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December 27, 11:57 AM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:01 AM)

Hello all and welcome to yet another fantasy sports chat. This is my final chat of the fantasy football season, but I also have another fantasy baseball draft later, so if you have baseball thoughts, share them as well... let's go!


Hey Eric. Why are people reporting that the Browns will rest Derek Anderson and other starters this week? The Titans play at night so don't the Browns NEED to go into their game thinking must-win?

Eric Karabell
  (11:02 AM)

I haven't heard that any Browns will be sitting, so keep using them with confidence. In fact, if I were on the Browns, I'd be none too happy about Week 16, so even if the game didn't matter, I'd play hard. And this game DOES matter.

CJ (Michigan)

Hey Eric, happy holidays! We all know that Addai won't get any usage, but how about Keith?! Is he gonna get some rest as well?!

Eric Karabell
  (11:04 AM)

This is what nobody talks about, that even some of the big backups will get rested in Week 17. Never before have I seen anything like this. Virtually all playoff spots, and seeding, has been locked up, and so many players are sitting. Addai is not a great play. I doubt he plays more than a series or two, and I will drop him in the Friday rankings even more. Keith won't be in my top-20 though, because I'd bet the Colts use him sparingly as well.

Jon (California, MD)

Eric, Todd Collins or Jason Campbell (if healthy)? Which stands a better chance of beating Dallas, then Seattle, then Dallas again?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I'd be pretty surprised if Campbell plays this week, but just because the game matters to Washington and not to Dallas doesn't mean the Redskins will play well. Collins isn't a top-10 QB to me, but I could see using him.

Harold, Ft. Worth, TX

How much playing time you think LT will get? Is Portis a better start for this week?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I think LT is still a smart play, because when he is out there, he gets key touches and scores touchdowns. Figure on at least 10 touches and a score.

chuck MD

I am hearing Colston is a bad play. My other otions are Ocho Cinco and Jennings to go with Randy Moss. What are you hearing about the situation in New Orleans? This is for my first championship so help me out! Also do you think Barber in Dallas will get playing time?

Eric Karabell
  (11:07 AM)

Colston isn't healthy, and I don't think the weather in Chicago is going to make him feel better. I would go with Chad Johnson and Randy Moss. Johnson has a great matchup, and he always wants to prove a point. Moss is going for history. I'm not sure Jennings will suit up at all, to be honest. As for Marion Barber, I bet he does play. Dallas could sit Romo, but Barber isn't hurt at all, and I don't think Dallas wants to lose to a division rival it might see again in a few weeks.

Need D

Would you start NYG or Tennessee this week? Both face juggernaut offenses...

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

I would use Tennessee. I think the Pats will score more than 30 points. I don't assume the Colts with Jim Sorgi will.

Rob (Los Angeles)

Eric, who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

Colts win at New England in late-January... and they repeat.

Bill (Grosse Pointe, MI)

Is Brandon Jackson a viable option over Travis Henry this week?

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

That would be full circle for Jackson, wouldn't it, since he started early in the season. I don't like either Jackson or Henry very much this week, but who knows what Denver's Shanahan is thinking. If I had to choose, I'd choose Henry.

Tom (LA)

T.J. Duckett or AP (CHI)?

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

I ranked Duckett 14 and AP 16, but if push came to shove, knowing the weather, I might reverse that. In fact, I think I would go AP.

John, Huntsville, AL

Happy Holidays! Pick one - Warner, Anderson, McNabb, or Bulger Also, pick 2 - Westbrook, L.T., Lewis, Peterson, S. Jackson, or Gore?

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

I'd select Warner at QB, and at RB it's Westbrook and AP 1-2 for me. I had LT 4. If it's the Bears AP, then Westbrook and LT. Man, you have a lot of running backs, it's kind of crazy.

Pete (Seattle)

Eric, do you think David Garrard sees more than a couple of series' this week, or would you take Lemon, Hill, or someone else in his place?

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

The problem is nobody knows. Honestly, Garrard could play one series, or five, or an entire half. I have Lemon ranked No. 25, so I don't think he's a great play, but let's see what the quotes from Jaguars central say. Hill would be my pick over Lemon, and probably Garrard if it's confirmed Garrard will barely play.

James (CA)

Peavy or Santana? Who's the first fantasy pitcher taken?

