Fantasy Baseball with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest baseball news from a fantasy perspective.
Mass, a contributor to ESPN's fantasy coverage of football, baseball and college basketball, also is the lead MLB Rumor Central writer. His latest book "Yes, It's Hot in Here" is in stores now.
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
More Fantasy: Fantasy Home Page
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Good morning, gang! Even though the sports world is ready to turn the huge magnifying glass onto the world of the pigskin, there's still a month left of the baseball season as well... we'll try our best to serve two masters. Speaking of serving two... second cup of coffee in hand; who is up first?
AJ, thanks for keeping up with Baseball with all the NFL hype going on. Any word on Rizzo? My team is entering the championship matchup for 2 weeks starting next week. Trying to plan ahead. Thanks
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
I wrote about this in Rumor Central yesterday... he's going to be out for about 10 days and then be re-evaluated. My best guess is he sits.
I have two spots up for grabs heading to the playoffs, name the best two out of these four for the rest of the season: La Stella, Solarte, Schoop and Alcantara?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
Yangervis and Tommy.
How much stock do you put in the strategy of starting a QB and WR from the same team? For example, I can start Tom Brady or Matt Ryan this week. Brady is ranked one spot higher, however I also have Julio Jones in my lineup. Do you think that situation would give Ryan a bump over Brady? It seems more like I'd be putting all my eggs in one basket.
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Typically, it is best to spread the risk around - especially if the gap between your options isn't that huge. (I wouldn't sit Ryan for Derek Carr, for example, just to avoid the double dip.) But, if you like a matchup, no reason to look for reasons not to do so.
Standing on the Corner (Winslow, AZ)
Surprised that Polanco may be on the bench in Pitt? Got him at $1 so I'm all-in long term but need help down the stretch. Him or Snider getting more ABs?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Not surprised at all. He's not quite ready and the Pirates still need to win. That's why they sent him down in the first place and why they'll continue to only choose spots with him.
Calhoun or M. Betts ROS?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
It's a real close call, but have to like the recent run of Mookie -- hoping that continues.
Need to drop one... Mr.X-Files C.Carter or Josh Harrison?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
I think the waiver wire is out there for CC.
Do you pay attention at all to the opposing DBs that your potential starting WRs are up against? Obviously your Calvins and Dezs are matchup proof, but is there a level of WR where you maybe start to think about that?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I think it's usually an overrated metric for fantasy to try and factor the DB in. If I'm coin-tossing two guys and one is on that "Revis Island" or the like then maybe I go the other way, but in general, you don't want to overthink it, IMO.
Strategy question: In baseball H2H playoffs, do you tend to stick with the horses that got you there, or look to exploit matchups, find streaking hitters, etc.
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
One of the reasons I dislike H2H baseball so much is exactly this -- there's no right answer. Except in the extreme (@Coors, for example) matchups play so little part in such a small sample size that you can't really know. That's why I prefer to go with the horses in most cases.
Fighting to stay in 2nd but with an eye towards next season. Overloaded with DL player and I need to drop one of the following with rounds kept in mind: G.Richards (25th), M.Tanaka (4th), M.Harvey (17th), G.Springer (15th).
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Of those 4, I'd probably let Springer go.
Rodgers or Kaepernick?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
For me, in Week 1, in most cases I ignore matchups and go with what I had on my draft board. The reasoning being that until Week 4 is over, we really can't say with any certainty what defenses are going to be the good ones and what are going to be the bad ones. Plus, teams have known their Week 1 opponent and should have prepped for them for an extended time. Yeah, it's Seattle... but I'm still going Aaron if I had him ranked higher overall.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Need to make room for Cuddyer in Dynasty points league. Should I drop Andrelton Simmons or Jose Ramirez of the Indians?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
Ramirez gets the ax from me.
Have you heard anything on whether or not Starlin Castro will officially go on the DL? And who would you pick up to replace him, Neil Walker or Valbuena? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
It's September and there are expanded rosters. It's rare to see a player go on the DL at this point if there's any chance at a return for that very reason. So while I don't think Castro plays again -- I also don't foresee a DL. I'd go with Walker.
Smarter upside stash. Travis Kelce or Cody Latimer?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
I think Kelce could be a superstar in that system.
Enciarte,Pollock or Jay. Which for ROS?
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
You ask AJ... who do you think I'm going to pick?
HI AJ. For playoffs in H2H dynasty league, would you drop Bruce or Rymer Liriano for someone who could help you right now? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
You play to win today. You may never make the playoffs again. I'd drop Rymer first, but I'd drop.
What are your thoughts on Gronk this week? I was lucky to get Pitta in the 12th and am considering starting him.
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
You drafted Gronk to play him while he's healthy... you may only get a few chances to do so.
How would you rank this season of BB versus some of the past or most recent seasons? It has seemed kind of stale this season strategy-wise (besides Derek of course)...Thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Well, Derrick is such a master, he's not allowing any resistance to mount. It may not be big in the way of crazy swings, but it's fascinating to me to see if he can keep it up.
