Fantasy Baseball Chat With Jeff Zimmerman

11:00
wes: What to do with Stanton in a keep-5 no penalties 12-teamer? Last four years of keeping him: one MVP and three ostensible zeroes. Still a Top-60 keeper?

11:01
Jeff Zimmerman: It really comes down to the other keeper options. I think he’s a borderline top-60 player so others could have moved up.

11:02
First Runner Up: Hello, I’m the guy who traded Gallen and Kyle Lewis for Clevinger in dynasty last February. Clearly I stink at ‘consolidation’ trades. Any indicators I should look toward to avoid these mistakes again?

11:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think it was a bad process trade. You were getting the best player and it there was no guarantee that Lewis would stick in the majors. I wouldn’t move off the strategy.

11:04
Jesse: Who do you think could be a lights out fantasy relevant middle reliever in 2021? Kinda like Williams and Karinchiak were this year

11:04
Jeff Zimmerman: I wrote about how to target them here: https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/how-to-target-middle-relievers/

11:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Just follow the guidelines to find some. I think Zack Britton is always a nice buy.

11:05
Aaron: would you anticipate prospects potentially getting called up early as a way of saving on signing veteran players?

11:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Not this year if there is a minor league season.

11:06
Jeff Zimmerman: The vets are still going to play even if it’s for just a one year deal

11:06
Kasey: What do you make of Rowdy Tellez? Will the Jays give him a full-time role next year? Or will they look to upgrade or platoon him?

11:07
Jeff Zimmerman: After a quick dive, I found there is a lot to like about Tellez.

11:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I expect he’ll be on a ton of sleeper lists after other Touts ive in.

11:08
David: Do you hang on to Vlad jr. since he will only be 1st base now or try and move him?  (already have the best first baseman in baseball)

11:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe the recent interview gave me hope, but I think owners need to hold him. Besides dropping a ton of weight, he’s planning on moving back to 3B with his knee healthy.

11:10
Guest: Hey Jeff. Are the steamer projections on the site up to date for 2021? And when will they and the ZIPS that Dan just dropped be available in the Auction Calculator?

11:11
Jeff Zimmerman: There is a ton of changes happening behind the scenes to get any projection work. Patience.

11:11
Leo Mullin: Will Baez bounce back?

11:12
Jeff Zimmerman: No idea here. Let me go to my new favorite tool

11:13
Jeff Zimmerman:

11:14
Jeff Zimmerman: His production is so driven by his BABIP and it dropped to a new low in 2020

11:15
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m no sure he’ll bounce back up to his previous highs

11:15
David: How are you seeing league deal with the position eligibility issue? Usually the amounts from the year prior are based on 162 games, so are the minimums being adjusted or just carrying over from 2019?

11:16
Jeff Zimmerman: I know CBS cut their requirements in half. I know NFBC has talked about dropping theirs.

11:17
Jeff Zimmerman: The one thing to keep in mind is that there is a ton more DH-only’s this year. I could see some go as late-round deals but with the possibility of few multi-position players, owners may have to pass on those deals.

11:17
SteveL: Thoughts on Meadows for ’21?  I have him at $14 in a ten team AL only OBP league.  On the fence…

11:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not the highest on him but for $14, he’s a steal. If you don’t like him going forward, someone does and make a trade.

11:18
Roger: The Jays have been linked to handful of shortstops this off-season including Lindor… which would force Bichette to 2b. Given the wasteland that is 2b, how much of a boost would this be for Bichette fantasy value? He’s already a early 2nd/late 1st rounder

11:20
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t run the numbers yet, but 2B didn’t deserve a boost last season. Now it might with DJL and KMarte loosing 2B eligibility won’t help the position.

11:21
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see Bichette getting to the end of the first just yet, even if he has to move to 2B

11:21
Guest: When does Rutschman start getting playing time in the majors? Does he have fantasy value this year?

11:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Simply, anyone who makes a call on prospects is smoking the good stuff. No one has any clue on how good any prospect is at this point. We barely know anything about major leaguers.

11:22
Craig in Las Vegas: All of the sudden, 2b isn’t that loaded? You paying above market price for any of these 3: Hiura, Madrigal, Isan Diaz? Thanks

11:23
Jeff Zimmerman: Hell no for those three. Each has major issues and could end up in the minors after a month.

11:25
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree the top of 2B isn’t great, but just accept adding one in the 15th round will be the norm this season.

11:25
Guest: who are some of your offseason fantasy targets, who will outperform their acquisition cost.  I am targeting Brady Singer, Deivi Garcia, and hoping Kyle Lewis is for real.  Thoughts and who are your buy targets?

11:27
Jeff Zimmerman: I have no idea at this point. I just start creating my rankings and then let the market (ADP) determine who I target. Last year, I felt Ozuna was going too late and ended up with him 7 of 8 NFBC leagues.

11:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Same with Travis d’Aurand.

11:28
Craig in Las Vegas: Which White Sox RP do you want to have, as of right now? Thanks

11:28
Jeff Zimmerman: None

11:29
Jeff Zimmerman: Matt Foster

11:29
Craig in Las Vegas: What do you make of Ketel Marte? Thanks

11:30
Jeff Zimmerman: What a mess he was compared to expectations.

11:31
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m sort of chalking it up to bad luck

11:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Most of the batted ball metrics stayed the same, so I don’t hate the hitting production going forward.

11:32
Jeff Zimmerman: The lack of steals does bother me

11:33
Peppercorn: Right after the “season” ended there was a lot of talk about the small 60 game sample and how that would be accounted for. Is it just me, or are people forgetting already? I’m hearing lots of “last season” talk….

11:33
Jeff Zimmerman: I think people need to use 2019 and 2020 when possible.

11:34
Jeff Zimmerman: For me, 2020 was last season, even though it wasn’t a full one.

11:34
Jesse: What is Cavan Biggios realistic upside. The launch angle and OBP is nice but he doesn’t hit the ball super hard. Thoughts?

11:35
Jeff Zimmerman: His value comes down to the league type. The walks are great in points and OBP league, but he can be a drain on AVG.

11:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he may have that .275 AVG season hitting at the top of a good Jays lineup and he’ll end up as a top-15 player.

11:36
Peppercorn: NFBC is 7 games for position eligibility.

11:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks.

11:37
Guest: Is Aaron Civale good?

11:38
Jeff Zimmerman: He should have been but started throwing is worse pitches more as the season went on.

11:39
Jeff Zimmerman: I just wrote him up for season preview (lindys). His cutter is great and so is the slider.

11:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Wrong, the slider is junk and he needs to ditch it and his sinker

11:40
Curtis: A Lewis, Kelenic, Rodriguez OF in 2022 is ______________

11:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Thinking too far ahead

11:41
Scotty: I need some starting pitching help in dynasty, I have Bohm and Arozarena, which I might have to deal for pitching. Who would you keep/sell?

11:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Sell Arozarena, his value may never be higher.

11:41
Too much or too little: Who are going to be the most overvalued players based on 2020, besides Randy Arozarena? Who will be the most undervalued?

11:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Voit as overrated.

11:42
Jeff Zimmerman: I think there can be a ton of cheap power to find like Suarez.

11:43
Wellski: Are steals so rare in the 2021 fantasy season that Mondesi is a 4th rounder or better?

11:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he’ll go in the top-40, possibly top-20

11:44
Guest: Does Dan read the Projection Busting Research? Should we expect all that stuff to become part of the projections over time?

11:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure. I know most projections are trying to add StatCast right now since they have somewhat of sample create historic projections to test

11:45
Curtis: What’s the most players from one team you’ve ever ended up with on one fantasy team?  At what point did you realize you had so many? (How did that team do?)

11:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I never noticed one team before, but once all but 2 hitters were on the west coast. I’d end up watching Sano an some catcher too much.

11:47
Isolated Thinker: If fully healthy is Justin Verlander still a top tier starter?

11:47
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s over a year away.

11:48
Chamaco: In dynasty leagues, how do you value young SP with high upside who haven’t yet reached the majors vs. established starters who lack the same upside? For example, would you rather have someone like Aaron Civale or a top 100 SP prospect in Triple A?

11:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Civale

11:48
Jeff Zimmerman: For me, I only hold hitting prospects and grind the wire for pitching prospects.

11:49
Jeff Zimmerman: While Cole was an elite prospect, Bieber and deGrom came from no where.

11:49
purplemini: any adivce on how to judge hitters returning from shoulder injuries a la Jake Lamb? It’s been a few years since surgery but it takes awhile to adjust, based on casual observation.

11:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d follow his batted ball changes at Baseball Savant

11:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Follow his Max Exit Velo and Contact%

11:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Another stat to follow is fastball%

11:50
Jeff Zimmerman: If teams quit throwing him fastballs, they think he’s back

11:51
Isolated Thinker: Do you think Michael Conforto would have regressed dramatically over 162 games?  Is 60 games enough to declare him having a breakout season and should we moving him up a tier?

11:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Now there is a regression candidate. I think he would have fallen hard (see Charlie Blackmon) if given more time.

11:52
Guest: As someone who for years has been trained on the dangers of small sample size noise, I’m generally extremely hesitant to drop slumping players in exchange for the hot hand. But it means I usually miss out on midseason/early-season  breakouts. How do you make those kinds of midseason decisions?

11:54
Jeff Zimmerman: I look for major changes in the player. For pitchers it easier with added velo or new pitches or throwing strikes or dropping a pitch. It’s a lot hard with hitters. Mainly with them, I look for changes in playing time. Teams will know better if and why a hitter is struggling and if they should be in the lineup.

11:54
bomba: question for draft and holds: after the top ten or so catchers, the pool feels extremely globby.  if you miss on the top of the pool would you wait and stack 3-4 catchers in row just based on playing time (stallings, trevino, knitzner, higgy, torrens, murphy etc)…. is there anyone in the catching pool who stands out to you?  it was max stassi for me until the injury.

11:55
Jeff Zimmerman: Catchers are mess in D and H. I like one of the top guys to at least one spot filled (Sal Perez). The next spot is usually a guy with a good backup and I get both.

11:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Usually one will emerge.

11:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Finally, I draft Tucker Barnhart

11:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I know he’ll start a ton while posting pathetic stats.

11:57
Jeff Zimmerman: I usually go with four

11:58
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s it for this week, I’m fairly certain I’ll be around next week.

11:58
Isolated Thinker: Thanks Jeff as always for the great chat!  Looking forward to the hot stove action.  Have a great week.





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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