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March 28, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning gang! We're back for our weekly sixty minutes of fantasy chattage! Huzzah! What's that in my hand? Why it's my second cup of coffee - so let's get right to the questions as the final week of games that don't count starts to dwindle...

Bryan (Chi)

Understood that ESPN places players on the DL only when the major league clubs make the actual transactions, but can you provide us any insight into what goes into the clubs decision making on when to do it? It would seem advantageous for players like Brett Lawrie or Wade Miley to go on the DL now so their 15 day period ends sooner?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Teams can always retroactively date the moves, so doing it "quickly" in the spring doesn't really do anything. Typically, because of roster decisions that need to be made, teams are happy to wait as long as possible to figure it out... that's the reason for waiting.

Axel Foley (Detroit)

How should H2H Owners prioritize the Tigers bullpen in your opinion? Benoit, Coke, AlAl, OR Dotel? Thanks AJ!

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I think Coke is the most reliable arm, but the least likely to get saves. I'd say Benoit, Dotel, AlAl in that order - but it's all going to come down to who gets hot first.

Jeff (ME)

Good morning AJ, I thought I was being sneaky early on by grabbing Ricky Romero off waivers. Guess my optimism got the best of me. Would you drop him for Milone, Ryu, Iwakuma, E.Santana, or F.Doubront?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Now that he's been banished, it's fine to let him go. Milone is the most appealing name in that group for you for me for you - channeling my inner-Randy Jackson.

Jason Motte (StL)

Any update on me? How long am I likely to be out?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I'd say we're looking at two weeks. It's not like the Cardinals are going to rush him back for a few April games. They want him to be healthy for the 5-1/2 months to follow.

Flipper (TX)

Flipping a coin may be my best option, but who would you rather have starting for you as 3rd OF - Rasmus or Stubbs???

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I go Stubbs.

Jim (Boston)

Does your valuation of saves change in weekly H2H league?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I say you either go all-in or ignore it altogether. There's no need to try and finish "middle of the pack" here. Either you load up on closers and lock the category down - and presumably ERA and WHIP as well in the process, or you tank it.

Maverick (My jet)

Nova and Hughs are on the wire. Should they be owned? I hate the Yankees!

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I do think they should both be owned - though perhaps not by the same fantasy team. No. 4 SP value for each. I'm not a pinstripes lover either, but in fantasy, you need to take those things out of the equation.

Gary (Omaha)

With a bench spot, would it be best to stash Brandon Beachy, or Gerritt Cole or Trevor Bauer? Sounds like all 3 might be pitching mid-season at some point.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

For me, its Cole. Yes, Beachy will likely be back, but in his case it will be in order to see how he's doing whereas if and when Cole comes up it will likely be because he's already pitching at a level that forces them to promote him.

Mike P (Toronto)

Are you a believer in Alex Gordon this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

He can definitely be a No. 2 OF, but I've been riding his roller coaster for so long, it's so very hard for me personally to believe.

Justin (Dallas)

I need to cut one in order to get a replacement for Hanley. Who would you cut Lohse, Lincecum, or A. Sanchez? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Tough call, but I think I'd let Lohse go here.

Michael (NYC)

What can we expect from Brandon Maurer? I know spring stats don't mean much but he does have a 0.9 ERA and 22 Ks in 20 IP?.

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

It's hard enough to judge a Double-A pitcher who has been highly touted, let alone one who really is coming from "nowhere" to make the team. Looks to me that he might be control challenged at this level. Would stay away for now.

Steve (Baltimore)

In a 5x5 auction draft, should I try to draft a balanced team in all categories or should I punt a category or two and try to win the remaining categories?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

In any auction, I think the plan should be to have no plan. If you've gone in with the idea you're going to punt saves and everybody else does too... then where are you? I'd take the temperature of the room early and then see what strategy is going to be better in that particular auction.

Bob (Ft. Lauderdale)

I've been out of touch for a bit AJ. What's the latest on Billy Hamilton? Minor leagues, and for how long? In your opinion.

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

He's going to start the year in Triple-A, basically because there's no room at the inn right now in Cincy. One injury and he's up.

Drew ((NY))

How do u feel about Altuve being taken at his ADP right now? Pretty good value, right?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I have been targeting Altuve all spring as my No. 1 choice at 2B. Not saying he's better than Cano/Kinsler/Pedroia, etc. but in terms of that value for draft spot - I'm happy to let others grab the bigger names.

Jeff (Nyc)

Reyes or Tulo as first ss off the board? Both have injury risks but such a thin position

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I like Reyes better, but also not too worried about making sure I have one of the "studs." Would be fine loading up on 1B/OF and "settling" for Castro or Alcides.

