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 the latest fantasy sports chat. Only a few weeks left and the baseball season is officially under way. Actually, less than two weeks! Let's get to the questions...
Hey Eric, has your stance changed at all on Barry Bonds as a late round pick?
Eric Karabell (11:03 AM)
As time goes on it's becoming less and less likely he'll find a team to play on, but in a 10-team mixed league there are so many outfielders that won't be drafted, it seems a decent risk. In a deeper league, or one sans a bench, I probably wouldn't bother. I hope he plays. He's a good fantasy option.
Eric, which potential first round pick in a mixed league carries the biggest injury risk?
Eric Karabell (11:04 AM)
Well, clearly it's Albert Pujols, though he is no longer in my first round. No way I'll take him that early. Past that, I suppose Hanley's shoulder could be an issue, but I'm not worried.
Trade evaluation: Would you rather have Berkman or Atkins, Wang and Valverde? Why?
Eric Karabell (11:06 AM)
Definitely Lance Berkman. Even if he misses some games, which he tends to, he hits for average and produces power, possibly 35-110 at the least. Atkins is close, but Berkman is better. No way I'd take a closer that early in a draft, and I'd trade for one only if I had serious need. Same with a non-strikeout starting pitcher.
chris - westport, ct
i got loney and pena to fill my 1st base slot... how do you feel about loney this year?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
I think some are expecting numbers a bit too high, namely in power but also batting average. I like our projections of 24-107 and a .303 average. Those are realistic.
Cliff (Buffalo, NY)
Projections for Bedard? We all know he is injury prone, but do you expect him to go on the DL this year?
Eric Karabell (11:08 AM)
I don't expect anyone to go on the DL, though I have thoughts on a few players more likely than others, like Pujols for example. I don't think Bedard is a DL lock. He might make "only" 30 starts, but still, 15 wins, 230 K's, that looks nice.
The 3 players who are taken way too early are ___________
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
Pujols, Matt Kemp, Josh Beckett (a lot of the early starting pitchers), Chone Figgins, Vlad, Vernon Wells, and the first closer off the board...
Eric (Fort Collins CO)
Please tell me why Renteria will/wont be a better pick than Orlando Cabrera this year.
Eric Karabell (11:12 AM)
I think they are similar, but Renteria is not a power or speed guy. Cabrera should approach 20 home runs again. Renteria is a 12-12 type guy. Plus, Renteria is hitting seventh in the batting order, most likely. He's a fine option, around 11 or 12 at shortstop. I've got Cabrera a spot or two better.
Rebecca (St Louis)
I've heard that Pujols has had this injury since 2003? Is that true....and if it is and he's been playing with it for that long why now all of a sudden is everyone avoiding him like the Plague? He's still Pujols. Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
There's a difference. One, we now know the elbow ligament is torn, which makes him closer to having the surgery, and he's been feeling more pain in it. Plus, I'd argue this Cardinals team is the worst in the Pujols era, which could exacerbate a truncated season. Also, I view Pujols' offensive ceiling differently off 2007. What if that is the new baseline? Nothing wrong with 35-110, but if he does that, so do a bunch of other, healthier, first basemen. If Pujols was going 45-130, I'd believe. That's all.
PJ Charlotte, NC
I took Troy Tulo at 32 - should i be drug out back and kicked?
Eric Karabell (11:16 AM)
Might be a tad early, but I don't expect much dropoff from Tulowitzki, so enjoy it. Just know that the shortstop position isn't so scarce this season, but if you really want a player and you have to take him a bit early, I have no problem with that. I do it all the time. Who cares what others think of the pick anyway?
Brian (Wilmington, DE)
What's going down, Eric? I'm in an NL only auction, and take a very agressive approach with building my offense (spent $213 of $260 last year on O). What do you think of building around Ramirez AND Reyes or Rollins?
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
I have no problem with that. I've spent $220 on offense a few times, and still did well in the draft by finding cheap starting pitching to get me double digit wins. You might need to spend $80 to get Hanley and Reyes/Rollins, so do your homework on cheap outfielders and pitching!
Is Josh Fields going to be starting or should I cut him and find someone else?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
I think there's a chance he starts the season in the minors, since the White Sox have said they can't trade Joe Crede, and Fields still has minor league options. Ultimately I expect Fields to still hit 25 homers for the White Sox, so don't panic. Keep him around until the situation works out.
Joe (San Diego)
Would I be insane to take Prince between 7-12, assuming Holliday is off the board? Stats are stats, right?
Eric Karabell (11:21 AM)
I'm never going to tell someone they are insane for taking a player too early. Never. I would take Holliday first, then Prince, but even if you chose to do otherwise, I'm sure you could make the case. And even if you can't, it's your team! Don't follow anyone's ranks but your own. I could see Fielder delivering another 50-homer season and being a top 10 player, sure. For now I have him and Ryan Howard outside the top 10, but close.
