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April 18, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning, gang! We've got another 60 minutes of fantasy chattage up ahead, and we're all out of immunity idols. Second cup of coffee in hand -- who is up first?

Chris (NJ)

Would you try to buy low on a Stanton or Hamilton at this point and offer say Victorino?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

It's a fine idea... but as you know, the only person whose opinion matters is the one who has to accept. Still, because many people are going to "panic" on a slow starter that we "all" expected to be a top-50 player, those are the best offers to make.

Matt (Wyoming)

Buy low on Gallardo in pts league, or stay away?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Based solely on the on-field performance, I'm not interested. The off-field issues don't even have to factor in here, but they certainly don't make me want him MORE.

Del (Chicago)

Is Dan Haren a drop or a hold at this point?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Lots of Haren concern in the queue today - I've got him currently ranked as a No. 5 starter, which means that he's a hold, but one who can easily ride the pine until he works out whatever he needs to work out in order to work out.

Matt (Mpls)

In a rosisserie league, how long do you wait things out, as opposed to in a H2H league? I have Grienke, A. Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Hill all out for an extended period, and am sitting at pretty close to bottom of the league. How long is too long to wait before I am too far behind to come back?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I think you need to examine the gap in each category... for example, if you've hit 5 fewer HRs than any other team in the past week, that's a bigger issue than if you're not gaining ground, but still trailing... when the addition of one of these injured players can't make up the gap, that's when your hand is forced.

Ben (Philly)

Would you rather have Cozart, Rutledge, or E Cabrera?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I'd rather roll with Everth

Brandon (Cincinnati)

AJ, your rankings generally look different than the rest of the staff. Is that because you focus more on points leagues or just your statistical approach to rankings?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

For one, I don't look at other rankings - and I'll wager my colleagues don't either - because the point of different opinions is to not let yourself be influenced by "what everybody thinks." But yes, I think because I track statistical probability models and strip the name on the jersey out of the equation, the results sometimes go against the "eye test" or the commonly accepted point of views. I can be equally as right/wrong as any others, but I don't adjust my math to fit a pre-conceived notion.

Tim (Riverdale)

Can you explain Ike Davis to me? I dropped him too early last year and I'm not making the same mistake again...but I might.

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Still could be a function of the fact the Mets have played in difficult conditions for past week and the sample size is small. HR/FB was way too inflated last season, but I'd wait a little bit - at least until they're free from snow.

Chris (Phoenix)

Are you starting Iwakuma today against Verlander and the Tigers?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Ranked him very high in DN. I don't tend to worry too much about who a SP is facing, since wins are unpredictable as it is, and there's nothing precluding BOTH SP in a game from shining - see Max/Felix.

jimmie stevenson (richmond va)

Would you rather have Cobb, Griffin or Hammel?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Not Hammel to be sure... right now, Griffin is the more valuable SP, but in the long run, I lean Cobb.

Rob (Lima, OH)

Tony Cingrani - you buyin'?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

I'm intrigued, to be sure. Certainly when it comes to pitchers with a high K/9 rate, that first outing can be misleading... they're either very wild out of nerves, or they blow the opposition away. Given the opponent (MIA), I'm going to buy in, at least for now.

Bob (MA)

How do you feel about Wade Davis after shutting down the Braves?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

He's still Wade Davis. I think we all suffer a bit from over-emphasizing the most recent events at the expense of longer-term trends. Encouraged by the improved control, but not at all sold on him just yet.

Jared (Waco)

Pagan, Aoki = same player fantasy-wise? Preference?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

I think Aoki's skill-set right now is a bit better than Pagan's.

Rob (Philly)

Could Coco Crisp have a breakout year, or is he just streaking?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

That's why there's something called a "career year" - they come from nowhere and can disappear just as quickly, but for one six-month stretch a player performs like Crisp is doing now. Do I think this is just a streak? Yes. Do I think he plummets to outside the top 100 from this point on? It's not THAT much of a fluke...

