Fantasy 411 Q&A: March 19, 2009 (One More Mock)



5th keeper: Jason Bay or Nate McLouth? I have worries about Bay because
1. He won’t be “the man” anymore and RBIs will be down if he’s hitting
like 6th in the batting order and 2. Doesn’t seem like he’s stealing
many bags anymore. Assuming I’m getting about 90-100 homers and 50-60
steals from the four keepers I have ahead of Bay and McLouth (and only
1 is an outfielder), which one makes more sense to keep?

-Dan in LA

Dan, I think McLouth may have been over his head somewhat last year
but in general I prefer to take the 20/20 guy over the 30/100 guy once
we get past the elite. Bay is on a better team and has more power, but
McLouth will have a better lineup spot (somewhat countering the
relative lineup strengths) and offers the steals. It’s a close call,
but I’ll take McLouth.



Cory doing major blog work once again so round of applause. Me and the other Corey will host today’s show in just a few. Longtime Reds broadcaster George Grande will join us and we will chat with him about the lineup and pitching. We’ll also chat about Youk and Hamels and take an e-mail……..Siano

Hey gang, let’s get an early start on “tomorrow”, tonight! I did my fourth and last mock draft out of the #13 spot tonight in preparation for the real thing at NFBC on Saturday. Here are the results…



This is an extremely high-risk, high-reward team. It’s probably doomed to last place or near it in AVG due to guys like Ryan Howard, Rickie Weeks, Chris Young and Adam LaRoche, but other than that there is significant upside in every category. Note that with the exceptions of Howard, LaRoche and Derek Jeter, my entire offense is right around their age 27 peak, and I love my Rockies contingent of Clint Barmes, Chris Iannetta and Ryan Spilborghs (below).


In addition, my pitching staff all has big-time strikeout potential, other than rock-steady veteran Derek Lowe. Plus, with Manny Corpas as my cheap third closer, I have a power bullpen that could post 110 or more saves with strong ratios and big-time strikeouts.

That said, can you find the mistake I made that led to such a high-risk approach? Yep, Chris Young in the 6th round… there is simply no reason to take three outfielders that early. I did think he was the best player on the board at that point, but I would’ve been better off taking a more proven SP at that point and then taking Jason Werth in the 9th or 10th round as my third outfielder. Let’s hope I can maintain enough discipline on Saturday to not get too carried away with outfielders!

Tomorrow night I’m going to finish up my projections and Excel worksheets and post those here, so hopefully folks will be able to make some use out of them. Post your questions and comments too!



Zach, Cory, Mike, and the gang–
I know that the road to 8th place is littered with closers of the future, but given the high number of unsettled closer spots this year, I’m looking for a couple of late-round guys (23rd and beyond) I might take a flier on who are in a sneaky position to maybe grab a closer role and a couple of cheap saves by mid-season. I figure if I could get a couple of these guys late late (like the last 2 or so rounds of the draft), I might be able to get some real points from saves, if not open the possibility of flipping a closer for another need.

Who merits a look-see and maybe a draft?

Hey guys,

So in my AL-Only draft, a little too much drinky drinky attributable to the christening of the league’s new perpetual trophy left me with one glaring issue: lousy starting pitchers and no established closer. The starters I’ll have to figure out myself, but if you could please comment on the relievers I snagged: Rodney, Wheeler, Aardsma & Chris Ray.

Thanks for the knowledge,

Scotty Mac

Ok, here comes my selfish question…well my need for input.

8 team – AL only – $300 cap – must keep 8 keepers – roto style – vanil 5×5 stats

Draft is this Sat 3/21 – Rosters are frozen so cannot trade

Currently I plan on keeping

E Longoria 6
Quentin 5
C Davis 1
T Snider 4
Aviles 1
Verlander 7

Here is my maybe list

A Rod 40
Mauer 21
Kinsler 42
Choo 13
Lowrie 1
Brandon Wood 2
Billy Butler 4
Kubel 4
Galarraga 13
Phil Hughes 3
B Francisco 6

Any suggestions?

Kinsler is high but with keeper contracts and 300 cap he will prob go in the 50’s at draft. Last year Rios went for 51 and year before Texeria went 55. I would keep A Rod but I might be able to get him close to 40 with the injury…though one year when he was healthy he went 67 or 68.

Will know more about Mauer before draft I hope and that should help decide his fate.

Didn’t Choo use to steal a lot in minnors? I can’t understand where all that speed went.

Lowrie, Wood, Butler, and Kubel all have a lot of upside since would have good prices next year too….I know play for this year.

Mike in KC
Jello Mike
No Likie typie mikie

Hi Cory,
Wow. LaRoche, Barmes and Spilborghs are all very interesting with high upside and deep deep sleepers.

Trade efforts have netted nothing interesting, its down to the wire and I need to pick my fourth keeper. CC, Arod, Kemp or Morneau. I can keep them forever at no price. my others keepers are Kinsler, Santana and Braun.


I hear you on the 3 OF choices. In my recent H2H 12-team, 5×5 mixed league draft I took:

1st Round: Matt Hamilton
5th Round: Hunter Pence
6th Round: Jacoby Ellsbury

The result was a thin starting rotation:

11th Round: Matt Cain
12th Round: Aaron Harang
15th Round Ubaldo Jiminez
16th Round: Johnny Cueto
18th Round: Tommy Hanson
23rd Round: Ian Snell

My mistake was Pence. I had Mourneau targeted, he was taken ahead of my pick, and I panicked.

Any advice you might have (drop/add) for this staff would be greatly appreciated. I see some upside but do not feel too good about it overall.



Hi Guys,
First overall pick in a mixed league. I can’t make up my mind. Pujols or Hanley? Hanley or Pujols? Chocolate with Peanut butter? Peanut butter with Chocolate? Any input would be welcome.



I had Ramirez rated better because he is a 5 tool guy and Pujols is not. But I can’t argue with picking Pujols first either. He’s a great one.


When do you think you should stop taking an OF if that’s the best position available? In 10 team mixed league this week i ended up drafting an Of in each of the first five rounds, just because I thought they were by far the best available. I’m pretty sure this was a mistake, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what I could have done better. Here’s my picks (players in parenthesis are best non OF available).

1. Sizemore (Teixera, Rollins, Utley)
2. Carlos Lee (Kinsler, Berkman, Howard)
3. Matt Holiday (Youk Aramis Ramirez, Roy Halliday)
4. BJ Upton (Morneau, Phillips, Roberts)
5. Quentin (Haren, Peavy Papelbon, McCann)

Where would you have done things differently/


I know Cory would appreciate your question just read his postings the past two days. The problem with what you did is on days when the games are light you have no flexibility b/c you just can’t cut these guys. They are all very good players and I’m surprised Upton lasted that long so take these riches and make a trade. I would hang on to Grady, BJ and Carlos and try and move the other two but take the best offer you can get. I would have def done Kinsler in the 2nd, maybe Aramis in the 3rd and McCann in 5th but to me getting Upton in 4th is such a steal it skews things a bit. You have some work to do, go get it done.



I agree with Curtis. When the wheel comes back you should be able to get a very good 1B but you would have to reach on ****. Hanley and then Morneau or Prince later on sounds good no? You’ll have to wait until 4 or 5 for Furcal to get the SS you missed by passing on Hanley. Of course you don’t have to go 1B b/c you passed on Albert in the 2nd and 3rd. You can wait on Lee, Votto, Davis or Pena as well. See the depth?



Cory will chime in as well but I don’t have a huge issue with your staff young/upsdie and K’s nothing wrong with that. Yeah maybe you would have felt better with an ace at 5 but i think you have great potential in rotation, 3 OFs aside not bad.



Go A-Rod. He’ll always be more vaulable than Morneau and Sabathia can’t pitch like this forever. Kemp is intriguing but A-Rod too much to pass up in a dynasty.



I’d go Kinsler as well. Second pick is tough b/c of injuries to Mauer and A-Rod. I think you let Alex go back in and roll the dice. I wish you had Choo at Kubel’s price but with a $300 cap it’s not a bad deal. I’d put him down for 15-20 steals. I’m not an Aviles fan but at a buck you can’t pass him up. Kinsler to me is easy as #5 but #6 is a toss up nobody is jumping out. Maybe Lowrie with the Lugo news and a great price. Don’t overthink it but be comfy with it. Wait until last second on Mauer.


Scotty Mac,

Beer taste good.

I’m so not high on Rodney.
Wheeler is fine.
You may love the Aardsma pick if he steals the closer job in Seattle.
Ray will get his old job back.

All in all not shabby.



Scotty Mac named a few minus Rodney, here are some more.
Rafael perez

I just took over a team in an NL Only 4×4 auction league where we have to keep between 9 and 14 players. Players start out on 3 year contracts that can be extended in their final year for up to 3 additional years $5 more in salary per year of extension. The league is like 5 years old.

I’m new to auction leagues so have a bit of a strategy question.

I’ll have $260 to bid for players on draft day. Given our structure of 9 keepers and 3 year minimum contract lengths, only a few top players come up for auction each year. This year big free agents are David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jake Peavy, K Rod, Brad Lidge, Oswalt, and Haren.

To what extent does the small number of top flight free agents inflate prices above the published values we see on the magazine racks of our favorite book store? Should I be willing to pay more than say, $42 for Wright, $28 for Haren or $31 for Beltran?

In my league Jose Reyes contract is like $65! These are not one off anomalies either with Rollins and Johan going for $50. So if I don’t bid up to those prices, I probably won’t get the goods. However, I’ll have more money to bid on the next tier where others will be cash strapped.


I love fantasy baseball.

Pat (San Diego)

How usable is Nick Punto in a 12-team AL only? Who is the real Punto, the one who hit a combined .287 in 797 AB in 2006 & 2008 or the one who hit .222 in 866 AB in 2005 & 2007?

I have Punto for $1 in our keeper league and am considering keeping him over $5 Gio Gonzalez. Thank you for your thoughts.

John in Ohio


I think those prices are fair and they are just part of the game when you go non mixed auction with lots of keepers. Find a nice balance, don’t sit out on the studs because you may get them right at market value and end up overpaying for a secodn tier guy which would make you wanna puke.


Hey there – I draft on Saturday!!! Whoo-Hoo!!

10 Team, 5×5, mixed, Roto. Dynasty – Keep 10 without restriction.

I need help – what round should I go after Prospects?

We will draft a total of 27 players. Our league overly values prospects. What round should I start looking to grab them either to keep or for trade bait?

Prospects such as LaPorta, Hanson, Neftali, Gamel, Porcello, Viciedo, Fowler, Zimmermann, Maybin, Snider are available.

I really like Laporta and Hanson. I’d be happy to get them and see what happens. What prospects would you go after?

Here’s my current Keeper list:




Thanks for all the past help!!!

John in Ohio,

Go Punto, not the best player in the world but he’ll get you double digit steals in his sleep and he’ll provide average I think. Anything above that is gravy and if he bombs so what it cost a dollar. I think Gio is a sleeper this year but maybe more likely next but $5 is too much. I got Clif Lee for $4 last year in an AL only.


Hey 411,
In my 10X10 H2H league, Holds are equally as valuable as Saves. Who are some set-up guys to target that are going to post good ratios and get some holds, but won’t come at as high a price as the top closers? Thanks for your help.

How would you guys rank

King Felix
AJ Burnett
Edinson Volquez

I got offered King Felix for one of the other two, I know I’m making the deal for sure. Just not sure about which of Burnett or Volquez to trade away.

I like Volquez long term and Burnett short-term. The Yankees will help Burnett pile up some wins (though be careful about chasing wins) and Burnett is somewhat injury prone.

The Reds are headed in the right direction and Volquez will highlight the staff.

I would never trade King Felix for either of those guys. At best it’s a lateral move. Not sure what your motivation is Tom.



Holds are much easier to come by then saves but you’ll see some good names in this blog today and can always sort by holds from 08 and use that as a good guide.


Mike –

12 team AL-Only $260 with up to 12 keepers which equals inflation. Have Abreau at $35 which is OK but thinking about letting him go and then targeting AROD instead with that $$$. Would then have AROD for 3 years at that price. If arod goes too high then could always get Abreau back. Thoughts?
P.S. Know you can’t “officially” comment but hypothetically if in a one year only AL Only league Arod was at $22 why would you not take the chance?


Guys, Concerned at all that Hanley is out for the second straight day with shoulder issues?





Abreu went for $35 in a keeper league last year so yeah $35 doesnt seem so bad when you have to assume he’s not going to get worse and the inflation.

Not sure what you mean about A-Rod at $22, did I say something yesterday? In a one year only or a keeper $22 is obviously a good price, but I am personally preparing for leagues where I am not taregting him because I’ve had him for three years fairly healthy with mixed results. Would I take him over say Aubrey Huff at $22 sure, but I wonder if youre better off with Beltre or Gordon for 17-20 instead. That’s why I love auction drafts, these kinds of questions can’t easily be answered. A-Rod can go for $35, it depends on what 12 people are in that room and on what day. Hypotheticals are very dangerous when dealing with auctions, but they are fun to discuss that’s for sure.


