Fantasy 411 Q&A: March 24, 2009

Wanted to let everyone know that in the coming days an official announcement will come out that Cory and I will be on the MLB Network March 29th from 8:30 to 10:00pm ET. The network has decided to do a season preview show and invited us to be featured. We are honored, excited and can’t say enough about the producers (Jim, Martin and Micah) that have been assigned to the show. Obviously we all hope it is the first step in getting a presence, but one thing at a time. Please spread the word and invite your friends to watch the show this Sunday night.



In two separate 10 team mixed drafts this past week, I took Jacoby Ellsbury in the 8th round and Elvis Andrus in the 24th round. What are you thoughts on these two guys and what can their upside be this year?

Charles, Va

Charles, I like Ellsbury in the 8th; at worst he’ll probably match last season’s numbers, which make him a little less than the Crawford-Ichiro tier, so 8th round is excellent value. I’m not as high on Andrus… everyone is excited about his speed but I don’t think he’ll get on base enough to be worthwhile. In a vanilla 12-team league I see him as a season-long waiver player.


On to some other great stuff we have on the blog and by the way we hope to have one more surprise this week that I am working on…………….Siano



Hi Guys,

Mike answered a question for me yesterday (Cheers!) – here’s part 2 (12 team vanilla).

I had 2 OF as Keepers, and went with a ‘best available player’ approach. I ended up with a killer OF, (Soriano, Markakis, Rios, Granderson and Upton, with Tavares on the bench), but I’ve got lingering doubts about my Pitching.

I’ve got Joba, Gallardo, Greinke, Myers, Cueto, Parra, Scherzer and Pettite, with Wilson, Bell and Motte as my closers (fingers crossed on Motte!). I plan on pitching-or-ditching with Parra and Pettite, depending on how they start out.

The question is – do you think I need a legit Ace? I’ve got lots of high ‘upside’ guys, but no-one you could confidently say ’16-20 wins / 200+ Ks / 3-ish ERA and a 1.15-ish WHIP’ about.

Appreciate your thoughts as always!


Steve in the UK

Hey Cory,

I noticed that the projections shown in the NFBC package are slightly different than the combined set posted a couple of weeks ago.

I’m trying to decide which set to use for my draft next week, could you comment on how they differ?




Hang tight. Joba, Greinke, Gallardo or even Myers can emerge as your ace which is why we say don’t draft pitching too early. 2 guys emerge you will be loving life. If around Mayish nobody is stepping up you still have plenty of time to swing a deal.


Hey guys. Sorry I posted this one yesterday too. I don’t think you had time to get to them all.

My draft is tonight for my keeper league with round Values. 10-team 8×8 with extra cats, hitting: 2B, BB, K : pitching: CG, SHO, BB. Keepers are Manny – 4th Round, BJ Upton – 10th round. I have the 4th overall pick.

Thanks for the advice to keep Manny. I now have a shot at Sizemore, Miguel Cabrera or Jimmy Rollins. My question is 2 fold:

1) Sizemore or Rollins? I already have Manny and BJ Upton, so it seems that Rollins would be a better deal, position-wise. Can you breakdown these 2 guys seasons, as well as a few guys/rounds to look for some value picks?

2) Because our league counts CG/SHO, pitching is very heavily weighted. We have a love/hate relationship with these 2 categories. Last year, I followed the 411 philosophy of not taking a pitcher until the 10th. And it really hurt, as the Kazmir’s and James Shields type players were off the board in the top 10 rounds.

This year my strategy is to try and nab 2 top notch pitchers in the first 10 rounds. I have Webb targeted with the 17th overall pick. Is that too early? Keep in mind Lincecum and CC have been kept, and I’m assuming Johan goes in the first round, as it is a keeper league and most of traditional 1st round guys are already off the board. Those CG/SHO’s are the single most valuable stat in our league. My plan was to go Webb 2nd and hope for James Shields around the 8th or 9th.


Ben in the 909

Chris, the projections in the NFBC spreadsheet are my latest, greatest and include tweaks throughout for playing time, health and other research I’ve done over the winter. Also I tweaked the run and RBI totals throughout to better align… total RBI’s each season in MLB are about 95.5% of runs scored, so I adjusted those on a per-team basis to more closely fit that average.


