saves. The only reason I prefer the multiple closers strategy is that week to week it's impossible to predict whether or not your team will be hitting well, whereas, in general, each closer will get you 2 or 3 save chances each week.

jason nyny [via mobile]

what happened in Colorado i thought i read that Corpas had the role locked up

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

They're not happy with his velocity right now, so Huston gets the Opening Day call.

Bacon (Mmmm)

I realize pigs are filthy animals, but mmm, mmm, they taste good. I have Burnett and actually like pork products better than him. What SP could I get in return if I deal him?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

So you dig on that swine, eh? Especially with that NY on the jersey, you should be able to get a solid return on him. I wouldn't deal him myself, but find a Yankee fan willing to part with his No. 1 or 2, and you could swing it.

John (FL)

Trade Ted Lilly for either Cueto, Bedard, or Wang? Thanks a lot, AJ!

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

No on all three counts. Haaaaaaaaaave you met Ted? He's a keeper.

Dave (Mechanicsburg, Pa)

What's your take on Jeter? Computer crapped out on me and I got stuck with him, and I'm not happy!

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I wouldn't take Jeter before the 9th round, and although he is a starting SS in a 10-team mixed, personally I'd rather have several other SS.

Todd (Colorado)

where should people draft me? I've had a strong spring...but have stunk up the joint for awhile!

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I'm not high on you... and I probably wouldn't draft you at all. Sorry, Todd, but 1B is too important a position to mess up.

Shawn (SB CA)

Another 2B question. Picked up Jose Lopez near the bottom of the draft, but I don't understand why his numbers look good to me. Am I missing something?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

His numbers should look good to you. He's one of my sleeper specials. I tell you what - I'd rather have him than Brandon Phillips. That's right - I said it!

Caleb (Philly)

Is Teahen worth a roster spot on a 10-team mixed squad?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

With the potential added 2B eligibility, making him far more valuable than simply as an OF, he's worth a late-round bench spot.

Mike (Austin, TX)

LOL! Lopez over Phillips when Brandon is hitting cleanup in Cincy? Your reputation just took a huge hit.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

We call 'em as we see 'em. But we're not afraid to call 'em my friend. Meet you back in the chat room in September?

Jordan (Peoria)

AJ! I grabbed no stud starters in a 12 team H2H but I ended with Nolasco, Volquez, Dempster, Myers, Greinke, Jimenez...Am I in serious trouble?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I think you're better than OK. Look, not everybody can get CC and Johan. If you get 5 starters in the top 25, that's far better than getting No. 1 and four guys from No. 50+. People get far too hung up on the "sexy" names and forget that the stats are what is important.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's all the time we have for today gang... we'll be back next Tuesday at 11AM for our first chat after the games start to count. See you there!