Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell
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Eric Karabell (3:00 PM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat. Happy New Year to everyone. We can talk fantasy baseball, football or hoops, whatever you like today ... let's go!
Karabell - what kind of numbers do you see from Brand when he returns? He was so frustrating before and the Sixers seem to be playing better without him, will his numbers suffer even if he stays healthy? Should he be traded for "whatever you can get?"
Eric Karabell (3:02 PM)
Brand scares me quite a bit, for fantasy and of course because if he doesn't return and play well, my fave team is sunk. The 76ers really aren't playing better without him; they're still losing. They just run and score more. Brand can be a 20-10 guy, even now. I would not trade for him in fantasy, as the risk is too great for him to hurt the shoulder again and need surgery. I'd expect he comes back at the end of the month and gets back to 17 and 10. I'd deal him if it's the right value.
Hey E.K. You hearing anything on Mat Gamel or Dexter Fowler getting a shot to start the year in the majors?
Eric Karabell (3:04 PM)
I think Fowler will start the year up for the Rockies, now that the Willy Taveras road block is gone. Fowler really couldn't do any worse as a full-timer than Taveras did. I realize Fowler won't steal 60 bases, but he's gotta be a better overall player. I think Fowler wins the job and like Carlos Gomez could struggle at times, but he can run. I do not think Gamel is ready yet, nor is there a spot for him. He's a bad third baseman, like Ryan Braun bad, and the problem is he can't go to LF or 1B yet, since Braun and Prince are there. Gamel is a mid-season callup if the Brewers get desperate.
Hey Eric, if Hoffman signs with the LAD, does he become the closer? Isn't it strange that they cut Saito only to sign a more expensive, older reliever?
Eric Karabell (3:06 PM)
Seems a bit odd to me, too, since Hoffman's peripherals are scary. Sure, his WHIP was low because he didn't walk anyone, but lefties teed off on him, he gave up homers in an extreme pitcher's park and he's not going to get better at this age. Jonathan Broxton would have been just fine in the role for 35 saves. Now Hoffman will get those 35 saves, and Broxton sets him up. Saito wasn't invited back, because the Dodgers don't think he's healthy. That's my take. Hoffman is older and less effective, but he's healthy.
Jon (Boston, MA)
Baseball keeper question! Which three are you keeping: miggy (1), morneau (3), papelbon (4), victorino (8), wood (14)? THANKS!
Eric Karabell (3:08 PM)
Definitely Miguel Cabrera and Morneau, even though you can redraft them in those rounds, but I don't mind that. You've got to have a few horses, and that's 60-plus homers, 230 RBIs. I'd say Victorino next. That's decent value for a 10-homer, 40-steal guy, and I would just never draft a closer in round 4. And I'll just redraft Kerry Wood in the middle rounds.
do you see milton bradley putting up big numbers this year or is a blow-up inevitable in chi?
Eric Karabell (3:11 PM)
I think this is a ridiculous move by the Cubs, but it's not my money, or my favorite team! How can this possibly work? The guy is always injured, he can't field and he's - shall we say - a bit of a problem off the field as well. What, the Cubs think he'll play 150 games and be a model citizen? I'd much rather have Raul Ibanez with that 30 million, and I admit he got overpaid as well. I never draft Bradley. I will admit he's very talented, and that 1.000 OPS much have been really nice to own in those formats, but a good portion of his 2008 success came in Arlington, an extreme hitter's park. He won't hit 25 homers, and he doesn't steal bases. I'd let someone else spend their top-50 pick on him.
Jack (N. Carolina)
When are Auction prices for fantasy baseball going to be released?
Eric Karabell (3:12 PM)
Draft kit comes out in about a month, I believe. If you're wondering about specific players, I can say what I would spend. Pujols is probably No. 1 for me in drafts and auctions, and in a normal format I'd probably spend about $40.
Better keeper: Hunter Pence or Delmon Young?
Eric Karabell (3:14 PM)
Not a fan of either player, because they just refuse to take walks and get better. As I expected, Pence did not make strides; his natural ability got him good numbers, and he's a 30-homer threat, but he hasn't learned how to steal bases. Eleven steals in 21 attempts... yikes. I'd rather have Pence than Delmon easily though. I will stop expecting Delmon to hit 20 homers until we actually see it. The Twins had him for one year and it looks like they can't wait to unload him.
Do you have it in you to take Pedroia late 2nd?
