Fantasy 411 Q&A: March 13, 2009



Will Carlos Marmol’s poor performance in the World Baseball Classic haunt him as we enter the ’09 season?


Olin — I’ve done some research on this and found that pitchers who
appeared in the WBC in 2006 did decline somewhat compared to 2005, but
not as much as all other MLB pitchers in general… in other words,
statistically, having a pitcher in the WBC is not a big concern for me.
The psychological issue you point out with Marmol is a cause for
concern, as I’ve become more and more convinced over the years that
there is a little something extra to being a closer, but then again, we
don’t have any reason to think he CAN’T do it. Bottom line is, he is a
far, far superior pitcher to Gregg, so while you might have to worry
about Marmol’s head a little bit for now, his arm makes him a major
favorite for saves in Wrigleyville.



Siano in Florida today so it’ll be me and Schwartz with you.  Just three weeks away from the start of the season, Dodgers fans have something to be concerned about.  Manny Ramirez was scratched from the lineup shortly before yesterday’s exhibition game due to a tight hamstring.  While this will probably turn out to be no big deal, I love Manny’s quote of “Maybe age is catching up to me.”  Not exactly what Dodgers’ brass wants to hear after inking him to a 45 million dollar contract! 

Well, enjoy this weekend’s WBC action.  And remember, don’t let a player’s performance influence your judgment of them heading into drafts, unless, of course, it’s an injury.

Keep the questions coming.



Money league H2H Draft tonight!!!!
Guys, have Wright as a 1st round (keeper), feeling that these guys would be available at my 2nd pick: Utley, Rollins, Beltran, Ca. Lee, Berkman. How would you rank them? Thanks as always!

One more for you, in that same H2H keeper league (10 teams, 18 rounds), where would you draft Wieters? Thanks!

Rollins, Utley, Ca. Lee, Beltran, Berkman. All nice second round options though.

A lot of talk about Wieters in recent blog threads, but in short, I’d be careful drafting him too early. That said, in a 10 team keeper, 10th round seems about right. He’s around that #100 pick area.


Hey guys,

My AL-Only draft is this Sunday and I’m trying to get some ideas on closer questions. Who would you target?

– Devine or Zeigler?
– Sherrill or Ray?
– Lyon or Rodney or Zumaya?
– Batista or Walker or Aardsma or Messenger or Cordero?

Thanks for the knowledge,

Scotty Mac

Guys –

Sorry late to the OverRated/UnderRated party. I suspect this is based on standard 12 mixed as a basis point. I also know you listed several on each list, and I suspect its all relative to draft position vs. simply avoiding them at all costs. So to help on the former, when you listed the OverRated can you discuss by what round to project that. Meaning, Say Manny, is he OverRated because he would potentially go as high as #20 overall, but he wouldnt be OverRated if you were able to take him with 50th overall?

Anyway, you could list a draft slot or simply Round that if taken at that point, they wouldnt be OverRated??? Same with UnderRated?

I suspect some UnderRated guys, if grabbed too soon you would overpay. Thats why I ask.

–BDH in DC

Hey Guys,
I was curious if you guys were going to answer some of our answered questions from yesterday. I never got any answers.

Charles, DC

*Our unanswered questions from yesterday* Sorry

Cory says he’ll get to them today…

Just signed up for my first NFBC league and was wondering if you could give out some strategies and difference between drafting in NFBC and a standard 12 team league. More specifically, since it is more difficult to pitch in ditch in NFBC, what round do you start to target pitching in those drafts.
Hack in Rancho Cucamonga

Scotty Mac, although I don’t really agree with this decision, sounds like the A’s are leaning towards Devine due to his superior stuff, so he’d be a better buy than Ziegler. Of all these cloudy situations, I think the Oakland one is the most certain. In Baltimore, I’m giving the edge to Sherrill over Ray at least to start the season. I think Ray’s the better pitcher, but the O’s have to be confident he’s fully recovered from TJ surgery, so he’ll probably be eased back in. I see Lyon starting the year as the Tigers’ closer, but I guarantee he’l get yanked from the role at some point. He’s been handed closer jobs on several occassions, and has failed pretty much every time. It’s best to stay away from this one. As for Seattle, I have no clue. I think no one does! Cordero’s the only one with closer experience, so I make him the favorite if, of course, he proves he’s healthy.


I just found the Season Preview show in the “TV Shows” section on iTunes…is it not possible to just download just an audio mp3?

Need Podcast for the commute!!!


Hack, Cory’s the NFBC expert, so I’m going to pass the baton to him on that one. One thing I can say is in 15 team weekly leagues, starting pitching depth is much more important with POD almost impossible to execute.


Generic question: In fantasy football many folks recommend taking runningbacks in the first two rounds. Is there some kind of rule of thumb for fantasy baseball? I’m drafting in a 5×5 12-team, HTH league this weekend.



Keepers are due this weekend in a 15 team 4×4 league (no runs). I can keep Kouzmanoff at $5. What do you expect this year from him? Is he worth $5 this year, or should I try to get him back in the Auction at $1 or $2. Thanks as always!

$5 is a pretty fair price for Kouz. I think he could be a real bargain this year, a guy who you can grab very late in drafts, say Round 18 and later, and even slot in at 3B if you’d like to wait on that position. Many are scared off by the team he plays for and the park he plays in, but he’s averaged 21 HR and 79 RBI the past two seasons. Not bad.


Hey guys, question on a keeper dilemma now that I’m real concerned about Mauer.

Get to keep 4 guys, 5×5 with 3 SP slots & 2 RP for pitching.

I was going with Mauer/Longoria/Billingsley/Nathan. With Mauer being hurt I was going to swap him out for one of these guys: Cano, Lackey, Ubaldo Jimenez, & Brian Wilson. I assume Lackey and that would lock down my SP pretty good.

I do have the first pick in the upcoming draft (picked up the team from a dropout owner) but I don’t know who will be available just yet.

Curveball of a question because it doesn’t have to deal w/ keepers or dollar/round value. In our NL only league if a player is traded to the AL you can no longer collect that player’s stats. This has effected some teams quite a bit – one guy had Tex and Xavier Nady last year. I was wondering if there is a collected list of walk year/possible trade players compiled anywhere that I could reference before I go and start putting together my own database? I know guys like Adam LaRoche and Uggla who play for small market teams and due to make quite a bit more next year may get let go if their teams are not in contention come the deadline.
— Nate in Springfield

Couple of questions. Thoughts on Marlins Bulpen now that Ceda is gone. Is the closer and setup guy Lindstrom and Tank, or does Nunez enter the equation? Thanks,

Aaron in Texas

Curtis, I don’t think there’s any specific rule of thumb since the player pool in baseball is so much larger than football. The two running back strategy (which is actually becoming less popular now with more and more NFL teams going with a dual-back approach) originated on the thinking that RB was BY FAR the shallowest position. Also, the scoring system in fantasy football often favors running backs. The talent pool in baseball is more spread out among the positions. That said, I look for a balance of power and speed with my first few picks while trying to draft at least one middle infielder. I find SS and 2B to be the two positions that always seem to have a clear separation between the elite and everyone else.


Thanks Zach. Any tip I can pick up is very helpful!

jkulczycki, don’t you have other keeper hitters than just Mauer and Longoria? Anyway, after listening to the interview with Twins reporter Kelly Thesier from yesterday’s show, I’m cautiously optimistic that Mauer returns at or around Opening Day. But even if he does, in a four keeper (I’m assuming standard league?), my first choice would be to take the extra draft pick(s). Neither Billingsley, Lackey, nor Mauer are top four rounders in a scratch draft. However, if this isn’t possible, I have no problem with you keeping Lackey and concentrating primarily on hitting early in the draft. There’s a great chance you can get Mauer (or someone even better) back.


Thanks Zach. My other options for hitting are: Cano, Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, Vernon Wells, Theriot, Torii Hunter…not exactly a whos-who of elite hitters. Hence, my choices.


