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December 23, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello all and a very Merry Christmas to you and your families. Or Happy Holidays if Christmas isn't your thing. We're headed to Week 16 in fantasy football, and I'm sure some of you want to discuss baseball as well, so let's going with this chat session... thanks for joining us...

Steve (Oregon)

Who would you play at flex this week: Maroney, Barber, or Wayne?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

My flex rankings will be out on Thursday and I would think Maroney is going to get the nod there. I think the Patriots will be fine this week. Lost in what people think is an average Brady season is the fact they've played SO many top pass defenses... Jets and Bills twice...Panthers, Colts, Ravens... but not this week! Jags don't stop the run either.

Charlie (Nashville)

Santonio Holmes is listed as a top 20 WR this week, except you have him the the 30's. What are you seeing that MB, CH, and EK don't? My 3rd WR spot is between Holmes and Greg Jennings (no ppr). Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Well, just because I would play Jennings doesn't mean anyone else needs to, but I still don't trust him as a safe WR2. Hines Ward and Heath Miller are getting plenty of targets, and while I realize the Ravens can be thrown on, I think this is a low-scoring affair.

Andy (Raleigh, NC)

Assuming D. Williams and Turner are inactive, any chance you would start J. Stewart or Snelling over J. Charles and that tough Cincy match-up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

No, I think at this point Charles is pretty much worth it no matter the matchup. I do like Snelling and Stewart this week, enough to be near top-20 RBs, but Charles is a monster!

Troy (California)

What should I do with Randy Moss?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Thank him for a terrific season and leave him active this week? Really, I don't see much of a problem. The Patriots might score 40 this week.

Adam (A2)

Does Javy Vazquez have a better season in NY this time, or will it be more like his first go-round in the AL?

Alex (Columbus)

Thanks for helping me get to the title game EK! Sit one PPR Charles, Grant, S Jax thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Baseball! Vazquez was there only one season, and while it wasn't close to his best season, I don't really think it has anything to do with how he'll perform in 2010. There has to be some regression from Vazquez's recent Braves season, but 15 wins, 200 K, 3.75 ERA, fine with me.

dave (denver)

How confident are you that Campbell is a better play than Garrard this week (15 vs 19 in your rankings). I agree with you - just nervous that the Giants gave Dallas the gameplan to take Campbell out of it. Garrard on the road though? No thanks right? thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I can't say I am overly confident, but Campbell has just played better than Garrard this season and even the past month, and that includes the Redskins embarrassing themselves on Monday night. I have to think the Redskins protect their QB a bit better this week.

Don (Orlando)

Hi Eric, Merry Christmas. I,m trying to set my line-up for my championship game. who wouldn't you start? LT,Medenhall, P.Thomas, or J. Harrison.

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Incredibly, my rankings say Tomlinson is the odd man out, so that would be my answer. I can't imagine Harrison doesn't get a decent number of touches.

john (ma)

EK would you sit Wayne for Crabtree or MSW this wk?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I ranked Wayne a bit better than those other guys, so that's my answer, but I wouldn't blink an eye if you wanted nothing to do with Wayne this week, since we don't know how much he plays ... and he hasn't been a stud anyway the second half of the season.

Brian (Chicago)

Hey Eric, Breaking news......It was reported, by a site I won't name that Boldin's touchdown was ruled a rushing td by the league. So teams with Warner who had 3 point leads are out of the playoffs. Pretty crazy, right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Yes. We will have more on this later and in Matthew Berry's column, but be prepared for this LEAGUE scoring change to affect many fantasy football leagues... it is true.

Pete (Pittsburgh)

Who should I keep in 2010 Fantasy baseball? Adam Jones, fonsy Soriano, Nellie Crz, or McCutchen?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Good question! I think Adam Jones would be my choice, because he's a nice combination of power and speed and I think he'll keep getting better. If Soriano is a top-50 pick, I can tell you I won't be the one taking that chance.

Fred (San Diego)

In your heart of hearts how long do you really think Peyton plays against the Jets?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

The entire game. I think the Colts will play their guys...but if Addai for example were to limp on a play, then they would take no chances.

Tom (San Diego)

With the news that Brian from Chicago just posted regaurding Boldin, Think Drew Brees TD to Moore will be changed to a rushing TD as well?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

This is not ESPN's decision, but a league statistical decision that we need to follow. If they do this with Brees, I do not know, but official changes obviously affect the game.

Randy (DE)

Grant, Beanie or Gore, who sits?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I have Gore in my top-10, then Grant 12 and Beanie 14, so that's the answer. I like Beanie; how can't you, really... but I still like the others a bit better.

Ebeneezer (Dickensville)

Eric, don't make me Hum Bug you! Is there a chance LJ gets "start worthy" carries against KC? How about Fragile Freddy against Jax?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I know a bunch of people think Larry Johnson might be a decent flex play, but I think Ced Benson will get 25 or so carries and have a monster game. I wouldn't mess with LJ... nor would I worry about Fred Taylor.

Joe (California)

So in your heart of hearts, you believe Peyton plays a lot more that Wayne?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Nobody knows. I think the Colts' main weapons will stay healthy and will play. That's how I ranked them at least.

