Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 2, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to December ... it's not officially the final month of the fantasy football season this year, but it's close... lots to get to today, so send in the questions, and I am here to answer!

Mike (Indiana)

Is T.O. still a gamble even though he has starting looking like his old self?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Well, I would not activate Terrell Owens this week because he's facing the Jets and Darrelle Revis, and we have enough proof that if there's any corner to fear, it's this guy. But after Week 13, yes, I would start trusting Owens again as a WR2...

Mike (NJ)

Eric, I have DeShawn Jackson and he's hurt this week. My other WR's are Welker, White, and Manningham. Right now on our waiver wire we have Garcon, Nicks, Avant & Britt available. Should I drop Manningham for one of them, or should I just stick with what I have and hope Jackson will be healthy for the playoffs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I think Jackson is going to miss the Week 13 game, but my thought is he misses only the one game. I'd prefer to have Jackson than any of the available choices... then again I like Garcon, Nicks, Avant and Britt all more than Manningham... I'd go Garcon.

Curt (Iowa)

Good afternoon Eric! Mike Sims-Walker or Maclin this week?!Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

One of the amazing stats I've seen this season is Sims-Walker home (20 points) and road (84 points). I'm using Sims-Walker this week.

John (Austin)

So my friends and I have been doing yearly drafts for years in fantasy.Next year some of us are going to start an auction keeper league. What do you think is the optimal number of owners? What about scoring and optimal roster size and number of keepers? What do you like?And can we customize all of this on

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Absolutely! Do it all on! Auctions are a blast, I have to say. On one of my auction teams this year I was able to get Chris Johnson and DeAngelo Williams, two top-10 backs, and I couldn't spend much at QB... but nobody wanted that Favre guy. My team is rolling. Anyway, I really recommend auctions. You don't have to change anything from a normal league, though, the number of owners, scoring, keepers... it's just a different draft day.

Adam (East Lansing, MI)

Was Marques Colston's performance more indicative of what we should see from him the rest of the season, or something close to it?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I think he's going to be relatively inconsistent, because Drew Brees just has so many weapons, he doesn't need to force things to his top option. Colston is a borderline top-10 WR though, so if you own him, you're probably playing him.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Eric: Hope you have recovered from the holiday overeating. Last week it seems as though VY and Kenny Britt were really connecting. Is Britt worth picking up for the FFL playoff run over say, Massaquoi?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I did eat a lot on Thanksgiving... but I took it easy on the leftovers. I don't think there's much reason to own Massaquoi, or any Browns. I'd absolutely want Britt over him. I have been recommending Britt this week, mainly for after Week 13, but he seems to be emerging.

Cedric (Houston)

Need to start 2RB..which would you start: Forsett, Snelling, K. Smith, F. Jackson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I believe Forsett and Jackson were the ones I ranked the best. I was a bit surprised I ranked Jackson over Smith, but I did! The Bengals are tough to run on, so I expect a tough game for Smith. As for Forsett, Mora is nuts if he thinks Julius Jones can be this productive... but he is the coach, not I.

Mike (Chicago)

How comfortable do you feel about Calvin Johnson moving forward? Is he still a must-start?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I don't think he's a clear must-start, but if I have the guy, chances are pretty good I do not have two better WR options. I'll probably keep ranking CJ in the 11-15 range...

Dave (DC)

Rumor out of Cleveland says that Jamal Lewis is headed to the IR. Are either Jennings or Harrison worth an add?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

I'm hearing the same thing, and I guess in a deep league I'd take a look at Jennings, but ... are any Browns really worth it? I mean, there's so little threat in the passing game with Quinn that why would a defense let Jennings run wild? I just don't see much upside here.

Joe (Bronx, NY)

Forsett (if JJ is out) or Boldin (if Warner plays) for Flex, no PPR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I'd probably go Forsett, but I haven't done my flex ranks yet. Normally my 21st RB ranks ahead of the 17th WR.

Jeff (DC)

Is Jerious Norwood worth a flex spot b/c of Turner's ankle, or should I read Chris Chambers's hot streak?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Ugh. Again, not sure how it will all sort out in the flex ranks, but in this case Chambers (No. 24 WR) will probably be ahead of Norwood (No. 34 RB). It might be close. Honestly, I just don't understand why Norwood would be used more than Snelling, but again, I'm not the coach...

Matt (Charlotte)

So you'd start Forsett over Boldin this week. Would you trade Boldin to get Forsett for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

No, that's a bit too risky based on the Mora proclamation that Julius Jones is still the starter..

