Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:02 AM)
Hello all and welcome to yet another fantasy chat session. Yes, this is my third in four days, but so what! It's all good! Let's get going, and then start the weekend...
What do you expect from Justin Upton for the rest of the season? Is he worth adding in yearly mixed leagues?
Eric Karabell (11:04 AM)
This is the focus of today's Karablog, which is already posted. Fantasy owners get WAY too excited about the "next big thing," and while I do think Upton will be good eventually, don't expect him to thrive initially. Most rookies struggle. This guy is 19! His brother B.J. Upton came up at 19 and it took three more years for him to put up numbers. I understand why Arizona did this, but fantasy owners should be cautious in whom they drop.
With Renteria's injury, would it be a good idea to start Yunel Escobar in a deep league?
Eric Karabell (11:05 AM)
We don't know how serious the sprained ankle is that Renteria suffered. He could play today or tomorrow, who really knows? Escobar would have played SS last night had he not already been used to pinch hit. Thus, Chipper Jones played SS. I really doubt Chipper starts any games there.
Is Ty Wiggington worth the pick up?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
As a second baseman with decent power, who doesn't hurt the batting average, absolutely. He's not a great option at 1B or 3B, though. Wigginton is available in many leagues still, but how many second basemen hit 24 home runs? Wigginton should do it for the second straight season.
Drop Beniot for Zito (I already have Street, Putz, Dotel, Accardo and Otzuka on the DL)? Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:08 AM)
I'm not particularly excited about either Benoit or Zito. Benoit is clearly in a saves timeshare. Zito is inconsistent, and didn't pitch as well as his line appears last night. You have only two current closers, so I'd keep Benoit. At least he's pitching well.
Straight up - Braun and David Wright
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
If I have to choose one, it's still Wright. But it's getting close, let's put it that way.
Should I drop a marginal closer like Benoit for J.Upton in a mixed league? What do you project Upton's stats for the rest of the year?
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
Every owner, every league is different. Upton probably will not hit for average right away, nor will he hit for a lot of power. But if you don't need the guy you're cutting, and Benoit fits that bill, then sure, I would make the move. I have nothing against Upton, but I'm not cutting Pat Burrell to get him.
Bedard, Lincecum or Verlander. Better rest of the way??
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
Bedard leads the world in K's, and is showing no signs of trouble. Have to take him.
I think Berkman has homered in four straight games... sign of things to come or just good matchups?
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
It's not matchups when it's a guy like Berkman. He looks very good now, and could be a major force the final two months. Buy fast.
Eric, with all the fantasy "Gurus" at ESPN now, I just wanted to let you know that your word is still LAW in our league. NEways, just traded Magglio and Dye for Ichiro and Jenks. Dye went yard 2x last night.....please make me feel better.
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
Thank you sir, I just try to do my job well. Your trade totally depends on need. I don't think Magglio is going to just stop hitting, and it sure looks like Dye is finally healthy, so you gave up a ton of power there. But you got speed and saves, which are the easiest categories to move up in this late in the season. If you needed that, then you did fine.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
ETA for Pedro, and is Phil Hughes worth the start on Saturday?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
In some of my leagues I would start Hughes, yes. He's still a rookie, though, so be cautious. I can't stress enough how many rookies have failed to help fantasy owners this season. As for Pedro, I am pessimistic, I have to admit. I expect him to be on strict pitch counts for weeks, and when a guy goes five innings, all it takes is one mistake and it's a bad start. Pedro could start next week.
brad (harrisburg, pa)
What are the chances of Al Reyes or Wheeler clearing waivers? And which one is more likely to go? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:16 AM)
I think both could clear waivers, but Reyes would be more likely based on his older age, his DL stint this year and the fact he's not pitching well anymore. But don't hang your hat on either actually being dealt. There will be some trades the rest of the way (Mike Piazza could go), but you can't plan in fantasy for them.
Are you sitting Gallardo (vs. Philly), Lester (vs. Seattle), or Andrew Miller (vs. Chicago) tonight?
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
In general, because every league and situation is different, I would not use Lester or Miller. Miller, for example, has walked four or more hitters in four of five starts. He is not recommended. I don't think Lester will have a 1.18 WHIP for long. I do trust Gallardo, no matter the opponent, even the Phillies.
What're your thoughts on Wandy Rod? I'm worried that the horrible road starts will make him more likely to blow up at home. Is he worth a roster spot in a 14-team league, or should I drop him for a Chuck James type player?
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
Wandy is 6-2 with a 1.76 ERA at home, and next week he starts TWICE at home. I don't see why this trend is going to cease, really. He gets lit on the road, but not in Houston. Ride it out.
Jarrett (Flemington, NJ)
How about a football question? Thoughts on T. Jones? If he gets 300 carries 1200-1300 yards should be a given with a shot a 10-12 TD's.
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
I could see Jones reaching those yards and TDs, yes. I have him ranked late second round, but expect he'll be worth it.
