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May 3, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning, gang. We've got another hour of fantasy chattage up ahead. So let's not dilly and let's not dally. Second cup of coffee is in hand. Who, pray tell, is up first?

Matt (Pittsburgh)

What are your thoughts on Will Middlebrooks? Any chance he sticks around after the Youkilis injury if he performs well at this level?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I think he can. Youkilis has been tragic so far, and if Middlebrooks can do well in his absence, the Sox aren't about to rush him back either.

Jamie (Portland)

Is Furcal due for a big drop-off, or can he continue this level of production?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

My sense of Furcal is that he's still performing at a rate that is not sustainable. I don't think the dropoff is huge from here, but it is coming.

Chris (Knoxville, TN)

I know it's a small sample but Bryce Harper looks like he is more than ready to be an everyday player in the MLB...Do you still side with the rest of your colleagues that Trout is the one to own this season in a non-keeper?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Both will have ups and dons if they stay with the parent club. The question to ponder here is whether or not Harper does well enough to stick as full-time starter once Zimm is ready to return and I am not sure he will remain on the roster when he does.

Jim (Boston)

I currently own Dee Gordon, but my patience is wearing thin. Drop him for the hot-hitting Jed Lowrie?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

You were playing with fire having Gordon in the first place and now he's starting to see some SS time stolen in LA. Lowrie might not be a full-year option, but likely more value than Dee.

Tim (Maryland)

Who has the greater chance of sustaining production- C. Davis or P. Alverez or Middlebrooks?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Middlebrooks is an unknown. Let's watch a few games before passing any judgment there. I'd go with Chris Davis over Pedro.

Mike (Toronto)

What's up with Gallardo? Need him to come through this year, do you sit him till he gets his act together?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I think he's generally fine. He has some sort of mental block against the Cards, but take those games out and he has been OK.

Matt (the Little Apple )

Good morning AJ! Could you rank these guys for the rest of the year please? G. Parra, B. Boesch & L. Duda.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Nobody stands out here, but I'd rank them: Duda, Parra, Boesch.

Mike (Chicago)

There are rumors that Bell could be losing his closing duties in Miami, whom do you like to take his place?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I don't buy those rumors, but seems to me Mujica would be the guy.

Nick (DC)

AJ Pierzynski or Avila?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I'd rather have AJ.

Andrew (SF)

Kubel or Matt Joyce?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Close decision to Joyce.

Matt (Syracuse!)

Hey AJ. I currently own Mike Trout but Shin-soo Choo was just dropped. Should I cut Trout for Choo? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Couldn't fault you for taking that swap, but I would still give Trout a bit more time before cutting bait here.

Frankie (Pittsburgh)

With so much depth at 1B, time to drop Ike Davis?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

He has been marginally better lately, and I have faith he'll do better... but fantasy-wise it is hard to wait.

Steve (SD)

Who's the better pitcher? J Garcia or JZimm?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

For fantasy purposes, right now I go with Jordan.

Eric (DC)

With Fister coming off the DL, who of these would you drop: Arrieta, Smyly, Duffy, or Milone?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I'd let Duffy go of that quartet.

Dave (PA)

traded Felix for Kershaw...good move?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Apples to apples. It's not like they're not both solid arms.

Rick (TN)

How is Braun?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Left game with a sore Achilles, but he actually got hurt the day before and still started, which leads me to believe it is more day-to-day than something more serious.


Hey AJ, thanks for giving points leagues some attention! Any advice on how to use the "Vantage Point" listings?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Thanks. I'd say to use them to gauge consistency. When you thin-slice one week at a time, it's impossible to project the outcome. But if a player is higher in VP ranks than on the Player Rater, you can assume he's been a more consistent play thus far than those lower on the list.

Paul (LA)

Is Jeff Samardzija mixed league relevant...can we all finally admit that?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

I had him at No. 60 SP before his last start, so he was already on the cusp...

Sean (Los Angeles)

Is it a smart strategy to have more NL pitchers than AL pitchers due to weaker match-ups?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

It's a smart strategy to have better pitchers. I'd say 6 of the top 8 to-date fantasy starters are in the AL.

Pat (Bronx)

When off to a fast start and suffering a major injury (Longoria), do you prefer to make a deal and possibly hurt yourself elsewhere or to try to piece it together with waiver wire fodder (Alvarez, Middlebrooks, etc.)?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

You have to evaluate the "hurt" versus the value of the "piecemeal" approach. Depending on the depth of the league and the "fairness" of owners when dealing, there is no one right answer to this question other than whichever leaves you in a better position to compete.

Kevin (Springfield)

Hi AJ, my team has so many injuries that even my injuries have injuries. When do you start dropping guys you really don't want to lose just to have enough folks for a full lineup?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

You generally can't win with zeroes. If you can trade rather than cut, that's the better road, but at some point, you simply have to start dropping the more hopeless cases.

Borg (COMO)

You don't think that Cisek will take over for Bell if a change is made????

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Certainly a possibility. I think Mujica has been placed is some very tough situations this year and done well enough to possibly impress Oz more.

Gail (MD)

Do you know any details regarding Pablo Sandoval's injury. I am new to these chats and was told that if you need a question answered, this was the place. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Waiting on X-rays, but the fact that the pain was reportedly quite bad does raise red flags. Should know more once team gets the pictures.

Sean (Los Angeles)

6 of the top 8 pitchers in the AL? In Cockcroft's 60" 6', which I tend to agree with, 7 of the top 10 pitchers are in the NL. What's your top 8?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Different lists. I'm talking value to-date. Tristan's list is ROS. Jake Peavy, Jered Weaver, Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez, Colby Lewis, Cole Hamels, Stephen Strasburg, Justin Verlander (prior to yesterday's action.) Doubt Colon stays that high, for example.

Joe (Philly)

Start Bass or Miley Tomorrow?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Willing to gamble on either, but probably would only roll with Miley.

Drew (Madison)

What's your personal opinion on the cutoff date for regression to the mean? How do you decide if it's a fluke month, half or full season?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Case-by-case basis, based on underlying peripherals such as contact rate, BABIP vs. career numbers and things like that.

Donald (Houston, TX)

Thoughts on ryan braun for jake peavy trade? Vetoed in our league because people thought too one sided...

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Sigh. If you allow trading, let people trade.

Not Drew (Not in Madison)

To dovetail off Drew's question - When does Albert become the Hanley of last year?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Albert gets more slack than say, Paul Goldschmidt. I think if he's still not swinging the bat right in 2-3 weeks, there's a very legit concern to be had, but I'm not raising the white flag just yet.

lou (knoxville)

Time to panic with Adrian??

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Gonzo is definitely is a decline mode, but again, he gets some "Pujols respect" - Panic, no.

Paul (Denver)

What are your expectations for Utley's return?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Not great. With talk that he may play 1B because he won't be able to handle grind of 2B, I'm skeptical.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

No video chat this week AJ?... is Parra a sell high (if he can even be considered so) does he displace kubel when young is back, or roll back into a platoon?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

We were in Bristol doing the all-day fantasy football rankings summit. Vokle chat should return next Tuesday. Not sure what you can get for Parra given the probably does roll back to platoon status when the time comes.

Dan (Garnerville, NY)

In an H2H league, could you punt saves and load up on SPs to take wins and K's every week?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

You're taking category based, I presume. In that kind of league, punting saves or punting SP are equally valid tactics. Just keep in mind that a starts cap might derail that strategy somewhat.

JJ (Boston)

I agree that if people want to trade, then let them. I am anti-veto. But, make sure to fill your league with smart players. To solve the issue, only let the commish veto and have a good commish. However, Braun for Peavy is just bonkers!

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

And if Braun's injury turns out to be something serious and he misses a month? I don't think the deal is bonkers... and you shouldn't, even as Commish, put yourself in a position of passing judgment on merits of a deal.

Joe (Bklyn)

Any chance IYO that the Mets rethink their position and call up Matt Harvey? Gotta be better than their current 4 or 5..

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Schwinden has been brutal. If he even gets one more start, I'd be surprised and if he does and struggles again, something will give in that regard. I'm skeptical Chris Young is the answer.

DJ (South Carolina)

I think you should get away from the video chats. More questions are answered with these chats!

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

They are different animals. No chats have been lost in adding the video chat. It may not be your cup of tea, but not so different than adding an extra podcast to the schedule.

Christian (Boise)

AJ, playing the "win now" strategy, position not being a factor who wins this trade: Trout for Aviles?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Easier to get OF help right now... but even taking position out of the mix, for the immediate present it is Aviles.

Mr. Bedard (STL)

Too risky to start me today?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Willing to give him the start. Not basing my decision on fear of a Burnett-esque outing.

Lee (CA)

Miley or Smyly

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

"I got a show, and I'm ready to go, so I guess that's pretty cool..."Smyly hits a rough patch sooner. Both still matchup plays, but I have a little more faith in Wade right now.

Ken (NJ)

C Davis or E5?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Right now it's E5.

Stan (CA)

What are your thoughts on Game of Thrones AJ?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)


John (Denver, CO)

Can't believe that I have to ask this, but rest of season, would you rather have Eric Hosmer or Albert Pujols?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

It's Pujols and not close. Still.

alan (chicago)

rank for this season, darvish, lincecum, grienke

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Tim, Zack, Yu

Jeanie (Ann arbor)

Who has higher value -- Trout/ Reimold/ Pronk ?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Hafner, Trout, Reimold... concerns about Nolan's durability.

Patrick (NYC)

Where is Jake Peavy's trade value right now?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Not getting any higher.

Jon (NYC)

Ruiz / Salty / Lecroy?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Chooch, Salty, J-Lu

Andrew (Atlanta)

Freese, Berkman, Morales ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Lance, David, Kendrys

Donny Walia (St. Louis, Mo)

Will The Nfl get rid of the kickoff?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I hope not, but I like the idea I saw on Grantland to eliminate opening kickoff of each half.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's the whistle! I'm on Twitter (@ajmass) for those I didn't get to... as always, thanks for the questions. Check out my book ("How Fantasy Sports Explains the World") and - good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.