Hey guys. Rob in Hollywood here. (Cory, remember the Sheild???) I’ve got eight keepers for seven spots in my 6×6 roto league. Extra categories are OPS and K/9. Right now I’ve got Beltran, Wright, Fielder, Haren, Nathan, Ellsbury, Alexei Ramirez, and BJ Upton. I’ve been trying to make a trade but I’m having a hard time getting any 2-for-1 upgrades at my positions. I think I’m going to be forced to let one go. Who should it be? (I have the 11th pick in the first round, fyi. That would be my first chance to get the player back). I also have a mancrush on Ellsbury.

Hey Guys!!

Just a quick trade qustion. Do you like this for me???
I give soto and grienke
I get mccann and vazquez

we also have k/9 in our league



Rob, I’d let Alexei go. It’s awfully tough to part ways with Ramirez in a keeper, but I see him in the Joey Votto class of sleeper turned overvalued. He and Ellsbury are the least proven among your hitters but I’m giving Jacoby the edge due to his SB dominance. I have a feeling Mike and Cory might say to ditch Haren, but he’s a front end ace for years to come, and I’m holding onto him.


Mike, I like the deal for you. McCann is a definite upgrade over Soto with Greinke and Vazquez being very comparable. I’d probably rather have Greinke, but getting McCann makes the difference. Vazquez has always been a nice source of Ks, and I see him doing well in Atlanta.


Mike and Cory

12 team 5×5 H2H league

my offense

C- Doumit
1b – Teixiera
2b- A. Casilla
SS- young

RP- Fuentes,Lindstrom,F.Fransisco

I have 4 bench spots and 5 guys to choose from can you tell me which 4 you would keep?Or would you drop one or more of them to get more pitching?

Weiters,Delgado,Maybin,cano and C.Dickerson

I’m getting King Felix, not the other way around, sorry for the confusion.

So who should I trade for King Felix? Burnett or Volquez? Thanks.


Bay is a safer bet. McLouth had a breakout season in 2008, but really trailed off after the all star break.


I packed my OF with keepers, and I’m already hoping that things fall the right way to me during the draft this weekend so that I can filll in the holes.

Keeping 4 by round value, I’ve got Braun, BJ Upton, Bruce, and Soria, but I traded up to the first pick to get Reyes, and think that I can get away with snagging Chipper, Votto, and another closer before attacking the SP ranks in the 5th.

All hail draft season – the most exciting part of the fantasy baseball calendar!


I’d move Burnett. More injury concern for me, and youth on the side of Volquez.

$22 = Price of Arod in the AL LABR auction

Speculating for saves: I have 3 spots in my bullpen for middle relievers / closers in waiting. I love getting a head start in Saves and always find Closers make great trade chips.

I currently have Balfour, R.Soriano & J.Lewis. But Kuo, Saito, Thornton and Shields are Free Agents and I have a shot at placing waiver claims on Perez, Gregg and Rodney. I can’t stand Rodney’s control, but it looks like he can get in the mix for saves.

So please can you bring order to this chaos and tell me which 3 guys to go after.

Mike and Cory,

I’m in a 4×4 NL Only auction keeper league. Our league uses contract years as part of the keeper system.

Contracts start at three years. Once expired, we can extend the contract once (and only once) for up to but not necessarily an additional three years. Each year of the contract extension raise their salary by $5. For example, a two year extension would raise the player’s salary by $10 and once the two years was up he would no longer be my keeper.

I have four guys at the end of their contract so I need to decide a) should I extend their contracts and b) for how many years. Can you help?

1) Dan Uggla: 1 year at $15, 2 at $20, or 3 at $25
2) Chris Young: 1 year ext at $16, 2 at $21, or 3 at $26
3) Brandon Phillips: 1 year ext at $15, 2 at $20, 3 years at $25
4) Russel Martin: 1 year ext at $15, 2 at $20, or 3 at $25


menzel, out of that group, I’m dropping Dickerson. He’s the least proven, and as of now isn’t even assured of an everyday job. All those other guys are firmly entrenched in their club’s respective lineups.


also, those four OFs are top notch, so there’s no need for another one. I might even try dealing Maybin, who’s value is very high right now, for an SP. Don’t just drop Maybin if you can get something for him. He should NEVER be dropped. That staff is pretty light.


Kevin, if you have the roster space, I’d go after Perez, Gregg, and Rodney in that order with Kuo as a fallback option. He has a slim chance of getting more than a few saves but will help in ERA, WHIP, and Ks.


Pat, I’d do Uggla, Phillips, and Martin for two yrs and Young for one.


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