Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:01 AM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat session. By the next time we meet, the MLB regular season will have begun! That's right, as we type, the Red Sox are balking at flying to Japan. Must be baseball season. Are you ready? Let's go! Any questions?
Clay (Sept-Iles, Canada)
Nice piece on Cust...assuming that Cust produces as you say (and I was convinced), what is his auction value in AL only keeper leagues (put in a little inflation if you would)?
Eric Karabell (11:03 AM)
I never walk into an auction saying I will spend only a certain amount on a player. Never. I have an idea what I would spend on Cust, and it would probably cap around $15-18 in an AL-only, but that doesn't mean if circumstances dictated I wouldn't go higher. He's not going to hit for average, so be careful, but he's a 30-90 guy for sure. For those who missed the 30 Questions article, it's on our fantasy pages.
Any word on Barry Bonds, other than the "collusion" investigation? Someone in my league just picked him up, so I was curious as to whether something had happened.
Eric Karabell (11:04 AM)
I think the collusion investigation is important, and enough to get fantasy owners thinking about him. MLB wants Bonds to play. He sells tickets. He hits home runs. He takes the attention away from all the other problems! I do think Bonds will find a team, though it might take another month. As a last round pick you can do worse.
Any guys you would stash on the DL? Carpenter, Ray, or others healing from surgery that could make a 2nd half impact?
Eric Karabell (11:05 AM)
Not too many, really. I did stash away Pedro Martinez in a league a year ago, and enjoyed all of five starts. That's it. I think Carpenter is this year's Pedro. I don't think five starts is that big a deal.
Eugenio Velez has been tearing up the base paths this spring. Does he have a chance to win a starting job? What are your projections from him?
Eric Karabell (11:06 AM)
The guy stole 110 bases the past two seasons in the minors, so there's little question about his speed. The Giants don't appear to be very good. I would think Velez has a shot to play 2B or 3B, and some outfield, and label him as a sleeper for 25 steals. Why would the Giants continue to go with Ray Durham if they are rebuilding. Stunning.
Chris (Prague, CZ)
Is Lackey a $22 keeper (for 08-10) or should I throw him back so that I can properly rebuild my pitching staff?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
Sounds a bit expensive to me, frankly. I di keep Lackey in a 16-team, 12-keeper league, because a good four months is helpful and that was worth it. But $22 seems like more than he would go for if you throw him back.
What do Pudge, Ankiel, and Giambi have in common? THEY DIDN'T GET DRAFTED IN MY LEAGUE! Suggestions for a league that has a DEEP waiver wire? Expand rosters? Positions?
Eric Karabell (11:08 AM)
I don't have a big problem on Giambi, but Pudge is a top-12 catcher and Ankiel could hit 30 homers. Yeah, expand your league to more than eight teams!
Any news on BJ Ryan?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
His elbow is sore again, more than he thinks it should be. I wasn't banking on him getting 30 saves in the first place, and I moved Jeremy Accardo into my top 30 for relief pitchers, ahead of a guy or two who is guaranteed to start the season closing, like Sherrill and Percival. I'd be concerned about Ryan.
With Lackey down I need another SP. Would you go with a stead Greg Maddox or the potential of Parra? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
I understand how everyone goes ga-ga for upside, and Parra does have it, but he's not guaranteed a rotation or roster spot, even with the Chris Capuano injury. Parra could be very good, but let's remember injuries have been a problem. Maddux will make more than 30 starts, win 12, not get lit up. I'd choose Maddux.
Do you think Konerko and Johnny Damon may be a bit undervalued?
Eric Karabell (11:12 AM)
I definitely do. Seems to me Konerko is being taken after the seventh or eighth round in most leagues, just because his batting average dropped a bit. It can go back up. Damon is healthy, out of center field and ready to steal 25 bases and score 100 runs. Older players are always undervalued.
Any updates on Kelvim Escobar? What do you expect from him this year?
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
He's hoping to be back in May. I think Lackey returns around the same time, and I'd rather have Lackey. I expect around 22 starts from each, but better stats from Lackey.
Eric (Fort COllins CO)
Eric, sounds like you like the potential for Elijah Dukes to put up some pretty good numbers this year. Would you take him over someone like Jerry Owens since Dukes could provide speed AND power?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
I probably would, but be careful, because Owens has the potential to steal 50 bases if Ozzie lets him play every day. This could happen. Dukes also needs to behave himself, but I think he's a 20/20 threat, and still way off most people's radar.
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
Eric, I love the corporate look photo! Who do you like best to help my speed profile without hurting me too much elsewhere: Bourn, Patterson, R. Davis or Owens?
Eric Karabell (11:16 AM)
Corey Patterson seems to be despised in fantasy, but he's going to start in CF, in a good ballpark, and leadoff. He's got 15-HR power, and could steal 35. Michael Bourn can run, but has no power. Same with Davis and Owens.
McGowan or Hughes? I know I've asked five times, but you're like the resident McGowan Guy!
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
I don't think there's any debate, really. Yes, Hughes has upside, but McGowan is already there, already in the top 30.
Eric, I desperately need middle infield depth and some speed. Felipe Lopez would fill both needs but I only want him if he will be an every day player. Should I pick him up?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
i don't think he's an everyday player at this point, so I'd look elsewhere. Also, while he did top 20 steals a year ago, don't you need more? Lopez is no lock to get on base and run more than 30 times even if he was a regular.
Nice outing for Mr. Hamels yesterday. What are your updated rankings for Hamels, Verlander, F.Hernandez, Haren, Oswalt and Smoltz?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
To be honest, nothing that Hamels does in the spring changes my opinion, and you know I am a big Phillies fan. Maybe he makes 30 starts. I rank Verlander and Haren in my top 10 SP, and Smoltz one spot ahead of Hamels.
What do you think of Maddux this year? I'm already strong in K's and the ratios I just want another guy who will be consistent and not kill me anywhere.
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
He's your guy then. You know what Maddux will do. So many fantasy owners ignore him, but he's pretty safe.
Eric, I have loads of speed, and need some power. Would dealing away Figgins for Morneau be fair? Smart?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
Sounds good to me. I'd draft Morneau ahead of Figgins in the first place. They do different things well, but if you need power, go for it.
Thoughts on Milton Bradley? He's coming back this week and seems like a good injury-risk sleeper pickup.
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
Not to me. I enjoy when people in my leagues reach to draft this guy. He's never hit 20 homers, never stolen 20 bases, and has averaged 77 games played the past three seasons. I'll pass. It's risk/reward I guess, but what's the potential reward? Half a season?
I can't be the only one asking about Braun and his mysteryous achilles issue . . . am I?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
Yeah, you kind of are. But that's OK. Let's discuss. Brewers manager Ned Yost surmised it might be a new pair of shoes bothering him. That's all I needed to hear. If Braun keeps missing games, maybe we'll worry, but it's just March.
Eric, what are your thoughts on Luke Scott in Baltimore, can he be a power guy on the cheap? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
Certainly has power, and should get 500 at-bats on that team. I could see 25 home runs, and he's cheap. He's not getting drafted in 10 team leagues.
Jim (Burke, VA)
Hi Eric, thanks for the chat. I have the #4 pick so AJ Mass's comment last week that he ranks Rollins as the top SS has me intrigued. Has he explained his reasoning to you or is their a way you could rationalize it yourself? I can see him over Reyes but not Hanley. Thanks!!
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
He doesn't have to rationalize it to me, really. AJ knows his stuff. I disagree, and would take Hanley over J-Roll, but I'd assume the case to be made is Hanley's shoulder issue. I think it's minor. I rank Rollins No. 7, but I wouldn't laugh if someone took him at 4.
I am a huge Adam Dunn fan however his batting average could kill my team. What is your thoughts on Adam Dunn?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
I don't think Dunn helps a fantasy team in batting average, but nor does he kill it. He's one guy, one of 23 hitters you have. Remove him from the season and you hit .275 instead of .273. Might matter a bit, but not much. I'd rather own Dunn's 40 homers and .250 batting average than a 25-HR guy hitting .280.
What are your thoughts on Mark Teahen this year?
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
Bit of a sleeper who should regain that lost power, to a degree. I don't tink he hits 25 homers, but high teens is certainly possible. His shoulder was clearly a problem in 2007, so give him another chance, late.
Allen: (Asheville NC)
Hey Eric just finished your article on Cust & you have made me a believer. Since we only have 13 rounds of drafting (10 player keeper league)what round should I target him? Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
Well, it might be a problem if others in your league believe as well. Seems like a fourth outfielder to me at worst, so I wouldn't wait more than 6 or 7 rounds (which would be round 16 or 17 for you). Depends on need, too. Cust isn't for everyone. He's Adam Dunn lite.
I appreciate you answering my question about Kelvim but I already know Lackey is better than him. My question was what do you expect from Escobar this year?
Eric Karabell (11:35 AM)
Say 22 starts, 10 wins, 125 strikeouts, 3.75 ERA. Be cautious, there are no guarantees he will pitch as well as 2007.
Matt (Des Moines)
Do you think Julio Lugo will have a better '08 than '07? He's one guy I have on my bench that I hope can give me some speed without hurting me too much...
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
I think he has to hit better than .237. I'd say he gets back to being a .275 hitter, and steals around 30 bases. He's underrated for this season.
Jack (Richmond Hill)
Does Contrares have any value anymore? 2 years ago he was a top 15 pitcher, now he is mostly unowned.
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
If his ERA is going to be over 5 again, he should be unowned. The risk is not worth the reward for me. And this guy might be 45 years old, legitimately, for all we know.
Hi Eric: Is Salty worth holding as a starting catcher? Reports say that he might not even make the opening day rster. Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
He's not a good catcher. I mean, he's going to get moved to first base soon if he doesn't improve. Gerald Laird is the starting catcher, Saltalamacchia heads to the minors, and he comes up a month or two in and plays some 1B and DH, but keeps his catcher eligibility. He can still hit double digit homers nevertheless.
Tyler (Philadelphia, PA)
Eric--If you focused on offense in the draft would you feel comfortable going into the season with Oswalt, Felix, Kazmir, Gallardo, and Pedro?
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
Absolutely. You've got an ace, Felix could be, and while Kazmir scares me a bit, I do think his 25 starts will be good ones. I'd be happy with this rotation if I focused on offense, but I don't know how you could do both.
Bob (San Francisco)
Eric, what side of this trade would you want to be on? Magglio for Pujols.
Eric Karabell (11:41 AM)
I think I have Magglio at 24 and Pujols 25, so it's close. I'd probably take Magglio at this point.
Is there such a thing as too much speed? (I've got Reyes, Hanley, Victorino, Soriano, and Pierre)
Eric Karabell (11:42 AM)
Don't ever worry about having too much of a stat, worry about the stats you don't have enough of. This is a lot of speed, yes, but these guys also have power. You can always deal some speed, but I never focus on having too much of something.
Thanks for taking my question, Eric. Do you think McLouth earns the starting job? Is he worth owning over Dukes?
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
I think McLouth will get the Pittsburgh CF job over Morgan, and could be a 15-HR, 25-SB guy. I'd probably take him over Elijah Dukes, though I like Dukes as well.
Rick (Cleveland, OH)
Who do you prefer between B. Molina and Towles?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
I would draft Molina first, since he's more of a sure thing. He might have to bat cleanup for the Giants! Towles should be a good player, but not a top 10 catcher yet.
Eric, Which Hafner will I be drafting? The 2006 or 2007?
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
I think somewhere in between. I doubt he hits 40 homers, but should hit for average and drive in runs. He's not in my top 30, and it would help if he could play 1B.
Joe (San Diego)
Rickie Weeks is my only 2B... ugh... any sleepers out there I should look at?
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
Tons of sleepers there. I like Aaron Hill, Mark Ellis, Kelly Johnson, Pedroia.
Do you like the idea of taking your first 9 picks for offense?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
I think that's a bit too extreme, really, but if you can still get decent pitching, go for it. I wouldn't go that far to get offense.
In a keeper league would you deal Ryan Braun and Derrek Lee for Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
I probably would. Teix could have very similar power stats, and Beltran is better than Lee. Should run more.
Joe Mauer will_________
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
.... will play 130 games, hit 13 home runs, bat .310, and in two seasons he's the team's third baseman.
Joe( New Jersey)
What kind of stats do you predict for Villanueva this year?
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
I like him as a sleeper. The Brewers have said Villanueva will be only a starter, which is a good sign for his fantasy value. Say 25 starts (he could start in the minors), ERA of 3.75, decent K rate.
Why is Mauer higher than Posada. He's projected for better AVG and SB's only.
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
I won't get Mauer in any leagues, and I will get Posada, so how's that? I agree Mauer still has upside, and Posada doesn't, but based on where they go, I'll take Posada.
Which of the Wilson's (CJ or Brian) would you take first?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
It has to be Brian Wilson of SF, since he has the closer job locked up. Texas' CJ does not.
When will Gallardo start and is he a sleeper?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
Maybe he misses two weeks of April. I'm not real worried about Gallardo.
Eric, Will Jerry Owens play every day?
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
If he does, it's bad news for Carlos Quentin. Owens can lead off, and yes, he could play every day amd run with the best of them.
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
OK, my time in this chat room is up. One more day until the NCAA tourney, so fill out those brackets. You can fill out up to 10! And go American University! Adios...