Tim (Detroit)

What are your projections for top prospects starting the yr in aaa? Myers, profar and taveras to be specific. Tnnx

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Assuming four months for each - it's all a function of which teams blink first in terms of when that arbitration clock starts. Myers, I feel, will likely win RotY. But no rookie hitter is going to do much better than .270-15-70.

Drew ((NY))

Would U take Rios or wait 2 Rounds and get DeAza?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

I'd rather have de Aza.

Frank (Pittsburgh)

Dickey or Medlen? who do you like in a league that keeps 8 to 12 players? ERA, INN, WHIP, 2W-L+S, K/W

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Medlen for me.

Willyjoe (Indiana)

Who should I drop among these SP's - J. Parker, Iwakuma, Aj Griffin, or AJ Burnett?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

AJ say let AJ go - the Burnett variety.

Ben Revere (MIN)

I am a leper in my owner's league. He doesn't want me, no one wants to trade for me but I know if I am cut someone will pick me up. How do you proceed when there are no (trade) takers but someone looking for a free lunch?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Unfortunately, some leagues are like that - nobody makes any trades ever. But at this point of the season -as in, before any games have been played- I'd sit tight. To me, if you've done your homework and drafted to the best of your abilities, you have to trust your judgment and -barring injuries- stand pat.

Joe (Sarasota)

You mentioned Medlen, but he doesn't seem right this spring. Am I imagining things?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Here's the thing everyone needs to remember about pitchers who already have jobs locked up in the spring. There's a very good chance that they use one start just to throw curveballs and another just to see if they can hit the outside corner. When results don't matter - they really don't matter.

Bart (Georgia)

Best pickup? D. Brown, B. Belt, L. Cain, N. Markakis

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

It's Markakis for me.

Jackie Bradley JR. (Boston)

Do you believe I'll break camp with the BoSox OR get sent down? What would your 2013 projections be for Bradley if he holds the job the whole season?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I'm thinking he does stick with the team. If he plays well enough to avoid being sent down, then you'd probably assume .265-15-15 perhaps?

Matt Carpenter (StL)

Does my playing 3B hurt my short term fantasy impact? I have been told I am only really useful at 2B or MI.

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

The only people it really hurts are those who drafted him counting on him gaining that eligibility as soon as possible. I think once Freese is back, Carp will move to 2B and get that MI status, it just will take a lot longer than people originally thought.

Mike (Escondido)

So if pitching results don't matter at this junction, Doc Halladay is okay then, in your opinion?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I'm not saying you should ignore an obvious injury - but in Halladay's case, he says the issue was a virus that made him weak. He may not be 100 percent OK - and yes, a pitcher of his age could indeed fall off a cliff - but I don't believe he's due for a season with a 9.00 ERA either.

dc (dc)

What do you think is the best use of a bench spot in a 5x5 H2H with daily transactions allowed?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Generally speaking, I'd rather use my bench to stream pitchers as opposed to hitters. That said, once the season gets underway and those dreaded DTD injuries start to mount - at that point you have to do what you have to do to field a starting batting lineup.

Schrief (St. Louis)

Would you rather have Chase Utley or Kyle Seager as you 2B in a daily H2H league?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Seager is at 3B, but I would rather have him if there was one roster spot between the two.

John (MI)

What value do you assign non-closer relievers in H2H leagues? Do they have a spot in a starting lineup, or only speculative bench spots?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I think they "can" have tremendous value in terms of giving you solid innings and multiple outings a week. If you have them and no active SP for the day, why not put them in?

Mike (Omaha)

Having a debate. Better 2013 and beyond, Minor or Teheran?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

The beauty about debates like that is both sides are right. For me, I'm going with Minor if I'm picking today.

Steve (Baltimore)

What top pitcher in the AL scares you the most of having a bad year?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Probably Dickey and Kuroda are the two pitchers I'm most leery of taking at any point in the draft.

Marc (California)

In a big roster 10-team mix league with DL spots, I took Tex in the 25th round. Worth holding onto or dump him now for a worthy waiver-flier?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

You took him to DL him. What's changed? You have somebody else ready to fill that DL spot?

Mike (St. Pete)

Have Strasburg, Medlen, Hamels, Moore and Latos. Who would you trade to upgrade SS/2B

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

AJ's Law: You don't determine the value of the players you're offering in a trade. You trade partner does. I may rather want to give Moore. In order to get that upgrade, they may only do it for Strasburg. How bad do you need the upgrade right now and what is the player who the other guy will agree to take to get it done. It's never really up to you.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

That's all the time we have today, gang! It's been fun, as usual. I am on Twitter (@ajmass) in case I did not get to your question, and I'm typically pretty good at getting an answer out within a few hours... Until the next time, as always, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor!