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August 26, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to another fantasy chat session... baseball is still going on, and football is here as well... so let's go!

Sam (Boston)

Hey Eric.I'm not going to hold it against you, but Matt Wieters certainly hasn't lived up to your lofty expectations this year. I'm definitely not giving up as I own him in a keeper league, but what can we expect from him next season and beyond? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

I can't argue that. He's stunk, and there's really no good reason why. Wieters isn't walking and isn't hitting for power, a tough combination. I still think he'll be very good in 2010, though. Something like the 15-75 we expected this year.

aaron Bell (new york)

I have 8th pick in my 12 man fantasy football league. Do you think Slaton will be available in the second round by my pick?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

He shouldn't be, but every league is different so who knows what the exact order of picks will be. Slaton seems to be slipping in drafts because people expect him to lose goal line carries. Are you going to trust Chris Brown to steal carries? Slaton could be top-10 again. Don't risk him slipping to round two.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

EK: I've already drafted in one of my FFLs and am already working the trade market. I've moved Stafford for Berrian and Willie Parker for Jonathan Stewart. Just based on projections, how did I do so far?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I wouldn't even draft Stafford. He's a rookie QB on a bad team. Not sure I'd want a rookie QB on a good team. So getting Berrian, a double digit TD guy this season, for him is great. I'm not a big fan of Parker or Stewart, really. One guy doesn't score, the other can't stay healthy or accrue enough carries. But at least Parker is healthy for now.

Pete (Philly area)

Eric Young Jr. is available on our wire with 2B eligibility and I may want him for some late, cheap steals and runs. Quick name game between Ian Stewart (with a lot of home games left), Chris Davis, or Rick Porcello (if you think he'll be shut down or his starts will get more sporadic per Joba). Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

If you need the stolen bases, Young should get them. There's an opening in center field with Fowler on the DL, too. Stewart doesn't play enough; they can't sit Barmes with all his sudden power and Atkins has been OK. I don't trust Davis to hit as high as .250 in Septembe, and Porcello should be shut down.

Josh (Toronto)

Which of these bench RBs should I drop: Wells, Hightower, Mendenhall, or Mcgahee? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Well, try to keep them all if you can. Each could be very relevant in fantasy this season. McGahee probably has the least upside at this point, and everyone seems to love Ray Rice. I guess I'd cut him.

Nick (Bad News, VA)

Look out, Chris Davis is back! Is he a better play the rest of the year over Gordon Beckham?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

No. Beckham hits for power, can steal a base, and most importantly does not hurt you in batting average. He even helps you.

Justin (Valdosta)

Who goes first in a PPR league: Owens or Housh?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Owens. I don't know why everyone thinks TJ Houshmandzadeh is so safe in Seattle, with a brittle QB and awful running backs. Owens should get at least 75 catches, too.

Closers In Waiting (SD, Mil)

Who wins if Qualls and Hoffman are moved? Rauch? Weathers or Coffey?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I really doubt either will be moved at this point. Both will close for those teams next season. But if it were to happen I would think Jon Rauch stands to benefit. I mean, Brewers fans love Hoffman... he's not leaving.

Michael (Pittsburgh)

Is Julio Borbon Bonifacio or Crawford?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Good question. He's neither. He doesn't have the potential for 15 homers like Crawford, but he's not nearly as bad as Bonifacio. Borbon can get on base, he's lightning fast and he's in a great ballpark. I see him more like a Nyjer Morgan type who should hit for average and run an awful lot.

Rhys (st. louis)

Why is everyone so high on T.O. this year? He was on a much better offense last year and way underperformed. Do you take him over Dwayne Bowe?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Owens was in a better offense last year, but he's a terrific athlete who can overcome playing with Trent Edwards. Plus, he tends to be motivated for extra effort in his debut season with a new team. I don't expect monster numbers, but double digit TDs and good yards. I rank him a bit ahead of Bowe; we still don't know for sure if Cassel is any better than Edwards, really.

