Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

3:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Let’s light this fire.

3:00
Franchy Cordero: With the possibility of universal DH do I benefit the most in San Diego?

3:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not sure with SD. I think it may be Wil Myers since he’ll finally have a defensive position.

3:01
Smoking aces: My Stras and Yandy for his Jram. 8×8, 15 keeper. Stras is expensive, jram is moderately priced and Yandy is as cheap as our league allows. Smell fair?

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Yea, I like the JRam side for sure.

3:02
Billy: Assuming we get a 80 game season, has the option of going later into the fall been discussed? I feel relegating games solely in FLA, Ari, and indoor stadiums, perhaps we could stretch out the “season” to say 120 games

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I think MLB is more willing to stretch out the post season (i.e. more money)

3:03
Longfellow Deeds: If your league is stubborn and sticks with H2H in a shortened 81-game format – are there any big value/strategy swings you anticipate? Would you prioritize ace SPs or SBs more than normal?

3:04
Jeff Zimmerman: High IP/S guys for Wins. Doesn’t have to be aces, but Wins are going to be tough for a couple weeks as pitchers ramp up their innings.

3:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d ignore SB completely. So much variance especially in a short season.

3:05
Alex K: Do you have a favorite baseball documentary?

3:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Battard Bastards of Baseball

3:05
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s just so out there

3:06
Mike Tyson: designated hitter: Deep rebuild team.  15 team Roto.  28 man rosters.  Mostly standard settings .   If you had to choose one guy from dying in the cold vacuum of space in order to be an asset to your team…….winker?  Dom Smith?  George Kirby?   Josiah Gray?

3:06
Jeff Zimmerman: That deep, go Dom Smith with the DH. If he isn’t playing, more on but he could be a surprise addition

3:07
Longfellow Deeds: Have you been playing KBO DFS?

3:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not going to stay up to set lineups. I’ll watch in the morning

3:07
Babyfarts: Dynasty points league – how do you rank prospect pitchers vs MLB pitchers? Some people say there is no such thing as a pitching prospect but I have Manning/May/Puk and feel they should be in a similar class as pitchers like Wheeler/Fried/Urias who are all MLB starters but either are not established studs or have health issues (Still worry about Wheeler). What do you say?

3:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I rarely invest in prospect pitchers. I try to watch callups and get unknowns like Kluber, Clevinger, Bieber, DeGrom, etc.

3:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I feel I can piece together pitching but stud hitters rarely just show up.

3:09
Jack: Are you on the Jose Berrios breakout wagon?

3:10
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m fine with him but I never roster him for a couple of reasons. People seem to be paying for upside that I don’t think is there. Also, about the point he is going in drafts, I’m looking at closers.

3:10
Rich K: Hi Jeff.  Thanks for chatting.  Do you think Wil Myers is being underrated this year due to recency bias?  He should get full-time at-bats with a DH, or close to it, and last year’s strikeout rate looks like an outlier.  His strikeout rate was down to 18% in spring training part 1 (he claims to have simplified his swing), and he was raking (1.097 OPS).  And he’s only 29 and two years removed from two very productive seasons (28 hr, 28 sb in 2016; 30 hr, 20 sb in 2017).  I think he should be a top-150 player this year, but his ADP is 288.  Thoughts?

3:11
Jeff Zimmerman: I like him a ton more with the DH. He just can’t play in the field. Worthless

3:12
Jeff Zimmerman: At pick 250 or later, a great buy now.

3:12
Jack: Is Kris Bryant primed to drop that .300/.400/.600 slash we all know deep down is coming?

3:12
Jeff Zimmerman: No, I think he’s at or past his prime and it’s all downhill from here.

3:13
Jack: Nico Hoerner: the ceilingb

3:13
Jack: Nico Hoerner: what kind of ceiling is there? In an OBP league?

3:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe Andrelton Simmons. He needs to find some power.

3:15
Harry: In a keep 6 forever OBP league with no dollar values (also no NA or minor leagues) would it be wise to now keep a player like Wander Franco over a guy like Jeff McNeill? When keepers were due in March I didn’t want to have a hole for all of 2020 but now with a short season and a chance to redo my keepers I’m thinking about Franco. Do you think this is a good idea? Or will the year away delay Franco’s debut?

3:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Keep Franco, he’s a difference make and could be up all year. If you want to be competitive, trade him.

3:17
Jeff Zimmerman: For anyone setting keepers, wait as long as possible. Hopefully, each team’s taxi squad will be known and these are the only players to likely be called up to the bigs. There aren’t going to be any unknown AAA breakouts. All the possible callups will be known day 1.

3:17
Chris: Garrett Richards worth a flyer?

3:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I know his ADP is quite late, but there are so many other pitchers I want instead of him.

3:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I watched all his starts since coming back and he’s looked terrible.

3:19
Al: Thoughts on Schoop with a full helping of at bats in a nice lineup spot… in a full season would he get to 30 homers and 90 rbis?

3:19
Jeff Zimmerman: So 15 and 45 in the half season, I could see it. I like him as a late option if I need to fill 2B

3:20
Al: Assuming the univ dh is a thing, do you like smoak as a starting 1b in a 14 team obp league? Does he get to a prorated 30 homers? Thanks!

3:20
Jeff Zimmerman: I still think he’s a platoon bat. I could be wrong or Ryan Braun got hurt mid-sentence.

3:21
tbone: i need a closer, standard 5×5…..was offering judge for Lourdes and Osuna, not enough or do you have faith in Lourdes?

3:22
Jeff Zimmerman: For just 2020, I like the trade. If it’s a keeper league, keep Judge.

3:22
Jeff Zimmerman: The queue is a little empty, keep the questions coming.

3:22
RMR: League keeps about 120 players.  Pearson going to be up enough this year to fit as a keeper?  Or should I throw him back and take the extra pick?

3:23
Jeff Zimmerman: So assuming a 12 team league, 10 keepers, you get a 10th rounder. I think I’d want the 10th rounder over Pearson

3:23
Smoking aces: Brent Honeywell. Sigh. Have you moved on in keeper formats?

3:24
Jeff Zimmerman: This is why I don’t invest in prospect pitchers in keeper leagues. I just build from callups and drops.

3:25
PB&Js: If all the Driveline-inspired improvements from this offseason take for Yusei Kikuchi, what kind of fantasy upside are we looking at? Is he a potential ace, or is the best we can hope for a 3/4/5 type guy?

3:26
Jeff Zimmerman: He was unplayable last season. I think a fantasy #3 is the best upside, but I bet he’s a 60% streaming option.

3:26
PB&Js: Sean Murphy is going late, but based on his minors and cup of coffee, he strikes me as a likely top-6 type catcher. Who’s crazy, me or them?

3:28
Jeff Zimmerman: The batting average will be the X factor.

3:29
Jeff Zimmerman: His minor league K% didn’t follow him to the majors.

3:29
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m a fan at his current price

3:29
Jack: Is Willson Contreras, infamous for his dramatic half seasons, a guy who will benefit from this shutdown?

3:30
Jeff Zimmerman: No idea who is going to show up for this half season. Maybe everyone was playing video games.

3:30
PB&Js: Trying to choose between three upside guys on waivers- Aaron Hicks, Gregory Polanco, or Mitch Haniger. They can and have all be top 25 type outfielders when healthy… are they all worth rostering, and in what order?

3:31
Jeff Zimmerman: For 2020, Polanco first, you’ll know if he’s good to go or just drop. Hicks will likely start out slow and but is the most for sure options. If neither work, add Haninger for next season.

3:31
Jeet: For 2020 are you pushing closers up  your draft board?  Less time to grab saves off the wire.

3:33
Jeff Zimmerman: For sure on the guys set in the role (e.g. Chapman). Everyone will likely be grinding for Saves, so I want one decent option. Also, I many take one or two more late draft throws for closers vs starters. If I hit, I don’t have to over spend on the WW

3:33
Babayfarts: In dynasty point leagues are you OK with never keeping a closer/rp? They seem pretty easy to replace each year and I’d rather keep prospects/depth but my league mates seem to think I’m crazy

3:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Don’t keep them. Now if they value them, trade away for useful players.

3:34
Bart: In a 80 game season would you keep a minimum 500 IP for the season in a Roto league?

3:35
Jeff Zimmerman: I think 400 to 450. Most of my leagues are 900. With pitchers on limited IP counts to start the season, it needs to be less than 50% of the previous total. I’d go with 40%

3:35
tbone: what do you think of Ryan McMahon this year?  Do I platoon him and start him in CO only?

3:36
Jeff Zimmerman: So I’m supposed to guess what the most unpredictable team is to do in an unpredictable situation?

3:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they’ll just keep screwing him over.

3:36
Babayfarts: Do you think Fried over L Arraez in dynasty point leagues? Keep reading about Fried’s breakout potential but all Arraez does is hit hit hit

3:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Fried and it’s not close for me. Arraez has almost no power. find AVG somewhere else.

3:37
Jeet: With the short season and starters not having much time to ramp up, do you think middle relievers are more valuable this year for ratios and potentially wins?

3:38
Jeff Zimmerman: There will be some but it’s about impossible to know who. Just try to read up as much as possible on manager’s plans.

3:38
Bart: Who gets the advantage in a 80 game season– pitchers or hitters in a fantasy league??

3:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Advantage? I’m not sure what you mean.

3:39
tbone: Buster Posey, top 10 catcher this year?  DH should be very helpful

3:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe on the DH. He’s a batting average only play at this point in his career.

3:40
PB&Js: Are pitchers in the AL East looking at an easier or more difficult season than previously expected if the current west/central/east plan goes into effect?

3:42
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m downgrading all pitchers in the “East” division. Several rough parks in which those pitchers will pitch in more. Also, the NL East has some decent offense. Give me all the Central Pitchers

3:42
Jon: Keeper league (8 keepers) – Soto for Judge/Torres?

3:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Damn this is close

3:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I love Soto so I’d lean up but you could regret it.

3:43
Jeet: Is there anything at all suggesting the decline of Nelson Cruz is near?

3:44
Jeff Zimmerman: The only thing is that he played through an injury last season but was still great. In The Process we found that at his age, assume the production will continue until he falls off.

3:44
Cool Papa Bell: Could Bruce Lee have been one of the best baseball players ever if he fully dedicated himself to the sport?

3:44
Jeff Zimmerman: He’s have an 80 grade windup

3:44
Jon: Any new chapters in The Process that you’re expecting to do for 2021?

3:46
Jeff Zimmerman: Tanner and I are knee deep at examining bias’s in various ADPs. I’ve already started the frame work on how much projections need to be regressed to ADP.

3:46
Jeet: How far would Carlos Correa have to fall before you consider rostering him?

3:47
Jeff Zimmerman: Let me break out the ADP

3:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m off Correa, so I’d need him to drop to the 140 range (won’t) where Seager, Andrus, and Polanco are going.

3:48
PB&Js: I love your “Mining the News” articles, thank you for them! Knowing that we can’t have those updated all-day every-day, what’s your recommendation for someone to try to aggregate news on their own? Do you have alerts set up, a favorite rotation of websites, etc.?

3:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m old school. i have 61 sources in an RSS feed.

3:50
Jeff Zimmerman: I have the 30 MLB sites, the 30 Athletic feeds, and MLBTRs. That’s it.

3:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Feedly (the rss reader) allows me to check each article and saves those back with info I may use.

3:51
Jeff Zimmerman: While RSS isn’t cool, it allows me to not miss anything.

3:51
Jeet: Are you in on the Dansby Swanson 2020 hype train?

3:52
Jeff Zimmerman: At about 230 … sure. He’s one the reasons, I’ll likely not take a SS in the first round. I build my teams from pick 450 forward and I love some many late SS

3:52
Lorenzo: 5×5 roto with OPS, Will Smith or Mitch Garver??  Would you prefer either one (or both) over Sanchez, Realmuto, Contreras, or Grandal?  How do you view the top tiers at catcher?

3:53
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s Garver for me. I like his more rounded skill set.

3:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Smith seems destined to be one of those 25 HR, .220 AVG catchers who are a dime a dozen.

3:55
Jeff Zimmerman: I’ve got a few more minutes if anyone has any final questions.

3:57
Jeff Zimmerman: That looks like it. I’ll be back next 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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Thomas Parker
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Thomas Parker

Thanks for the dedication to keeping the chat each week