Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Howdy gang....the official scorer has ruled this to be a fantasy baseball chat, but we might answer a football question or two, if the pickings get slim, given the fact it is Week 1. Let's get started, shall we?
Hi AJ, Would you recommend dropping Nate McLouth? He has been close to useless lately and I don't need him wasting a spot on my bench. Any advice would be appreciated!
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
This is again where an owner has to be careful. I have no problem in a non-keeper league with the concept of dropping a player who is cold for a player of lesser value who is hot, because with only a few weeks left, there's little downside... except that by cutting him, you may be giving an opponent a chance to greatly improve what he's got for nothing.
Hey AJ,Playoff quesiton. Ty Wigg or Adam Lind for next few weeks?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
I like Lind personally. But I have him on several teams and am probably projecting my personal wants and needs here, I'll confess.
Mr. Towlee (Colorado)
Rest of the year F. Lewis or J. Werth?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
Werth. He actually had better numbers than Jenkins in his "wrong half" of the platoon, and Stairs isn't really a fit for anything more than a PH. I like Werth here.
Ryan (New Rock)
Hey AJ, Kevin Gregg droppable? I need to pick up a spot starter for him and I have 4 other closers
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Again, Marlins aren't exactly going to be racking up the wins, so odds are the save chances aren't going to mount.
AJ, What do you think of Detroit's Miner tomorrow against LAA? He has been pitching well. I need another start this week and it's him or Blanton v Wash or Eveland v KC?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
Miner has been very good, but of the three I might go with Eveland vs. KC. Washington has been super hot and Angels lineup far more fierce than Royals.
So Joba is coming back as a reliever. Is this just until he gets his arm strength back or are his days as a starter over? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
I think his days as a starter are over for 2008. Unless the Yankees suddenly win 15 in a row, there's no reason to strain Joba's arm any more. He'll be in the rotation in 09.
Scott, Groton CT
Elijah Dukes has been tearing it up when healthy this year, any reason to believe he can stay on the field enough next year to be a serious breakout candidate?
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Dukes has always had the talent, and it appears that his head is now on straight. I think he's definitely a candidate for a solid 09 -- if he survives the off-season without any incident or injury.
When will the Week 1 football rankings be available? Are Hector and Victor coming back this season? I need help deciding between Thomas Jones and Darren McFadden.
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
I think the projected points will be up today if not already... and the comments should be up tomorrow. I'd go with Jones over McFadden.
Nick (Greenwich, CT)
AJ Are you worried about Brandon Webb? It seems like he's fatigued and his sinker looks horrible. It's playoff time. Do you think he'll step up to help me win my league!?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
I'm not worried. As the old saying goes, sinkerballers get better when tired, so I'm not fully buying the premise. I think he's just in a bad stretch. We're still talking the probable Cy Young winner, so I'm not near panic mode.
I have some sagging players- Doumit & Burrell. It's the playoffs, should I disregard the names and go hot bats? I'm already well behind after 1 day.
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
Survive and advance. It's all about the hot bats at this point. I never regard the names.
Wheeler is about to lose his job. Which replacement do I grab in a H2H league: Ayala or Gregg?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Mets will win more, so Ayala... but it's not going to be the prettiest stat line. I'd consider tanking saves altogether if those be my options.
Hasselbeck or Garrard for week 1. Will Hasselbeck be rusty?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Yes he will... but so will most starters. I like Matt to have better numbers, but only b/c Jax is more devoted to the run.
What can we expect from Matt Gamel for this year and the future?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
This year? Not much. He's in need of another year at Triple-A I think, and defensively Bill Hall is a better choice (can't believe I'm saying THAT) right now. 2010 - we're talking possible stud.
Wassup AJ. I only have two trannies left in my H2H league. Is it worth it to grab Guzman or Aviles over Tulo? And/or Shoppach over K Suzuki? Tulo and Kurt aren't producing much, but I'm not sure it is worth losing the transactions this early in the playoffs.
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I agree that if you don't NEED to use them, save them for a catastrophic injury. I like Guzman, especially since the Nats are hot... but that could easily turn on a dime. I'd hold tight as long as I thought I could.
Is Carl Pavano worth picking up?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Two for two, no? Looks good, though it is real hard to rest my fantasy hopes on him, the proof as they say is in the pudding. So far, he's been quite tasty. (Can you tell I haven't had breakfast yet?)
