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January 19, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning, gang! We've got sixty minutes of fantasy chattage up ahead, so let's not delay. Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Andrew (Crown Point, IN)

My last keeper I am down to: Carlos Santana, Brandon Phillips, Michael Bourn, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg. We can keep players for as many years as we want. Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Given positional scarcity, I'd lean to Carlos, though I do think Bourn will be a huge contributor, albeit mostly in one category.

Dan (Vermont)

Mariner Fever - catch it! Thoughts about Montero in the Emerald City now? Also: how does ol' Smoak-y do in his 2nd full year? Thanks for chatting!! I need this hot stove baseball talk - it's a cold morning here in VT!

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Smoak gets around 15 HR or so... still a lot of K's. Montero won't be nearly as appealing to fantasy owners without the rest of the lineup around him that he would have had if not for the trade.

Bill (Colorado)

Projections for Pineda this season? Trade to the Yanks hurt his value right?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

No, I think overall it helps his value because so much is tied up in Wins, and that should increase more than the hit involved with the change in parks.

Luke (MI)

Josh Johnson or Adam Wainwright in 2012?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Right now I lean to Wainwright, but until we see both in the spring, it's hard to truly gauge progress from injuries.

Mike (Boston)

Considering keeping Desmond JEnnings over the likes of Bruce and Youk to go with Reyes, Verlander, Holiday. Am I crazy? What kind of player do you see JEnnings as this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

A little bit nutty, yes. I'd keep Bruce and the potential 35-100 rather than the SB-heavy Des, especially with Reyes already in the fold.

Brian (NY)

Does Longoria return to form in 2012?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I think he gets a lot closer to form than last year, though I'm not sure I buy into any 40 HR projections.

Ted (Florida)

Can only keep 3 out of Cano, Hanley, Longoria, Tulo. Who is left out?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Piggy backing a bit on the last question, I'd let HanRam go. I'm not sure how the new ballpark will play in Miami, and if the chemistry fizzles there, the whole offense could be a disaster. Plus, you've already got Tulo for SS.

John (Mendham, NJ)

Regression for Granderson?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

To a degree, but still in the Round 1 discussion right now.

Lemmiwinks (Parts Unknown)

I can't convince myself that Kemp is top 5, but I've sold myself on J Upton. What's the best argument for taking Upton over Kemp?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

None really. Kemp has had better fantasy value in each of the last three seasons.

Kevin (Cincinnati)

AJ, in the middle of your book right now. It's a lot of fun, and more fantasy talk than I expected! In my shallow baseball league, I want to spend $150 of my $260 budget on Pitching this year. Am I crazy???

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Thanks! "How Fantasy Sports Explains the World" is the title, so you knew there'd be *some* fantasy sports in it. I don't go into auctions with a set plan on $X for a position. I try to get bargains where they arise and don't lock myself into a positional budget.

JB (Colonial Williamsburg)

Who are your safe Ace Pitchers outside of Halladay, Kershaw, Lee, Liececum and Verlander?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Haren and Weaver would be included in that list, as safe as anyone goes in today's game.

Luke (MI)

Good morning,Thought on what we can expect from Ike Davis this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Off the top of my head... at best, I'd say 20 HR and a .275 BA.

Matt (NY)

CC and King Felix not considered Ace starters anymore?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I'd put them both in the tail end of the top 10... Felix for lack of run support and CC for the fact he too often needs the NYY support to overcome his bad outings.

Brian (NY)

Does Votto top 35 HRs this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Certainly a reasonable guess. I have him doing slightly better than last year, value-wise. If not, he should be close.

Jason (Seattle)

You drafting Carl Crawford or passing?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Given the injury and last year's performance, I'd certainly shy away before Round 4.

John (Mendham, NJ)

Shields doesn't qualify as an Ace? Just below?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I think Shields could well win the Cy Young this year if all goes his way... but I can't put him in the same *safe* category as SP who have done it year in and year out.

Jon (Sleepy Hollow)

I know it's early, but when can we expect the draft kit to be up? Looking forward to this years projections. Keep up the good work.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

We're meeting next week to rank all the players, so it likely won't be before then... but not too soon after.

Nathan (Velvet Monsoon)

I want to keep Lawrie in 11 over C Santana in 7 because their ADP shows them being taken at roughly the same area...Talk me down from the ledge.

