Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 25, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning gang! We're back yet again for sixty minutes of fantasy chattage! No, I'm not Tristan H. Cockcroft, but for this week, I play him on the Internet. So get your questions in the queue. Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Cal Rippin' (Ball T More)

Chris Tillman, do you believe, or sell high?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Not a believer overall, no. Too many walks, and for a pitcher with that kind of record, the BAA (.260) screams "mirage."

Josh (MD)

Is there reason to worry about Jordan Zimmerman? 7 ER last start in 2 IP?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

One start. Sure there's always a chance that a stinkbomb of an outing is a result of injury, but any pitcher can have one of those days. Mulligan!

pj (midlo)

good morning AJ; which rookie RB do you believe is most likely to run for 1,000 yds and score 10 TDs ?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I'd go with Le'Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

TJ (Chicago)

Does Tim Hudson's anke injury give Medlen a shot to stick in the rotation or will the Braves opt to reinstate Maholm upon activation from the DL...seems like Medlen had been pretty underwhelming this year, but still better than Maholm. Beachy seems like he'll slide right into the rotation.

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Not how the Braves were hoping the situation would resolve, but sure - Beachy will step into the void left by Hudson's injury, and they'll re-evaluate when Maholm is ready to go. Certainly it gives Medlen a shot...

Mixmaster Flash (Minneapolis)

Garrett Cole or Alex Cobb ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I go with Cobb by a small margin over Gerrit Cole.

Joe (Atlanta)

What later round TE's are you targeting in a PPR league?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

If I don't get Graham early, I'm likely to wait a long while. Not a lot of difference after the top 5. Been grabbing Myers and Kelce a lot late.

Johnny (Boston)

Picked up Archer for a spot start vs Yanks tomorrow. Good move or no ? How do you think he does ROS ?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I like him, but tempering expectations a bit. Against CC, though, who the Rays have owned this season, it's a good stream.

Joe (Philadelphia)

Cosart or turner for ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Wins not a factor for either, right? I lean to Turner.

Bryan (California)

When does Miggy return to the Detroit line up?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Leyland had said he'd play either yesterday or today, but not both, so today *should* be the day. However, if he's not, then you have to believe there's something to concern yourself with...

Joe (NY)

Jose Fernandez ranked 46 in this weeks 60 feet. Anibal, Cain, Bailey and S.Miller are 25-28.Why the disparity? Fernandez is a better pitcher than those guys, and is actually higher on the rater than most of them. Also, his innings limit is overstated, considering his pitch counts earlier in the year.

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Player rater means little, because the rankings are from this point forward. Rankings are also based on opinion, and you are free to disagree. There likely will be a "cap" at some point one way or the other and that factors into the gap, making it a bit larger than it otherwise might be.

Bobby Ricky (Talladega)

Gronk going to be ready game 1?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Doubt it. But I still take 11-13 games of Gronk plus a lesser fill-in over a lot of other guys for a full 16.

Johhny Bandit (Toronto, ON)

How firm is Ziegler's grasp on the 'Zona closer role? Are they likely to trade for a closer?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Don't think it's firm at all. Putz still in the mix. Would not be surprised if a deal is made that gives them someone to replace Bell and lock down 7-8-9 in some order.

Waterboys (Dallas, TX)

Do you have Liriano ranked so low in 60' this week because of upcoming matchups or because of a huge regression? His problem has always been BB which has been much better this year.

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Upcoming matchups don't really factor in over such a long stretch of analysis. Basically, at some point, you either buy in or you don't. I tend to value things like BAA, K/BB rate and HR/FB rate over other stats and assess accordingly. And 3.55 BB/9? Not all that impressive.

Mike (Boston)

Two SPs you ranked low relative to others were F. Liriano and J. Lackey, and yet I thought I remember you saying you believed in both in earlier chats. Why did you rank Lackey so low and decide not to rank Liriano at all?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Several points to make here...1) My opinions are always honest when I make them, but as the body of work for SP grows, you have to be flexible. 2) In this particular case, I'm trying to massage Tristan's ranks knowing he'll be back next week to adjust them again. It serves nobody if I simply replace my opinion for his... I will only adjust so much from his starting point.

Tim (Holland)

AJ, H2H leagues seem like they can be crapshoots once the playoffs arrive. Do you still recommend "playing for this season" and trading keepers to other teams if it only slightly improves your team this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

If you still have a chance at playoffs, you continue to play for this season. If not, you look to the future.

Prospect Hunter (The Waiver Wire Wilderness)

Thoughts on when Xander Bogaerts gets the call and what he provides when he does?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

September would be my guess. But watch out for 2014.

Jason (NY)

Is Raja Davis worth owning?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

If you need SB, you may get some from him... assuming he can get some PT now that Cabrera's back... but given the chances of a suspension? I'd hold on to him for now.

Kyle (Toronto)

Which would you rather have on a team.... Homer Bailey's (very) inconsistent brilliance or Jon Lester's consistent mediocrity?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Bailey. I think you'll find the "brilliance" getting more and more consistent over time.

Joe (Atlanta)

What do you expect from Russel Wilson this season, regression or step forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I think you see more of the same. Either teams will figure out the read-option or not. If they do, he'll have to adapt. If not, he won't have to change much. Either way, I don't see "upside" here from last year's success - at least in terms of fantasy value.

