Fantasy 411 Q&A: Mar. 3, 2009 (Listener League Update and other news)


It is with mixed emotions I announce that there are no openings this year for the Listener Leagues. It’s good news because there was very little turnover. I believe only one spot had to be filled. In one league there were 13 GM’s and one GM left so I left it at 12 to keep it vanilla. It’s bad news because I know a ton of you out there want to compete. We appreciate the love. If you still are looking to get involved in a league with members of the 411 world please head over to and Tony C. is your contact at pros911 and Jason and Tony in Hitchin are the guys taking the flame from GP at mafia.

A quick answer to another question we’ve been getting about updating rankings and dollar values on’s Fantasy Preview as moves are made by clubs. The e-mail below should help.

Hi Kevin,

The short answer to your question is yes. The 2009 Fantasy Preview is updated throughout Spring Training. For instance, if/when shortstop Orlando Cabrera officially joins the A’s, his blurb, picture, statistics and auction value will change accordingly. Generally, the bulk of updates being made are major ones, based largely on injuries, player movement or dramatic depth-chart developments in camp. Hope this helps.


– Alex Cushing, Fantasy Editorial Producer


and finally


List of 12 can be found on the bottom right of the page under fantasy resources.

2009 Fantasy Previews Show (sleepers and busts) is due out next week on Itunes (Yes we are close to calling it home again). Keep watching the show for an exact date. It is already taped and is in post production.


About to head in and tape the show with Schwartz.

Topics include Cabrera signing with A’s and the health of Nathan/Ryan/Wood/Johan/Wandy/Hamilton and Bradley. 



***NOTE  All unanswered questions from yesterday have been moved to the Comments section under this blog post.



AL-Only 5×5 12 team Auction $260, OBP instead of Runs

Danks at $10 or Giambi at $14


TJ, By just a few bucks Danks is a better bargain in this format. Giambi, who had a .373 OBP in 2008 with 32 homers, may seem enticing but when I looked up his AL ranking in 2008 in OBP he came in 17th believe it or not. He was 8th in homers in the AL but his average stunk and he didn’t even score 70 runs. If you absolutely feel like you need to protect someone, go Danks. It eases your mind on draft day not having to fight for that extra starter and you definitely got him at below market price even though it’s not a steal.



In my league, one of the members couldn’t make it for the Yahoo! live draft so he was autodrafted and he got Scherzer. He dropped him in favor of Huston Street. I have number 2 waiver priority and I know for sure the number 1 guy isn’t going to grab him. Should I use my waiver now, or wait until later in the season for a possible Tommy Hanson callup?
Thanks again, Matthew in Southern California

Mike –

AL-Only 5×5 12 team Auction $260, OBP instead of Runs

Danks at $10 or Giambi at $14


Hey gurus,

How do you rank this year’s stud closers and why? Are you concerned with Mariano and most recently Joe Nathan’s shoulder issues, and how about Lidge’s forearm?

Another Mike

Hey guys,

I’m in a new 10 team, 8×8 league (XBH, OPS, TB, L, QS and K/BB extra cats), which we’ve set up by picking 7 initial Keepers from a groups of teams – I got the MIL/CLE/COL group, and took Sizemore, Peralta, V-Mart, Braun, Fielder, Hart and Tulowitzki.

I’ve been offered Dan Haren plus the first pick in the draft (which would be Carlos Beltran) for Ryan Braun. My question is, should I do it?

I see this as a chance to get a stud pitcher (given I have no pitchers yet) whilst having to drop from Braun to Beltran for the price.

I know in a snake that Braun is going 9, Beltran 22 and Haren 55, which would make me think ‘No’, but the extra pitching stats play to Haren’s strengths – I’m approaching ‘Paralysis of Analysis’!

What would you recommend?

Cheers guys,

Steve in the UK

Love the OC Expos throwback, guys. Thanks for the info.

Mike, I’ll rank them Papelbon, Nathan, Rivera, Lidge, K-Rod, Soria. Not really concerned about Mariano and Nathan, as it is very early in the spring, and, in Nathan’s case, missing the WBC is just a precautionary measure. It’s pretty natural for pitchers to experience some soreness after a long layoff, so let’s see what happens.
Matthew, I say if you can use Scherzer and he’s the best option from the waiver wire, go and get him. I know from personal experience that holding onto a #1 waiver priority in hopes of someone better coming along often backfires. You have an opportunity now, so seize it!


Steve, I have a feeling that Mike and Cory will disagree with me and say to keep the best player, but I do the deal. I think Beltran’s consistent across the board production is really unappreciated, and that the addition of Haren, a flat out stud, especially in K/BB and QS, is worth the downgrade.


Hey guys,

I have some guys in my AL-only and NL-only auction leagues that I need to make decisions on. Would you keep:
Arredondo @ $10
Jack Hannahan @ $2
Bloomquist @ $5
Brett Gardner @ $10
Rafael Perez @ $6
D-Train @ $11
Mark Ellis @ $18
Loretta @ $4
Luis Gonzalez (OF) @ $1 (still w/o a team though)
Cueto @ $25
Zito @ $15
I don’t have to make decisions today, but with all the chatter about the D-Train looking good and Zito’s change in offseason regimen, could these guys have an increasing value despite last year’s problems?

Thanks for the knowledge,

Scotty Mac

Scotty Mac!!!!!!!

