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February 21, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning gang, and Happy Presidents Day! We have but one Eisen-hower to answer as many questions as we can, so let's try and Fillmore heads with knowledge as we Polk around the world of fantasy sports. Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Mike (Chi-town)

Is Grienke worth the keep over Liriano based on recent injury concerns? If both were completely healthy who do you view as the more valuable fantasy pitcher in 2011?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I'd go with Greinke. It's hard to fault what Zack has been able to do given that he knew he'd rarely have any margin for error. With a little run support, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on a surge in fantasy value.

Matt ("Work")

I have the #6 pick in a 10 team H2H points league. Who do you suggest I target?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Best player available is always the way to go, so make a top 10 list and take whomever is highest when it is your turn, be it Braun, CarGo, HanRam...

tony (minneapolis)

Where would you draft Joe Mauer in a Live Draft?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I don't think I draft a catcher before Round 7, so if Mauer's off the board, then I'm not getting him -- and at that point, I probably wait until way late for my backstop.

Tyler (VT)

AJ, which one misses the keeper cut: Wainwright, Youk, Heyward, Utley, or Adrian Gonzalez?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I'm always more inclined to throw the pitcher back than the hitters, though in this case I might sit on Adam and see if I can't get Heyward back in the draft.

I don't want (anyone in my league to know I am asking questions)

Does Garret Jones play everyday? Could be a cheap 20 HRs...

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I think he platoons at the start of the year, but until they actually trade Doumit, he's not going to get as many at-bats as he could.

Vince (Hoboken)

Hi AJ, Would you keep Strasburg in a 12 team keeper league?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Only if I can keep him again for next year. And even then, if I need his roster spot to help me win this season, he's gone.

Jon (IA)

I guess I don't understand the logic of not getting one of the four or five catchers who are guaranteed to put up big numbers. In weekly leagues you are pretty much suggesting going with tandems like Napoli and Suzuki based on weekly opponents then? I can see how that might work, but why not get a guaranteed thing in guys like Victor, Mauer, McCann, Posey, etc? Talk me into waiting even more. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I'm not passing on a 30-30 outfielder just to get a catcher, even a good one... Mauer may well be the best catcher, but if he's only going to be say the 60th best hitter in terms of fantasy, and I can wait ten rounds and get the 100th guy, I'll do it -- if it means I will be grabbing top 50 guys in the interim.

Chris (Flordia)

Would you keep Chris Johnson in a deep dynasty league? Seems like there are mixed opinions on him this year...

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I was one of the guys down on him, so I'm not keeping him -- I think he ended up dropping 10-15 ranks at 3B in our meetings.

Todd (NYC)

Does Brandon Belt see significant at bats this year? Posey like impact, or not as much...

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

It's all about opportunity first and foremost... He'll start the year at Triple-A, and if Huff and Ross continue to rake, they'll be fine keeping him down there for at least a few months... Posey was special, and I'm not sure lightning strikes twice in a row.

Matt ("Work")

Splitting hairs between CC, C.Lee and Wainwright. Who do you like from these 3?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I'd place CC third of this trio, but sixth overall in my SP rankings, so that's the kind of hair-splitting we're doing here.

Bob (Ohio)

When does Ben Revere get called up? It seems like he may be more valuable in fantasy then in real life? Seems lightning fast

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I think it comes down to Revere having a good spring, and Morneau suffering a setback. Other than that, no reason to call him up early.

Jammey (DC)

I know Jose Batista won't hit 50 HR this year but in a 12 team AL only format what is a reasonable draft pick to keep him for this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Could be a first-rounder in AL only. You don't pay for last year's stats, but if he hits 38 HR, then he may well lead the league... I don't think he drops down to 15 HR.

Jon (IA)

Is Carlos Gonzalez really worth a first round pick? His sample size is pretty small, but we have specific OF slots in our league and I'm picking late in the first round, at 8th. Think he makes it, and if so, go for him or Cano?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

He's playing in Colorado, so even if you think he's a Coors creation, well then, he still gets that 81 game boost. I think he has to dropoff a bit, since 2010 was a top-10 all-time season, but not to something ridiculous like .250.

Jason (Pittsburgh)

Joe Nathan will end the season with ____ saves and be a top ____ closer

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

25, 25.

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

There's no such thing as a "standard" points league, so it's hard to rank players precisely without all the deets, still, in general we're guessing at this point, so whatever the format, I think: Carl>CarGo>Braun.

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Check out my article on that very topic, re: Pirates 30 Q's, this week.