Kemp or Fielder? Who is the better keeper for 2009?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Kemp. More categories = more gooder.
Is Verlander droppable in a 10 team non keeper mixed league?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
Matt, everyone is droppable. If you're playing matchups and hot streaks and need to find a pitcher, you can.
Hi AJ, reliever question for the playoffs. which 2 of these 3 closers? lyon, hanrahan, lewis. Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
I don't like Lyon anymore. And I'm not sure the D-backs don't hear those footsteps and start sliding even further back to the pack.
Will (The OC)
The experts were wrong - I was advised to pick up Verlander. Give him the boot for Josh Johnson or Edwin Jackson?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
I like Jackson of the duo.
Who will have more of an impact on their team Forte or K.Smith?
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
Both will have equal impact, but since the Lions can win without a running game and the Bears can't, I'd say Forte is more important.
I'm inn a keeper league where next years ADP determines which round the keeper is taken. Better value, Utley in 1st round or Kemp in... maybe 4th round?
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
I think Kemp may rise to a 1st round value, so he's a better keeper. Even factoring positional scarcity into the mix, you'll still be able to have a shot at Utley again in your 1st round.
Dave (Frisco, Texas )
Would you drop Mora for a hot bat like Werth or Cameron?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
It's all about what stats you need, and how much. I have no problem dropping anyone. The question is "do you think Player X will stay hot" and with the Phillies in the race, I think the odds are good.
Dave (Frisco, Texas )
Are you concerned about Mora's injury? Would you drop him for a hot bat like Cameron, Byrd, Span or Milledge for a utility spot?
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
That's what I'm saying. There's no time to wait on injuries, minor or major. Get the stats you need. Even if you are wrong and a player comes back, you're not losing even a single day or single at-bat...
Why is Carlos Guillen not on the DL yet? Is he even worth hanging onto for the playoff run? The nerve injury sounds like something that he'll be dealing with for the rest of the season...
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
With rosters expanded, there's not a need to DL anyone who's iffy. There's plenty of warm bodies. That's where the fantasy player gets the short end of the stick come this time of year. If you're not in a keeper, and you're worried about waiting, then don't.
Jonathan (Rhode Island)
Hey A.J. The commish of my league wants to include kickoff and punt return yards after we have drafted (but, obviously, before the season has started). What are your thoughts on this?
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
LOL... take a look at today's Commish's Court -- I think you'll find a familiar question there (though you e-mailed me using a different name, didn't you.)
I know its been said to always start the RB, but would you start Edge over Welker in the flex this week?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I never said that... it's start the RB all talent levels being equal because you know he'll get the touches. Welker is by far the better option... the only possible concern would be injury, and with the Pats, you'll never know the truth there. I'd go with Wes.
Jeff (Madison, Wisc.)
Any word on if Kinsler is going to return on Sept 5 or if at all? The middle infield pool is very shallow in my league...who is best option of Renteria, Felipe Lopez, Fred Sanchez, Omar Infante, Martin Prado? I would say Avg and RBIs are most important categories.
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
That's shallow alright. I'm personally not buying that Kinsler comes back this year. I'd probably take a chance with Prado.
How do you feel about Ronnie Brown in a keeper? Do you like this years' rooks over him? Stewart, K.Smith, Mendenhall, Forte?
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
The thing about NFL keeper leagues is that I think you have to treat them as if they're single season leagues in many ways. Injuries are so prevalent that you can't truly count on anyone for the future. Brown's potential for injury though scares me off a bit... so I might take one of the rookies in his case.
Joe (New Jersey)
Is there any reason to hold onto John Maine any longer? I really need the roster spot!
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Cut away. Seems to be the overriding theme of the day. So I'll say it again. If you're not in a keeper league, feel free to cut anyone on the DL, or gimpy or looking stressed... I'd rather earn stats than sit twiddling my thumbs waiting for a return that might not ever come.
We can designate one backup in our league in case someone winds up not playing due to injury after rosters lock (Thursday this week). Am I better off backing up Brady (with JTO) or Welker (with Harrison)? I dont trust the Pats..
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
I think you take much more of a hit with a zero at QB than at WR. I'd always choose to back up the QB.
Thanks for the info, AJ. Quick 'Name Game' for this year: Earnest Graham or Thomas Jones?