Hi Eric, I'm trying to make a deadline deal to set my team up for a playoff run. Who would you rather have for the rest of the season: Oliver Perez or Yovani Gallardo? Thanks very much, and Go Phillies!
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
I trust Gallardo more, no question about it. Go Phils!
Isaac (Milwaukee, WI)
Eric, with the 11th pick in a 12 team draft, how much of a reach is taking a WR with the 14th pick on the way back? Would a guy like Jamal Lewis be a better option than CJ/Marvin/Steve Smith?
Eric Karabell (11:20 AM)
There are a lot of other running backs I would take over Jamal Lewis in the top 14, definitely. Also, I doubt I will be taking any wide receivers in the top 14, and if I did, I think Torry Holt would be right there with Steve Smith. Go running backs early, younger ones with upside.
Bob (Downingtown, PA)
Can you please explain why you took LJ second int he ESPN magazine draft but then say you would take him 3 or 4 in chats?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
Sure. Things have changed since then. That draft was actually before the real NFL draft! I think that draft was so long ago, I was in college! Anyway, the Johnson holdout has become an issue, plus there's that Priest Holmes guy in KC as a distraction. I think Johnson will still be very, very good, for about another year or so, but I would take Steven Jackson over him at this point, and consider others.
EK, where do you see Phil Rivers going this year round wise? I think with Turner running the show he will be easily a top 10 QB. Thoughts?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
I don't think he's easily a top-10 QB, but I could see him ending up there. In the drafts I've done Rivers hasn't been drafted among the top 12 in any that I recall. Solid backup option, though.
Hey Eric, Andrew Miller question. Next year what do you see his value at? what are his number gona look like?
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
He scares me the rest of this season, but next year should be his breakout. He could win 12 games, keep his ERA in the 3s, fan 175 guys. Those are very good numbers. He has to stop walking so many hitters.
Eric what's the latest on Sheff? How do you feel about the rest of his season and his 2008? With this chronic shoulder problem is he still keeper-worthy?
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
Clearly he is struggling at the plate with this shoulder problem, which he intends to get looked at. Regardless of how he finishes, he's 38 and not at the top of any keeper lists. I'm considering dealing him in a league the way he's looked of late.
Good move to start Matt Cain tonight???? His last outing was pretty good..
Eric Karabell (11:28 AM)
If I own Cain I start him each outing, really. I do have concerns, but he's capable of pitching well each time out.
Please evaluate this trade in a vacuum: Alex Rios and Philip Hughes for Jeremy Accardo and Ian Snell.
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
I would take the Rios/Hughes side, of course. Snell is struggling a bit, and I don't know how much you need the saves, but Rios is a solid player.
Should I even bother keeping Podsednick on my bench. I could use the steals but I just dont think he is worth anything. Am I wrong?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
Well, he's worth quite a bit if he starts running, which could happen. Make sure the other people in your league aren't desperate for steals, you could be giving one of them what they need to pass you. Is Pods a good player, real or fantasy? Not at all. But steals are valuable in fantasy.
Why have I been seeing Tom Brady go as high as #3 in drafts? Is it ever worth it drafting a QB that high?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
Number 3 overall, no way. Number 3 among QBs, I'm OK with that. I'd actually put him right there behind Peyton and Palmer, but I won't be taking Palmer or Brady before or in round 3, for sure.
Is Leinart #1 qb material?
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
I don't think he's there yet, but I think he's similar to Philip Rivers in that there's clearly something there, but whether you can count on it as a starter or not, that's tougher. I take Leinart and Rivers in leagues in which I've taken potential risks like Romo and Hasselbeck.
Joe (San Diego)
Good morning, Eric. If passing TDs count the same as rushing TDs, is Peyton a top 5 or 6 pick?
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
The case can absolutely be made, yes.
Kurt (Portsmouth, NH)
Eric, would you agree that there is a substantial drop off after the first 6 QBs (Peyton, Palmer, Brees, Brady, Bulger, McNabb)? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
I think I will want to get one of those guys, yes, and if I don't, I will wait a while. Chances are good that I will be one of the last guys to get a QB in a lot of leagues, because I think guys like Roethlisberger and Rivers aren't far from the Romos and Delhommes at all.
Josh (New York)
Getting Kent and Petit for Clemens and Iguchi. Good deal?
Eric Karabell (11:35 AM)
Not really. Not to me. We'll see Clemens sent packing in a lot of leagues today, which is a mistake. Kent is better than Iguchi for power, and he won't lose his job in September, but Clemens vs. Yusmeiro Petit, easy call. If you meant Andy Pettitte, then yes, I'd do that.
Pick-up Hensley for a spot start tomorrow? hes looked pretty good since returning, its at home, and hes facing the lowly Giants.
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
I'd probably wait. Hensley still doesn't look like the same guy he was last season. I guess it depends on your league, but the chances of Hensley having a 7-inning, 1-run outing aren't great.