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

No need... I think there's a very good chance Lawrie outperforms Carlos this season, but it all comes down to whether or not your Plan B at 3B is better than your Plan B at C or not.

Jut (Boomtown)

Take a risk on Belt or Moustakas?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think I'd be more likely to lean Moustakas' way. Though I'm not opposed to selecting a player with a poor BA, it's tough for a younger player to get the ABs when they're not getting on base even if they do hit some HRs.

Todd (Cleveland)

Bad situation! What to do with Braun in a keeper? Try to trade him for something that helps you all year or just take the suspension and enjoy the 110 games? I have been offered Pence for him...should I take it?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Keep in mind that you need to factor Pence against Braun when he returns PLUS whomever you start for two months. No way that Pence beats that combo. However, there's no guarantee that the 50 games turns into immediate production on the return. Either way, you're rolling the dice. For me, I'd take my chances with Braun + whomever.

Eran (Tallahassee)

Starting fresh in a dynasty league this year with my buddies. Who do you think it worthy of the first overall pick? Or even the top 3. New to the dynasty idea as opposed to year-to-year.Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

At the top of the draft, I think you shouldn't pick any differently. Try and win today. The place where you might lean to a rookie over a veteran is when you're debating between a Chisenhall and a Matsui.

Bobby (OH)

Is Kennedy a good sell-high?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Yes and no. Do I think he matches last year's numbers? No. Do I think other people believe he will? No. As such, I might not be getting value in return. I certainly wouldn't take him off the table, but I'm not giving him away either... he could well still be a top 10 arm.


Thoughts on freddie freeman this year>?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

A poor man's Carlos Lee. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if K's are an issue, he'll hurt you.

Jim (OC)

j Peralta (SS) worth a look?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

20 HR possibility from the SS spot is nothing to sneeze at. Certainly Jhonny is in the same ballpark in terms of overall value as a Hardy or a Desmond.

Aran (Redondo Beach, CA)

Does Ubaldo bounce back?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Not to ace levels, but as a fantasy No. 3, I'm certainly interested.

Moe (Minneapolis)

Will Latos be a top 20 pitcher this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Not quite, though I like his chances better than Ubaldo.

Adrian (Miami, Fl)

Is Jemile Weeks a keeper in a 12 team dynasty?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I don't think it's likely to be the best use of a keeper spot.

Pete (Turkish Bath)

What do your 3b ranks look like? Not sure what to make of the old guard (Arod and Youk) vs Lawrie.

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

My guess would be that all three have around the same kind of projections, which means I'm more likely to take the leap of faith with the newbie.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Thoughts on Chacin? Top 30?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Not going to be on my roster if I can help it. K's won't compensate for ERA and WHIP and .500 record.

Billy (CA)

Got the book and finished within two days...great work!! Better Indian this year: Kipnis or Chisenhall? What are realistic expectations? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Kipnis higher expectations from me than Lonnie, but that's due to SB numbers... 15 HR and a .260 from either(both) is a good starting point for what to bank on.

Ryan (VA)

The VMart injury has the biggest darft day impact on...

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Probably Napoli. He's going to go off the board a lot sooner without the Martinez fallback.

Cas (Orlando)

Thoughts on Heyward this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

At best, 20 HR and a .265 BA. I'm not a big fan.

Jon (Sleepy Hollow)

Thoughts on Darvish with the rangers?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I think he should do very well the first time around the league, and then we'll see. Color me skeptical for a ton of success.

Brandon (KC)

Projections for Eric Hosmer?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Another guy in that 20 HR range, maybe a .280 BA? At 1B that's going to put him well down on the list, though.

Brett (Bozeman, MT)

What are your projections for Josh Hamilton in a contract year?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Contract, schmontract. He'll play as long as his body lets him, regardless of the ink. I'd say he falls shy of 30 and .300, but still worthy of a pick in Round 3-4.

Tony (NYC)

How good is Matt Moore?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Could be very good, but given where he will be in that rotation and with a likely cap on his IP, I think it's foolish to expect more than 10-13 wins.

Tim (SF)

Thoughts on Bumgarner as a #2 starter?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Maybe a No. 3, but I think that's pushing it a bit.

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

That's our time for today, gang! Thanks for the Q's. I do try to get to as many on Twitter as I can, so try me there(@ajmass) -- Until the next time, as always, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.