Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 22, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning, gang! We've got ourselves 60 minutes of fantasy chattage on the clock, so why not get right into the swing of things? Second cup of coffee is in hand. Who is up first?

Matt (Nashville)

Elephant in the room! Best pickup now that Bell is out 6-8 weeks? Dwyer? Isaac?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Le'Veon would have been a nice flex option, if not even a RB2 in deeper leagues. I'm not sure the Steelers O-Line makes anybody "better" than that, but I'd rather have Dwyer of the gaggle that are left.

Scott (SF)

Is Colin Kaepernick "the guy" that gets overdrafted this year and doesn't live up to the draft spot? Niner fane here, so I like him, but I have the feeling he'll have sky high expectations from people, and he'll regress to the means a little bit.

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I've listed him as my "BUST" for that very reason. It's not that he can't be a top-5 QB - that very well might happen. But people are drafting him way too early.

John (Work)

How much value would you give a QB in a 6pt TD passing and .25 per completion in a .5ppr league? I'm almost thinking I need to get a high volume passer like brees, Arod or stafford

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

QBs are typically the highest scorers in fantasy football, even with no points for completions and 4-pt for TDs. It's not about drafting them in relation to other positions... it's about their relationship to EACH OTHER that dictates when to take them.

TJ (Philly)

Is Welker a legit WR2?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Easily so.

Matt (IL)

2nd pick in a PPR, who you going with? Martin? Charles? Rice? Someone else?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Would have been Foster before his injury woes. Now, it's Ray.

Nick (Ohio)

Wanting to draft Gio Bernard but live in Dayton, Ohio. Figure he'll go sooner than normal. How early is too early?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Ah, yes. The hometown boost. While you should never take players just because they play for "your team" that doesn't mean the locals don't get grabbed a bit earlier. Bernard is probably in the No. 30 range of RBs, but in your case, consider him around No. 21 if you feel you MUST have him.

Confused 2nd Picker (CT)

Foster's injuries make the 2nd pick difficult. Are you okay with Lynch at 2, or prefer Rice or Charles? I'm not sold on Martin for some reason. Any reason to still take Foster?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

To me, in standard at least, there's little difference between 2-6. I'm OK with any of the usual suspects. It really comes down to trusting your gut.

Chris (NY)

Better SSPD WR for 2013 - Gordon or Blackmon?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Gordon. Better QB.

Robert (Columbus)

Noticed you guys just did a 14 team PPR mock. Any strategy thoughts after that mock? Specifically, with QB depth bottoming out around #11 QB or so, would you target a QB earlier than you might in a 10 team league when you can afford to wait even longer (maybe in the 3-5th rounds?).

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I hated that mock, because I was No. 13. Too many picks in-between and I always felt like I was reaching. I do think that you can and should wait on WR and TE. Grab RBs early and often. And if you can get 2 QBs in the first 9 rounds, you do so - with your eye on one of the top-5 in the Rounds 3-5.

Frank (NYC) you see tommy hunter getting save chances the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I don't think Buck completely abandons JJ, but yes, Hunter is going to get chances.

Keith (VA)

Where do you see Zach Stacy this year in regards to the depth chart in St.Louis? Committee, backup, or 3rd string?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

I'd say 3rd string. D-Rich and Pead should be getting most, if not all, of the work.

Joe (Texas Tech)

In a 12-team PPR dynasty league. Who do you you take at 4? Charles, T-Rich or Spiller?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I'm not sure I take any of them before 5, but I like JC best of that trio.

Josh S. (Philly)

In a dynasty league, what round would you consider grabbing Crabtree or Harvin and having them sit on the bench most the year

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Anything after 11th Round is essentially a lottery ticket. That's when you grab these kinds of players.

Dan (NY)

First year keeper league starting. when is it a steal for next year to draft Gronk? 4th,5th,6th?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I think Gronk is Exhibit A on why you can't worry about drafting for next season today... the injury risk is so high in the NFL. I'd certainly draft him Round 4-5, but it's for this year.

