All Questions Answered Day

Since we are getting dangerously close to draft day in most leagues, there are probably a lot of questions going around. In an effort to help you, the reader, get ready for draft day, I am giving you a chance to get your questions answered today.

Not only will I be answering your questions, but some of my RotoGraphs colleagues may be stopping in today to give their spin. However, there are some guidelines for how this will go. All questions won’t be answered, but any reasonable question asked in the comments of this post today will be answered. What makes a question reasonable? Glad you asked.

A reasonable question would be something like “Who would you rather have, Matt Holliday or Nick Markakis?” A bad question would be “Who would you rather have, Albert Pujols or Adam Moore?” There is a huge grey area, but I’m a fairly forgiving person and will probably answer your question, as long as I don’t feel you are wasting my time.

Questions don’t just have to be in “Player X vs. Player Y” form (though I bet most of them will be). You can ask about any relevant fantasy topic, from draft day etiquette to anything else on your mind, it will likely be answered.

So, let’s get to it! Any questions?




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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.


401 Responses to “All Questions Answered Day”

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  1. Pat says:

    Hey Zach,

    Not sure if you take auction strategy/keeper questions but thought I’d ask anyways.

    In an AL only 5X5 auction league, how would you value a starter like CC as a keeper when players like Vazquez, Beckett, Shields, Lee, and Weaver are available? With his VORP at approximately 6 points higher do you take the chance of dropping him back into the draft and get into a bidding war for him when 4 of 12 teams have a lot of $$$ available in the draft?

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I wouldn’t drop CC back into the player pool. Keeping him is by far the best option.

      If he goes back into the draft, you will likely end up paying more than what it would take to keep him anyway, since teams will be lining up to pay for his services.

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  2. David says:

    Who would you rather have, Everth Cabrera or Alcides Escobar?

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    • Marc Hulet says:

      Hi David,

      Escobar is a proven .300 hitter with 30 stolen base potential (and zero power). He’s more likely to produce a good batting average in the Majors than Cabrera (the slightly-more-proven player) and he also has a much more dangerous lineup around him which means he should score a ton of runs. I’ve personally favored Escobar in my drafts, but Cabrera was not much further down on my draft board.

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      • JD says:

        Escobar is a PROVEN .300 hitter?

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        The last time he put in a full season that was significantly under .300 was 2006, so yeah I think he’s about as proven in that category as one can be, given the vagaries of the bouncing ball.

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      • Less than Dave says:

        I completely disagree and think Cabrera is clearly the choice… here’s why:
        1. Escobar is hitting 8th-9th while Cabrera is leading off – more Runs for Cabrera easily
        2. Ken Macha doesn’t like to steal bases, which is Escobar’s biggest source of value
        3. Also Alcides only stole 4 bases last year in 125 at bats… meanwhile Cabrera stole 25 bases in 377 at bats

        Yes, Escobar will hit for a better avg than Cabrera, although I don’t know about .300… he looks more like a .280-.285 hitter to me, while Cabrera is a .260-.270 hitter… but if you’re looking for more runs and steals, I’d go with Cabrera… the avg isn’t elite for Escobar and isn’t a deal-breaker with Cabrera

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Escobar. Same steals, better average and more runs.

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      • jrdo410 says:

        The Brewers seem to be opposed to running, while the Padres seem to be willing to let em fly. I think the two players are pretty close after you take that into account; Escobar may be the more talented player, but Cabrera is probably in a better situation.

        I’m in an OBP league and favor Cabrera for that reason as well. Plus, the 5% walk rate v. 10% walk rate is important for SB as well.

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    • Less than Dave says:

      I also forgot to point out Alcides Escobar does not walk.. ever… In 6 seasons of the minor leagues, he only walked 140 times in 2571 at-bats.

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  3. SF 55 for life says:

    Who would you rather have for a back up outfielder in a keeper league, Michael Brantley, Matt LaPorta, Kyle Blanks, Colby Rasmus, Nolan Reimold, or Travis Snider?

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    • Marc Hulet says:

      In order of my preference: Rasmus, Snider, Reimold, LaPorta, Blanks, Brantley (and I am a huge Brantley fan). Rasmus is the best well-rounded player and should hit better in 2010 after a disappointing ’09.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Rasmus, Snider, Reimold, LaPorta, Blanks, Brantley. Same as Marc.

      I like Rasmus to show more power this year and add some steals, as well. Reimold would be number two on this list if not for the health questions, but I do like Snider quite a bit this year.

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    • Blanks. Rasmus. Brantley. Snyder. Reimold. LaPorta.

      Blanks will likely only qualify in the OF for 2010 and 2011 though.

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  4. Dips says:

    Long term, who’s bat do you prefer – Justin Upton or Jason Heyward?

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    • Marc Hulet says:

      Tough question. Upton is already proving himself to be a stud right now. All indications are that Heyward is a massive talent but Upton has a few steps on the Braves prospect and he’s only two years older. I’d go with the proven commodity, who is also the more well-rounded player (with steals!).

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Since I’m not a prospect maven, I’d trust Marc on this one. I do agree that I’d rather have the guy who has proven that he can get it done in the big leagues.

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  5. Tom says:

    With the 6th pick in a 10 team H2H league (snake draft, Yahoo, 5×5), what would be the best combo to shoot for in the first 3-4 rounds?

    According to the draft pre-rankings, I’m currently slotted for Matt Kemp and while I like him, I don’t see him as a #6 overall pick. For the first round I’m between Braun (if he falls to me), Longoria, Tex and Fielder. Obviously the first round pick will determine the following picks (i.e. if I pick Longoria in the 1st, I don’t take Zimmerman in the 3rd). Ideas?

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    • Marc Hulet says:

      In a recent 12-team live draft (H2H, snake), my draft went Fielder, Ramirez, Pujols, Howard, Manny Ramirez (!), Lincecum, and Braun (me). I was ecstatic to get Braun with the six pick, thanks to Manny Ramirez, no doubt.

      The next picks were Rodriguez, Utley, Teixeira, Longoria (whom I almost took), and Morneau. In the second round, I was elated to get Justin Upton and was also considering Kemp, Zimmerman and Sizemore.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I’d take Kemp at number six. He could be in line for a 100/30/100/30/.300 season, and even if he doesn’t progress to that level he’ll still be a nice piece on your roster.

      Here is the route I would consider going:
      Kemp – Kinsler – Zimmerman – Felix

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  6. BMS says:

    Rank the following potential keepers in a 5×5, NL-only league where players can be kept for a max of 2 years: Ian Stewart $3, Everth Cabrera $5, Drew Stubbs $5, Kyle Blanks $5, Casey McGahee $5, Billy Wagner $7, Carlos Gonzalez $14.

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  7. Jake T. says:

    I play in a 16 team 8×8 H2H league, with 11 starting hitters (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, IF, LF, CF, RF, OF, Util.) and 11 starting pitchers (SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, RP, RP, RP, P, P, P). There is a 50 IP minimum for each weekly H2H matchup (so you can’t just throw a bunch of middle relievers in there and neglect using starters). Categories are: (Runs, HR, RBI, Net Steals, Strikeouts, Total Bases, OBP, OPS) x (IP, Quality Starts, ERA, WHIP, OBP Allowed, K/BB Ratio, K/9, Net Saves).

    This is also an auction keeper league with a $245 draft budget and the option to keep $75 worth of salary over into the next season. Keepers cost is calculated as follows: (price paid for at auction) + (2010 end of year value) / 2.

    My question is simple — do you believe there is any way to improve upon this format? The idea was to reward the players who demonstrated the most skill and talent and accomplished the most individually to help their real-life MLB teams win. Any context-dependent stats (like Wins) were removed because they are just as much a function of run support as they are of a pitcher’s performance.

    While trying to achieve my stated goal, I wanted the format to be traditional enough for ppl used to standard 5×5 leagues to enjoy as well.

    What are your thoughts on the format and how can it be improved?

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    • dsimon says:

      I’m not an expert here, but your stats seem loaded with double counting. As OPB makes up part of OPS, why not go with SLG instead? Also, WHIP and OBP allowed seem to be pretty similar, though I guess OBPA just takes out the “per inning” part. My two cents: a) change OPS to SLG. Change OBPA or WHIP to something else. b) get rid of OBP and keep OPS. Get rid of one of OBPA or WHIP.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Use OBP or OPS, not both. Also, don’t use QS with ERA. ERA reflects a QS.

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  8. Johnny Tuttle says:

    I have one more pick in a restocking draft for a near-dynasty league. I could take a decent 8th starter, another bench hitter, or a holds guy flier, but Wade Davis is on my prospect list…..

    ….Is there any chance he could actually lose to Andy Sonnanstine and be demoted to start the year? I was originally going to draft Yuniesky Betancourt here, but should I buckle down and make a real pick instead?

    Same question for Neftali Feliz (for whom I drafted Jordan Zimmermann already): any chance he gets chumped off of ST to the minors?

    Thanks!

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    • Johnny Tuttle says:

      I should say that I can’t promote Davis ’til after the draft, so if he’s a lock to come up and start on the first Saturday of the year, I’d rather pick a chump than expose a tiny sleeper I like. I’d just promote him b4 the season started at Yunieksy’s cost.

      Follow-up: is there a hilarious name in the yahoo! player pool to get a laugh from my leaguemates if I don’t go with Yuniesky?

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      My best guess is that Davis starts the year in the minors to keep his service time down, but it is up in the air at this point.

      I think Neftali will start the year in the majors, but he will be in the bullpen.

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  9. bauermj says:

    What difference in strategy, both for draft and in-season, do you see for a mixed Head-to-Head weekly 1 win league vs. standard roto? We have the normal 5×5 categories available, first to 5.5 categories wins for the week. There are 9 batter slots and only 6 pitcher slots (4sp/2rp) and it always seems like pitchers go a lot earlier in this league then the standard ADP.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      By taking more bench pitchers than bench hitters, you can make up the quality gap with quantity and try to manipulate your two-starter weeks if you don’t want to reach on pitchers. Just fill your bench with mostly pitchers.

      As for difference in strategy, the biggest one is that punting a category is more do-able in H2H. It’s only one category, and you can still win 9-1. If you punted batting average, for example, you could put together a pretty monster team this year, full of big whiffers with power. I don’t punt in roto, but sometimes punt in H2H.

      I think H2H also puts a premium on impact help in a given category. For example, Kurt Suzuki. Okay in a roto league, he won’t, on average, give you either a single combined home run or stolen base some weeks. A guy that will give you a home run most weeks, like Napoli, might be preferable in H2H.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Like Eno said, worrying about AVG and SB isn’t as important in H2H. Just make sure that you make a real effort to punt a stat, other wise you’re in trouble.

      Also, two-start SP are huge in H2H league. I will often leave a spot on my team open to pick up a guy off the waiver wire that will be making two starts.

      Let the pitchers go early, focus on dominating the R/HR/RBI/SB stats, and try to pick up some quality pitching who can provide wins and a decent ERA each week to go along with your 2-start SP.

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  10. Chris says:

    Are CC Sabathia or Felix Hernandez viable alternatives to Tim Lincecum for the #2 SP spot in light of Lincecum’s spring struggles?

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      I’m with you on Felix, but a little more nervous about CC, given his drop in strikeout rate, increased walk rate, and massive innings totals, but he keeps getting it done. Given their draft positions, CC and Felix might be preferable to having to spend a first-rounder on Timmeh.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      My player rater formula spat this out for the top SP:

      1. Timmy
      2. Halladay
      3. Greinke
      4. Felix
      5. CC

      However, their is a big gap between Roy and Zack, and a huge gap between Felix and CC. If you can grab Felix, do so.

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  11. Rick says:

    Hey Zach,

    his is my first year in a 12 team H2H league, and from what I understand it’s pretty competitive. Despite being the newbie, I have the #1 pick this year. I’ve never had the #1 pick before so I’m a little nervous about having to wait 20-something picks before my 2nd round choice. Albert Pujols is the obvious choice with that pick (assuming his recent back issues are no big deal) but what positions should I be looking to fill with my 2nd & 3rd round picks?

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      I have this same dilemma currently (but in an OPS league) and am considering Hanley, and then Sizemore and a 1B (Gonzo or Votto perhaps).

      If you go with Pujols, you’ll want to get some speed (Size again pretty good combo) and an infielder – Zimmerman makes a decent play there in my opinion.

