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October 29, 10:55 AM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello all and welcome to another fun-filled fantasy chat session. Lots to get to today, with hoops starting, baseball STILL going on and of course, it's Week 9 in fantasy football... let's go!

Chris Johnson (Nashville, TN)

Eric, I was reading your Midseason Forecast today and was wondering a few things; do you think I will slow down that much in December? And how much? Also, do you think it would be a good career move to place a bounty on Lendale's head? That guy makes me so mad, I carry the ball 20 times for 70 yards while he goes 10 for 13 yards and 2 TDs. I'm sorry, I just need to vent, much like my fantasy owners i'm sure.

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I generally do not post questions in the first person, but this one promotes something on the site, so... It's not just rookie running backs who tend to tire in December, by the way. Plenty of RBs get tired at the end of a long season. Don't blame LenDale White, really. He's a larger guy, he scores TDs, and the team is wise to use both players to keep each healthy and strong...

Steve, PA

Hi Eric, Nervous or excited about tonite? Please pick 2: Fargas, Roy Williams, Benson, Nate Washington, Julius Jones, torain

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Nervous AND excited. This is unprecedented in World Series history, and I think it will be fun. They are going to play, by the way. I want the Phillies to win, but even if they don't, I do not assume they cannot win in St. Pete. Anyway, not a lot of great choices on your list there. Probably Fargas and Benson, just because we know they will get plenty of touches.

Shawn (Oak)

Everyone seems to be high on Chad Pennington and Ted Ginn now... Do you think it's a fluke, or do you think they are legit? Can you believe these guys are actually relevent?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

I think Pennington is legit. He was always capable, really, but he gets protection, he has a running game, weapons, you name it. Don't expect 300 yards per game, though. I'm not sold on Ginn yet, but it's clear he has ability. Where was he for 6 weeks?

JC (Philly)

NBA Brutha!!! Drafted Marcus Williams in an 12 team H2H league in the 9th rd. Max of 40 moves. Other pgs included Kidd, Felton and Duhon. Also have J Smoove, KG, Gay, Chandler, Mike Miller, Barbosa, Thaddeus Young, Nene. Wondering where I may have holes or weaknesses and if I should consider dropping M Will for Rodney Stuckey or look to go big (PF/C)Thanks E.

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Well, you appear to be in need of some bigs, I'd say. Need blocks, more boards probably. I liked Marcus Williams as a sleeper, but he might not play much this week. If you see a good power forward emerge, an Amir Johnson type who can block shots, you probably need to react and give up on backup point guards.

Chris (Baltimore, MD)

Good afternoon EK - I am currently holding Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Tyler Thigpen in a 14 team league. I am in desperate need of a RB - I've been stung by IR. I'm working on a Romo for Westbrook deal, but Westbrook's owner is starting to balk. Any good arguments I can use to get him over the hump on this one?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

You probably waited one week too many to acquire Westbrook. On Romo, it's tough to convince people to take on an injured player. Sure, he SHOULD return in two weeks, but he still has a broken digit, so he's not the safest bet. Also, look at the Dallas sked in December, I don't really like any Cowboys at all (both Pennsylvania teams, Balt and NYG). So, tough to convince the Westbrook owner to move, unless you tell him he's still hurt or will be hurt again.

Mark (San Diego)

Hey Eric, 3 more innings until a parade!!!!!! Quick trade question, would you trade Ronnie Brown for Randy Moss? Thanks. Go Phillies!!!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

That's right, 3 more innings! I'd rather have Brown, no question, but I can't answer to whether you need a WR. Still, I'd rather have Brown.

Joe (Princeton)

Afternoon Eric, I was reading through your column and didn't catch your thoughts completely on Thomas Jones. Would you rather have him or slaton the rest of the season? I have the chance to maybe grab slaton but it is going to cost me thomas jones and rhodes. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I would prefer to have Slaton than Jones, and the rumor is Addai will return this week, meaning Rhodes will split carries soon, at best. Just be careful on Slaton, as the Texans are trying to get Ahman Green involved, and he is a rookie after all.

Gary Kubiak (Fantasyland)

Come on, Eric! The Brown for Moss thing was addressed yesterday in a chat. Regarding your midseason forecast, am I crazy to suggest my Texans are better than San Diego to build a fantasy team around? I actually don't think Schaub falters as the schedule worsens, and while Slaton is no LT, and his stats probably take a little hit with the tough sked, I'd MUCH rather field a fantasy recieving core around Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter than Vincent Jackson, and I consider Daniels/Gates basically a push. Refute this please, so I don't take it quite so hard when Minny beats us this weekend

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

I can't read everything on our site. As for your point on the Texans, it is a strong one. If the Chargers have the best offensive weapons for fantasy from one team, the Texans are not far behind. I'd still take Rivers and LT over Schaub and Slaton, because they have more experience, but your point is valid.

Don (sf)

Philly fan from Langhorne PA!. Roddy White for Ryan Grant, in a vacuum if you will.

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I know Langhorne very well... I'd take Roddy, wouldn't you? He's clearly a top 10 wide receiver at this point, and I think he's safe. Matt Ryan gets him the ball, no question. I compared Green Bay's Grant to last year's Thomas Jones in terms of getting 1,000 yards but rarely scoring. I don't see this changing.

Jeff (NY)

Is Oden's latest injury related to last year's surgery, or is this something completely new? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

It's totally new, and I do not want to call him brittle yet, but there certainly appears a theme here, no? I did not want Oden on my teams, and durability was an issue. Scoring was, also. No news on the MRI yet, but I'd say he's not playing for a few games.

Beth (NYC)

I'm in the middle of my league and need to make the post-season before I can plan for it...Is it still too early to drop Larry Johnson if I could use his spot more efficiently on match up plays? Do you think he plays anymore this season? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

I wrote that I didn't expect LJ to play again this season, because I don't believe the Chiefs want him active, but it's still too risky to drop the guy. He is capable of having big games, even on that team. Just don't be shocked if the Chiefs do a T.O.-Eagles with him and sit him until 2009, or until they can trade him.

Joe (DC)

Eric, are you disappointed with the weirdness of the World Series, or is it good because it will be more memorable? Also, which side: Favre/Roy Williams or Peyton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I think it's a shame the Series is tainted, but I don't know how Bud Selig could have done anything different. I feel a bit bad for him, actually. As a Phillies fan, I cannot complain about being 2-2 in the 6th inning up 3-1 in Game 5. Not one bit. They have 3 innings to win this thing without going to St. Pete. And if the Phils win in 5, it's not tainted, or disappointing. It's legit. Anyway, Peyton is going to be a top-5 QB the rest of the way, I think. He's healthy, and his schedule will be easy in about two weeks. I don't trust Roy Williams to help fantasy owners one bit.

brian (de)

Should I be concerned about the injury/matchup for S. Moss and replace him with someone like Devin Hester or Tedd Ginn?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I'd play Santana Moss. He will play, and he's having a nice season. So is Campbell. Hester isn't a lock to play, either, and Ginn had one good game. He could have another, but I trust Moss more.

Dave (GA)

Easy E!! Do you think darren mcfadden will make an impact after he recovers from his injury? And who do you like for the rest of the season- Pittman, Hightower, or McFadden? THANKS!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I think the Raiders are doing what I expected, and giving Fargas most of the carries. I said this in July, which is probably why Fargas slipped to my teams in so many leagues! Anyway, McFadden is the future, no doubt, but I don't know if he'll have more than a decent game or two the rest of the way. I have to take Michael Pittman first. He has the Denver job now, and I do not assume he loses it.

Larry (Philly)

BRYN MAWR born and raised..Cant believe i get to see the Phillies win in my lifetime! Anyway...better option for the year: Olsen or Scheffler?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Well, 1 more game to go... or 3 innings if you will! Anyway, I say Olsen. Look, Orton is legit, and he won't stop playing well. Scheffler needs to get healthy first, but I think Olsen is breaking out.

Robert (Lexington, KY)

Yeah EK but look at Randy Moss' playoff schedule: Seattle, Oakland, Arizona. I just traded Lee Evans and Jamal Lewis for Randy Moss and Tim Hightower, and I feel pretty darn good about it.

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I know Moss' schedule, but look at Lee Evans getting 100 yards and a score every week. I'd stay with the side of the deal you moved, to be honest. Hightower had 3 yards rushing last week. Why do people think he is going to break out?

ray (h-

I read somewhere that said the cards are thinking of replacing Edge with Tim Hightower?is there any truth to this? If hightower did replace edge will his value go way up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

IF Hightower were to get 20 carries per game, of course I would change my stance. But I haven't heard this rumor, nor do I think it makes sense to just stop using Edge. His decline is being accelerated by the team.

