Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:02 AM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat. Let's go mostly baseball today, but I can handle football and hoops as well... let's go!
Eric, Is there any reason to expect the older pitchers with good track records - I'm thinking of Schilling & Smoltz - to enter their heavy decline phase this year? Or will there numbers look the same in '08?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
I don't think there's any problem with these guys. Smoltz especially remains at the top of his game, and while he just misses my top-10 pitchers, it's not by much. Schilling is a bit different. I do worry a bit more about his health, and his K rate, but he remains vaulable.
Horace (Greeley, CO)
Eric, I've read some people who are bullish on Ryan Zimmerman as the Nats move into a more hitter-neutral ballpark. Others are worried about lingering wrist injury effects (ala Rickie Weeks last year). Does Zimmerman take a step forward, sideways, or back in his 3rd season?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
The popular side to take is that Zimmerman's wrist surgery will hold him back, but I'm not really buying that yet. If I see any sign of problem in March, then sure. Even Weeks looked pretty good down the stretch, and he's not the same type of hitter anyway. We don't know about the new ballpark yet, and it's possible Zimmerman will produce his normal numbers, thus becoming a bit of a disappointment. I say he stays about the same.
Will Kemp get the fulltime job as a Dodger OF this year and how will Joe Torre influence this decision?
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
I don't think we can pencil in 500 at-bats just yet. Juan Pierre is going to play. I don't see a scenario in which he sits. Andre Ethier would be the odd man out if Kemp becomes a regular, and I don't expect he'll just stop playing. Kemp has talent, and could be a 25-90-20 guy with playing time. It's a lot to ask, though.
Eric, if Street gets traded this offseason or during the season, do you anticipate he'd take over as closer whereever he went? I'm trying to decide if I want to deal him this offseason or keep him at his $11 salary. Thanks,
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
I think he will get dealt, and likely to a team that needs a closer. Street isn't cheap, and to make a guy like him a setup man would seem odd. Which teams need a closer? Well, a bunch could make a change to one, but it's clear Oakland has the mindset to move its stars fast. Assuming $11 is in line with other non-top-5 closers, sure, I'd keep him.
Eric, everyone is big on Jay Bruce, but, from what I've read, he is NOT a centerfielder. With Dunn and Griffey there, where does he fit early in the season?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
From what I've read Bruce is not a natural CF, but can play there. Certainly the Reds have to use Dunn and Griffey in the corners, and the Hamilton trade made room for Bruce. The Reds could opt to start him in the minors, and let Freel/Hopper man CF for a few months, but I'd bet Bruce forces his way up, like Pence did in Houston. He's got power and looks nearly ready for the bigs.
Better player this season: Kemp or Hermida?
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
Tough one. I'm probably the guy who passes on Kemp, since he'll go really high, and be happy with Hermida, who is emerging. I don't think Hermida becomes a 35-110 guy, and he won't run as much as Kemp... better player? Hermida for now, but Kemp has the upside and better ranking.
Eric, to follow up on my last question, I have both Pena and Marmol at $1, but don't know if I'll have room to keep either of them. Knowing this, would you still keep Street, or are you confident enough in either one of them getting the closer job and holding it this year that you could justify dealing a more proven Street then?
Eric Karabell (11:20 AM)
I'm not confident that Pena or Marmol win the job, though based on 2007 performance they deserve the chance. In Arizona they could go with Chad Qualls or another guy, and the Cubs have to at least take a look at Kerry Wood. At a buck, I'd lean toward Marmol first over Pena, but case can be made that $10 you save is better used on offense anyway.
Would you drop Arenas for Bynum?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
Probably not. I don't like Bynum's chances of a quick and healthy return, to be honest. He's a terrific, young player and part of the Lakers future, and if he returns in late-March - if - the Lakers would take it slowly. Arenas might get shut down because the Wizards could actually be better off without him. I know it sounds odd, but they are playing well, and Arenas might not fit into the team concept real well. I bet Arenas returns first, though, and puts up numbers closer to the past.
Wheres the Ichiro love?!?! Which round have you seen him taken in and where do you see his numbers at this season?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
Anyone who has owned Ichiro loves what he does. He's a solid second round pick, maybe as early as top-12 if you plan on drafting Adam Dunn later. Really, how many guys are more consistent and reliable?
doug (woodbridge, ct)
eric, i know berry values speed over everything else, but i'm not necessarily sold. considering how deep shortstop is this season, who is a better met, reyes or wright?
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
We all value speed, really. I love drafting potential 30/30 guys early. I have Reyes ranked a bit better than Wright because of the accumulation of the steals, but the case can be made either way.
Is Soriano still leading off? If not, will he still run?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
I believe the Cubs will keep Soriano in the leadoff spot, and I see no reason why he doesn't make a serious run for 30/30 again. People say Soriano didn't run as much in 2007, and think it's a sure trend. I say it tells us nothing. He could swipe 30 if he wanted to.
Todd, San Diego
Eric, In a very deep (16 team) mixed keeper league, would you prefer to keep Xavier Nady at $1 or roll the dice on Rich Harden at $10?
Eric Karabell (11:28 AM)
I wouldn't hesitate to go with Nady there for a buck. I'd even do it in a shallow 10-team league, to be honest. It's great to have extra money to spend, and there's no chance I go that high on Harden. A dollar per start? Not for me!
is haywood and nate rob for tony parker fair?...or would you keep the duo?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
I think it's fair, because Parker is by far the best player in the deal. I don't think Nate Robinson will pile on the assists, so while he's a point guard, it's in name only. Parker is a safe 20-6 guy, I'd make that deal every time for him.