Alex (Columbus)

Thanks so much for posting my question EK, but I dont see the response! If you could repost I would appreciate! Happy Hollidays!Thanks for helping me get to the title game EK! Sit one PPR Charles, Grant, S Jax thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Some crazy stuff happenin' in the chat I suppose... anyway, Grant is the only RB here I did not rank in my top 10, though he was close at 12. In situations like these, with the rankings so close, trust your heart... good luck!

Mike (State College)

Championship game, EK! I picked up Harrison this week, and he has a good matchup, but I've made it this far with Sid Rice in my flex spot. Do I make the switch, or stick with what got me here? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I really do not believe in the "he got me here" prophecy... do you want to be loyal to players or play your best guys? I would use Harrison, no matter when I picked him up. I think he has a nice game on the Raiders.

Gabe (New Jersey)

EK, I saw you ranked Colston 6th at WR. does that mean you thing he's going the whole game? Is it a safer bet to start Driver who you ranked 11th over him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I do not think the Saints are sitting anyone. They haven't clinched the NFC top seed yet, as far as I know... and it's way too early for teams to sit players... it might be another month until they play again.

Mike (SF)

Merry Christmas, Erik. Why does everybody have Jacobs ranked higher than Bradshaw? I'm rolling with Bradshaw over Jacobs this week, yes?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I don't think it's a safe trend that Bradshaw is more valuable. Jacobs is the one who gets the early carries, and generally the ones near the goal line. But I ranked them within a few spots of each other, so I wouldn't call it a reach to use Bradshaw first..

Pete (Pittsburgh)

Eric, u recommend I keep AJones, but that leaves me with 3 Orioles for 6 keepers (Wieters & BRoberts). Am I still ok?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Why not? It's not like fantasy football, where all your Patriots could be shut down by the Jets. In baseball there are a lot more games.

Dan (Sunny Phoenix)

I've checked out the rankings and I'm still scratching my head trying to determine my championship roster. I have P. Thomas, J. Stewart and Fred Jackson for one spot. I fear I may be overthinking this.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Probably. I'd just go Thomas and enjoy the weekend, but I can see why it's a tough decision.

John (Chi-town)

EK! ganther or mo morris, ppr league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Ugh. I am really not impressed with Ganther, despite his three touchdowns in two weeks. Yes, if the Skins get near a goal line, it's his football, but he doesn't look like an emerging player. Morris isn't either, but I like his matchup more and ranked him better.

Sam (DC)

Why doesn't Pacqiuao just take the drug test?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I would love to see that fight, and love all Pacman fights... I hope it happens.

steven (georgia)

im a falcons fan but what big ben did on sunday was very impressive

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Throwing for 500 yards on any defense, let alone a defense bound for the NFC playoffs, is impressive. Roethlisberger is having his second-best statistical season.

Shawn (Ohio)

Favre good to go or should I play V. Young on Friday to be safe?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Safe? I don't know if either are truly safe, but what's the worry on Favre? That he'll sit? I doubt that happens... anyone else tired of all this Favre-Childress talk? Must be nice to flat-out dismiss something your boss tells you to do...and get away with it.

John (Boston)

Championship dilema.....my opponent has Brees do I start Meacham over Megatron ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I wouldn't do it simply because the other guy has Brees... I ranked Calvin a bit better, but sure, there's not much separating them anyway.

Santa (North Pole)

who should I leave out for those potential keepers? - Justin Upton, Elsbury, Jose Reyes, or Kinsler? Already keeping Arod, Pujols, and Braun..

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Lot of questions from Santa today! I've been nice, Santa, really... not naughty at all! Upton is going to be a monster... like 35-100-25 soon. I keep him over Ellsbury, Reyes and probably, though it's close, Kinsler.

Dan (Sunny Phoenix)

Thanks for answering my question EK and for all the hard work you and all the Fantasy staff have put in this year! Have a very Merry Christmas.

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Thank you Dan... I appreciate all the questions and comments from readers and viewers as well, and Merry Christmas to everyone...

Diego (Chicago)

Mentioned both earlier, but head-to-head, who do you start - J Charles or P Thomas?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Charles. He's not merely putting up big numbers against bad defenses...

Ethan (Oakland)

BASEBALL!!! What ... is Santa in a three-team league?? Keeper Question - Set on Utley & Tulo, need three more out of Votto, Kung Fu Panda, Bay

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Yeah, I just noticed that! I'd say it's between Votto and Sandoval, and because Sandoval can play 3B... that's my choice. First base and outfield are deep. And we don't know where Bay will play...if it's CitiField.. uh oh.

Stephen (Chicago)

Do you recommend going for more upside with your RB2? I have Snelling as an option this week, although I usually start Mendenhall. My opponent will start Peterson and either Benson or Ricky.

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I think it's a combination of upside and safety, plus ability. I ranked Mendenhall a bit better, but it was close enough that Snelling is fine. Really, both have upside. And it doesn't matter who your opponent has. Really, Peterson hasn't been so great anyway. Benson might be this week though!

Up by 2 with Warner (Stinktown)

Are you kidding me?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Sorry. I don't like it much either... but this is an NFL stat thing..