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

Yeah, baseball! C'mon, nobody has any baseball questions? I have Johan pegged for early second round, and Peavy late second round. That's it for pitchers in the top 25.

Haden (Memphis)

Thanks for your help in winning my league. I have to pick one keeper at RB out of Lynch, LJ, and Jacobs. I know it's early to decide, but who do you like and why?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

I like all 3 options really, but I would still choose Larry Johnson. He didn't have a good season, but he has the upside to be an 1,800-yard back. I think Lynch is good, but not top-10 overall, and I still have some concerns about Jacobs' durability. I can't believe Jacobs would play that much this week with his recent injury history. I know the Giants want to win, but think bigger picture.

Todd (Pittsburgh)

Can you list your top 5 draft discount closers after the names are taken too early? I like closers that stike guys out.

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Excellent question... now we're talkin'! I think SF's Brian Wilson is a big sleeper closer, as well as Carlos Marmol in Chicago, Kevin Gregg in Florida, Tony Pena in Arizona and Accardo in Toronto. BJ Ryan might not make it back right away, you know.

King (NYC)

My championship for FB is this week, two questions about who to start 1)QB - Brees or D.Anderson 2) of the four start two RB -- Jacobs, Gore, Stecker, D.Williams

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

I have Anderson ranked better at QB, and Gore and Stecker at RB, but now it does appear the Giants will foolishly use Jacobs, so I might switch Jacobs and Stecker, depending on what we hear. Luckily there's no Thurs game this week.


Hey Eric, I just started doing my fantasy baseball rankings, and I was wondering who you think is the first guy in the 2nd tier of SS(after HanRam,Reyes and Jroll), as of right now I have Tulowitzski ahead of Jeter.

Eric Karabell
  (11:21 AM)

I would probably still go Jeter over Tulo, because you get more steals and runs and batting average. Jeter is a tad overrated, but still very productive. And I would put Tejada in that group as well. He should hit at least 25 homers in Houston.

Wayne ((D.C.))

Rafael Soriano is a good choice

Eric Karabell
  (11:22 AM)

Yes, Wayne is correct!

Steve (CT)

How much does Ryan Grant play this week? Would you still start him over: AP(Chi), Rhodes and Duckett?

Eric Karabell
  (11:23 AM)

I wouldn't think the Packers use Grant very much, and I really like Rhodes as a play. In fact, I might sit Grant for all these guys.

Lee (ny)

Hey Eric, who would you keep for next yr? - romo, lynch, ronnie brown, TO...rules are all tds are 6 pts, bonus pts for passing yardage, 1 pt per rec...

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

I would keep Lynch. I think he's a late first round pick in startup leagues, and you always want to keep a RB if you can. Nothing wrong with Romo, but Lynch is a better keeper. Brown is recovering from an ACL injury, and might not be ready for September.

Mark (Akron, OH)

Hi Eric, Play in a 2QB League. We have Bulger and Favre. No confidence in Favre playing that longa?..other options Lemon or Redmond? What would you do? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Yikes. No, I don't have a ton of confidence Favre plays more than a few series, but for now I still ranked him better than Lemon and Redman. Man, Week 17 can be a drag...

Sean (Johnstown,PA)

Eric, Cant wait for baseball. Tim Hudson had a solid season last year, do you think he has made the adjustments to the NL, would he be a better keeper than Lincecum

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

I think Hudson is a fine keeper, but does he have the K potential that Lincecum has? Not a chance. I'd keep Lincecum.


If you were starting a keeper league for Baseball, who are your top five?

Eric Karabell
  (11:27 AM)

They really wouldn't be any different than my overall top-5. Keeper leagues are great, but if you take too many young players, you'll have an inconsistent team. My top-5 is A-Rod, Hanley, Reyes, Wright and Pujols, keeper or not.

Mike (NYC)

Where do you see BJ Upton going. I have a league where we keep any 4 players. I have Arod, Soriano, Teixeira and normally Manny. Should I keep Upton (who has 2b elig) over Manny?

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

Yes, I would keep Upton over Manny, not only for the eligibility, but for the stolen bases. I think Upton will regress some, but he can run and hit homers. Manny is sliding.

Brick: Charlotte

Super Bowl this week! Which two RB's along with Westbrook? Jacobs, Deangelo, Duckett, Sproles, Darius Walker or Bradshaw?? Thanks for the help!