James (Houston)

In a 2QB league, would you use the 4th pick on Bress, or play it safe with a top-4 RB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I would certainly think about a QB in a 2-QB format, but I don't know if I could pull the trigger that early. I mean, you're passing up an MJD or Forte to get a QB. I'd probably still wait, but take 2 QBs in the first 6 or 7 rounds.

Steve (Denver)

Thoughts on Coles this year in Cincy? Also, Over/Under Benson 1000 yards 5 TDs.

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Not a big fan of Laveranues Coles for this year. For one, Palmer is already hurt. Two, I think Chris Henry is passing Coles on the depth chart. I could see Coles catching 50 passes, but not scoring much. Benson should get 1,000 yards and TDs, so I take the over on both. He doesn't have to be particularly good, but he's their only guy.

Mark (Nashua, NH)

Do you think there's any chance Downs regains the closer role? Gaston seems to like the guy and done crazier things.

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I don't think it's crazy at all. Jason Frasor has been battling shoulder tendinitis, after all. Wouldn't surprise me if Downs gets a save this week. I expect Frasor to get the next save chance, though.

Mike (Indy)

What's the outlook for Johan next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I'm not real concerned about him. He's still in my top-10 pitchers for 2010. This is not a serious surgery that should set him back. I'd certainly drop him out of the top spot, where he went this season, but at the back of the top 10, sure.

Steve (Boston)

Eric I took both Fitzgerald and Boldin in my fantasy draft. Stupid or smart?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I wouldn't have done it, but both should be pretty productive this season. Fitzgerald scored half his touchdowns in the games Boldin missed last year, so that's something to think about. This is Arizona, where 2 WRs can easily coexist.

Steve (Chicago)

How long do you think Jamal Lewis lasts as the starter before James Davis passes him? Is Davis this year's Slaton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

No, I don't think so. I think Davis is going to be next in line, but Lewis is the starter and will get the chance for enough carries for another 1,000-yard season. Don't assume there's someone like what Slaton did every season...

Roy (Philly)

Why did you draft S. Smith over Greg Jennings????? I can't figure that one out EK......

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I don't see the problem. I view them pretty similarly, as double digit TD guys with a lot of catches and yards. Can flip a coin there.

Sean (Philly)

Is Edge going to be the starter in Seattle?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Word is Julius Jones isn't worried about losing his starting role, and who would doubt him? I think James is going to get plenty of carries when Jones struggles, which should be some time in Week 1. Let me preface: Neither of these guys are likely to help fantasy owners much.

John (NY)

EK - Which side would you prefer (non-ppr): Ryan Grant and Anthony Gonzalez, or Jonathan Stewart and T.O.?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Grant and Gonzalez is safer for now. I think each will do better than they did in 2008, and I think the opposite for Stewart. Grant can score more, that was just circumstance. And Gonzalez will emerge as a 1,000-yard guy for sure.

Eric (CO)

How would you rank McNabb, Ryan and Cutler? Also, as a Lynch owner, should I be in a rush to pick up Jackson who I hear WILL start week 1?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I rank them the way you wrote it. Cutler is third. And just because you own Lynch has nothing to do with using Jackson. Someone should use Jackson the first few weeks while Lynch is out, but if you can get a better RB for that slot, go for it. I don't think Jackson will be anything special.

Grant (Pittsburgh)

Who would you be more likely to start as a 3rd WR, Cotchery or Roy Williams? How do you think Dustin Keller will perform this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

While I am not a Williams fan, and don't think he will duplicate T.O. numbers, I'd still take him over Cotchery. That's a rookie QB there, not Tony Romo. Big difference. Keller is a sleeper of sorts, but you also don't have to take him over a 1,000-yard receiver.

Matt (Chicago)

Derrick Ward: Over/Under 1000yds 5 td's

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Over and over. I keep drafting him, which tells me I like him more than most.

Tim (Stl)

Kbell, are you ever gonna eat some crow after predicting J-roll as a 2nd half bust? Don't take this the wrong way cuz I think you are one of the better analysts at ESPN, but I just don't know how you can look at yourself in the mirror after predicting the great Philly Oracle's demise. Are you having trouble sleeping at night?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I sleep quite well at night, thank you. I love how people only point out the negative, but I don't mind posting and answering. Rollins is hitting .276 since the All-Star break, with a .298 on-base. If you call that a great second half, that's fine. He is hitting for more power, which I did not expect, but let's not call him a batting title contender.

Rob (NJ)

Start Matsui tonight vs. Holland?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Not sure the Yankees will start Matsui, so try to check the team's lineup and make a switch, but KI think anyone who is on his way to 30 homers and 90 RBIs is worth playing whenever his team does so.

Brian (SLC, UT)

Mark Sanchez: Over/Under 2500yds 20 td's

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I will take the over on yards, but under on TDs...

john (milwaukee)

Eric - please help explain something to me. If the report is true that Hoffman has been placed on waivers, why wouldn't any contender potentially want him in their bullpen? If the Milwaukee fans love him seems irrelevant- no?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

It's ultimately a business, yes, but I think the Brewers stand more to lose than just their closer if they deal him - i.e. the fans. Could be wrong, but what does it matter? Hoffman would close even if he gets traded. I don't think he will be. And most players are put on waivers so teams can see their worth. If some team offers a top prospect for Hoffman, then he could be moved.

Casey (Lake Mary, FL)

Why do these people keep asking about baseball? Its football season. J/k. Who would you rather have T.J. Whosyourmama or Wes Welker?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Whatever they ask, that's what I have to answer! I take Welker. Definitely.

Matt (Chicago)

Will Knowshon Moreno get the carries in Denver or will they waste them on scrubs like Buckhalter and Jordan? Just sayin'... those guys aren't that good and Moreno can run, catch and most surprisingly, block.

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I don't think the Broncos want to abuse the rookie, but certainly if he is running well he will get more chances to touch the ball than the others. Problem is Buckhalter is a good third-down back and Jordan is big at the goal line. So Moreno should get the yards, but I don't think he's starter worthy in fantasy yet.

Sean (Philly)

Lynch or Ward as your 3rd RB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Derrick Ward. If Lynch wasn't missing September, I would go with him. But he is.

Kyle (Canada)

Eric...great pace so far. who would you rather have: Marion Barber and Santonio Holmes or Calvin Johnson and Leon Washington?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Thanks.. .going as fast as I can here. I say the Barber-Holmes side. Who doesn't love Calvin Johnson, but I don't think we can count on Washington getting significant carries.

Robb (Milwaukee)

EK - Relief Efforts Expert -- Do you see Leo Nunez hanging on to the closer job for the rest of the year? Is it safe to drop Lindstrom? THANKS!

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I don't think it's safe to drop Lindstrom, but certainly it appears the Marlins are OK with the current arrangement.

Nate (NOLA)

Chances Kyle Orton ends the season with a better passer rating then Jay Cutler?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Ha! I think the chances are pretty even. I rank Cutler 13 and Orton 14, but certainly I can be convinced to switch the order. Opportunity is a beautiful thing, and Orton has it in a great offense and a bad defense that will present shootouts often. As for passer rating, not sure it's relevant. In fantasy points I see them at the same rate.

Butch (PA)

EK.......who is the better keeper? Laporta, C. Gonzales, or Snider?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I would say LaPorta, but I do think Snider is going to be a 25-85 guy probably next season. I just think LaPorta is further along and has a better chance to do that. And it's tough to know what to make of Gonzalez. Other than a recent home run streak, has he been impressive?

Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)

What kinda of year do you see Turner having this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I think we should expect Turner's production to drop some, just because it's hard to maintain the same pace as last year. The Falcons have a far different schedule as well. But Turner is a breakaway threat most of the time and I see him scoring 13 or 14 touchdowns and topping 1,500 yards. So he goes down a bit, but will still be good.