Eric (CO)

You seem down on T.O. even when Romo comes back. If that's the case, should I trade him and FWP, Mewelde Moore, Derrick Ward for SJax, Coles and Jacksons backup? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I like Jackson the most there, but be careful how much you give up. Romo is not going to be awful, but I don't expect many 20-point games with that schedule. Owens was inconsistent even when Romo was fine, and since then the Cowboys dealt for Roy Williams. I see Owens having the occasional big game, and half the time he gets 3 or 4 fantasy points.

John, Chicago

Regarding the mid-season article. Based on the rest of the article, I don't understand "Maybe it's unfair, but I notice a rookie running back's first-year status, much more than a wide receiver's, especially late in the year." Did you reverse RB and WR here?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

No. I think what I meant was that rookie WRs don't drop off the same way the rookie RBs do, so I don't notice the fact Donnie Avery is in his first year as much as someone like Steve Slaton.

James (NY)

Avery top 15 here on?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

At wide receiver? No, too early to make that call AND there are at least 20 wide receivers I think are safer and better for fantasy. Avery should be owned at this point, but let's preach a bit of caution.

Eddie (NYC)

I just dropped Ronnie Brewer for Ty Thomas. 1 night wonder or did I just get some tremendous upside potential?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I'm OK with that. No hoops questions, people? Brewer gets steals, but he's not a well-rounded fantasy option. Thomas has a shot to be a rebounder and shot blocker, so I'd do that move.

Matt (AL)

Do you know Matt Jones's status for this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

No, I do not. I did not rank him, thinking the situation would be resolved this week, but I am not sure.

Joe (DC)

Too early to be concerned about Villanueva? And whats your take on the PG situation on the Bucks?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

After one game, yes, it's too early! I think Ridnour is and always was recognized as the starting point guard, and Sessions is the clear backup. If Ridnour gets hurt, we see Sessions. Neither have a ton of value, and do not assume if Sessions gets 30 minutes a night he'll average 10 assists per night. What happens in April bears little resemblance to November/December.

tom (ny)

whats your feelings on shaub the rest of the year? viable fantasy starter down the stretch?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Absolutely. He won't get 20 points per game when he faces a tougher defense, but I think he's been in my top 6 or 7 for QB rankings the past month. As long as Slaton and Andre Johnson play well, the Texans will score.

Paul (LA)

Hey EK! Go Phillies! Please help, 4-4 right now and need to win this week to keep the playoff hope alive. I need to start 3 - Evans, Berrian, Braylon, Kevin Curtis, or Ted Ginn - and.. Boldin for Forte - good trade?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I think Evans and Berrian are locks, and then ... Braylon just a bit over Curtis and Ginn. Baltimore can be thrown on. And Boldin for Forte makes sense if you need a RB. If not, why bother? I ranked Boldin No. 2 at WR this week. He's safe. Both are.

Matt (Durango, CO)

Given Turner's up and down games depending on matchups, do you try to trade him for Chris Johnson? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I don't think I would do that. The good thing about Turner is look at his schedule, you get a good idea when he will be good, and when to sit him. How many players can we say this about?

Greg (Toronto)

Eric, none of the ESPN writers seem concerned about Slaton.. I see a guy that has put up good stats against bad run defenses, is a rookie, is starting to lose carries to Green, and, even if Green gets healthy is about to play: min, bal, ind (has been good against the run, in YPC, since the HOU game), cle, ten, and chi, with good matchups against jac, gb, and oak mixed in... Am I over-analyzing schedule? I really thought slaton was a sell high.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I think he is a sell-high, and I wrote it today. Schedule is one part of this, also the fact he's never really played in December before. The Texans are a legit offense, and Slaton isn't going to just stop putting up numbers, but if you can get a top-10 WR, I'd surely consider that.

Harley (NJ)

I really hope the Phillies pull it out tonight and I have a feeling they will, but at least we can take solace in the fact that they can bring back Hamels on short rest in Game 7. Who do you like for this week: Orlovsky or Cassell? and Breaston, S. Holmes or M. Jones if he plays?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I do NOT think Hamels will pitch again, no matter the circumstances. He doesn't want to pitch Friday, nor do the Phillies want him to. Let's hope it doesn't get to that point. As for fantasy, Cassel over Orlovsky. Bad sign that the Lions are interested in Daunte Culpepper. And Breaston over Holmes/Jones. Arizona throws so much it can support 3 WRs.