EK - Just acquired Beckett prior to his injury, should I be fine, or ask that the trade be recinded? Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
I wouldn't panic on this. The Red Sox are being cautious, and even if Beckett misses a start or two in April, it's not a big deal. He made 30 starts last year, not 35. I don't think Beckett was going to win 20 games again anyway, but I don't know what you dealt to get him. If you can re-work the deal and give up less, make your trade partner feel guilty, go for it.
aaron (springfield, mo)
forgotten prospect question for dynasty league- What kind of year(s) can we see out of Billy Butler? (He is still 21.)
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
I think he's got a future as a 30-100 guy in time, though not this season. He's a good dynasty pick, but we don't know if he'll be DH only for years to come, so that's a concern. But the guy can hit. Be careful, even in dynasty leagues, that you don't take all young, unproven players, when solid vets in their 30s are still out there. Guys like Mike Lowell always get ignored in keeper formats. Why? He's not 40!
Is Gil Meche worth drafting at all? He started out 5-0 I believe last season and suddenly remembered he was a Royal. Does he carry any type of sleeper status going into the draft?
Eric Karabell (11:24 AM)
Depends on the league. I wouldn't call Meche a sleeper, but he does deliver numbers most people wouldn't expect. Not the worst No. 5 or 6 fantasy starter in mixed formats.
Manny Parra - given his history of injuries and no guarantee he makes the Brewers staff, is he even worth a late round pick?
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
Possibly. He does bring upside, but I don't think even if he won a rotation spot he'd make more than 25 starts. But take a shot. Someone has to replace Gallardo the first few weeks, and it could be Parra.
As of now, where do you think Loney is hitting in the Dodgers lineup? How about Aaron Hill in the Blue Jays lineup?
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
Loney has a chance to hit 3, 4 or 5, really. I don't think the Dodgers have set the lineup yet, and it depends how Kemp hits, and whether Kent is healthy. But Loney should be in an RBI spot. As for Hill, I think it's a shame, but it appears he will hit 7th or 8th. I think he's worthy of hitting second, but Toronto appears set on this. Hill can hit 20 homers, watch out.
Eric, do you rank Alex Gordon higher because of 1b and 3b eligibility?
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
Not really. I'd play him at 3B anyway. It never hurts having that extra eligibility, but first base is deeper. I do think Gordon emerges this season.
What kind of numbers do you think Jeremy Hermida will put up this year and what round should he be drafted in?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
I can't guess the round, because all drafts are different, but I do think Hermida makes strides this season and approaches a 25-100 season. He should hit third in the Florida lineup, so RBIs are coming. Don't expect stolen bases, but the guy had a .340 second half with 10 homers. The talent is there.
Half my squad was on your list of guys going too early. Am I in serious trouble? How do I stay out of the basement.
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
Not at all. It doesn't mean those players will stink, just that their value warrants a different draft spot, I think. I've taken players earlier than I thought the value deserved based on need plenty of times. Vlad will be fine, but based on where he gets drafted people seem to ignore the fact he won't steal bases. He'll still go 25-110 and hit well over .300 though.
When the season is over, Randy Johnson's stat line will be ________________.
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
I'd say 25 starts, maybe 160 innings, 165 strikeouts, 3.25 ERA. I tend to believe Johnson can have a good season more than others.
Is it just me or is Furcal heavily underrated this year? Healthy, he's basically Jose Reyes with 20-30 less steals or Rollins with 10-15 less HRs. Hes going like 8 rounds later or $25 cheaper most places though.
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
Yep, and I keep getting Furcal in a number of leagues. OK, so he had a sprained ankle and didn't have his best season. Two seasons ago he hit 15 homers, stole 37 bases and hit .300 - in Los Angeles!
Who'll have the better year? Dustin Pedroia or Aaron Hill?
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
I'll take Hill and the potential for 20 homers. Pedroia is a nice little player, a Mark Loretta type who hits for average and scores runs, but he'll probably not reach double digits in homers nor steals.
Thanks for chatting E-man. I have a strange question for you in H2H leagues: Is it important to have a balanced IF/OF on offense? My OF is far, far better than my IF. Is all offense the same, or is IF offense more valuable than OF offense because it covers five positions as opposed to three?
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
Not too strange. I would try to be more balanced in case of injuries or when talking trade. Plus, if there are a lot of good outfielders available, they can't really help you. But it's no reason to panic. Offense is offense, but balance is good.
Would you feel comfortable w/ Gary Scheffield and Josh Hamilton on your team to fill a 3rd OF spot in a mixed 12 team league?
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
Yeah, I don't see a problem with either guy. Well, I do, and it's injuries, but I think both guys will play at least 130 games and produce good numbers. Sheffield could knock in 100 runs in 130 games, and Hamilton is 30-homer threat for sure.
who do you like more this year? billy butler or teahen?
Eric Karabell (11:39 AM)
I still think Teahen can hit for power. It was one season that he struggled, and he had a shoulder problem. I don't expect 25 homers, but 18 and 80, sure.
Eric, you're the only one I trust. Give Pujols for Berkman and Felix? Felix would replace Scott Olsen for me.
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
Thanks, Sean. But there are a number of good writers here to trust. I'd make that deal. In fact, I think I'd draft Berkman over Pujols at this point, or similarly. And to get Olsen off the roster, absolutely.
Hear a lot about Hermida, how about some love for Willingham? Isn't he ranked higher on the latest OF rankings?