Kyle (Philly)

I am having difficulty understanding why WRs Smith, Boldin, White, Wayne are ranked higher than the better #2 RBs like Kevin Smith, Thomas and Grant. Help me understand the value in taking one of those WRs ahead of the 2 RBs. thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I think the main reason is because the top-end depth at wide receiver ends quickly, and there are a lot of middle of the road RBs you can still get later. It's about supply and demand. I like Pierre Thomas quite a bit, and Smith and Grant. It depends on who my first few picks were whether I would take them or a WR. But those WRs are pretty safe, too.

Nick (NJ)

Hey Eric- listen to this stat I just got from a friend: Carlos Pena has 96 hits this season. He has 37 HR's and 35 singles! Have you ever heard of a player going a full season with more HR's than any other hit??

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

It's actually happened a few times in the past decade, and certainly could again. It's a shame this guy can't hit even .250, but if he bashes 45 homers, can anyone really complain?

Dan (Chicago)

Neftili Feliz, future ace or lights out closer? He has been a huge asset the last few weeks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I don't see saves in his future. When you have an arm like this, you make him a starter. That's what Feliz has been in the minors. He's an ace in the making, but they aren't blowing out his arm this year.

Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)

EK- I got ray Ray Rice as my rb3 and Leon Washignton as my RB4 - Turner / Mcfadden as starters in a 16 team league, I am pysched, What do you think?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I think you are taking a risk. Turner is going to be fine, but the others could easily be in timeshares, and on the wrong end of them. I'd say you need a bit more certainty in your backfield after Turner, though there is upside here.

John (Philly)

Who replaces Lidge as the closer in Philly? They can't keep trotting him out there the way he is giving up saves can they?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Yes, they can. I think at some point soon Madson will get a chance, but watch out for Brett Myers.

Dylan (STL)

Will Ryan Franklin be this much of a stud next season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

If I was doing my top 10 relief pitchers for 2010, I would say he will not make the list. But will he be a stud again? Stranger things have happened...

Matt (Seattle)

EK, I love Leon Washington; do you? He led the NFL in all-purpose yards last year, and did you see him on MNF against Baltimore? He looked awesome - granted, it's preseason, but the Ravens were playing First-Teamers, and Washington had some impressive runs and receptions, including one for a TD.

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

I just don't think Washington is going to get enough carries to make a difference. Thomas Jones is still there and LED the AFC in rushing. Shonn Green is good enough to be his backup. Washington is more of a weapon doing multiple things for the Jets.

Dylan (STL)

How is he not in your top 10? Can you say ESPN bias? How much do they pay you guys to hate the Cardinals?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Yep, you guessed it. We're all biased. Come on!

Bobby (Chi)

Anything to be worried about with Pierre Thomas' knee strain?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Not yet. I think he'll be a very good fantasy option...

justin (atlanta)

yeah so everyone is talking about Turner and "370" and that he's gonna regress, but no one is talking about Norwood. obviously he needs the opportunity, but do you really see him doing anything should one present itself? thanks EK.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Not really. Norwood does what he does, but I think the Falcons will take some of Turner's carries and turn them into passes. Matt Ryan is ready. He's got Tony G and Roddy White... Norwood is a bigger factor as a change of pace back, and catching the ball.

Jayson (PA)

Nothing much on Billy Wagner to the Red Sox. What will his role be in Boston? I read the bullpen isn't too happy with the addition. Is J-Paps worried? Saito and Okie will still be there. Depth is always good, right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Papelbon does not need to worry one bit, but he might want to think about where he is pitching next season. Red Sox could bridge the Bard era with Wagner. Maybe that's why Pap didn't want Wagner there...

Roy (Philly)

Didn't AP go 363?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Yep, but nobody ever talks about that...

Xander (LA)

Number six pick and the usuals are taken: AP, MJD, Forte, Turner and D-Will. Who do you take?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

In a vaccuum, probably Steven Jackson and then Chris Johnson and LT.

brian (orlando)

Hi EK, Noone will answer this for me and I'm not sure why. Better the rest of the way, Bourn or N. Morgan? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Same player. Don't bother overthinking things.

Roy (st.louis)

From hear on out who do you take in order Cuddyer, A.Laroche, Soriano?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Probably the same order you wrote it. Might switch LaRoche over Cuddyer, but for now this is fine. Wouldn't shock me at all if Soriano is shut down this week.

