Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell
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Eric Karabell (3:00 PM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat session. Thanks for joining us today. The fantasy football playoffs are here for many of you, but there is also a lot of news for those who miss fantasy baseball, like I do! So, let's get right to those questions...
What can we expect from Dwayne Bowe when he returns from suspension? Better or worse than D Mason in PPR format?
Eric Karabell (3:02 PM)
Now there's a name I haven't heard in a few weeks! Bowe is eligible to return for Week 15, and it's against the Browns. Would I trust him after such a long layoff? And with a team that hasn't exactly been a great passing offense? I'll take Mason.
The Situation (Jersey Shore)
Are Schaub's injury concerns real enough to start Alex Smith over him in Round 1 of my playoffs?
Eric Karabell (3:03 PM)
I think Schaub is going to play this weekend, and since I ranked him in the top-10 at QB, I think he will play well. No worries for me. Smith didn't approach my top-10, but keep him around in case Schaub is ruled out.
Favre or Warner this week?
Eric Karabell (3:05 PM)
In our rankings, which are now up on the fantasy pages, Warner was the clear winner here. I ranked Warner seventh, Favre 11th. Man, these guys are old. Amazing what they're doing. Regardless, I think Warner is the safer bet.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
I'm actually considering sitting AP in favor of starting Addai with LT and Ryan Grant (FLEX) in the first playoff round in one of my leagues. Too risky a move?
Eric Karabell (3:06 PM)
I don't know if risky is the word. I wouldn't do it. I understand plenty of people are angry at Peterson for his average performance of late, but I still rank him above all those other running backs. Remember, the Bengals have been very good against the run, but they have faced only one top-10 running back this season (Ray Rice).
Eric, I've been submitted questions all year and have yet to get lucky. How much of an impact do you think the weather will have on Big Ben tomorrow night? Enough that I'm better off starting Alex Smith in round 1 of the playoffs? Thanks!
Eric Karabell (3:06 PM)
We have a fine column up today from Ken Daube about the effects of weather. I wrote about it as well. If any QB will be fine in potentially cold/windy weather, don't you think it would be Roethlisberger? I am not worried.
Just a little hot stove talk....help an AL-only league guy out and talk to me about the arms that the Tiggers picked up? What are their fantasy value now that they're in the AL? Thanks for chatting!
Eric Karabell (3:07 PM)
The arm to watch in Detroit is Max Scherzer, but I liked him better in the NL. He's a strikeout guy, a kid still lacking a third pitch he can control, and durability has clearly been an issue. Would I draft him over Edwin Jackson? I don't know. I might have before the trade.
should i start mike sims walker or steve smith (giants)
Eric Karabell (3:08 PM)
I would start Sims-Walker. I think both Steve Smiths are OK starts, and I ranked them in the 20s, but Sims-Walker against the Dolphins, I really like the matchup. I know, I know, Sims-Walker did nothing last week. I still trust the guy, and more importantly, Garrard at home.
Houston RB mess (Houston, Taxes)
Erci, pls clarify who is the beneficiary of Slaton being put on IR. Thanks
Eric Karabell (3:09 PM)
Well, I'm not sure anyone is, really. Chris Brown gets the call for close-in touchdowns, and I would think Ryan Moats is the main carries guy, but I really don't think either fellow is worthy of being started in a 10-team standard league. It's the playoffs! I'd prefer to own Moats, if I had to choose.
Simon (Walnut Creek)
Am I nuts for benching Barber for Forsett and Knowshon? Barber has been killing me the last few weeks!
Eric Karabell (3:11 PM)
First of all, just about any decision one makes in fantasy football, it doesn't make you nuts. I don't think Forsett is worth starting because he is not getting enough touches. Bottom line. But he certainly could catch a TD pass, top Barber's points, and then you wouldn't be so nuts. Trust your gut. It's not like Barber is a great play.
Hi EricSo Sanchez isn't playing on Sunday. Do you think T. Jones will have more carries & yards because they will focus mostly on running or will TB stack the box and cause the Jets running game not to do as well? Should I start Mendenhall instead?
Eric Karabell (3:12 PM)
It's true that Mark Sanchez has been ruled out for this week, so enter Kellen Clemens. Honestly, I think of this the way I do the Falcons. Was Matt Ryan doing much? Nope. Clemens will hand off plenty, and the Bucs won't be able to stop it. Thomas Jones is still as good a play as he was if you thought Sanchez was starting. And don't use Clemens!
Would you hold on to Moats or go grab Quinton Ganther - the Redskins new starter?
Eric Karabell (3:14 PM)
I don't think we really know who the Redskins starter is, do we? If I missed something, lemme know! It is a tasty matchup against the Raiders, but how could you trust an unproven guy like this in fantasy? The Redskins have nothing to lose...but I haven't heard this news.