Chris (NJ)

Keeper league question: Kaepernick ($4), Julio Jones ($34), Dez Bryant ($25). Can only keep 2 for this year only, $200 budget. Who do I let go?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

At $4, CK is a steal. So it comes down to which WR you like better. For me, that's Julio.

Nick (The 203)

Bounce back year for CJ2k?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

The presence of Greene should give you some pause... but hopefully it provides a motivating force to CJ. I will say, if CJ struggles early, the Titans will be less likely to give him time to work things out, so at least the band-aid will be ripped off quickly.

Alex (Miami)

Gregg traded we see Strop,Russell,parker or committee?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I do think this is a "when" and not an "if" - I'd like to see Strop get the chance, but I believe Russell would be the choice.

Jim (NH)

Chris Archer or Ivan Nova ROY?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I like Nova better for as long as the Yankees decide to keep him out there.

Demarco Murray (This Year)

What are you expecting from me?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)


Jason (Grilli)

When do I actually return?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I'm not optimistic, but I'm also not a doctor. We've probably got another week before the team lets on, if they're concerned. But if you see a deal for an RP or two by the Pirates, you'll have your answer sooner.

Chris (NY)

What round are you looking to take a QB in a standard 10 team league given the depth this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Still want to grab one of the top 5 in Round 2-4, but after that, I'm happy to wait until Round 10 or so.

Ryan Matthews (This Year)

What are you expecting from me?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)



Ramos or Mesoraco ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)


JonnyV (Columbus OH)

Why you rank Hanley so low? Tristan had him at 9 and you at 22?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

We disagree on how good he is. I actually had him at around 35 prior to his recent surge, so I actually raised him quite a bit personally. But like I said in my defense of my Chris Davis ranking - the difference between No. 10 and No. 25, very minimal.

Dan (MA)

Do you see the cubs calling up Baez anytime soon? Is he a good keeper for next year?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

No. I think the plan is to let him spend the full season in the minors. As for next year? Certainly could be in the conversation.

Dave (NYC)

Given the fact there are so few options, is it imperative to take at least two RBs within the first 3 rounds?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

If you can go RB1, Rodgers 2, Graham 3... then you certainly want to do so... but generally speaking, yes. 2 RBs in first 3 rounds is probably where most fantasy owners are going to want to go.

Bob (Detroit)

Do you have Brady in your top 5? Considering who he's lost isn't it safer taking a top flight WR or #2/3 RB in the round you'd have to snag Brady and get a Romo/Stafford in rounds 5-7?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I do. At No. 4. Brady will throw the ball, because that's what the Patriots do. He could have a garbage can and a lamppost in the huddle with him, and I'd still rather have him than Romo or Stafford.

josh (DC)

what if my keepers are Aaron Rodgers and Trent Richardson and I have the first overall pick...I can't really pass up AJ Green just to get another RB in Spiller, can I?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I'm far from being president of the CJ Spiller fan club, but yes, you pass up AJ Green. The drop-off in talent and availability of RB is severe. There are always going to be WR who get targets on the wire. Scrounging for a RB who will get touches is near-impossible.

Jocko (LA,CA)

Drop Benoit, Perez or Wilhelmsen for Melancon?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

No fan of Benoit, I.

Stan (Cleveland)

Greggs still a closer on Aug. 1?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Depends entirely where he ends up. Could go either way.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Norv, for all his faults as a HC, has a track record of being very successfual as an OC...couple that with him saying he wants 300 touches for T-Rich..T-Rich could be a top 3 RB?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

A little ambitious of a projection there, but in a PPR league, he's certainly in the conversation for a top-5 finish.

Calvin (Johnson)

thoughts on me this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

No. 1 WR by a very large margin. Huge season.

Franklin (Chicago)

Which side of this trade would you take in a dynasty league: Adam Jones for Hosmer and Wil Myers

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

No love for Dig Dug here. For the rest of this season, I'd rather have Jones, though. Playing for next year, I make that trade.

Ben (Breckenridge)

Nick Franklin or Asdrubal Cabrera. Seeing how Cabrera is not living up to his potential should I continue to explore Franklin's upside?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I have no problem picking Franklin.

Brett Lawrie (2B)

Thoughts on my shift to 2B??? should I be picked up now??

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

It comes down to if he's a better option than what you have or not. The added positional flexibility doesn't change the offensive contribution any, so it really only matters if you've been struggling with your current 2B or not. He's on the wire with good reason.

Chris (NY)

Not a Stafford fan, but like Megatron for a huge year? Shouldn't they go hand in hand?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Not at all. Stafford can throw 80 percent of the time to Megatron, when other QBs go with a 60-40 split to their No. 1 WR. That makes Megatron valuable but the overall "pie" doesn't grow relative to other QBs.

Daz Bog (Better than Starbucks)

Prefer Reggie Bush or Lamar Miller in a .5 PPR league?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Bush, but more of a non-believer in Miller.

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

That's all the time I have for today gang! Thanks to all for the questions. I am on Twitter (@ajmass) for those I could not get to... so as always, I wish you good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor!