Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:01 AM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat session. We're looking at baseball and football today, whatever's on your mind, so let's get started... any questions?
EK, Chone Figgins in 2B eligible in my league...where do you rank him amongst 2B as opposed to 3B?
Eric Karabell (11:04 AM)
I'd certainly rather have Figgins as a second baseman, if you can pull that one off. He played nine games there. In most leagues he is only 3B. I think he's pretty overrated, to be honest. I rank him in the top-10 at 3B, probably around No. 8, but at 2B he'd do better. I mean, Brian Roberts is a top-5 guy at 2B, and Figgins does the same thing, probably better. So I guess Figgins would be around 4 or 5 at 2B.
Clay (San Antonio, TX)
Eric - What do you expect from Pie this year?
Eric Karabell (11:06 AM)
Hmmm, I do like Pie. And I think the Cubs' Felix Pie could be a decent player, though I don't know if he's draft worthy in 10-team mixed leagues yet. The Cubs need to give him an everyday shot, even if he's batting eighth, and see what he does. He's an intriguing power-speed combo, and looks ready for the bigs, but I wouldn't count on more than 10 homers or 15 steals yet. And that's if he gets 500 AB.
Jamaal (Washington Twp, NJ)
Thanks for your fantasy basketball advice! You told me to trade Shaq for Okur and that turned out to be good advice. Now, should I trade Dirk and Felton for Kevin Martin, RJ, and Biedrins? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
In this case, I think that deal makes sense. Dirk is having a fine season, but he's only No. 15 on our Player Rater because he's no longer a great player who scores 25 a night or helps in a lot of areas. Martin should be back in a week or so, and could be a top-20 player from this point on. Biedrins is a legit rebounder. Sure, it makes sense if you can spare Felton's assists.
Is Richie Rich Sexson done? I mean really done???
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
No, I don't think he's really done, but he's going to be a very late draft pick in most leagues. It was only two seasons ago he hit 34 homers, and hit a respectable .264. I expect he gets back to that, so be careful about that corner guy you take.
I'm already keeping Peyton and Lynch. My 3rd keeper option is between Parker, Jacobs, and Fitzgerald. What are your thoughts?
Eric Karabell (11:12 AM)
I would narrow it down to the RBs, and probably go with Parker over Jacobs. I did rank Parker better for 2008. Jacobs still has to prove his durability, really. and I think Parker's injury - a broken leg - was more fluke. He should return just fine and score more TDs than 2007.
are you giving up on rondo?...rumors of the Cs possibly trading for cassel worry me...also, who would u grab on the WW - foye or ford?
Eric Karabell (11:14 AM)
I'm not giving up on Rondo, but it is ironic I did cut him in a league about an hour ago. I just had a different need on that team. I wouldn't assume the Celtics make a deal. Rondo isn't a problem, he's done just fine. Rondo is fine in fantasy for what he does. As for the waiver wire, has to be Randy Foye. We don't know if TJ Ford will be back, really at all.
Mike B. (Cleveland)
Where do you think Ryan Grant will rank overall next year?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
I think he's a smart second-round pick. He did very well once he got the full-time chance. I ranked him in the 15-range I think overall, and the early reaction I got was that it was too early, but who knows?
Sources are reporting Brian Roberts is headed to the Cubs. Do you think his value is increased with that lineup hitting behind him?
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
Well, it wouldn't shock me if it happens, because it's clear the Orioles want to part with Roberts, but no, I'd assume his value remains the same. He doesn't have power. He does run, and one would think the Cubs intend to bat him in the top-2, but then again, Soriano doesn't belong in the leadoff slot either. Lineup spots are something to watch in fantasy, but guys like Roberts, they'll do their thing anywhere. Maybe he scores a few more runs, that's all.
What is up with the Dodgers playing situation in the Corner Outfielders? How many ABs do you see Kemp getting? I am worried about Torre not playing him as much as he should.
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
I would, too. Look, I just don't think Juan Pierre is going to sit on the bench, not one bit. He plays 162 games every season, and everything I've heard is the Dodgers intend to bat he and Furcal 1-2 again, so Pierre is playing. Andre Ethier and Kemp are fighting for RF at-bats, unless one is traded. Kemp is very intriguing for fantasy, but I think people talk him up as if he's a sure thing.
Do we expect the same Mariano Rivera or is he on your avoid list with the constant change in closer productivity?
Eric Karabell (11:20 AM)
All top-level closers are kind of on my avoid list because I very rarely will spend a decent pick - like in the first 10 rounds - on a closer. Rivera is a top-10 closer. I wouldn't avoid him, because he should save 35 or so and keep decent peripherals. I would just prefer to load up on offense and get a few rotation anchors first.
