Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 20, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning gang. We're here for an hour of fantasy sports chattage, as usual. What's on your minds? Ike Davis? AJ's Atypical players article? What up with dat?

Jon (Emerson, NJ)

Can you give your predictions for Ike Davis' season totals?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Not going to lie to you, Jon. Yesterday was the first time I've seen him play. It would be foolish of me to project off one game, but he is going to play everyday, so the AB's will be there and he looks like he knows how to handle a bat. I'd say .280 with 15 HRs as a reasonable expectation.

Walker (Knoxville)

What do you think Ibanez of slump right now? He had a great 1st half last year, but kinda ran out of gas towards the end. Maybe a predicted line?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I think Ibanez is simply not going to be a viable fantasy player this season. There's certainly reasons to play him if he can get hot, especially at home, but I fear those "good runs" are going to be few and far between.

Jake (Philadelphia, PA)

Edwin Jackson or Brian Matusz for the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Matusz. I think he's got a great chance to win 15. Jackson in Arizona has absolutely no appeal to me.

Steven (Canada)

Hey AJ. Would you rather have Gavin Floyd or Jaime Garcia in a standard 10 team roto mixed league.

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I'd say Garcia. I'm a bit concerned about how many IP he'll be able to give you over the season, but so far, what he has given you has been pretty good, no?

Steve (Chicago)

Hey AJ, what's your opinion on playing matchups and starting 2 start pitchers over 1 start studs? It worked out for me last year, but I was burned badly last week by benching Jiminez and Josh Johnson for Cueto and Floyd. Ouch!

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I start studs regardless of the number of outings or opponent. That's why they've earned the designation in the first place. 2-start guys get the nod over 1-start No.4/5 pitchers only - but they still have to be decent arms.

Joe (FL)

Wade Davis or Max Scherzer?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I like Scherzer myself, that K/9 rate tips the scales, along with generally speaking, lesser lineups to face.

Aaron (Arkansas)

A little south love? 12 head-tohead mix, rest of the season: Vlad or Chase Headley?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Headley. I drafted Vlad in plenty of leagues, especially with the change in scenery, and think he'll do fine... but once the summer months roll around, I do think the heat combined with his age will slow him far more than Chase.

Pete (NC)

Should Big Papi ever be used anymore?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

I was in the Pro-Papi camp this spring, and while I thought there might be a slow start, this is ridiculous. I'm hanging on to him, at least until June rolls around, but he is firmly entrenched on my bench until he has a good game or two.

Nick (Chicago)

My team went 0-17 from the dish yesterday. Has that ever happened, ever?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

LOL! I had someone e-mail me about an 0-for-26 the other day, so indeed.

Jordan (Peoria)

Cruz or BJ Upton? Which one would you look to trade? I have a team built for speed players so Upton helps but will the power continue?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I get rid of Upton while I can. Look, I've never been a fan of BJ, but even so - the batting average will destroy you.

CK (San Diego)

Hi AJ,In a H2H league, on a day like yesterday when so many teams are off, should you play your bench players when your starters aren't playing. Also, drop Reimold or wait? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

That's what daily leagues are all about. I think the benefits of any possible HR, runs, SB and RBIs totally outweigh any negative from the single category of BA. Pitchers are another story, and you need to be a bit more careful about automatic swapouts.

kyle (tennessee)

Julio Borbon or Austin Jackson? I liked Borbon better pre-season.

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

And I liked Jackson... I honestly never saw what people were so geeked up about with Borbon.

Joe (St. Louis)

What if you can't afford to stash Papi on your bench, do you cut him or just keep starting him? There isn't much on the waiver wire but just playing matchups has to be better than what Ortiz is giving me.

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Because Ortiz is the rare player who offers zero flexibility - DH only - I have no problem with cutting him if you feel he's not coming around and your bench is thin.

Prince Fielder (Milwaukee)

AJ, I feel like the forgotten one. No one evers says a thing about my recent struggles out of the gate. I guess no news is good news, right?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Obviously, Fielder owners are pulling their hair out, but I would be more concerned if the K total wasn't so high. I think once Prince starts making more contact, the homers will come. It's not like he's hitting the ball each time out and they're all falling short of the fences.

Timmy (Canada)

Which pitcher do you prefer? Greinke, Ubaldo, or Garza?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Ubaldo. I expected some regression from Greinke this year, and the fact he's struggling concurrent with the Royals hitting like crazy is not a good thing, because once he gets it together, the run support might no longer be there.

Steve (Nashville)

Prado or Polanco

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Prado by a nose.

Jimmy (NYC)

What do you do with Adam Jones? Start and cross your fingers, bench and cross your fingers, or drop and pray?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Bench and cross your fingers. I still think 2011 will be a good year for him, but as I've been saying for months... this is not going to be Dig Dug's year overall. However, I do think he can turn it around for a good month of solid numbers somewhere along the line.

Rich (Da Bronx)

Can only keep one for my bench, cut Gardner or Pods?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

I cut Gardner and pray that Pods does not get hurt. I just think the Royals will play it a lot more freewheeling over the course of the year than NYY will.