Eric Karabell (3:16 PM)
I think that's a bit early for someone who, let's face it, could easily hit "only" 10 homers and steal "only" 10 bases. Love the position scarcity, and the .320 batting average that I expect will continue, but he's not a power hitter or a speedster. I'm writing a Jason Giambi blog today in which I say I'd take someone like Pedroia early over a Teixeira/Berkman type because there are always Giambi types in round 14, but I don't know if I'd go Pedroia over legit 40-steal middle infielders.
Jason, Baltimore, MD
Hey Eric, Great to be talking baseball again! I am in an auction format keeper league. Can't decide my last keeper between Soto for $11 and Scherzer for $5. I live in Baltimore and want Wieters really bad, but so does half my league. Thoughts??
Eric Karabell (3:19 PM)
Yeah, I'd like Wieters too. I think I said on TV last week he'd be a top-3 catcher, someone as good as Soto and Mauer, etc. I think $11 for Soto is pretty good. Scherzer has upside, but Soto is already there. Let's put it thise way; you live in Baltimore, so if you can get Soto at $11, that's better than $30 for Wieters, Might he go for that much?
Who is more likely to have a bigger game in the divisional games this weekend, DeAngelo Williams or Brian Westbrook?
Eric Karabell (3:20 PM)
Ah... I would say DeAngelo Williams. He can tear up the Cardinals. I doubt Westbrook tears up the Giants. I mean, Eagles-Giants should be tight, a 21-17 type game, but can't you see Williams going off for 150 and 2 scores in a 38-10 blowout? I can.
Hi Eric, What round are you drafting Chase Utley in given his injury?
Eric Karabell (3:21 PM)
For now, I think he's still a late first-rounder. Despite the fact Marcus Giles was just given a minor league contract, I think Utley comes back in April. If he misses 20 games, the Phillies and fantasy owners will do just fine. So I'd say Utley is still top-10, with what we know now.
Is Papelbon your #1 closer this year?
Eric Karabell (3:24 PM)
I have him ranked No. 1 as of now, which is posted on my offseason Relief Efforts page. It will be updated this week with Fuentes, presumably Hoffman, etc. Papelbon is the safest closer out there, but I'll never get him. You'd have to pay a top-50 pick - maybe top-30 pick - to get him and I just won't do that for a closer. Papelbon's 40 saves count just as much as Brian Wilson's. I admit one helps your ERA and the other doesn't, but to me it's all about the saves. I want bats in the first 10 rounds.
Sid (New York, NY)
In an auction league, out of $250, how much are you spending on pitching?
Eric Karabell (3:26 PM)
Ha! Most auction leagues are $260, so I'll go with that. I don't recall ever being in a $250 format. Regardless, it's at least a 2-1 ratio of hitters to pitchers for me. I don't really target a number; like I don't say I will spend "only" $180 on pitching... but that's what it tends to end up at for me, $180 and $80. I can get an ace and two closers that way, and enough pitching depth to contend.
Michael, (Milwaukee, WI)
baseball is months away, answer some basketball! Is Kaman worth dropping for Oden?
Eric Karabell (3:27 PM)
Yeah, I got tired of waiting for Kaman, and while I'm not an Oden fan, if he's just sitting there on free agency, it seems wise to get him now. Someday - not this season, I don't think - he will be a very good fantasy option. But now he can still get Kaman numbers and Oden's the one actually playing.
Rollins @ $26 or Uggla @ $12?
Eric Karabell (3:27 PM)
You're kidding, right? I think that's a lot for Rollins, and about half as much for Chase.
Do you see last year being a career year for DeRosa, or is he simply a late bloomer, would you be happy to have him as your 2b in 09, or would you prefer someone else take the risk?
Eric Karabell (3:29 PM)
I think he developed power as he got older, and I don't see why he'd stop hitting now. Plus, the Indians might hit him second between Sizemore and Hafner, or fifth after the big bats. Either way he's 20-80 to me, perfectly legit. I wouldn't take him in the top-50, but round 10 sounds right.
Please settle a bet for a friend and I. AL only league, does Teixera go for $40 and over?
Eric Karabell (3:32 PM)
When I made my comment Pujols goes for $40, that was in a mixed league. In AL- or NL-only formats, the prices should get jacked up for the best talent. I don't think I would pay $40 for Teix, but close to it. I think this contract might be implying he's a 40-homer type who puts up those numbers every season. He's not.
I've been holding onto Monte Ellis for this whole season. What kind of contribution do you see from him when he finally comes back?
