Fantasy 411 Q&A: Mar. 25, 2009

Wanted to let everyone know 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.



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?


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.


411 Calender of Events for Draft Prep:

Cory’s NFBC Results: Done

Zach’s NL Only Results: Done

Zach’s Listener League (Ron Cey League) Results (12 Team 5×5): Done

411 Listener League Results: Coming this weekend

Siano’s AL Only Tout Results: Coming this weekend

Cory’s NL Only Tout Results: Coming this weekend or Monday

Alex’s Mixed Tout Results: Coming this weekend or Monday

Siano’s AL Only Keeper Money League: Coming weekend of April 3rd


In a keeper league, would you rather keep Hanley for $30 or Longoria for $16? Seems like a no-brainer to keep Hanley for $30, but I am second guessing myself. Thanks!

Hey guys:

Are there set closers in Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Atlanta? Thanks a lot.


Go Hanley he’s obvioulsy the superior player and that’s a great price.



There are guys listed as closers but that doesn’t make them good choices.

I like Hanrahan (WSH) and Gonzalez (ATL) enough to say they are great #3’s and decent enough #2’s if you decide to avoid studs early. Love them in NL onlys.

Detroit I think is a mess. I don’t trust Rodney or Lyon and still think it’s Zumaya’s job once/if he gets healthy.

Tampa is going to be interesting, they can probably succeed with it b/c they have quality guys but that won’t help us fantasy players right now. Balfour is the most attractive sicne I don’t see Percy staying healthy.

Zona with Qualls is kinda scary but his numbers last year weren’t awful. It’s got to be him with Rauch as a hedge. Qualls as your #3 closer in a mixed could pay off.

Get Nathan and Lidge and you won’t have to worry about it😉


I am in a 8 teams private league, on and would like to get your opinion on my lineup. I drafted my team on a combination of speed and power also age and position elegibility. 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, just answered your question on yesterday’s blog entry. Check it out.


This will be my first year participating in and being the Commish of an AL Only league. I will be doing salary cap, keepers and minor leaguers. As a rookie to this I am kind of clueless on what site to use. Also clueless on how big the roster and salary cap should be… Can you guys help out?


Hey Guys,
I have a question about Hart, Victorino and McLouth. In an NL Only league where I have three right fielders and Victorino in center, I’m thinking about trading Corey Hart for Nate McLouth for roster flexibility. In another league, Nate McLouth is my second outfielder in a 12 team Vanilla league. I also have one Auction league that I haven’t drafted for. All I want to know is out of these players which ones you think has the biggest upside and which ones you’d want the most.
Thanks, Davis in Mass

Whats up fellas,
I’m pretty excited to see you guys this Sunday on national television. You guys have come a long way since I used to watch you in the small studio with radio mics and wires everywhere. See what doing a great job does for you?

To my question, I find myself being tempted to draft Ian Kinsler with the 12th – 14th pick in the draft (Utley is off the board and I don’t like Pedroia). Is this a bit of a reach and what do you think his numbers will be this season?

Charles, Va

I’m curious what you guys feel about my pitching staff. It’s a 10 team mix roto league.

My picks:
K-Rod (7th rd)
Billingsley (9th rd)
Kazmir (11th)
Verlander (12th)
Broxton (13th)
Nolasco (16th)
Brian Wilson (17th)
Carpenter (21st)
Jered Weaver (25th)

In your opinion do you think that I got good value from where I got any of these pitcher? I feel like I reached a bit on Verlander, but I think he’ll prove owners wrong for picking him in the double digit rds this year.

Charles, Va


Go to $260 that’s pretty standard. Don’t make keepers more then 5 but don’t force people to keep 5. Make contracts no inflation for year one and $5 per year after that with 3 year contracts being the max. Shop around for the site. CBS seems to be getting some love, the league I am in uses allstarstats but we are entering year 11. Don’t make any rule changes during the year it’s a pandora’s box. Everyone needs to vote and speak up on draft day, anything after that has to be fixed in 2010.



ADP are 49 , 53, 56 with it being victorino, hart and mcclouth. I’m ok with that and really that just says they are extremely comparable players. I’d trade Hart for McClouth for the flexibility and McClouth is an ok #2 with upside as are the other two. Bottom line they are top 24 OFs. Tremendous #3 OF good #2 OF.



Looking forward to you looking forward.