Eric Karabell (11:41 AM)
I'll take Hermida first. I think Willingham is fine, but Hermida has more upside and there's a reason he's batting third. As for the rankings, I know what mine are.
Nate, please justify to me why Ryan Braun is being drafted 5 to 8 spots after guys like Holliday and Wright. I realize these guys are more "proven" than Braun but give Braun that extra month and a half last year and his numbers are right there with the two. Add in the OF/3b eligibility and I think he is being undervalued if you can believe that. Thoughts?
Eric Karabell (11:42 AM)
I can't justify it. In fact, I have Braun as my No. 9 player right now, so there you go. Some people are concerned he won't hit right-handed pitching, and the position change could hurt him, but I don't think there's much to worry about here. Top 10 player.
Eric, Casey Janssen is gone for the year. What is the fantasy ripple effect in Toronto ?
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
That is a shame, because Janssen had a really nice season for Toronto. This ensures Jesse Litsch makes the rotation, and makes it even more important the Jays have a healthy BJ Ryan ready for the season. I don't think it changes Accardo at all. He's still a smart sleeper for saves.
Patrick (Seattle, WA)
Which will be the more palatable innings-eater this year: Scott Baker or Kevin Millwood? Is there a reason to believe Millwood bounces back this season?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
I suppose Millwood could bounce back, but I don't like the ballpark helping him much. Baker is the better choice, and one of my pitching sleepers I keep getting. Baker nearly threw a perfect game in 2007, and his second half stats were impressive.
Where would you take Adam Dunn in a league that uses OBP instead of AVG?
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
I already rank Dunn in my top 50, some 30 spots better than the staff rankings, and if you take away Dunn's only negative, and turn it into one of the league's best positives, he's a 3rd round pick potentially. How many players can you absolutely count on for 40 homers? Five or six? Dunn has done this four straight seasons.
EK, would you rather have Manny or Vlad this year?
Eric Karabell (11:48 AM)
I would prefer Vlad, and think Manny is also being drafted a bit too high, but both should be productive. Don't be afraid to draft them. I just think each will miss some games.
Baseball Fan (Detroit)
What do you think of Chase Headley?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
Having a huge spring, and could win the left field job in San Diego and hit near the middle of the order. Is Kevin Kouzmanoff a sure thing for 25 homers? Close. Why can't Headley win a job and hit 20? I think he can. Of course, the Padres could opt to get him more time in the minors, too. They shouldn't.
5th OF... Pierre or Victorino?
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
I'd take Victorino. His playing time is assured, and he could be a 12-homer, 40-steal guy. Pierre's upside is more steals, but he might not play every day, and he has no power at all.
Joan (Silver Creek)
Who would you take in a league that uses OBP instead of AVG - Ortiz, Braun or Fielder?
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
I would still take Braun first, then Fielder and then Ortiz. It's not like any of these guys are Adam Dunn. Ortiz could have the highest OBP of the group, but he also carries risk and doesn't play a position.
You have any problem on keeping BJ Ryan at $1 as a final keeper?
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
Smart move. I don't expect Ryan to close in early April, but I'd bet he gets the job at some point. All he needs is a few saves to earn that dollar for you.
Furcal might have hit .300 with 15 hrs 2 season ago but last season he hit .270 with 6 hrs . You cant blame that on a sprained ankle. It just seems to me that with all the SS on the board that can actually hit and wont kill you in avg and rbi you'd be better off going a different direction. Young, Tejada, Guillen and Hardy for example. I'd take Furcal in the 12th but not the 7th-8th. Thoughts.
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
I disagree. That was Furcal's worst season since 2002. He's 29. He's a bargain, and there's no way he'll slip to round 12. JJ Hardy over Furcal? Not me.
Who will be the CUBS closer with the most saves?
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
I think it's Carlos Marmol, but I wouldn't be shocked if Kerry Wood gets the first chance.
brad (harrisburg, pa)
plain and simple: bay or andruw?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
I could argue for either one, really. I think Andruw does bounce back with 35-110-.260. I think Bay can do that as well, but let's remember, he's not that young. Andruw is only 2 years older. Plain and simple, I still say Jones.
best way to deal with 'that guy' who not only is the first to take a closer, he makes a serious reach to get one?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
Ignore him! Worry about your own team and steal the saves later...
Rob (Harrisburg, PA)
Eric, With Josh Hamilton's hot spring is he a second outfielder in a 14 team standard 5x5 H2H league? Do you like him better than Kemp?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I like Hamilton for a 30-homer season, but because of the risk I don't know about No. 2 outfielder. As for Kemp, who I have not been drafting because it takes a top-50 pick to get him, I think he should go before Hamilton, but not that much.
Jerry Remy (Ft. Myers FL)
Clay Buchholz: What you got?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
The talent is there, but beware of some inconsistency. I could see 25 starts, ERA in the low 3s, decent K rate.
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
OK, that is apparently the time we've got for today. Thank you for the questions, keep getting ready for those drafts and enjoy your day, March Madness is pretty much here already! There's another chat coming later if you didn't get your question answered... enjoy, adios.