Jeff (Tampa)

Hi AJ. What are your thoughts on the young crop of 3B such as Freese, Wood, Alvarez, Fox and even Headley? Who has the most upside?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

I think Headley is certainly legit. Wood probably has the most upside, but let's face it - he's not going to get enough time to turn it around. I don't like Freese at all and Fox simply isn't going to find a full-time home.

Pete (NC)

Aren't saves just a ridiculous stat? You are basically picking a player hoping his team gives him a save opportunity every night or else they don't even play. Shouldn't I just punt saves and just play middle relievers with Ks and low ERA/WHIP?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I wouldn't go so far as to say ridiculous, but it is such an individualized stat - only one guy per team truly gets any chances throughout the season at any given time. I wouldn't punt saves outright, since generally speaking the best closers help you in other areas, but once you've fallen behind enough, it does not make a lot of sense to chase either.

Mike (SC)

Is Berkman in your starting lineup fresh off the DL?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Unless my other options are all off, or in a brutal slump, I always wait a game. That's just me.

mysterious lost boy (The Island)

Casey Mcgehee does he continue to be atypically productive from here on out? Everyday starter in a 10 team mixed? and please tell me, Who am I?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I absolutely think McGehee is the real deal. Not .400 real deal, but a solid performer nevertheless. As for who you be, lost boy? You're the younger version of Faux Locke.

Chris (Irvington, NY)

Until he comes around (he'll come around, right?), bench Reyes in favor of Alcides Escobar?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I'd actually keep Reyes in there today, after a personal day off. I think the stats are incredibly skewed by the 20-inning game and the fact he didn't get a rest until yesterday.

Don (Knoxville)

Better J-Roll sub: Theriot or Everth Carbrera?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I'd go with Everth, though neither is going to help you replace the pop Rollins can give you.

Timmy (DC)

I was thinking the younger version of Jacob.Hey AJ - what are your thoughts on Dustin McGowan this year? I drafted him two years ago and had big breakout expectations. Is he worth stashing in my DL spot?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Well, there were two "island boys" - so I'm thinking it's one of each. I was high on McGowan, but now that he's been moved to the 60-day, I'm not so sure. As long as you can stash him, I would, but if it becomes a choice between him and another player, I'd let him go in a heartbeat.

Dave (Landenberg PA)

AJ: is there an equivalent "Atypical Production" analysis for pitching?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I don't think there's anything analogous, because the roles are so defined for pitchers and they are asked to do specific things and just those things. I mean, what would you do... call Pelfrey atypical for getting one save?

Mike D (Holds and Desmond)

My league has a holds category. Do you think Burke Badenhop is the real deal? He has been lights out. More importantly, assuming Desmond gets all the Losties to realize that they're in a fake world, what would their next move be??

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I like Stauffer and Clippard a tad better, but he'd be my No. 3 non-closer RP. As for Desmond... I honestly have no idea what the next move would be, especially with the island being underwater.

Kevin (Templeton Cal)

Am I starting Cloby Lewis against the struggling Red Sox? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Sure, why not? (Actually I only posted this one because "Cloby" made be chuckle.)

YD (Philly)

Sandoval or Kendry Morales, better numbers at the end of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I was a Kendry guy, but now I am thinking Kung Fu may be the man.

kris (omaha)

Should I worry about Happ and his walk rate?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I'd be concerned with Happ, since he's being skipped this week. That's never a good sign, especially this early in the season with all the off days teams generally have built in to the April schedule.

Ian (LA)

Any Day Now!! Which May call-up do I want to grab now before the crowd, Smoak, Alvarez or Wallace?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I think Wallace.

Joe (NY)

Your thoughts on Carlos Lee?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

It's Lee and Pence and everyone else in Houston. I have to believe this is just something feeding off of itself and all it will take is one 15-2 win to wake these bats up.

George (NYC)

Can you please stop giving up ideas about "LOST"? You're killing it for me especially when Desmond came out of the sub! Much appreciated AJ!

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

All I hear is: "AJ is right more than he's wrong." So, thanks.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Settle this debate with my friend....Ellsbury or Ethier in a vacuum?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Obviously, you know I am an Ellsbury guy, but until he takes the field again, I have to say Ethier. That vacuum has to take current health into account.

Jorge (The big island)

Do you still stand behind your statement that Matt Cain will win the NL Cy Young? He has been good in his few starts, but nowhere near Cy Young stuff.

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

He's not done anything to make me like him less, but certainly I expected better than 0-0 at this point. And with Wainwright throwing the way he is... it's looking less likely than it did on Opening Day. But I'm not conceding anything yet.

GeeWiz (GA)

We always discuss players in a vacuum. What about players in a toaster over or even microwave. That is one analogy I will never understand.

Kurt Suzuki (OAK)

Do you still believe in me?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Yes I do. Still early enough.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I've been told I missed a Reimold question... my apologies. I think he's worth holding on to - that whole OF will be rotating around.

Joe (Richmond)

Any thoughts on Rich Harden? Is he ownable in 10 team mixed?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Nope. Not this season.

Pete (NC)

RE: saves question. Standard H2H league. Broxton has 1 save so far. I know it's still early, but "still early" means nothing in H2H.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

True, but if you thought he'd save 30 for the season, and he only has one so far, you'd still expect another 29 to come... these things tend to come in bunches.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

That's the time for today. Thanks for the Q's. Be sure to check out the Mass Confusion blog, and we'll be seeing you!