Hey Guys,

Heading out of the office for today, but in general, if we don’t get to your question, it doesn’t mean we forgot about it. Just hang in there! Some days are busier than others…


Im in a 12 team keeper league. A trade was proposed to me, is it a good one? I get McClouth and Zambrono and give up Maybin and Haren.

I have a trade offer Carlos Quentin for Jonathan Broxton, I have 4 outfielders Matt Kemp, Corey Hart,Carlos Beltran and justin upton, and 3 relievers Papelbon, Broxton and Carlos Marmol and might be able to pick Heath Bell or Mike Gonzales from waivers.

I am not with the 411 but I can tell you to do that deal every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

killahz, very tough call, but in a keeper league I don’t do the deal. While McLouth is certainly an upgrade over Maybin as we enter ’09, Maybin could come close to Nate in value by year’s end. He’s a virtual lock to nail down an everyday job in Florida, and already has the ability to steal more bases. If Maybin can just work on that power stroke a bit more, he’s a stud keeper. But the real deciding factor here is the Haren vs Big Z comparison, which isn’t even close, especially in a keeper league. The difference between Zambrano and Haren is greater than the one between Maybin and McLouth, so I’d pass.
Blue, that’s a no-brainer. Do it! Bell and/or Gonzalez on waivers? Wow.


Hey guys,
In a keeper league w/ OBP/SLG/Ks/Errors replacing AVG from a standard league, should I take Matt Kemp or Brian Roberts? My current team after the expansion draft is Ryan Howard, Markakis, Carlos Lee, Webb, and Morneau.

hey guys, I have a h2h draft tomorrow. It’s a 16 team mixed 5×5 categories default yahoo league. How far away from the 411 strategy should I stray away from, drafting bats early, strong relievers and soft aces. This is my first h2h league, any advice would be a help. Thank you, love the show, Rick in Brooklyn

Hey fantasy 411 Squad,
Would you drop Jair Jurries for Gavin Floyd?
The Manoman

wendy, this decision is made real tough due to Roberts’ advantage in OBP and Ks, but I’d still take Kemp. He’ll outproduce Roberts in HR and RBI, and the AVG, Runs, and SBs should be fairly close. Roberts is probably the safer choice, and he does play at a shallow position, but in a keeper league I’ll roll the dice on Kemp’s upside.
Rick, in H2H leagues, I think you have to value pitching a little more, mainly the elite guys. The key in H2H leagues is consistency, so it often pays off to get a true ace who you can rely on week in and week out. Assuming this is a daily transaction league, pitching and ditching can still be helpful as you’ll gain a clear advantage in Wins and Ks, but in a 16 teamer POD is harder to implement. In general, don’t stray too far from the 411 philosophy, but drafting a true ace plus a soft ace and then filling out the rest of your staff from there would be the way I’d go.


manoman, yes on picking up Floyd for Jurrjens. They’re fairly close in value, but Jurrjens tailed off badly post-All-Star break last year and I’m concerned about his WHIP.


I am in a 12 team 5X5 league. I have Joba and Soria as my keepers and the 5th overall selection. I have someone at the 9th position who wants to swap picks with me? What could I get back in draft picks and/or give up one of my keepers for that wouldn’t leave me screwed. Any thoughts? Thanks

There’s no question that Marmol has the arm to be an elite closer. The problem is that you never know if a guy can be a good closer, no matter how great is stuff is. Over the last couple year’s, we’ve seen the mental aspect creep in on closers more than ever. Some of the best arms in the game have trouble getting outs just because of the pressure. No one knows if Marmol will crack under the pressure until he gets some chances. Cross your fingers, Cubs fans.

I have been hearing more and more positive reports (Will Carroll) about ARODs return and productivity….to the point of him not being worse than a selection @ #6, etc.

I have #4 pick of 12 Team Mixed, Non-Keeper, Weekly. We use 10 bats each week to accumulate Standard ROTO cats. (filling the 8 defensive positions plus 2 wild cards).

I am targeting Pujols, Reyes, Wright, Hanley @ 4 (who ever falls) but wondering if in any way shape or form having AROD (3B) makes positional sense.


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