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July 20, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning gang. It's time for another hour of fantasy chattage. Hopefully, no saboteurs to be found here... so who is up first?

The Downtown Humanoid (Cincinnati, OH)

I am in a league with several friends and some of their friends. Since we created the league, I have won about half of the championships and come in 2nd place the others. Because of my dominance, all of the other owners in the league have seemed to turn against me, as I am commisioner as well, and they will not do any business with my team. This is quite frustrating, especially when I offer trades that I KNOW are improving the other team, and they still refuse...Is this COLLUSION??

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Collusion is when two teams conspire to make a deal that benefits one at the expense of the other. Not wanting to make trades with the team that is in first place -- all of the time -- isn't collusion. It's a compliment.

Knish (NYC)

What kind of 2nd half can i expect from Cuddyer? Who do you like going forward Rauch or Jenks? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Cuddyer's a nice player with plenty of positional flexibility. He's a borderline top 100. I like Rauch better than Jenks and not so concerned about the injury.

max (ny)

trade victorino and hanson for strasburg or weaver?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Definitely not Strasburg, as his IP will be limited as September rolls around. Weaver is a possibility, but it all depends on who would fill-in at OF spot for Shane.

Dave (Norfolk)

Would you trade Werth for Furcal. I have E Aybar at SS. I have fairly strong OF and I am wondering if I am selling Werth low and buying high on Furcal.

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Furcal is an upgrade over Aybar, so it again depends on who the replacement for Werth is and whether that is equivalent value. Contrary to popular belief, I am not down on Werth, and wasn't even the lowest ranker of him in our recent second-half survey.

John (Livingston, NJ)

Figgins was just dropped in my league. Any reason to believe he'll pick it up in the 2nd half?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I certainly don't see any. If not for the SB, there'd be zero reason to even roll the dice here.

Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)

Well, the experiment is over and I can announce that you cannot win a fantasy league with Billy Butler as your starting 1B. I just thought I'd share that with the world.

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I disagree. Butler provides plenty of offense. Your failure must be elsewhere.

Joel (Atlanta)

AJ, what are your specialties when it comes to fantasy analysis? Jason Grey is prospects. Stephania Bell is injuries. Matthew Berry is humor. AJ Mass is ____________.

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Leaving emotion out of the equation, and coming at the stats without preconceived biases based on player reputation. Plus, from a commissioner's background - the ethics of the game.

Chris (NY)

Please rank: Nolasco, Billingsley, Baker

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Ricky, Scotty, Buzzsaw.

football questions please (chicago)

Who would you rather keep beanie wells or Lesean Mccoy, I would either have to give up either an 8th or 9th round pick. Also would it be crazy to use a first round pick on drew brees in a keeper league if alot of teh top guys are already gone?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

McCoy is probably my top "sleeper" RB, so I certainly lean his way. Brees is someone I might draft in the 6-10 range of the first round of a start from scratch league... so certainly with other players gone, he's far from crazy.

Matt (Chinatown)

AJ (and THC) specialize in giving really good, straightforward advice with no gimmicks

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Why thank you, Matt.

chauncey (teaneck)

What is wrong with Mike Pelfry?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Assuming his neck is not the reason for his recent failures, he's simply not throwing the fastball like he was when he was winning.

Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)

Assuming the Indians can't move Wood by the deadline due to injury/performance/salary, why shouldn't they just let Perez keep the closer role the rest of the way? He's in their plans for next year while Wood certainly is not.

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

If it is injury, that will certainly be the case. If Wood does come back and they can't move him, why waste the $$$ by not throwing him late? You lose just as many games in the 7th and 8th as in the 9th, so Perez in those innings won't hurt you.

Charles (NJ)

Is Delmon Young a top 75 player?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Top 75 hitter? Just barely. Throw in pitchers and he's not.

Ron Burgandy (San Diego)

Callaspo and Barmes are my 2B right now (Thanks Utley) and Aaron Hill is a FA in my league. Do you like Hill over any of these guys?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

I would gamble with Hill over Barmes, but unless you're specifically in the need of home runs, Callaspo will help your overall numbers more.

Matt (FL)

Choo is on his way back Friday. I know that Ethier's injury was a little different, but it took a month for him to get his power back. Do you expect the same from Choo?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

More of a Q for Stephania -- chatting this afternoon at 3pm! However, I was the highest rater of Choo, mainly because of how optimistic Manny Acta was that he'd return quickly. I'm in.

jamie (sacramento)

why does prince fielder keep hitting solo HR's?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Because nobody is on base ahead of him when he hits them? Clearly its a mental thing, because hitting .182 with RISP is far below his career average, and he CAN clearly still hit HR's.

Brett (St. Louis)

Alex Rios. Does this guy crack the top 20 hitters? What's your take on him keeping up this pace next year as well? i.e. 30/30Love your chats.

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

For 2010, he does likely stick in the top 20, but I do think this is a one-year aberration that won't be repeated... especially in the power department.

Jim (Tampa)

Wood's salary should not enter into the closing decision (although I know it always does.) It is a "sunk cost" in financial terms and the decision should be based upon what is best for the team in the long run. Otherwise you are letting some emotion enter into the decision...