Jason (Philly)

Eric, who needs leftovers when we can have Lee's Hoagies for lunch! In your flex report last week you didn't even bother to list Breaston (for good reason) is he droppable for a Kenny Brit pickup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Lee's every Sunday before game-time, my friend, every Sunday... anyway, I do have Breaston ahead of Britt this week, though neither made the top-40. For one, I think the Colts are a tough matchup for Tennessee... for the season I'd still stick with Breaston. He hasn't been that bad, and Arizona does have a nice schedule.

John (Nyc)

Is Chris Jennings a worth pickup if Jamal Lewis is done, or do we just stay away from the Brownies?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Well, I'm a sucker for brownies, but Browns... um no. We probably shouldn't judge Jennings until we see him play, but I'm just doubtful any Browns can contribute for fantasy consistently.

Moe (Des Moines)

How comfortable are you in Big Ben this week and would you start him over Palmer and Young?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I ranked Palmer one spot better than Big Ben, so let's say it's close. I didn't have Young in the same region... but he was top-20. If Roethlisberger plays, I am comfortable using him.

Eric (CO)

Who would you protect in the 3rd round of a 14 team baseball league if you had to protect one...Lester, Vasquez or Manny?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

LOVE the baseball questions! Keep 'em coming! And there's a new Baseball Today podcast coming tomorrow... send me e-mails with topics you'd like addressed. Anyway, I'd go Vazquez. Clear top-10 SP ... Lester is close. Manny doesn't cut it.

Steve (Madison WI)

Who is the handcuff to Mcnabb?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I think it's Kevin Kolb, but there's really no reason to handcuff McNabb.. he is playing OK, and the Eagles won't be taking Week 17 off... they are in Dallas that week... will be very interesting!

Mike (Lake Worth, FL)

OK, so who will Nnamdi Asomugha be blanketing this week? Ward or Holmes? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I'm pretty sure I mention this every week, but Asomugha generally plays one side of the field, regardless of receiver. This is why there's only one cornerback in the NFL I think about avoiding for fantasy football, and it's not him. It's Revis. Steelers WRs are fine this week.

Andrew (WI)

In a deep keeper, would you rather go with Brett Wallace or Alex Gordon at 3B for '10?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I think I'd go with Wallace, actually. I've pretty most lost hope that Gordon is going to be a 30-homer guy... at least Wallace still has a shot!

John (NY)

Pick one keeper going forward, Morneau, Nelson Cruz, Joey Votto, or Kendry Morales.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Morneau... don't get too cute on keepers.

Joe (atlanta)

Is Braylon worth using as a starter this week over J Jones (GB) or N Washington for a WR3?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I think Braylon is OK based on those other options, but I don't expect very much. Sanchez really wasn't asked to do much last game, and the way the Bills defend the run, I doubt he does much this week.... by the way, that game is tomorrow.. get those lineups in and make sure Thomas Jones is active!

Clinton Portis (Washington, DC)

Can I be safely dropped in all leagues?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

It's starting to look like Portis is not going to play again this season... concussions are a nasty thing.

Jonathan (Chapel Hill)

Maroney = Beast.

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I realize former Maroney owners in the past don't want to hear it... but yeah, pretty much. It's weird because he rarely looks good, but numbers are numbers...

Matt Wieters (MD)

What kind of numbers do you expect from me this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Top-5 catcher.... 20 homers, 85 RBIs, .280 average... monster!

Finn (Snowy Denver)

I'm hearing "Avoid Revis, Avoid Revis..." But if my other options are Avant and Nicks (need to pick 2), should I roll the dice on T.O.? Your rankings say yes but, really, you don't think Avant at least has more upside?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

My rankings did say Owens... I'd still go with him. I realize everyone loves Avant, but it's very likely that Reggie Brown starts in DeSean's place. Avant would be worth using, but all Owens needs is one play and he's worth being the No. 30 WR... yes, Avant has the upside. I will probably update this on Fri, but I can't drop Owens more than that.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

General question as someone who doesn't play Fantasy Baseball: Isn't Fantasy Baseball much more time consuming that football? I'm thinking I should play just to have something to talk about during baseball season (other than the eventual collapse of the Braves).

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Yes. It is a ton more time consuming... but I love it. Try it and see...

Dave (Villanova)

Eric, what do you make of Roddy White's value given his QB situation? Would you go with Sims-Walker or Austin instead?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I ranked Sims-Walker one spot better than White, so I could flip a coin on that one. I would play both over Austin, though. I'm not all that worried about White in relation to Redman at QB. Read my Tuesday blog on the subject. It's not like Matty Ryan was playing so well.