R.J. (Springfield, MO)
Jamaal Charles has a good matchup against Buffalo on Sunday. Would I be crazy to bench Peterson in favor of him seeing that the Vikings are a pass heavy offense?
Eric Karabell (3:16 PM)
I'll answer this from the Charles perspective, because frankly I'm seeing way too many "I need to sit Peterson because he's killing me" comments. He's the No. 11 player in fantasy this season, and THIRD at running back. He's not killing anyone! I would go Peterson over Charles, but I did rank Charles 10th this week, for he has a terrific matchup. The Vikings are not a pass heavy offense, by the way. Just in Week 13.
Come on Eric, if you can answer a fantasy baseball question surely you can answer mine:Flex Devin Thomas or Chris Brown in a PPR league?This is the playoffs, I need help!
Eric Karabell (3:16 PM)
Ask and you shall receive... and I will answer baseball questions today and beyond. I'd go Brown. At least we know he'll get double digit touches. I have a feeling what Thomas did was a blip, but we shall see.
Mike (San Diego)
Should I be worried about LeSean McCoy after last week or was that just a weird game all around?
Eric Karabell (3:18 PM)
Weird game, and the last time Vick will be relevant until next September. McCoy goes back to 17-20 rushes this week, and does fine. Not top-20 fine, but worth a flex. And by the way I am hearing about the Redskins RB change now... perfect, right after we post our rankings! Don't get too excited here, Ganther is unproven.
With Slaton out, my fantasy football playoffs are up to the likes of Rock Cartwright, Kevin Smith, Marion Barber, and Jerome Harrison. Which two do I throw in, or is it only the towel that should be thrown in?
Eric Karabell (3:19 PM)
Well, obviously remove the Rock from the equation. I'd go Smith and Barber, but I am tempted to move Harrison in the rankings. Just can't do it against the Steelers. They could win this game 17-0 on Thursday.
Which def would you go with Jets vs. Bucs or Titans vs. Rams? Both have good match-ups and defense counts for a lot of points in my league.
Eric Karabell (3:20 PM)
Defense! I ranked the Titans 6 and Jets 7, so really, flip a coin. I'm looking for turnovers here, and frankly I think Boller is more likely to do so than Josh Freeman.
Thoughts on how to handle ties in the playoffs??? Lots of unrest in our league considering we had three ties during the regular season!
Eric Karabell (3:21 PM)
Please tell me you have the rules already in place! Ugh! Don't ever leave anything to chance, something owners can argue over! Anyway, I suppose head to head and seeding are the normal ways ties are broken in the playoffs. I'd go h2h. I don't think seeding means much. Don't use total season points. It doesn't matter.
"Never bench your studs". That's the old axiom. But does it hold true for the bust that is Matt Forte? PPR league. I've got very little options available - Marshawn Lynch. Jason Snelling. Justin Forsett. Chris Jennings. Yuck yuck yuck!
Eric Karabell (3:22 PM)
In Week 3, Forte was still regarded as a stud. Not anymore. Of course, with what you've got, I'd say Forte is about as good a choice as any!
Hey Eric, good work as always. With my fantasy FB hopes dashed, how about a baseball keeper? Which one would you keep based on round - to- value for the coming year? Verlander (Rd 8) , Carpenter (Rd 10), or Sandoval (Rd 14, 3b eligible only) ?
Eric Karabell (3:23 PM)
I love baseball! I'd go Sandoval, personally. Potential batting champ, big run producer, he'd absolutely go before round 14. The pitchers would too, but I always trust the bats.
Do you think Kevin Boss' role will be more yardage or blocking from here on out? Man i miss Daniels
Eric Karabell (3:24 PM)
Yeah, at the time that Cooley and Daniels got hurt and lost for the season, the tight end spot in fantasy was deep. Not anymore! Boss has been up and down; there's no telling what he does this week. I think he's borderline top-10 at TE now.
justin forsett (seattle)
why am i not starting? will i ever get a chance to?
Eric Karabell (3:25 PM)
Coach Jim Mora has an unhealthy love of Julius Jones. We don't need to do the same in fantasy football, but it does hurt the value of Forsett.
So if Cartwright isn't "the man" in WAS anymore, would you rather have him or Harrison?
Eric Karabell (3:25 PM)
Cartwright probably won't be in my top 50 among running backs when we re-rank on Friday. Ganther would probably go where Cartwright was, at No. 29. Go with Harrison here.
Daniel Fishman (St. Louis, MO)
it sounds like hines may play, but do i play him over holmes? also how screwed am i for playing against chris johnson this week?