      So: Pujols / Sizemore / Zimmerman or Hanley / Sizemore / Votto ?

      The Pujols side has more power, and is probably preferable – unless your league uses OPS. In which case, you should check out the OPS on the shortstops in the league, and you may choose the Hanley side.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Funny enough, I hold the #1 pick in a draft tomorrow and have been over this countless times in my mind.

      I plan on going Pujols at 1, but after that it is a dilemma. If Roy Halladay and Ellsbury fall, you have to take them both. Halladay, however, likely won’t fall (in Yahoo! leagues, at least), so you are left looking for other options.

      I’m tempted to take Adrian Gonzalez at the turn, because you wouldn’t have to worry about power too much the rest of the draft. Another route to go would be Ichiro. With him and Pujols, you would have more leeway the rest of the draft to take guys with lower AVG’s.

      In short, here is my list of guys to take that may be there.
      1. Halladay
      2. Ellsbury
      3. Sizemore
      4. Gonzalez
      5. Ichiro
      6. Zimmerman

      Essentially, you want to pick up speed and more power with the 24/25 pick.

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  12. Alan says:

    How would you rate the career prospects of Daric Barton and Jeff Clement?

    Thanks!!!

    Alan

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    • Marc Hulet says:

      Neither will likely be more than a solid, regular MLB first baseman. They’re the kind of players you pick off the waiver wire if you’re No. 1 guy is hurt and they’re on a hot streak.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Barton will be good in OBP leagues, and Clement isn’t awful this year thanks to his catcher eligibility. However, with Barton being challenged by Chris Carter, and Clement not being a good 1B, both don’t have great fantasy futures ahead of them.

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  13. Eric K says:

    I’m trying to decide between Sean Rodriguez and Luis Valbuena as one of my last picks. Valbuena seems to have the everyday job at second and also qualifies at short, so he makes a nice back-up. Rodriguez doesn’t have a starting job secured and right now doesn’t qualify at any one position in our league. But I would think he will get eligibility at 2b and of….at the very least.

    Between the two, who would you take?

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    • Andrew says:

      Rodriguez. He’s the much riskier pick, but Valbuena has extremely little upside. Since you’re at the end of the draft, risk doesn’t matter as much. Either pick has very little VORP.

      Rodriguez is a great cheap source of potential power and positional versatility if he gets the playing time.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        What position are you picking them for? If it’s your starting 2B in a deep league, I might consider trying Valbuena first and hoping to get SRod (someone I know calls him Mexstein) on the way back.

        It’s a little risky to take a guy without a clear shot at a job for a starting position, even one with as much pop as Rodriguez.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Valbuena. Love S-Rod’s pop, but have to go with the guy with a job locked up.

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  14. M J says:

    I’m trying to decide on a third string catcher that has value in a keeper league. I’m debating between Adam Moore and Jason Castro and Alex Avila right now. Which of the above has the most upside and which should see more at bats this season?

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  15. The Usual SusBeck says:

    During a night of drinking I agreed to gamble a large amount of money on a head to head 5×5 roto league. As in two people.

    I understand it’s pretty stupid, but my thought is to grab the top 5 or 6 SP as early as possible. I feel like that top teir is further separated than those at the position spots (especially with the shallowness of my league). Thoughts? Any other strategies?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d advise against your strategy, as SP’s performance is highly variable. The top options are perceived as the safest, but even the safest options have a lot more downside than upside.

      Depending on how deep the rosters are, positional scarcity gets put under a microscope here. Be very aware of the dropoff from one player to the next. Guys like Hanley and Utley, as the clear top choices at their respective positions get a bump in value, whereas the elite 1B (non-Pujols) get downgraded. There won’t be too much difference in value between a Fielder and a Teixeira, as there is between Utley and Kinsler or Hanley and the #2 SS. On the other end of the spectrum, there will be a ton of extremely good free agents. Don’t overspend on guys that are easily replaceable.

      Ultimately, your league setup is basically a crapshoot.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Yeah, wouldn’t recommend it. Hanley would be my top pick here for sure. Anywhere on the diamond where there’s a clear #1 over the #2 is where you should go. Once you’ve filled SS, 2B and 3B, and have one OF, that’s when I’d go on a string of SPs.

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      • Samuel says:

        Think you’re ignoring Catcher a bit there, Mr. Sarris.

        Pretty sure Joe Mauer is about 100x better than the next catcher. I’d probably try and get him no matter what. Of course it’s not as bad as missing out on the like 10 decent catchers and being stuck with some scrub but it’s a pretty big dropoff.

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    • R M says:

      Wow that guy’s a jerk. If you were drunk, how could he ever hold you to that?

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  16. M J says:

    Ian Kennedy is having a terrific Spring (based on the stats….I haven’t seen him pitch). Is this the year he finally reaches his potential? Is he someone that can be drafted and relied upon to be a 4th starter?

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    • Andrew says:

      He can be drafted, but I wouldn’t rely upon him. Moving from the AL East to the NL West is about as much as you can hope for (even if he plays in a hitter’s park). That said, he doesn’t have terribly exciting stuff, so the margin for error is small. He’s not a bad late-round play, but guys at that draft slot generally aren’t guys that you can depend on for meaningful production. That’s why upside is the crucial factor in late-round picks.

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      • M J says:

        “That’s why upside is the crucial factor in late-round picks.”

        So are you saying he doesn’t have much upside? His minor league numbers were great, but obviously that was before the injury.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        I like Ian Kennedy as a late-round pick. I think the move from the AL East to the NL West is pretty drastic and will make up for the ballpark effects in AZ, like Andrew says. He’ll limit his walks, get some Ks – depending on him to be a four starter as you say, though, is the problem. If he’s a bench pitcher, yeah. If you have to slot him in, well then you’re the Yankees and it’s 2008. That didn’t work out too well.

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      • M J says:

        “depending on him to be a four starter as you say, though, is the problem. If he’s a bench pitcher, yeah. If you have to slot him in, well then you’re the Yankees and it’s 2008. That didn’t work out too well.”

        I guess my problem with that logic is if you can’t count on him to be a 4th starter then why even draft him as a reserve? I’d really only be looking at him as a guy to get me at most 100 innings.

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      • Andrew says:

        It’s easier for a guy to post good numbers in the minors than the majors. Guys that are polished in the minors, such as Kennedy, can put up some great numbers, but major league hitters simply don’t offer the same margin for error. A 90 MPH fastball over the heart of the plate is going to get crushed more often at the major league level than in the minors. Without great stuff, your control (and to an extent, guile) has to be impeccable to succeed at the major league level.

        I see Kennedy as having some upside, but not as much as guys that would go at a similar draft slot.

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      • Andrew says:

        “I guess my problem with that logic is if you can’t count on him to be a 4th starter then why even draft him as a reserve? I’d really only be looking at him as a guy to get me at most 100 innings.”

        No one can predict the future. Many people went into drafts last year expecting Jose Reyes to put up first round numbers.
        With a guy like Kennedy, the ability is there for him to be a factor, but there are simply too many unknowns to consider him reliable. Even for guys that should be considered relatively reliable (Reyes), we can’t assume they’ll perform to our hopes or expectations. That will be especially true in the late rounds. If there is a relatively reliable 4th starter at the slot where you’d think of taking Kennedy, you obviously take the guy who has proven he can perform at that level.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I’m staying away from him until he shows me something at the big league level. Don’t draft, but keep him on your watch list if he’s on the waiver wire.

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  17. Jesse says:

    Hey Zach, draft day was last Saturday (points league, not roto), and I missed out on any semblance of a starting shortstop (I’ve got JJ Hardy). However, my outfield looks fantastic (Sizemore, Crawford, Choo, McLouth, Borbon, Snider). Would it be wise to move, say Choo and Hardy for Jose Reyes, or should I just roll with Hardy for a while and wait for the next hot thing to get a call-up?

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    • Andrew says:

      As always, scoring is key here. Many points leagues tend to devalue steals relative to other scoring formats, so Reyes might be less valuable in your league.

      In a typical points league setup, I’d probably try to target Stephen Drew as a potential buy-low. He hits in one of the most lefty-friendly ballparks and has demonstrated the potential to be quite valuable in the past. He’ll also likely come cheaper and as a better value than Reyes (or other speed-based shortstops).

      In terms of minor league shortstops, I wouldn’t count on anything. Starlin Castro is probably the “next hot thing,” but unless he takes a Hanleyesque step forward, he’ll have little to no value in most redraft formats.

      Ultimately, review your scoring setup. That’s where you’ll find your answer.

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      • R M says:

        Why Steven Drew? His upside is basically JJ Hardy with a better average.

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      • Andrew says:

        It depends on the setup, but many points leagues tend to value XBH or total bases. In 2008, Drew had 76 XBH, while Hardy has a career high of 59. That relative difference would hold for total bases as well. I also like Drew’s situation in Arizona relative to Hardy’s in Minnesota. Though the Twins have a better lineup, Drew will hit in a better position of the lineup than Hardy, and in what will almost certainly be a better ballpark for his offensive skills.

        Hardy also represents more of a risk, since his performance last year was so poor.

        Finally, I’m not advocating that Jesse drops JJ Hardy. Having both Drew and Hardy would diversify the risk of two guys coming off of down years. The cost is cheap, and owning both would bolster the chances of getting good production out of the position without having to sell out to trade for a higher-ranked guy.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I wouldn’t trade your SS in a deal for Reyes, since the injury risk is so high.

      Send a note out to your league and see what someone is willing to offer you for one of your OF’s. I’m sure you can get someone to bite and give you a good shortstop.

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  18. Josh says:

    Thanks so much. 5×5, 15 teams. Can you rank the following:

    King Felix $17
    J Johnson $11
    Ubaldo $6
    V. Martinez $20
    H. Bell $5
    R. Soriano. $3

    I’m kind of thinking that Heath bell is the weakest of the bunch. I can keep 5.

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    • rotofan says:

      Soriano may have more upside pitching for the Rays but is also more of an injury risk than is Bell. Something to consider. Also some talk the Twins may trade for Bell, which might boost his saves potential but hurt his ERA.

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d say it’s close between Soriano and Bell. Though it’s probably unlikely, Bell’s downside is becoming a setup man. Soriano’s (as always) is injury.

      I’d take Bell unless you think the extra $2 will be especially meaningful come auction time.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Ubaldo
      Felix
      Johnson
      Bell
      V-Mart
      Soriano

      $20 is a little steep for keeping Victor, but it’s probably worth it.

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  19. Patrick says:

    I’m in a sixteen-team keeper league that designates a single roster spot for a rookie (someone who hasn’t reached the 130 AB / 50 IP plateau). My current guy, Alcides Escobar, is about to graduate, and I’m wondering who I should target to replace him.

    Ideally, I’m looking for someone who will remain a rookie for all of 2010 and then earn a starting job in 2011, like Jason Heyward does this year. Who best fits that description? Desmond Jennings looks tempting, but I’m afraid he’ll get called up midseason.

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    • tommybones says:

      Jesus Montero is the guy. September call-up at the earliest…

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      • Andrew says:

        I agree with this. The guy has a potentially game-changing bat that is probably ready for the majors right now. Defense and positional blockage will probably prevent him from losing rookie eligibility next year, though.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Nothing to add here, except that you could consider Dustin Ackley, who also plays a premium position, has a nice bat, and is even more of a lock to stay in the minor leagues this year (because of his youth, learning the new position, and Figgins at second). Might depend on your major league mix.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Jennings will only be called up due to a slew of injuries or Carl Crawford being traded.

      I’d go with Ackley, since he won’t see any more than a September callup this year. However, if he progresses extremely quickly and SEA can find a trade partner for Jose Lopez, he may be up sooner if you like. But, I find it more likely he gets a couple AB’s in SEP, and breaks camp with the team next year.

      And as it has been mentioned, Montero isn’t a bad way to go either.

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  20. Michael says:

    5 X 5 league with OBP ….number 4 pick , we start SS,2B, and a MI , and same with 1B , 3B, CI …so deep league. Do I go with Utley (arguably the top 2B) , Braun – top outfielder , or Mr reliable in Ryan Howard? I think I am leaning towards howard?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d personally go Utley, but I’d be more concerned with the mid and late rounds than the first. Barring injury or a fluke bad year, your first pick probably won’t greatly effect your final standings as each player is going to provide a similar return on investment.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Agreed, don’t torture yourself. Plenty of 1Bs, though, and I don’t like 2B that much this year. I think Utley is plenty reliable and he’d be my pick.