Joel (Boston)

I've never understood this...small sample size is preached every April, yet experts always cite a pitcher's past performance vs. a particular team. Isn't that an equal small sample?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Great question, Joel. It is equally a small sample size and the truth is that we don't know what any player will do on any given day. However, I would say there's something to be said for a pitcher feeling comfortable in a particular environment or batters "fearing" a SP who they've had trouble with in the past. A lot of baseball is mental, and that's why individual trends vs. particular foes does have a little more merit than other randomly selected splits.

David (Chicago )

Heyward still gonna give me the 3rd round value I paid for him? Looking more and more like a .240-.250 hitter

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Don't worry about when you drafted Heyward - or anybody else. It doesn't matter once the season starts. The only question is whether Heyward will give you more value than anybody else on the wire or that you can get for him via trade. Personally, I've never been a huge fan and would try and get what I can for him... and in that process, only then I would talk up the fact that he was a 3rd rounder hoping that might sweeten the offer for me.

Brian (NY)

Do you think Ichiro will be a useful fbb player this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Never been big on the power numbers and now he's not stealing bases either. The average should rebound, but generally speaking - you can do better.

Bill (Browerville, MN)

Quintana has looked great the last 2 starts and his K rate and velocity are up. Pick him up before it's too late?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Quintana's peripherals are fantastic. And they were looking good before his last start. Wins-losses? Not a good judge. ERA at this point of the season? Very misleading. K/BB rate... that's a big deal to me.

Cooper (Buffalo)

Who finishes the season with more saves: Holland or Andrew Bailey?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

My guess is Bailey takes hold of the job now and never looks back.

Eric (Sippi, MI)

Why haven't the Brewers sat Braun for a few days? He's slumping badly and striking out frequently which I presume is from the sore neck.

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Because they feel the best course of action is to have him work through his issues by playing and they've also determined his potential replacement at 100 percent is not as good as Braun at 75-80 percent. But here's a little tip... if you own Braun in fantasy, and think he should be sitting...SIT HIM! That's the best part of the game.

Randy (Green Bay)

Name a couple of pitchers similar to Quintana's peripherals who I should watching for on the waiver wire.

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Problem is that most pitchers with his numbers are not on the wire... closest things, but with fewer K's, are Maurer, Beavan and Hendriks... but all a good step down in value.

Horton (Whoville)

Points league trade....which side do you like? Stanton/HBailey or Price/AReed?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Stanton and Bailey is my preferred side, but it's a pretty even deal at present.

Ruben (San Francisco )

Mike Fliers is he or isn't he in the the starting rotation now? He didn't get his start last night. ?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Brewers had a lot of extra days off on the schedule, planned and unplanned, so they were able to "skip" Fiers and send him to pen for the week... He'll get another shot next time his turn comes around.

Keith (VA)

Would you drop Hanson or Teheran for Quintana?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Both, either.

Kevin (So Fla)

Thursday Notes! LHB are a 10 and RHB are a 7 in Braves vs. Locke who is lefty. Is this accurate? I have a bench spot open and want to know who you prefer the RHB Johnson or LHB Francisco? Doesn't conventional thinking say the RHB vs the lefty pitcher?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

We're again talking small sample size. The hitter rankings are purely stat driven. Certainly, with few exceptions, LHB do better against RHP than they do against LHP. But it is not always the case and "reverse splits" do crop up.

Matt (Philly)

Gomez, Marte, Revere...please rank for ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Marte, Gomez, Revere

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

One, or a couple- if you're feeling generous, name(s) that you are targeting after a very slow start to the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Aramis comes to mind.

Judd (Iowa)

Lowrie or J Roll rest of season?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Lowrie for me

Dave (Ny)

Do you think Seager will eventually post numbers similar to last year.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Less and less optimistic as time goes by...

Nick (PA)

True or False: Ryan Howard hits over 25 HR's this season.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I'm going with true.

JAMM (Pawnee, IN)

Like Jeff's question...but reversed. Who are some players that are playing WAY over their head that should be unloaded now before they crash down to earth?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

WAY may be extreme, but Werth and Markakis are sell now kind of candidates for me.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

That's the whistle, gang! Thanks for the Q's. We're on Twitter (@ajmass) for those we didn't get to... until the next time, as always, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor.