Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 31, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning gang. It's Monday and time for another hour of fantasy chattage. Mock drafts? Hindsight? NCAA bubble? Got that second cup of coffee? Who's up first?

Ryan (WA)

If Vlad goes to Baltimore, do you see him having a similar season to last year? Slight downgrade?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Slight downgrade, but certainly once he signs, he can be safely moved up several rounds on your draft list.

Bill (Toronto)

Who's unsettled bullpen will be more productive from a fantasy standpoint next year: Toronto's or Atlanta's?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I'd go with Toronto's. Just a confidence factor in one of Rauch/Dotel stepping up rather than uncertainty of the young'uns in the ATL.

Dave (Tampa)

Hey AJ, Watching the Pro Bowl last night made me appreciate all of the defense in the NHL All Star game.

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

What is this Pro Bowl of which you speak? I am afraid I am not familiar with said game.

Greg (Ellicott City)

Would you deal Adrian Gonzalez for Cano as keepers for this year only?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Yes. I think Cano has the better year of the two, but even if it's close, you can find a better 1B than a 2B amongst non-keepers in all likelihood.

Ryan (Hanover, PA)

In a 10 team league, is position scarcity a strategy you would downgrade?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I never really worry about position scarcity at the top of the draft. I have a ranked list and pull from it accordingly when my turn comes.

Curt (NJ)

In a recent mock draft I did, David Wright slipped to me with the 14th pick in the second round. Are there any major concerns that would warrant this?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Don't ever put too much stock into a single draft -- you never know what factors into it -- you could just be drafting with a bunch of Mets-haters at the end of the round.

Tim (Owings Mills, MD)

Is the 4th pick the worst pick to have this year? It seems like thats wayyy too early for Tulo,Braun,etc...

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I always prefer to draft middle of the round, so I don't have to wait too long in-between picks. I find tiers tend to vanish on the bookends. That said, have confidence in your own evaluations skills and take the guy you want at #4.

John (Tampa, FL)

I saw that you took Halladay in the first mock. Good pick but some other analysts say SP is the deepest position this year. Thoughts??

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I agree that SP is very deep... but when you're in a mock, you don't know what everyone else is going to do -- if my pick of Halladay sets off a run of SP, then even a deep SP pool starts to go quickly. Once I knew the other guys were waiting, I then waited longer on other SP.

John (Pearl River, NY)

Given how weak SS is this year, and how deep 1B is, shouldn't Hanley Ramirez be given SERIOUS consideration at #1 overall over Pujols?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I agree SS is not as deep, but I'm not taking a guy who isn't a lock for 30-100 at #1 overall.

Josh (CT)

I get to have three keepers for my league this year...i have got it down to four but I am not sure which three to take. Joe Mauer, David Wright, Andrew McCutchen and Adam Wainwright

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I always say that when in doubt, you throw the pitcher back.

Anthony (Newington, CT)

Who has the most value of all 1st Basemen in fantasy baseball?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

If Miggy ran more, he'd probably get the nod. Since he doesn't, it's Albert.

Jason (Long Island, NY)

Pick 2 out of 3 keepers: Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett or Tommy Hanson. My other keepers are Tulo, Tex and Longoria.

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Keeping Hanson of this trio. Should be able to get a comparable 2B later on.

Greg (Ellicott City)

What happened to 'when in doubt, toss the pitcher."?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I'm not in doubt.

Matt (Chinatown)

What kind of season do you see Ubaldo having? 15w 3.3era possible?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Sounds about right to me. He'll likely end up in that neighborhood.

Matt ("Work")

Who is the one "later round player" you will make sure to get on your team this baseball season?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Not trying to dodge the question, Matt. But I think in general, I don't worry about what other people think when making my draft lists and whatnot. I value the players and draft them accordingly, so what seems like a "later round player" to some, might not be to me. Plus, if I'm fairly certain a guy won't be picked my the rest of my league, I'll let him go to the wire and just claim him later.

Awayne (INDY)

How much will E.Longoria drop numbers wise with the lose of talent around him?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Longoria will be fine. There are other bats in the lineup. I expect him to be on the short list for AL MVP.

John (Pearl River, NY)

Which young outfielder is a better late round snag: Dominic Brown or Desmond Jennings?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Longterm, I'm probably higher on Desmond for the future, but given the Damon/Manny signings, I'm not sure he'll end up with as much action as Brown this year.

1-2 many (bronx)

Do you think Mauer, Martinez, or Posey as my first catcher taken?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Mauer is the only guy in his tier.