Jay (MA)

Any chance E. Young sees enough time at 2B to qualify next year, or are the Rockies likely to play him exclusively in the OF due to the recent injuries?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I think if the Rox need to give Barmes a day off, which they don't, then Ian Stewart would play. Young is probably going to play CF and pinch run, and that's about it. Barmes is a gold glove caliber 2B, too. Even with a sub-.300 OBP, the 21 homers and great glove are enough.

Mike (VA)

Wow! Just saw Magglio is hitting 3rd today. Guess Detroit feels he has returned to prominence. Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Not really. They are facing a lefty, after all.

Gabe (NJ)

EK, please tell me why Cutler isnt in anyones top 10? he did throw for a billion yards last year. And I believe he made Royal - not the other way around

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Agreed that Cutler made Royal, but Cutler doesn't have anyone like Marshall or Royal in Chicago. And it's not a passing offense. Cutler is more talented than Orton, I think we'd all agree there, but considering the offenses and the statistics we expect, they are nearly even in fantasy.

Joe K (NY NY)

Do you still like Ward as much after Coach Morris said there will be a 2-2-1 split between the 3 RB's?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

It's still August, right? And I don't believe that will be the case. And even if it is, why can't Ward be better than that and steal more time.

Shane (Indiana)

Is Eric Young's speed so dominant that you have to take him in a keeper? He could have CF/2B eligibilities, and he's averaged 50 steals a year in the minors. Bourn as a 2B?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

No. I think Young will be good, but for now he doesn't have opportunity, and the Rockies should give him the 2B job, but we don't know he can steal 50 right away. Doing this in the minors is not the same as in the bigs. Can't call him Bourn yet, though I think he will be better than Bourn.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Would you say that in a 10-team league with 16 draft rounds that your first pick should be a RB even if you draft in the 8th through 19th slots?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

No. I take the best available player in that format. Might be a WR, depends on who is left.

Adam (Chicago)

EK, Palmer or Hasselbeck this season? I'm a little worried but it is what it is.

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I am worried that neither of them will be able to stay on the field enough. But I take Palmer.

Eric Young (Colorado)

Boy, you guys talk about me a lot!

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Yeah, why is that?

Dave (Chi-town)

EK, Earl Bennett, do you see him possibly being a sleeper?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

I have been naming him as a deep sleeper, but I don't think he's draftable in 10-team leagues.

Brian (IN)

EK, you said "Cutler doesn't have anyone like Marshall or Royal in Chicago". He didn't have anyone like Forte last year either, and Hester is very much like Royal. Why can't he do better than top 10?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

He can do better and make the top 10, but please don't call Hester, a converted defensive back, the same as Royal. Plus, the fact Cutler has Forte works both ways. They throw a LOT less in Chicago because they have a top back. Hey, we don't have to agree! You can take Cutler in the top 10 if you like!

Mike (DC)

With the Arizona Fall League rosters mostly set, does that mean we won't see those guys (Strasburg, Heyward, Posey, etc.) in 2009?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I don't think being in the AFL means you can't play with the big club in September... but I don't expect to see those three guys in the majors this year.

Butch (PA)

Why do you answer questions at a 10 times rate compared to the rest of the hosts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Because you demand it!

Tom (NJ)

Real quick. You buying Quentin for next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I think at this point it's fair to doubt Quentin and Hamilton as being healthy enough to hit like 2008 again. One good season and one bad each.

Dan (NYC)

Oh man, Ollie Perez is out for the year! What should I do?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

If you're a Mets fan? Party!

Ryan (Rochester NY)

Marshall...worth a 3rd or 4th round pick?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Not for me... something's wrong with that guy.

Josh (NC)

Do you think Aaron Rodgers will be a top 5 QB this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I do.

Ricky Vaughn (Albany NY)

Buzzer Beater! Who do you take 1st in a PPR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

MJD...

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

And I think that's all the time I have been given for today... phew, that was fun... OK, have a great day and look for more chats tomorrow.