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November 26, 11:47 AM ET
Fantasy sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the final pre-Thanksgiving chat session... Week 13 in fantasy football is here... let's go!

Jason, NY

Eric, Who do I plug in at the flex this weekend between Hines Ward and Larry Johnson in a non ppr league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Well, according to the flex rankings I wrote up for today, I have Ward better. The Patriots can be thrown on, though I think LJ will have a 75-yard day as well.

Zo, Los Angeles, CA

EK, who do I start Cassell or Cutler? I've sat Cassell and his 50point performances on the bench two weeks in a row now. Do I trust him against the Steelers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I would start Cutler this weekend, but I don't expect a great game from him. Look at Cutler's season, it's been downhill since September. Playing the Jets shouldn't help. Then again, Cassel vs. Pittsburgh... yuck. I take Cutler.

Sam (OH)

First of all as a Rivers owner I have to give you a "Hip-Hip-Hooray!" for consistently ranking Philip where I think he deserves to be despite everybody else hatin' on him. Second, in our league we count return yds. Do you like Hixon or Bess more the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Thanks, I never quite understood the hatred for Rivers, but I've been consistent on him. He should have a nice weekend. I think Bess is the one I'd take, even if Plaxico sits. I bet Bess has a big day, and nobody is expecting it.

Jem (Westchester, NY)

You list MJD a lot higher than the other rankers and Gore a little lower. Is it more that SF?s average QB play is beginning to cramp Gore?s style or that MJD has a fail-safe matchup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I like them both. Sometimes you'll see a ranking different from others and think I don't like Gore, but it's generally that there are others I just like more. On Gore, I don't expect a terrific day, but good enough. San Fran should trail, and Shaun Hill does the work. MJD has had a very underrated season. Not sure why people hate on a top-10 RB.

Andy (NYC)

Eric, should I stick with Mcnabb or try to pick up Garcia or Thigpen the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I bet McNabb does just fine on Thursday, but I did rank Thigpen better. The chance that McNabb gets yanked again is a bit scary. No need to drop him yet though. If he wins Thursday, he gets to keep starting.

Jay (Atl)

Basketball question: Im in a league that starts 10 players, so generally most teams start 2 centers. My two centers are Kaman and Nene who have been great so far. All I need from these 2 spots are boards, blks, and fg% because the rest of my team is good enough to carry the load everywhere else. That said, do you think Nene will keep up the year he's having? Also, do you think I should try to trade Kaman for Bynum in my situation because I am worried Kaman's production will drop with Randolph in town?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

That is quite the front line for LA, isn't it? Camby, Kaman and Big Zach. Wow. No, I don't think Kaman will stop getting boards and blocks. I think Randolph will get fewer boards than he was, though. And there's no reason to think Nene will tire or slump. He always was legit, just needed playing time and health.

Thomas (Milwaukee, WI)

The normal duo of Colston and S. Smith has been very shaky for me... Any chance a more consistent (but less studly) Wes Welker or S. Breaston fill in with better results? Non-ppr league by the way.... Thanks and Happy Turducken Day!

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Thank you kind sir! I think if I had Colston and Smith (Carolina) I'd have to play them this week over Welker. The chance for TDs makes it worth it. Colston's production has been odd, but it's another matchup he can exploit.


Eric,are you eating any crow yet for thinking Andre Miller would be a better fantasy play than Devin Harris ? Seriously though, can Harris keep it up ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Not yet, it's still not December! But Harris has been much better than I thought, obviously. I underestimated how many shots he'd get, and how Vince Carter would play. Miller will improve, but he won't score 23 a night.

Derek (Littleton, CO)

Happy Thanksgiving Eric! Hey Eric! I read your flex rankings and I need a RB and a Flex out of Westbrook, Bush, Hillis, K. Walter, or M. Bradley. According to that you would go with Westbrook & Hillis. You think that's my best bet in this situation? Thanks!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

If Bush plays, I'd go there over Hillis, but there's no word yet. Hillis is not likely to have a big game at the Jets, a team that hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher, or a TD to a RB since Week 4. But I could see 60 yards, maybe a score. Can Walter do that? Maybe.

Don (Hawaii)

Must win to make the playoffs! I need help please! Warner or Pennington and which 2 wr do I play Smith, R. Moss, Royal, Breaston or Avery...Thanks!! and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

No way I would sit Warner, even on the East coast. He's putting up stats every week, and will on Thursday. I don't know who Smith is, but if it's Steve of Carolina, go with him and Moss.

Mike (Portland)

Lordy, do I need help - I'm a Westbrook and Jacobs owner trying to hang on got a playoff spot. I've got Hightower, Buckhalter and Bradshaw, but that's not going to do it. Which is the best of the bottom of the barrel: Le'Ron Mclain, Fred Jackson, Jerome Harrison, Selvin Young, or BenJarvus Green-Ellis?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

I think both B-Wes and B-Jaco will play this week, but prepare by getting McClain. He should score against the Bengals. He's the only one you mention I'd use.

Scott (Richmond)

Who has the highest ceiling this week: LJ vs Forte and Ginn vs Ward? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I wouldn't sit Forte, and assuming Ward is Hines and not Derrick, I'd use Ward over Ginn. Everyone thinks Ginn has a monster game, which normally means he'll disappoint.

Eric ( Fort Lauderdale )

Eric, I'm torn between McFadden or Lendale White. So does White get more carries this week or is McFadden starting to earn a paycheck now? Help me!

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I think both will do well. I ranked McFadden better, because I'm kinda assuming he scores, but LenDale should get enough carries for a double digit day in Detroit as well. They're not going to just stop using LenDale.

Pollo (Bako, CA)

EK...I hate to be one "those guys," but on your flex rankings you have Welker then Colston. Sounds like you may have changed your mind. I'm struggling between those two and DJax. Can you give us some more insight?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I think it depends on what you need this week. I know that sounds odd, but on some teams, if Welker is the complimentary player and I just need 8 points, he's the call. Colston has more upside, the better matchup. It could go either way. I would probably play Welker under most circumstances, but this proves I don't always follow my ranks. It's an instinct game.


Eric, If you had to pick a Balt. RB, who would you choose? Would you like that Raven RB over K. Smith, S. Morris, Pierre, and Benson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I would choose McClain this week, and over all you mention. Watch McGahee get 20 carries. It's so annoying.

Frantic Philly Fan

If B. West is out can Booker be a legitimate starter?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

When the Iggles dealt for Lorenzo Booker, I really thought he'd play a role. But he hasn't. He's been awful, and inactive for a month. He's active now, and I don't expect anything. I think Westbrook HAS to play.

Craig (PA)

Can i ask a fantasy basketball question? Do you know if Jason Richardson will be back tonight and if he should be started?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

There's a chance he'll play tonight, and I would definitely activate him if he does play. There's really no way to know for sure. But Manu played, so I think J-Rich will!

Tom (Philly)

Hi Eric - What are your thoughts on Andray Blatche?s monster line last night? He's always had potential, but do you think he puts it all together with a new coach?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I've known Eddie Tapscott since he was the coach at American U, and I was writing for the school paper, in sports. It's great to see him get this chance. I don't think Blatche had a good game because there was a coaching change. I rarely believe that matters. But Blatche has so much ability, I almost view his apathetic first three weeks as a fluke. Keep an eye on Blatche, and congrats, Eddie...

Ellery (Queens)

I'll tell you why people hate on MJD: They play in sophisticated leagues, not ones that merely add up points. Ours has a separate category for RB yardage, and points are only one of seven categories. In this setup, MJD has been a disappointment. What did he have last week, two yards rushing?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

You're joking, right? MJD has 11 rushing TDs. Only Michael Turner has more. That's unsophisticated? And it's not like he's the TD-vulture Jerome Bettis. He has 500 rushing yards. It always depends on what your league rules are, but 90 percent of people play standard scoring, so that's what we mostly discuss. If you're in a league that doesn't count TDs, then you're right, MJD stinks!

Heath (WI)

Love your flex rankings and according to them I should play Welker at flex before Hightower, Mewelde Moore, Colston and D. Ward. Does this change if Parker or Jacobs are out or since Arizona plans on running the ball more this week? My other starting WR is L. Moore.

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Those rankings don't mean you "should" do anything. Those are what I would do, when I ranked them. As we've already proven, my mind changes all the time! I would play Welker at flex over those players, no matter what Parker or Jacobs do. You know what you're going to get. Welker has been in double digits 3 straight weeks. I realize the Steelers aren't the Dolphins, but yay consistency.

Tom Turkey (Turkeyville, MI)

I am playing McNabb over Cutler and Cassel this week, Am I crazy!

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Not at all. I could see McNabb throw for 320 yards and 3 scores, or get pulled at halftime. It's the chance we all take.

Paul (KC)

Eric, my instinct is to play CJ and Addai this week, but I picked up LJ a couple weeks ago and his matchup (@OAK) is tempting. Your thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

If CJ is Chris Johnson of the Titans, I wouldn't play Larry Johnson. I am so sure CJ runs all over Detroit Thursday. It's so obvious. And Addai over LJ every time. Yeah, LJ might run well, but he got 7 carries last week. 7.

Roddy (Los Angeles)

What's up EK? Thoughts on Justin Gage? Should I start him vs Det tomorrow? Also, why are you so down on TJ vs Denver? Is it the Leon Factor? Would you start Leon at flex over Gage even if you were a TJ owner?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I don't think the Titans will throw a ton on Thursday, so I didn't give Gage a great rank. I would start Leon over him. I think Thomas Jones is a very good play. I ranked him 12th. That's a starter, a No. 1 RB.

Jason (St Louis)

I noticed Cassel is ranked above Garcia by most people this week. Yet Garcia's matchup is MUCH more favorable. Do you think this is based mostly on Cassel's upside (that he has shown he has the last two weeks) or do people generally think Cassel is a safter option?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I think we're all not ready to totally jump off the Cassel bandwagon just because of the matchup. Yeah, it's tougher. But can he get 2 scores and 200 yards? Yes, he can. Can Garcia do this? Yes, he can. I think the Bucs will run very well.

Ryan (New Rock, NY)

Hey EK, has Chris Johnson hit the wall? Does he deserve to start over Dunn or Forte?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

The only wall he's hitting is opposing defenses stacking 9 in the box and making Collins throw. Won't happen Thursday. Lions aren't smart enough. Think they watch tape? Johnson goes off. Then again, so do Dunn and Forte this week. I'd still play Johnson over both. Risky, but huge upside. I could see him running for 140 yards.

Scott (spokane)

Okay, you HAVE to set your lineup RIGHT NOW, with what you know today.... who sits; Forte, DeAngelo W., Jacobs, Moss, T.O., A. Johnson.

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

You see, that question I like. Because tomorrow, I might change my mind. TODAY, I rank them Forte, DeAngelo, T.O., Johnson, Moss (Randy?) and then Jacobs. Sorry, can't take the likely chance Jacobs sits. On Sunday morning, I still might not.

Anthony (NJ)

Eric, is it crazy to trade Westbrook for D. Ward? I'm thinking a healthy Ward in a timeshare is better than a banged up Westbrook on a team that might rest their franchise player down the stretch. Plus, the Giants might rest Jacobs more, right? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Not at all crazy. If the Eagles lose Thursday, that could be it for both B-West and Donnie... not joking, either.

Che (Texas)

I have LT and am still waiting for that LT-esque game. I need to play two RB. Do I play LT and Forte or Forte and Chris Johnson? Also, Lance Moore over Berrian? Thanks Mr. Karabell. Happy Thanksgiving.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

That is a tough one. I think C.Johnson has a big game. I just do. Not bigger than LT according to my ranks, but big. I'd play LT and CJ. And definitely Moore over Berrian, to me.

Antonio(miami, FL)

WR Help!!!Pick 2 of these: TJ Housh,berrian,Bruce, curtis & chambers

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I'd say Housh and Berrian, but barely. I also think Curtis and McNabb hook up for some numbers.

