RotoExperts’ Jake Ciely answers your Fantasy questions on Twitter @allinkid and expands on his answers here every week.
@up—11: Start Curtis Granderson tonight?
@allinkid: yes, I would
@T7—ht: Should I put Jason Heyward in immediately?
@allinkid: plug him in
I pulled both of these for topics, but not for in-depth debates or stat analysis. This has been and always will be my advice and recommendation with players returning from injuries: sit your pitchers and always play your stud hitters. Even if the pitcher is a superstar, such as Justin Verlander, I normally wait out the first start back. Elite pitchers have off nights occasionally – let alone in their first game back from injury– and one bad game can cause you to work for a week just to get your ERA and WHIP on track again. However, with hitters, what is the worst that could happen? An 0-fer night? Even a big 0-for-5 night isn’t going to do much damage to your team. However, an elite hitter could knock one out, drive in a few runs or even steal a base or two, so the upside is much greater. Always start your stud hitters, and nearly always wait out a start (maybe even two) for pitchers when your players are returning from injuries.
@ja—08: got offered McCutchen for Chris Davis & P Corbin. Good deal?
@allinkid: if good pitching rotation, absolutely
This trade would have been laughed away in the preseason. However, this is why trade vetoes are the worst.fantasy.rule.ever. In any case, I actually like Patrick Corbin a good deal, and if this were a keeper league, I’d have more pause. Still, Andrew McCutchen is one of the Top 10-15 hitters in Fantasy, as he’ll end up with a .270-.280 AVG, mid-20 HRs, mid-20 SBs, near 100 Runs and 80-plus RBI. You can’t find that many places. Chris Davis is rolling, but has been a bit lucky. You can expect 30-plus HRs with an AVG that won’t hurt anymore, but no SB help and fewer Runs. Admittedly, Corbin has been lucky too with a .259 BABIP and 89.2 LOB%. Corbin’s K/BB ratio is down from last year, which is the reason for small concern if his luck reverts a bit. In the end, you are getting a Top 20 player for a good hitter with power and a mid-level pitcher; you have to take this.
@SultanofStat: It’s official. Fox announced it yesterday. Though I think it’s 12 hour-long episodes; they’d just skip some hours
@allinkid: excited beyond words! and probably to finally let him eat and use the bathroom, my guess
Tristan Cockcroft and I go a ways back in our 24 fan-love and talk. So obviously, with this news, we are elated. Jack is back! Whatever you do, don’t cross Jack and don’t miss his return to 24!
@ch—42: not sold on Grimm? Or just because of matchups?
@allinkid: matchups – both a bit worrisome, but do like Grimm given right matchup
This was a weekly lineup question, but there have been several about my feelings on Justin Grimm. I like his strikeout potential, but Grimm is still just a matchup play, as evidenced by his five inning, five run outing against the Athletics. His back-to-back showings against the Mariners and Twins further prove the matchup-based potential (13.0 IP, 11 Hits, one ER, 13 Ks). Grimm did look better his last outing, but his problem is that he walks too many hitters (3.1 BB/9) and is susceptible to the long ball (1.12 HR/9). Deep leaguers can keep hold of Grimm for the matchups, but even two-start weeks in H2H leagues aren’t must-start situations for Grimm.
@th—in: drop Parker, Kazmir or Tillman for Wheeler? H2h pts 14 tm keep
@allinkid: since keeper, Parker is ok, Tillman could too
I’m just not a big Jarrod Parker fan. He’s a mid-six K/9 guy with a BB/9 rate in the low-to-mid threes (actually, over 4.5 this year), and that doesn’t leave a lot of room for upside. As you can see, Parker has a 6.04 ERA, and even his Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) sits at 5.11, so it’s not just bad luck. His HR/FB is way up, sure, but Parker just doesn’t have dominating stuff. I liked Chris Tillman as a sleeper for this season, and he is very similar to Parker. Both are decent, but you could likely argue me into dropping Tillman instead. Scott Kazmir has the best pure stuff, but he’s had health problems his entire career. After three straight strong starts, Kazmir wasn’t too good against Philly with 5.0 IP and four ER, but that came after three outings equaling 17.0 IP, five ER and 21 Ks. Zach Wheeler was once thought more highly of than Matt Harvey, so there is a ton of upside here in a keeper league. With his injury though, don’t expect Wheeler to show up until July. So, while now is the time owners start thinking of stashing prospects like Wheeler, and I would certainly do so, keep winning this year in mind and drop Parker… or Tillman if you’d rather.