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

I'd narrow it to Jacobs and Duckett for now. I know everyone likes DeAngelo, but why? How do we know how many carries he gets? We don't. If Jacobs gets 15-20 carries, he's my choice. Again, that would shock me.

Greg (Central Florida)

Is Jason Witten a good start against Washington? How about D. Clark against Tennessee?

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

Neither are good starts, really, but the difference between QBs and TEs in Week 17 is a guy like Clark only needs a few catches in the first half and 50 yards to be worth it. I'd use Witten over Clark.


Love the suit buddy. Gotta keeps these chats professional!! So where abouts should Delmon Young be drafted? Should be hitting around better talent this year, right?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

Actually, the offensive talent in Tampa Bay wasn't a big problem, it was Delmon's ability to hit for power. He did get plenty of hits, but the move to Minny should help his power more. We don't know if he will hit cleanup or sixth, assuming the Twins stick with Mauer-Morneau in the 3 and 5 spots, but either way Delmon should improve his stats. I got him in round 6 of a draft last week, which I thought was very good.

Saul(Longmeadow, MA)

Where do you see diceK? Is he top 20 among starting pitchers?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

I don't think he was in my top-20, but he was close. We can't expect a great ERA, but he is a strikeout guy and should win games.

Dave (MN)

What about the Indy Gonzo... Is he a good play, or should I look for better? S. Moss is out there, but I hate trusting him...

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

I think Indy's Gonzalez is hurt, and with Harrison not even guaranteed to play in the playoffs, I would go with S.Moss. His game matters,and he's actually played much better the past month.

JP (Pittsburgh)

Wouldn't giving all playoff teams a bye after week 17 before the playoffs solve the "sit the starters problem"

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

Not really, because players can get hurt at any time. The only way to solve the problem is to make it tougher for teams to clinch playoff berths and seeds, and there's no way around that. This is how it is.

Steve (MIN)

Any news on Rudi Johnson? I have Watson on my roster and would love to play him against MIA.

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

If I had to choose now, I'd say Rudi Johnson does not play, and Watson rolls up more than 100 yards on Miami.

Jeffery(Wilmington, DE)

In his 2008 handbook, Bill James projects Josh Hamilton to hit.306 with 31hrs. Do you think hammy will be this good, i usually trust the godfather of SABR but this is odd.

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

I did notice that, because I am considering Hamilton in a keeper league. There are 2 issues with Hamilton. One is can he hit lefties? Now some lefty hitters are just so good against RHP that it doesn't matter much, like Granderson. He didn't touch lefties, but torched RHP. Hamilton might be like that. It's not like he had much time to work on this in the minors. Second, can he stay healthy? Is he just JD Drew? I think .306 with 31 HR is possible, but in 450 AB.

Drew (San Diego)

Im in a point per carry and reception league with thomas jones, musa smith, darius walker and lorenzo booker. Who's the odd man out?

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

I don't any are good plays, but I'd probably rank them Walker, Jones, Smith and then Booker.

Dennis, NY

Hey Eric, Berry was bragging that he beat you in FF this past weekend so I don't know if I should trust your advice but, pick 2 WR's out of Galloway, Moss, Larry Fitz or Cotchery. And at RB pick 3 from Grant, Lynch, Stecker, Alexander or Musa Smith.

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

Nice. Well, currently he's trailing by 30, but he could win. Trust all our advice, because one playoff matchup isn't exactly proof of what we know. He didn't know Willie Parker would break his leg. Our rosters are ridiculous this week with all the key players sitting. I would play Fitz and R.Moss, or even S.Moss. And Lynch, Stecker, Grant. But you don't need to follow this advice!

Marco (Trenton)

If Santana goes to the Mets, does his value increase to the point where he's a first-rounder?

Eric Karabell
  (11:43 AM)

I don't think his value changes much at all. He wins games now, so what he would win on the Mets, 25? He dominates AL hitters as it is. Maybe his ERA/WHIP improve some in Shea, but let's not go crazy. I ranked him early second because I want to draft hitters. One could make the case, as a Twin or Red Sox or Met that Johan is top-5 overall I suppose.


