Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 15, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning, gang. We've got 60 minutes ahead of us to talk some fantasy sports, so why don't we get right to business? Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Brian (Chicago)

In an auction draft when you get down to $1 to spend per player but other managers have more money, would you refrain from nominating the player(s) you truly want in hopes that you can pick them up in free agency.

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

If it is someone you really want, then it is probably best to nominate somebody you would be OK getting stuck with, but hopefully that somebody else will be willing to say "$2" for... it's a poker game.

Matt (Islamorada)

Of the four rookie rb's, who is the safest as a rb #2? Lacy, Ball, Bell or Bernard? Also, who has the most upside??

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Not sure I'd call any of them "safe" per se. I think that if you're in a PPR, Bernard to me might be the best pick, simply because he's likely to get those points for you, even without having to be the starter. For the other three, if they struggle early, there's a chance they might end up with diminishing returns as the season moves on.

Jordan (NJ)

Totally agree with the article this morning. Are you comfortable with Gates as your starting TE. He's 33 years old, but he's one of the charger's best options.

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I assume you're referring to my Ryan Mathews spin... the hate has gone too far! I am comfortable with Gates, but he's in that tier of 10 or so TEs who I'm fine ending up with, and as such, I'll be the last to grab one.

Jim (DMV)

How happy with you be with owning Lynch, Spiller AND Richardson if it meant you had to settle for Stafford, but more likely Eli as your QB?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I'm pretty happy with a 4,000-yard passer to go along with that solid of an RB corps. Although, be prepared for at least a few weeks of frustratingly bad stats from your QB.

Brian (Chicago)

If your league doesn't require you to draft a player at every position, do you draft defense and kicker? This year I am thinking no.

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

If your league does not require that you leave the draft room with a K, and the draft is early enough, I have no issue with you not taking one and seeing how the fringe players you've selected do in the remainder of the preseason. I would take issue if you did not have a K in your lineup when Week 1 lineups are submitted.

Div (NY)

Bush, Forte, Sproles, Jackson. Which two in PPR?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Sproles and Forte for me.

Jim (TX)

Would you give up Cliff for Yoenis?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

At this point of the season, it's all about where your needs are and where you can gain the most points in the standings... I'll trade Kershaw for Dyson if all I need to win my league is a few SB.

Matt (Islamorada)

Would you ever grab DMC or D Murray in the 4th?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I'll never say never - but it would take a very bizarre sequence of picks in the first three rounds.

Ted (San Francisco, CA)

Going forward this season, should we expect to see Garza deliver the same stats he has in his first few AL starts?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Basically, yes. Generally, he's kept WHIP consistent and had a few fewer K's and slightly higher ERA, both in line with the loss of the SP in the opposition lineup.

Jordan (Minneapolis)

Thoughts on Juan Lagares? He has been solid over the past month.

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

He had a couple of good weeks in July, that's about it. I need a CF/lead-off hitter to hit around .280, not .250. Color me unimpressed.

Paul (Denver)

What do you expect out of Cobb ROS? I'm starting him tonight cause I'm hopelessly behind this week in ERA and WHIP.

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I'd avoid the start tonight, because the word is Cobb is on a pitch count due to a recent blister issue. Let's see how he does tonight before going all-in on a ROS prediction.

Joe (ny)

Jose Fernandez top 15 next year?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

The only thing that might end up keeping him out of that neighborhood when I do sit down to make that list is the low probability of wins. Yeah, it's beyond his control to a large degree, but as long as it makes up 25 percent of his overall fantasy value...

Jake (State Farm)

Do you prefer a RB like Bush or Sproles, or a WR like White or Cobb around picks 25-30?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Are White and Cobb players I'd prefer? Probably so. But it all comes down to who has already been taken off the board. If I picked Megatron in Round 1, then I likely need the RB more. Hard to answer until all the variables are in place.

Greg (Memphis)

Who would you rather have? Gore, SJax, CJ2K

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Preseason means little, but I can't help but be a little bit influenced by how CJ2K looked against the Eagles... if he's "back" it's hard to not pick him.

Paul (Boston)

What do you normally do when you have two pitchers going against each other? Like Burnett vs Lynn today? Play them both? If you had to pick one, which would it be?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I don't let that factor in at all... I mean it's not like you can't have a pair of pitchers each throw eight scoreless. Right now, if you forced me to pick just one, I'd go with Burnett.

zach (NJ)

Keep 3 of 4Julio Jones - $10Alfred Morris - $2David Wilson - $0Gronk - $6

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I'd leave Morris off the list.

Joe (Dallas)

New coach, contract year, focus of offense....is this the year DMC finally gets it done?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Hasn't played a full 16 yet. All those other factors mean little to me.

Dave (KC)

I have to keep a TE so I'm rolling with Rudolph and don't feel great about it...if I pick up Cameron or Eifert in late rounds am I okay or should I try to get a better option earlier?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Unless you're talking the likes of Graham or Gronk, there's not enough difference between the rest of the TE field to sweat it.

bill (NY)

10 Team keeper...any guy drafted in the 10th round or later....Eli in the 10th or Greg Olsen in the 14th?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Similarly, I throw the TE back...

JJ (MD)

How early would you take Rodgers/Brees or Calvin Johnson in a 10 team, PPR, 6pt QB TD league?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

A lot of questions seem to be coming in on when to draft Aaron/Calvin. To me, it's not something I'd do in the first 7 picks, but if I could double up at the bookend and grab both, I'm all in favor of it - followed by best RB/Graham in 3rd/4th if possible or 2 RB if Graham is gone.