Are you a believer in the Cordarrelle Patterson breakout hype?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Do you sit a guy like Jordy Nelson with a bad match up for a guy with upside like Emmanuel Sanders? Or just play your studs in week one?
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Play your studs. Period. Don't get cute with lineups.
If a RB and a WR are ranked basically even for the week which do you tend to start in a standard league and why?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
Assuming it's a starting RB, I go with him. Touches for RB are fairly predictable, albeit less so in Week 1 than after a few weeks have passed. Any touch can turn into a TD. WR are simply not guaranteed the targets to the same level of consistency.
Pick two for ROS: Paxton, Keuchel, FLiriano, Kazmir, THudson, Stroman
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Hudson and Paxton my two.
Bigger year, VJax or VCruz?
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
I'm a Giants fan, so I hope it's Salsa Man. But my head says Jackson.
Mike (San Diego)
I think it's a bit of a fool's errand to talk about trades this early in the season, but who are a few guys you could see as buy lows after this week? How about sell high guys?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
Whatever guy was drafted in the first 5 rounds who gains 10 yards is a buy low. Whatever Frisman Jackson-like WR who catches 4-for-100 and a long score that was likely the result of a fallen defender -- that's the sell high. Don't throw out your draft boards after one game, save for clear depth chart decisions you didn't take into account.
What is the difference between Stanton and Trout for keeper leagues? Trout is considered the clear #1 but Stanton's number match up on every level
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
Trout is staying in LA. Stanton could (conceivably) be anywhere by the end of next season. But we're splitting hairs...
Pablo (10 yard line)
I know you still do the projected stats, but wanted your updated thoughts on who you would start at RB: need 2 of 3 out of Montee Ball, Frank Gore, and Zac Stacy. Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
Actually, Pablo, I haven't done the projections in two seasons. I'm still knee-deep in MLB, so in terms of Week 1 start/sit, you're getting mostly gut calls here: sitting Zac.
How worrisome is the George Springer injury for keeper leaguers? I'm currently planning to go all in with a maximum $10 3 year contract, but might be concerned if he never returns in 2014....
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
There's no real reason for the Astros to bring Springer back at all in 2014. I wouldn't put too much weight on his not coming back, if that's what end up happening. I'd be concerned only if he's not at Spring Training on Day 1.
Streaming defenses for the season - who do you like week one that isn't a SEA or a SF (and obviously drafted)?
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Easiest way to decide in Week 1 is to look at who is facing the lowest-ranked QBs of those teams that are undrafted.
How sustainable are Altuve's numbers next year? Top 3 2B?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Even though I went with Trout in the recent ESPN MVP "forecast," it was the standings that tipped the scales in his favor. Would not argue against Altuve getting the hardware, in a win/loss-blind world and have no reason to doubt a 2015 repeat of his studliness.
Keep two in H2H- Rendon, Encarnacion, Cespedes?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
I'd let Yoenis go.
Brandon (Fargo, ND)
Baez or Soler a better option to keep for next year? could keep each of them for the same value.
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
Cubs going to be high on the draft boards... due to positional scarcity and all that jazz, probably stick with Javier.
AJ 3 week playoffs start next week. Hold on W.Rosario?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Not if you have any other option.
Captain Over (Over)
Jordan Reed or Greg Olsen at TE for year?
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
For the year? I'll go Reed.
In a 10 Team mixed would u pick up Hutchinson? Also, you have to choose one to use for the next 3 weeks A. Cabrera or Rutledge?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Cabrera for me. Hutch -- not exactly enamored, but might be better than what you've got.
You need to plug your book on here. Since you won't - How Fantasy Sports Explains The World.....BUY BUY BUY
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Very kind. But more importantly: "Yes It's Hot in Here" BUY BUY BUY
CJ Wilson or Verlander. Stick with them or time to cut loose?
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
Again, tied to what else is out there, and also not cutting in a dynasty... but I think Justin may be toast for 2014 and while slightly higher on CJ, have no issues cutting him either.
This week only, Cruz or Colston in a ppr? I love Cruz as a player but the Giants looked beyond awful in the preseason. On the other hand, Colston looks healthy and has been heavily involved in the preseason.
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
A) Preseason means bubkus. B) The problem with Colston is that the Saints rarely turn to one guy to do all the receiving, so even if they're operating on all cylinders -- especially then -- the wealth is spread. Victor is likely to get the bulk of Eli's attention. Gotta go Cruz.
Who is the better bench stash in case of injuries to my RBs/flex, Knowshon or Woodhead?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
I'd rather have Danny.
This week, standard scoring - E Sanders or P Harvin?
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
A healthy Harvin is a player to fear -- in all senses of the word. I'm going with Percy.
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
That's all the time we've got for today, gang! Thanks to all who asked questions, and if I didn't get to yours, you can try me on Twitter (@ajmass). Until the next time... HOLLA!