Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 18, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello everyone and welcome to another fantasy football chat session. I am Eric. Thanks for joining me today... I will get to as many questions as possible... so let's get going...

Adam (Chicago)

Hey Eric, how much does Brandon Marshall's value drop if Orton can't play? Megatron over him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I think Marshall's value drops quite a bit if Orton cannot play, which is why my Marshall ranking looks out of place for this week. I don't really know if Orton will play or not, but I obviously hedged a bit. That's how bad Chris Simms looked!

Jonathan (Tulsa)

Happy Hump Day, EK. Any insight on why Frank Gore is rated so low this week? Am I better off with Gore, Forte, or Pierre Thomas?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Well, Gore faces the Green Bay Packers, the No. 3 ranked team for fantasy against running backs, but I still ranked Gore pretty well, I thought, at 12. In a week with no byes, that's not bad. Gore might not rush for 100 yards, but he should be start worthy.

Felix (FL)

So where does Chris Chambers fall in the order of WR's now that Bowe is out? Top 25? Who is better and who is worse for example?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I didn't move Chambers up very much upon hearing the Bowe news, to be honest. He's still ... Chris Chambers. It's still the Chiefs. And they still face the Steelers this week. I ranked Chambers 30 at WR this week, which I think for him is pretty good.

Chipp (NJ)

Hey Eric, what do you think of starting McCoy over Pierre Thomas this week in a PPR? My other starting RB is Thomas Jones...

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I would start Thomas over McCoy, because I view him as a possible top-10 guy, and he has a glorious matchup. McCoy's matchup isn't as grand. Both are going to be started in many leagues, and it has no bearing that T.Jones is your other RB. Even in PPR I would still go Thomas.

Jon (NJ)

Your thoughts on Roddy White this week and the impact of the Turner injury and facing the Giants on their turf?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

If the Giants continue to play terrible defense then I don't think it matters very much, but I'm guessing coming off the bye the Falcons are going to struggle some. I could still see White making a big play or two and being worth it, but I really backed off Matt Ryan and Snelling.

Matt (Mpls)

Can you talk about Beanie Wells a little? I want to start him over Kevin Smith this wknd, but the rankings suggest otherwise. Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Why worry one bit about the rankings? If you want to start Wells, go for it. I happen to think Smith is in for a nice game, and he's not sharing carries, plus he's more established than Wells. But I ranked Wells as a nice flex.

Backup Lotto (The Bench)

Unbelievably, I have Snelling, B. Scott, Larry Johnson, Mike Bell, Moats, Greene, and Forsett. I need to start one as my Flex this week and need to cut one before Friday. Who's the best start and who's the safest to cut? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

What a mess that is. I'd say there's no real reason to rely on B.Scott. I did not rank Benson, but I don't think Scott would be a great play regardless. I think Snelling probably had the best rank for me, but it's obviously dependent on whether Turner plays. We know Forsett will get touches. I might move him up Friday.

Matt (the Dirty Dirty)

I'm a little frustrated with Greg Jennings consistently underperforming. Does he break through this week or am I better off benching him for a guy with a weak matchup like Hakeem Nicks or Mike Wallace?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

I think a lot of people are frustrated with Jennings, but still, he's a better play than Nicks or Wallace. It doesn't mean those guys can't put up numbers, but I still play my best options.

K (philly)

19th for Desean? say it aint so EK. Or at least explain why.

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Look at his numbers. He's got 11 points in two weeks. I expect he can do better against the Bears, but bottom line is I just liked 18 wide receivers more. There were no jokes in my top-20. Even B.Marshall and Houshmandzadeh didn't make it in.

Nathan (MN)

Need to start one-Lynch, Stewart, or Lewis? you ranked Lewis at 40, they are so bad he can't do anything vs the Lions?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Well yeah, I think the Browns are so bad that I don't want any part of any of their players. Jamal Lewis has yet to score this season. I realize the Lions are bad, but do you have confidence the Browns will score? Ever? I'd go Lynch.

Daniel (SF)

Trade Matt Ryan and Anquan Boldin for Matt Schaub and Chris Chambers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Not a big Matt Ryan fan the way he's been turning the ball over, and unlike Jay Cutler, Ryan isn't getting enough fantasy points to make it worth while. I have to take the Schaub side. Best player in the deal, easily.