Bob (NY)

Is there anything Foster can do in these next two weeks to make you take him at #2 if your draft is the night before the season starts?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Not really. I think even if he were to get a few token carries in a pre-season game, I'm still keeping him at 3.

Zack (Philly)

Who you think, TY Hilton or DHB will win the Colts #2 WR job?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

TY. And I TY for not mentioning DHB again.

george (NYC)

How do you think Trent Richardson will do this year? Sophomore slump or breakout year?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I think he can be a top-10 back, especially in PPR.

Bob (Alabama)

Is Julio Jones worth a second round pick?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Not for me. Outside of Megatron, at the back end of Round 1, I don't see the value of a WR taken before Round 3.

Mike (NYC)

Do you feel that it's necessary to always keep the full allotment of players? I'm in a baseball league where you can keep up to 8 players. Should I always keep 8 even if some aren't "deals" but rather the price (auction league) is what they'd likely go for at draft?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

If you don't want them, don't keep them - especially if you can always get back guys you're not so thrilled about at a few dollars less?


I have Bautista and no DL spot for him. I'm in a horse race for winning my league too. Drop him for someone who can give me stats (Khris Davis, Lomo?) or save the spot and hope for a return?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

I am of the opinion he does not come back. Just an opinion, but I'd rather not risk the zero.

Joe (DC)

You mentioned Kapernick as being drafted too early. Where should you take him then? (In a 1-QB league) 6th round too soon?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

It's kind of dependent on where others are going. I would definitely put CK in the same neighborhood as RG III and Russell Wilson, so as long as two of those three are still around (and the number of teams likely to grab a QB shrinks) - then I wait. It's not that 6th Round is too soon - or too late. It's a feel for how the draft is going.

Smitty (Boston)

So, who are YOUR gut Top 5-6 RBs if drafting today?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

AP, Ray, Foster, Lynch, Martin, JC. Take Lynch out of that group if PPR.

Bill (SF)

J.Cueto showed some encouraging signs yesterday. Any chance we'll have him back for the playoffs?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Out of the pen, perhaps. I don't think he can handle 100 pitches.

Dave (Philly)

With #1 pick in a standard league who would you rather pair with AP in a 2 RB 3WR league at the 2/3 turn. Fitz/Demaryous Thomas/David Wilson/Lamar Miller?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Thomas and Wilson or Fitz - the second choice depends on how many RB have gone off the board already, but would likely be RB.

Christian (Atlanta)

Draft Today!! In my league, We get bonuses for long touchdowns. Who are some players that benefit from this?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Players who score long touchdowns. Duh! In all seriousness, you can't really predict that, though a quick look at a WR yards @ the catch numbers will give you an *idea* of who those home run hitters might be.

Zack (Philly)

NO LOVE FOR CJ SPILLER!!!!! He will finish #2 or 3 behind AP at the end of the season.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Anything is possible, but I am still not convinced that he's going to get the workload everyone assumes.

Jeff (Portland, ME)

Thoughts on drafting J.Cameron as your starting TE? Should we believe the hype even though it was a small sample size?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

After top 5, there's very little difference from 6 to 18 or so. I'm not as high on Cameron as is the TMR, but I have no issue with any TE taken very late in the draft if you're not getting one of the top tier.

Roy (LA)

At 10/11 in a 10 teamer, .5ppr, are you going Morris or one of the non Megatron WRs/top two QBs (6 pts for thrown TDs)?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I'm not taking an WR other than Megatron. I'm going with RBs.


Please rank the following Heyward replacements; Venable, Rajai Davis, A-Rod, A-Ram, Lind, Ethier...

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Lind, A-Rod, Venable, A-Ram, Ethier, Rajai

John (WI)

Forte or Morris in a .5ppr?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Very close call, but I lean Morris.

