Fantasy 411 Q&A: Feb. 24, 2009

Oh Vernon how are thou hammy?


XOPDqj7y.jpgGoing to shoot the show in a few. Vernon has jumped into the headlines along with the Crede, Anderson and Hudson signings so stay tuned for that.


Let’s get to your questions……..Siano


Hey Guys,

I am in a 12 team Head to Head points league with the points being HR=4, 3B=3, 2B=2, 1B=1, SB=2, R=1 and RBI=2

I just made the pick of Jayson Werth and I was debating between him and
Lastings Milledge. Did I make the right choice and how do these two
players compare?

Thanks, Kampy

Off last years stats this is pretty much a wash, but Milledge had
more at bats. However, I think Cory will agree with me that it could
again be a wash but the chance for Milledge to have a breakout season
is greater. We could also argue this is Werth’s ceiling.
With all that said I don’t have a problem with Werth being picked over
Milledge since it is a safer pick, and in a non-keeper that is OK. They
have almost identical ADPs by the way. 135 for LM and 139 for JW. So
don’t sweat this one even though it was a good comp question.


Milledge and
Werth are ranked 41 and 42 respectively on’s preseason
rankings, so this is about as close as it gets. In my mind, the
difference between the two is that Werth will give you a few more
homers while Milledge will steal some more bags. Considering your
league’s scoring and without knowing your specific needs at the time of
the pick, I too would’ve probably gone Werth. Better team, better park,
more 4-pointers.


Most projection systems have Werth comfortably ahead of Milledge this
season due to his power upside, and that gives him a clear edge in your
scoring system. But I will say this… as Siano noted, I think Werth is
already as good as he’s going to be, but I’m convinced Milledge can
approach what McLouth did last year… maybe a few less homers, but the
overall development and production spike can be very similar.



Have the number 2 overall draft pick in a deep keeper (16 teams, 5×5, H2H) that is starting this season. Assuming Hanley is the 1st overall pick, who would you guys take 2nd? Pujols, Reyes……..?????? Can keep the player forever. Thanks for your help.


So over the past weekend I spent a good chunk of time trying to “assemble” some teams with the composite projections. (I used them last year and they made for some successful drafts)

I know they are overall more conservative – but for my auction NL-Only I like to put together a couple teams under our cap using the mlb values and am having a real hard time accumulating enough stats to put me in 3rd place in all the categories compared to previous years totals. Are these stats so conservative that it may not be “possible” to do so and just get them close?

Also I know it was said that some of the predictions were done early so I have to ask how to tweak some things. For instance Maybin is only getting 365 AB on the sheet, if he wins the leadoff role and gets closer to 580 AB can we assume more counting stats w/ a decrease in Avg?

I know we will know more about who wins what jobs in a couple weeks and I want to be ready to adjust as necessary.

— Nate in Springfield

stu, really close call but I’m actually going to go A-Rod here. H2H leagues slightly devalue steals, so my decision would ultimately be between Pujols and A-Rod. While Pujols will hit for the higher AVG, A-Rod has more power upside to go along with 20 or so steals. Rodriguez also has a better supporting cast, namely Teixeira, who’s signed long term. The steroid controversy is a bit scary, but not enough to change my decision.


Hey guys,

More long-term contract decisions… in my AL-only & NL-only leagues, I need to sign the following players (current salary in parentheses):

Pedroia ($10)
U. Jimenez ($5)
Oliver Perez ($8)
M. Capps ($9)

I can extend each of these players to a contract ranging from 1-4 years with $5 escalators each year after the 1st year (i.e. Pedroia signed to a 4-year contract would be $10 in 2009, $15 in 2010, $20 in 2011, $25 in 2012). Cory has already addressed Capps in a previous blog, though I’m leaning towards signing him to a 3-year contract in hopes of trading him away prior to his final year. Any recommendations on the other three players? I’m leaning towards Pedroia and Jimenez for 4 years, and Ollie for 3 years.

Thanks for the knowledge,

Scotty Mac

ok, here’s the question keeping me up at night….

7×7 mixed league. extra cats obp, slugging, BAA and K/BB

5 keepers. we keep the players in the round they were drafted. if you traded for a player and you have 2 players that were drafted in the 3rd round, you can keep both, and one gets picked in the 3rd and the second in the 4t and so on.

if you pick a second round player, you burn an extra keeper and can only keep 3 more instead of 4.

my potential keepers:

2nd round -teixeira
3rd round- aRAM, alexi rios, abreu (would bump down to 3,4,5 round if i keep them all)
8th round- beckett (sick flithy k/BB)
11th round shields (beckett light)
15th round andre ethier

my biggest dilemma, do i keep tex and then i only get 3 more players? or do i keep everyone else?

i draft 7th, so i can get tex, cabrera, or howard in the first round and then turn around and get something like soriano or carlos lee or brandon phillips in the 2nd if i don’t keep tex.

if i keep tex in the second, i might get tex AND cabrera, but then who else do i keep? the cascade effect of ARAM, RIOs, Abreu, 3,4,5 is only tempting if i keep them all. rios and abreu are much better values at 4,5 than they are at 3

what say you, the sagest of all fantasy lords?

Hi Guys,

In the fine tradition of the 411, I’m going a bit off topic with my question. In the movie Major League, Pedro Cerrano hits a home run against the Yankees in the ALCS. As he runs the bases, he still has the bat in his hands. Is there any written rule in baseball prohibiting a batter from doing this?

There is a beer or two (or five) from a Madison microbrewery riding on this question. Thanks for the help.

-Robin in Madison

Hey Guys,

After a few mock auctions, I’m curious about a few strategies that you guys would use. A few questions I have are:
What is the max amount of money you’d spend on a player?
Do you pay more for position scarcity players?
And Do you try to limit $1 players or does it not matter?

Thanks! Davis in Mass

Just a quick question…
What draft position would you prefer in a 16 team league? Front end or back end?


Hey Davis in Mass where are you doing mock auctions at?

Hey Cory…thanks again for the combined projections!

I’ve been taking hacks at converting the projections into some sort of snake draft rankings/tiers but its all total homemade stuff.

Ive tried calling the top guy in each category 100% then everyone beneath him a fraction of 100% then summing the figures…also tried messing with averages of the top 30 at each position and using standard deviations, but all of that is way over my payscale.

I know many people are looking forward to your take for the auction format, but i’d be very interested in your snake draft spin as well. Also, rather than just the results, any theory you can share to help me/us apply the projections to non-5×5 leagues would be helpful (how are you actually doing the calculations??)…my main league is a 6×6 with OPS and Holds.

Cory always talks about where you should be in your draft numbers wise. For example, if I draft Reyes first round then I’m solid for the next three rounds because he will get me about 60 steals. What is the breakdown for HR/RBI after three rounds of where I should be? Do you do an evaluation like this after every 3 rounds or so?

As a follow up to Tommy’s question – when drafting, how much do you track Runs and RBIs as you go along? Do you use SBs and HRs as proxies? Also, are there proxies you use for pitching? I’m like to keep my projections in front of me when I draft, but if I can reduce a couple of columns, it makes it a lot easier to track.
Jeff in Berkeley

kngslender, in such a large league I prefer the front end in that you’re assured of getting an elite player. It’s also nice to have your second and third round picks close together. There will still be plenty of big time impact players available at this stage, and I’d much rather go into it knowing I’ve already snatched a top 5 guy off the board.


Hey guys,

Firstly, you guys are awesome. Secondly, there’s something I gotta know. It’s been in the back of my mind for a few days now. I saw Cory’s post on your latest Mock Draft through Round 19. I noticed that Cory, Siano, Alex, and Zach – the entire crew – all took a stud closer in (approx.) round 6, before taking any stud SP. I believe Tony used this strategy as well.

Generally when people give “on the surface” advice to newbie fantasy players, the following is preached:
1) Draft power early.
2) Take one stud SP in the first six rounds.
3) Draft closers late

I’m not saying I follow these rules as gospel, but I generally carry out #3 at every draft. I respect your guys’ opinion, so I have to know why every one of you drafted a stud closer around round 6, before taking any stud SP. I’m thinking about mixing it up and using a different strategy this year; mayhaps this is the route I go?

Thanks guys,


Moose, I understand the argument of taking closers late, as there is considerable turnover at the position over the course of the year. But using the exact same reasoning, can’t we also say that drafting a stud closer (i.e. Papelbon, Nathan, Rivera, K-Rod, Lidge), a guy who will hold onto the job from April through September and help a ton in ERA, WHIP, and Ks, gives you a significant edge over the competition? This way, when you scour the waiver wire mid-season in search of saves, you won’t be desperate. You’ll know that you have some sort of safety net. Waiting too long to take a closer puts an awful lot of pressure on you to grab every “new” closer off waivers, and your ratio numbers could take a major hit because of it.



Look at it this way. If you draft all bats and closers in the first 8-10 rounds and believe that good pitching can be found later then you’ll be ahead of your competition in hitting and closers and in theory be even or not far behind in pitching. Specifically about closers I think taking them late is hogwash. Kerry Wood is ranked as the #9 closer on That means in a 10 team league he is someones number one closer. That is not for me. I’d rather have 4 or 5 bats to start a draft get Papelbon and Lidge a few more bats and then go get value on SP in rounds that are double digited. It’s easier to find pitching later but not closers since even though the worst closer can get 30 saves what else comes with it? The turnover is insane so I’ll go with comfort and since I don’t draft starers early I’m not hurting myself on offense getting stud closers.