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      • Michael says:

        In that case I was thinking of the following : Utley (1st round) – Matt Holliday (2nd round) – Sizemore or Youklis (3rd round) – Upton / Granderson/Zobrist (4th round) – Dunn/Lind/Pena (5th round) – Beckett /Josh Johnson (6th round)

        other case : r. howard – 1st round and all else similar until the 6th round and then get Beckham or 8th round and get uggla ( i think both massively undervalued)
        which draft looks better?

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      FWIW, my formula that takes positional scarcity/ranking and overall ranking into account has your three guys in this order.

      Braun (3 overall)
      Howard (10)
      Utley (12)

      I’m actually a fan of second base this year. It will be better than most people think. Go with Braun.

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  21. Eric says:

    I’m in a league which allows midseason minor league pickups (except for the current year’s draft class). So my choices at the #5 pick in the MiLB draft aren’t the best–Strasburg, Ackley and Starlin Castro will be gone. I don’t like picking anyone who hasn’t played any AA ball unless they’re a major college draftee.

    So my choices are Casey Crosby, Scheppers, Storen, Grant Green, Withrow, Mejia, and Todd Frazier. I might be talked into Dee Gordon, Derek Norris or even a high school draftee like Matzek or Turner. Saves are not that difficult to acquire in this league, so that goes against Scheppers and Storen.

    Who do I target?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’ve personally got a thing for power lefties and would go Matzek. Crosby also fits that mold (but I like Matzek more).

      I’d throw out Scheppers and Storen for the reason you stated.

      I’m not especially high on Grant Green. The tools are there, but stolen bases are more valuable in fantasy than real-life, and he doesn’t project to steal many bases. I don’t think his contact skills are great, either, so a lot of his fantasy value is tied into how he hits for power.

      I’m a big fan of Withrow, but there’s some injury history, and I would put him below some of the other guys.

      Mejia only has one pitch at this point (though it’s a great one by all accounts), so he’s lower on the prospect lists as well.

      Gordon is very intriguing, as his speed will play anywhere, especially at short. He’s pretty raw, but he’s certainly an option. There’s more of a chance he’ll be available in round 2 (assuming you have one), than Matzek, though, as his prospect rating is lower on most lists.

      I wouldn’t go Frazier. He looks to have a solid bat, but he’s not in the same class of prospects in my opinion. He’ll be a lot less valuable if he ends up at 3B (Rolen) or LF than 2B (Brandon Phillips).

      Norris has a very nice bat for a catcher, but there are questions about his defense, and I want to see higher-level data for someone with such a high K rate.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        I’d be very tempted by Gordon because of his position and I think he can stick at SS, which is half the battle. I usually tend to prefer position players over pitchers. Perhaps Marc will be by in a little to lend some thoughts about the other prospects.

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      • Eric says:

        Thanks for your thoughts guys. As it turns out, my leaguemates passed on Starlin the Magnificent and he fell to me. Hope he lives up to at least some of the hype!

        PS–Crosby was taken the pick before mine…

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  22. thurm12 says:

    In a keeper league, Gordon Beckham or Brian Roberts as your long term 2B?

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  23. drew says:

    what do you project jordan zimmerman’s stat line to be for 2011?

    also, what is everth cabrera’s stolen base upside for 2010? does he have 60 steal upside?

    thanks.

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    • Andrew says:

      You never know exactly how a guy will come back from TJ, but Id project performance similar to what he did before his injury. He’ll likey struggle with his control a bit early on, but improve as the season goes on.

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    • Andrew says:

      For Cabrera, I’d predict he ends up with an SB total in the 40s, though 60 has an outside chance.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Cabrera doesn’t get on base enough to pull 60 in my mind. I think 40 is actually his upside there. His D is bad, too, by metrics. If he doesn’t up the D and the walks, it’s not all happy time at SS in San Diego.

        I still like Zimmermann long term. I think he could put up a high-3s ERA with better luck, even coming off of surgery.

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      • Andrew says:

        To me, Cabrera’s SB potential is most dependent on where he hits in the lineup. Though he’s got poor contact skills for a player with his skillset, he does get on base at an okay clip. The Padres will probably run a lot, and I think he’s got the speed tool to hit 60, though I do consider that his ceiling.

        I’m not terribly comfortable writing off his defense yet due to youth and small sample size. Unless he completely flops, I also think San Diego will live with any of his deficiencies, because they don’t really have any other options.

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      • jrdo410 says:

        (in response to Eno) Cabrera is projected for a 10% walk rate, what would you like to see it at? He does need to K less.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I can’t project JZimm that far out because I don’t know how well he will do with his surgery.

      I have Cabrera penciled in at 30 steals in my projections, but he won’t get more than 40.

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  24. eppscm says:

    Couple part question…

    Please rate Nate Schierholtz of the SF Giants. How viable is he in an NL only league?

    Trying to get a leg up on my opponents and players like Mike Stanton, EY Jr., Will Venable, Chris Dickerson and Jeff Clement are on the wire. Who would you rather go with?

    I am in a nine team 11X11 NL rotisserie league, so stats like OPS, OBP, 2B, SLG and all that good stuff are counted…

    My team will probably be a bit “AVG challenged” because I mostly have sluggers, Garrett Jones, Montero, Ludwick, Wright, Tulo, Ibanez, Either, K. Blanks, N. Barmes, Berkman…

    What should I do? I like players that can play mulit positions…if Nate is garbage, I’ll either dump him for a better OF or find a mulit position guy…I so I can keep someone in my lineup everyday. I mainly drafted him because of AVG…

    Thanks
    Chris

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    • Andrew says:

      Schierholtz is pretty fringy to me. It’s possible he’ll become a decent fantasy player, but he’s not a guy I’d pursue. He will probably hit for a decent (but not great) average.

      Eric Young Jr. is the guy I’d probably gamble on. He doesn’t have a spot to play, but if he gets a chance, he’s got blazing speed with adequate contact abilities.

      I’d look into the trade market to fill your average deficiency.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Stanton won’t help you in batting average, but he’s obviously the biggest upside on this list. I don’t think he or EY will end up starting the year on the major league roster though, so they’d be better on your bench.

      If you actually have to slot the person you pick up into your lineup, Schierholtz is the best bet. I think he’s okay actually, and like him for a little more power than the projex, so something like .290 and 20 home runs are not at all out of the question. That should help your team. Plus, he’ll only add to value once he shows he’s starting every day. I’d keep him into the season unless you want to keep upside on your bench and try to find a Schierholtz-type player once Stanton/EY are sent down.

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  25. Zack M says:

    straight up value in 5×5 scoring…The Dread Pirate or Jay Bruce?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’m guessing I’ll be well in the minority on this one, but I’d rather have Bruce. Fantasy-wise, I see McCutchen being a guy with similar value to someone like Shane Victorino, which is certainly valuable, but Bruce is the one with 40 HR potential. Once his BABIP normalizes, his batting average will probably be a minor liability with the potential to be above-average some years.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Oof. I mean, I agree with some of the stuff Andrew is saying, and I love Bruce, I really do, but if it’s for this year, I think McCutcheon is a little ahead. At the very least, he’s Victorino.

        If it’s a keeper, I think I’m taking Bruce and his legit power. Even with a BABIP regression the projex are having trouble pegging Bruce’s batting average. Could be .250, could be .280. If he’s batting .250, does Baker the Kidslayer starting sitting him again like he did last year? How much power would it take to keep him out there with the bad BA?

        McCutcheon’s ceiling is lower, but his floor his higher, at least for 2010.

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      • Andrew says:

        Bruce is an interesting statistical case. His batted-ball profile has varied quite a bit over some smaller samples, but I’d put the over/under for his batting average at .265 this year. I have a difficult time believing someone who hit for such high BABIPs in the minors over a larger sample (even if we adjust downwards for minor league effects), will end up with a Bengie Molina level BABIP.

        I don’t completely trust McCutchen’s power yet, and I’d take a gentleman’s bet that Victorino ends up being the more valuable player this year even with a lower position in the lineup.

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  26. Will says:

    I am wondering how the injuries/surgeries that Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer, and Ted Lilly are recovering from will affect their status long term. Are any of these likely to hold them back when they do return from the DL this year, or can I expect a return to form from any of them?

    Can you rank your expectations for them this year, and maybe give comparables?

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    • Andrew says:

      This is a tough one, but I think it’s pretty likely that injuries (whether their current ones or future ones) will hold them back after their initial return from the DL.

      I’d stay away from all three unless they come at a very steep discount.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Ted Lilly had no major injury to his shoulder and no reports of a frayed labrum or cuff. I like him best for the discount and rebound, provided you can wait until late April.

        Duchs is battling depression and a back thing – he had surgery to relieve his SI joint – but at least his arm and shoulder are okay. Because of his history, though, I only like him if he’s VERY cheap.

        Bedard I’m going to avoid. It’s the shoulder – again – and the labrum was torn. He has the longest road back and is not a good pick for this year.

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  27. ericamin says:

    I love drafting guys who are coming off either an injury-shortened or injury-plagued season, especially those who have a track record of being relatively healthy throughout their careers. That said, do you think guys like Furcal, Oswalt, Berkman and Hamilton will have bounceback years or are they on a steady decline and ought to be avoided?

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    • Andrew says:

      I generally agree that it’s a good practice to get guys coming off of injuries. To me, the important qualities are prior injury track record (as you said) and age.

      On an individual basis, I think Furcal can bounce back slightly, but he’s definitely in the decline phase of his career. I’d pass on him.

      Oswalt also looks to be in decline. You might get a decent season out of him, but I wouldn’t overpay.

      I don’t think Berkman’s skills are declining that much, but his body is almost completely breaking down on him. I expect decent numbers out of him, but I wouldn’t draft him at his current ADP.

      Hamilton is probably the most likely to put up a season that far exceeds his draft position, but he’s also likely to suffer from his injuries. Despite being fairly young, his body has to be considered fairly old with the abuse it has been through. I feel his ADP reflects a fair balance of risk and reward. Whether you select him, then, depends on your own personal risk tolerance.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Will Carroll said that Berkman had a procedure done a while back that sometimes leads to arthritic knees. That said, he’s playing for his option, and if he falls far enough, I’ll take him.

        Furcal’s issue is his back, and that can linger all year. I don’t want him unless he’s a bench pick for upside behind a weak starting SS.

        Oswalt and Hamilton I’m a little more bullish on. Can’t say it’s based in science, but they seem a little fresher and have a little more in the tank I think. It’s worth noting that they are the younger two guys you mentioned.

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  28. Spalding says:

    There is buzz on how hard and far Hafner’s homeruns and hits have been hit, he was undrafted in both my A.L. leagues. Baeball Forecaster has him hitting 20 homeruns and that is the highest projection I could find, what are your thoughts? Am I crazy to think 25+ homeruns?

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    • Andrew says:

      I don’t put it out of the realm of possibility.

      If his struggles were truly due to health, and his swing looks better this year, he could surprise some people. If, however, his swing looks like it did the past two years, I wouldn’t touch him. He’s definitely a guy worth monitoring, but I don’t have high expectations for him at this point.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Over at the Cleveland sports blog, Waiting For Next Year, they just wrote a piece about the shoulder and how he’s feeling. Acta’s impressed, everyone’s happy, and if you’re talking about bench pick in an AL-only league, I don’t really see how you can go wrong. The contract means he’ll probably play until he shows he’s Done with a capital ‘D.’

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  29. Conballs says:

    What are your thoughts on drafting primarily starting pitching, closers and steals in a 12-team 5×5 H2H league? You’re punting 2 categories, possibly competitive in 2, and the favorite in 6. Any downsides to this?

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    • Andrew says:

      I see plenty of downside to your strategy.

      First, starters experience a lot of variance in performance from year to year. There is inherent downside to any starter, so cost of risk is largely a product of how highly you draft them. Even if this has become conventional wisdom to the point where it’s not a market inefficiency, you’re still likely to be disappointed by some of the pitchers you draft, while later picks outperform them.

