Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:00 AM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy baseball/football chat session. I am Eric, I'll be answering the questions. Here we go...
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Will Barry Bonds be motivated to perform now that he's actually broken the record?
Eric Karabell (11:02 AM)
Let's get to the big story of the day, that Barry Bonds has broken the all-time home run record. I'm glad it's over. I make no judgments, other than to say the moment was handled properly after he finally hit No. 756. From a fantasy aspect, this is the topic of the Wednesday blog, and it's already posted. I don't see a reason why Bonds will play more, or less, than he has the last few months. He wants to keep playing, he wants 3,000 hits. I think his body will hold him back from homering three times a week. I'd expect the same production, the same days off, nothing to change.
Jesse (Boston, MA)
Eric, I have to run to a meeting but wanted to know if I should start Halladay and Gallardo today?
Eric Karabell (11:03 AM)
I would. Sure, Halladay has a tough matchup, and Gallardo heads to Coors, but I stick with these guys even when it's not the most fortuitous opponent or ballpark.
Eric, do you have a preference about where you draft in a football snake draft? Early or middle, maybe late?
Eric Karabell (11:04 AM)
Honestly, if I don't get the first or second pick, I'd be just fine picking last. I rarely want to pick in the middle of any draft. I always narrow draft choices to a player or two, and when you pick first or last, it's much easier to just take both options. That's my preference.
Juan Navarro (Oxnard, CA)
Barry will hit another 10 more this year and 34 next year as a DH. He will end up with 800.
Eric Karabell (11:05 AM)
I'll take the under on 10 in the final seven weeks, and the under on 34 HRs next season. I do think he will get the hits he needs, and help fantasy owners, though.
How serious is Renteria's injury? I picked up Pedroia as a temp replacement and he's filling in quite nicely.
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
Well, it was serious enough to put him on the DL, which surprised me a bit. Early indications are that Renteria might not be ready in 15 days, and might not return until September. Plus, Yunel Escobar is doing a nice job. I like Pedroia. He's always on base, and he's stolen a few in the last week.
Would you take a chance on McNabb in 4th or 5th round, or wait a few more rounds and take Big Ben instead?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
I like both options, really. I understand that McNabb is prone to injury, and he's a risk, but he also carried fantasy owners for two months before tearing his ACL. I'd say he's around the No. 6 or 7 QB, which means the fourth or fifth round makes sense. I have Roethlisberger as one of my top QB sleepers. I mean, he's not a true sleeper, since everyone knows about him, but I think all those interceptions last year weren't really him.
Eric - Do you consider either Jamal Lewis or L.Jordan to be reliable #2 RB's this season?
Eric Karabell (11:12 AM)
I would probably lean more toward Cleveland's Lewis than Oakland's Jordan. I don't think either are the perfect No. 2 fantasy RBs, personally, but I think Lewis is closer. He wasn't that bad in 2006, after all. It'd be nice if a QB would step up for him. Jordan shouldn't be forgotten, but there is more risk there, also because of injury.
Hey Eric. What are your thoughts on keeping Addai for an eighth round pick over LDT for a first? We can only keep one per position and if I gave up my first rounder I wouldn?t get a pick til no 18 overall. Based on the rosters in my league I feel pretty confident that I could snag a guy like Fast Willie, MJD or Ronnie Brown with my first rounder. Rudi, Bush, Westbrook and McGahee are also possibilities.
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
I actually like what you're saying here. I'd probably do the same thing. I know Tomlinson is everyone's top player, and rightfully so, but I don't think he's going to score 30 times again. I just don't. Addai might or might not disappoint, but that is nice value you get there.
Mark (Kearny, NJ)
Is Michael Bush worth a roster spot in a 12 team keeper league? The guy was awesome at Louisville when healthy, and I have to think the RB job will be his either late this season or next season (or at least share it with Jordan).
Eric Karabell (11:14 AM)
I think he's worth drafting late, though I don't think we'll see him play much early on. Certainly he has talent, and Oakland is reloading, but I think JaMarcus and M.Bush are a year away.