Arredondo no
Hannahan no
bloomquist no
gardner yes if he wins the job or gets traded to a place he can start no if he doesnt. high risk low reward but he has a shot to win job.
perez I’d say yes at $3 but $6 is hugh unless Wood starts season on DL and wedge hands him job.
d-train no
ellis no, 18 is too much. That’s $62 you can spend on better players. I bet you can get maybe all of them for cheaper on draft day by a lot.
For NL
Loretta no they have Hudson.
Gonzo no
Cueto no , way too much you can get him back for more then half.
zito no, he may be worst pitcher on that staff.

sorry to go poopy on your guys……Siano

Steve in UK,

I’m actually going to agree with Zach and say do it. I had to really think about it which is a good thing. You have some other studs in Sizemore and Beltran like Zach said is very consistent. Getting Haren makes this worth it, if it was Ted Lilly type guy I would have said pass.



Thanks for loving the old skool O-Cab, I had to use it, I loved it too.



Your answer is above with a pretty picture.



Wow what is going on? I actually agree with Zach again! So I’ll leave it at that.


Matt in SoCal,

I’d wait. #1 waiver can also be used for a backup position player who takes over or gets traded and becomes a starter or a new closer. I’m not saying hang on to it forever since the quicker you use it the quicker you get back up to the top. I definitely agree on Hanson, but right now Scherzer is banged up and the 5th starter so he will just sit on your bench for at least two weeks. If he starts the season on the DL and you can wait on him to clear waivers that’s cool but I will almost guarantee that anyone who picks him up will cut him and he will clear waivers at some point early on.


We are still filling Keeper Leagues for 2009 as Mr. Siano has indicated and they are spawned of the vanilla Fantasy 411 Leagues often referenced on the show. Email Tony and I and we’ll slot you in.

Most Leagues have been going 3 years strong, so you can count on active participation and a high level of competition.

The Mafia Constitution can be found here:

Our contact details are below.

Technical Advisor
Commissioner League 4
Fantasy Baseball Mafia

how are things going to iron out in the minnesota OF/DH with span, young, cuddyer, gomez and kubel?

No worries Siano, I knew most were a reach and just wanted to check and see if I was missing something.

is it really still a “listener league” if there’s nothing much to listen to anymore? Shouldnt it be a Readers League? Sorry I’m still bitter because I have nothing to listen to on my commute most days.😦 All of the other fantasy podcasts out there are brutal to listen to.


I think one of them will be traded even though Young is the most discussed I have a feeling it’s Span or Cuddyer, but right now Gardenhire will do the best he can to get them some run and when a lefty pitches Kubel will sit and Cuddyer will DH is my prediction. An injury would help solve this problem so they probbaly will wait until ST is over so they don’t jump the gun.



we are doing a show every Tuesday and Thursday and will be five days a week before you know it. Hang in there.


Since I broke my streak of having my trades blessed by the 411, I had to see if I could start it up again. Mafia league, I had to choose 5 of 7: Morneau, Hamilton, Carlos Lee, Kemp, A-Ram, Mauer, Ortiz. I would have dropped the latter two. However, true to the 411 recommendations, I traded Morneau & Lee for Pujols. I also got Peavy in the deal, but I’m dropping him as am I not really interested in an SP at the #5 pick. I dropped Mauer & Ortiz anyway, so I have four keepers (Pujols, Hamilton, A-Ram & Kemp) and will pick up the 5th in the pre-draft. That pick in the 40-60 top player range will even out the trade, plus I have the 3rd pick in the draft. What do you think? Did I do good?
Allan in San Antonio

Allan, I like trade plenty… 2nd and 3rd rounders (best-case) for a guy who could go #1 overall. That is EXACTLY the kind of deal we advocate, well done! I think you should’ve kept Mauer though, he’s at worst the #3 catcher and in a good year (.325/12/80, etc.) he could earn the #1 nod, definitely worth a #5 keeper in a vanilla league.


Horn, I agree with Siano on this one… Gardy is very resourceful about getting all of his bats into the lineup.

Kubel does not hit lefties particularly well, so he’ll share DH AB’s with Young and Cuddyer, and of course Gomez could stink his way out of the lineup at any point and leave CF to Span. Plus Span overachieved last year compared to his minor league stats, and is also a lefty, so he could lose AB’s to Young or Cuddyer. Or someone could get traded or hurt. These things have a way of working themselves out, so I expect plenty of AB’s for everyone.


Steve, I’m with Siano and Zach, this deal makes a lot of sense especially given your league format.

Having OPS as a category somewhat diminishes Braun, and Beltran is capable of hanging relatively close to him in OPS and TB. Plus, in Haren you get a guy who will rack up QS with a great K/BB, so he’s extra valuable in this format. I generally prefer the 2-for-1 to GET the one, but in this format the guys you got are more valuable than in traditional 5×5, and the guy you gave up slightly less so. Solid trade.


Re. Braun and OPS… what I should’ve made clear is that because of his lower OBP, he’s OPS probably won’t be significantly better than Beltran’s.


Another Mike, I’d tweak Zach’s rankings slightly:

1. Papelbon
2. Nathan (not worried about the shoulder)
3. K-Rod (I think he’ll like the NL plenty)
4. Rivera
5. Soria
6. Lidge (worried his HR/FB will regress)
7. Fuentes (yep, think he’ll enjoy a great time in his first go-round of the AL… his changeup is among the best and that gives him a major edge against unfamiliar hitters)


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