      Second, stolen bases tend to be a stat you can find later in drafts and off the free agent list. You can draft Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury early and lock up steals each week, but it’s going to be very difficult to fill the other categories. Further, if you’re concentrating on guys that provide primarily speed, an injury to one of those guys severely hurts your performance in stolen bases. One injury to a Crawford (or a Reyes), and the one hitting category you felt was a lock is suddenly a liability. You’re putting all your eggs (stolen bases) in one or two baskets.

      Third, closer performance is not only highly variable, but it’s often more easily found late than any other category. A guy like David Aardsma can go from undrafted afterthought to valuable closer just as easily as a Brad Lidge or Kerry Wood can implode on you (who were late-round gems themselves in 2008). Though you might gaurantee winning saves most weeks by drafting Rivera and Broxton (and help with the rate stats), there’s little upside to them at their draft position, with plenty of downside due to smaller sample size. Similar to stolen bases, one injury can sink your category.

      Your strategy could work out for you if everything goes right, but why handicap yourself?

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    • Jason B says:

      Punting 2 categories entirely and only being ‘possibly competitve’ in two = like, 6th place finish, provided *everything* goes well. Just too, too many points given up to possibly win.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      You are punting more than 2 categories.

      HR and RBI are obvious, but lots of steals guys also put up bad AVG numbers, too.

      You are better off punting steals and going with power and pitching.

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  30. Mike says:

    18 team mixed league, waited too long to start drafting pitching. Stats are W, CG, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9. Am thinking about adding Ian Snell, in hopes that Safeco and Seattle’s defense will improve his numbers. Am a little afraid of the rising walk rate and falling K rate though. Thoughts?

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  31. Chicago Chris says:

    What is the ceiling ( in terms of OPS, Runs, RBI’s, HR’s & walks/k) for Jason Heyward and Vald Gurerro this year and which would you rather have in a non keeper league.

    Also which batters do you think will be the most likely to increase their walks to strikeout ratios this year?

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    • Andrew says:

      Ceiling for Heyward in a one-year league is a tough question. He might turn out to be one of the extremely rare guys that dominates from the outset (Alex Rodriguez), but it’s more likely he’ll “struggle.” He has the tools to hit 40 homeruns, garner 100 runs and RBIs, and walk as much as he strikes out, all while OPSing over .950, but the odds of that happening are insignificant his rookie year. Considering he has less than 200 ABs at AA and above, it’s MUCH more likely that he disappoints relative to the staggering expectations.

      If you want a projection, I’ll give you an .800 OPS, 70 runs, 85 RBI, 18 HRs, 55 walks, and 100 strikeouts. That’s a very optimistic projection for any rookie, but more so considering he’s a 20 year old with no guarantee of making the opening day roster. I’ve got as big of a mancrush on Heyward as the next guy, but even my projection should be considered on the higher end of expectations.

      In a redraft league, give me Vlad, who I expect to put up similar numbers to last season, except with more ABs (and thus better counting stats).

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Rather have Vlad in a non-keeper setting.

      Not sure who could increase their walk rates, honestly. It’s something a player just has to bear down and commit to.

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  32. Buizly says:

    Which three outfielders should I start in my H2H points league: Andre Ethier, Carlos Quentin, Jay Bruce, Carlos Gonzalez, or Josh Willingham?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d start Ethier and Quentin. My 3rd outfielder would be between Gonzalez and Bruce depending on what my categorical needs are.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        I’m more bullish on CarGo than some and depending on your points system, his across-the-box-score talent could net many points. I take CarGo and Ethier, and play the masher that’s healthy and playing better out of Bruce and Quentin. You must have a nice UTIL in place to be thinking this though.

        If you were thinking of trading someone, I’d look to trade Ethier. I think the average will come up and the power will go down this year.

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  33. Zach Piso says:

    I just drafted, and my offense turned out spectacularly. At the same time, I was able to draft a solid foursome of pitchers, but missed out entirely on all of my sleepers. Currently, I have J. Johnson, Jimenez, Hanson, and Kershaw. Should I be worried that my pitching won’t come together throughout the season? More importantly, what sorts of later round options (or waiver wire fodder) would you target in a 10-team 25-man roster H2H league to round out this rotation?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d be pretty happy with those four, though there’s downside with all of them. Hanson and Kersh look like they got lucky last year, though they’re both young enough to expect some progression in their skills, if not fantasy performance. Out of the four, I’d expect an ERA in the mid-3s, a bit higher WHIP, and plenty of Ks.

      Normally, I’m loathe to suggest safer, boring options, but a guy like Hiroki Kuroda wouldn’t be terrible. A Kevin Slowey might work as well, as he’ll help mitigate the wildness (and correspondingly higher WHIP) of Kershaw especially.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Some late round SP I like this year:

      Liriano, Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Jason Hammel, Justin Masterson

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  34. Joey Joe Joe Shabadoo says:

    7 keeper, 6×5(+OPS), ten team, mixed league.

    Please rank Beckham, Figgins, and Hill. Thanks!

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d probably go Figgins, Beckham, then Hill. Beckham might be the best value.

      I’m not especially high on Figgins, as his SB success rate isn’t that great (even if the totals are), and I don’t see Seattle producing much offense. That said, he should still be valuable.

      Beckham OPSed around .800 as a rookie, plays in a great hitter’s park, and looks to have the skills to do better in the future.

      Hill was obviously great last year, but he’s not going to hit 36 HR again. Shocker, right? What really hurts Hill, in my opinion, is that he cannot take a walk. Even slugging .499 last year, his OPS was only .829. When the power regresses, so will the OPS. I still like Hill as a player, but regression is a bitch.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Figgins, Beckham, Hill

      Love Figgins now that he will have 2B eligibility a week or two into the season, depending on your fantasy provider.

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  35. skillings24 says:

    I’m in a 12 team, 6 keeper league (R HR RBI SB OBP) with Kemp, Braun, H. Ramirez, Wright, BJ Upton, and Zobrist as my keepers this year. I want Heyward on my team. When would be a good time to draft him, and who should be dropped for next year?

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    • Andrew says:

      First off, those are some nice keepers. At this point, it’s tough to take Heyward over any of them (though I prefer him to Upton, and maybe Zobrist).

      If you want to ensure that you get him, you’ll probably have a better idea of where to draft him, as draft position is heavily dependent on the whims of your leaguemates.

      All that said, I wouldn’t blink if someone took him as early as mid round 2. It’s certainly possible that someone takes him even earlier.

      I’d take a mosey over to mockdraftcentral and try to figure out where you would value him, and where you think your most youth-aggressive leaguemate values him. Try to skew for youth when making your placement.

      I believe in Heyward, but you’ll have to be patient when he (almost) inevitably fails to meet the hype.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      If you want to make sure you get him, I would suggest drafting him in the fourth round. Any earlier and it’s just not worth it.

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      • skillings24 says:

        Thanks guys, I appreciate the input. I’ve been stalking MDC for the better part of two months now tracking Heyward’s changes. My first pick is in round 6 because we go by last year’s ADP. Taking Heyward with the 34th selection doesn’t seem like a stretch to me considering he’s going as early as 108 in a non-keeper format at MDC.

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      • Andrew says:

        Would you really draft someone like Nate McClouth (ADP of 87) over Heyward? Or Alfonso Soriano (79)? If you take Heyward at the first pick of round 4, he’d be at pick 109 assuming there are 72 keepers. There are more than a handful of guys I’d rather have Heyward than of those first 108 players (3 rounds).

        Considering Heyward’s upside is a perennial 1st-rounder, his likely range of outcomes is from useful fantasy player to superstar, and that he’s got about as low a chance of busting as any prospect when looking at ARL, contact skills, and plate discipline, I dont think he should last until round 4 in a savvy league. The guy is a special talent with incredible skills for someone at his age with his tools. If people are drafting Lance Berkman (61) or Chris Carpenter (73) over him, I’d jump at it.

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  36. trebor says:

    Which, if any, of these sophomore pitchers would you keep: Romero, Cecil, Cahill, Huff? This is in a very deep 16 team mixed league. I could also keep Nolan Reimold instead of any of them, which is how I’m leaning.

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  37. Paul says:

    I’m in a 10 team standard roto keeper league where each team got 3 keepers. We play 3 CI, 3 MI, 2C, 5 OF and 10 pitchers. 5 of the 15 kept are MIs, a statement on depth of that position. I kept Vmart, Granderson and Ubaldo and have the 7th pick (which i think is awful) – would you reach for a Kinsler/Tulo in rd 1 or 2 given the kept player situation – or go with 2 big CI bats in a tex/fielder/longo/howard type combo

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d still probably lean towards one of the corner bats if available. Later on, I’d aggressively target the middle infielders I like (e.g. Elvis Andrus) to ensure I get them.

      A guy like Erick Aybar might even fly a bit under the radar.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Big bats first, than worry about the middle infield with later picks.

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  38. Beau says:

    Finally had my first real draft the other night, in a 10 team standard 5×5 roto league with only 1 util, 3 of and 5 bench spots. I found myself taking extra pitchers and very few (1) offensive bench players since it seemed that offense would be really shallow in this league and the fa pool should be pretty equivalent to anything id have on my bench. I ended up with 8 pitchers in a row to end the draft or something like that, does this seem like a bad idea? Here is what i ended up with, any thoughts would be appreciated, especially going into $$ keeper league tomorrow:
    c:wieters (10)
    1b:Tex (1)
    2b:kinsler (2)
    ss:Rollins(3)
    3b:youk(4)
    of: granderson (5), adam jones (8), span (9), pierre (17)
    util: ian stewart (13)
    sp: santana (6), hamels (7), billingley (11), weaver (14), slowey (15), hughes (19), kazmir (21)
    rp:marmol (12), franklin (16), dotel (18), lidge (20)

    The following guys, in this rediculously shallow leauge set up are on waivers, any thoughts to add/drops?
    -david ortiz, coughlan, vladi, hawpe, helton yunel escobar, fragu, bedard, wuertz, downs…

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    • Andrew says:

      I’m most concerned with value when it comes to drafting. Therefore, I’d be less worried about where I’m drafting each position, unless it seems I’m going to be deficient either positionally or categorically.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I’d drop Lidge in favor of Downs.

      If I were you, I’d have picked up some great setup men instead of the crap closers that will lower your ERA and WHIP. Offense will carry your team, so a top 3 finish is reasonable to expect.

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  39. Donald Trump says:

    So everyone assumes that Strasburg will be back in late may or early june, to postpone his Super 2 eligibility. What about the argument that he comes up 21 days into April? By missing the first 20 days, Strasburg would be ineligible to gain a full year of experience this year (the 20 days is an MLB official number). Since the late May deadline does not actually add another year of control, the difference between a late April callup and a late May callup is one additional year of arbitration. While in the best case for Strasburg, this is probably around $15 million, due six years from now. The benefit of calling him up mid April is that he would add about $500,000 to every start he makes. That can add to a few million dollars in a hurry, and that cash gets collected with certainty, and today, rather than the uncertainty of potential future payments of many more million 6years down the road. Besides, 6 years from now, in Strasburg’s last year of team control, the team would likely trade him before he becomes a free agent, so they wouldn’t have to pay everything he is owed that year anyway.
    Thoughts? I just think maybe he is actually undervalued this year because while everyone assumes he will miss 2 months, there certainly seems to be an argument or scenario that he only misses 3 weeks.

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    • jimbo says:

      I second this question.

      My money league doesn’t have minor league slots, and doesn’t allow them to be on the bench. If you draft (or claim) a player in the minors, they MUST stay on active roster until appearing in a game.

      If Strasburg is going to pitch at all in April…I’ll gladly go without stats for 3 weeks in one of ten SP slots. I can’t see that being a good pick if he’s down until late May.

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    • tommybones says:

      It’s not that simple. The Washington Post had a good explanation here:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031904323_2.html

      As an example, they put Strasburg on a Lincecum performance track and showed the different salary implications. The finding:

      “– If Strasburg reaches Super Two status, he gets: $9 million in 2013, $14 million in 2014, $18 million in 2015 and $22 million in 2016, for a total of $63 million in those four years.

      — If Strasburg fails to reach Super Two status, he gets: $3.9 million in 2013, $9 million in 2014, $14 million in 2015 and $18 million in 2016, for a total of $44.9 million.