Hey guys. Can’t decide on my 5th keeper. Carl Crawford vs. Matt Kemp. I’m leaning towards Crawford based on ADP and the SB upside but Kemp just seems to be the more valuable overall player to me. What do you see from each of these guys this year? Should I be looking more at Carlos Quentin or Brian Roberts? Draft this weekend but keeper list is due now. Thoughts?

Keep up the great work,

Hey 411ers and future Cable TV stars!
First, congrats on the show on Sunday. I feel like this is the beginning of something great for the whole 411 community.
Now the fantasy stuff- 10 team 6×6 (OPS and Holds), 4th pick. Rapid fire::
Would you guys look at Arod early 3rd?
would you grab Utley late second and run?
In a 10 team league, would you still wait on pitching until a double digit round, outside of a stud closer?

Thanks again for everything
Chris in Columbus

Hey guys,

A followup to yesterday’s question about my AL-only team… would you drop any of these SPs:

Guthrie, Kyle Davies, Niemann, McCarthy (I have Big Erv and Purcey as well)

for one of these:

Brett Anderson, Outman, Moseley, Loux, Pavano, Scott Lewis, Mills, Richmond, Ricky Romero, Poreda, Contreras, Hammel

Niemann’s only had the one bad outing, but it was atrocious and who knows who will get the 5 spot in TB. The rest at least have spots and I pretty much just have to roll with until the season starts.

Thanks for the knowledge,

Scotty Mack

Michael, who are your keepers? They must be awesome if you have four guys better than Crawford and Kemp. Kemp is going before CC in most drafts because of his power/speed upside combo, but I think Crawford is very undervalued and would keep him… he’s had those monster seasons that Kemp is still building up to, and at 28 is still young enough to improve. Of course, can you deal BOTH of them to get Grady Sizemore or someone like that?

I would keep either of them over Roberts or Quentin, though.


Scotty Mac, I’d sit tight, although Brett Anderson is probably going to be worth more than any of them before the season is out. Mosely is having an excellent spring and might get some starts early on while Big Erv and Kelvim are out, and with Jered Waever and Saundo!! still sore, but I think he’s only rotation filler.

Siano is the AL-only expert though, let’s hear from him too…


Chris in Columbus,

I’m leery of A-Rod… we still don’t know when he’ll be back and whether or not he’ll run when he returns, which is a big part of his value. Early 3rd is awfully risky in a shallow league. I would DEFINITELY take Utley with that late 2nd pick though… we know he’ll be back right around opening day, and 2B is not nearly as deep as 3B.

Good luck!



I posted this yesterday, but it looked far too busy to get a response to me. I’ve drafted next to you in multible mocks as TBOS and this was the results of my 15 team 5×5 draft, picking out of slot #14. I would love to get your feedback. BTW, congrats on the show announcement and the great NFBC Draft you pulled off.

I don’t know if my glasses are rose colored or not, because my head is still spinning from draft night. This was my 15 team 5×5 league draft result. Since then, I have tried to address two issues; SB and Saves. I picked up Luis Castillo from the waiver wire, perhaps fetching me some SB’s. I dropped Pedro Feliz to do so. In addition, I am trying to deal one of my SP’s for one more closer. I took V-Mart at #74, only as insurance against not getting a 1b. The top ones went very quickly. I recovered by getting Ianetta at #137, LaRoche at #164 and John Baker at #337. This allows me to use V-Mart at CI.
Please, give it to me straight. Can this team contend? This is the best I’ve felt coming out of a 15 team league, especially picking at #14. If I’m just drinking my own Kool-Aid, please feel free to tell me.

1. (14) Chase Utley
2. (17) Evan Longoria
3. (44) Curtis Granderson
4. (47) Corey Hart
5. (74) Víctor Martínez
6. (77) Jhonny Peralta
7. (104) Jon Lester
8. (107) Brian Fuentes
9. (134) Adam Wainwright
10. (137) Chris Iannetta
11. (164) Adam LaRoche
12. (167) Joel Hanrahan
13. (194) Pat Burrell
14. (197) Ubaldo Jiménez
15. (224) Mike Cameron
16. (227) Mike Pelfrey
17. (254) Oliver Pérez
18. (257) Fred Lewis
19. (284) Freddy Sánchez
20. (287) Cody Ross
21. (314) J.J. Putz
22. (317) John Baker
23. (344) Andy LaRoche
24. (347) Bronson Arroyo
25. (374) Juan Rivera
26. (377) Dave Bush
27. (404) Daniel Murphy
28. (407) Nick Punto
29. (434) Pedro Feliz