Eric Karabell (3:34 PM)
I think there's a good chance he returns in about a month, and becomes the Warriors' top scorer right away. The offense just looks lost without him, with no go-to guy. I liken it to what Kevin Martin is doing in Sactown. He's their scorer. Ellis could do that soon. I'd try to snag him as a free agent, but would I trade someone really good for an injured guy, no.
What can we expect from Carl Crawford this year? He's never really developed the 20+HR power, and I've seen him projected to bat 2nd, 5th or 6th in the order for TB this year.
Eric Karabell (3:35 PM)
I think he'll bounce back to normal numbers, which would be 15 homer and 50-plus steals, with a good average. I've been reading that the Rays intend to bat him ... third! You didn't mention that spot! In theory, Iwamura-Upton are up first, then Crawford, Longoria, Pena and Burrell. Quite a lineup. Or Upton and Crawford could switch spots. I think Crawford hits ahead of the big, slow power guys. This is a good team. Rays and Red Sox battle again for the division.
Why is everyone down on chipper jones?
Eric Karabell (3:37 PM)
Down? I think people assume he can't hit .350 again. I never assume someone can hit that well year after year, especially when they have an injury history like he does. Is he a top-5 third baseman in fantasy? Yeah, I think he's right there, but I'd prefer A-Rod, Wright, Longoria, Aramis and probably Youkilis over him.
Sam (Chester, PA)
Re Nick's question above, I think you read it to be Utley, while he said Uggla.
Eric Karabell (3:39 PM)
You're right, I did make that mistake. Uggla is a $20 player with that power, so at the $12 price I'd still take him. I like Rollins, really, but I don't assume he hits 20 homers again. He shouldn't do that. He needs to walk - which he did this season - and run. I'll take Rollins in round 2 and Uggla in round 5 or so in a draft.
Why is Bobby Abreu ranked so high? Besides his torrid September, he was replacement level the whole of 2008. Plus, he won't be a Yankee any more. Where should he drafted in standard leagues?
Eric Karabell (3:41 PM)
What does not being a Yankee mean? He gets worse? That wasn't a great lineup. I doubt another team lets Abreu hit third again - at least, they shouldn't - but he's still a quality player, a potential 20-20 guy who hits for average. As a top-20 outfielder, he's top-75 overall. So maybe the sixth or seventh round?
Michael (Rochester, NY)
Do you think Pat Burrell is in for a big year since he will be in the stacked Rays lineup? I personally think the Rays have the majors best lineup now.
Eric Karabell (3:42 PM)
It's a very good lineup, and people forget Crawford was not good in 2008, and Longoria missed time. Burrell is slated to hit sixth, hit 30 homers and knock in 90. I can see that. I do not, however, think Burrell has a bigger year than that.
Aaron (Houston, Tx)
Can Nick Markakis get even better then his 2008 season or does the lineup scare you enough to say no?
Eric Karabell (3:43 PM)
Lineups don't generally scare me, and really, the Orioles had a good lineup! Brian Roberts and Aubrey Huff were very good, and look how many runs Melvin Mora drove in. Markakis doesn't look like a 35-homer guy to me, but he's solid, can run and hit for average and he's safe.
Erik which three people should i keep in a keeper league: hart round 3, kemp round 5, longoria round 9, martin round 11, harden round 12 or youk round 13?
Eric Karabell (3:45 PM)
I would keep Longoria, Youkilis and Kemp, probably in that order.
Hi Eric, Right now, is Manny a keeper at $29 in a standard auction league? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (3:45 PM)
Probably, but I'd sure feel better about it if he found work. I know, at some point he HAS to sign with the Dodgers or somewhere, right? Well, stranger things have happened. But yes, that price seems ok.
JT (Birmingham, MI)
Do you expect a big drop off from Dempster this year? His numbers were so good last year that he'd be hard to drop. I'm deciding between him and Tulowitzki for my final keeper in a pitching heavy league.
Eric Karabell (3:46 PM)
I'd take Tulo, and not think twice about it. I actually pegged Dempster being worth owning in a few leagues, but would I do that again? Nope. Tulo is still a 25-90 shortstop.
Eric, with you devine wisdom, tell us more on your sleeper pick Jayson Nix? bottom line?
