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November 19, 12:30 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all! Welcome to yet another chat session. Week 12 of the NFL season is approaching, and if you want to ask about hoops or baseball, I'm willing to answer... so let's go!

Rich (NYC)

I have Steven Jackson and I'm already in the playoffs and good for the bye week too, but I'm a little worried that he won't come back at all... what should I do?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I haven't heard that Jackson is being shut down - yet. These are the types of things you never expect, then in Week 14 that's it. You can't trade him and get proper value, so just ride things out and hope for the best. I think the Rams do want him back and Jackson can finish strong.

Jeremy (fl)

Do you think Cassell will start giving Moss the attention he deserves or should I start Justin Gage or Lance Moore instead?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Don't blame Matt Cassel. He doesn't call the plays. Randy Moss is sometimes more valuable being doubleteamed and ignored to the Pats. I'd probably use Moss over Moore and definitely Gage this week.

Pat (College Park)

If late in the week it seems like Kellen Winslow is going to play, but not at 100%, would you still stick with him or go with someone like Todd Heap or Ben Watson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

If there's a chance Winslow will play, I think I'd leave him active. Even at 50 percent he's a better choice than those other fellas. And by the way, I think he's playing. Remember, he's a soldier.

pj (daytona beach)

Witch QB do you think is the best as a back up? i need to drop one, thigpen or cassel

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Well, you asked the wrong guy. I have Thigpen on like half my teams. And he made my top 10 again this week. Funny how I'm not being ripped about Thigpen any more, eh?

John (Cali)

Earlier today Tristan picked Thigpen over just about everyone, but did say he preferred Brees and Rodgers this week. What's your take? (I'm deciding between Rodgers and Thigpen and can see it either way).

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Tristan is such the wise man. I don't have Thigpen in my top 5, but he is top 10. The numbers are legit as long as the schedule is favorable, and it is. The Bills are not scary. I would use Brees and Rodgers over Thigpen.

Luke (Chicago, IL)

Hoops question! What's the deal with David Lee? This was supposed to be his true break-out year. Trade him now before Jared Jeffries is back and stealing minutes or hold on and hope for the best? (The best being that he is traded to Golden State or Charlotte sometime soon)

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I thought Lee would be OK coming off the bench, and really he has been. Shooting 58 percent, scoring more, just fewer rebounds. I feel like we should've known he wouldn't improve, though. No need to deal him, he's a 12 and 7 type.

Greg (Eugene, OR)

Speaking of QB's, how about Campbell. Would you pick him over Thigpen? Campbell has had two sub-par performances, but has a good matchup against Seattle. Any thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

We have to reel in the Thigpen questions. I would take him over Campbell, by a bit. Yes, Campbell has the matchup, but he doesn't even try to put up fantasy numbers. It's all Portis.

John, nyc

So with Lee Evans doing his best Bernard Berrian impression Monday night, are you worried? Should I be starting Santonio Holmes or Lance Moore over him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

No, I wouldn't panic on one goose egg for Evans. He's not exactly emerging, because Trent Edwards is sputtering, but I still play him over Holmes... probably not Moore.

Jason (Scarsdale NY)

EK, can you help me pick one of: A.Pittman, LenDale or Fargas (assuming I get him off waivers)? PPR Scoring.

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

I think Pittman is an underrated pick this week. I probably gave LenDale a better ranking, but I might revisit that on Friday. Jackson is definitely out, and Pittman could get 100 yards this week.

Eric (DC)

Will you mix in a basketball question? Lamarcus Aldridge has slowed considerably since Oden has been back. Do you see this trend continuing? Also, do you think Nate Robinson keeps this up? Loving the steals and 3s.

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I don't want to overrate the impact Oden has made yet. Aldridge did foul out of one game, so it's a bit misleading. He'll have trouble getting the same rebounds and blocks with Oden in there, but I also don't expect Oden to play the rest of the season without missing games. Don't cut Aldridge yet. And Robinson is legit, no reason to see this change.

Beau (Minneapolis)

Any word yet out of Saint's practice on Bush? I just grabbed him in a steal of a deadline trade (if he is healthy of course). What do you think I can expect from him here on out?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I think he might miss another week, though the Saints are running outta time. I expect he'll be himself, catch a lot of passes and score every so often, but not be the lead running back.