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Santana, assuming no ill-effects from injury, should be the better overall player -- though if Napoli gets hot, he may well end up with a lot more HR's.

miggy cabrera (DETROIT)

am i still a solid keeper?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Certainly recent events makes one pause -- but the fact is that if Miggy plays 140 games and can put it behind him, he's a top-10 talent. That's worth the risk of a keeper pick.

Jammey (DC)

White Sox play roulette at 3B again or will someone step up?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Morel's job to lose from what I hear... there for his glove, some power, some average. No big whoop.

Billy (NYC)

I keep hearing don't pay for saves but the way my keepers are looking I will be keeping a top closer. Should I target another closer earlier in the draft to make the position worth while for me or count on the one closer to carry me and fill in the blanks later on in the draft?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Depends on the size of the league... in a 10-team league, if you have three top closers, you're golden. In a 12-team, two might be enough... but all this assumes you've picked the right guys. I'd wait until late to grab a second/third guy.

Jammey (DC)

12 team AL only Johnny Damon solid 4th OF or should i set my sights higher?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

I think he can still be top-100 hitter, so as a 4th OF, that's not outside the realm of possibility. Always set your sights higher, but it's not up to you as to who is "left" when you get to picking.

Jason (Cleveland)

Is this the Danny(CA) & Jammey(DC) chat? What do you see out of Grady this year? Will he bounce back?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Can be... Attention room: I'm only accepting questions from Danny (CA) and Jammey (DC) from this point on... I see 20-20 at best from Sizemore this season.

Jammey (DC)

Will Big Papi get enough at bats to be worth taking at the end of a 12 team AL only draft?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I don't see any reason he wouldn't get 500 ABs, and even at 400 or so, AL-only you'd be foolish not to draft him late if he's still there.

Danny (CA)

How many HR will A-Gone hit, and will the pressure of Beantown get to him? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

He's a professional. I don't buy into pressure of a city getting to him. At least in Boston, he won't have to do it all by himself. 35-40 HRs is very reasonable to expect.

Jammey (DC)

How would you rank the following 4 pitchers in order strictly in terms of their value for the upcoming season: E. Volquez, J. Chacin, P. Hughes, and C. Lewis. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

With a nod towards likelihood of wins factoring in: Hughes, Lewis, Chacin, Edinson.

Danny (CA)

What do you see from Martin Prado this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Average is legit, but I don't think the power is. .300, 12-70 sounds like the right neighborhood.

yemmaJ ((CD))

What are your thoughts of quality starts replacing wins in a 5x5?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

If I had the power to make that standard, I would -- though I prefer a combo stat of QS + "zero runs allowed outings" -- give a little extra for all goose eggs.

Danny (CA)

What does Alexei Ramirez do this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I'd say to expect about the same he did last year.

Jammey (DCA)

AJ, better keeper in an NL only 10 team auction: Latos $14, Volquez $5, Storen $6. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Latos, unless I was 100 percent sure Storen was getting the closing job.

Jammey III (DC)

Marco Scutaro rank in weak AL SS year?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I like Marco, but I think there's a legit concern that a slow start will find him going to the bench in favor of Lowrie. As such, I'd not want him as a starter...

Danny (CA)

Adrian Gonzalez __ Joey Votto

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I'm buying Votto.

Jammey (DC)

Mel goes to NY or NJ?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

If Melo wanted to play for the Nets, he'd already be on the Nets.

Jason (Cleveland)

Wow man I was just joking. I'm sure there's a lot of good questions from people out there, don't punish them because of me. Way to demonstrate your maturity as well.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

LOL, Jason. You do realize people can enter ANY name and location in those boxes, right?

Knish (NYC)

Who is pushing Storen for closer job?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Not sure if pushing is the right word, but Clippard is still a possibility.

Jammey 34 (DC USA)

Jason I am not really Jammey(I Know it's shocking)

Van (Sioux City)

Is David Price going to get better or have we seen the best of him?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

I think he can get better as a pitcher, but 19 wins aren't going to be an every-year occurrence. That's why he's ranked so low -- the gap between a 19-20 game winner and a 15-16 game winner is huge given the standard categories.

Mike (Detroit)

Cy Young predictions?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Verlander and Doc.

Dan (Cleveland)

Can you please assess Ellsburys value now that he is batting 9th? Thanx!

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I personally have no change in his value, since I was operating under the assumption he'd be batting ninth all along.

Danny (CA)

Wait? This isn't my chat? Son of a...

Jay (LA)

Why aren't people discussing CarGo's BABIP and ridiculously high K-rate? 1st round? Good luck.

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Because BABIP is a personal stat... hitters generally regress to their own personal norm, but after just one year, we don't know where that is for CarGo.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Gang, that's it for today. Hail to the Chief! We'll be back on Friday for another 60 minutes of fun, and until then, there's always the Twitter. Until then, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.