Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest sports news from a fantasy perspective.
Mass, a contributor to ESPN's fantasy coverage of football, baseball and college basketball, also is an MLB Rumor Central writer. He also wrote the book "How Fantasy Sports Explains the World."
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
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AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Good morning, gang! Happy New Year! We've got sixty minutes of fantasy chattage up ahead, so let's get right to it, shall we? Second cup of coffee in hand. Who is up first?
Mike Crowley (New Jersey)
Out of all the playoff games this weekend which team are you most confident will win?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
Probably would go with Cincy. Chargers could certainly pull off the upset, but I'd be surprised.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will Play in Super Bowl XLVIII?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Patriots and Seahawks would be my pick today.
George (De Boca Vista)
Is Choo a better fantasy player than he is in reality? I see that columnist all over the board with him
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
The OBP makes him very strong in many formats. I'd have him top 15 hitter based on raw 3-year fantasy trend data.
Have #1 overall pick in playoff draft- is Peyton the clear choice?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
Certainly would be, unless you're really in with Aaron Rodgers.
When will the Baseball dynasty rankings and mock draft be posted/ happen?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
Our rankings summit will be coming up in a few weeks, so I assume there will be articles up by the end of the month that draw from those talks.
George (DeBocs Vista)
Thoughs on keeping Ellsbury over Choo is 5x5, Roto. Thinking SB are becoming more rare.
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
I don't value any one category over the other in terms of my rankings. To me, it comes down to how you build your team after you take best value in first five rounds. I have Choo a few spots higher than Jacoby at moment, but will eventually tweak as we get closer to Opening Day.
Craig (St. Paul, MN)
Time to turn to baseball keepers. 10 team points league: I'm keeping W. Myers in the 16th round and Profar in the 17th. For my third I could go with a top pitcher (Darvish in the 5th or Scherzer in the 6th) or go more offense with Ellsbury in the 4th. Offense or pitching?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Generally speaking, I go hitting over pitching, but I can see taking Scherzer here, given the round attached.
B Mand (Sarasota, FL )
I can keep one guy out of each of these groups: 1) Doug Martin, Forte, Graham. 2) RGIII, Josh Gordon, and Stacy. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Deciding today, I'll go Forte and Gordon -- but of course, I always endorse leagues waiting as long as possible before there's a need to declare. Draft, trades, free agency, new coaches: a lot will still change.
Rob (New York)
Where do you see last years disappointment first round picks Buster Posey and Giancarlo Stanton going in your dynasty mock draft this year?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Will have to adjust for age for dynasty leagues. Raw ranks have Posey in 5th round and Stanton in 9th, but of course those numbers are skewed by injuries of the past. I expect both to go well earlier than that.
HI AJ,Won my Fantasy Baseball League last year and can keep 7 players for 2014.....Who makes the cut out of these 10..?? Krimbel, Harper, Braun, Cano, Hanley, G. Stanton, Carpenter, Y. Molina, J. Donaldson, Andrus
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
Tough call here... Molina, Donaldson, Hanley and Stanton are the "bottom four" for me right now.
So who are your top ten hitters right now, then?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
Trout, Miggy, PG, Chris Davis, Rios, McCutchen, Adam Jones, Cano, Pence and Carlos Gomez have the best raw numbers.
AJ, I'm assessing my early keeper options. Where do you see Stacy being drafted next year? Top 10 RB?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
Again, a lot has to shake out. I don't think so, but if the O-line looks good and other situations get more murky, then perhaps he might squeak in there.
With Ryan Braun returning, will he be a solid pick for 2014?
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
If he's playing, you need assume that he's still a top 10 talent. The suspension last season is why he didn't show up in my raw numbers, but if he's able to play a full season, then he *should* be solid.
So how would your top-10 hitters change in a points league?
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
Because there are more than one scoring system, it's hard to answer that question. In general, I like to still draft the "best" players who provide a combination of statistical trending and safety in terms of job security/lack of injury risk. Sure, there are player who will go up/down based on K/BB rates and things like that, but you need to tailor to your scoring system.
Where do you see Masterson falling (approximately) for next year?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
Right now, I'd say he's a No. 4 SP in fantasy or thereabouts.