Terry (Queens)

I'm in no danger of missing playoffs in my head to head. What do I do with Matt Harvey?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

I think you certainly look to shop him to someone that still has a chance to make playoffs with a few wins over the next few weeks - but if you don't get something back that improves your team in your post-season, don't be afraid to stand pat and hope his IP cap doesn't come until the last week of the season.

Richard (Ohio)

Why take Gronk? hes not availabe until week 4 earliest... Change my mind.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Because Gronk from Week 5 on plus the guy you use in the interim will still dwarf the stats of everyone else at the position. And, if Gronk ends up not playing at all, you still can grab a comparable TE off the waiver wire to what most of your leaguemates end up drafting.

Chris (NY)

Which WR has the most upside - Dobson, Blackmon or V. Brown?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I love the potential upside of Dobson, but he's also the hugest risk.

Joe (PA)

Rollins or Villar ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

If you need steals, it's Villar without hesitation. If not, heck, it's still probably Villar.

Matt (NY)

Many, like your esteemed colleague Mr. Berry, are calling for a sophomore slump in regards to Andrew Luck? Do you agree with this assessment?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

It's not so much that it's a slump I'm worried about... it's simply that the new system the team will have in place likely lowers his total fantasy points.

Jeff (ME)

Brian Dozier or Starlin Castro ROY?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Not writing off Castro for future seasons, but for the rest of this one, I'm ridding myself of the albatross.

Justin (Iowa)

Need HR, giving up Allen Craig, is Dom Brown good return or need better?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Hard to get better than Brown, no? Certainly lightning in a bottle might strike a player (a la Soriano's week) and sure, if someone offers you Miggy or Davis, you don't say no... but I don't see how there's too many "better" chances.

Julio (Brooklyn)

Wow, Starlin Castro has played in nearly 4 full seasons now and he's still a rookie?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

ROY = rest of year, Julio. Context.

Chris (NY)

I noticed you have Victor Cruz on your "Bust" list. Wouldn't a healthy Nicks, an improved Randle and the contract settlement actually help Cruz? Could you explain your pessimism please?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I've watched far too many passes clunking off his hands or ricocheting off into defenders arms to be optimistic overall here... but keep in mind, we're talking "bust" as a relative term. It's all about value we expect in regards to where he's being drafted. He could give you top 25 WR numbers but still be considered a bust if you draft him as a top 10.

DK (Florida)

Any chance that Jim Johnson loses his closer gig? Who is next in line Hunter or K-Rod?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

If only someone had written about this possibility a month ago... Look, the O's traded for K-Rod as insurance, and after 3 blown saves in a row, they SHOULD let him close for a few days... Buck is saying he's standing pat, but I don't buy it.

Sean (Wisconsin)

Would Lacy be a viable 3rd RB?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Any NFL starter is at least a viable 3rd RB, in my opinion.

Mike (Montclair)

Salazar vs. Ogando's outlook for the rest of this year, and as keepers for the next 2 years?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Ogando's issue is health. He might go back on the DL again! Rest of this year, simply have no faith in him - and quite frankly, that extends into next year as well.

Scott (Chicago)

which of the rookie rbs are you most comfortable drafting?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I've ended up with the choice in many a mock, and each time I've gone with Le'Veon. If he even gets a quarter of the chances inside the five, he's likely to be worth the pick.

Sal (Nj)

14 team ppr league your #3 pick is?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

AP is 1, Arian is 2... Arugments may begin after that, but I'll take Ray.

Scott (NYC)

What is your view on handcuffs? Only for elite RBs? I have Peterson and took Gerhart in the last round. Smart or waste of space?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I'd rather load up on RBs that may actually see work regardless of injury - your Danny Woodhead types - rather than go for the insurance policy. But it really comes down to whether or not you end up needing to cash in that policy as to whether it ends up being a good pick or not.

jonathan (nyc)

Is Mallet a must draft if you spend big on draft day for Brady?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Only in a "Man's League" say a 16-teamer with deep rosters.

Matt (NC)

What's your stance on when to draft a team DEF in a draft held this weekend? (I plan on not taking a kicker.) Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I don't even consider it until Round 9, and at that point, if I look at the remaining RBs and WRs and feel ambivalent, I'll grab Seattle or SF.

Kole (Ohio)

8 Team PPR Auction League. Keep two: Spiller-$3, Amendola-$1, Vincent Jackson-$8, and David Wilson-$1. Spiller is a no brainer. How bout the other option?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

For the $1, I'll take Amendola and the 100 receptions that will come his way, so long as he doesn't get hurt - but really, isn't that a risk with all NFL players?

jonathan (nyc)

What should the punishment be for the guy who leads off an auction draft by putting up a kicker?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Nothing. I often do that. Either I'm going to get the guy I want at $1, or somebody is going to waste $2. I also like running TEs out there to try and drain budgets.

Clark (Toronto)

First time fantasy football player. What positions should your Bench consist of (if 5/6 bench spots?)

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

You can never have enough RB. I'd aim for 2 RB, 2 WR at least (or 3 RB/1 WR). Probably a 2nd QB, and one spot with which to stash my TE,K,Defense on bye weeks.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

That's the whistle, gang! Thanks for a fun hour. I'm on the Twitter (@ajmass) for those I could not get to... until the next time, BE SEEING YOU!