Eric Karabell (3:26 PM)
Yeah, if Ward plays, I would use him over Holmes. He's pretty tough, and has performed well even in games he wasn't supposed to play in. As for Chris Johnson, don't even look at your opponent. Doesn't matter. Isn't relevant. Play your best guys.
playing guys that are questionable leading up to the game always scares me they'll re-agrivate an injury and leave early (turner a couple weeks ago)... thus, its confusing you'd pick ward over holmes... if we're not talking same team here, would you also play ward over driver?
Eric Karabell (3:29 PM)
It is risky, but if we KNOW Ward is playing, that's what I was thinking there. I have Driver in my top-5 this week...so easy call on that one.
Hans Moleman (Springfield)
EK, so if you had to choose between playing, say S. Rice or Meachem, your decision would not be swayed if he had either Favre or Brees playing?
Eric Karabell (3:30 PM)
Not one bit. I don't care who my opponent is playing, ever.
Did DeAngelo practice today? I sure would like him to play this week!!
Eric Karabell (3:31 PM)
Haven't heard about today yet, but the rumor is Williams will play. I just want to know for sure what the deal is, so we can all plan. If Stewart starts, obviously he becomes an attractive play.
Coach Jim Zorn announced Wednesday that Quinton Ganther has taken over as the Redskins' starting tailback. From Redskin washington post blog. Flex PPR where would you rank him? Do you like him better than Kevin Smith, Chris Wells or Roy Williams?
Eric Karabell (3:32 PM)
Yes, I am now aware of this... it kinda just happened. Colleague Matthew Berry just poked out of his office and said he thinks Ganther and Cartwright still split the carries. Either way I would not get carried away with a Redskin RB, even in a nice matchup. I'm presuming I would rank Smith and Wells better.
D Will did return to practice today
Eric Karabell (3:34 PM)
There ya go! And thanks! I ranked Williams in my top-20, so I would use him if we knew he'd play.
Eric, I don't want to use the Cincy D this week at MIN. Who would you go with, WAS D or TB D vs Kellen Clemens.
Eric Karabell (3:36 PM)
I ranked Washington ninth, and better than the Bengals. Really, the Redskins have played nice defense this season. Allowing those points to the Saints is no crime. I don't assume Clemens is going to throw as many picks as Sanchez would have!
I know!!... another Forte question, Sorry!...But EK would you consider dropping Forte w/ bad remining sked...if you had R.Rice, T.Jones & Greene, Charles and wanted to get some depth at other positions for the playoffs?...Say like a Wayne replacement for week 15
Eric Karabell (3:37 PM)
If you really needed the spot, I'd consider it, yes. I mean, just don't get caught in Week 16 without a second running back. Forte hasn't been that bad.
Baseball keeper question, I have three CF's and really can only afford to keep two. Bourne is def being kept as a last round pick, then I have Ellsbury and Dig Dug Jones, draft rounds dont matter for them. Which one do I move? I love the potential that Adam showed last year, but I know Im keeping a stud with Jacoby...
Eric Karabell (3:38 PM)
I'm just not the biggest Adam Jones fan. If you can keep Ellsbury and Bourn, you don't need to draft any other stolen bases. That would be nice, eh?
Mr. Magoo (NJ)
Eric, What to do with Carson Palmer? Absolutely absymal performances against the Browns and Lions. I'm considering playing Vince Young but wanted to run it by you first!
Eric Karabell (3:39 PM)
Well, it is your team, after all. That said, in our composite rankings, Young beat out Palmer. So there!
Forte and J. Harrison are ranked closely together. Prefer one over the other? Why? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (3:40 PM)
Not really. I just don't think Forte is a good play... but he's not the worst play. He does catch passes, scores the occasional TD. If Harrison was playing almost any other team than the one ranked FIRST against the run, I'd probably go Harrison.
Do you see Crabtree breaking out on MNF? He has yet to have a breakout game.
Eric Karabell (3:41 PM)
He had a game in which he scored, but he hasn't gone all 150-yards and 2 TDs on anyone yet. I doubt it happens with Alex Smith, but I do think Crabtree is a WR3 this week. Cards can normally be thrown on.
D.O. (Playoff Bubble)
NOT ANOTHER DeANGELO QUESTION!!! Not really anyway. If he plays, what happens to Stewart's value? Is it the same split as before? More of a 50/50, at least for the time being? I need to decide if J-Stew is a better flex option than Barber, Harrison, Forsett or Lynch...playoff spot on the line E!!! Help!
Eric Karabell (3:43 PM)
It's my opinion that if Williams is healthy, he is the guy, and Stewart goes back to what he was, which wasn't all that bad. He was scoring. But DeAngelo would be a top-20 RB. I'd use Barber and probably Harrison over Stewart if DeAngelo starts.
