Fantasy sports w/Tristan H. Cockcroft
Send your questions now and join Cockcroft in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone, and happy new year! With the NFL regular season now behind us, it's fair game for anything fantasy in the chat today ... Baseball, football, hockey, whatever. Who's got a question?
jared, lowell ma
hi I HOPE CELTS will win a nba title
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Well, Jared, they're sure looking like a prime contender today, aren't they?
Steve (Chicago, IL)
Is Travis Henry as a FA pickup (and thus, 16th round pick) worth a keeper spot for next year? I'll already be keeping Steven Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, with slim pickins left...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
That's two strong keeper running backs you'd have, and if it's a late, late pick like that, I don't see why it's a bad move. Not that I'm a huge Henry fan looking ahead, but as things stand today, I don't see how he wouldn't head into camp getting a chance to battle for a starting role.
Tristan, in what round would you consider drafting Tulowitzki in a league transitioning to dynasty format? My keepers going into the draft are Braun, Sizemore, Bedard and Morneau.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Those are some mighty strong keepers, Dan, and I think you're off to a fine start if you're transitioning into dynasty. Troy Tulowitzki has been something like a fifth-round selection in most of the early drafts I've seen, and if it's a keeper league already, I'd say he's that at the very least. Maybe even a couple rounds higher, depending on how many players overall have been kept.
a.p. just won rookie of the year- where would you rank him for next season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Top-five overall easy. There is just way too much upside in him. If the Vikings surround him with just a little more talent, which isn't a stretch, he could challenge for tops in the game in 2008.
Steve (MA via E. Hartford)
I guess I'll ask a baseball question since I'm not involved in anything else now..Would you keep Sabathia, Carmona, or Bedard over any of McCann, Hafner, Utley, H. Ramirez, Braun, Sizemore, Delmon, Pence? I can keep 7. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Well, Erik Bedard's health bears watching, but there's ace-caliber upside in him and that makes him my favorite of that bunch. You can't punt a single one of those infielders, so I'd probably shed the catcher (Brian McCann) to do it. The other guys are simply too valuable to lose, though if it's a one-year keeper system, not long-term, I'd probably also retain C.C. Sabathia over Hunter Pence.
Frank (Chicago, IL)
Where does Grady Sizemore go in drafts for 2008?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Well, the last draft I did saw him go 17th overall, and I can make a pretty strong case he belongs up to five spots higher than that. Think end of the first, or more likely, early second round.
Colt Brennan a good late round pick for fantasy next season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Maybe, depending on where he lands. I don't know that I've drafted a single rookie quarterback -- in non-keeper leagues, this is -- in my career in the game, though. They're just way too inconsistent, unreliable, and often spend much of their first seasons holding a clipboard. Just ask Brady Quinn how he fared this year?
kyler, Queens, NY
What up Tristan? Keeper question- Pick 2 of the 4: Russell Martin, Lincecum, Granderson or Josh Hamilton. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Well, I find this a little bit tricky without the league specs or whether these are the last of your keeper choices or ALL of your keeper choices. Remember, I'm not big on keeping pitchers. But I'm treating this question as a straight, raw value thing. And I can't let Curtis Granderson go, not a chance, and I love the upside Tim Lincecum brings to the table. Russell Martin is very, very close behind Lincecum, though. If you NEED to go hitting, I don't think it's silly to swap those two.
Hey Tristan in a big Al only league with 13 keepers each, I'm trying to decide on my last one: Guthrie or Loewen. Thx
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
There isn't a lot of prime information out there on Adam Loewen's rehabilitation just yet, so check back on him the next six weeks or so, but the few reports I have read have him progressing very nicely and being fine for Opening Day. With the upside he's got, he's the one I want.
steve (west orange nj)
What do you think about Matt Kemp for this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Well, Steve, first of all, I think the Dodgers had better give him a starting job! I'm all about creating platoons to dominate in every situation, but before I go that route I like to first see whether a kid can be better than a platoon mate. In Kemp's case, he deserves a chance to play regularly. And if he does, as I expect he'll prove this spring he needs to, no reason he couldn't be a .290-hitting, 25-homer power source. That's a very underrated outfielder, and my doubts in him are more centered on whether the Dodgers do fully commit 500-plus at-bats to him than about his raw talent.
Rebecca (St Louis)
I've heard the term "Dynasty League" a lot. What exactly is a dynasty league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
It's like a keeper league, only there are significantly fewer players who switch teams from season to season. Pretty much you retain a full roster, like a real MLB franchise does, and only draft rookies and new player additions each year. Fun stuff, but requires a keen mind that thinks to the deep levels of depth charts, and someone willing to be committed to multi-year rebuilding projects.