Jim - Miami

Eric, Since the ranking aren't up yet would you give me your incite on Welker vs Royal this week and beyond?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

They are up. I gave Royal the better rank. He's already torched the Raiders - I realize B.Marshall was missing, but it doesn't matter. Welker just doesn't score.

John, nyc

Go out on a limb and start Warrick Dunn in a cake matchup over Thomas Jones, or Fast Willie?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

What people forget about Dunn is that he doesn't score touchdowns. He should rush for 100 yards this week, maybe he scores once. Is that a top-10 performance? I'd use Parker over him, not Jones.

Matt NYC

EK, I know you guys put a lot of effort into doing the ranks multiple times a week but they don't help me since I'm in a PPR league! Why not do ranks for that too? Also, please play 2 in a .5PPR. Lewis, Hightower, Dunn. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

It's not that much different, especially when you talk about running backs who don't catch passes. I'd sit Hightower here.

Dan (New York)

Do you think Jacobs will play this week? If he doesn't does that make Ward a must start?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I think Jacobs will play, and when it's 28-7 at the half, Ward will have a big second half. I think even if that does not happen, one can easily make the case for Ward as a flex. Two of us had him No. 25 at RB, I had him 30.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

And by the way, I really don't believe in the term "must start." You must do what you want, since it's your team. And what if I call the No. 5 RB a must start, but you have the top two choices and no flex?


BASEBALL question: Where do you rank Furcal going into the 09 season? Should I antipate him being 100% healthy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I don't think I'll ever assume Furcal is 100 percent healthy again. He missed SO much of this season, even if he's hitting .390 in April and running, I'll be skeptical. I want 155 games. He's outside my top 5 SS.

Mike : (Sacramento, CA)

How do you think DeAngello Williams will do in the playoffs? He has to run against Tampa Bay in week 15 and New York Giants in week 16?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I think he's a matchups type who has gone off against horrible defenses, and soon will come down to earth. It doesn't help that he shares touches, either. Against the Giants, the only positive is they might be clinched by then and playing reserves.

Tim (Miami, FL)

Kurt Warner is must start the remainder of the season of McNabb, right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

No more "musts"! But yeah, I can't find too many scenarios I would trust McNabb over Warner.

Jon (mn)

So if you had to play roulette on a third back out of L. Washington, Ray Rice, and J.J. Arrington, where is money money going?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

This week, it's on Washington. I sense in future weeks, when the Giants aren't the foe, it will be Arrington.

Mark, nyc

Do you think it was just rust and residual soreness between Witten and Romo last week, or do you think it'll continue awhile longer? I could use Dustin Keller instead...

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Witten was targeted a bit, I wouldn't read into anything in both of their first games back. Witten remains a top 5 tight end. Keller is someone you hope finds the ball, but Witten is someone you don't sit.

Josh Richmond, Va

So given your rankings you would happily start dunn over ronnie brown and LJ this week? Even though Dunn won't score because of Cadillac or Askew???

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I didn't rank Dunn better than Brown, I'm sure of it. LJ, probably. I don't assume Dunn or LJ score. But yards are yards.

joe, chicago

i have some serious trust issues with kyle orton. when i finally decided to trust him against the lions he went down and cost me the week. now they face the turrible rams, and i'm still leaning toward eli instead. thoughts??

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I still trust him, despite the weak game this past week. I had Orton at 10 this week, Eli 9, so it's a tossup.

Chris (Wichita)

Dear Eric, why do we subject ourselves and ungodly amounts of time to this endeavor, especially when our fates are decided by the likes of Shanahan, Herm, and Andy Reid. Also, if Jacobs sits, is Ward worth a look over Ronnie or Chris Johnson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I am laughing out loud. I'd play Ward over Johnson in that scenario, but not Ronnie Brown.

Shawn (oak)

What is wrong with L. Coles? Take three of these 4 WR's for this week, Edwards, Coles, Harrison or Welker...

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Gunslinger Favre is what's wrong. It's inconsistent attention, and sometimes the football goes all over the place. Coles would probably be odd man out for me among this group.