@Je—ne: Rest of Season: Ian Kennedy or Marco Estrada?
@allinkid: Kennedy has been unlucky, him
This was before Ian Kennedy’s last start, and I’m not going to lie, but it may have narrowed the gap significantly. Kennedy has been unlucky, but that’s changed over his last few starts. You could see that in his 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 K outing against the Phillies, but then Kennedy only went five deep with three ER and seven Ks against the Braves on May 15. Kennedy has only last seven innings three times, and it’s because he’s walking too many batters (3.7 BB/9). Meanwhile, Marco Estrada has been unlucky as well, evidenced in his 3.93 xFIP compared to his 5.32 ERA. The HR/FB rate is his biggest issue, sitting at 19.0 percent. Estrada’s strikeout rate is a bit better, but his decreasing fastball speed and disastrous home run rate are worrisome. Both are worse than expected, but I’m giving Kennedy the longer leash.
@ja—sk: way too early I know but assuming AP & Foster is gone who do I take w the 3rd pick: McCoy, Dougie or somebody else?
@allinkid: never too early! And Doug easy
Honestly, I wouldn’t argue too hard if someone took Doug Martin with the second pick. I wouldn’t, and Arian Foster is just too good, but he’s also a major injury risk with quality options behind him. Martin has the Bucs backfield all to himself, and he only needs to become more consistent (who doesn’t on the Bucs offense though?). Martin tied with Foster for the second most Fantasy points, and his career is on the upswing with less risk than Foster.
@ia—ee: thoughts on Brandon Moss long term? Is he a better keep than Pagan?
@allinkid: only for power, overall Pagan should help more for multiple cat’s
This is one of those questions where the tweet’s answer was a good summary. Look, Brandon Moss has more power and should hit around 25 HR. There is still a question of his ability, or lack thereof, to hit lefties, and that will limit his upside. Angel Pagan will hit for a better average, swipe 20-plus bases and score several more Runs. Pagan won’t be that far behind in RBI and the lost 15-20 homers are made up in multiple categories from Pagan.
@Je—ne: Kate Beckinsale is the bomb!! Love her!
@allinkid: Seriously folks, since my No. 1 option, Kate Beckinsale, is taken…anyone that can hook me up with Taylor Cole would be in my debt forever
I watched the second-to-last episode of Supernatural this week off the DVR, and Taylor Cole made a special cameo. I went on about her a few years back after fawning over her in the failed series, The Event. Let the fawning resume. If you didn’t know, now you do, and here is just a snapshot for evidence. Don’t worry, search all you want, as that’s what makes her even hotter… pretty sure she is all SFW and doesn’t show the naughty bits. Another plus in my book!
@Je—ne: Trying to get Alex Rios. Giving Nava Espinosa and Loney. Am I not giving enough? Whats your opinion
@allinkid: if dont even use one or two, would go for it
There are two points I want to make here. First, any time I hear a deal that involves a third player when trying to acquire one, my first instinct is to say, “It won’t work; He won’t accept; Don’t waste your time.” It’s the age-old quantity for quality. Loading up with mid-level players to get one semi-star just isn’t equitable and won’t benefit the other owner. That’s the first point. The second one here is that this deal isn’t terrible IF the other owner is riddled with injuries or is in need of MI and CI help. It’s time to give James Loney his due. We all have our doubts, yes, but even with a regression coming (extremely lucky .398 BABIP), Loney can finish with a .300 AVG, 10 HR and 60-70 Runs and RBI. Alex Rios will do the same with a bump in HR (20-25 total), SB (20 or so) and Runs/RBI (likely 5-10 more). That’s the rub. What makes the Rios owner want to lose that for Loney? Well, Danny Espinosa – as much as I loathe him with his Adam Dunn-like AVG (around .220) – will bring mid-teen power and speed at the MI spot. Daniel Nava is a terrific platoon-type who crushes righties. As I said, first glance is to tell this owner not to waste his time. However, if you target the right team, a trio like this might be able to pry away a Rios-like talent. Maybe.