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January 14, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Greetings and salutations. We're back for another hour of fantasy chattage. What's that in my hand? Why it's my second cup of coffee... who's up first?

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hi AJ, we are starting a points league this year for baseball. Any advice? Is ten points for a win and negative 5 for a loss too much?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Aloha and Whoa! Context, sir. The best point systems are ones where the points that you award keep things balanced. IMO, a two-hit shutout should be worth around as much as a 5-for-5 day, pro-rated of course for the number of appearances made by a SP vs a regular position player...

Dave (Novato)

Hi AJ, what are your thought on Justin Upton and what round would you be taking him?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Solid player - 7th round right now would be the neighborhood for me. And generally speaking, my rounds are for 10-team leagues to keep the math easy.

John (Philly)

Quiet Morning? Daniel Hudson last year in Ari for real or just a back of the rotation filler?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Certainly there are plenty of "proven" options to look at first. Definitely in my top ten of SP with less than three years of service.

keeper (strategery)

16 team mixed auction league - 25 active, 5 man bench - is jose reyes a keeper @ $30?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

In a 16-teamer, he's worth holding on to. I am a tad concerned about his ability to play 150 games this year, but that deep a league, you need to hold on to him.

Scott (Denver)

How about Ubaldo..what round would you take him in..not a ton of strikeouts...

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I take him Round 5. But I do tend to wait longer on pitchers than position players, so if there haven't been a lot of SP taken by then, I wait even longer.

Scott (Denver)

Could you see Seth Smith or Dexter Fowler as a deep sleeper this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I like Fowler better than Smith. I expect a year better than 2010 but not quite as good as 2009 value-wise.

NFL (playoffs)

AJ....who ya got this weekend?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Three home teams plus the Pack.

Dan (Rockland)

Can Clay Bucholz improve on his 2010 numbers?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

No way the ERA keeps. He's in the mix for back end of a fantasy rotation.

Eric (Chicago)

Good morning AJ! Gio Gonzalez came up huge for me last year and was wondering what your expectations are for him this year. Looking for an imporvement? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Promising second half numbers to be sure. I like him a bit more than Clay but still a ways to go to reach *reliable* status.

Joe (Pittsburgh)

Hey AJ, am I allowed to ask fantasy football questions? lol...who you like better to break out and be a keeper for next year. Is Dez Bryant or Jeremy Maclin a better compliment to my team which includes Run DMC, Charles, and Jennings?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I like Dez better. I'm not sold on Vick as a long-term option for Eagles -- while he's been great for fantasy I don't think Maclin will ever be a consistent star with him under center.

Sandy (NJ)

this year only, pls rank: BJ Upton, J Upton, McCutchen, Choothx, AJ

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Shin-Soo, BJ, McCutchen, then a big drop to Justin.

John (NYC)

Rank for 2011 Cargo, Kemp and Heyward

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

You have the order right at the moment. Heyward tougher to project due to smaller sample size, but he is second IMO of "less than three" hitters.

Joe (Crimebridge)

Who ranks higher, Kershaw, Gallardo or Carpenter.?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Carp leads the trio for me. All in top 25.

Scott (Denver)

Who's better value: Hakeem Nicks for a 5th, or Mega for a 2nd?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

I'd like to keep my WR options open early in the draft. I'll keep Nicks and lose the 5.

Brett Anderson (Oakland)

Im looking to put up big numbers this year if i can stay healthy! Think I can do it?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Healthy, he can win 15. Not at the top of my lists, but worth a late look.

Swasey (Deering)

It's hard to believe that was Heyward's rookie season! How do you think he will fare in 2011?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I think he's going to end up with around the same numbers as last year with 2012 being the huge step forward.

Scott (Denver)

What was your best football prediction this year? Worst?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Honestly, couldn't tell you... because we make so many predictions during these chats and you have to make new ones each week, I end up forgetting them (both good and bad)as soon as Monday comes... You guys probably have a better idea on that one.

keeper (strategery)

With Soriano signing with the Yanks, I lost one one of my expected closers for next year. Do you think anyone of League, Demel or Motte ends up being the man?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

League has the best shot, but a lot of this will shake out once the teams start camp.

Chris (Cincinnati, OH)

Keeper question. We keep two hitters in my H2H league. I'm keeping Pujols. Who do I keep between Miggy and Crawford? My league's offensive scoring categories avg., runs, 3B's, HR's RBI's, and SB's.

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Triples? Very odd. I'd go with Carl over Miggy in normal 5x5. Triples seals the deal.

Joe (Phl)

Keeper question Liriano for a 15th rnd over Price for a 9th

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Liriano is a super steal that cheap.

Scott (Denver)

Commish question: Better idea to have keepers indefinitely, or put a limit on how long you can hold a guy? Talking football mainly...

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Not better or worse... it's all a matter of what your league wants. My longtime keeper league keeps a full starting lineup and only drafts 7 "new guys" each season...

Suheal (Tracy, CA)

Will Tim Tebow be consistent enough next year to start in fantasy leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Not a chance.