Does Coco Crisp have more value in KC ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Yeah, how about that for an interesting trade today? Coco to KC for Ramon Ramirez. Crisp should play center field every day and lead off, steal 25-30 bases. Sure, value goes up, if he stays healthy and motivated. Good for him. And Ellsbury now has to produce, because they can't bench him. Win-win.

Jonathan (Philly)

How can we trust BWest this week after 3 horrible weeks? Don't you we finally have to consider Thomas Jones for real even against a tough matchup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I'm not trusting Westbrook this week. He didn't make my top 20 running backs. And the rest of the way, how do we trust him against NFC East teams? It happens; he's hurt, and playing through it. It's a shame he gets ripped for playing poorly, when someone like Steven Jackson isn't out there playing and isn't getting ripped. People just don't know the story. Regardless, Westbrook is a No. 2 RB this week, at best. I still had him 5 spots better than T.Jones though.

Shane (Edison, NJ)

Hey EK, just read a rumor that "Westbrook is badly hurt"... it come from a guy who covers the 'Skins and his brother Byron. I grabbed Buckhalter when Graham went down... where would you rank him for this week among your RB ranks? Will he be a good FLEX the next few weeks if he starts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

It's not just a rumor, it's been fact for a month. But as long as he's able to play, Andy Reid will use him and ignore - foolishly - Buckhalter. That's another fact. Andy would rather lose with his horses and be loyal.

Dave (Oakland CA)

Eric: Willie Parker vs the Bengals or Forte at the Rams? I need to make this decision before Thurs. night's game. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Forte leads all of ESPN's projections this week, regardless of position. I think he's a top-5 RB, at the least.

Eddie (Florida)

Hey EK, great weather hear in FLA!Is R. Grant back for Real? I have R. White over him at Flex but if R. Grant is back should I start him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Yeah, it's a tad bit chilly here in bucolic Bristol. I haven't done my flex rankings yet, but I would think Grant will have the better spot.

Joel ( Roscommon MI)

Eric, who is the better WW pick up Pierre Thomas or Peyton Hillis ? PPR LEAGUE

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I think in time it will be Thomas, but for now, seeing the touchdowns, probably Hillis. I just can't see it continuing. I mean, it's Shanahan. Have we not learned a thing?

Hank (Philly)

Concerning Arrington, I don't want to say the matchup vs the Giants helps him, but do you think he gets more playing time and catches this week based on the fact that the Cardinals will probably be behind and throwing the ball? Or am I reading a bit too much into this?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I think it's a decent argument, but it's tough to play someone like Arrington over say, Jamal Lewis, on the chance the Cards are getting blown out. But I do think Arrington has, for some reason, become trusted by the Cards. He's not a star.

Deparate for an answer (Milwaukee)

Talk to me about the Denver defense. Sneaky play against the Raiders this week? I need as much help as I can get and thought this was a cherry move. Looks like you agree. Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Yeah, it seems like every week - and Tristan points it out in his Rankings Writeup - that I have one odd defense in my top 10. Denver is it. How can the Raiders move the ball? Don't we wonder it every week?

David (Detroit)

All 4 of you ranked Fargas well ahead of McFadden, but why? McFadden's going to get more touches this week, and even if McFadden gets 10-12 touches while Fargas gets 18-20, I think Run-DMC has the better game. Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I don't know why you think McFadden will get more touches. There's little reason to expect it. It might happen, and knowing the state of the team and all the losing it should happen, but who knows what they'll do? I don't either are appealing. IF we see McFadden get 20 rushes, jump on board. I mean, add the guy now, before he plays.


Do you think Portis is good to go this week? If so who do you like better at flex: Chris Johnson or Jonathan Stewart? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I don't know why Portis would sit, after just playing against Dallas. And I would use Johnson; I do not see the Jets allowing Kerry Collins a big game.

Jake (VA Beach)

Can you tell us why you have Addai several spots ahead of Grant? Two others (Harris and Kus) have Grant higher than Addai.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

I couldn't possibly guess why others do what they do. I think Addai is back, and he's safe, and he's going to do well. But so will Grant. Addai can do more things, namely by catching the ball. I could see both of them reaching 100 yards.

Shawn, Tampa,Florida

Slaton or Addai??

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I have Addai better, but Slaton still made my top 10. So it's not like I'm gonna rip him. I see I was alone on this, but I think Addai is back. Apparently.