      In other words, it could be worth about $18 million to the Nationals — or a little less than what they are paying for two years of Adam Dunn — to delay Strasburg’s debut until Memorial Day (when the Nats will be on the road).”

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    • Andrew says:

      My guess is that his callup gets postponed. The Nationals aren’t a threat to make the playoffs, and they’ll limit how many total innings Strasburg pitches. Even if Strasburg were to make starts in April, he’d almost certainly be shut down by the end of the season. Therefore, if the Nationals keep him on a very short pitch count in the minors, there won’t be as big a difference in the amount of major league innings Strasburg throws. Plus, it’s much easier to limit Strasburg’s pitches in the minors than it would be to tax the major league bullpen if Strasburg were on the major league roster.

      From the baseball standpoint, innings pitched is what matters. From the financial perspective, it’s major league service time (measured in days, not innings pitched). An extra month and a half of shortened outings likely isn’t worth the financial hit of letting Strasburg get Super 2 eligbility

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Tommybones has the right idea. It will save them a bunch of money to keep him down longer.

      Plus, extra work in the minors really couldn’t hurt him, so what’s the rush?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. R M says:

    What is the meaning of life?

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  41. Beau says:

    Also, regarding the keeper league Im drafting in tomorrow — we all share who are keepers are and it seems an inordinate amount of top SPs are being kept. I am keeping lester, but thats the only P im keeping. Its a 10 team 6 keeper league and 20 SPs are being kept. Do I need to reach for a SP or two a bit earlier in the draft or what strategy should I employ to adapt to this? Thank you!

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    • Andrew says:

      There is certainly less supply of SPs in the draft, but there will also be less demand as well.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about reaching for pitchers unless it appears you’ll end up left with total scraps.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Andrew has it right. Since they are keeping extra pitchers, they won’t be targeting another one as early as they would have before. Stick with your regular strategy.

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  42. shibboleth says:

    I’m keeping Hanley, J-Up and Kemp. After accounting for keepers and all the picks before me, the choices for my first pick should come down to Rollins, Sizemore, Holliday, Votto, Morneau, Pedroia.

    Would it be terrible to take Rollins or one of the OF even though I already have those positions covered? Or should I look to a position I haven’t covered? We have MI and 4 OF slots if that helps any.

    Cheers, and thanks for this great public service! :-)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Andrew says:

      I’d take Rollins or Sizemore. In the end, all that matters is the stats you compile. Rollins will still be a much better option at middle infield than waiting to fill the position. Sizemore has the potential to return 1st-round value on his draft position, so he’s not a bad choice, either.

      Though either pick would limit your flexibility for later picks, I believe it would be worth it to add Rollins or Sizemore to what’s already a great power/speed core.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I’d take Holliday or Pedroia. I have Holliday very high on my board this year, but if his injury scares you off than go with Dustin.

      As long as you have a starting roster spot open for the player, it shouldn’t matter if you have another at that position or not.

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  43. prosenblum says:

    How does Bryce Harper rank in the catcher prospect universe (Santana, Castro, Norris, Flowers, Conger)?

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    • Andrew says:

      Santana’s at the top regardless. How you rank the rest, then, depends on how deep your league is.

      For shallower (ie.e 12 teams and 1 catcher slot), I’d court upside, even if it comes with more risk. In such a league, I’d probably put Harper 2nd, even if he comes with a ton of risk.

      In deeper leagues, risk and floor become much greater factors. Therefore, I’d move Harper down, while I’d move a player like Castro up.

      Of that grouping, Conger appears to be the best value to me according to the prospect rankings. The injury history is worrisome, but Conger offers plus contact with good power potential. His defensive limitations could end up both hindering and helping him. If he plays a handful of games at catcher (enough to qualify in your league), but gets everyday ABs at 1B or DH, it’ll be a boon to his value. If he gets moved off the position entirely, it hurts him a lot.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      I’m not sure I can properly answer the question, but I think he’s behind Santana and ahead of the rest.

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  44. JoelQ says:

    Maybe this is not an appropraite question, but if we haven’t heard back about the writing job openings does that mean we’re out of consideration?

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  45. Scott says:

    I’m looking for some help with stat categories. I’m currently the commisioner of an 11×11 Yahoo league. The stat categories are, for hitters: R, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, BB, K, AVG, OPS. For pitchers: IP, W, CG, SV, BB, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP, QS, BSV.
    I like how I have the hitting categories, but finding 11 pitching categories was the tough part. Any suggestions?

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    • Andrew says:

      I wouldn’t be a fan of such a setup at all (though there would probably be many opportunities to exploit it). My suggestion would be to cut down on the categories, especially ones that double count.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        I second that – when you’ve got ERA, you don’t really need QS. You can combine SV and BSV into net saves. Blend AVG and BB into OBP. Use total bases and ditch singles, doubles, triples…etc etc. Simplify, grasshopper.

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      • Scott says:

        What should my categories be if I cut it down to, say, 8×8? 7×7?

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      • Scott says:

        What about R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS and IP, W, CG, SV, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        I think you’re moving in the right direction – it may not be “exactly perfect” for everyone but it’s certainly simpler and easier to digest.

        Maybe use OBP and SLG rather than AVG and OPS, since there’s a little overlap between AVG and the OBP component of OPS, but that’s a minor quibble.

        Another would be CG on the pitching side since they’re so, so uncommon these days, but again that’s a pretty minor issue and I think overall you’re on the right track.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott says:

        How about I throw out OPS and put BB back in, therein eliminating the “double counting” of having 2B, 3B, HR along with OPS (plus the obvious connection of AVG and OPS)?

        What would you rather see instead of CG?

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Here’s a way to combine most of your stats:

      R, TB, RBI, K, SB, OPS
      W, K, ERA, SV, HLD, WHIP

      Boom.

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  46. Ryan says:

    Deep AL-only league, would you rather have Justin Masterson or Colby Lewis?

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  47. elgringo79 says:

    Good AL pitching has been so scarce in the past that I adopted a strategy of hoarding aces in my AL-only keeper league. And I’ve had success doing it, too.
    Over the last year+, however, it seems like a lot of good young pitchers are arriving, and the HRs are waning in the post-steroid era. Time for a strategy shift? Or do you think good pitching in the AL will still be at a premium?

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    • Andrew says:

      I’d probably continue hoarding, though with a caveat of evolving as the market changes. Until more data is out there on many of the youngsters, I wouldn’t change my assessment of the situation. Guys that are consistently at the upper extremes of performance will always have value.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Keep with the pitching. True aces are hard to come by.

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  48. Andrew says:

    Jason Heyward- god? Or mere demigod?

    Assume he gets the opening day nod: what would you project from him in the standard 5 hitting cats?

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  49. stevekump says:

    How would you value Lance Berkman moving into the season with his knee injury? Where would you be willing to draft him in a standard12 team 5×5?

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  50. BronxOrioleFan says:

    Hey Zach, I’m the returning two-time champ in my 12-team 8 keeper H2H league (12×12) and I think the pressure finally got to me…I’m wondering if you can help alleviate my feelings of remorse over these two decisions:

    1) I kept Adam Jones over Brett Anderson and just have a gut feeling I’ll regret it. Should I? (My other keepers are Teixeira, Hanley, Braun, Ichiro, A-Ram, CC, and Felix).

    2) I drafted Wandy Rodriguez over Matt Garza in the 9th round. I know Garza is probably the better long-term keeper option because of age, but can I feel good about Wandy this year?

    Thanks.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      1. No, with Felix and CC on board you shouldn’t feel bad about keeping Jones.

      2. Feel great about Wandy. I sure do.

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      • BronxOrioleFan says:

        Hey, thanks for getting back to me. This was a great feature, and I had been waiting and hoping for something like this for several months now. And I do indeed feel better, especially now that I know your thoughts on the meaning of life so closely echo my own. Pizza and boobies–this is a man whose opinion I can trust, not just in fantasy baseball, but in life.

        Can I also feel good about the late-round fliers I took on Scott Feldman and Juan Pierre?

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      • BronxOrioleFan says:

        Zach, thanks for getting back to me, and all the other inquiring minds. This was a great feature, and I had been waiting and hoping for something like this for several months now. And I do indeed feel better, especially now that I know your thoughts on the meaning of life so closely echo my own. Pizza and boobies–this is a man whose opinion I can trust, not just in fantasy baseball, but in life.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Zach Sanders says:

        Feel great about Pierre (in fact, you should do a dance to celebrate), and feel okay about Feldman.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  51. Luke Appling says:

    Could you do a quick rundown of what calculations go into each projection system, or direct me to a place where that has been done already?

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  52. PunchesInBunches says:

    how would you rank these outfielders for this season only? Nelson Cruz Adam Jones Andrew McCutchen or Manny

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  53. MoleSauceGuy says:

    I’m in a points-based keeper league that uses CI as the only utility infield position, meaning that 1B/3B players–already hard to come by–are disproportionately valuable. Right now I’ve got the aging Lance Berkman/Justin Morneau combo holding down 1B/CI and with some decent health can compete for a title this season. Still, I’m wondering whether there is any set of circumstances where I should be considering a package recently offered that included Justin Smoak and some other pieces (Ted Lilly), in exchange for my man Brett Anderson.

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  54. asufan550 says:

    I’m in a new league (7X7) with pitching categories: W, L, S, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB. Nine pitchers start, three must be SP. As it’s too late to back out of the league, I’d like to exploit the, in my opinion, flawed scoring system as best I can. I would be stupid not to take six great closers and a couple of good control (Slowey, Baker) guys, right? I figure that wins me five of the seven categories (L, S, ERA, WHIP, K/BB) and I’ll be able to take hitters with my first six or so picks.
    Also, the additional categories on the hitting side are Hits and OPS. Should I significantly alter which hitters I’m drafting since guys like Ichiro, etc. are more valuable than normal?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • asufan550 says:

      Quickly, there are no IP minimums, and a 1600 IP max .

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Hitting side: It doesn’t alter much, because those two stats essentially cancel each other out. With OPS you might look for guys who walk more, but the H aspect makes it so you probably can’t do it.

      I like your style when it comes to pitching. I wouldn’t get six closers, but drafting starters with good control and cornering the market on relievers should work well.

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  55. Miles says:

    What kind of ETA do you see with Porcello getting a nice K rate in the majors? With his pitch count last year, he wasn’t aiming for as many K’s as he could’ve gotten. With management giving him more IP to work with, do you think we’ll K’s in 2010 or 2011?

    Also, do you see Cameron Maybin or de la Rosa making those next steps this year? de la Rosa seems like he has what it takes, but any loss of control and he’ll be back to waiver fodder in mixed leagues.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Porcello: Still needs to improve and learn to trust his off speed pitches. I don’t expect many K’s in 2010, with just a mild improvement off his 2009 numbers. 2012 is my best guess to when his K’s will approach or reach an acceptable fantasy level (7 per 9)

      In what little I saw of de la Rosa last year, he still looked wild. I’m being cautious when it comes to him this year, and just thinking of him as a flyer to take if he’s available later in drafts.

      Maybin is a much better real life player than a fantasy one. Unless he retools his approach at the plate and hits more liners and fly balls, the power numbers won’t be there. I have him down for 60/7/45/15/.280 this year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  56. phillies1915 says:

    I have the 3rd pick in a straight (snake) draft traditional 5×5 roto league. I assume that the first two picks will be Pujols, H. Ramirez. I am going back and forth between Arod (his FBI testimony), Utley and Braun. Do you have a any ideas. Non-keeper league.

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  57. Coach says:

    Any chance that Fausto Carmona will be worth owning? He seems to be having a nice spring.

    Thanks!

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Eh, stay away. I haven’t seen him pitch this spring so I can’t say if he looks good or not, but I’d make him prove it in games that matter before taking a shot on him.

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  58. Miles says:

    I have the happy circumstance of setting my 5 OF positions [Roto 5X5] from this list: Josh Hamilton; Grady Sizemore; Adam Jones; Carlos Quentin; Nick Markakis; Nelson Cruz; Jacoby Ellsbury. It took 4 years to assemble this group now I have an embarrassment of riches. Your 5?

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  59. RS says:

    There’s a lot of talk about how after the Top 7 third basemen, there is a substantial risk afterwards for production.

    For the context of this question, consider a standard redraft 12 team mixed league.

