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November 11, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello all and welcome to another fantasy football chat session.... nine weeks down and still a lot to go in the season, so let's get right in there and answer your questions.... And a special thanks to all veterans out there on this special day....

Jeff (Boston)

I am early to get a good seat for the best chat. Trade Advice!?!?!? Give Sims-Walker, get R. Mendenhall? My RBs are Chris Johnson, R. Grant, K. Moreno and have R. Moss, MSW, D. Bowe, Crabtree and H. Nicks. I am worried about Grant's schedule. Thanks for your help!

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Yeah, I guess at this point we'd have to recommend Mendenhall over Sims-Walker, right? The Steelers do have a nice schedule and there's no sign of Willie Parker. I'm getting grief for ranking Sims-Walker so well this week. I will say this... for depth purposes you probably need Sims-Walker more.

Rob (The RIC)

Fill in RB needed (digging deep here)- should I use Betts, Shonn Green or Kolby Smith

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I don't think Ladell Betts is digging too deep, since he is likely to start with Clinton Portis out. I don't think Betts is going to do very much, but at least he should get touches. Can't say Green or Smith will.

Ian (Boston)

So I need a flex player for this week... Hester, LT, Kevin Smith or Mike Sims-Walker?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I would think when I do the flex rankings for Thursday that Sims-Walker is going to rank the best, but certainly Smith and LT will be in the neighborhood.

Angelo (Illinois)

Matt Schaub is on a bye week. I have Jason Campbell and Vince Young. I know!! Who should it be?!?!

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Ugh. That is tough. I'd say Young over Campbell. Young has been in double digits both weeks he's started, and it's not like the Bills are a special defense. Campbell just hasn't done very much.

Peter (Springfield)

Romo or Warner from here on out? Warner has a easy schedule coming up

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Close one... Warner does have a nice schedule, but Romo has played better overall for the past month. I'd say Warner, barely.

Ryan (Denver)

I fail to understand how Kevin Smith, going against Minnesota, can be raked as a better player than Jamaal Charles against Oakland. Please explain.

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Easy. Charles got only six carries in Week 9. I think he'll get more, but we don't know. That's precisely how. Plus, Smith did rush for 83 yards the last time he played the Vikings.

Dan (Ann Arbor)

Are you buying the resurgent Titans Defense? They go up against the lowly Bills and Trent Edwards who hasn't played in a month. Good sleeper start this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I think so, but only because it's tough to have confidence in Trent Edwards. The Titans are playing better, and there was nowhere to go but up.

Joel (Roscommon MI)

EK, I have been burned by Meacham before but has he finally turned the corner to fantasy relevance ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I don't think we can say any Saints WR other than Colston is totally relevant in smaller leagues. Meachem and Devery Henderson are pretty inconsistent, after all, but in deeper formats they get played more.

Anthony (Cali)

would you rather have Hester or Steve Smith (Car) as your WR2 in a PPR (with Wayne)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I would rather have Smith, but that doesn't mean I think he's a notable great play the rest of the season. He has just as much potential as Hester to have a big game, I suppose. Hester has definitely been better for the past month, but he hasn't had monster games.

Frank (Omaha, NE)

Eric, with this possibly being LT's "farewell tour", how much is Darren Sproles' upside compromised (barring injury)? I love Darren, but my team is struggling and I wonder if I should move him for someone who may have better upside; what do you think?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I don't see the Chargers in any hurry - though they should be - to give Sproles more touches. It's like everyone realizes Tomlinson is looking old and slow except the Chargers. If you can still move LT for something good, do so.

Jeremy (Detroit)

roll with Mendenhall at 1:00 or risk it with McCoy at 4:05?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Who cares what time the game is? Mendenhall is the better choice from now on, whether Westbrook plays or not.

Phillie Phanatic (Philadelphia)

Hi Eric, can you please weigh in on this trade? I give Megatron/Bradshaw and get Addai/Houshmenzadah? (It took me 45 minutes to type this...you know, because of my big green furry fingers and all...so I'm hoping you'll respond).

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Hello there! I really like the trade for you. Megatron and Bradshaw have been held back by injuries.. .Addai has managed to remain consistently productive. Go for it! Go Phillies!

Steve (ND)

What doe's a person do when they have MJD, S-Jax and R Rice but can only play two? Got Rice off the WW early on, and now with the bye weeks complete? Trading would only strenghten an oppenent, plus I feel I'm good at the other positions.

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

No harm in keeping all those guys. You're right, some people feel like they have to move a player or else they are wasting him... but why help someone else? Unless of course you get a really great deal. I think you have to play MJD and Rice at this point, no?

John (NJ)

Would you trade J.Stewart for Larry Johnson in anticipation of LJ signing with another team?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

No. I do think Johnson will find work, but Stewart is a better player. I'd keep him.

i wont rub your face in the yankees (San Jose, Ca)

If Westy sits this week, is McCoy against SD a better start than Marion vs. GB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Ha... the better team won, and I can take it. I'm objective, too. Anyway, Barber is the better play than both Eagles running backs. He should be fine against the Packers.

Mike (NY NY)

EK - does Flacco rebound and put up good fantasy #s this week against Cleveland, or are they so bad that he will barely have to throw (like Favre v. Detroit)? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I don't think Flacco really needs to rebound from anything. He's still playing well, but as long as the team wins, it doesn't matter. It's Rice's team now. Flacco should have a decent game in the teens.

joey (san diego)

am i giving up too much to package matt ryan and tony gonzalez for kurt warner? (.5ppr league and 1 pt for every 7 yds for tight ends). i currently have brent celek as flex and megatron on the bench.

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Well, Warner hasn't had a great season, but certainly Ryan has not been worth using at all. And you have another TE to use. Sounds fair to me.

Kevin (Maryland)

Is Matt Forte going to pull it together and finish the season strong in spite of his tough schedule, or continue to struggle and ruin my Fantasy Football season? Can you please predict the future for me, or at least give me your learned opinion. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Sorry, but I see more of the same from him. I don't see how he's going to get consistently better... maybe a good game here or there, but we all underestimated the affect Cutler would have.

Matt (Lincroft, NJ)

Is Reggie Bush the better play than Marion Barber and LDT in a PPR league that also rewards Return Yards? Will he be getting the mop up duty carries and a ton of punt return yards? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

It's hard to expect a whole lot of Reggie Bush, even in a PPR league at this point. I'd use Barber.

Ben (OR)

Assume Westbrook is out. Do you like McCoy or Maroney this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Maroney. He's not a great player, but he is getting their rushing touchdowns while Sammy Morris is out. I think McNabb throws this week... McCoy would certainly move up in my rankings, but not into the top-20 RBs.

Randy (New Mexico)

Whats up with Dwayne Bowe, still a decent start?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I don't think he's a bad start, or that he's affected very much by the presence of Chris Chambers. He didn't make my top-20.

Halladay (Philadelphia)

Any advice on where to live in the greater Philadelphia area?While I have you which 2 wr do you start this weekend, megatron, bowe and edwards?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Awesome! Yeah, I would like to see Halladay pitch on a more regular basis... anywhere on the Main Line, Roy. Anyway, Megatron and Edwards were my choices...

Jeff (Seattle)

Ethics question. Would you ever change the rules/playoff structure of a league 9 weeks into the season? I have a 2 teams complaining that they just now noticed the rules and they are miffed and want me to include all 8 teams in the playoffs instead of the 6 that we decided on.

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I would never change the rules 9 weeks into a season. If they want to make the playoffs, win more games...rules are established in August for a reason...

Brownie (Shanty Dorms)

OK, so if you would start Braylon over Bowe, you starting Boldin over Bowe too?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Assuming he plays, absolutely.

Patrick (Toronto)

Will Peyton play in weeks 16/17? What's a fantasy owner to do for playoffs? Trade down?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I don't trade Manning or Favre based on this potential problem, but always make sure you have a backup for those weeks. Alex Smith, for example, has decent matchups in Dec/Jan.

Joe (Cleveland)

You aren't worried about MSW on the road (where garrard has struggled, to put it nicely) versus the Jets D off a bye, and Revis in particular? Thinking about Meachem instead... crazy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I know why people wouldn't use Sims-Walker, but I've decided I would. For better or worse. At some point Garrard has to play a decent road game... or at least a competitive one. But even if you don't like MSW here, Meachem really?