Eric Karabell (3:48 PM)
Yeah! How'd you remember that? I did like Nix a year ago, and can't really explain why he hit like .130. Makes no sense. Had good minor league stats that should have translated. He was an Olympian, which speaks to skill and makeup. He's on the White Sox now, and opportunity is there. I say Nix wins the job and goes 15-60-10. There's value in that in deep leagues.
Thoughts on the following youngsters: Chris Davis, Joey Votto, Ryan Shealy
Eric Karabell (3:49 PM)
No interest in Shealy. I doubt he plays much. Davis and Votto are totally legit. Votto is the better player. Can go 30-90 and hit for average, run a bit, too. Davis seems to be all power, not much else. But could he hit 30? Absolutely. I'd take Votto in the fifth round, Davis in the seventh and Shealy doesn't get drafted.
Gunther (Omaha NE)
Marmol pitched alot last year. Should we proceed with caution or is he a lock for many saves?
Eric Karabell (3:50 PM)
I'd set his over/under at 32 saves, with the potential for more than 100 strikeouts. He made my offseason top 10 for closers.
Howie (Lancaster, PA)
Richie Harden. The real deal?
Eric Karabell (3:51 PM)
I'll set his over/under at 20 starts, and probably take the under. How many times must we be fooled? Oh, he might have a 2.50 ERA in those starts, but be prepared.
John Florian (Los Angeles, CA)
Do the A's have a chance in the west and who ends up their closer?
Eric Karabell (3:52 PM)
I think they do, unless they start selling parts midseason again. Holliday will see his stats go down some, but he can hit .300 with 25 homers anyway. Giambi was a terrific signing. He and Cust need to be split in the order, but they each hit 30 homers and walk. The A's need that so much. And Joey Devine should be their closer.
I have no idea how to value Dwight Howard...I am already pretty bad in FT% and am thinking about offering Nene(ranked significantly higher) and Gay for him. Make sense? Thanks
Eric Karabell (3:53 PM)
If you're already bad in FT, why not totally tank the category? Depends how bad you are. If you're middle of the pack, getting Howard costs you a bunch right there, as good as he is in other stats. If you're punting FT, go for it. But Nene is for real, will block shots and board, and I think that trade is fair.
Total guess question: Who'll spend most time on DL this year - Hanley, A-Rod, Pujols
Eric Karabell (3:54 PM)
I assume none of them hits the DL. Think positive! I made a mistake earlier; Hanley is my top pick, then Pujols and then A-Rod.
Ichiro or Kemp, who finishes higher on the player rater at the end of 2009??
Eric Karabell (3:55 PM)
Unless Ichiro hits .350, I'd say it's Kemp. Has 20-homer pop to go with 30 steals.
Here's a tough one - which 1st round talent is going to have a Crawford-type down year?
Eric Karabell (3:56 PM)
I think if Prince, Teixeira, Pedroia, Holliday, and catcher or any pitcher are in the first round, they would disappoint.
Bo (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
I'm a huge Orioles fan and was the proud owner of Nick Markakis in 2008. Could you please tell me if you would keep him over Francisco Liriano? My other four keepers are set (Albert Pujols, Miquel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, and Ervin Santana).
Eric Karabell (3:57 PM)
Yeah, I probably would keep Markakis. And while you should remain neutral, being an Orioles fan does matter here. The safe bat over the potential arm... go bat.
sam (ny, ny)
The Chicago papers seem to indicate that kevin gregg would get first shot at the cubs closer role despite his late season struggles. why r u so sure that marmol gets the nod?
Eric Karabell (3:58 PM)
Well, it wouldn't be the first time the team's best reliever was a setup guy and the third or fourth best reliever closed. It would surprise me if Gregg closed, but I suppose it is possible.
Will (The OC)
Holliday or Teixiera for my 2009 keeper hitter?
Eric Karabell (3:58 PM)
I'd say Teix.
Dan (Harrisburg, PA)
Where do you rank Alexei Ramirez? Good keeper option?
Eric Karabell (3:58 PM)
Be careful... should go 20-20, but the average worries me going forward. Take a walk, Alexei!
Eric (Ft. Laud)
Please choose 2 to keep... Greinke(17), Garza (23), Hamels (5). Thanks
Eric Karabell (3:58 PM)
Hamels and Garza..
Linceum...another filthy season or arm trouble in 2009?
Eric Karabell (3:59 PM)
Filthy...my top pitcher.
Eric Karabell (3:59 PM)
OK, thanks to everyone for the questions and Happy New Year to all. I think I'll be back in this Wednesday time slot each week. Baseball is back! Have a good one...