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February 7, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning gang! We've got another hour of fantasy chattage headed your way. Hopefully it goes better than that halftime show, and that anthem -- right, X-tina? Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Ryan (WA)

Is Napoli going to take away the starting C job for Torrealba?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Not if the Rangers do trade Mike Young, which seems very likely. In that case, they can keep Yorvit behind the dish and Naps can do the DH thing.

Joe (Pittsburgh)

Since I am a very sad Steelers fan will you answer my Fantasy Football question??? I have seen a huge range on the prelim rankings of Miles Austin for next year, anywhere from 8th or outside the top 25 of WRs. With Romo back, what are your thoughts on Miles for 2011.

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Sorry about your Steelers. I was bummed as well - first SB miss in 13 years for me. I think a lot depends on when the CBA gets settled, because if there's no camp for anyone, then I think it's a big coin toss at WR across the board.

Dan G (Pittston, PA)

AJ, What can we expect out of Morneau heading into this season? Is he fully healthy and does he regain the form he displayed prior to the concussion?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I think once he's able to play, give him two weeks and he'll be OK. But let's face it -- concussions can linger a long time, and the fact he hasn't yet "begun baseball activities" is a reason to be cautious.

Chris (Boston)

AJ, huge fan, follow you on twitter, thanks for all your help. I have a baseball keeper question. 12 team roto. Already keeping Cano (3rd round) and Beltre (18th), need help with the last two. Would you keep Wainwright (4th), Chris Perez (17th), Jay Bruce (8th), or Rajai Davis (14th)?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I'd say Wainwright and Bruce. The others you can likely get at least with those picks in the draft itself.

James (Boston)

AJ, what are your thoughts on drafting Brandon Webb, Erik Bedard, and Jake Peavy this year? All are coming off injuries, but reporting to be ready for the 2011 season.

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

My mantra is always "Believe it when you see it." Until I see them on the mound with my own eyes, I'm going to assume they're further away than their teams will let on. Webb's probably closest, and of the three, therefore, the highest on the list.

Brian (NY, NY)

What do you think of Coco Crisp this year if he can stay healthy? He had something like 8 HRS/ 25 SBs in 300 ABs last year.

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

It's all a matter of staying healthy, isn't it... since you're assuming that -- 40 steals and about 8-10 HR.

Ryan (PA)

How comfortable would you be in a 13 team Dynasty league with Broxton and Franklin as your closers? I won the league last year with them but was in the bottom half of the league last year in saves.

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

With closers, I think it's really just making sure you have two guys who are "safe" to keep the job. There are certainly safer options, and picking up a Sale or McGee probably is a wise move, but given a 13-team league, you should at least be competitive in that category.

Keith (Hartford)

Is this the year we should be all in on Adam Jones? The lineup has improved and he has a few years under his belt. Trust him as a #3 outfielder with room for more?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I said last season it would be closer to 2012 than 2010 for Dig Dug. "All-in" at No. 3 is a bit much, but as a No. 4-5 OF, by all means take a stab.

Chris (New Orleans)

Is 15 HRs too much to expect from Logan Morrison this year? Will he grow into any power into his career?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

That seems reasonable. I think it all depends on whether or not he comes to bat to the podcast theme song...

Jabba (The Hut)

What is the deal with Neftali Feliz? Starter or closer?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I don't think the Rangers know for sure... but if Ogando seems able to do it in the Spring, perhaps they do take that step. At least this isn't a case of "closer or Triple-A" so drafting Feliz won't kill you...

Peter (Baltimore)

You have your choice of Hamilton or Cruz? Which injury-prone outfielder would you gamble on?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I go with Hamilton. Both bodies could fail at any moment, but the difference to me is that Cruz is more apt to try and prevent injury by changing how he plays (stride, swing, etc.) and that could mess up what made him successful in the first place.

Jeff (NYC)

Brett Anderson: Believe or stay far away?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I don't believe enough to draft him. For me, I never like to deeper than a starting rotation at SP, since there are always unexpected arms on the wire early. Anderson to me is around a .500 guy this year, so I'll pass for now.

John (PA)

Just Traded Tulo($12) and Weiters ($13) for AGon($27) Carlos Santana ($1) and Daniel Hudson($1) in a 5x5 keeper league. Who got the better of the trade?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I'd have stood pat... after Tulo the dropoff at short is HUGE.

Hanson (OH)

What do you see Cody Ross doing this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Definitely one of the many 20 HR guys you can draft late that allows you to get one of the top 2B/SS guys early... I hesitate to go nuts here, because he was my "sleeper" last season, and didn't quite fully wake up -- but I like him.

Jon (Albany, NY)

Carlos Quentin or Jason Bay as my 4th outfielder?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

CQ. Looking at a gap of 10 in HR and probably 20 batting average points too.

Curt (NJ)

The SS to grab after Hanley, Tulo, and Jose Reyes is . . . . . ?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Derek Jeter. Look, you either believe he's going to rebound some -- and last year's stats were No. 5 SS -- or you say the bottom falls out and you don't rank him at all. I'm in the first group.

The Masses ((Out There) )

Ok, so I have to ask...when is the Draft Kit becoming available. The wait here is getting crazy! Come on ESPN Fantasy Team!

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Patience, young padawan... we're all hard at work at filling the Draft Kit with fantasy goodness as we speak... I don't have official word, but I'd guess you'll see us report before pitchers and catchers do.

Nick (Atlanta)

Denard Span worthy of drafting? I read they plan on resting him more this season.

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think that's juts manager-speak from Gardy to take the pressure off his CF. More rest still means 145-150 games. I'd not be stunned with .280 and 30 SB.