Luke (Pittsburgh, PA)
Eric the Great, please rank these keepers...McGahee, Brandon Jacobs, D. Williams, Thomas Jones, Norwood. Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
I still think McGahee tops your list. He's not old. He's in a good situation. I'd take him first, and keep him first. I'd like to put DeAngelo Williams up there, but I don't think it's a lock he starts. If ranking, I'd go McGahee, Jones, Norwood, DeAngelo and Jacobs.
Do you still think as high of Corey Hart as you did in the midseason rankings?
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
I don't recall my exact ranking, but I'm thinking it was prominent. The guy is on pace for 27 homers and 27 steals. That's worth a lot, and I don't think Hart is really a fluke.
Looks like CJ Wilson has won the Texas closing job. Can I safely drop Benoit?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
Not really. The Rangers admit that Benoit, who was warming up in the ninth, would have come in had the lefty Wilson allowed a baserunner. He did not. Benoit has just been unfortunate.
Jai (New York)
I don't care about Proctor, Gordon, Sturze, or Quantrill (and Vizcaino in a few months) but can you tell me why I should keep Joba Chamberlain with the risk that Torre destroys his arm and ends his career as well?
Eric Karabell (11:21 AM)
I keep reading this from angry Yankees fans. I think Joe Torre wants to win the World Series, and using Chamberlain to set up Mariano Rivera the rest of the way makes a lot of sense. I do think Chamberlain is a starter next season, though. He'll be helping fantasy owners.
What is your projections of Justin Upton the rest of the year? Should I drop Billy Butler and pick him up?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
I don't think Upton is a bad pickup for Butler at all, but be prepared for an inevitable cooling off period, as well. Upton is only 19. Pitchers will adapt to him, and then Upton will need to adjust. Upton should be a great player, as soon as next year, but he has to run into some problems this year.
Will Lane Kiffin have a more dynamic offense this year. Lamont Jordon had 70 catches in '05, but was neglected in the receiving game last year. I know Jordan will be the workhorse for the first for games, but what do you think happens when Rhodes returns from suspension?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
That's the big problem, other than health. We don't know. Jordan should be catching a lot of passes. It was kind of embarrassing how he was handled last season. I think Jordan will be sharing time in the backfield once Dom Rhodes gets back.
Jake (VA Beach)
In a PPR league where 3 WRs start, how early would you start picking WRs, maybe even late first?
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
I would not take a WR in the first round, but that doesn't mean others shouldn't. I like finding those WR diamonds in the rough, and rotating them in and out of the lineup based on matchups. I don't like doing that with RBs and QBs, which is why I normally go RB-RB 1-2, and sometimes 3 as well.
Bobby Abreu is a madman. Didn't you give up on him?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
Not at all. I predicted he would hit .300 for the season, which it appears he will. I thought he'd still run. I didn't expect him to hit for power, but Abreu already has more home runs since the All-Star break than he had before it. I guess he really can control his swing.
Why the heck is Cincy still waiting to call up Votto?
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
I wish I knew. But that team does a lot of odd things, really. If Eddie Guardado gets the next save, it wouldn't surprise me, but I just can't fathom why the Reds aren't rebuilding. Joey Votto is ready to play first base.
Joe (San Diego)
In a 1/2 PPR league, is Reggie Bush a top 6 or 7 back?
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
Since I did not name R.Bush as one of my top 12 running backs, I get plenty of feedback from people asking what about point-per-reception leagues. When we rank players, and write about them, it's generally for the normal scoring system. Yes, I play in PPR leagues, too. Would I move Bush past Addai or Parker or Shaun Alexander based solely on the receptions? I still can't do that. Not yet. He's top 10 in that scoring system, but I can't go overboard. Brian Westbrook catches the ball as well.