Dilemma'd dude (Fantasyland)

Hey AJ please help! Between Villar and K Wong who do you choose if push comes to shove? I know Villar runswild but avg not great. Do you see enough steals and improvement in other categories to pick Kolten?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I'd go Villar.

ryan (nyc)

Does Sproles rank higher than Ridley in a PPR league?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Yes, by quite a bit.

Sam (Boston)

Did i make a mistake drafting jamaal charles at 4 in a ppr league? Rice and lynch were both available.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Only time will tell... we rank players to put them in the general area we think they'll finish - but injuries and poor performance are going to strike several of the top ten ranks at any position. I'd have taken Rice, but that doesn't mean you made a mistake.

Lex (Rose City)

I need a running back with the injury to LeVeon Bell. Bernard Pierce, Danny Woodhead, Johnathan Dwyer, Fred Jackson, and Pierre Thomas are available on waivers. Who would you pick up?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

I go Woodhead.

Kevin (FL)

Darren Sproles has rd _ value in a PPR league and rd_ value in a .5 PPR league

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

2 in both. To me, I rank and draft the same for any PPR in the range of .5 to 1 because it's about value relative to other RB.

Corey (Vermont)

Wow, I guess this is a football chat and not baseball. Hello, Some of us are still playing for a baseball championship.

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)


Dan (Concord, VT)

AL Only League. ROS: M.Izturis & JJ Hardy OR J.Altuve

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Hardy best of the three.

David (NY)

What are your thoughts on MJD and C Johnson for the season, worth a late 2nd rd grab for either?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Upside of both makes them worthy, especially if other options are rookies and guys like DMC.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Got into a league, then found out it's IDP. Whoops! When do I start looking at def players in a 10 tm league, and any general hints?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

At least you know the rules before the draft! Always read the rules! I do not play in IDP leagues, but it really depends on the scoring format. I'd see where defensive players finished last season and then project them into you rankings accordingly.

Matt (MPLS)

If you get Wilson as your RB 2, are you confident enough that you dont feel the need to grab another back right away?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

It's not a question of confidence, really. If you're in a league that requires 2 RB, then I want to have at least 4 RB that may play in any given week. I want to cover my bye weeks, and have a chance at using a 3rd RB as a flex. The depth at RB behooves me to grab as many as I can early.

Nick (Chicago)

I took Bell as an RB2 about five minutes before his injury. Can I get by with a carousel of Mathews, Vereen and Daryl Richardson, or do I need to make a trade? RB1 is T-Rich.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I had Mathews ranked higher than Bell, so I'd not worry all that much. And you're going to be unlikely to be able to pull off a fair deal right now anyway... owners will smell the desperation.

Brent (TX)

McCoy not high on your PPR list?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

He's No. 8. That's starter material.

Chris (NJ)

Why so low on Charles? He'll easily have another 1500 yard season and certainly more than the five TDs he had last year.

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

He's No. 6 in the entire sport. I'm always amazed when people translate that into "I don't like him." I do. I like the other guys a bit better.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

So with your emphasis on relative value, which I agree with, does this validate taking Jimmy Graham in the 2nd round, especially if you have 2 solid RBs (Martin and Rice) via keepers, or are planning on going RB heavy later? I think a mix of say, Lamar Miller, Andre Brown, Vereen, Mendy would be ok...

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

If you have two keepers, then you're really taking Graham in the 4th Round, which is actually late IMO. He's a Round 3.

Bill (Harvest)

I have the 11th pick in a 12 team non ppr - I plan to go rb - rb, then rb rb/wr...who should I be looking for?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

I think it's a mistake to be looking for anyone. That's why we rank the players in advance, so that if others before us let someone drop, we don't have to think too hard because we're surprised. Morris and Shady would be who I'd expect to take, but I'd have the whole list in front of me, in case someone else drops.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

That's all the time we have for today. Thanks for the questions! I'm on twitter (@ajmass) if I didn't get to you... Until the next time, always remember and never forget - um, er, I forgot.