Love Kinsler 12-14 don’t hesitate. I don’t know if you should dislike Pedroia but if Kinsler is there don’t be shy.


One more for ya,
I asked a question Monday about having drafted Chase Utley (1st rd) Brandon Phillips (4th rd) and Alexei Ramirez (6th rd). I was curious if it was over kill at 2nd base because I couldn’t pass up the power, speed, and avg categories from the middle infield position. I forgot to mention that in my league we have 2nd, SS, MI, and Utl spots so I can start all of these guys. And not only that, but having taken the top MI players keeps them off someone else’s team (something I thought of after the draft). Also, to better justify those picks here is who I else I drafted in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th rd.

Ryan Howard (2nd) – They guy right before be selected Prince Fielder over him because he had Rollins and doesn’t like to have two players on the same team……His loss!!!!!!

BJ Upton (3rd) – I’m with you Cory, this guys is the real deal and is every bit worth a early 2nd rd pick.

Curtis Granderson (5th) – Mix of power and speed and should score a ton of runs in that offense. Too hard to ignore.

Does taking 3 top 2nd baseman (1 soon to be SS) make more sense or was it a bad strategy?

Charles, Va

Charles, I don’t necessarily think it’s a “bad” idea, but I would have to know what other guys were still available at the time you made those picks. I can see Ramirez being a bit of a disappointment, but 6th round is certainly fair value. Like you said, it’s nice to have those spots locked up early, but whenever the decision is close, I’ll always tend to lean towards the more balanced position approach. That said, I like the power/speed mix on your roster, and Upton in the third is a steal.


Hey guys,

I’m checking out the ESPN Fantasy Draft Special as I’m typing this up. I would give the slight edge to MLB in the World of Fantasy with Siano coming in just behind Matthew Berry (sorry Mike) but Schwartz being MILES ahead of Karabell in the personality dept alone! Interestingly enough, the ESPN boys are touting avoiding the top closers which is the opposite of the MLB strategy of taking at least one $$$ closer.
Still looking to repair my pitching problems in my AL-Only league… there’s a team with plenty of pitching and needs a CI. Would a deal of Blalock and Rodney for Zeigler and Penny be beneficial? I know Cory’s not a fan of Penny, but I feel most of his other SPs won’t be as valuable as where they’re drafted (and thus where he will value them).

Thanks for the knowledge,

Scotty Mac

When is the Fantasy 411 podcast going daily again? I NEED IT! Thanks for all your hard work.

Scotty Mac,

Siano’s the AL-Only expert, but that deal sounds fair to me. Rodney and Ziegler are both long shots to get many saves (especially Rodney) while Blalock and Penny are injury nightmares! If possible, I’d try to do a little better than Penny, but if not, I’m fine with you taking the chance that Penny gives you something.


Chris, the podcast will go daily starting on Opening Day (April 6th)


Damien, make sure to check out the 2009 Tout Wars constitution for plenty of other helpful guidelines:

There’s nothing here specific to keeper leagues but otherwise it’s a big help to any start-up league and/or first-time commish. Or any other league for that matter.


Scott Mac, thanks for the props but let’s be fair, Karabell is a great guy and knows his stuff too. Besides, who DOES match up to me in the personality dept?🙂



I’m sure Karabell is, and he clearly must know his stuff… there was no intent to throw anyone under the bus. But I don’t hear anyone calling him Eric “Stats” Karabell, though it could be simply because it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like Cory “Stats” Schwartz.🙂
Overall I think you and Mike have better on-camera chemistry than the gents from ESPN.

Scotty Mac

If Clement starts the year at AAA or is stuck fetching colostomy bags for Old Man Johijma and Grampa Griffey, which of these bargin bin, bottom-of-the-barrel backstops (alliteration!) would be preferred in a 5×5 vanilla:



-John Baker




-Some sleeper I’m not aware of that’s probably available


Dan in LA

Dan, you know I can no longer give you advice now that we’re in the same league! I like Baker the most of that group with Laird a close second.



AL ONLY 260 cap 12 keepers

After my keepers I will need to target MI, 3B, OF

I am considering two different theories, #1 is cheap upside
(after others keepers these are the candidates)

MI – Aaron Hill $11-14
3B – Mike Lowell $12-15
OF – Delmon Young $14-18

OR #2 Costly proven Talent

MI – Jose Lopez $17-20
3B – Adrian Beltre $22-26
OF – Magglio Ordonez $25-30

Option #1 would allow more money on pitching but could result in less offense. I know your answer is mix the two but if that is not an option which stratedgy would you choose.