Eric- Any thoughts on Joe Mauer? I'm not sure about keeping him in a 12 team 6x6 where we keep 5 players. Should we expect '06 or '07 numbers?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
I think Mauer tends to be overrated in fantasy. Sure, we'd all love a catcher who hits .330 every year, but the truth is Mauer has hit below .300 twice in the last three seasons, and durability is a big problem. I'd keep him depending on who else I have, I think he has value, but if you get 500 atbats and a .300 average, that's good.
Who will have a better game this weekend, Burress or B. Jacobs? I can keep one of the two. Who would you keep?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
I'd go running back, always. Jacobs has to have a good game, I think, if the Giants are going to win. Eli just has to avoid mistakes.
Does Andre Miller get moved or will it just be a rumor? What can we expect out of Louis and Thad if/when he gets moved?
Eric Karabell (11:24 AM)
If Miller gets dealt, I'd bet it doesn't happen until the day of the trade deadline. Philly isn't contending, but Miller isn't seen as a contract albatross either, and I'm not sure yet if Philly views Louis Williams as a natural point guard. I think Williams is worth owning in deep fantasy leagues, but Thaddeus Young is more raw athlete right now than fantasy provider.
Eric, I'm keeping Wright, Utley, Vlad, & Teix for sure but I need 2 more from the following group. Who would you keep from Sheff, Byrnes, Hart, Tejada, Haren, Papelbon, & Lincecum?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
I would rule out Sheff and the closer first, then Lincecum. I'd keep Haren over Lincecum. I'd also keep Hart over Byrnes, because I don't see Byrnes swiping 50 again. But I'd probably keep Tejada over both, due to the position he plays and the fact I see a 25-HR season coming. SO I'd keep Tejada and Haren, who from your group generally get drafted earliest anyway. Make sense?
Who should I take first, all can be kept until they are 30 years old? Matt Kemp 24 year Josh Hamilton 26 yr Brett Myers 27 yr
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
I do like that rule! Can you contend now? Do you need a pitcher? Because Myers is the only true safe bet. I think he starts opening day again and wins 15 games, with 200 Ks. And it's not because I like the Phillies, he's motivated and was fine before 2007. Kemp needs to play and emerge, which I think is possible, and Hamilton just needs health, which is also possible. I'd probably go Kemp, but it's a risk.
Adam (New Orleans)
Do you like Gore more or less as a potential keeper next season with Martz in the mix? Does this change his ranking at all?
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
Good question! I do like Gore a bit more now, because I think the addition of Martz will make the 49ers take their QB position more seriously. That make sense? If Alex Smith stinks, they pull the plug. Gore needs health and a little help around him, and I had him in round 2 as it was. I might like him more now.
Eric, What do you think of your newest Phillie, Geoff Jenkins? Can he hit 25 HRs in that ballpark while only playign against Righties. What do you see him going for in NL only leagues?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
I think he could hit 20 homers in that RF platoon with Jayson Werth, and that's fine for fantasy. He gets drafted in NL leagues as a No. 3 outfielder I guess. What I don't get is why everyone thinks the Jenkins move was so great, but complains so much about 3B. Greg Dobbs had a higher OPS against right handed pitching than Jenkins did. They're similar for production this year.
Over or Under on Jenkins projections .270/25/85
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
Under on power, but the average, now that he doesn't have to face lefties, it goes up.
Michael (Portland, ME)
25 HRs from Tejada? Is that your safe prediction? I asked Ravitz yesterday if Tejada was a top 3 NL SS. Nate bluntly said not even close.
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
Nate's right, Tejada isn't close to a top-3 SS, because Hanley, Rollins and Reyes are all first-round picks. I think Tejada is safe for 25 HR, but he's still after Jeter and Tulowitzki in my SS ranks, and right around Furcal.
James (livonia, MI)
Has a timetable been set for Gilbert Arenas' return?
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
It's pretty open ended at this point, somewhere between mid-Feb and mid-March. With the Wiz playoff bound even without him, I don't know why they'd rush him back. I'll say March.
Do you predict a bounce back for Hafner this year? I'm thinking about trading Ryan Howard for him and a prospect to save money and to cut back on my K's (a category in my dynasty league). Would you take a deal along these lines for any of the following prospects: Adam Jones, Andrew Miller, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, or Homer Bailey?
Eric Karabell (11:35 AM)
Yeah, I probably would take a deal like that, to be honest. Hafner and Bruce or Votto for Howard might work, but I'd have to see what Cincy plans to do with their kids. I do see Hafner bouncing back, and people are clearly forgetting he was a second rounder the last two years. Howard will hit more homers, but Hafner can hit 35. Just make sure he's a 1B in your league, or that it doesn't matter to you.
Thoughts on Alex Gordon for 2008? 25 HR and 15 SB maybe?
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
My thought is he takes a nice leap up in value, and while you don't need to make him one of the top-10 3B to get him, I bet he does finish there. Say 20 HR, 15 steals, a .280 average.
Delmon Young. Is this guy going to hit for some real power or is he a 15-HR guy?
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
Power is coming, probably 20 or so HR this season. This was a terrific trade for Delmon, and he's about to take off.
Would you rather keep Roddy White or Kenny Watson as a 9th round pick next year? Thank you.
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
For now it's Roddy. I don't see the Bengals just giving up on Rudi Johnson yet, and Watson is actually older, you know. Roddy is a top-20 WR, and those go before round 9. That's value.
What kind of year do you expect from M. Lynch next year?
Eric Karabell (11:39 AM)
I ranked him in my first round overall, so I expect 1,200 yards and 10 TDs. I won't assume he's brittle.
eric, i can keep 2 of the following...sjax, westbrook, m.lynch, anquan, braylon keep 2 rbs???
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
Wow, you're going to have to let Lynch and those WRs go, that's tough. Make a deal, something.
Where do you have O. Cabrera and P. Konerko ranked at their respective positions in mixed leagues going into 08?
Eric Karabell (11:41 AM)
From what I have seen so far Cabrera has been a bit overrated as a top-10 SS, and Konerko a bit underrated. I like Cabrera, but no question I would take Carlos Guillen over him, Renteria and M.Young as well. Konerko is a safe power hitter who can hit for average again.
What sort of numbers do you expect from Nick Swisher this year?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
Early reports have him being overdrafted so far, because while he does have power, he's not a great hitter. He has nice plate discipline, though, but can't hit for a high average. The ballpark change doesn't simply solve his problems. Figure he could hit 30 HR, but he's no lock for the RBIs or better than .260.
Eric, what kind of numbers do we see from Salty this year? And does he retain C eligibility after this year? League is transitioning to dynasty format so I'm thinking long-term here. Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
I think Texas will use him mostly at catcher this season, and probably for a few more years, so you are safe, but what people might be overrating is his bat. He needs to show it off at the big league level, and as of now the Rangers don't seem committed to him with the big club in April.
Michael (Portland, ME)
Edwin Encarnacion is 30/100 in 2008. True or false? And Dusty would be crazy not to play all the kids...
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
He's under. And Dusty has proven in the past he can avoid kids with the best of them. I don't assume JBruce starts the year in center field, which is where he'd have to play if Griffey stays in right, and Hatteberg was just re-signed, so does Votto start. My guess is Votto does start, but Bruce starts in the minors.
Is Ryan Garko worth a look in a deep AL-only league as anything more than a corner boy? Is Asdrubal Cabrera a top 5 AL only 2b?
Eric Karabell (11:48 AM)
Garko is a fine corner guy, even in AL leagues, but Asdrubal is unlikely to deliver the numbers fantasy owners think. He's not in my top-20 second baseman at all, and I have more than 10 AL 2B over him. What's he got, power, speed? What has he proven?
Does the trade increase Swisher's value?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
Slightly, but not enough to the extent he's a top-20 OF, or top-10 1B.
Is Elton Brand worth stashing on a 3 man bench, or will he be back too late?
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
If you feel you can wait until March, go for it. I know I probably couldn't. Depends on league rules and whether you need your bench or not. If your starting lineup holds every night, then sure, why not?
Any sleepers for steals that we can pickup in the later rounds of the draft?
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
Oh yeah, there are tons of sleepers for speed this season, and at numerous positions. Felipe Lopez at middle, Kaz Matsui, Luis Castillo, Willits, Bourn and Freel in the OF. Most of these guys don't even get drafted.
Other than Chone's steals is there much other appeal to him? Would you rather have him, Chipper, or Brynes?
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
He did hit for a nice batting average, and score runs as well. But if I needed a 3B in round 5, there's no question I'd go Chipper. Not sure about Figgins vs. Byrnes, because I do like the 3B elig and I don't see Byrnes stealing 50 again. How about 25.
Who's this year breakout player? (Last years Prince Fielder)
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
Hmm, if you want a good 1B to just make that next step, which is what Prince did, then Adrian Gonzalez could do it. I think Garko and Loney could hit 25 or more HR, making them nice values.
I'm surprised you say to keep Sjax over Lynch. Should I be?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
I ranked Jackson better for 2008, and let's remember he's not old. He catches the ball well, and is capable of a top-5 season. Lynch could do this, too. I don't simply look at ages and make keeper decisions, though. Jackson is in his prime.
Eric, is Saito the closer next year he had a great 2007 season. Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
He's an undervalued closer with 2 terrific seasons in LA. Go ahead and draft Broxton, I keep seeing this, but Saito is a safe, dominant closer.
Eric (Downingtown, PA)
What are your thoughts on Victorino this year? Can he hit 15 HRs with 40 SBs?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I'd take the under on both, figure a 12-HR, 35-steal season, but he's in that ballpark. This is a nice player, and he's being a bit forgotten in drafts.
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
OK, my time is up, thanks for the great questions in three different sports, and good luck with your teams. Adios...