    If forced into one of these scenarios, which one has the best chance of reaping the best benefits?

    1. Overpaying for one of the Top 7 players at third(A-Rod, Evan, Wright, Reynolds, Sandoval, Zimmerman, Youkilis) just to make sure you are separated from the pack

    2. Slightly overpaying for one of the higher upside rookies to play out of position at 3B (Gordon Beckham and Ian Stewart are typically listed as 2B/3B in most formats) and passing on the top 7.

    3. Looking for a diamond in the rough lower down (Beltre) that will most likely not produce to the level you expect.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      It depends on what you mean by “overpay”. If one of the top 3B is available when you draft, and are the top player (or close to it) on your board then your should take one of them.

      I don’t think 3B is as bad as some are making it this year. There may not be as many studs as in years past, but there are some solid players you can grab late that will make you happy and won’t hurt you.

      You should never go into a draft expecting to overpay for a player, so in that case go with door number 3.

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  60. Mike says:

    In a 10 team head to head league I have the 8th pick. I was thinking about going Longoria, Howard/Cabrera (whoever is available), then Zimmerman with the 28th overall pick. I’d basically end up with 2 out of the top 5 3rd basemen and slot Zimmerman into my CI slot. Is this a risky strategy doubling up on a position? I feel it could put my leaguemates at a disadvantage due to 3B being thin this year. Plus, I think Longoria and Zimmerman both will have huge years.

    Thank you!!

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  61. Jeff W. says:

    My keeper league uses 7×6 roto scoring (5×5 + OBP + SLG + HLD)

    I’m a bit light on power hitting/RBI; the top half of my SP are strong —
    D. Haren, A. Wainwright, U. Jimenez, T. Hanson, J. Blanton, C. Lewis.

    Would you swap Tommy Hanson (can keep through 2012) for Adrian Gonzalez (back in the pool after 2010)?

    IF YOU DO, which (if any) of these SP from the wire would you take to fill the SP slote?

    Homer Bailey
    Gio Gonzalez
    Justin Duchscherer
    Luke Hochevar
    Sean Gallagher

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  62. Hopeful Applicant says:

    Any word on the rotographs applications and when we can expect to hear something?

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  63. J.R. says:

    I am in a 14 team, head to head, points league with up to 5 keepers. For each keeper you choose you loose 1 round in the (snake) draft. Our keepers are public, but they lock this Friday, we draft April 1st.

    As it stands right now, 58 of a possible 70 players are being kept (this could change before Friday).

    I have chosen Ian Kinsler, Grady Sizemore, and Adam Wainwright as my keepers. With only 3 players being kept, I currently will have the #2 and #8 draft picks.

    Here are some of the top players that are not being kept:
    Dustin Pedroia
    Kevin Youkillis
    BJ Upton
    Justin Verlander
    John Lester
    Carlos Lee
    Curtis Granderson
    Andre Either
    Chris Carpenter
    Adam Jones
    Shin-Soo Choo
    Chone Figgins
    Ben Zoberist
    Nelson Cruz
    Shane Victorino
    Adam Dunn

    I also have Lance Berkman, Aramis Ramirez, Derek Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Johan Santana, Jonathan Broxton on my team right now.

    My question is, do you think I should keep any of these 6 players instead of taking the #2 and/or #8 picks in the upcoming draft?

    Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  64. Mike says:

    I have 5th overall pick in a head-to-head mixed league snake draft. Joe Mauer’s ADP is 12 and will not get back to me – is taking him at five ridiculous?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Miles says:

      I think you have to assess the value of Pick 5, your second pick and a late round catcher vs Mauer plus your second pick and a late the round pick. I think you can skip Mauer and do very well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      He’s not worth it at five. I have him at #10 on my board, and would much rather have Kemp, Braun, or Utley at #5.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  65. poodski says:

    I am in a 12 team H2H league with scoring as follows:

    1B – Singles 1 point
    2B – Doubles 2 points
    3B – Triples 3 points
    BB – Walks (Batters) 1 point
    CS – Caught Stealing -1 point
    HP – Hit by Pitch 1 point
    HR – Home Runs 4 points
    KO – Strikeouts (Batter) -1 point
    R – Runs 1 point
    RBI – Runs Batted In 1 point
    SB – Stolen Bases 2 points

    I drafted Orlando Cabrera in the last round assuming he would be a bit of a safer bet, but I really like Everth Cabrera. Should I stick with Orlando or pick up Everth.

    Or go with someone else like Miguel Tejada or Erick Aybar?

    Thanks for the advice.

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  66. John B says:

    Your thoughts on ranking the following outfielders for a point system league where steals are somewhat devalued as compared to run production and extra base hits: Werth, Lind, N.Cruz, Granderson, Quentin, Hamilton.

    Thanks!

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  67. Randall says:

    How much should one worry about Matt Holliday’s rib injury?

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  68. cwik02 says:

    Which guy finally puts it together, Rickie Weeks or Howie Kendrick?

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  69. HollywoodHartman says:

    How should I approach a head to head league compared to a roto league (Both standard 5 x 5).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Roto does not allow you to entirely punt categories, most of the time. However, you can (and should) completely ignore batting average in a H2H league.

      That is the biggest difference. Having a dominate roster versus having a well-rounded one.

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  70. Adam says:

    Clint Barmes or Stephen Drew as a backup at SS?

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  71. Jersey Ed says:

    Do both Matt Capps and Octavio Dotel stay as closers all year and how do you think they will do?

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Dotel won’t stay for the whole year, but probably because of an injury. Capps will stay all year, which is something that no one else really believes.

      Projections:
      Dotel – 22 sv, 57 k, 3.65 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
      Capps – 27 sv, 41 k, 3.70 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

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  72. ABosch says:

    Hey Zach, I’m looking for a little direction/confirmation on my last two keepers. I have Rauch and Mijares for $2 and $1 respectively. Should I keep both on the off hand chance that they’ll wind up with a handfull of saves or are their numbers going to be lackluster enough that it’s not worth holding onto either. Thanks

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  73. Brian says:

    How would you rank the following for a final roster spot in NL only league with ERA, W, Saves, K, WHIP
    – Luke Gregerson
    – Doug Davis
    – Kenshin Kawakami
    – Clayton Richard

    Thanks for doing this!

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  74. Ryan D says:

    Uggla or D. Ortiz in my utility slot? very similiar projections

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  75. Biggles the Clown says:

    Really appreciate you guys taking the time to do this. Who are your best handful of guys for holds – guys who are relatively safely locked into their 8th inning setup role with a reliable closer behind them, and guys that won’t hurt you in the ERA and WHIP ratios either.

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  76. bauermj says:

    How do you rank the following SP in a 5×5 keeper: Hernandez, Greinke, Halladay, Haren, Verlander, Sabathia, Santana

    Also, in that same 5×5 keeper (obp instead of avg), how do you rank the top 3 (Pujols, Hanley, Lincecum)? I’d love to go w/ Hanley at 1, given the age and position, but Pujols is a monster with OBP. It’s also tempting to go w/ Lincecum in a keeper because he is head and shoulders above the rest right now.

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  77. Ed says:

    Hi,
    In a 12 team H2H mixed, we keep 6. Very Competitive! We also roster one minor leaguer and can place him on our active roster at anytime. This is a deep league, 29 roster spots +1 for Minor, 25 active are active. Last year I was the first to draft a ML player in the 14th round (really the 20th rd since we keep 6), I chose Hanson. That pick really worked out for me.

    This year I am making my list and looking to land a power hitter for my Minor spot. I am torn between Carter and Alvarez. Which would you rather draft or would you draft someone else and at what round?

    Thanks in advance!

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  78. nmh says:

    Harden or Sheets in an AL only league and why?

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  79. The A Team says:

    Zach, if you were in a league based on linear weights, who would your top sleeper be?

    :)

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  80. Jason B says:

    Can you give some insight into the Mets and Marlins 1B situation? I’m in a 10-team NL-only auction, standard 23-man rosters, 5×5 traditional scoring except using OBP rather than AVG. What sort of price tag would you place on Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison? What about Daniel Murphy, Mike Jacobs, and/or Ike Davis?

    Thanks!

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    • The A Team says:

      I would caution you against either Marlin, they’ve had their scouts looking at Mike Lowell which would probably add up to Cantu at 1b, Lowell/Bonifacio at 3b and Sanchez/Morrison taking reps on the farm. Obviously there’s a good chance that doesn’t happen, but you could get left high and very dry if the 1b you’re depending on doesn’t end up a starter.

      As for the value, I’m afraid I haven’t done any NL only auctions so I can’t give you any firm numbers. Always be ready to adjust to the market. If you see Howard, Fielder, and Votto going for way more than expected then be ready for the lesser names to also come with hefty price tags.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      Stay away from the Marlins first baseman, and don’t pay more than $2-$4 for Daniel Murphy.

      It’s best to draft a good 1B and just stay away if you can.

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  81. PaulyOH says:

    I’m in a 10-team NL-only standard 5×5 league. $260 for auction.
    We can keep up to 13….have 12 keepers locked in. Need advice on final keeper.

    The candidates
    $2 Franklin Morales (May only close for a month, if he’s the closer)
    $5 Chris Dickerson (I have Stubbs so he’d be insurance, also should get plenty of at-bats in LF)
    $1 Jason Hammel (Dirt cheap starter who has pitched very well this spring)

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    • The A Team says:

      Not Morales.

      I’d lean toward Dickerson as insurance, I tend to think that you can find a Jason Hammel type pitcher easily enough mid-season. It kind of depends on how P and OF you have but I’d definitely strongly consider the insurance move.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • PaulyOH says:

        Not Morales? Is it because he stinks, or a month perhaps of saves isn’t worth it?

        I know Street’s MRI came back clean, but shoulders can be tricky. I wonder if he’ll miss more than a month…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jaw says:

      13 keepers, eh? Does that make for a less-competitive league?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • PaulyOH says:

        I like 13 keepers. It rewards owners who have a long-term plan, but at the same time there is enough talent available on auction day for teams to improve quickly.

        Also, it’s not like we can keep guys forever. Only up to 5 years, with two of those being long-term years where we add $5 a year to a contract to keep a guy.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        I would kind of agree – when you’re faced with keeping Morales at $2 and/or Dickerson at $5, I might consider scaling back the number of keepers. Neither of those seems particularly appealling.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Hammel. I have him above Dickerson in my rankings, and the fact that he’s cheaper makes it sweet.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • PaulyOH says:

        Thanks, I’ve narrowed it down to between Hammel and Morales. I’m tracking them closely the rest of the spring…still think Morales could easily get 10-15 saves….that would be worth the $2.

        There’s a lot of big hitters available in the auction, as it’s the 4th year of the league, so a lot of names have to get thrown back after the initial three-year contracts. Guys like Hanley, Utley, Wright, Fielder Howard, Reyes, Holliday, Tulowitzki, Bay, Zimmerman, McCann.

        My other 12 keepers for the record:
        C Montero B1
        1B Votto A20 (LT)
        2B Prado B1
        3B Headley B11
        OF Upton B20 (LT)
        OF Ethier C8 (LT)
        OF Stubbs B10
        P Gallardo C15 (LT)
        P Hanson B10
        P Carpenter C11
        P Bailey B4
        P Broxton B20 (LT)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  82. Nuke says:

    Who do you like more? Baker, Garza, Webb? I’m leaning Baker, but could be convinced of Garza

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  83. Steve Balboni says:

    1. Have you guys checked out Baseball Monster and, if so, what do you think?

    2. Whats your favorite set-up; plain vanilla 12 team 5×5, NL only, funky categories, razzball?

    3. Who will be closest to .290, 20, 80, 15: Rasmus, Milledge, Delmon Young?

    4. Who is handsomer: Sizemore, Mauer, Tex, Kemp, or Kung Fu Panda?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      1. Yes, and they use the same statistical ranking system (using STDEV) as I do.

      2. I like deep leagues, or strange stat leagues (wRC, WAR)

      3. Delmon Young. Milledge doesn’t have the power, and Rasmus won’t have the AVG

      4. Me.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  84. sean says:

    First year of a 20-team keeper league. The owners voted on a roster of 22 starters (9P, 14H (one catcher with MI, CI, 5OF, and U)) 4 Bench spots and 3 DL spots. The owners also voted to keep 20 players for next season. With 20×20, there won’t be much roster turnover and next year’s draft will be more of a rookie/minor league draft. Any suggestions on how to maximize my roster spots to build for the future but play for today?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • wydiyd says:

      Sean-I had to do this last year and it is rough. I ended up in the middle of the pack.

