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Dear RotoRob: Big Al, Brad or Harrington?

January 1, 2007 | By RotoRob | comment on this post

Al_Jefferson_2.jpgDear RotoRob,

In a 12-team roto league with standard the eight cats plus TOs, would you trade Al Jefferson for Brad Miller or Al Harrington, or stand pat with Jefferson? I’m last in my league thanks to a computer led draft due to unforseen circumstances. I’m near the bottom in most catagories except rebounds and blocks and TOs since I’ve reduced the number of games played until I can field a better line-up. The other team is deperate for blocks. I have the following bigs: Rasheed Wallace, Chris Webber, Chris Kaman, A.Jefferson, Channing Frye, Chris Bosh and Hakim Warrick, so I don’t have anybody to help carry the FG percentage load.

What do think I should do?



Hi Albert,

I would keep Jefferson. He’s turned into a double-double machine (six straight heading into action Thursday), and he just keeps getting better as the season progresses.

Miller’s been turning it on offensively of late, so I definitely prefer him over Harrington. I like how Harrington’s outside game has developed, but the rest of his game has deteriorated, especially of late.

If you’re peddling Jefferson, you need to get more value in return, especially since you’re not going for the title.

Dear RotoRob,

I’ve been offered Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker for Josh Howard and Monta Ellis. I’m hesitant because Howard is such a complete player — he shoots 3s, he blocks shots, and I need both of those categories. I am in first in points and assists, so I don’t “need” Carmelo’s 31 PPG or Parker’s assists. I feel like the combo of Carmelo and Parker is more of an “elite” combo than Howard and Ellis, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right move for my team. I am in first place overall.

Thanks as always!


Hi Matt,

I’d make the deal. I realize it doesn’t help you in your needed areas, and that you’ll miss Anthony for the next few games still. But have you thought about your ability to parlay one or both of those players into some serious assets? Maybe you can combine Carmelo and something and buy low on Kobe for his 3-pointers. Or how about trying to move Parker for Andrei Kirilenko to help in blocks?

Sure, you’re in first and don’t have to do anything, but this may be an opportunity to grab two fantastic assets that can be flipped for something you really need to solidify a title run.

The other consideration here is Ellis and his injury. If you can move him now, it might be a wise move.

Dear RotoRob,

Thanks for the reply (James asked me about his roster last week). Alex Gordon is not in the draft. A player has to see atleast one plate appearance or throw one pitch in a MLB game to be in the draft.

The problem with my team is the pitching. I have no pitching. I think I almost am forced to take pitching since Chad Billingsley only had 90 innings. I have to have enough innings to cover the whole season and Billingsley doesn’t get it done.

I would love to take Howie Kendrick to play 2B for me since I think the kid has a good shot at hitting .300 for a long time. But, without the pitching, those young hitters I have will be useless. I think I backed myself into a corner with the draft.

Since I am thinking I am forced to take pitching (rather than a 1-1 hitter-pitcher), what would you do? Kendrick/Jered Weaver? Kendrick/Cole Hamels, Weaver/Hamels? I am sorry to bug, but I am so freaking lost.

Hi James,

That’s too bad about Gordon. I had recommended you go with young hitting over young pitching because it seemed that you had more an inclination away from young pitching. The way I look at it, you still have two options here:

  • Go with the young hitters over the young pitchers and then try to parlay the bats into more established, less risky pitchers.
  • Or, just go directly for the young pitching.

My advice: Kendrick and Hamels. Hamels will get much better this season, while Weaver could disappoint (somewhat) and doesn’t have the upside potential Hamels does.

Try to move Adam Kennedy for another young pitcher and then pick up a scrub to use as your backup at second base.

Dear RotoRob,

Happy holidays. I wanted to get your advice on this trade:

Elton Brand
Mike Bibby


Richard Jefferson
Mo Williams
Andris Biedrins

Thanks in advance for your time.


Hi Jay,

Happy Holidays to you!

