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February 7, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning gang! We've got 60 minutes of fantasy chattage up ahead, so let's get right to it. Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hey AJ, I'm in a points league where the elite pitchers score more points than anyone else. Do you have any ideas on how to make it more even?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I'd say that's been the case in most leagues, especially where the value of wins is high. At ESPN we took the value down to five points from ten and it had a huge impact.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What MLB Team do you think will be the Best in 2013?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Washington and Texas seem to be the teams most likely to lead their leagues in victories.

Frank (tampa)

Keeper help please! Have to decide between Bumgarner (8th round), Adam Jones (6th), and Ike Davis (13th). Already keeping Trout and Strasberg. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I'm typically loathe to keep pitchers over hitters, so even though I think Bumgarner might be the best bargain of the three at those prices, I'm keeping Jones.

Bart Taylor (Hell Track)

Thoughts on Votto? Power outage last year have everything to do with the injury? He wasn't blasting them at a high pace before the injury.

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I am definitely concerned that he failed to hit a home run once he returned from the injury. A few solid blasts in Spring Training will cure that nervousness though...

MeisterNJ (Mendham)

Third cup of coffee in hand..Deep keeper, 6x6. Which OF do you deal: Hamilton, Kemp, McCutchen, Myers. Need 1B / SS help. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

As always, the answer is determined by your league-mates and not you. I would rather try and unload Hamilton, but McCutchen may get you more back in return. Shop them all, take the best deal.

Ted (Cleveland)

I'm new to Auction Style please help.... How do players value differ in a 8 team league? Our players like Miggy, Pujols, Fielder tend to go from 50 to 60 dollars. I have to pass on those guys right? And take a Billy Butler that goes for 20. He would be a steal at that price compared to what those mega studs go for right?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

The fewer players are being drafted, the higher the price is for the studs... but also, keep in mind that there will many many more $1 bargains to be had at the end of the draft as well. At the end of the day, you want the best stats and in shallow leagues, you can get away with overpaying for them a bit.

Kyle (Virginia)

In my 12-team 15-player keeper league, one team has built a dominant team that has won the last three years. (Miggy, Cano, Hanley, Cargo, Kemp, Upton, Upton, Felix, etc...). It's a 6x6 league with OPS and QS. What is the best strategy to try to compete?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Continue to build your roster to be the best it can be... injuries can strike any team at any time and at some point, even if it is a few years down the line, that team will get old. With all those guys on one team, finishing second is not a consolation prize.

Michael (NY)

What do you think of Mat Latos this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I've got him ranked as my No. 15 SP in keeper formats.

steve (OKC)

How much would you pay for Lucroy in a 12 team 2 catcher league?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Borderline top 10 catcher, but not a whole lot of gap between him and the No. 20 spot. Not going to break the bank here.

Todd (Cleveland)

Better keeper Butler 22 dollars or Jennings 13?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

In a Dyson sphere? I'll take my chances with Butler.

Chris (Ohio)

When could suspension for PED's come down? How should you handle those players? Not freeze them?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

It's a fair question on what to do with players who end up getting suspended during a season... I'd say you should add a rule to the constitution either allowing them to be treated as DL'd players, or that their owners have to cut them to free up the roster spot - one or the other. Don't have a preference, but you need to decide before it happens again...

Tom (Eugene, OR) [via mobile]

Price or Hamels as a keeper. No limit on length..

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

For me, the answer is Price.

Bill (Toronto)

Which under the radar type player has a good chance at 25 hr's this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Swisher, Frazier, Rosario? It all depends on how deep your radar goes...

Jon (Bozeman, MT)

If I'm doing an early draft, where would you rank Bourn and Lohse since they still haven't been signed?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Bourn is still a top-20 outfielder, but one I probably wouldn't draft unless I needed SB when the time came to pull the trigger. Lohse is a pitcher I would wait on - not in top 50 - because for him the park he ends up calling home has a much bigger impact.

Rob (Philly)

Commish question: In my 10 tm mix keeper league, the winner of the Consolation Bracket gets the 1.1 pick. What is the best way to correct the draft order after that 1st round? Reverting to actual draft order for Round 2 seems unfair to anyone the bracket winner jumped over, so should it revert starting RD3? Or should we just stick with that player drafting from that spot for the rest of the draft (argument being value between picking 10-7 doesn't matter much)?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Guess who needs to edit the league constitution? This is exactly the kind of thing that should have been spelled out before it happened. I'd say that if the "prize" was specified as 1.1, then that's the only pick that gets moved. Everything reverts to normal order in Round 2.

Rob (Philly)

You have Nelson Cruz as a Top 35 OF? He did stay healthy last year, but everything else fell off.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

I do not. Top 50, yes.

Chris (Ohio)

Should we treat Gio and Braun like they are or are not going to get suspended? Do their values change going into this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I don't see any reason to assume anything will happen to any player involved, however peripherally, in the current investigation - nor should we assume guilt.

Tom [via mobile]

If you were drafting today where would you take Braun?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Depends on the type of league, but certainly no lower than 3 in most formats. I'd likely go Trout first.