Tom (Florida)

I have the top scoring team by a good margin but am in last place. Talk me off the ledge and explain to me why I should even play this stupid game again.

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

The game is meant to be fun... bad luck doesn't always even out, but keep on fighting and hope for the best. I have a team like that as well.. no point getting angry about it!

Ron (Atlanta)

Hey Eric, your colleague Matthew Berry has KC as the 4th best defense for the week? Worth a pickup over San Diego or was this a typo????

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

There are no typos in the rankings. I see why he did it, since JaMarcus Russell is so awful. Plus, the Chargers face a decent Eagles offense. I had the Chiefs ranked a bit better...but only for this week.

Doug (KCMO)

I'm with you on Sims-Walker, every time I sit him he scores.

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Hey, I realize most people don't agree with me... it's your teams! I just think a player like him, with weeks like he's been having, is almost matchup-proof.

James (PA)

Is it a risk to play Favre? He doesn't throw against bad teams.

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Wow, amazing that someone else noticed. Favre-lovers refuse to see this trend. He doesn't have to throw a lot against the Lions. We'll see. I think he can still throw two touchdowns in the first half.

Clint (New Hampshire)

What you think about starting Donnie Avery? They'll be playing from behind, they had 2 weeks to rest up and he's a speedster playing in a dome??

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Haven't the Rams been playing from behind pretty much every week? I'd be cautious who I play him over.

Pod Vader (Death Star)

Download the podcast, download the podcast. Who should I start this week in my other man league Breaston or Bowe?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Pod. Btw, I am scheduled to host the Fantasy Focus podcast Thursday with Tristan Cockcroft... I'd use Bowe, assuming Boldin plays.

Nick (Kansas City)

Derrick Mason has has a dream matchup, would it be a good idea to start him over Megatron?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I wouldn't. The Ravens have been more of a running team since the bye week, and Ray Rice has been up to the challenge. Megatron is a special player...one of these weeks he'll show it.

JoJo (Tampa)

Do you see Cutler having a good or great game tomorrow? Also in a different league would you play Stafford or Quinn (both suck I know)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I think Cutler gets into the teens for scoring. And I'd use Stafford. The Vikings can be thrown on, after all.

Alex the Centaur (New York)

Hey, there's a game tomorrow! I see that you ranked Gore the lowest of anyone this week -- are you expecting a down game since Tommie Harris will probably play more than he did against Arizona?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I'm not expecting a down game at all.. there were just 11 running backs I liked more. The top-15 RBs or so are pretty deep.

John (Grand Rapids, MI)

Do you see any value for Brandon Jacobs going forward? Do you think he comes back after the bye week and actually helps some of our ffl teams? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

He'll be fine. If he had just a few more TDs nobody would be unhappy with him, and some of that has been bad luck.

Grateful (Thank you Vets, IA)

Mason,Collie,MSW and Collie. Who rides the pine??

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Collie rides it... both times.

Bobby (Milwaukee)

Eric, I saw you ranked Megatron significantly higher than Hester this week. What gives? I wanted to start Hester over him because he has been hot for the last month and Calvin has done nothing of significance lately. Am I crazy to bench CJ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Why would my ranking of Calvin Johnson dissuade you? It's your team and no, you would not be crazy. I just think at some point, maybe this week, we'll see Megatron go off.

Bubby Hillbilly (Alabama)

Give me your top pick for next years draft. Im tryin to get a head start b/c im out this year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I think as of now I would go Peterson, Chris Johnson and then MJD.

Rusty Griswald (Missoula)

You're answering tons of "rank my players" questions contrary to your "rules" Karabell. How about one that's within your guidelines.I'm in a 3 WR PPR + Flex and currently deploy Housh, Tron, and Ocho.I've been offered B Marshall and A SMith for Favre and a defense. McNabb is my other QB and Smith has some tasty playoff matchups, but I'm not sold on the guy. Your thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I can only answer the questions I see.... and there are no rules. I'd never set rules. I would prefer to get questions that haven't been answered by the rankings, but these chats are for you guys after all... Anyway, I am not sold on Smith either, but if you're going to use McNabb anyway, then do you need Favre? Favre has a great schedule in December. It would be nice to acquire Marshall though. I'd play him over Housh all the time.

Joe (Tx)

Have I made you smile at least once at my stupid questions?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I am always smiling... trust me...

Bill (Bellingham)

Would a smart owner trade for all great match-ups for week 14 if that's the first round of your playoffs? Or just ride his/her studs into the sunset?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

The problem with that is that some seemingly great matchups don't always turn out that way. I mean, a few weeks ago the Titans couldn't stop anyone. Now they look OK. Ride what you've got unless you can improve it overall.

Tom D (Philly)

Who do you want the Phillies to sign to play 3rd Base for next season? I am really hoping or Figgins.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

It won't be Figgins. Too much money. It might be Beltre. I have a feeling they will come back to Feliz at some point. Defense matters...

David (Despairing over an answer)

Roster locks Saturday, need to decide soon. Drop Eagles DST for Broncos, or maybe Dolphins? Drop Collie for Mike Wallace? Scoring only league, so I need big play roster spots.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I'd keep the Eagles defense around... and Wallace over Collie, it's close. I'd say Collie.

Roger (San Francisco)

Is it Crazy to start Chambers over Rice this week? Per your comments about Favre NOT throwing and Oakland is TERRIBLE!

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I'd start Rice ... I ranked him like 20 spots better.

MATT (CA)

Is L. Maroney the guy the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

No, I think Sammy Morris will still get chances when he's healthy. And who knows, the Pats could sign Larry Johnson.

Aaron (CT)

Looking to trade Thomas Jones for a WR, who should I be aiming for? Top end like Andre Johnson, next level Marques Colston, or even lower Mike Sims-Walker.

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Always aim for the top, frankly. If the other owner says no, then work your way down. But never start out with a deal that doesn't benefit you.

Jim (NJ)

Who do you like better the rest of the way - Berrian, Collie, or Crabtree

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I think I can make the case for Crabtree...

Joe (DC)

Rashard Mendenhall for Desean Jackson. Fair swap?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

In a vaccuum, sure. But it always depends on what else you've got.

Wayne (Mass)

kevin smith or jamaal charles

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Until we see the Chiefs use Charles more, how can't we take Smith there?

Joel (Roscommon MI)

Crazy to deal Slaton for McCoy in a keeper league ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Not crazy, but I wouldn't do it. I still think Slaton will have good value at some point.

Trisha (Malvern, PA)

Hi Eric,Thinking about trading Forte for D. Clark. I use/rotate Forte as a flex with Boldin. Right now my TE is Keller. Good move?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Well, certainly Clark is a TE upgrade... and I'm not high on Forte the rest of the way. Sadly, yeah that makes sense.

Andrew (Seattle)

Does the short week limit Gore's upside Thurs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Not. One. Bit.

David (Minneapolis)

Will Jennings wind up in the top 10, or are those days over?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

The way he and Driver are playing, surely he's not going to make it this season.

John (Dallas, TX)

Hey Erik Someone just dropped Westy in our league, do you think we will ever see the old Westy or is he just a match up play once he comes back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Westbrook is more than a matchup play... he's worth it if he plays. Health is the main problem.

Michael (Milwaukee)

One ranker did not rank Boldin. is there a risk he doesnt play?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Sure, there is a risk. He did miss Week 9. I think he comes back angry...

michael Moore (Abingdon,MD)

Should I play Derrick Mason or Steve Smith (panthers) this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

It is your team. I would not.

Jason (Philly)

Jay cutler really seemed to be targeting olsen in the endzone sunday. i know two of them were in garbage time but do you think this will continue? where do you see him standing the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I'm really not reading too much into it, to be honest. The Bears saw something to exploit and took advantage of it. Other teams have to see that. Olson could be a top-10 TE from now on... but even then it's a question.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, thank you to everyone who submitted a question today, and for those who just read the chat wrap afterward. Have fun with fantasy football and enjoy the ride. Good luck in Week 10 and again, Happy Veterans Day ...