Is Reggie Willits only valuable if he is dealt?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
He's certainly more valuable if he's getting 500 PA, which is unlikely to happen with the Angels as currently constructed, but never say never. Matthews isn't going to play 162 games. Garrett Anderson will miss time. There should be some opportunity.
Jennifer (NY, NY)
Hi Eric, I know you have Santana-Peavy ranked 1-2 but which other pitchers round out your top five? Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
I have Webb at No. 3, and then Bedard and Sabathia. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Beckett, Haren, Lackey just miss.
Brad (Nanuet, NY)
Who is the MVP of the 2007 fantasy season (all sports YOU cover) for draft position & value? My nominees are A-Rod, Tom Brady and Randy "why was I so crappy in Oakland?" Moss.
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
I think Brady is the runaway winner here. A-Rod was picked top-5 in most leagues, No. 2 by me. Brady wasn't picked in the first few rounds.
Where does Hanley bat this year? How much will the loss of Miggy hurt his production?
Eric Karabell (11:39 AM)
I don't think it hurts production at all if he remains a leadoff hitter. If he moves down to No. 3 in the order, then we'd see a different goal with his stats. He'd try to drive in more runs, would probably run less. For now we don't have answers on where he hits, but regardless he's a top pick.
Joe ( Idaho)
I'm trying to decide between Alex Rios and Corey Hart as a final keeper. All rankings I have seen have Rios considerably higher than Hart, but if you look closer at their numbers, Hart's are at least as good. Hart got off to a slow start last year, but over the final four months, his numbers were considerably better than Rios'. Am I overthinking this? Can Rios show the power to put up 30 HRs?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
I rank Rios a bit better than Hart, but certainly not multiple rounds ahead. Based on this, Hart is nice value. Fantasy owners make the mistake of assuming the 2007 numbers will happen again. You can compare these guys and write a book about it, but none of it guarantees future performance. I think Rios has a higher ceiling for power, while Hart is more like a 20/20 guy. Both are good to own.
Is Saito considered a safe closer this year? Should I be worried about his age, injuries or Broxton?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
Saito is a top-5 closer. His WHIP the past two seasons is 0.82. I think he's safe and should be expected to have another terrific season. People will draft Broxton, but there are at least 10 other relievers with a better chance for saves.
Evan (New York)
Who would you rather keep for 2008: Mauer or Tulowitski?
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
I'd go Tulowitzki. Mauer is a tremendous player, but I think injuries will remain a problem as long as he plays catcher, and that's not ending soon. Tulowitzki put up legit numbers, not just numbers good for his position. I'd keep him and try to draft a catcher.
Soriano or Rollins? I think SS might be deeper than OF, what do you think EK?
Eric Karabell (11:48 AM)
I think it's been a few years now that OF has lacked proper depth for leagues with 5 starters there. You can't just wait until the final rounds to get 2 or 3 outfielders. Shortstop is deep, though it can't be compared naturally. I have both Soriano and Rollins in my top-10, regardless of position.
If you had Andrew Bynum, would you outright DROP him at this point? Top free-agents include Mike Conley and Ryan Gomes.
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
Well, depends if you can wait two months. In one of my leagues, a head to head format in which I'm playoff bound, I can wait. In a roto league in which I need to make a run and need all bench spots, I can't. Conley has a totally different skill set also. Depends on need and if you need the bench spot.
Eric, this is probably a stupid question but is the ESPN player rater where you expect each guy to finish at their position at the end of '08?
Eric Karabell (11:53 AM)
I don't even look at the Rater when evaluating players, to be honest. That was then. This is now!
Hey Eric what pos. do you think are the thinnest this year? Also do you think it wise to put a little xtra money into these pos. and try to get the best available?? thanks
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
I think catcher is a problem, as always, but middle infield is not that weak, as long as you get starters. I mean I wouldn't wait and get Ronnie Belliard to start at 2B. Go balanced this season. Really, I don't think 1B and OF are tremendously deep, so just draft wisely and don't forget any position. I might put extra auction money into securing a starter everywhere.
Eric, do you see a bounceback year from Morneau? He's a keeper of mine going into our draft but I'm thinking about moving him - I hate the inconsistency. Thoughts?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
I think he played through injuries, and that's why his second half was largely powerless. He could easily have a big 2008, or suffer through more injuries. Is he top-5 at 1B? The case can be made. I wouldn't worry about inconsistency if the final stats are there.
OK Eric quit avoiding the question...superbowl prediction???
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
Pats over Packers. Same as what I wrote a month ago.
What's more fun for a 1st year Dynasty League. Building to win now, or building for the future?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I always build to win now, while keeping in mind the future. Building is great and all, but I don't want to ever punt a season. I see all the time owners spend 2 years building and the teams that tried to win are still up there.
Alex New Orleans
What is your prediction for Victorino? Keeping him this year and need him to be my anchor in SB and R's
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
I'd think he swipes at least 30 bases, maybe 45 or so if he wants, and scores more than 100 runs. Depends a bit on batting order.
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
OK, that's the time I have been given today, so it's time to go. Thanks for all the questions and look for another chat session later today. Thanks and have a great day....