      Try to win a few categories and punt others. SB are easy to find. Aim for Average and Runs also. HRs may be impossible to find

      On pitching punt wins and Ks afor this year and go for ERA, Whip and Saves

      I would look at just filling the required slots. Fill the rest of the team with prospects. Go for the top hitters and a then pitchers.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      If you are considering drafting a group of players, make sure to consider how they will play next year, as well.

      Otherwise, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. Just draft smart, and try to take some young up and comers instead of well established veterans.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  85. Gary Gaetti says:

    Nine team 5×5 roto, grade this staff from 1 (worst) – 10 best:

    Ubaldo Jiménez
    Wandy Rodríguez
    Roy Oswalt
    Scott Kazmir
    Ervin Santana
    Ted Lilly
    Brian Matusz
    Tim Hudson
    Clay Buchholz

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      I give the staff a 6. Two young guys with high risk and a couple of question marks drops the rating down. But, I do love Ubaldo and Wandy this year, and both are great value in some draft leagues.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  86. Scott says:

    youkilis, sandoval, or ryan zimmerman in round 3? (12 team 7×5 league w/the standard 5×5 cats plus OPS and hits).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  87. scottnan says:

    Do you think Bud Norris and Justin Masterson are likely to outperform the kind of SPs that are available on the waiver wire in a 10-team H2H points league (Arroyo, Marquis, Millwood, Piniero, etc.) this year? Does either have enough future upside to justify keeping him even if he doesn’t outperform the replacement level?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      I like Norris and Masterson as players, but they both have a little bit of work to do. However, I’d be willing to take a chance on either of them over the guys you listed. Both have nice upside, so are even better in keeper leagues.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  88. jaw says:

    Could you rank these groups of players based on their projected value from 2010-14?:

    Justin Smoak
    Pedro Alvarez
    Mike Stanton
    Logan Morrison
    Domonic Brown
    Lars Anderson

    Assumptions:

    -12-team mixed league;
    -roto scoring with the classic 5 offensive categories plus OBP and SLG.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  89. jaw says:

    Same question — different players — could you rank these players based on their projected value from 2010-14? Or at least give a sense of the level of separation on these guys?

    Alcides Escobar
    Eric Young, Jr.
    Everth Cabrera
    Dustin Ackley
    Scott Sizemore
    Ian Desmond
    Sean Rodriguez

    Again, the assumptions:

    -12-team mixed league;
    -roto scoring with the classic 5 offensive categories plus OBP and SLG.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      This is tough, but I’ll give it a shot:

      Escobar
      Sean Rodriguez
      Ian Desmond
      Everth
      EY, Jr
      Scott Sizemore
      Ackley

      A lot of this is a shot in the dark since it is projecting so far ahead, but that would be my answer.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  90. drew says:

    please assume all of the pitchers below will pitch the same amount of innings this year and disregard wins. In what order would you rank them? thanks.

    chris volstad
    jaime garcia
    sean marshall
    felipe paulino
    manny parra
    jonathan niese
    billy buckner

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  91. Joe says:

    I am in a Roto dynasty league and was wondering if I should do this trade. the players involved are for my team i would trade Fielder and Adam Jones for S.Sizemore, K.Blanks, A. McCutchen and Pitcher Brett Anderson

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      I would tend to agree, but it depends, too, on who you would be benching and/or dropping for the people coming over. As is often stated, trades aren’t 2-for-1, 3-for-1, 4-for-2, or anything else; they’re all 2-for-2, 4-for-4, whatever, and you have to consider who is being dropped or benched in the equation.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  92. Byron says:

    Weird (but interesting?) league setup: AL-only, 3 teams (me, brother, dad), pitching stats are ERA, WHIP, IP, Ks, and Quality Starts. Obviously this is an extremely shallow league, with guys like Buerhle sitting as Free Agents. Do you like the idea of acquiring Javier Vazquez for James Shields and AJ Burnett? That would give me Felix, CC Sabathia, Javier Vazquez, Jon Lester, and Jake Peavy as my five SP. Right now Peavy is on the bench. I like the flexibility that comes with “consolidating” my players because there is such good talent freely available, but the more I look at it the more I wonder if Shields might not be outright better than Vazquez this year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Would he take Peavy and Burnett for Javy instead? I’d be more inclined to do that deal if I was you.

      Otherwise, I’d pull the trigger. I have Javy above Shields this year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  93. TonyCino says:

    I am in a 12 team, keeper, mixed, $330 10×10 auction league. Active roster is 23 players including 2C, CI, MI, 5 OF, 9P. I’ve settled on 5 of my 6 keepers:
    Hanley Ramirez
    Matt Kemp
    David Wright
    Justin Upton
    Joey Votto
    I can keep 1 additional, whichever I don’t keep will likely not be available to me. Choices for last keeper, would just for 2010 season:
    Pablo Sandoval $5,
    Jayson Werth $1,
    Chris Carpenter $2,
    Johan Santana $5,
    Aaron Hill $5,
    Tommy Hanson $5
    Which one?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Hanson or Werth, can’t decide. It depends on who would be available to get in the auction, but I like only having to pay a buck for Werth.

      If lots of pitchers are being kept, keep Hanson. If there are some nice P available, keep Werth.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  94. Jack says:

    Choice between Matt LaPorta, Travis Snider, and Kyle Blanks (as a 4th OF, basically), in a league where offensive categories are R, RBI, TB, AVG, OBP, & net Steals?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  95. LuckyStrikes says:

    Really appreciate the Q&A today.
    In our H2H points keeper league I’m coming up on my next pick and need to take a pitcher. I see four guys similar and would like your thoughts on how you rank these for starters for 2010:
    Billingsley
    Hamels
    Nolasco
    Danks

    I think I prefer Nolasco because of the K rate but if you had to rank them and project 2010 value, how do they rate?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  96. drew says:

    for this year: lastings milledge, drew stubbs, or cameron maybin? thanks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  97. Nathan says:

    I was just in a 16-team HtH 5×5 draft. A few rounds in, I had a dilemma: BJ Upton, who I don’t particularly like for various reasons, just kept falling and falling. I eventually picked up. My question is this:

    At what point in a draft does the value of picking Upton overcome the fact that he is such a high-variance, hard to predict player?

    That is to say, at what point in a 16-team draft does it become just the best pick to get Upton, assuming that the draft is going otherwise pretty competitively, and you have only one early OF, and no speed-first players yet.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      In a 16-team league, if he falls to the sixth round he is a must draft, even if you hate him. Getting him in the fifth round isn’t awful, either.

      Usually, if a player falls two-three rounds in a standard 12-team league, you can feel pretty safe and feel like you are getting value.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathan says:

        Thanks for answering what, in review, was a pretty awkwardly-phrased question.

        Your answer is good news for me; I drafted him 92nd overall, with the 12th pick of the sixth round.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  98. jaw says:

    Would you agree with the following statements with, say, a 25% degree of certainty?

    1. Dexter Fowler hits over 11 HR in 2010.

    2. Dexter Fowler hits over 19 HR during any single season between 2011-2014.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  99. Adam says:

    16 team 5×5 H2H league. Two questions:

    Encarnacion or Freese at 3B and why? I have to drop one as I have both on the bench.

    What are the chances Garcia makes the St Louis rotation and if so what kind of projected numbers?

    Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  100. Ray says:

    Rank these mid- to late-round SP options, H-2-H league with keepers (you lose the draft slot from the previous year). Going into the draft I already have Lincecum and Lester so I’m thinking upside; if I miss then no biggie, FA isn’t the worst option.

    Shaun Marcum, Brian Matusz, Homer Bailey, Wade Davis, Johnny Cueto

    Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  101. Ray says:

    One more:
    Thoughts on this potential deal: H-2-H keeper league, I have the following players:
    Mauer
    Howard
    Pedroia
    Reynolds
    Sizemore
    J. Upton
    Lincecum
    Lester
    Hamels

    I can only keep SEVEN of them. There are two deals on the table, which one is better? Would you do both deals?
    Sizemore and Hamels for Braun
    Pedroia and Reynolds for Teixeira

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Second one is a definite “no”, but first trade is hard gauge. I’m leaning towards “no”, but if there are good pitchers available to draft I’d probably do it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ray says:

        Thanks…just a quick follow-up: with this being a keeper league I’d be losing everyone NOT in my top 7, so the rest of the guys go back into the pool. Considering the skill on the team I’d probably NOT be keeping Pedroia. Does that change you opinion of these deals any?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Zach Sanders says:

        In that case, I’d do the first one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  102. Sean says:

    What do you think about Ian Stewart this year? I got him on the cheap in a deep auction style keeper league and am planning on platooning him at 2B with Rickie Weeks. I know its not pretty but is there a chance he has a Reynolds-esque breakout year?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  103. prosenblum says:

    Getz or Callaspo?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  104. Jack says:

    Thanks for answering previous question! 1 more, if I may (then I’m done):

    would you trade Lind & Butler for V Mart & Borbon?

    again, this is for league w/ R, RBI, TB, AVG, OBP, & net SB; also, my team as drafted appears short on SB

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  105. Zach Sanders says:

    No. Lind is great, and Borbon’s OBP would hurt you too much.

    If you can swap Butler for Borbon, straight up, that makes more sense to me.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  106. OT says:

    This is an awesome blog post. Love the Q & A, you guys should do this regularly.

    I’m in a deep keeper, 14 team, (10×10 H2H) league with 30 roster spots each (two catchers starting catchers even).

    Am I crazy? Please help.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  107. PureBwa says:

    Love the AQA thread. Here’s my question:

    I’m drafting 2nd in a 14 team 5×5 roto league with OPS instead of AVG and QS instead of W. The guy with the 1 is taking Pujols, so I’m taking Hanley. My concern is the 2nd/3rd round turn. I have the 2-13 and the 3-2. I figure two of the following will end up there:

    Zimmerman
    Sizemore
    Votto
    Zorbrist
    Sandoval
    Morneau

    How would you rank them as far as pairing with Hanley? Am I missing anyone? I usually try to go all 5 category players in the first few rounds, as it makes drafting the rest of my offense much easier (no targeting speed guys, or average guys… etc). Thanks for your input.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  108. Alex says:

    Am I crazy to not accept Billy Butler and Jay Bruce for (my) Joey Votto in a standard 5×5 H2H league? I’ve also got Morneau, and I’m short on HR.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  109. slackerjack says:

    12-team AL standard 4×4 roto, $260 Salary Cap

    1. Kenny Lofton or Juan Pierre — who does Ben Revere more closely resemble?

    2. Who will earn more R$ in 2010, Jayson Nix or Sean Rodriguez?

    3. Slama is still in camp for Minnesota. Does he go north with the big league club? Will he get save opps?

    4. Is Trevor Cahill a throwback at $10?

    5. Will Rajai Davis get 500 AB? Will his BA stay above .300?

    6. Will Ryan Sweeney ever hit for power?

    7. Is Wilson Ramos trade bait? Or will Minnesota keep him in order to have a reasonable option when Mauer is playing DH?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      1. No clue.
      2. S-Rod
      3. I think he’ll be in the minors to start the year, but will get called up and receive save ops.
      4. Not worth $10
      5. No, and No
      6. Nope.
      7. They’ll keep him.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  110. hamandcheese says:

    12 team mixed

    What number from 1 (worst possible) to 10 (best possible) would you give my starters?

    Dan Haren, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, Kevin Slowey, Max Scherzer

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  111. deputy says:

    With draft coming up this weekend, I hold the #1 overall pick.
    13 team league.

    Would you trade #1 for #3 and #47 overall or keep the #1?

    Or in other words, would you trade Pujols for ARod and Chris Carpenter?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  112. Billy Bob says:

    In a keeper league who do you want from most to least?
    1) Neftali Feliz
    2) Brian Matusz
    3) Brett Anderson
    4) Phil Hughes

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  113. Mike says:

    Assuming Heath Bell is traded at some point, will they go Gregorson or Adams?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  114. Mike says:

    Also, MI rank: Desmond, K. Johnson, Matsui, O. Cabrera, F. Sanchez.

