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

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning one and all. Happy Valentine's Day! It's also that most wonderful time of they ear when pitchers and catchers report! We'll be here for the next hour to discuss fantasy sports, the ESPN Draft Kit, the NCAA bubble, and even Lady Gaga. Why not? Second cup of coffee in hand. Who is up first?

Andy (Syrause, NY)

Thoughts on Neil Walker this season? Looking for a good sleeper at second base

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

He'll get you some power, which is more than you can say for a lot of "backup" types. Wouldn't want him as my No. 1, but to fill in the MI hole, there are worse options.

Aaron C. (San Diego )

Who is the better draft pick for 2011- Matt Wieters or Miguel Montero?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Montero this year... Wieters still has a bit to go before he is soup.

Kevin (Chattanooga)

With TN's love of losing, do you still see them getting into the tourney?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

RPI certainly keeps them alive: see Vols' 21 vs Bama's 142. As long as they make semis in SEC tourney, they have solid shot.

Paul (Farmville, Va)

Oswalt or Lee?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I have Halladay/Lee 1/2 on my personal rankings board.

Aaron (Texas)

Morneau or Morales?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Assuming both are healthy, I'll go Morneau.

Brandon (RI)

AJ, thanks for answering a question for me on Twitter. I have another one... who will bring more value for OF this year, Kemp or Holliday?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Always try to answer as many Tweets that come my way... no problem. I think Holliday is one of the four most consistent guys at OF, so there's a lower bottom. I like him more than Kemp.

Frank (PA)

Liriano, or Latos?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I slightly lean towards Liriano, but would probably end up not owning either, just due to how high they're going to go in most drafts.

Greg (Buffalo)

Will there be a Fantasy Football next year, yes no?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

As long as there's a CBA... but I'm starting to scout the Alouettes just in case.

Franklin (Santa Cruz)

AJ, I was surprised to see you list Jed Lowrie as a MI sleeper. I can not see any scenario that he would be worthy of owning in a 12 team league. He has no speed and no power. What about Jed Lowrie do you like? Unless Pedroia or Scutaro get injured, he has absolutely zero value and shouldn't be drafted in any type of league. He's an injury pick up at best.

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

He's going to play four times a week. Either at 1B, 2B, SS or 3B... an infielder gets a day off, he plays. Zero value? I don't think so. He can easily get 15 HR in 300-or-so ABs.

Steve (Buffalo)

Choose 1 of 3 for a keeper league please. Ellsbury, Chris Young, Gordon Beckham?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Chris Young just ahead of Ellsbury for me.

DP (NYC)

OBP keeper league - Andrew McCutchen or Carlos Santana?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I'll take McCutchen who could well be top 10 OF this year.

Grant (Washington DC)

Hi AJ, do you have a rule of thumb when dividing an auction budget? What % should go to pitching and what % should go to offense?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I think you should always be willing to grab a bargain when it comes without being a slave to a preset budget percentage. This year SP is very deep, so I would probably wouldn't worry if I see the breakdown looking like an 80-20 type of split.

Jon (Des Moines)

Secondly, are weekly lineup (h2h) leagues catered more to hitting or pitching in terms of loading up on draft day?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

You draft the same team, with the lone exception for me being that I'd rather have closers earlier in a weekly -- after all, I don't want to punt a category every week when so many matchups are determined by a single category.

Kev (NYC)

Hey AJ, I was looking at where I'd grab a 2B... Does it make sense to wait for Roberts? I see him having great value in late rounds...

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Read my article in the Draft Kit... Cano and Utley will be gone early. If you don't get either, you might as well wait.

Mustard (Kingston, ON)

Trying to convince my league to drop Wins as a category this year. Ther is major resistance mainly b/c every magazine values wins in their rankings. I tried using Felix vs. Hughes as an arguement as to why Wins is a bad category...any other suggestions?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Hitter hits HR. It is something he actively did. Pitcher leaves game down 5-0, team scores six that inning and he gets win? What did he do? Nothing! It simply has no connection to the pitcher's actions.

Bart (Chesterton)

Yankees Catchers, which one do you want for 2011?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

None of them, but if forced to, Posada.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Don't you think H2H points is more like real baseball in spirit? Real teams don't need to balance out categories, they just want the best players who produce

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Depends on the scoring system, no? I have seen scoring systems where Roy Halladay's perfect game was like a 500 point bonus, beating the other team no matter what they did... if the point system is not balanced, it's not like real baseball.