Kevin (Annapolis, MD)

I have Milone, Griffen and Parker. Which guy is the most likely bomb this year for the A's?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Of that trio, I am least confident in Griffin.

Todd (Cleveland)

Some of your colleagues seem to be worried about Shields this season, are you? Better division right?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Nobody was higher on Shields last season than I was - I thought he would contend for the Cy Young Award. Fool me once... Is he top 25? Perhaps, but not by much.

Ivan Drago (Russia)

Have any $1 Middle infielders that I can get late in the draft that might make an impact?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Nelson, Pennington, Solano, Tejada - those are four names who might have some impact and likely will be taken very late.

Chad (dc)

Please help with a fooball question,, was planning to keep Bradshaw as my 8th keeper in a 12 team ppr league (other keepers are eli, charles, gore, white, wayne, welker, fitz). Would you rethink this for someone like Kyle Rudolph or J. Freeman? My start 1 qb, 2 rb , 3 wrs, 1 te, 1 flex. Sorry so long.

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I'm only answering this to make the broader point, Chad, that you need to wait until you have all the info. Yesterday, Bradshaw had a job and today he doesn't. Who knows what trades and FA signings will bring over the next few months. Put your roster on the side for a bit and pick it up again in a few months.

Henry (Wa)

Just finished your book. Good interesting read throughout..What are your 2 favorite books that you would recommend to read? Oh, and thoughts on Cargo this year? Worth a good chunk of change?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Many thanks... I think it's a pretty good read as well. Favorite books? That's a huge topic - I'd say I've recently discovered David Moody and James Renner. Definitely recommend. CarGo for me is a no-brainer top 10 OF.

Michael (NY)

Any $1 starting pitchers you think are going to have an impact this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

How about I just give you four "lower level" pitchers I think could rise well above their likely ranking: Miley, Cahill, Holland, W-Y Chen.


Would you keep Granderson, Lawrie, Profar, or Myers as your final keeper?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

If I'm looking to win this year, it's Lawrie. But if I drafted Profar last year with an eye on having him around when he became the next big thing, there's no way I throw him back before his debut.

Ken (Ohio)

Any chance Trout falls flat on his face this year? I own him and can sign him to a 3 year contract for 17 dollars. Have to do it right?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I'm working on an article on Trout for the Draft Kit that will attempt to answer this kind of question... but let's just say the probability he falls flat on his face, while being more than zero, certainly makes a $17 price tag a bargain.

Bill (Baltimore)

In a 10 player auction league. Is protecting Mauer at $18 a bargain or about right?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

One catcher league or two? If two, then I can see that price.

Rob (Philly)

How would you rank Profar, Machado, or Taveras?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

As of today: Manny, Jurickson, Oscar.

Dan (LA)

Is Billy Butler the Tiki Barber of fantasy baseball? Unsexy pick, but the stats are always there?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

No doubt if I were starting a dynasty team today, Butler is on my short list at 1B.

Benji (SA)

What do you think of AJ Burnett this year? Worth $5 in a 12 team mixed?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Borderline .500 pitcher at best, IMO. Not touching him at $5, and probably not even for $1.

Dave (Novato)

AJ, is Joe Nathan a top ten closer or is age and usage a concern?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

He's 38. Of course age is a concern, and having Soria around certainly could mean that early struggles lead to a quicker hook from the job than if there was no other option. But that said, top ten is very reasonable to expect.

Gus (Santa Cruz)

Your projection of Goldschmidt with the absence of Upton? What's his value in a keeper league?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I think PG is top 10 regardless. I try to judge players based on skill sets far more than the talent around them in the clubhouse. They're the ones who have to perform. I'd say No. 10 one-and-done, No. 7 in a keeper.

John (NY)

I have no choice but to keep E-5, i know he isnt gonna put up last years numbers but is it unreasonable to think he go bat 270 with 30 homers and 95 rbis with 10 sbs? I mean although we expect regression Toronto got a lot of help in that lineup

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I don't think you have to assume regression, and I actually think he'll do much better than your proposed stats.

Matt (Chicago)

Keeper league - J. Parker or Samardzija? I'm only giving up the last pick in the draft for either.

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Six of one, half of the other... lean by a slight margin to the Shark.

Brett (Michigam)

Matt Moore take a big step forward this season? Better keeper Moore for 13 dollars are Sherzer for 19. Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I've got Max ranked a bit higher, but the $6 savings would make me lean more to Moore. Top 25 SP reasonable to expect.

CC (Atlanta)

Has anyone thought about developing a fantasy concept around college FB recruiting? Gotta be a way.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

CC has too much time on his hands! What's next? Bonus points for biggest increase in followers on Twitter by the players on your fantasy team?

Drew (Farmington Hills, MI)

Does Leonys Martin contribute enough to warrant a spot as one of 5 OF?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

If Profar starts shagging flies this spring, I'd believe the answer to be no.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

That's all the time we've got for today, guys. I'm on Twitter myself (@ajmass) for those I cold not get to... until the next time, as always: Good luck, and may the odds be EVER in your favor.