Dave (Tampa)

Hey AJ, Why doesn't anyone expect trouble early for AGon moving from the NL to the AL, a la Matt Holliday? Also, I would think Boston is a wee bit colder than San Diego in April. Is he a better pure hitter, or just the better lineup that has everyone giddy?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

New pitchers, new parks... there will be an adjustment. But also he'll not be the only stick in the lineup and should see better pitches overall. I think people tend to see what they want to see here... I have A-Gonz at 23 amongst hitters.

brian (de)

Which WR would make a better keeper for a 12th round pick, Austin Collie or Stevie Johnson? Do you see either as top 15 option?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

No I do not see either as a top 15 option. Let's see who ends up around these guys before going nuts on the keeper questions...

Vinny (NYC)

Any concerns about a Chase Utley decline? We've seen his best, but what is the risk he drops out of the top 50 full time?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I think he drops out of the top 50, but not by a whole lot... Many folks are going to have him as No. 1 2B, but I'm not buying in.

Joe (Phl)

Follow up on other keeper question Price at 9th or Kemp at 8th?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Kemp. You're taling about a guy who could easily get you 30 HR.

BOB (Wheeling)

How soon should I take Buster Posey? I think he will be the best catcher stat wise next year but don't won't to jump to soon?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I'll let someone else take him too soon and wait a few more rounds and take Santana or McCann.

Kevin (Charlotte)

Who are the rookies this year to know? Who will be the Posey/Stanton type guys who will get called up mid year or have a chance to win a spot out of spring training? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Obviously, Hellickson is getting the buzz and Dom Brown will likely jump into Werth's RF spot... Des Jennings in TB and Moutsakas in KC also good bets to head North.

Todd (Hoboken)

Clay Buccholz (I get the lack of k's) for a shot at the back of a rotation? Brett Anderson worth a late round flier? What are we talking about? 6 team leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I'm defining a rotation as 5 guys, just like in the big leagues. With 4 RP rounding out a nine-man squad.

Tulo (On fire)

What's the highest you've got me ranked?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Top 25.

Scott (Denver)

Any ideas for how to encourage more trading in a league? I think we had like 6 last year, and I was involved/initiated like 5 of them...

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

People generally speaking won't trade if they can find what they need on the waiver wire. How's this for an idea. You get 3 waiver wire pick-ups for the year -- each trade you make (and you can only make two trades with any one owner) earns you one more.

Santa (North Pole)

You have Tulo as a top 25 player, but does that mean you won't draft him before pick 25? Evan Longoria wasn't top 20 last year, but you have to think he'll be in the top 10 players drafted due to position scarcity.

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Unlike you, I make my list and don't check it twice. I don't really buy into position scarcity at the top of the draft. I rank them to where I think their value will end up and then draft the best available guy. Period.

Tulo (On fire)

Come on. 5th? 6th? 2nd??

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

If he was top 10, I'd have said so...

Bently (Garrage)

How important is it to adjust on the fly if you see trends during draft,or should I stick to my plan and take my best player available.

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I think you do react to trends, but go in the other direction... if everyone is drafting a catcher and your next pick would get you Catcher No. 7, get SS No. 4 instead and don't worry if you end up with Catcher No. 10 later on...

Erik Bedard (Seattle)

Remember me? What are the odds I pitch 150 innings this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I'd be happy with 100 -- and not sure you'll get there!

Bently (Garrage)

Football team changes coaches has huge effect on players fantasy worth,but does a manager change effect how you rate a basesball player?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Not really... sure some managers like to steal more than others, but a guy with 50-SB skills will still be given a green light. Only reason to worry is with a closer -- a new manager might bring about a change in confidence values...

Goose (Virginia)

Will my boy Strasburg pitch at all this season? And should I keep him for an 11th rd pick?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

No. He will be out until 2012.

Brien (Delaware)

AJ, I'm typically a fan of your stuff, but this disappoints me: How can you not "buy into" position scarcity when drafting?? A player like Tulo (and the year he had) is CLEARLY more valuable than the Fielders and Texs BECAUSE of the fact that everyone pretty much has one. No one (except hanram owner) is getting those #'s at SS...

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Not in HRs perhaps, but Jeter, Reyes and Alexei all came close last season. Yes, part of that was the Tulo injury, but even so -- I could have waited 6 rounds and not really been hurt at SS.

Brandon (OC,CA)

Are you releasing your baseball rankings anywhere on ESPN?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Brandon, next week the ESPN Fantasy crew is gathering at the Mothership for a week of meetings where we will rank them all... it won't be too long after that for the articles to start appearing.

Geo Soto (Chicago)

Wait, Sweet Lou being gone has to be good for someone like me. Lou's odd obsession with Koyie Hill...bizarre.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

You mean the same Koyie Hill they just signed to an $850,000 one-year deal?

Gabe (NY)

Who are your top 5 SPs?

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Right now, it's Doc, Cliff, Wainwright, Felix and Justin V.

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

And that's the whistle. Thanks to all who asked questions... Twitter is there for those I missed... until the next time... Be Seeing You!