I've got Puig (15th round) vs. Heyward (17th round) What say you?!?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Not a lot of track record to go on with Puig, so we're still dealing with small sample size. As much as I'm not a big Heyward guy, if I'm picking today, he's the one I go with.
do pitchers or hitters have more value in a head to head points league
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
Pitchers will often score more points - especially over the course of the season - but on a weekly basis, if they only start once a week for you, hitters will often give you more scoring - especially if it's a SP who struggles. At the end of the day, you're still comparing SP to other SP and hitters to hitters, so I don't know if the answer really matters.
Can only keep 1 of these guys... Lynch, Bernard, Spiller, Bay-Bay, Graham, Rodgers.
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
A healthy Aaron Rodgers probably gets my pick here.
General keeper strategy question. Do you ever consider not keeping the full 8 guys? I have a bunch fo amazing keepers and a bunch of fringe guys I can probably get back at draft (on a new 3 year contract) for similar, or maybe even a slightly lower, price...
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
Yeah, if we're talking about a league where there is an advantage to throwing back a player and "renegotiating" as opposed to keeping, then you do so. The idea is to build the best team for next season. Whatever strategy achieves that is the smartest.
Rank these keepers: Chris Sale in Rd 17, Puig in Rd 11, W Myers in rd 14 or Kenley Jansen in rd 21?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Sale, Jansen, Puig, Myers - in that order.
I've got the next 2 days off. How many baseball obsessed fans do you get during these chats? Where does Tanaka land?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Football's over in most fantasy circles, so the baseball cicadas are beginning to stir from their slumber. I think Tanaka ends up in LA with the Dodgers.
Can I squeeze in a Survivor question? What rules change would you like to see?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Wouldn't mind seeing the outgoing player get to cast a vote that goes in the pot for the next time the tribe heads to TC.
What do you expect from Cingrani next year? Will he get a rotation spot from the beginning or will his role be back and forth like last year?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
I think he'll be in the mix for No. 5, so yeah, there could be a yo-yo in effect.
Ed (Queens Village)
Who stock in playoffs can rise for 2014 fantasy football draft if they perform well?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
In all honestly, Ed, there's not really anyone who would be impacted all that much based on a one-game surge. People will certainly put more weight on a strong postseason, but it comes down to what role a player has on his team at start of next year. That won't change for most players until training camp.
George (De Boca Vista)
Thoughts on Allen Craig? Is he closer to his 2012 or 2013 season or in the middle?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
I'd put him just outside my top 75 hitters. From a fantasy value standpoint, though, I don't see a lot of difference between 2012 and 2013.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
At first glance, 2 keepers..Doug Mart for a 4th, Alshon for an 8th, LeVeon for a 12th, Knowshon for a 13th, Keenan for an 8th..1/2PPR
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
Keenan and Le'Veon.
Given the volatility of closers, does keeping Jansen over Myers or Puig scare you? Can only keep 3
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
In a vacuum, sure. But given the round that is tied to these players in your original question, I mean getting Jansen in 21st Round? That doesn't scare me at all.
Dylan (Snowy Maine)
Keep Puig in the 14th or Starlin Castro in the 14th?
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
May be in the minority here, I'm sure, but I'll go with Castro.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
What was your best and worst call of the FF season?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Couldn't tell you, Scott. I'm sure there are many who keep track of my mistakes for me - and trust me, I make wrong calls all the time. But when you're making as many calls as we do on a regular basis, you tend to forget them as soon as you make them. Always looking forward in this business...
Regarding 10 team and 12 team football leagues, how do you like to set up playoffs? How many teams get in? One week or two week playoff matchups? Championship in week 16 or 17?
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
I'd say you want to avoid Week 17. After week 13, you have 6 of 12 get in, and then play one week matches through Week 16. In a ten-teamer, I'd go 14 weeks and then allow four teams in. But that's just me - in all cases, if the league wants to play a certain way, and all are agreed, then that's the way it should be done.
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
That's all the time we've got for today gang! Got to go make sure I have all my snowstorm gear ready. We'll be back next week for another hour of fantasy chattage, and I'm also on Twitter (@ajmass) if I didn't get to you today. Until next time, as always, good luck and yes, it's hot in here.