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Completely agree, but the ones making that call always do bring that bottom line into the mix, and as fantasy players, unable to actually set the major league lineups, that's what we have to factor into our projections.

Ralph (over your shoulder)

Ichiro has done nothing for weeks...is he in decline or is there a surge upcoming?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

I think you're downplaying the value of a batting average int he .320 neighborhood. Ichiro is a top 30 hitter for fantasy in my book.

Jason (Indy)

Controversy started and a owner actually quit over this trade: Pujols (to the first place team) for Butler, Hellickson and Montero. (to the last place team) It is a keeper league with the latter three all $10 next year. Please tell me your thoughts.

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Your league is better off... it's a keeper league. You have to let last place teams try to get prospects for their studs, otherwise don't play in a keeper league.

Josh (CA)

Am I nuts for thinking Ray Rice will be the #1 RB in fantasy this year?? Steve Smith NYG top 8 WR?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Nothing nuts there. I place Rice as one of the four guys who should be gone by pick No. 5... after that, it's a big ? as to the order. Smith is a bit more of a wild card. Top 8 might be a bit too lofty.

noam (albany)

I need to make a choice between lastings milledge and corey patterson. Which one do you hold onto?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Lastings should stay around.

Jones (Louisiana)

What's up w/ Hanley? Do you see a drop off from the dreaded "home run derby" curse?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

If anything, I don't think Hanley played nearly as well as he is capable pre-ASG, so no so-called curse even enters the equation.

Jon (NYC)

Ahh Scott Baker! Everyone on ESPN said to buy low on him, so I did. Now what??

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Hold on to him until he gets his elbow issue resolved. Personally, I never had him higher than a No. 4, but if his team isn't going to force him to rest, the remainder of the season will likely not be much different than his recent woes.

Pat (NJ)

Is Smith closer to the top 8 in a PPR?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Certainly, Smith's value is in number of receptions rather than yards gained, TDs scored. He's the possession guy.

Bob (Bob City)

Colby Rasmus.... bound to regress? Really high K rate and BABIP have me worried.

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I put Rasmus and Torres in the same camp. I expect regression, but not to the point where they say, drop out of the Top 75.

Matt (Philly)

AJ, commish question...12 team keeper...what is your preffered methof of appreciating player values over the years? Or would you not appreciate values at all?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

My preferred method is a complete revaluation at the start of each season. Simply put, I have a salary cap and you can keep as many or as few players as you like, but no $1 bargains kept for years on end below market value... pay what they were worth the previous season, and owners can decide if they will earn that salary again or not.

Dave (NYC)

Based on your agruments with Wood, Mike Gonzalez should be closing for the O's in a matter of days right?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

He'll get eased in, as pitchers in his situation often are, but yes, the job will be his within a week or two.

Matt (Philly)

What about for snake draft formats(non auction)?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Same thing. Allow keepers up to a certain percentage of a salary cap. Then allow a snake draft with the leftovers. Once a team has filled all their spots, they are out of the draft.

Magic Man (Atlanta, GA)

Top five momentum? Will you be doing a column on momentum this year? Current players performing really well being able to sustain their paces/values for the remainder of the season (or not) would be very valuable.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Possibly... I love the stat, though I haven't been calculating it on a regular basis. We shall see...

Ted (boston, ma)

What are your expectation of Granderson?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Maybe 15 HRs total. Could get the batting average back to .255 or so... I'm not optimistic.

Roddy (Los Angeles)

why do I keep waiting on D Lee? Is it because I owned him in the 2nd half last year?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

We do these things because of that darn word called HOPE. Personally, I think I stopped waiting on D Lee in 2007.

Bob (Iowa)

lightning round? Kelly Johnson or Gordon Beckham?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Still not buying Gordon for 2010.

Franklin (Santa Cruz)

What you're saying about Wood and his salary is incorrect. What is best for the team is to 'showcase' Wood so you can trade him. Granted, he's not performing the way he should, but the best thing for the Indians is what they are doing, even if it hurts peoples fantasy teams. Ok, here's my question: Chase Headley is quietly having a good year. Do you think he's finally living up the expectations everyone had for him as a youngster, and making himself a viable option in a 12 team mixed? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Franklin, the original question involved "if Wood cannot be traded"-- obviously it is the team's best interest to showcase him, but the injury makes that unlikely to result in his move b4 the deadline. Headley is certainly worth it in a 12-team mixed, but I'd hardly give him a gold star right now.

Steve (LA)

Buchholz or Price in 2011?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

David Price.

Markoz (Raleigh)

Ryan Braun's elite hitting prowess: pinin' for the fjords or pushin' up the daisies?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Braun is still top 15. I'd say he's just tired after a long squawk.

Andrew (NY)

Keeper league. Last place team just had a fire sale and tradedAlbert Pujols, and Dan Haren for Denard Span,Yunel Escobar, Aroldis Chapman, Brian Matusz, half the league protested but the commish let it pass because he doesnt veto trades that are lopsided only those that are collusion between owners. Please tell me your thoughts.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Your Commish is right.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's the buzzer gang. A pleasure to chat with you all again. We'll be back next Tuesday at this same time for more. Until then... Be Seeing You!