Brian (concord, NH)
biggest fantasy impact this year and 2008: J. Upton, Joba Chamberlain or clay Buchholtz
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
Knowing what we know now, it's Upton for 2007, but I'm not expecting a great deal. I'd say him for 2008, too, because we don't know the roles for Joba and Clay, or even if they are guaranteed to be up.
Similar Upton-esque concerns with regard to Adam Jones?
Eric Karabell (11:39 AM)
I think Jones will be better the rest of this season, but until we see for sure how Seattle intends to use him, how often, where he hits, be cautious. But yes, I like Jones better initially.
Eric, I just read the O's dont want Walker and Bradford closing, so do you think Baez gets a shot?
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
I read that as well, and while I question the move, it's not my call! If the Orioles give Danys Baez the job, then that's who fantasy owners have to pick up. He could lose the job, of course, but fantasy is about opportunity.
Jake (VA Beach)
If YOU were in the league where TDs are the same for RBs and QBs, would YOU draft Peyton? Or just wait?
Eric Karabell (11:42 AM)
Depends on who is on the board. People don't realize how consistent Peyton has been, and how important that is. Of course I would prefer to draft running backs with my first two picks, but it depends who is out there. I don't trust a lot of these running backs. And with that scoring system, it makes you think.
Everybody is hyping Addai because of last year's great production in such a limited role. But aren't you a bit worried about a guy who has NEVER had the feature RB role, in College or Pros, suddenly being touted as a top-5 RB? I mean the guy is good, but we know what happened to Ronnie Brown and Cadillac last year. And yes, I know their offenses were respectively, much worse.
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
Sure, I have concerns, but someone has to be drafted in the first round in fantasy. I have concerns about just about every player after LT and S.Jackson. Alexander and the foot. Westbrook and the usage. Parker and the role, new coaches. Addai is going to be a top-5 pick in a lot of leagues, and while I have concerns, I can't say I disagree. Who else goes there?
Brian (Concord, NH)
Eric - I'm on the clock and have the following three players to choose from: Addai, Maroney or M. Harrison. I'm thinking Addai... but love my local boy Maroney. who do you select?
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
I would take Addai over Maroney, no question. And both over a wide receiver, again, no question.
Hey Eric, its not a fantasy question, but I'd like to know who you think will win the NL MVP?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
If Ryan Howard leads the league in HR, and gets the Phillies into the playoffs, it's him. I think Chipper Jones is in the conversation as well. Still eight long weeks to go, and at least five people could win it.
Josh Hamilton, 30 HRs next year?
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
It's certainly possible. I'll take the under, because a lot of things have to happen and he has to prove he can stay healthy, but I do think he's in the middle of that Reds lineup next season and will hit for power.
Does the Renteria injury move Escobar to SS and open up a full time role for Kelly Johnson?
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
Johnson really is playing every day against right-handed pitching, so this just gets Escobar in more. I don't think Renteria will miss much time. It didn't look that serious.
Randy (Dayton, OH)
Do you think Manny Corpas has solidified himself as the closer in COL?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
Under normal circumstances, yes, but Brian Fuentes will come back, and I expect he'll close. It really doesn't matter that Corpas has done well.
No Matt Holliday in the MVP talks? Blasphemy! I just saw an article which had him listed in the top 10 in HR, RBI, 2B, AVG, OBP, Slug PCT, OPS, TB. That's pretty amazing.
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
Sure, he's in the conversation. But it's a close race and I don't think the Rockies will be there in a month.
What are your thoughts and projections for Willis McGahee this year? He seems to be going quite early in drafts this year.
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
I like McGahee this season, but I have seen a large range on his draft spot, from late first round to early third. I'd probably go early second round. I don't see why he'd be worse in Baltimore. Could go for more than 1,200 yards kind of easily, and score double digits.
Is Schilling a go on Sunday? Or should we wait and see how he pitches?
Eric Karabell (11:53 AM)
It appears he is pitching Monday, and yes, I do trust him in his first outing. He's facing Jered Weaver, I believe. I'll activate him.
In an earlier chat you said Patterson is more valuable than Willits right now. I was wondering if you think Patterson can keep this up, or did he just have a good month?
Eric Karabell (11:53 AM)
Patterson not only runs more than Willits, but he also has power. I think Patterson will continue to play well.
What do you see for Ced Benson this season, Have him as a keeper in a league filled with Bears fans :)
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
If you're in a league with Bears fans, chances are they will overrate Benson, and I'd move him. I don't think he'll be a bust, but I've seen some crazy projections on Benson. He's never done this before, you know. See what you can get...
What kind of production do you expect from Moises Alou the rest of the year?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
I like him better than Shawn Green, who can't knock anyone in, but I don't expect a ton of production. Maybe a few homers per month, a .300 average?
Looking for the final piece to cap my run. Burrell or Chris B Young rest of year?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I love 'em both, but Young runs, so he's the choice. But Burrell is hitting .435 since the break, and there's no sign of it ending.
What is your strategy drafting defenses?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
Second to last round. Guess what I take in the last round?
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
OK, thanks to all for the questions all week, and have a terrific weekend. Adios.
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