Eric (Minnesota)

Do you see Mendenhall being more or less productive if Big Ben plays this week, or doesn't it matter?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Doesn't matter much. It can't hurt having the threat of Big Ben around, but Mendenhall against that bad run defense, he'll be fine either way.

Pat (Boise)

This weekend is do or die for me. Which two of these four should I play: Fred Jackson, Maroney, Ricky Williams, Jamaal Charles

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I say Ricky and Maroney... but all four should be decent. How can anyone sit Ricky? And Maroney scores every week...

Mike (NY)

Any predictions on how you see Forsett and Slaton finishing off the year in their respective "splits"? they both look much better than their time shares.

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I have to think Forsett will be the guy in Seattle. I mean, he's played so well, and Julius Jones is ... well, Julius Jones. As for Houston, it sure looks like Slaton is in the doghouse when it comes to major carries.

Pamela (St. Louis)

Does S. Morris have any value? It looks like Maroney is going to remain the starter.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

It sure does, Pamela. And Morris played some fullback Monday, with Maroney behind him. I doubt Maroney loses the role unless he keeps fumbling in key spots.

Bob (Chicago)

Who do you like better for the rest of the year, Jacobs or J. Charles? PPR league if that matters.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I really want to say Charles... ok, I will say Charles. Why not? Look at the Giants schedule, too. It's Charles, and PPR does matter.

JOE (Philly)

Since your from Philly which do you prefer Gino"s cheese steaks or Pat's? Also Moreno or Barber this week? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I have Moreno ranked a bit better... and Tony Luke's over both... it's at Front and Oregon...!

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Should folks who own players from the Colts be concerned about them being rested for the NFL playoffs while the FFL owners are actually in their playoff time?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I think in Weeks 16 and 17 the Colts will absolutely be sitting players... Manning might play the first quarter in each game only.

Joe (NY, NY)

With Bradshaw and Ware likely out does that mean Jacobs might ACTUALLY do something this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

That has nothing to do with it, sadly. Can't blame a lack of touches on why Jacobs has had a tough season.

Finn (Make or Break Week)

I have Orton (1:00 Sunday), Warner (Sunday night) and Flacco (Monday night). Positions lock one hour before gametime. Would you just roll with Orton vs the Chiefs, or wait out the Warner situation with Flacco as a fall back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I think we'll know by Sunday morning if Warner is going to play. I could make the case for Orton, though, if you are concerned about a last-minute change. Orton was much lower in my ranks ... but if you want to feel safe and get some numbers..

Haib (Iraq)

J Cutler or V Young rest of year

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Cutler .. he still has a nice schedule. I think starting this week he will start piling on the touchdowns...

Thomas (West Virginia)

Just lost Ryan at QB and only have Sanchez as a back up so who should I pick off of free agency? Campbell, Redman, Stafford, or Boller? Also if Warner doesn't play is Leinart better that all of the above? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Now that is some bad news. I'd go Campbell here. He has actually been playable the past month or so. I could see a gift TD or two in the blowout loss this week to the Saints.

Matt (boston)

i have deangelo williams and jonathan stewart do you think that both have another big day against the bucs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

DeAngelo torches the Bucs... 486 yards and 6 TDs in 4 games against Tampa... wow! I didn't rank Stewart so well, but more because there are legit starters in the 20-29 range.

d (indiana)

fred davis or keller for rest of yr? fred davis or celek for rest of yr? (worried about celek injury.)

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Celek is going to play this week, I believe. Celek over Davis, and Davis over Keller.

Jeremy (Dallas)

Do I drop Ted Ginn?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

It always depends on what else is out there, but I can't see too many reasons to keep Ginn around.

Matt (NorCal)

Is McFadden worth a pickup? Facing CLE week 16!

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Unless the Raiders commit to using McFadden, then there's no point. I'm surprised at how Oakland is using their RBs, especially seeing their situation as sad.

Eddie (NY)

Hightower or Fred jackson this week? NO PPR

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Tough matchup for the Cardinals... I'd say Jackson is fine. I need to move Jackson up a bit in Friday's ranks.

Bob (Welcome home A.I.!!!)

Hey EK! Does Delhomme sitting help or hurt S Smith's value?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

In this case, unlike Atlanta, I don't think going to Matt Moore helps any Panthers. Then again, Delhomme was awful. As for Allen Iverson back in Philly, let's put it this way: I didn't feel the need to watch every minute of every 76ers game in the past week. But next week, I will.