Frank (PA)

How well do you think 2011 will treat Jimmy Rollins? Do you believe in the contract year?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Some players do try harder in the contract year, but I don't believe that necessarily equates to better stats -- and Rollins to me, was never as good as the hype.

Brian (IN)

Any info on Morneau, what could possibly take so long to get back to hitting a baseball?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Stephania would be better at answering this, but obviously, you've never had a concussion, Brian. I had one in high school, and I don't think I ever fully recovered 100 percent.

Brian (NYC)

Better in 2011 and beyond, Beckham or Castro?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Castro is a glove man to me... he'll have some offensive impact here and there, but his value to the Cubs defensively will always be greater than to you, the fantasy player.

Jeff (Vermont)

Would you rather keep Pujols @ $44 or Howard @ $16? $250 cap

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Howard @ 16 is a better bargain.

Frank (PA)

if you were in a first year dynasty, where would you take Jason Heyward overall?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Let other people worry about winning for years to come, and you focus on winning this year. Apart from maybe taking a Strasburg with the last pick, I'm not raising anyone up the list just because it's a keeper. I mean I'll take him ahead of Ichiro due to age, but I'm not bringing him up to Josh Hamilton territory.

Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]

AJ who has the better year... Joey votto or Adrian Gonzalez?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

It's a close call, but I'm going to say Votto.

Gary (Simi Valley)

Help choose my 7th keeper: Brian Wilson, Stephen Drew, or Shane Victorino. Thx.

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Victorino.

Steve (MA)

What do you see Jonathan Sanchez doing this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

No. 4 fantasy starter.

Mario (NYC)

I have the 7th pick in a 12 team 5X5...assuming they are there who do you prefer..Longoria, Votto or Cano....Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Because of positional scarcity, I'd lean to Cano over Votto.

James (CT)

Josh Johnson or David Price?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Johnson for me... Price's value way inflated in public perception by the win total.

Ben (Colorado)

What hitter(s) are you higher on this year than nearly everyone else on staff?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Maybe Rios, Abreu, Pence, Konerko, Jeter and BJ Upton -- but it's not like it's a "AJ versus the world" on any of these guys...

bill (ny)

whats your opinion on looking at pitchers FIP or xFIP...ive been reading a lot about them, and how they may better predict a pitchers future ERA

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

xFIP better than FIP, but neither can be used universally. I wrote an article on it here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?id=5260306

James (Chicago)

Do you even know who Starlin Castro is? Glove man? 27 errors last year but batted .300. You really have no clue when it comes to baseball, and Jed Lowrie easily hits 15 homers? Thats right because the past 3 years combined he has hit 13. Makes sense. Dumbass

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

James, Castro is barely 20 and he is playing SS for his glove. I think it's more likely he wins a Gold Glove than hits 10 HR-.300 in any of the next five years. As for Lowrie, he hit 9 HR in 170 Abs last year, missing three months with mono. How about you do some homework, amigo?

Mike (Htown)

at what point are you taking your first pitcher?ps youre awesome

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I take Halladay in Round 1. After that, I'm going to wait for a few rounds to fill my corner spots and OF.

Neal (OH)

Wow. Bitter much James in Chicago?

Ed Rooney (Chicago)

James, if you only want to hear what you believe, then chats probably aren't tthe best way to spend your time.

Mario (NYC)

Wow what hostility...no need for name calling...its fantasy baseball..if you don't like the players or the opinions don't take those players...or do your own rersearch and form your own opinions...

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

The tribe has spoken, James...

Nick (St. Johns, MI)

Better Tiger OF: Ryan Raburn, Magglio Ordonez, or Austin Jackson?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

I actually like Jackson... from a pure fantasy value standpoint, he out-earned Heyward last season. I'm not saying he does that again, but the difference in rank between the two is way too great IMO.

Kris (WI)

Better year Greinke or Garza?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Greinke has been the better pitcher for years... the new home division for both changes nothing.

Ben (Bmore)

With my keepers McCutchen, CarGo that can run, with the 2nd overall pick, is Miggy a better #2 pick then H.Ramirez?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I think Miggy is a better pick regardless, but keep in mind that after HanRam and Tulo, the SS dropoff is huge... and you won't want to take Reyes and his SB.

Dan (TN)

What do you think of Cole Hamels this year?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I think Hamels is borderline top 25 if all goes right... but people are drafting him in top 15, and that's way too high in my opinion, which is why he;s my SP BUST. It's relative, though...

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

It's Noon, so the Powers that be are pushing me out of the room... I'll be back on Friday, and several of my colleagues will be doing chats throughout the week. Draft Kit is there... I'm on Twitter... Until the next time, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.