Eric (DC)

Bball time! Need a backup center: Vanilla Gorilla, Brook Lopez, or Blatche? Who's the best pickup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Ya know, Brook Lopez is getting double doubles now. I'd take him. This looks legit. And for those who didn't know, Gorilla is apparently Przybilla.

Mike (Dallas)

Eric, do you have a rule of thumb for "adjusting" your flex rankings in a PPR league? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Not really. Obviously bump up the Welker types, but it all depends on what kind of PPR league, too. I'm in a PPR league. I love owning Welker there. Nobody thought he'd do this again with Cassel.

Tim (Towson)

Why so high on Ted Ginn this week? He's been maddingly inconsistent ...

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I am and I'm not. I think he will score, since the Rams are so bad, but I don't think he doubles his production because Camarillo is done.

Glenn, Chicago

Happy Thanksgiving Eric! Which 2 out of the 3 should I start? Gore, DeAngelo or LJ considering Gore's stinker last week? I hate to say this but don't you think LJ might do better than Gore this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

It's certainly possible. I just think Gore can't be judged on this past week. And the Chiefs are throwing now, not giving LJ 20 carries.

Ari (Miami)

Play Gore or Turner this week? Made the WRONG decision last week . . .

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

THAT is painful. I didn't think Turner would be 35 points good either. But now, I can never sit him again.

Frank (Kansas)

Normally I use Lance Moore over McFadden, but McFadden has an easy matchup and Moore doesn't. Why did you put Moore ahead in you Flex Rankings?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Moore seems a good bet to score, and McFadden is still the backup to Fargas. But if I could do over again, they'd be closer in value. Moore has passed Colston, I'm convinced. Doesn't mean he'll outscore him every week, but most.

Gianna (bahamas)

i see u on TV EK. ............Jamal Lewis always has good matchups but can never break 80yd mark........ i drafted him in the 2nd round, i expected so much more. is he a good fantasy bet for this week? other other might be gage, mewelde moore, breaston?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

I know, isn't that amazing I can be on TV and do a chat at the same time! Versatility! I'd play Lewis. One of these days he'll get 100 yards, and I don't think the options you note will do better.

Bruce (NJ)

Happy Thanksgivng EK. PPR flex help- need to pick on flex and 1WR from Ronnie Brown, Colston, Evans, and Braylon.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Brown has to play. We project him as the highest scoring RB, and I can't argue it. And then Evans. But that's just me.

Vargas (Bizzaro World)

Is there any value left in Fargas with McTurftoe healthy again? I need to flex he or Berrian this week in a must win. Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Fargas is going for 100 this week vs. KC. I'd play him over Berrian and McFadden.

Buzzer beater

If Jacobs doesn't play, who would you start Ward or Arrington (i get 1pt/10 ret yards)? Also, who's your QB - Cassel, Thiggy, or Ryan?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Definitely Ward over Arrington. And that's even if Jacobs plays. And I probably had Ryan and Thigpen in my top 10. I'd go Ryan now.

Fran (NH)

As of this second, who's gonna be better at flex: Ginn, Hillis or D. Jackson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)


Alon (Brooklyn)

Hi Eric. Is D Anderson a good pick up at this point for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Cleveland's Derek? I don't think so. Not with Indy, Tenn and Philly up...

Mike (Milpitas, CA)

well there you have say Brown is projected as the highest RB, and you can't sit Turner ever that means Westbrook, Slaton & Forte are sitting for me...right???

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Yeah, if you have those 5 in a 5-team league, I'd say so!

Derrick (FL)

Buzzer beater!!! Flex spot in a PPR, Slaton or Marshall?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)


Karl (Chicago)

Happy Thanksgiving Eric! How about a baseball question to end up? Better keeper for next year, Ellsbury or Bruce?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Baseball! OH HOW I MISS YOU! For the 50 steals, I have to say Ellsbury. Bruce going 25-90 isn't bigger than 50 steals.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

And that is all the time I have been given... this was fun. Thanks for the questions and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!