Brian (NY, NY)

Do you think Juan Pierre repeats last year's #s? He seems like a major bust risk to me.

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Sure he's a risk, since he only really helps in the one category, but he's not OLD by any means and had a strong second-half in 2010.

Brian (NY, NY)

Who's the better 2B bounceback candidate-- Aaron Hill or Ben Zobrist?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Zobrist, stats-wise has the easier path to bouncing back... but Hill was probably unluckier -- there was definitely something in the water in Canada.

Awayne (INDY)

If I have Adam Dunn do I need to make sure and have someone to play during the long stretches he doesn't produce or is he a guy you just wait for him to bust out and have huge 10 game streaks?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Depends on the type of league... if all that matters is the stats at the end of the season, then you start him and leave him alone. If you're weekly, then yeah, you might want to sit him from time to time.

Scott (Denver)

Do you put a limit on how long you can keep a guy in FF?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I play in a "dynasty" league, where we can keep a player forever if we want. But all the owners in my league want to play that way -- the rules should always fit the personality of the league.

Dave (Tampa)

Do you think a 'healthy' A-Rod will run again this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Situationally, sure... but he's not going to get you more than 15 -- at best.

Dave (Tampa)

What are your thoughts on Shaun Marcum moving from the AL East to the NL Central? Will he have a Ted Lilly-like impact on fantasy rosters?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

I think Marcum is a nice sleeper late, since most people will lean towards YoGa and Zack and forget about him.

Scott (Denver)

Do you see Mendenhall as a top 7 RB?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Roster moves will certainly dictate this, but Mendy is one of the dying breed of "go-it-alone" guys, so right now I'd say yes.

Awayne (INDY)

With Saves being the only cat. closers have much value how soon do yopu usually grab your first one?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

I have Heath Bell ranked as my No. 1 closer and he's a 7th Rounder at best -- odds are I'll have other guys ranked higher than him still available to me for a few rounds after that, and by the time I'm ready to take him, he'll probably be gone anyway. So,I end up taking closers later than most.

Eric (Chicago)

How do you toss Wainwright back? He's a top pitcher. Are you thinking about an injury this year? I'd toss Mauer back, but that's one man's opinion who won a championship last year.

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Definitely injury risk plays a part, but also SP is so deep, I'd rather keep Mauer at C since he's head and shoulders ahead of the field.

Awayne (INDY)

If the NFL goe to 18 game season what's some plans to adjust fantasy season,league schedule and such?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Depends on how many weeks... assuming there are 18 games and 20 weeks (2 byes per team) then you can have 2 divisions of 6, 10 divisional games, 6 outside and playoffs in 17,18,19.

Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]

Would you consider votto a reach in the later picks of the 1st round in a 10 team mixed league?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

That's not a reach... that's where you should take him.

Jesse (New York)

I cant believe andy ried's job is on the line hes the best coach in the freaking nfl!!!

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Don't think he's in trouble, but also couldn't disagree more with his being "the best." You could argue he gameplans well, but is by far one of the worst at clock management and has no clue how to use that red flag of his.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Has everyone given up on Matt Wieters?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

I don't think people are giving up, but he's practically interchangeable with seven other guys at the position. Might as well wait.

Brian (NY, NY)

Who are some late-round SPs who have the potential to perform in the top 40 or so?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Pitchers in general are so deep this year - guys like Gio Gonzalez, C.J. Wilson, Max Scherzer, Derek Lowe and Edwin Jackson are in that kind of general mix.

Awayne (INDY)

How high should I rate Brandon Phillips in a 10 team NL only and a 12 team mixed?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

20-20 guy or thereabouts, I would consider him starting in Round 5 (mixed). Obviously earlier in an NL-only.

Jake (Mass)

Is there a single player on the Cubs roster I could trust to play everyday?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Aramis should be OK. Soto won't kill you at catcher.

Matt (Chinatown)

Rank for 2011: J Sanchez, E Jackson, S Marcum, B Morrow

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Marcum, J Sanchez, Jackson, Morrow.

Lenny (Brooklyn)

How do you think ellsbury will do this year? Last year, he was a 2nd/3rd round pick. After an injury-riddled 2010 season, he has dropped considerably. What can we expect this year?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Maybe 10 HR, 50 SB. He's a case where if not for the injury concern, he'd still lose some value due to the addition of Carl Crawford, who conceivably could fill his leadoff spot -- though for now the job is still his...

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's NOON. That's time. We'll be back on Friday, but there is Twitter in the interim... until the next time, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.