Ryan Braun and Hunter Pence never cooled down, is there a chance Upton can surprise people like these rooks have?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
Of course there is, but there are plenty of differences as well. Upton is just more raw than those guys, and natural ability only counts for so much. I like Upton. I'd like to have him in a keeper league. Just be careful the final seven weeks, that's all. I admit I was wrong about Braun. I couldn't have guessed he'd be this tremendous.
with 6pts per reception and 5 pt. bonus for 300+ Is Carson Palmer a 2nd round pick in a 10 team H2H?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
If you want him to be, then he is. I can understand why Palmer would go that high with that scoring. Ultimately, it's up to you, though!
Should I dump Byrnes now that he has inked his extension and has no motivation?
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
No, I would hold on to him. Fantasy owners give way too much credence to contract status. This is a really good player having a really good year. He has motivation, like winning a World Series.
Trade deadline this Sunday. Deal Gallardo and Lincecum for two pitchers who'll be assured spots in the rotation come late September? They've both been incredible for me.
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
I wouldn't do that, unless the deals make sense. There is no telling what the Brewers and Giants intend to do with these guys, as in sitting them. The Brewers are in a pennant race, and Gallardo is a big part of it! Lincecum would be more likely to sit, but let's not assume this will happen. The Giants have not hinted at this.
Eric- My strategy in football has always been RB-RB-WR in the first three rounds, but it appears this year that there is more of a premium on the top 5 qb's. Would you take a QB in the 3rd round over a WR this season?
Eric Karabell (11:35 AM)
I think there's more a premium on the top 6 QBs this year, actually. I can't say I totally trust anyone after Peyton, Palmer, Brady, Brees, Bulger and McNabb. That would make me take one of them in round four over a wide receiver. Not sure about round three. Depends on what's out there.
Eric, I noticed you often write off rookies even though they are the best values from year to year. I drafted Ryan Braun in the 26th round of my keeper league draft. I drafted Yovani Gallardo in the 27th. Every year there are one or more rookies who take the league by storm. For example, the year before last I traded Cliff Lee for Francisco Liriano when he was being used as a reliever...it won my league for me. You're really missing out on the best bargains in fantasy if you don't target rookies in drafts, trades or free agency. Just my opinion.
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
I actually do target rookies late in drafts, but I'm not the one overpaying early. I see your point, and it might be valid, but I've got Gallardo and Phil Hughes in a league from last year, when I selected them late. It's about the value of them, and how you acquire them. I see people dropping Sheffield to get Upton, and that's where I see odd doings. The thing about rookies is, most of them will, for the short term, break your heart. I mean, once in a decade we see Braun do this, or Liriano. Thanks for the opinion.
Nathan (University Park, Maryland)
Will you start doing fantasy premier league analysis? I can't find decent player ranking anywhere.
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
You know, I've been frantically searching for that as well.
Is there a chance that marmol becomes the closer for the cubs this year, especially with dempster struggling?
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
There's always a chance, but I think it's Bob Howry next in line. Marmol still walks people, and I'd bet Lou Piniella has noticed.
do you know of a cheat sheet for a 2 QB league? What would be a sound startegy that starts 2 qbs 2 rbs and 3 wrs with a flex? Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
That's a lot of starters. It would make me take one of those top QBs early, definitely. I don't look at cheat sheets. Just get a list of players, cross them off as they get taken, enter the draft having done your homework and let intuition take you from there.
Please rank for rest of this year (overall production): J Upton, Damon, C Duncan. Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
I'd go Damon, Upton, Duncan. Damon is still running, and we don't know if Upton will do that at all. Duncan has slowed down.
Weeney (Dallas, TX)
Can you explain the sudden power surge from Mark Ellis? He'd never hit more than 14 HR's in a season and he's already got 15 this year. How many more do you think he will hit? Can he hit 20? 25? Where do you rank amongst 2B's now that he's hot?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
I can't speculate to reasons, but I did notice that Ellis isn't getting too many other hits. While his slugging percentage is 100 points higher since the break, all his other stats are way down. It appears Ellis, because the A's need the power, has traded in singles and walks and is going for home runs. Good for him. Be careful about the batting average when the power stops.
Mike (Pleasantville, NJ)
How much is Giambino gonna play the rest of the way? What do you expect form him?