Tommy G and Jeff,

I forget Cory’s strategy so I’ll let him answer later. One draft day strategy I use is the theord place theory. There is aname for it but I can’t remember. What this theory states is that if you come in 3rd in all 10 cats you score 100 points. If you score 100 points you are giving yourself a very good chance to win. So take the 3rd place stats from 08 and aim to meet them on draft day 09. Let’s say 110 steals came in 3rd in 08 and you take reyes and he projects to 50 so now withe the rest of your draft in theory you only need 60 steals. I’ve found it pretty helpful and know others who have used it as well. I try my hardest to track all stats on draft day, it can be tough but it is doable. Short answer is bring a friend.


Scotty Mac,

Trust me don’t ever sign a pitcher to more then 2 years and I would stay at 3 years for a hitter. You will have more regrets then success. I would sign all four of those guys assuming this is a $260 league but no way do i go more then 2 years on them. Pitchers are just too hard to trust. Pedroia at 3 years in fine.



Now that my head has stopped spinning I’m going to say let tex go back into the pool try to get him back at 7 and keep the extra players. If I’m reading right by not keeping Tex you are in effect trading him for himself, howard or miggy and c lee, soriano and phillips plus you get your 3,4,5. If that’s right then that’s what I do.



I cannot find where it says you can NOT do it and man I looked.

Bring that %$#$% to me man!!!!!


I’m trying to sort out the top SP after the first top 8. What kind of tier(s) do you put these pitchers in?
Kazmir, Beckett, Oswalt, Shields, DiceK, Felix, Billingsly, Lester, AJ Burnett, Zambrano, Ervin Santana, Volquez, Chris Young, rich harden, Verlander, gallardo, cain, nolasco, brett myers, wainwright, gavin floyd

Dave in Mass,

I’ve gone high $40’s for a player.

You definitely need to pay for scarcity like it or not. I like to get my deals on deep positions and my studs where scarce, only bad example is A-Rod.

$1 players are a fact of life in drafts. Don’t fear them but don’t get too may. I usually get my backup catcher, my 5th OF, my MI (hate it but it happens) and 2 or 3 arms.



In a 16 teamer I definitely don’t want #1 and not really sure I want #16. I’d be content for sure with #10.


Cory will get to the rest later. have a good one kids…Siano

thanks for answering sianoman!
actually it breaks down like this:
if i keep tex in the second, i’ll probably keep rios, aram, and beckett and have this:
if i don’t keep him, i could either draft tex or howard in the first, and then wind up with this:

1- howard or tex
2- draft
5- abreu
8- beckett

so instead of having howard AND tex, i trade one of them in for a second rounder like phillips or fielder, and in return, i get to keep abreu in the 5th and shields in the 11th over any other player who would be drafted in that spot.

this only makes sense if 5th round is good value for abreu and 11th for shields. normally i would say no, but the extra cats in my league bump their value.

sorry for the verbosity. not much going on here other than sand flying.
you guys are the best!
-pete in jordan

just wanted to add that the outfield depth seems worse than ever this year, which is why i’m looking at outfielders early.

I did my mock auctions at ESPN and (both free)

Random question, I would be interested to hear your votes for the top 5 fantasy seasons for a single player of all time. Just watching the ‘Baseball’ documentaries by Ken Burns and interested to know how some of those guys might match up to A-Rod in 2007 for example.
Also, what would you project for C.Guillen and where would you be drafting him in a 12 team mixed. Looks like he has potential for similar numbers to Gordon or Zimmerman at 3B, but might go much later.

I just traded Adam Wainwright for Zack Greinke. Was this a good deal?

Mike and Cory. Hello gentleman. What are you guys expations of Travis Hafner this season? I know some people are down on him because he had 2 bad seasons 07 and a bad 2008 season. But I think pronk can have a nice re-bound season in 2009. Their is a award called comeback player of the year what do you guys think? Kenny in Ohio

Kenny we answered your question in today’s blog.

I have zero issue with Wainwright for Greinke nicely done.

Guillen is closing in on 34 so while he’s been a pretty good player last year was no bueno and Gordon and Zimm have less years on their bones by a ton and much higher ceilings. I’d rather take one of the young guys.

Pete, I’ve never like the OF depth in MLB, been saying it for years but nobody listens.


I too would give Greinke the slight edge over Wainwright. While I will be targeting both of these guys and it is always dangerous to bank on a Royals pitcher, Wainwright has had his fair share of injury issues. Greinke also possesses a superior K rate.


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