Basketball question...who is more valuable in roto leagues? A guy like Battier who contributes in multiple categories (even if his points are really low), or a two-category guy like Haywood?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Generally speaking I want the guy who contributes in multiple categories, and as a Battier owner in the past, I remember he was best to me a little more as a matchups type. Both have value, but to me, the limited-category types are a little more specialty types. They help owners strong across the board who need a little boost out of final roster spots, and are mostly useless to teams that lack a strong core.
Three player keeper, already know I'm keeping Braun and Sizemore, thoughts on the third...BJ Upton or Scott Kazmir? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
I almost always lean towards the hitter. They're safer and easier to project statistically from year to year. And in this case, I do think Upton is a little safer, and has comparable upside to Kazmir. That's especially true if he remains second base-eligible in your league.
Steve (MA via E. Hartford)
What do you expect out of Delmon Young this year? Also, any sleeper catchers to be on the lookout for? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Decent step forward, more streaky in batting average, but I see no reason his final numbers aren't in the .280s in that category, in the mid-to-high 20s in homers and perhaps in the high teens in steals. That's a good outfielder, top-20 worthy at his position. Sleeper catchers, hmmm ... Names that come to mind: Mike Napoli, Carlos Ruiz, and I still even like Miguel Montero if his spring is a good one. Geovany Soto is the greatest sleeper of them all, but everyone seems to be onto him.
How do you think Liriano will do this year coming off his surgery?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
I think it's going to be a slower start than you think; that's a tough surgery to recover from initially, and A.J. Burnett for example has taken a lot longer than expected to get back to full health coming off it. That said, I do think Liriano is going to be a valuable commodity this season. Maybe he's somewhere in between what Erik Bedard provided in 2005 and 2006. In other words, ERA in the mid-to-high threes, eight strikeouts per nine, though that team isn't so strong, so wins could be an issue. You shouldn't be looking at him as more than a late-rounder in mixed formats.
A good way to keep week 17 interesting is to not give division winners home field advantage. The 1-6 seeds go by overall records. Therefore, everyone has something to play for in week 17 (Jacksonville for example)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Interesting point, and frankly, JP, I've always felt that a team that finished with the better record really deserved home-field advantage. Turning to baseball for a second, how fair is it when a team wins 88 games and a division, but gets to host a wild-card team that won maybe eight more than that?
Joe (Billings, MT)
Tristan, I'm playing in a 16-team keeper league for the first time and wondering what positions/skills you target once the first few rounds are complete.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Well, don't wait too long to get your steals or your middle infield spots locked up. Those can be awfully tough to get late in a draft, and if you're trying by that point you might find yourself reaching for guys who aren't entirely worth it. Pitching is also a little more valuable in a keeper league, because you need to get younger guys you can build around, and they tend to go much quicker in keeper formats. That said, I don't approach things TOO differently.
Two question both keeper leagues. FB-Brady, AP(Minn) or Addai keep one. BB-A-Rod, Utley, Hanley, V-Mart keep three. Thanks Sue
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Keep one? Ugh, that is remarkably tough. They're all must-keeps I think for anyone not in your situation. I'm keeping one of the running backs, no doubt about it. Harder to replace. And given the choice, I'll go Adrian Peterson. I just see a little more upside in him, and he's the focal point of that offense besides. As for the baseball question, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind the catcher's gotta go. The other three are certain first rounders, and I'd argue top-eight players overall at the very least.
Good Morning, What is your prediction for the Super Bowl? Is ESPN doing fantasy redraft listings for leagues that continue through the playoffs?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I'm calling for a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl. Just a gut feeling. And we'll certainly have rankings coming your way in the near future...
John (Phoenix, Arizona)
Do you like Joey Votto for this year? Why would the Reds want to keep Scott Hatteberg around?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
John, your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea why the Reds would want Hatteberg, unless the purpose of the move was to have him in the very unlikely event Votto has a horrible spring training. I suppose it could happen, and maybe the plan is that the Reds cut Hatteberg once Votto looks a-OK in March. And I do think he will. No reason he can't be a very sneaky top-15 first baseman for 2008, and I only say that low because it's a very, very deep position, not for a knock on his talent.
Hi Tristan. I'm stopping by all of the fantasy guys and telling them Thanks for what they've done this year. They've helped a lot. You guys are role models to me so I'm going on the message boards and answer fantasy questions to people calling to help. Thanx!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
Thanks, Brady, I do appreciate it. And I'm happy to keep providing you my best info in 2008, too! That's the goal here, always...