Dan (Ann Arbor)
I know Ganther is unproven, but he looked pretty good in limited action (8 carries 58 yards) against the Saints last week. Now, the Raiders make any warm body look great, so if Ganther gets 15-20 carries, couldn't you see him racking up 100 yards + and potentially a TD because he has the size to get goal line carries?
Eric Karabell (3:44 PM)
I could see it, but in Week 4 I take the chance on using him over an established player. Not in Week 14. That said, it depends who else you have. Plus, we don't know how many carries he really gets.
Big Mike (Denver)
Hey EK. Do you see Beanie Wells carrying any teams to the championship? Obviously, he splits carries with Hightower, but the dude gets to play the Lions and Rams in weeks 15 and 16!!
Eric Karabell (3:45 PM)
I think Hightower remains the Arizona RB you want in fantasy, but both these guys could be top-25 options against the Lions and Rams. Not sure if either would be a top-15 play, though.
EK!!! If you don't talk about Turner this entire chat, it'll be hard to take this hour of your time seriously. Turner is optimistic but questionable. Burner/Snelling/Norwood, what's the deal in ATL?
Eric Karabell (3:47 PM)
Well, I'm all about you guys taking this seriously, so let's go! If Turner plays, and I remain doubtful he does, he would be the guy. If he does not play, I don't think either Snelling nor Norwood are worth much. They looked awful against the Eagles. I ranked Turner as a RB2, on the chance he starts.
Lawrence (Rochester )
Eric everyone is all over Charles!!! Berry has him top five should I really consider benching the red hot Miles Austin for him in a PPR league??? The only other way I could start him is by sitting Peterson or S-Jax??
Eric Karabell (3:48 PM)
I would play Charles over Austin, yes. And it's not really that close. Charles has done well against decent defenses, and now gets the absolute worst run defense there is.
In a 1/2 PPR league who is the best two keepers out of Sproles, Donald Brown or Forsett?
Eric Karabell (3:50 PM)
Ah, it's keeper time for many! LT isn't going anywhere, is he? Keep the other two. They could start, in theory.
Would you say Harrison is a higher upside guy this week than Benson? The guy I play this week has great matchups, and after reading The Scout Team article on your site earlier today, it's probably smarter for me to play my higher upside guys vs. the safe play. Your thoughts?
Eric Karabell (3:52 PM)
I wouldn't say Harrison is the higher upside guy at all. Benson is a top-10 RB this season, isn't he? As for the article, I think the goal is to combine upside and safety into the best option. Devery Henderson is not safe. He's an upside guy. Would I choose to use Henderson in a playoff game? Depends who I have, but Derrick Mason, for example, is safe. I choose Mason. But not all owners think this way.
Do you want to see your Phils pick up Halladay? Also, what's your opinion of Hamels for '10? Top-10 SP?
Eric Karabell (3:54 PM)
Of course any team would love to have Halladay, and it depends on the price the Phillies would need to pay. My thought is the Blue Jays have overpriced him, and Halladay won't be traded. Hamels isn't close to my top-10 SP. He might not be top-20. I have concerns last year is more like it.
TIES in the playoffs (Everywhere)
In my league, the higher seed in each playoff game gets a 0.5 point lead to start the game, precluding all potential ties.
Eric Karabell (3:55 PM)
And that is fine, obviously it's the same thing as just saying the home team wins matchups based on seed. It rewards regular season performance, but it does stink to lose that way!
Marion Barber has been Turri-bull (as Charles Barkley says). I read a recent stat that he has only 1 red zone carry in the last month - who should I go with at Flex Pick 1: Barber, Fargas or Manningham ?
Eric Karabell (3:57 PM)
It's Barber, still. The potential is there for a touchdown. Certainly there's nothing special about Fargas or Manningham.
Chris (The Library)
I can't believe I'm benching Gore round 1 of the playoffs...didn't see this coming but got MJD, Grant, and Charles in the lineup. I'm doing ther right thing, right...right?
Eric Karabell (3:58 PM)
Yeah, I probably would sit Gore in this case.
Stop being a homer and answering Cole Hamels questions, the biggest rankings mover so far has to be Brad Penny in St. Louis. Thoughts on what he can do with the help of Dave Duncan in 2010?
Eric Karabell (3:59 PM)
You're kidding, right? Find me someone who would take Penny over Hamels in 2010....even a Cardinals fan wouldn't!
Eric Karabell (3:59 PM)
OK, I think we shall end on that one right there. Thanks to everyone for the great questions in football and baseball, and best of luck in Week 14 and beyond! Have a great week....