Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 15, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning one and all. Time to dive into this fantasy chat like Ronaldo. No extra time here - sixty minutes to answer as many Q's as we can. Who is up first?

George (North Wales PA.)

Tommy hunter or Pavano?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

As impressed as I've been in terms of fantasy from Pavano, I have no faith he keeps it up. I'd go with Hunter.

John (Charm City)

When is it time to drop Adam Jones in a keeper league?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

2017 or so. Look, you always have to balance this year and next. If you're close to win this year, you make a move with him. If not, you certainly can afford to stash him for next.

Peter (TX)

Greinke or Phil Hughes?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Hughes and it is no contest. Why? Because he wins. Wins as a fantasy stat is long overdue for an eviction, but until it gets the heave-ho, guys like Greinke and Matt Cain will always get a huge built-in handicap.

Jobbin (Wilmington)

Who would you rather own this year, David Freese or Pedro Alvarez?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Freese. Always go with the guy who is actually getting the PT and isn't in the minors.

John (Lexington, KY)

Except you cant predict wins. Greinke could win 15 games to finish out the year. The Yankees could stop scoring for Hughes like the Phils did for Halladay

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

You can't predict wins - but the Yankees are certainly a better lineup than the Royals and to expect them to win more games is not stretching things any. It's not like Hughes has a 5.50 ERA or something here - he's a good pitcher with great hitters.

Lee (Stl)

Is dropping Nyjer Morgan way overdue?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

In a word, yes. I see no signs of improvement.

Carlos (Guatemala)

Rank them: Chacin, Ely, Pineiro and Richard (SD)

Ivan Drago (I must break you)

Sell Vernon Wells or hold on to him?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Richard, Pineiro, Ely, ChacinIt all depends about what you can get for him. If everyone feels Wells has no future value, then you keep him until someone bites at value. It is NEVER about what you think a player is worth in trades, but rather what the other party to the deal does.

Joey (VA)

Do you have any faith in Derrek Lee improving?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

No. The cup is more than half empty here.

Marc (CT)

What can we expect from Bay the rest of the way? Will he get back to his 2009 form?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I still think 20-20 is within reach, but I'm certainly a lot less optimistic about the power numbers than I was in preseason.

Nathan ((Denver, Colorado))

AJ, does your opinion on guys like Greinke change if your play in a points league that awards five points for a quality start and five points for a win? In that case, a dominating Greinke could usually bridge the five point handicap that he would lose from playing on a weaker team.

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Obviously. My rankings are in terms of rotisserie, since that's the most "adaptable" to other formats. If I ranked using the arcane and individualized points rules of an individual league, there's no way to translate that to other leagues.

webb (nashville)

convince me not to sell nolasco at 50 cents on the dollar. thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Outside of the K/BB rate being pretty darn good, the BAA is well over .300. Don't think I can.

Jon A. (Grimesland, NC)

Gavin Floyd is heating up; would you rather have him or Anibel Sanchez?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Anibal. Hitters have been teeing off on him as well, but he's been able to produce in spite of it. I think he has a better chance of maintaining fantasy value as year moves along.

Lee (Stl)

When Alverez is called up, assuming it's in the next month, where would you rank him at his position?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Alvarez may well be called up by the end of the week, or next, or the next. I just don't like the fact that not only are there great expectations from fans, but his soon-to-be teammates are all talking about him like he's Mike Schmidt. I just am not getting excited about him.

Pat [via mobile]

Do you condone using Luke Gregerson regularly if punting saves?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Gregerson has great fantasy value as a reliever. I'd rather have him than K-Rod if saves are no object.

George (NY)

Re: Nolasco...isn't a high BAA typically an inicator of "bad luck?" more than anything else? Or maybe that's BA on balls in play...just looking to clarify, as I (along with presumably countless other owners) are baffled by Nolascos poor start.

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

BAA may have some luck involved, but not on the extremes - meaning a .200 BAA may well be lucky, but not "should be .260 lucky" and similarly a .330 BAA may be unlucky, but it's still god-awful. And while we're on the subject of luck... just because a guy has been "unlucky" doesn't mean he won't continue to do so, especially if his D is awful in the first place.

Drew (Chicago)

I liked how you ripped points leagues after you admitted that category leagues value pointless stats like wins. Can you rank the Blue Jays starters the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I didn't rip points leagues. I merely pointed out that the value of players in one points league may not carry over to another the way something more standardized like roto leagues do. Marcum/Romero/Cecil/Morrow.