KC ( NYC )
Tristan, in a PPR league, who is the better keeper: Witten for a 7th, Hasselbeck for a 10th, or Bowe for a 15th?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Hmmm ... Well, I almost never even think about taking a tight end before the seventh round, so that tells me Jason Witten is probably right around at true value there. Matt Hasselbeck might be, too, or at least I call him that because I like to wait until around the eighth to 10th round for a quarterback. I'd take a stab on Dwayne Bowe for that low a round. He's the best value compared to the price, I'd say, even if Hass is probably the top overall talent for 2008.
Tristan, Will Jay Bruce start the season in Cincy this year? I was happy to see them trade Hamilton with hopes that Bruce gets to play now.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
I think he'll get a very, very long look in the spring, but I'm not entirely convinced he's ready to be an everyday center fielder, frankly. Bruce's future, I'd say, has him at a corner, so I'd bet he's more likely to be this year's Ryan Braun. OK, saying that is going to get everyone in a frenzy, because of what Braun did, but if anyone CAN do that, Bruce ranks among the best bets. Let's say he comes up around June 1, and hits maybe .285-.290, belts 15 homers? That's still a nice rookie.
Mark (Kearny, NJ)
Happy new year Tristan! HOCKEY QUESTION: How long will Shea Weber be out for this time around? Since Nashville put him on IR, that can't be too encouraging, right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Well, it's a very distressing development since he has been so injury prone all year, but IR status shouldn't lead us to condemn a player. It's merely a seven-day thing in hockey. I'm more worried, actually, that Weber's health reports are a bit vague. Maybe he misses all of this week, perhaps another, but what I'm hearing so far is this isn't like a month-long thing. That said, I can't say with certainty he won't be out at least that long, either.
Mark (Kearny, NJ)
HOCKEY QUESTION: Do either Mike Smith or Josh Harding make a solid #2? I know Harding is in a platoon role, but does Dallas unload either Turco or Smith?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
I won't come close to calling either a "solid No. 2." That's too high a ranking. They're spot-start types for fantasy, because neither plays regularly. I do like Smith as a spot-in, but why would the Stars break up their goalie situation when the going is so good right now? I really doubt that happens. Good teams don't make such radical shake-ups. And as for Harding, the concern there is that that's Niklas Backstrom's job when healthy, and he's a workhourse when he is. I'd rather have those guys as No. 3/4s on my roster, and merely for matchups.
Steve (MA via E. Hartford)
Will Justin Upton be starting full time again this year? Should he be useful yet if so, since he's so young?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I'm willing to say that I think Upton needs at least another half-season of Triple-A ball before he's big-league ready. I do think he has a great future ahead of him, but that's a big-time high-risk, moderate (not high)-reward player. He's simply so young, and I'd actually recommend mixed-leaguers stay away for 2008.
kyler, Queens, NY
Tristan, Would you trade Hafner and Bucholz for Hanley in a dynasty league? THanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
As I always say, build around hitting. It's a steep price to pay, sure, but while Clay Buchholz has loads of upside, as a pitcher he has a decent shot at being a bust in the long haul. (For the record, I like the kid.) With Hanley Ramirez, we already know he's not a bust. He's a multi-category stud, and a franchise cornerstone. I'd make that deal.
Tristan, in my fantasy league, I traded my boss Tom Brady for Marvin Harrison before Week 1. Should I go in and ask for a raise?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Uh ... Yeah. Hey, you did him (or her) a favor, why not ask for one in return!
Thx for all you do Tristan, I'm trying to figure out where Roddy White would fall next year? WR1,WR2 or WR3 in a 12 team league. I'm thinking WR2
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
I'm thinking that's just about right. We don't know a lot about the makeup of the 2008 team, hence we can't push White higher on a draft board this soon, and besides, he was really no more than a No. 2 at his best this year anyway. In fact, there's a better chance he drops a rung than improves.
James (St. Louis)
Is Brandon Phillips for real?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
I'd say so. About the only things that trouble me with Phillips is that he's a bit too much a free swinger and he was pretty ordinary against right-handed pitchers. Still, much more to like: He mashes lefties, has a hitter-friendly home ballpark, has that rare combination of power and great speed, and he hit very nicely on the road in 2007.
Don't you think Hanley will be an OF in the next 2-3 years which would make that deal lean towards the Buchholz/Hafter side?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
I sure think that's possible but with the Marlins not really going anywhere this season, why bother making such a shift today? You could sneak out a few more years of Ramirez at shortstop, and if he's a certain first-rounder for the next half-decade and probably longer, would you really complain if he were shifted to outfield?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Well, that's all for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours. Take care!