I don’t understand why most fantasy anlaysts view Mark Teixiera as better than several other first baseman. The anwser that I usually get is “consistency”. But it seem to me that he has been consistently bad in the past few first halves (the more important half of the year). Also, the Yankees lineup looks old and injured. I also think that Teixiera fits into the category of a guy who probably used to use steriods when you look at him numbers over the years. In summary, bad first halves, average lineup, and roids. So, what is the argument for picking Tex over guys like Berkman and Morneau, all seem to be good bets for 300/30/100.


I promise my questions will now be limited to leagues that we aren’t in together, or completely unrelated topics. Speaking of which: What brand of laundry detergent should I use? Should I use liquid or powdered, or doesn’t it matter? My current prerankings have Tide, Chlorox, Gain and Cheer as the top four, with Oxiclean as a sleeper. Thanks.

-Dan in LA

Congrats on the primetime slot!

The only downer is that thousands of players have their drafts this weekend, before we will hear Cory saying “YPNM” for the first time live on MLB TV.

No chance for a sneak preview telecast at 11 PM Friday night? For those last minute draft crammers? Just bump aside that eighteenth airing of “30 Clubs in 30 Days: Seattle Mariners”, no one will notice…

And finally – do you know why Sam Walker didn’t return to defend his Tout wars title? Two titles is enough?

I ordered cable AND expedited the delivery so that I could watch you guys on MLB Network on Sunday. I was thinking about just living with another season of MLB.TV without having cable, but this news has put me over the edge. Tell those punks at MLB Network that you guys are building them a larger audience by gracing their studio with your presence. Oh and I told all of my buddies in my leagues to tune in. One more thing… Feel free to bust out some of the Yoo-hoo a little early and celebrate. Hey, why don’t you give Harold Reynolds a Yoo-hoo shower, that would make for some good TV time…
-Another Mike

Is Brad Penny worth a pickup in a 12 team mixed? What can we expect from him this year. I need a solid guy for the back of a young rotation.

Another question: Matt Kemp or BJ Upton? Which would you take in a challenge trade and what are the optimistic and pessimistic projections for each guy?

Hi guys,

Congrats on the big spot!

However, we abroad (at least me in Sweden) have problems getting to watch the MLB Network.

Is there any possibility it will be on the website some time afterwards?

Bertil in Sweden

Yeh, I would also love an audio only download. It’ll be the only way I get to access it.
Another challenge trade question if you don’t mind. Scott Baker or Yovani Gallardo?

Kevin, to let you know how highly I think of Upton this year, I took him 13th overall in my NFBC draft. I believe his shoulder is healthy and that he will have a monster year; in fact, I think his baseline season is Kemp’s upside. And I like Kemp, too. Also I would take Gallardo over Baker, I think he’s the superior pitcher and have no health concerns; the knee injuries last year may end up being a silver lining because they saved wear and tear on his arm at a critical point in his career.


Also Kevin, I think Penny is strictly a waiver-wire flier in a 12-team mixed league. He’s a dog and coming off an injury. Woof!🙂


I’m on the Clock.
Here are my options in an NL only keeper
Stephen Drew
Jay Bruce
Adam Dunn
Chris Young (AZ)

Who would you draft?

Hey Guys,

Grats on getting some air time on the Network. I have to admit I am jazzed about the MLB Network and have enjoyed watching it this Spring. The shows are extremely well produced. Matt and Harold, as well as the rest of the on-air personalities, are enjoyable to watch.

With that said, it sure would be nice to see them make a little room for fantasy and utilize the talents of Mike & Cory. With 24 hours of programming, it would be great if they could devote at least 1 hour a week (if not a weekday) to fantasy. I know we have to be patient, but I just wanted to toss out one of my suggestions, since they are so well received. heh

Plus, you guys need to launch a twitter account! Good luck this weekend to all the crew participating in Tout Wars!!!

-Johnny Archive

Thanks for your advice Cory,

Based on your comments I just had a trade of Kemp for BJ Upton agreed. Lets hope he comes good on that Monster year.
McClung or Villaneuva?

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