James, Ca

Eric, I cant get to the fantasy rankings here at work, do you like Schaub or Pennington better this week to fill in for Brees?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I've got Schaub in my top 5, so I pick him. In our projections, however, we have Pennington No. 1 at QB! So take your pick. I think Schaub is the one.

Jay (CA)

If Parker plays this week, should I drop Moore for Kolby Smith? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

I have very little faith in Kolby Smith at this point. I think he's ownable, in case LJ doesn't return, but with the way Fast Willie keeps going back and forth on playing, there's no way I would drop him yet.

Lynn (IL)

In a pickle Eric. I have Pierre Thomas but it's sounding like the Deuce suspension, if any, won't happen until Bush is back. With Leon Washington's performance and schedule, should I drop Pierre to pick up Leon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I don't think we can expect Leon Washington to continue this play. The Jets had a few great matchups, but then they end. I'm not expecting big stats from Thomas either, and I have a feeling Deuce will not be suspended.

Matt (St. Pete)

Go Rays. We're not scared! Is Winslow a worthwhile option this week? I have Z Miller too.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Rays shouldn't be scared. Look at all the great things they accomplished. What do they have to lose tonight? IF the Rays win, they still have no pressure on Thu and Friday, too. All the pressure on Philly. But then again, pressure doesn't decide games, unless the closer folds. I expect Winslow to play, and play well. I'd use him over Miller.

Will (St. Louis, MO)

Hey KBell, I just dealt Roy Williams for Dwayne Bowe in a PPR. Good deal, or will I look like a fool once Romo comes back? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

You won't look foolish. Bowe is underrated, and gets his catches every week. What does Williams get now, 2 catches per week? Having Romo back won't change this much, not with the sked Dallas has.

Sam (Bethpage, NY)

GO YANKEES!! Who would you recommend for Witten owners for the next 2 weeks (possible DNP week 9? then bye in week 10)? Boss, Shiancoe, Z.Miller, B.Miller, D.Lee, Watson, D.Graham?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

At tight end, flip a coin. Man, that position really stinks this season, doesn't it? Most weeks I can't find 10 worthy TEs to rank in the top 10. I find it hard to believe Witten will play through a busted rib this week, especially with the bye week coming up. That's the whole reason Romo was sat! Anyway, I think we might see Ben Watson break out soon, and with Shockey hurting, I like Billy Miller.

Brian (Berwyn PA)

Hey Eric. Who hits a long ball tonight to give the Phils the win? Also, with Brees on bye, do I play Campbell (vs Pitt), pick up Bulger or Frerotte, or try to trade Campbell for Pennington and start Chad? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Victorino! I'd play Campbell. He's been fine, really. Bulger should be OK as well, and Pennington, but Campbell still hasn't tossed a pick yet, and he's been usable.

Matt (Baltimore)

Eric, wondering what your thoughts were on Torry Holt? Done or just the product of being double covered every play according to Haslett. I'm thinking with Avery's two big games that teams won't double him (Holt) as much going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I agree with you, that Holt is not done and he's just not breaking free of double teams. I think Holt can be productive, but not the normal Holt, the one who catches 93 passes each season.

Steve (Cleveland)

I am almost assured a playoff spot and was looking at DAL and SD schedules. Would you trade Barber, F Jones and Colston for LT, Sproles and Wayne?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Yes, I sure would.

Charles (Austin)

Do you think Josh Morgan will get more targets with Hill at QB and his ability to by time out of the pocket?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I think Morgan, when healthy, will be a player, but I don't think much changes with the QB change. Bruce and Johnson could get plenty of targets as well. Hill just needs to avoid mistakes. That's why he's in there.

Tim (Austin, TX)

Victorino has been awesome! Definitely one of my favorite players now. Hoops Q: Blatche, Collison, or Brook lopez? I need blocks/boards!

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I think Blatche will be one of the most popular free agent adds in the next week...

Jim (Miami)

How does Forte and Royal for LT and Gage sound?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Not a big Gage fan... you might be giving up too much there.

Mike (Brooklyn, NY)

Hey Eric, I'm looking to shore up my line up for the playoffs. Should I move Roddy White and Ronnie Brown for Jennings and Lynch, or stand pat with what I got. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I'd leave it alone... failing to trade doesn't mean you didn't try, or put the time in!

This is Serious.

Cutler or Orton this week? Thank you for appreciating the seriousness of this question.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Cutler... enjoy

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, thanks to everyone for the questions. Best of luck in Week 9, and ... go Phillies!