Can’t wait until April 1st when my cable company adds the MLBN and then it just gravy to be able to see you guys there.
I have a question about NL players that could be traded midseason or at the deadline b/c of contract expiration or going to be making too much money next year. (In my NL-only auction if a player gets shipped to the AL he can no longer accrue stats) So I think I have a list of some guys and I just want your opinion on if you think they get moved or held onto. Bengie Molina, Adam LaRoche, Dan Uggla, Khalil Green, Miguel Tejada, JJ Hardy, Rick Ankiel, Brian Giles, Randy Winn, Brett Meyers, Brandon Webb, Aaron Harang, Jose Valverde.
Also I am sure I left off a few going to be Arb. eligible players since I could not find a complete list anywhere, so if you know of some other names to be weary of please let me know.
— Nate in Springfield

Hey guys,
I put this in yesterday’s Q&A but I didn’t get a repsonde so here it is again:

Would you trade J.J. Hardy & Casey Kotchman for Joey Votto? I have Ryan Theriot on my bench and Alexei Ramirez as my U.T. and if I did the deal I would put Theriot as my SS for 2 wks. them when Alexei gains eligibilty switch him w/ Theriot I like Theriot because he gives 25 more steals to my team that is projected to have 90 without him. Without Hardy I also have 275 homeruns not including my bench.
Would you do it?
The Manoman
PS. It’s awesome you guys are going to be on the MLB Network

Manoman – instantly. I think Votto is a budding star, and I’d gladly pay Hardy to get the upgrade to him from Kotchman. To me that’s essentially a straight-up Hardy for Votto deal, and while you lose in position scarcity, you upgrade in every other category. Winner.


TBOS, I like this team very much. Like mine, you are going to be a little soft on AVG and your pitching is a little thin, especially if Fuentes continues to struggle and/or Hanrahan doesn’t develop as we expect. You could use a little more speed also, but you have more pop than my team.

Also, I’d rather see you get V-Mart at catcher and, once LaRoche (hopefully) starts hitting, use him at CI and bench (or trade) Baker. V-Mart/Iannetta is a superior combo to what most other teams will have. Solid!


Howdy Gents.

I’m in a 4×4 (no Runs or K) NL Only auction league. I’m looking for a few $1 heroes to take me over the top. I’m looking light on BA and WHIP and have about $90 to spend on 9 players (3B, SS, 2 OF, U, and 4 P). I think I’ll target one marquis name like a D Wright or J Reyes (at about $40 if I can get em) leaving me with $50 to spend on 8 players.

P.S. I was at the WBC last night and it was awesome. I was there in 06 when Japan beat Cuba and I’d have to say this was a much better game … though I still like SD better as a venue.

P.P.S See you Sunday Night at 8:30 ET on the MLB Network!


Zach did a NL only and even though it was a 5×5 a dollar is a dollar. Here are some names that went for a buck to at least look at and think about if not draft. It’s great to look for $1 heroes especially if you like your team and are adding Wright or Reyes but they go for a buck for a reason.
Andrew Miller
Brian Giles
Prado (Chipper goes down?)
Nick Evans
Jordan Schafer
Villanueva (Mil)
Jerry Hairston
carlos Gonzalez
Ryan Madson

ben in the 909

you’re right about Rollins vs. Grady b/c you already have 2 OFs. I think Grady is a great player but for your needs and the fact Rollins is a member of the holy trinity you almost have no choice. For the pitching question it still cracks me up the whole CG/SHO stats and that it weighs heavy since not enough guys do it consistently, but hey the rules are the rules so you have to play by them and the 411 philosophy definitely isn’t conducive to a league like this with those stats and keepers to boot! Do what you mentioned, I think you have a solid plan.

Check out Zach and Cory’s posting from theior drafts for good values they are all over.

Good luck!


Would you guys trade W. Rodriguez for Jason Motte? Relievers are valued 2 times more in my league as Motte is projected to get more points than Carlos Zambrano. Would you trade anyone else out of this bunch to get him?
C- Soto
W. Rodriguez
The Manoman


I have made some trades over the last few years to acquire Hanley, Wright, Cabrera, and Beltran. Overpaying for a few years won the league for me last year with this group. I should be sitting pretty for a few years now. I’ve already tried packaging several guys together but no one else is biting. So keep Crawford instead of Kemp?


