The fantasy staff answers questions from the inbox, including those from an owner planning for this year's playoffs and others planning for 2014.
Question: Podcasters and fantasy writers chant "Flags Fly Forever" when talking about stashing potential players in dynasty/keeper leagues. I understand this, sacrificing an unknown future for a more certain present victory is an important concept. However, I get hung up on the fact that most of my leagues are H2H category leagues where it is a crapshoot once you get to the playoffs. If my team is positioned to make the playoffs, I feel that I have as good of a chance as any to win the league.
Is there anywhere specific that you would choose to focus your resources to shore up for the playoffs? Do you look at starting pitching matchups for September?
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An NL-only owner who lost Matt Garza is among those who received help from our experts this week.
Question: My recent pick-ups, Nathan Eovaldi and Erasmo Ramirez, didn't work out too well. I was wondering how you would rank the following: John Danks, Ramirez, Eovaldi and Corey Kluber). And, just as important, how many of them would you start in a two-start week over one start from, say, Francisco Liriano, Alex Cobb, or Anibal Sanchez? That last answer helps me determine if they are even worth owning. I'm not really chasing anything like strikeouts or wins right now and don't want to get blown up in WHIP or ERA.
Answer: I would rank these pitchers Kluber, Ramirez, Eovaldi, and Danks. I'd prefer Liriano and Sanchez in any 1-start match-up to these guys. With Cobb it’s hard to bank on a guy who is hurt right now with so much uncertainty around his injury recovery time.
As the real-life and fantasy trade deadlines approach, our experts help owners decide whether to pull the trigger, amid other advice this week.
Question: I wanted to get your thoughts on Ian Kennedy. I'm in a 10-team dynasty league and it would be so therapeutic to drop him (there doesn't seem to be much of a trade market at all for him). I could use his spot to stream guys like A.J. Griffin, Felix Doubront, etc., or take a shot on a youngster for the future like Jarred Cosart (I didn't get to see his start but the stat line looked pretty good; I'm sure Jason watched it, so maybe you could tell me if he looked impressive or if the Rays just had an off night). Basically, is Kennedy better than he is pitching, or is this who he is now?
Answer: I love the guy, but it's time to move on in a 10-teamer. There are just sure to be better options.
Among other advice in this week's inbox column, the fantasy team advises you on how to make sure you've received the best offer you can before pulling the trigger on a trade.
Question: I inherited a terrible, last-place team in a 20-team dynasty 5x5 roto. I've made a few smaller trades, but the best trade chip I inherited is Clayton Kershaw. I'm sort of new to fantasy baseball, definitely to a dynasty league. I'm having trouble gauging player values now and going forward. What sort of player(s) is Kershaw worth? I know a lot of people prefer hitters over pitchers, even one of the best. Should I try to trade him in the offseason, or now? I tried to get Manny Machado and Carlos Gonzalez in separate trades and was denied both times. I've been offered a trade for Jason Heyward and Mike Moustakas. Both suck this year, but both are young and have been good. As you can see below I really need offense and to get younger. I really like Heyward, but I'm also a biased Braves fan. This same team also has Oscar Taveras (but won't trade), Jonathan Singleton, Gary Brown, Taijuan Walker, and Jameson Taillon as other potential interests. How should I be gauging unproven prospects with a player like Kershaw?
Answer: Maybe Heyward and Walker or Taillon. I definitely like the idea of getting an offensive centerpiece for Kershaw.
Since our league has a 1400-inning cap that nearly every manager maxes out, I'm concerned about Zimmermann's keeper value since his K/9 doesn't stack up with other aces in what is essentially a K/9 league. I have an offer proposed to me and considering if it will help my team long-term:
The Fantasy Staff gives advice on slumping players, potential trades, and upgrades for injured players.
Question: I'm in a 30-team league with unlimited minors. In a league this size, it is impossible to compete every year, and I missed my window and am rebuilding. Iwakuma is my last viable asset left, as I have developed a pretty substantial minor-league team. The offer for 2 years of Iwakuma is Clayton Blackburn (SF), Erasmo Ramirez (SEA), and 4 of the next 5 guys: Donovan Solano (MIA), Carlos Sanchez (CWS), Max Kepler (MIN), Roger Kieschnick (SF), and Robbie Erlin (SD). I would keep them all for their first 6 years in the majors. Can I do better or is this a pretty awesome return? (As a comparison, I offered 2 years of Iwakuma for 6 of Billy Hamilton and was turned down).
Answer: You should be able to do better than that with Iwakuma right now. Aim for fewer players and get a couple closer to the bigs.
The BP Fantasy Team weighs in on pontential trades, prospects to keep, and more.
Question: I am in a very aggressive 20-team SS league. Players are being drafted in Low-A. Minor leaguers may be kept, but they count against the next year’s draft. I got burned this year when I dropped Teheran in the beginning of the season, believing he would never be of value. What do I do now with players like Gallo, Mark Montgomery, and Betances? Will any of them ever make it to the major leagues?
Answer: I like the chances for Gallo and Montgomery to make it—and both could have fantasy impact, Gallo as a potential power bat and MM as a potential closer. Betances is pretty much a lost cause at this point. He could end up as an OK reliever eventually, but there's no need to hold onto him for fantasy.
Johnny Cueto's injury has more than one fantasy team smarting.
Question: I'm in a 12-team mixed, and just had Cueto go down again. Other than him, I have Verlander, Samardzija, Cahill, and Cashner, and I stream for the rest of the week if I need to, as we have a 45-inning minimum. I just got offered Matt Wieters and Matt Moore for Buster Posey. I'm thinking about taking it because Wieters should hopefully be on the upswing and Moore should figure out his recent downturn. Was just wondering what you guys thought about it, if I was getting enough for Posey.
Answer: I think it's a fair offer for sure, but I'm not sure I'd do it. If you've got that core and you're streaming otherwise, I think you'll be fine.
Our BP Fantasy Team gives advice on when it is time to pull the trigger on particular players.
Question: Just got an offer from the first-place team owner, who always seems to get the better end of trades, and I just don't understand why I should pass this up. It seems to me to be highly in my favor. I give up Berkman and A-Rod for Pujols. He will also throw in Overbay and Flowers, both of whom will be bench guys for the time being for me. It is 6x6 (OPS is the extra category) AL-only dynasty and I only have Callaspo, Matt Dominguez, or Mike Aviles to play third. One more thing: I would not be able to drop Pujols (if an injury happens) until after next year's auction, but right now, I can drop either of my current guys at any time. If the trade goes through, he will not be able to drop Berkman but can drop A-Rod.
There is one dominant team and one terrible team. The rest of us can go from second to seventh in days. My hitting is better than my pitching, with my hitting average and OPS terrible, but in all of the counting stats, my team is at or near the top. I should do this, right?
Our fantasy staff takes a gander at some potential trades in fantasy leagues.
Question: I'm in a weekly HTH points league in which batting points are given for total TB, R, RBI, and BB, minus KO, and pitching points are awarded for W (5), QS (5), INN (.5), and K (1), minus ER (-1). I've been offered Matt Harvey and Cespedes if I give Pedroia. My OF is Aoki, Choo, and Heyward, and I play V. Wells and Hunter at U. I've got Werth on my bench. I'd need a 2B player, and Kelly Johnson is available on waivers. I'd probably drop Werth to pick up Johnson. What do you think of this trade?
Answer: If you can get Johnson, that becomes a nice 3-for-1 for you. He is playing very well, can be used in multiple places, and should put up better final numbers.
Our team of fantasy experts checks in on the value of potential trades and weighs in on the value of keeping top talent.
Question: I never liked Veras as the closer for Houston; I thought Fields would take over that job. What do you think? Also, how about Paul Clemens?
Answer: Veras isn't the most inspiring closer, but he has been getting the job done for Houston of late. He has also been the best reliever thus far in a fairly weak pen. Fields is currently on a rehab assignment and recovering from a forearm strain. The injury is minor, but it means that the Astros are likely to ease him back into action when he returns later this month.