Nick (Birdland)

Eric - the guy who asked about how time consuming fantasy baseball can be: There is also less luck involved and a larger sample size. Thought that might be attractive in the midst of football season, when we're constantly hearing frustrated owners vent about having the most points in their leagues but having only a middling record.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Yes, all true. A major difference in the sports is if you have a great football draft, you can coast to the playoffs. You can seldom coast in baseball. You win a baseball league you really did something. You win football chances are you got the December breaks.

mike (DC)

Is Ray Rice ever "sittable" in a PPR league? McGahee is vulturing him and my other options are Forsett or Charles.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Rice is a top-10 RB, easily. I couldn't sit him unless I owned two of the top-6 or 7 RBs... tough to see a team that would have so much top depth like that.

Fred Jackson (Buffalo, NY)

Hey Eric - you can move me up in your rankings on Friday but I'll already have played the Jets on Thurs night.You still like me over Hightower and Norwood?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Yes, my bad on that one. Jackson should be closer to the top-20, I think. On Friday he will be out of the rankings! I do like Jackson a bit better than Hightower and Norwood. I know there are many Norwood fans out there, those who think Snelling is "just" a fullback and got lucky, but I don't see the love for Norwood...

Mark (VA)

Hey Eric, really enjoy reading your blog. I guess I am one of the people keeping Favre's starting numbers down. Aaron Rodgers is my starter and I only played Favre in his bye week. Lately I have seen Favre ranked higher by some and higher points predicted and am having thoughts of benching Rodgers. With him facing the Ravens D this week does it make sense? Why or why not? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Yeah, I wrote about this in my mailblog today. It's OK to sit Favre if he's not your best QB option, as in your case. It's not OK if your other options are like Cassel and Orton and you're just not paying attention. I wouldn't sit Rodgers this week, even for Favre... but I can see in our rankings one of us would. Can go either way I suppose. Ravens can be thrown on, you know. Didn't that Dennis Dixon guy get 2 scores in his first game ever?

Jerome Harrison (cleveland)

You're surprised about how the raiders are using their RB? Mangini kept throwing Lewis out there despite a horrible RuYd per attempt when we have 2 more promising, younger RB in waiting (3 if you include IRed Davis). Does Mangini not like me?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Actually, I don't think Mangini likes Harrison, if you want to know the truth! I think he might like Jennings, though...

Eric (Chicago)

Eric, Warner back at practice today, good news for the Cardinals and fantasy owners...what are the chances the MIN D puts him back on the sideline?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

It's not a good matchup at all for the Cardinals and their concussed QB, I will say that. Hopefully Warner can stay healthy.

Younger78 (Cali)

Could you please give us some insight on Antonio Bryant? Is he back (his point projections say otherwise or say to be cautious)? Who would you start Braylon or Bryant for WR#3. Also do you have a preference in starting guys that play early in the week games? I'm like an impatient kid who wants immediate results.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

A lot of people are like that and favor the Thursday matchups... but numbers are still just numbers. Anyway, I think Bryant is an OK play after this week. The Panthers actually shut down passing games.

Matt Forte (Chicago)

Can my owners drop me for depth if they have better options at RB? I need a WR to fill in for R.Wayne's week 16 sit-down!

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

There must be someone else you can cut than Forte... he hasn't been THAT bad... he is top-20 at RB after all.

Jeff (Chicago)

Chambers, Avant or Britt? This week and the season.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Same order you gave... in Week 13 and beyond.

Cliff (Atlanta)

Eric- Norwood averages 5.7 YPC- exactly what do you not love? It must be Snellings plodding 3.0 YPC. Di Norwood's brother beat you up as a kid? You are going to look bad this week when he goes off! He has amazing skills just needs opportunity! It's like asking why TB never started Alstott over T Jones? Sneling will NEVER be a starting half back in the NFL. He is the clear 3rd best RB on ATL. Not EVEN CLOSE!

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

And now we get another opinion... fair enough. I read it. I posted it. I don't have to agree with it, do I?

Matt (Spokane)

I don't like playing guys on Thursday, because if they do nothing, it bums me out until Sunday's games. I tend to think that as long as I have live players, I can always come back.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Well, that is also an interesting point of view. I actually see that point ... but doesn't it sound pessimistic? Hey, whatever makes you happy in fantasy's about the fun.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

On that happy note, it's time to move on. Thank you as always for the great questions. We couldn't do this without you guys and gals. Good luck in Week 13 and's December now! Adios!