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
if Melky Cabrera plays everyday in center field, then I don't see how Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are going to sit. And that means Giambi gets few at-bats. Damon and Matsui - and Melky especially - have played well of late. Giambi is DH only in real life, I don't think he'll play much.
Hey William in Boston: what about all those people who drafted Alex Gordon, Chris Ianetta or the more numerous examples of rookies who struggle? Gallardo, Braun, Pence and others are the exceptions in rookies, not the rule.
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
Really, for every rookie that works out, there are 10 who do not. Look at Kouzmanoff. He's being benched for Morgan Ensberg. Ouch.
Will Giambi or Melky give me more output for the rest of the season?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
Melky knocks in a run seemingly every night now. He has like 17 in the last 13 games. I have to say Melky, who is also the team's only decent center field option.
Where would you rank McGahee? I'm currently in a 14 team keeper league and pick 13th. I'm in need of a RB and have been offered Willis for my first rounder and fourth rounder. Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
That makes sense, though I don't know how many keepers there are. If each team already kept a few, then the 13th pick isn't worth much. McGahee is better than that. Overall, I like McGahee in the range of 12-15.
In an AL keeper league, who would you trade away Fields ($5), Iwamura ($6), Longoria ($5)?
Eric Karabell (11:48 AM)
Probably Iwamura. No power, no speed, not much help.
Clemens, Hughes, Burnett, J Shields: Can any of these guys sustain a 3.50 or under ERA the rest of the year?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
I think all will. Clemens would be tops on my list.
I am not a big believer in Eric Bedard. My friend thinks I am crazy, but I think he's not legit. Prove me wrong.
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
He leads the majors in K's, has a terrific ERA and WHIP, and has managed 12 wins for a bad team. I don't know he can be viewed as not legit.
FOOTBALL ALMOST HERE!!! I have Gore, Gates and Housh, need to keep 2. Obviously gore, but tough decision between the other two...how will Gates do with Norv at the helm? thanks
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
Not a tough decision to me. Gates over Housh, definitely. He's the top tight end in the game, and could match Housh statistically.
I'm giving it one last try, so Eric, I hope I'm not being a pest but trade deadline is Friday and I need help. Standard 5x5 league, with 2 keepers. I need pitching now. Would you trade Holiday and Beltran for Sizemore and C Zambrano?
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
Yes, I would do that deal. Zambrano is pitching like a top 10 guy, definitely. Plus, who knows what Beltran does when he returns? He won't run.
Hey Eric, get this one in under the wire! My fantasy football draft was crazy and EIGHT, yes eight QBs were taking in the first 4 rounds, I ended up with E. Manning in the 9th round. What do you foresee from him this year?
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
That is a lot of QBs in the first four rounds. I would have likely waited as well. I'm not the biggest Eli fan, that's for sure, but I think he's worthy of that value. I could see 24 TDs, but 17 INTs. Really, a lot depends on Brandon Jacobs and the defense. Eli might have to throw more, which would be good for fantasy.
What round do you think Braun will be taken in next year? any guess on his overall preseason rank?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
A lot depends on what he does the final seven weeks, but as of now, wouldn't we have to say the second round? Look at the 40-homer power, the batting average, the David Wright-like steals. Braun is legit.
Wily Mo Pena (Boston)
Where do I get traded?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
It's irrelevant in fantasy, because I doubt Pena starts on a contending team now. Boston just wants more versatile options for the playoffs.
Tyler (Chicago, IL)
I know that Ryan Braun is hitting the ball as well as anyone in baseball right now, but isn't it a bit premature to annoint him as a top-20 fantasy player? His BABIP is obviously unsustainable, and his utter dominance against left-handers masks the fact that he has been merely "good" against right-handers (.840 OPS). Projecting forward from here, it seems to me that there are many safer options out there.
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I agree with everything you just wrote. But he's still doing this, even though the deeper stats say he shouldn't. Looking at this Travis Hafner season, are you going back to him in the top 20? Or Berkman? Or Tejada? Someone has to go in the top 20!
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
OK, looks like that's about it for this chat session. Thanks for the good questions and lively debate. Adios.
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