Bob (Fla)

Do think Ian Desmond puts up similar numbers to Jeter, minus a few runs maybe. Seems like you can get him a lot later than Jeter...

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Since most casual players won't have a clue who Desmond is, I say you're right... but I don't like the high K total. He's a guy who has to prove he can do it before I pick him over a guy who certainly has proven himself.

Grant (LA)

Carl Crawford or Carlos Gonzalez? Who should be the first off the board?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Crawford. Both should regress a bit, but I think CarGo slides a bit more.

Brian (Orlando)

Does Carl "The Mustache" Pavano still have some magic left in that arm? Would you draft him in the later rounds?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Love Pavano as a sleeper, and drafted him in our first Mock. He's become a ground ball assassin and he pitches in a park where even if he does start to give up the deep flies, they won't go over the wall.

Pender (PA)

Can Carlos Pena hit .225 this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

I think you might get even money on .175 over/under. Yeah, he's still a BA albatross, but not as bad as last year.

Brian (NY, NY)

Any sleeper OFs this year you like for power and AVG?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Maybe Delmon, any of the Orioles and Manny (sleeper given the ADP.

Smarty pants (Work)

How excited can you really get about drafting someone in a Mock Draft?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Don't believe I used any adverb there -- just said "drafted."

Brian (NY, NY)

Do you think Adam Lind rebounds this year? He had a ton of Ks last year.

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

And he will again, but the HRs are what you're buying here and I don't think the BA stays anywhere near that low.

Matt (Chinatown)

Hi AJ, I'm playing in a h2h league for the first time this season. Do you have any advice for drafting for this format? Are there things you need to be aware of that you didn't have to in roto? Thanks for helping me prepare!

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Consistency week over week isn't really something you can predict. I would make sure I get three closers earlier rather than later, to maximize the chances at saves, but other than that -- and taking fewer chances on guys who won't have jobs locked down on Opening Day, you're still drafting the best players.

Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]

Who do you think will be the starting shortstop for the reds this season, janish or renteria? Would you draft either of them in a deep NL only format?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I'd draft either late in deep NL-only -- middle infield is shallow. FWIW, I've heard Dusty, for now, still has Janish penciled in.

Ian (Boston)

Chris Sale is someone who, to me, could really breakout this year if given the opportunity. Any idea where he starts? Middle reliever, closer, starter? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

A lot depends on Peavy's progress. My best guess is he starts April in the back of the rotation and by September is pitching the ninth. Another case of "where he slots" and not "closer or Triple-A".

James (TX)

Who plays 1B in Seattle,and worth a late rd pick in 12 AL only ?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Looks like Smoak -- and if you're in an AL-only, all starters are fair game.

Cindy (New Orleans)

Do you like Chris JOhnson, 3B for Hou? 20 HRs and .285 sound good?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I don't think any player dropped further from his initial ranking at our Fantasy Baseball Meetings -- and I was a driving force behind that fall. Way too generous on both counts IMO.

Brian (NY, NY)

Do you think Stephen Drew takes a step forward in his age 27 season?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I think he's a WYSIWYG for 2011.

Steve (ME)

Kyle Drabek is a name that seems to be mentioned a lot but this is the first year I recall that he is being considered for a rotation spot. Will he perform like Tommy Hanson in his first year?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Not in that division... I can see double digit wins, but over 4 ERA and 1.4 WHIP.

Sam (Cincy)

Why did Chris Johnson fall so far? What did you guys hear?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Didn't hear - we saw. I'm not usually a BABIP guy but .387 scares the bejeezus out of me, especially given the K totals.

Pete (NY)

Who is the better keeper in a 12 team dynasty league? Posey, Kinsler or Bautista?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Dynasty league, you keep Posey. Done and done.

Pender (PA)

Jimmie Rollins bounce back after injury wasted season or stay away from him?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Stay away. I'll have more to say on this in the Draft Kit when it does finally roll out, but basically, Rollins is/was/always will be "Fool's gold" to me.

Carlos Zambrono (Chi)

Take me in the last round I am making a big comeback.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Good thing spelling doesn't count for fantasy.

Bob (Boston)

I keep hearing the name Jeremy Hellickson in my head over and over. What can we expect from this youngster this year? I know, tough division. But the Rays have competed well.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Definitely should be drafted, could win 15...but I always find myself being cautious with young arms... many people hope for a Strasburg-like start, but I always fear a Strasburg "finish" - and those happen far more frequently.

Bobby (NJ)

Other than Halladay, is Hamels the most valued Phillies pitcher? He will certainly matchup with a lot of #4's in the rotation

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

That matchup thing is so overrated. First of all, all it takes is one or two postponements, and Hamels is facing the No. 1 guys. And if anything, Manuel might choose to "rest" his regulars against a "weaker" starter... meaning Hamels will get less run support... Rank the pitcher, not the rotation spot.

Brian (NY, NY)

Do you think Oswalt regresses from last year's stat line? Seems likely.

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Sure... simply because it's hard to be *that* good for an entire season... but he's still a top-25 arm.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Time for one more... make it count!


Hey AJ, thanks for your time. A one year you take Carlos Santana in Round 21 or Liriano in Rd 15. Given that it is only for one year, I am tempted to start my team with a bit more proven SP. But, I do like Santana and think he will produce top 5 at his position. What say you?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I'd chance Santana. It is only one year, but SP is so deep you can still fill your SP with plenty of value -- not so much at catcher.

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

That's the final whistle. We'll be back on Friday, and there's always the Twitter. Until then, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.