Pete (Jenison, MI)

Hi Eric. Need to figure out who my #2 RB is going to be this week... Seems like W. Dunn is obvious, but I'm thinking Kevin Smith might be a sneaky play. Any thoughts on this?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I think Kevin Smith is doing quite well under the circumstances, but anyone running against his team is going to get a nod. I think our Dunn projection is a bit kind, but Smith is capable.

Bart, Cleveland

Eric, can we get some basketball only chats? Its not like these guys are hurting for NFL fantasy talk.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I don't make the rules. But hey, ask a question, and if I see it.... that's what I do in here. They're just all football!

Jack (Santa Clara)

Eric, oh, you're totally right, Addai is back for sure and has probably the easiest RB schedule in the league after this week. I bought him for Owen Daniels last week and refused to sell him for Jennings + Chris Johnson this week. Nice call in your flex rankings, thanks for helping give me the confidence to start him. But this week I feel I have to go Tomlinson and Lynch... thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

The Colts are gonna average like 30 points the rest of the way, just watch. I have LT No. 1 this week, and Lynch 7. I wouldn't argue about Lynch over Addai though, not one bit.

Charles (Austin)

Here's the thing... Dunn is projected higher than Gore and Turner but the composite rankings have Turner and Gore higher than Dunn. Gore is my every week starter but between Turner and Dunn which way do I go?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

It's your team. I look at stuff like rankings and projections and columns and whatever and use them all to help with my decision, not make the decision. If I own Gore, he doesn't sit for Dunn. I wouldn't be able to do that.

micah (atlanta)

Why does everyone keep asking these 'pick a or b' questions?! Don't they understand that you guys have rankings for that exact purpose? Who are your favorite waiver wire sleepers [12 team league] at RB + WR? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Beats me! At RB, based on how I ranked people above the others deep down, it appears Fred Jackson, Pierre Thomas, Arrington. Bradshaw, too. At WR, Avery, Bryant Johnson, Chambers and Galloway.

KB (Durham)

I can't believe people are so excited about Dunn. Here's what's gonna happen; Dunn, 19 carries - 67 yards - 0 TDs, Cadillac, 7 carries - 28 yards - 1 TD, Askew, 2 carries - 2 yards - 1 TD. Right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Would not surprise me in the least. Dunn seems like one of the most overrated one-week plays of the season to me. That said, I see more than 67 yards, so he's my No. 18 RB. I do not assume he can't score.


Would you start Kevin Walter at WR2 if you also had Owen Daniels at TE? My other WR2 options are Torry Holt, Matt Jones, and Greg Camarillo. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

The fact I had the Houston TE would mean nothing to my WR decision. Yes, I would use Walter there.

Charles (Austin)

Allow me to apologize for those of us that are not as gifted as the great Micah from ATL but when you are using the projections and rankings that contradict themselves things get confusing.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I don't have a role in the projections. Just one quarter of the rankings. I can't speak for others. We give you guys a lot of opinions, and you have to sift through them.

Nate (Olympia, WA)

Would you give Garcia the start over Mcnabb, based off of mathcups. Too cute?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Not too cute at all. I'd use Garcia. I bet he knows the NFL rules.

Knocked Up Melissa

Way to muck up the podcast. You flatter me though. Even though your infatuation with me is a little creepy. I just traded for Portis in another league I'm in. I have to pick two other starters from Westbrook, Slaton and Chris Johnson. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Yeah, I noticed it was odd, too. But you aren't the REAL K.U. Melissa. She did e-mail me today, though. Westbrook versus Johnson... interesting. Slaton's in, and ... Johnson.

Collins (LR, AR)

Pretty sure Torain was the most overrated one week play!

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

You are correct, sir! Let's hope Warrick doesn't tear his knee...

Andrew (Philly)

Hey Eric. I need help from your flex rankings for a Thursday game! Hines Ward, Lendale White, or Sammy Morris???

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Flex ranks are being moved up, so I am told. To Thursday. I haven't done them yet, but I would think LenDale, then Ward, then Morris.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, thanks to everyone for the spirited questions. Thousands of questions today, wish we could have answered more. Have a great day and enjoy Week 12...