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Much to the delight of my colleague Ken Daube, I'm going to say TJ. Not convinced Graham gets 75% of the carries week in week out... that number may slowly erode.
Pick one this week, Drew Bennett, Hackett, or Curry at WR?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
I actually like Curry as a sleeper this year. Week 1 is as good a time as any to give it a go.
Would it be a reach to keep Alexie Ramirez over Victor Martinez?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
Too early to tell... Shoppach has proved he deserves a job, and V-Mart might be better off converting to 1B or DH. But if V-Mart is still a catcher and comes back healthy, positional scarcity MIGHT come into play... Don't think it's a reach - but a 100% V-Mart behind the plate is better risk/reward gamble.
JT O'Sullivan (SF)
Hi AJ- Any way I can outperform Marc Bulger this week?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Why not? In any given weekend, a player may top another player. But that doesn't mean I start JT over Bulger. I may honestly believe that Matt Ryan will have a better day than Peyton Manning (I don't, but on a given week I might) but I don't draft Manning and not start him 16 times.
Dave (Frisco, Texas )
I need to figure out who to start in a deep league for my last WR position. For week one would you start: Desean Jackson, Gaffney, Courtney Taylor, Josh Morgan. With all of the injuries in Seattle, I'm leaning towards Taylor. Do you agree?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
I actually like Jackson... injuries there as well, and there's also the chance of a return score or two. Taylor's a decent option... I just lean to Philly in this case.
Hey AJ,just wondering,was it smart dropping Pettitte and picking up Aaron Cook?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Cook's a better pitcher IMO, at this stage of his career, so I'm cool with that move.
Can you rank these keepers in my h2h points league: Mat Gamel, J.D. Drew, Chien-Ming Wang. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
If you have Gamel, you might as well keep him, though I think Drew helps you more in 09. Wang is a dime a dozen - inflated value due to Yankees wins, his K/9 rate is stinkeroo.
Dave (Fredericton, Canada)
Lightning Round: AL and NL MVPs are.....
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
I like Pedroia if Boston makes playoffs. In the NL, it's got to be Sabathia if Brewers make playoffs and he continues to never lose.
Marcus (Germantown, MD):
Good morning AJ, I have and angel on one shoulder telling me to start DAnderson and a horned fellow with a pitchfork on my other telling me to start Aaron Rodgers. Should I go to confession?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
I"d still start Anderson, but it's a real close call.
Rebecca (ST Louis)
Is CC going to win the NL Cy Young?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Probably not. Webb is still at the top of my list... though a few more lousy outings...
Who to keep. Each $1 value. Francoeur or Adam Jones?
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
I'd lean towards Jones. I think he's going to have a bigger, brighter future.
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Just a few more campers, time to get back to school.
Throw Harang or Carmona tonight?
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Do I have to? I'll go Harang.
AJ, 5x5 Who is the better keeper for 09 Lincecum or Sabathia???
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
I'd go with Lincecum, but you can't go wrong with either, I think. Nice choice to have.
Nora (St. Louis)
Come on AJ, the first half of the season counts too, and CC wasn't even a member of the Brewers then! Albert Pujols has been outstanding in every facet of the game from day 1 until now, and the Cardinals have been in the playoff race until just recently, and they could always creep back up. Without Albert, there is no way the Cardinals have any chance. Without CC, the Brewers still would.
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
I'd disagree with you there. Without CC pitching a near complete game every time out and keeping that bullpen fresh, Brewers have no shot. Pujols is always in the conversation, but that likely counts against him, as sportswriters look at his numbers and go, "Pujols was Pujols" and shrug it off.
Matt (East Hartford via Albany)
Pick 2 from: Dunn, Pence, Damon, Giambi.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Dunn and Damon - assuming you're talking the rest of the way.
Dan (Stl Mo)
So you like CC for MVP but not CY Young? Doesn't make AJ.
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
Of course it make AJ. Webb's a better pitcher over the entire season in the NL. 20 wins carries a lot of weight. But MVP is about importance to the team, and even in a partial season of stats, you can make all the difference.
Dave (Frisco, Texas )
You've angered the Cardinal crazies! Run for your life!
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
LOL, Good advice Dave... thanks to all... gotta amscray. See you the next time on VIlla Allegre.