    Thanks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  115. Ari says:

    12 team mixed keeper league with $260 auction, standard 5×5 league with MI CI 5OF…you can keep up to 5 players for +$4 from the year before. Which, if any, would you keep? I’m leaning to only keeping ARod, Lind, Span, and Heyward. Here’s what players would cost me :

    ARod 36
    Jurrjens 7
    Lind 6
    Span 6
    Heyward 5
    RDavis 5
    AEscobar 5
    Romero 5
    Porcello 5
    Latos 5

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  116. Pat says:

    Rank these Util options in a normal 5×5 auction keeper league please: Rajai Davis, Julio Borbon, Brett Gardner, Chris Young, Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa (the last two of which went undrafted and I would have to drop someone for).

    I have good power in my lineup with R. Howard, R. Zimmerman, and A. Lind, and several guys who bring a bit of power and speed to the table (Pence, BJ Upton, Rollins, B Roberts) in my lineup already.

    Lastly, what do you expect out of R. Martin this year? Does he bounce back to respectability? Thanks in advance.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      LaRoche, Borbon, Young, DeRosa, Davis, Gardner

      Before the injury concerns, I had Russel as a top-10 catcher. If he can get heathy, he will have a nice bounceback year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  117. PunchesInBunches says:

    could you rank nelson cruz adam jones abreu manny and quentin for this year only?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  118. jaw says:

    Care to rank my rotation 1-10?

    Haren
    Wainwright
    Jimenez
    Hanson
    Joe Blanton
    Colby Lewis

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  119. wasabi1212 says:

    Zach, first off, thanks so much for taking your time to answer these questions.

    I am in an NL only 10 team 5×5 (obp instead of avg)

    I can keep up to 4 players…
    so far I have Nyjer Morgan at $3, Justin Upton at $18, Casey Blake at $2, Utley at $34, Rollins at $35, Zach Duke at $1, Jon Garland at $1, and Brandon Lyon at $9.

    Who should I be keeping?

    thanks again!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      No problem, just happy with the turnout and the number of questions today.

      Morgan at 3 and Upton at 18 are locks for me. I don’t like Utley at 34, but I don’t hate it either. Rollins is too expensive, and Lyon and Garland are plain worthless.

      I’d go with Morgan, Upton, Utley and Blake (as strange as that is, the value is good)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  120. cygar13 says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for doing this. I am in a keeper league where you can keep an enormous amount of players (1-25) so the draft is very limited. I have narrowed down my options Julio Borbon, Denard Span, and Chris Coghlan. Who do you see as the best player of those 3 to have and the best down the road. Thanks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  121. Josh says:

    12-team, 5×5, H2H, I have excess of OF (J. Upton, CarGo, McCutcheon, Pence, C. Quinten, Garrett Jones) and want to improve SP (Lester, Hamel, Peavy, Price, Happ). Thoughts on where I could find good trade value?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  122. Dan says:

    so the two previous questions regarding the applications aren’t reasonable? It’d be nice to have some idea of what’s going on there

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  123. wasabi1212 says:

    Hey Zach,

    Thanks for your answer to my first question. This one is in a similar vein.

    5×5 AL only 10 team league using OBP

    I need to select one more keeper of these options…

    Crawford at $31
    Abreu at $28
    Swisher at $16
    Duchscherer at $5

    Right now I’m stuck between Crawford and Swisher. Keep in mind the OBP factor.

    Thanks a million!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  124. duder says:

    Rather have N. Cruz or J. Broxton?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  125. Jesse says:

    UPDATE: So I’m looking at JJ Hardy on my team, and even if he is the local kid, I don’t think I want to watch JJ Hardy whiffing 3x nightly on FSN. Then there’s this Ian Desmond kid. What do you think about him? Is he worth taking a flier on? Really, it’s down to one of those two, Luis Valbuena, Maicer Izturis, or a kick to the groin. Who’s it gonna be?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  126. BronxOrioleFan says:

    Sorry about the re-post, I can’t seem to make my browser agree with FanGraphs comments sometimes…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  127. Brennan says:

    I recently drafted in a ten team mixed league and entered into an argument with a fellow owner about who had drafted a better starting rotation. Would you rather have Lincecum, Haren, Carpenter, Harden, Danks, Latos/J. Blanton or Halladay, Sabathia, Beckett, Brett Anderson, Scherzer, Dempster/D. Lowe?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  128. tyler says:

    12-team mixed H2H roto non-keeper. 180 start maximum, so my thought is to balance out my low K, good ratio starters with high K/IP relievers. Weaknesses, strengths?

    C – Mauer
    1B – Fielder
    2B – Ian Stewart
    3B – Beltre
    SS – Tejada
    MI – K. Johnson
    CI – Adam LaRoche
    OF – Markakis
    OF – Cruz
    OF – Bruce
    OF – McLouth
    OF – J. Rivera
    UT – L. Scott

    P – Sabathia
    P – Vazquez
    P – Jered Weaver
    P – Baker
    P – Broxton
    P – Hoffman
    P – Perez
    P – Guerrier
    P – Medlen

    BN – Kuroda
    BN – Lilly
    BN – Wood (will be DL’d for Mike Adams)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Assuming you are trying to punt steals, it looks good to me. Not a fan of Hoffman this year, but that’s about it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Eno Sarris says:

        I hope that’s Chris Perez. And I don’t like Weaver as an SP3. Your MI seems a little week, but at least you have good depth in the OF.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tyler says:

      Thanks ya’ll – this was a great feature today. Read a ton of the comments before submitting mine.

      The SB punt wasn’t intentional – just tried to take the best overall values in the draft, and this is how it worked out.

      That is indeed Chris Perez. I assume it would make it better if I swapped Baker up to SP3 (he’s 3rd in your SP3 tier) and Weaver down to SP4 (he’s 10ths on the SP3 tier)…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  129. scottnan says:

    is Neftali Feliz a better keeper than Kyle Blanks? I know they’re apples and oranges, but in whom do you have more confidence? Thanks for the awesome replies, guys.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  130. rayfan4life says:

    10 team ESPN re-draft H2H 5X5

    Guys in my league overvalue closers, so I only drafted one (Qualls), and instead got (C)V. Mart, (1B)Cantu, (2B)Kinsler, (SS)Han-Ram, (3B)Beckham, (OFs)Holliday, Sizemore, Zobrist, Car-Go, Milledge/Rasmus…SPs are Gallardo, Jiminez, Nolasco, Billingsley, B. Anderson, D. Price…

    would you punt saves and trade Qualls and Cantu for power bat like Pena or Dunn, or keep Qualls and try to get saves off waiver wire?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Keep Qualls, and try to get some saves off the waiver wire. Nice to have at least 1 closer on the roster, even if you are punting it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eno Sarris says:

      I think you can get two closers off the wire as soon as the season starts… Morales and Rauch/Guerrier? 1Bs are also fungible, I bet someone steps forward… maybe Davis, or maybe you trade an OF.

      You have a great team, don’t punt yet.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  131. rayfan4life says:

    also, fyi – no perez, no lindstrom, no frasor, no madson…all drafted

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  132. rayfan4life says:

    Thanks for the reply. I thought it might be better to wait and see what else turns up in saves, and ride it out. That’s what I’ll do.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  133. viteminj says:

    Zach,

    I drafted Jason Heyward in the last round in my 12 team league. If he makes the Braves out of spring training, I am obviously going to keep him. If he gets sent to the minors, should I drop him in favor of someone like Hideki Matsui, who is the best available free agent in my league? Or should I keep him on my roster hoping he gets called up?

    Also, Brandon Lyon or Matt Lindstrom? Which of them is more worthy of a roster spot on my team at this time?

    Thanks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach Sanders says:

      Keep Heyward on the bench. He will be called up soon if he does start the year in the minors.

      I’d rather have Lindstrom. Lyon may get the first shot at saves, but he has injury problems and just plain sucks.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  134. rayfan4life says:

    One more followup – our waivers period starts tomorrow, wondering which 2 of these have the best chance to get saves early: Saito, Baez, Hawkins, Rodney, Hanrahan, Motte, Betancourt, Meek, Thornton, Devine, Corpas

    Thx

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  135. Pat says:

    Thanks for answering my question earlier… really a great idea you guys had today. I’m sure if you advertise it a bit too, you’ll get a lot of traffic for this post alone.

    I forgot to mention that Helton is available in the league where you suggested LaRoche. Helton or LaRoche for this season?

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  136. Zach Sanders says:

    That’s it, folks. The day is up, so the deadline for questions has passed.

    Thanks to all the readers who showed a great response to this thread, and thanks to Eno and Marc for stopping by and helping out by sharing their opinions.

    I hope you guys found this helpful, or at the very least entertaining in some sick fashion.

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    • Big Oil says:

      Well done. Since I’ve been around here (’06) I’ve never seen this many comments, let alone responses, let alone substantive responses.

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  137. matthew says:

    Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun?

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  138. KeeperQ says:

    Keeper league question. Standard 5×5 roto league with a snake draft. Lots of possibilities for starting pitchers available in my draft tonight. We tend to keep a lot of players year to year (13 this year), so a lot of the top pitching is already gone. But there are a number of intriguing guys still available and I’m trying to balance long term value with immediate value. My judgment gets clouded with long term value a lot of the time, so assistance would be great. :) How would you rank the following guys?

    Jurrjens
    Shields
    Brett Anderson
    Nolasco
    Garza
    Porcello
    Liriano
    Tillman

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  139. Bones says:

    8×8 league, 10 spots on offense. h/hr/r/rbi/sb/avg/obp/slg – I have 3 open spots, including 2 Util, so position does not really matter. Who should the starting 3 be? I’m a little light on steals so far, so I’m thinking either E. Cab or Stubbs needs to be in the lineup. I love Blanks as well. I don’t think he’ll hit 30 hrs, but should be up there in xbh – I could see 40 doubles from him.

    Kyle Blanks
    Everth Cabrera
    Garett Jones
    JD Drew
    Drew Stubbs
    Milton Bradley
    Ian Desmond (if he makes the big league team)

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  140. Bones says:

    For reference, my the locks in my lineup are:

    C – V-mart
    1b – Sandoval
    2b – Cano
    3b – M. Reynolds
    SS – Tulowitzki
    CF – Granderson
    OF – Braun
    OF – ?
    Util – ?
    Util – ?

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  141. Ryan says:

    Do you think Nick Johnson has any fantasy value? My league is traditional 5×5 with OBP and QS added to the mix. I was wondering with the bump in HR he might receive from playing at Yankee Stadium and the runs he may score batting second, added to his on base abilities, Do you think he’s a worthwhile bench player, maybe even UTIL spot in a 12 team H2H league with OBP as a scoring category? Thanks

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    • Jimbo says:

      Depends on your roster requirements. If it is 1B, 3B, CI…maybe. If, as in my league, you need two each at 1B/3B then I really like Nick.

      Certainly worth a bench spot. If healthy, and batting 2nd between Jeter and Tex/Arod? Great value!!

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  142. Josh says:

    Two guys who haven’t lived up to their billing yet: Delmon Young and Lastings Milledge. Who breaks out this year? Who would you rather have?

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  143. Jimbo says:

    Question…is 400 replies on one thread a new record?

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  144. Ritch says:

    Trade advise needed fast.

    My problem is Ryan Franklin just imploded. I still have H.Bell and B. Lyons and Sean Marshell as my holds guy.

    I play in a 5×5 h2h points mixed 10 team league whose owners are coming out of the wood work with trade offers. The problem: I need another closer and don”t want to be raked over the coals by the other owners who have surplus in this area. THE OFFER: JJ PUTZ and ALEX GONZOLEZ for ZACK BRITTON and STEVEN DREW.

    I am playing ASTRUBAL CABERA at SS and sitting DREW right now. I am also sitting BRITTON in my minors slot
    for now. THE QUESTION: WOULD YOU MAKE THIS TRADE ? AM I GIVING UP WAY TO MUCH ?

    SHOULD I STAY PAT AND SEE WHAT COMES UP ON THE WAIVER WIRE ?

    Also BOGGS the ST. LOUIS next in line is already taken as well as SANTOS.

    I COULD ASLO PUNT THE SAVE CATEGORY ALL TOGETHER.

    WHAT WOULD YOU DO ?????

    Thanks,
    RITCH

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