Ok heres 2 baseball questions...Does Andruw Jones rebound in LA and does Prior ever become an effective Pitcher again

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

I think Andruw does rebound to his prior levels of 35 or so homers and a .260 average. Andruw becomes somewhat of a sleeper actually. As for Prior, what a great opportunity for him. It's a great ballpark to pitch in, and I think one of his problems was dealing with the pressure, and the media. It's a new start for him. I compared him to Chris Carpenter on TV yesterday. I don't think Prior will win Cy Youngs, but he should rebound and pitch well in his 25 or so starts.


Eric, Chris B. Young seems to be very underrated, I have this guy 14th among outfielders, does his rare combination of power and speed justify such a high ranking, even though he has a rey ordonez esque batting average.

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

I think he will improve that batting average. His first/second half splits showed he had become more patient, but still wasn't swinging at the right pitchers. Be patient, this guy could be 30/30 for years.

Rophi (Chitown)

What up Karabell! Who should i start between Big Ben or Todd Collins? Also pick three RBs please(Watson, Portis, Maroney, Chester Taylor, Ryan Grant, Shaun Alexander). Trying to win the ship this week! Many thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

I think Ben does light up Baltimore for a few first half TDs, so stick with him. At RB, I like Watson, Portis and Taylor. Good luck!


If Grant does sit, who gets the majority of the touches for GB?

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

Could be Morency, or Brandon Jackson, but ultimately I don't think too many Packers will matter at all this week. The game means nothing.

Andy (IN)

12 Team league drafting 7th get to keep 1. Who would you keep out out of T.O., Wayne, R. Grant, or Brandon Jacobs?

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

Probably Grant over Jacobs. I wouldn't keep a WR over them.

Ray (NY)

Do I stick with Witten or pick up a guy like Olson or McMichael?

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

I think Witten is going to play, and with T.O. out, he's a decent option.

Rob (MI)

Pick 3...Randy Moss, Fitzgerald, Chad Johnson, Roddy White, Anthony Gonzalez.

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

I see nothing wrong with Moss, Fitz or Chad this week.


In a snake draft, around what pick do you think it becomes reasonable to take the first catcher, and is it russell martin of Vmart?

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

There's no real specified round to take anyone. If you really want a catcher, these two guys are so good, take them when you want. Round 3? I could see that.

Rob (Michigan)

Is Fitzgerald to hurt to trust this week? I have to choose between him and Roddy White.

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

I think Warner and his WRs have a very nice day against the Rams. Nothing against Roddy, who had a big year, but I like Fitz here.

Mark( Akron, Ohio)

What are your thoughts on Joey Votto, hes shown the abilty to swipe 15 bags in the minors, could he end up being a top 15 firstbaseman this year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

Honestly, if I draft Votto I want him hitting 35 homers, not risking injury by stealing bases. Every steal does count, of course, but I don't think that's what would make him a top-15 1B. I don't have him ranked that well yet.

Doug (NJ)

Eric please help me pass the time on this SLOW day! Pick 2, these are round values: Johan 1, Bedard 5, Lincecum 11, Atkins 12, C. Young 15 (ARI). I am already keeping Holliday 3, Hanley 8 & Phillips 16. Thanks and Happy New Year!

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

Well, Johan is still the best, but Bedard in round 5 is serious value. Also I like Young. That's a 25/25 guy really late.

Marco (Trenton)

If you could keep only one: Sizemore or Ryan Braun?

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

Tough one. Probably Sizemore. I'm more certain he will keep running, and in a year Braun will be OF elig only.

sara, (CT)

Eric, I was wondering if Rothlisberger will be playing enough to help me win my championship; do you think he will play enough to keep my in the game?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

I am trusting him with 2 of my teams.

Tom (Boston)

Better D? Packers, Eagles, Redskins.

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

I actually like Redskins this week against Brad Johnson. I don't expect Romo to play very much.

Ira (LA)

Have you heard anything regarding the progress of Fransisco Liriano? Am I nuts to keep him as my only pitcher going into 2008? (Reyes, C. Lee, Maggs, Bruan and...?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Everything I have heard is that Liriano is right on schedule for spring training.

Dan (NYC)

Dynasty league draft - Gordon or Longoria long-term at 3B?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

For now, I say Gordon. He will be a good one.

mike (GA)

Eric, I have ridden Stecker to the championship game. With his injury and weather in Chitown, should i start Duckett or Pittman in his place?

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

I'd consider Duckett actually. But bad weather does not hurt RBs.

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks everyone for the questions and have a great day. Good luck in Week 17 and have a very Happy New Year....