Replace Kouz w/ Theriot and Theriot (UT) w/ Alexei Ramirez above.

Hey guys, thought I would throw this out to you and see if you could quickly tell me what you think I need….where my weaknesses are etc. It is a 14 team, 5×5 (obp) h2h keeper league. (keep 12 next year)

C – Mike Napoli

1B – Lance Berkman

2B – Alexei Ramirez / Howie Kendrick

SS – Michael Young(soon to be 3B elig) / Ramirez

3B – Alex Gordon

OF – Nick Markakis

OF – Curtis Granderson

OF – Bobby Abreu / Ramirez

OF – Shin-Soo Choo

SP – Francisco Liriano

SP – Javier Vazquez

SP – Brett Myers

SP – Mike Pelfrey

RP – Joakim Soria

RP – Matt Capps

25 man roster, so still have 9 picks to go. Not sure which order to draft positions.

I am targetting Paul Maholm, Randy Johnson or Zach Duke in a few rounds, but maybe Oliver Perez next round. Also considering a flyer on Teahen because of his spring and his 3 pos elig. Then also Leo Nunez as another setup man, that could easily get saves in his situation in FLA. What about Andrew Miller or Johnathan Sanchez? worth a flyer? should i grab another up and coming catcher?

Thanks guys,

Rokhed Brett

Hi guys. I was wanting to know if you think it would be a good move to drop Derek Lowe to pick up Chien Ming Wang off waivers. I like Wang and he has the potential for a lot of wins. This is in one of my CBS H2H leagues where the players just get points for what they do. I know is solid, but I can see a healthy Wang having a great season, especially w/ the Yankee offense backing him up. He’ll be off waivers Wednesday so I want to act ASAP just in case.
Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. Take care.

Chris, I’d stick with Lowe. I like the fit of him with the Braves and he’ll give you plenty more K’s than Wang.


Am I missing something? What has happened to the hour long 411 show? is playing old games and leaving out my fix for fantasy (just like XM taking off Fantasy Focus). I don’t like the trend, what’s up??? These 6 minutes snipets aren’t doing it for me.

Brett, you are short on speed but otherwise appear to be right on track in all other categories. I’d like a strong 2nd catcher and a 3rd reliever who might get some saves but otherwise stay on track. Of the SP’s you mentioned I like them in this order:

O.Perez (still young, great upside, good team)
R.Johnson (won’t pitch much but should be good when he does)

Nunez could steal some saves in FL but will be a setup guy if Lindstrom is healthy so you can wait a bit on him.


I am in a 8 teams private league, and would like to get your opinion on my lineup. I drafted my team on a combination of speed and power. My lineup is as follows:

Catcher- Ryan Doumit
1st – Prince Fielder
2nd – Ian Kinsler
3rd- Miguel Cabrera
SS- Jhonny Peralta
OF- Nick Markakis
OF-Corey Hart
OF-Brad Hawpe
UT- Jacoby Ellsbury
P- Boston Red Sox

Pablo Sandoval (c,1B, 3B, Ut)
Coco crisp (OF, Ut)
Carl Crawford (OF, Ut)
Alexei Ramirez (2B, SS, OF, Ut)
Michael Young (SS, Ut)
B.J. Upton (OF, Ut)

I have B.J. Upton on the bench until he gets back from his injury, but will replace Ellsbury when he gets back.

My Question is, Is this a winning lineup? If not, then what changes should I make. Also which players do you think are the most tradeable? Thanks, your comments are truly appreciated.

Ricardo, Crawford and Ramirez on the bench? Sorry, I just get a kick out of the 8 team league thing! Seriously, glad you’re on the fantasy bandwagon. The only change I’d make is to insert Crawford in your active lineup in the place of Hawpe. Seems like speed is currently more of a need than power. When Upton comes back, I strongly suggest you make a trade. This bench is too good to not use for upgrades. Can Alexei plus Peralta get you Hanley/Reyes/Rollins? Can Hawpe and Crawford get you Sizemore? Tons of possibilities. Pretty much all of your bench guys have trade value.


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