Rob (NJ)

H2H league, is it time to drop Wandy?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Any league.

mike (tropicana, florida)

Would your rankings change if they were in terms of H2H leagues instead of Rotisserie and, if so, how? Do you know the percentage of players that play each in ESPN or fantasy, in general?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

I wouldn't change my ranking for H2H vs Roto - just for categories vs points. The reason being that the comparative value wouldn't change and anyone who can predict weekly swings with any real accuracy is a sorcerer. I do not have the league-type breakdown, but one of the reasons we did a H2H Points League amongst our staff this season was due to a rise in popularity of the format, though it is not my own cup of tea.

mike (Tropicana, FL)

What format -- Rotisserie, points, or H2H -- do you think best estimates the "real world" in terms of player value AND game play. I've argued that while Rotisserie best reflects managers' skills, it's H2H that better estimates the "real world" since, as in baseball, teams don't play in a vacuum and it's not how you play that matters but who you play and when you play them.

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Interesting topic... I think points or categories can be fine, but only if the weights are proper - by that I mean that my experience is that points league are way too heavily influenced by pitching. Roto leagues on the other hand, generally don't properly evaluate SP well. H2H makes baseball far more like football, and is more of a function of luck, IMO than skill.

Kenny (NY)

need to know what to do about berkman, is he worth a roster spot at the moment? or should he be dropped for someone like... brennan boech?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Worth a roster spot? Absolutely. And I don't think Boesch is THAT much of an upgrade. However, that's why we have a bench - to sit a guy like Berkman until he figures it out.

Gabriel (Brazil)

I got a lot of similarly inconsistent bats on the back end of my lineup. What's your policy on changing lineups daily in a roto league if that's the case? I feel like I'm playing the lottery everyday.

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Players will rise (or fall) to their talent level over a season, which is why I prefer roto. Changing lineups daily to take advantage of off-days is smart. To try and always catch the better of two plays? Dumb.

Slodo McJohnson (Boston, MA)

When does the "2nd half" start, in terms of Adam LaRoche becoming his yearly monster?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I think he's been pretty much what he will be - 25 HR would be a slight uptick from the second half.

Bimby (Saudi)

Keeper Football League-non ppr-- keep 2 players from different positions. Do I keep Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne or Sydney Rice and at RB, SJ, Leshawn McCoy or Jamaal Charles? Thanks,

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I like Wayne and McCoy.

Pete (NC)

The only part of luck in H2H is the post-season. Rank my closers: Broxton, Capps, Marmol, Cordero.

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Completely disagree, Pete. If I have all my starters with 2 starts this week, and you don't, then I will in all likelihood lose. That is a complete function of luck. And if you're in a league where you ended up with those closers, then you don't need my help to win.

Jay (SF)

Thoughts on Niese (NYM) - Looking good since coming of the DL. Name some SP you would take him over.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

He's been OK. He's in the Wade LeBlanc, Trevor Cahill area for me.

Patrick (Whelan)

How come you hold out hope for Berkman and not for D.Lee? Seems like they are similar players (in terms of career and this season).

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

It's an opinion. I think Lee's skills have eroded more than Berkman.

Spencer (Iowa)

Kurt Suzuki or Carlos Santana

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Suzuki for this year.

Ed Rooney (NE)

Any H2H league without some for of weekly start limit is a joke. It seems you don't like the ones you are in because of that. It would be like roto without an innings cap.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Disagree Ed. The problem with weekly H2H isn't a start limit that effects a normal lineup - certainly you want to limit streaming, but if you make zero roster moves, there should be no penalty for simply watching your players play. The problem is that counting stats should be replaced by ratios to make it far more important to have good players rather than merely active players.

TFierst (MN)

No faith Pavano keeps it up?? His xFIP matches his ERA. His FIP is even better. His peripherals are exactly the same as last year!!

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Let's go over this again - FIP is not predictive of ERA. xFIP is better, but still not predictive of ERA. And if his peripherals are the same as last year - when his ERA was over 5, then why is that a good thing?

Jim (H2H League)

My argument that there is luck in H2H leagues: I can view the overall cumulative stats for each team...and the guy in 1st in our league is mediocre-to-poor in all but 3 of our 10 categories...he's just played the right people at the right time. But still, I can't believe he stays in first long...

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

There is luck - you play Pujols when he goes 0-15 versus I play him when he goes 12-15. Over a season in roto, that evens out and the guy who drafts Pujols "wins" as he should. Plus, H2H is far too easy to manipulate with sitting on leads or streaming, which is incredibly unrealistic and no way to judge player evaluation abilities.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

That's the 12 o'clock cuckoo... time to fly. We're on Twitter for those who still need a helping hand and until next week - Be Seeing You!