Oh man…risky deal on both sides of the equation. Depending on who the team giving up RJ, Mo and Biedrins will be slotting into the empty spot, I like that side better. But it’s real close and there are plenty of caveats.

The owner dealing for Brand and Bibby is buying low, so there is massive upside potential. Brand is picking up the scoring, with three straight games of at least 21, so he could be huge from here on in. Bibby also looks like he’s waking up from his season long-slumber.

On the other hand, I love the idea of getting rid of RJ, as not only is he down across the board, but he’s an ankle surgery waiting to happen. He had a big game Friday, but he makes me real nervous.

Williams looks phenomenal right now, so that’s sweet and Biedrins has enjoyed a great breakout, but comes with the risk inherent of being on a Nelson-coached team. He’s also looking like he’s waking up from a mini slump.

Obviously, without knowing what categories you need help in, this is tough to evaluate because it’s so close. But if I’m on the side getting RJ, Mo and Biedrins, I take a big gulp and swing the deal.

Dear RotoRob,

Hope you had a Merry Christmas! I wondered if you would trade Richard Jefferson and Chris Wilcox for Pau Gasol and Josh Childress?



Hi Mike,

Same to you and Happy New Year.

Lots of RJ chatter this week. The calm before the storm?

If you’re the one dealing RJ and Wilcox, do it and do it fast. RJ is on borrowed time with that ankle and although I like Wilcox, he’s struggling to consolidate his gains from last year.

Gasol is really rolling now and Childress is starting to produce as well.

Dear RotoRob,

I’m a big fan of yours!

I need your opinion. On December 6, I did the following trade:

Nenad Krstic and Leandro Barbosa for Yao Ming and Jamal Crawford.

Crawford had been in and out of our FA list and was playing inconsistent and thus was considered a throw-in in the trade.

I thought the trade was fine especially given that we are in a nine-category (pts/reb/asst/stls/blocks/threes/TO/FG%/FT%) factoring in Yao’s TOs, Barbosa’s 3s and so on.

However, many teams in our league are crying foul and were upset with the trade.

What is your opinion? Do mind that the trade was done December 6 ‘ before Steve Francis went out, before T-Mac went out, before Boris Diaw started showing up, etc.

Thanks for you feedback.



Hi Ravi,

Thanks for the note my man.

Oh jeez’this really is a cursed deal, isn’t it? With Krstic done for the year and Yao going down’oh man.

This deal obviously favors the Yao side, but I have seen more one-sided trades. I mean, you throw Crawford’s lame-ass FG percentage into the mix and the Krstic side gets the better of the deal from that perspective. Because of Barbosa, that side also gets the edge in 3s. I’d also give that side a very slight edge in steals.

At any rate, even though the Ming side wins, there’s enough specific advantages to the Barbosa side that this is not a veto-able deal. Tell the whining owners to go cry somewhere else.

Now, as for the fallout of the injured parties, well’

Dear RotoRob,

Thanks for all the help with trades and what not and I love you web site. Can’t get enough of that and Rotoworld. But here it is again I need some more help. Well, I just offered Dirk Nowitzki and Mike James (who I have given up on and have come to the conclusion that last year was a fluke and he is now on my scrub list) for Pau Gasol and Chauncey Billups. I think in the long run I will win with this trade. The only category I really need help with is 3s, so Billups will help out a lot and I also now have Raja Bell . Is that trade good? I know I’m giving up Dirk, but he isn’t what he was last year.

Also I need your advice on my team. I’m still first in my league, but I’m trying to shake it up and move some of my players.

PG: Billups (the guy already accepted it, just pending), T.J. Ford, Mo Williams, Andre Miller, Baron Davis and Raymond Felton.

SG: Paul Pierce, Josh Smith, Mike Miller, Bell, Gerald Wallace, Felton, Kevin Martin and Wally Szczerbiak.

SF: Rashard Lewis, Antawn Jamison, Pierce, Smith, Wallace, Miller and Szczerbiak.

PF/C: Jamison, Tim Duncan, Mehmet Okur, Wallace, Chris Bosh, Emeka Okafor, Andrew Bogut, Chris Wilcox, Andris Biedrins, Channing Frye, Gasol, Marcus Camby and Al Jefferson.

Now, the problem I am having is I don’t really have anybody I want to drop to play on the waiver wire. Right now, I think my weakest players are Frye, Szczerbiak and maybe Jefferson, but he has been solid lately.

So who can I drop or is my team just too solid to really drop anybody to the waiver wire? Then, I am also thinking about taking on some injured players if I can get them cheap enough. One of the other teams is real weak in dead last with a fair amount of injured players. So I am thinking about trying to pick up Yao and Chris Paul since Paul will be out a few games. I know he is kind of desperate so I’m thinking about offering him either Okur or Biedrins or Gasol and Felton or Ford as a centre, point guard package for Yao and Paul. Would that be smart trying to go after a few more injured players, but getting them for less then true value?

I already have Bosh, Gasol, Camby, Lewis, Pierce, Smith and Wally with injury risks and problems. But being in first and about 70 games ahead, I figured I can afford to bench half of my team anyways. I think my 3s will start coming around with Raja and Billups now on my team, and my FG percentage is going to start coming back up and I gave up on trying to win the TO fight.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks once again for helping me with trade talk and what not.


Hi Zak,

Glad you’re digging the site. Feel free to spread the love by: (a) telling everyone you know; (b) clicking ads like a madman; and (c) making a donation to my I don’t want to eat any more Kraft Dinner fund.

As for your trade, it’s actually much closer than you think, but in looking at their recent performances, it’s an easier call. You’re getting the best of the deal with Gasol and Billups — especially in 3s, where you need the most help.

As for wanting to pick up more injured players on the cheap, do you really want to add more risk to your team if you’re in first place? I’d suggest all you need to do is make low-risk moves to win it all. I think you might be tinkering for the sake of it, and that’s not always the best move. Your team looks very strong as it is; manage your lineup wisely week to week, and you should cruise to the title.

Dear RotoRob,

I read your article today and was wondering your opinion on Vinsanity ‘ since RJ is going down at some point, Nenad Krstic is gone for the year and the team is going down the tube, do you think this will negatively affect Vince and the mail it in performances will return?’Or are he and J-Kidd enough to keep them in the hunt and playing hard?’If not, should I sell high on Vince and if so, what’s a fair trade for him in an eight-team roto-league with 11 cats?


Hi Douglas,

I think what’s going on has already negatively affected Carter as defenses can and are totally keying on him. He hasn’t had a game of over 50 per cent from the field since December 20, and he’s taking way too many shots from outside. That’s a big part of his struggles.

Yes, Kidd and Carter can keep the Nets in the race, but only because they play in the Titantic Division where the winner will likely be a losing team. And Kidd will always force Carter to give an effort, so he won’t pull what he did in Toronto; not as overtly, anyways.

But if you have a chance to move Carter, you should. I think it’s probably too late to sell high on him though. Right now, a good return on Carter would be someone like Chauncey Billups. Play up Carter’s scoring, and see if you can swing that.

Michael Redd, or possibly Joe Johnson, who has slipped a bit of late, would also be a solid return.

Dear RotoRob,

It seems the Bosox and Scott Boras are destined to be at each other’s throats.

What’s up with J.D. Drew?


Hi Larry,

Oh man, good question. Of course, Boras has that effect on a lot of people, doesn’t he?

Boras has been too busy trying to bust the posting system for Japanese players so he hasn’t had time to complete his screwing over of the Bosox in the Drew deal. They just started talking again and will do some serious negotiations next week. It’s just a matter of reaching some kind of compromise regarding the reports on his shoulder. Boston wants an escape clause so it can walk away if the shoulder causes more problems. I think a deal is imminent, but yes, this has been a fun time for Boras and the Bosox, hasn’t it?

Dear RotoRob,

Cut Chucky Atkins for Hedo Turkuglo?’



Hi Amos,

Wow’short and sweet.


Atkins is really sucking right now, while Turkoglu should get some extra traction with Grant Hill out.

Dear RotoRob,

How are you doing, buddy? I am working on another interesting trade right now. What do you think of Steve Nash and Rasheed Wallace for Gilbert Arenas? Arenas has gone nuts lately.

Thanks for the comment.


Hi Ace,

I’d be careful with this one. Yes, Arenas has been simply unstoppable of late, but hot streaks end. I strongly doubt you have someone as good as Wallace sitting on your bench to replace him in this deal, do you?

This deal will hurt you in FG percentage, rebounds and blocks. So if you can suck up those losses and have a player who can come close to replacing Nash’s assists, then maybe you want to roll the dice.

I wouldn’t recommend it, though.

Dear RotoRob,

I am in a 10-team head-to-head fantasy basketball league, which’starts’up to 10 players daily, including two centre spots.’I just lost Rashard Lewis and Yao Ming to injuries.’Should Yao and/or Lewis be dropped? Yao is targeting mid-February, but Lewis appears to be out at least eight weeks, maybe longer.’Our fantasy playoffs’begin March 26, and I am debating the worth of wasting two roster spots for players that may not contribute until the very end. Potential free agent replacements are’Matt Barnes, Chris Kaman, Kyle Korver, Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas.’Any advice is greatly appreciated.



Hi Liam,

Well, Happy New Year to you, eh? Nice one-two to lose. Oh man.

Giving away Yao would be risky ‘ too risky if you ask me. We’ll know more next week when he’s scheduled for a followup exam, so you might want to wait to hear the latest prognosis before deciding on whether to dump him.

Lewis on the other hand, is someone you might be able to get away with waiving.

Of the free agents you mentioned, considering you’re focusing on short term gain, go with Barnes. He’s playing great right now and with Monta Ellis out, he should continue to get the minutes.

Kaman is playing much better lately, but sorry, I just don’t like his new ‘do. It just no longer says ‘crazy mountain man married to his cousin’ to me anymore.

Forget about Korver and Thomas. They won’t crack your lineup with that few players going every day.

Gooden has played much better lately, but I still prefer Barnes and Kaman, in that order.

Dear RotoRob,

If you have the time, I was wondering your opinion on who I should keep in a 10-team keeper dynasty league. I can keep five players, and after next year it will be 10. It’s a points league that allows weekly lineup moves and is not head to head format. So from this group, which five would you keep? The points each player generated for last season is listed.

Albert Pujols 1B’893
Aramis Ramirez 3B’714
Johan Santana SP 1028
Jake Peavy SP’728
Scott Kazmir SP’544
Ichiro Suzuki OF 697
Victor Martinez C/1B’666
Ervin Santana SP’728
Michael Young SS’714

Thank you.


Hi Paul,

Ah yes’more and more baseball questions starting to flow in. It must be that time of year again!

I always cringe at these kind of decisions ‘ it’s so hard to cut superstars. But here’s how’d I go with this choice:

1. Albert Pujols. No brainer. He might top 60 homers this year.
2. Johan Santana. Nice score, man’the top hitter and the top pitcher.
3. Ichiro Suzuki. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets dealt next year, but that may only serve to increase his value.
4. Aramis Ramirez. He probably won’t win a Gold Glove anytime, but with Derrek Lee healthy next year, A-Ram will be a beast.
5. Victor Martinez. Here’s where things get tough. I actually value Young higher, but from a positional scarcity perspective, you have to protect V-Mart.
6. Michael Young. If you don’t think you can get a top shortstop back, you can opt to keep Young over Martinez.
7. Jake Peavy. I expect him to bounce back this season and he has the advantage of being in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the show.
8. Ervin Santana. He has shut-down stuff.
9. Scott Kazmir. I’d be inclined to take him over Ervin Santana if I weren’t so damned worried that his arm is going to blow up. Classic high risk-high reward pick.

Hope this helps.

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