Eric (CO)

Since this is a fantasy sports chat, baseball question...Would you rather protect Javier Vasquez or Josh Hamilton in round 3 next year? I'm already protecting 4 other hitters and no starters.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Yes, let's get some baseball questions in here... I'm serious! Oh how I miss baseball. Protect Vazquez. I thought Hamilton would be able to stay healthy, and he proved he couldn't. Also, he didn't hit right-handed pitching at all. Neither of these guys should be top-30 players on draft day, but Vazquez is closer.

Tom (Miami)

Just lost Ronnie as my 2rb, would you trade Miles Austin for Hightower or Ricky Williams in PPR league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

I would trade Austin for Ricky, yes. Even before Brown got hurt, Williams was No. 10 for fantasy scoring at running back. Most people don't realize that. Austin's done very little the past two weeks. Defenses always figure things out, don't they? I haven't ranked Austin in the top-10 WRs for a few weeks now, and certainly not this week.

dick (nh)

Palmer has been on my bench all tear. Is this a good week to start him over Rodgers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Nope. I'd still go Rodgers. Palmer does have a nice matchup, but Rodgers is still the best player in fantasy right now, for total points. It's not an opinion, he's No. 1. I don't see how I'd ever bench him.

Mike (State College)

Hey EK. Everyone has Slaton ranked behind McCoy and Betts even though it looks like he might have the best matchup. Could you please explain you thoughts on this? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Two words: Ryan Moats. The Texans are a RB timeshare, as far as we know. Slaton does have a nice matchup... but he might not even get 10 touches. Too risky. I'd go McCoy.

Seb (NYC)

Doesn't Steve Breaston's week in-week out consistency merit a higher ranking than the low to mid 30s? What's your take on starting him over Knowshon or Ladell Betts at flex this weekend?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I like Breaston some, but when I sit down to rank the flex top 100 I'm guessing a top-25 RB will always top a top-25 WR... and Breaston isn't a top-25 WR. He is in the 30s.

John (Auburn, ma)

back to the palmer question any chance you play him over mcnabb vs the monster of the midway?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Yes, I believe I did rank Palmer over McNabb... it was close. When it's one guy 9 and the other 10, just go with your gut. It's not like it's obvious anyway.

Brian (ATL)

If Bernard Scott plays would you start him over Ladell Betts and or Maroney?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

He's going to play, but the question is whether Ced Benson will play. My take is I would still want Betts and Maroney over Scott regardless of how many touches he gets. Maroney isn't great, but he does get the Pats goal line TDs.

Chuck (NYC)

do you have a problem with starting Hester and Olsen when your other options are Kevin Walter and Heath Miller? thanks man...

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Not a problem at all. I don't see why everyone assumes Walter is just gonna step up and be a star. He's not had a good season, and Jacoby Jones is outplaying him. And Olsen should be in for a nice week against Philly's linebackers.

Kevin (Wisconsin)

Is it too much to ask for a little more consistency with Deshaun Jackson? He is the biggest hit or miss player it seems as he either is scoring 30+ points or nothing...what gives?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

You're speaking of the entire Philly offense, Kevin. Look at McNabb ... could be 20 points this week, or 10. Nobody knows.

Brian (Cal)

Who do you like more the rest of the way Kevin Smith or LT2?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

It's dependent on matchups, really. I have Smith better this week. Some weeks I might not.

Arn (New Orleans)

Eric, Why Steve Smith North over Housh this week? If Winfield locks down on Burleson then Housh should have a great game. Just want your rationale even though Smith is only two spots higher.

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I think Eli and the Giants are going to break out offensively, and while the Vikings can be thrown on, let's remember they really rush the passer, and Hasselbeck has been inconsistent. I could go either way on these WRs... I just like Smith better. Go with your gut.

Alex (ATL)

Is MSW a must start from now until the end of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I don't know about must start for Mike Sims-Walker... he could get hurt, David Garrard could get hurt ... but the schedule is certainly appealing enough that I would think MSW is going to be near my top-10 WRs consistently. I had him there last week, even though it was against the Jets, as well.

Marcie (Seattle)

I need 2 running backs out of this group ray rice, deangelo williams, and pierre thomas?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Nice depth there. I'd say Thomas misses the cut... how can anyone ever sit Rice or DeAngelo?

Tim (Jacksonville, FL)

Are you biased against Kevin Smith? He should have a HUGE game against the Browns!!!! Im sorry, how is Gore a better play against a great Packers run d?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I did rank them 12 and 13. Smith hasn't had a huge game in how many weeks? Months? I like him this week. I realize the Packers have been strong against the run, but don't say great. Also, look at the RBs they have faced. Smith and Gore should both be good enough to use as RB2 options... but you can't convince me Smith should have a HUGE game... Ray Rice didn't get 100 yards.

Lisa (Long Beach (CA))

Hi Eric - with the coaching changes in Buffalo. Do you have any insight on what will happen with Lynch / Jackson ball carries going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Nope, not one bit. I'd guess this won't hurt Lynch's touches at all, though. Nobody's blaming the tean's plight on him...

Mike (SF)

Eric, I need you on this one! I trade Cutler and Ocho for Favre and Driver in a PPR? Cutler is killing me and I have no back-up

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Cutler is not killing you. He's the No. 12 QB for the season, and he was top 10 until the last game. He's had a few bad games. People are overrating the depths of his poor play. I'd prefer Favre, yes, but Ocho over Driver... so it's close. I'd probably stick with killer Cutler's side of the deal, really.

Hilda (Sweden)

Please clarify why you do not like Scott vs Oak if Benson loks not to play. Bit confused. Phils 7 to 1 to win the World Series next Year. Good Bet?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

What has Scott proven? That's my only concern, really. And I do like the Phils in 2010 of course!

Jeff (Baltimore)

Any new developments in the Darren McFadden Fargas Bush split? I need to hear some good news about McFadden now that Ronnie is out for what looks to be a bit. Thanks EK.

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I have no good news coming from Oakland... I think Fargas would be the guy I'd play if I had to choose among the three... It would be tough to go with McFadden at this point until we see him getting enough reps.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

EK: I never thought I'd see a day when Jason Witten was projected to net a mere four points. I have to start Shiancoe over him this week I suppose. Do you feel JW be relevant at all this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

We're not trying to be mean to Witten, but the numbers don't lie. He's not doing much. I did like how active he was in the Philly game a few weeks back, but still... I could make the case for Schiancoe this week. I think they were 9-10 in my ranks.

John (Toledo)

Given what we know as of today, which RB would you rather have on your roster going forward...Charles or Forsett?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Charles. I think Forsett can become more in demand if the Seahawks give some clue that they like him more than Julius Jones... but as of now, I like Charles more. Job is his.

Adam (Chicago)

Do you believe in Gibson, the WR for the Rams? I've heard both sides

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I don't believe in Bulger or that passing offense. I believe in Steven Jackson though. Gibson seems like a reach to me ... I mean, we can't even count on Donnie Avery.

Alex (Tampa)

Top 2 For this week out of: V. Jackson, Boldin, R. Moss

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I realize Moss has the brutal Reavis matchup, but Sims-Walker managed to score (against someone else), so maybe Moss can. I'd sit Boldin here...

Dan (Pittsburgh)

I got offered Addai for Tomlinson. Should I take Addai? I am not sure about his injury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

He's going to be able to play through it, I believe. Addai or LT... I'd probably go Addai the rest of the season.

Peter (Springfield,MA)

Romo or McNabb for the rest of the year. McNabb seems to have a better schedule going foward.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

McNabb absolutely does. Be careful of Cowboys the rest of the way... plus, the Giants are going to get hot and win that division with a 9-7 record... the vaunted NFC East! Right!

Lou (Long Island)

You write the "Relief Efforts" column during baseball season....Do you think Donald Brown becomes an effective "closer" for the Colts come fantasy playoff time if they lock up an early playoff seed? If so, who has more value rest of season: Brown or McCoy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Yes I do! And I really enjoy writing it. As for Brown, I think his workload will increase the rest of the way, but I don't see the Colts merely using him when they clinch things. They want him and Addai healthy. It's probably a lot of Chad Simpson in Weeks 16 and 17! Get him now! I think I have to take McCoy over Brown knowing what we do about Westbrook,

frank (philly)

rest of the season..Lynch or Jamaal Cahrles?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Lynch. But I am willing to be convinced otherwise...

Bob (Philly)

How concerned are you about westbrooks future for this season/career

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Very. In a way it's selfish to ask him to play again this season... we should be far more concerned about his life. I think he will play again in December.

Scott (ATL)

Hey EK, thanks for all of that knowledge you share with us from your noggin. I'm in a standard league and pushing for a playoff spot. Who do I play this week from: Thomas Jones, LT, Mendenhall, Slaton, Steve North, Steve South, Driver, or Welker? Need 5. Thanks again for all you do.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Wow... lot of options there. I'd say Jones and Mendenhall are in. You named my Nos. 9, 11, 12 and 13 WRs... so flip a coin there. I'd go Driver and LT and then Carolina Smith...

Bob (Philly)

First question I got answered all season...thanks EK!

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

We're here for you guys ... and gals!

Pete (SF)

Eric, your boy Cockcroft thinks Benson's a must-play against the Raiders if they say he's a go, even if he's limited, plays a half, etc. Do you agree? I really need a win and could go Hightower/J Stewart/Maroney over him. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I should have ranked Benson, in retrospect. I usually do rank questionable players ... I'd say he's a definite RB2 if he plays.

Greg (Chicago)

Forte over/under 15 points against Philly? i'm a little hesitant to play him over my other options (Gore, Thomas, Mendenhall)

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

How could anyone take the over on Forte for 15 against anyone but maybe Detroit the way he's played... that said, Forte was my No. 17 RB... I'd rank him fourth among your options...

Ben (Ca)

Ricky williams on thursday or roll the dice with benson on sunday??

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Ricky. Benson might do better, but that's a pretty big might... Ricky's got the carries and he should do well.

Sean (FL)

Just in case you missed it answer my questions every session. Keep up the good work! (prob don't wanna post this though to make others mad) thanks again!

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Ooooh.... sorry... and thanks!

Nick (Toronto)

Who should I play in the flex: Welker, LT, or Smith NYG?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Well, who do YOU want to play? That's really the only thing that matters. I would probably play LT here... and RB2 normally beats a WR2 in my book for flex usability...

James (Boston)

What type of role will Jerious Norwood play if he returns this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I think he'll play a limited role, if he plays at all, but apparently a lot of people do like Norwood this week... I didn't rank him.

Tyler (Kansas)

In a 16 team league, I have schaub...and just lost orton. Do I trade austin for warner for the playoffs insurance?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Seems reasonable to me, assuming you have enough WR depth. But you didn't really "lose" Orton.. he might miss this week, but December remains viable.

JB (New York, NY)

Does Forte warrant RB1 status in a PPR league? He's been frustrating to own all year, but how can I sit/trade him if he's going to get 6-9 recs/game? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

He is obviously worth more in PPR formats because he does catch the ball. I don't know about RB1, but certainly he would be close. Just note the Bears' schedule does not get easy.

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Easy for Forte, I mean... for Cutler it kinda does...

Andrew (NYC)

MSW, Smith (CAR), Roddy - who do I trade, trying to play matchups with these guys is just not working

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Why trade any of them and help someone else out? I'd play the matchups. This week Smith misses out. Look, it's a risk no matter how you slice it. Keep all three around, unless it's a great offer, and go with your gut.

Matt (St. Louis)

Hester just hit the waiver wire. Who should I drop to pick him up, Berrian or Laverneous?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Hmmm... I would cut Coles, but it's not like Berrian has been so special. He does have the Favre factor, so maybe you can move him.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Why did you rank Ocho so high and why were the others so down on him this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

You'll have to read the "Called Out" article this week! Bottom line is the Raiders do have the awesome Asomugha... but don't expect him to mirror Ocho the entire game. Doesn't work that way in Oakland.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Massaquoi predicting out at 11 points. Looks like someone got a little trigger happy on the '1' key.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Talk to me when the Browns score...

Sidney Rice (Minneapolis, MN)

I thought I had the 'Favre Factor.'

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Oh, you do... easily over Berrian...

Dave (Cleveland)

Looking to target a stud RB for the playoff push. What type of value could I get from packaging Steve Smith (NYG) with a RB such as Bradshaw or Kevin Smith?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I don't think you're getting a stud RB for that, but best of luck. Hey, you never know until you try.

Over/under (nj)

2013, when we see a PPR ranking list from u guys?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Now that's funny... hey, I don't make the rules...

Andrew (Philly)

Fantasy MVP so far?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Wrote this last week... Aaron Rodgers is No. 1... and he wasn't a top-30 pick. But if Chris Johnson blows everyone away and wins the overall title by 20 points, which I think he will...then he's gonna be MVP...

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, thanks so much for all the questions... we just about broke the chat server with the thousands of questions today. Appreciate your time, and enjoy this sunny day and Week 11. .. Good luck...