Andy (Minnesota)

I somehow rummaged my way to the championship....Should I consider sitting Calvin for D. Mason, and Joe Addai for Snelling

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

I ranked Mason only a few spots after Calvin Johnson, so sure, why not. Really, in a lot of these cases the difference between the Nos. 16 and 20 WR is so slight, go with your gut. I use my gut in ranking them in the first place. I still have Addai over Snelling... one thing to worry about with Atlanta is Turner has NOT been ruled out and Norwood remains a factor there.

mike (san diego)

is Cassel good for 200+ and one TD this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I think he's certainly capable of it. I like 22 other quarterbacks better though, and it's a bit late to be taking chances.

Mark (California)

any word on deangelo?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

As of now, no there is not. I suspect a lot of Jonathan Stewart owners will make their decisions based on whether DeAngelo Williams plays or not.

Will (VA)

Benson or Charles? Help Please.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I ranked Benson No. 3 at RB this week. That's easily my highest rank of him this season. If Jerome Harrison can run wild for 286 on the Chiefs, I think Benson can do some damage.

DP (LA)

Based on this weeks rankings, it looks like everyone's expecting Tony Romo not to have a late season meltdown. Still, I'm tempted to start Alex Smith in his place this week and next. Am I letting my Eagles fandom (and by extention distaste/distrust for all Cowboys players) stop me from playing my best QB option for the league championship, or am I resonable for expecting Romo to throw a couple of stinkers to end the season. (Plus, look at Smith's matchups!)

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Romo is playing very well, so I don't know why people are so scared. I really don't believe that some players just play poorly in a certain month, or have home/road splits, stuff like that. Look at Romo's schedule in previous Decembers.. the Cowboys are always on national TV, it's been tough for him. He's playing well now. I'd go Romo over Smith, but it's your call. Romo is the No. 4 QB in fantasy for the SEASON after all...

Ethan (Oakland)

Thanks for posting my question EK ... but I was asking which three out of Votto, KFP, Bay or Holiday

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

In that case I think Bay would miss out. I like Votto better than Bay, and would rank this crew Sandoval, Holliday, Votto and then Bay for fantasy.

Darin (Green Bay)

Jason Snelling or Knowshon this week for flex posiiton? PPR league

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I see Denver having a lot of trouble scoring points this week... I would go with Snelling.

Andrew (Springfield)

I understand that you like both JStew and Snelling if they start, but who do you like better? How likely do you think they are to start?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I like Snelling better, and I think he is more likely to start and get more touches.

Overmanager Michael (Savannah)

Call me crazy, but would you sit Peterson with Charles, Harrison and Wells? Whic of the two would ou pick?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Nothing crazy about fantasy football... I wouldn't sit Peterson though. I'd go Peterson and Charles and expect both to be very good.

Scott (Chicago)

EK. Did the NFL say why the TD was changed for Warner?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

They ruled it was a lateral and a running touchdown for Boldin. Can't say I disagree. And apparently the Brees-Saints play was reviewed, and not adjusted.

Sam (NY)

I know everyone has CJ ranked as their # 1 RB, but don't you think Benson's and Gore's matchups are way better? I mean, the Titans could be forced to pass alot...

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Chris Johnson might rush for 2,000 yards... I don't care who has what matchup, that's the top guy. And Benson and Gore made my top-5... if you have all 3 players, I still wouldn't sit CJ.

Bryan (Green Bay (WI))

EK, touchdown only league. Have AP and either Addai or Jacobs. Go with one of them for RB2 or pick up Harrison?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Very tempted to go with Harrison there. I know some people are scared of what the Browns might do, but this guy just rushed for 286 yards...I'd think Browns fans would revolt if Harrison doesn't get sufficient touches.

Mike (Indianapolis)

Do you worry about giving Minnesota Off props when they're going on the road to Chicago this Monday night? They haven't played in a cold environment this year and it could be downright wicked!

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Yeah, but it's not like Favre and Peterson and company have never played in the cold before. Berrian was a Bear. I think that stuff gets overrated. The Bears can't defend anything right now... the Vikings are relatively safe.

Jacob (stony point,nc)

would you go with vince young this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Well, if the 15 other quarterbacks I ranked ahead of Young were not on my team, then yes! Most of the time it's all about who you've got. To some Young is a terrible play, to others it's your best choice.

Nick (Cleveland)

Hey Eric! Great Advice! Which D/St would you start, Cincy or the Vikings? Thanks man!

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

The way Jay Cutler is going, I would absolutely go with the Minn defense. Cutler might actually throw for 30 interceptions. I never thought I would see that.

Tom (California)

You seem to be answering a lot of questions already addressed in your rankings for this week - how about one that is not addressed for a change? Flex spot options in a PPR league, League Super Bowl title at stake: Stewart, Ganther, or Cotchery? Also, what is your opinion on Peyton - do I start Campbell or Garrard over him this weekend? Thanks to the ESPN staff for all their helpful advice this year! I would not have made it this far without ya'all.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Thank you, Tom. I can only answer the questions I get! As for yours, I say it's Stewart, and that's regardless of whether DeAngelo plays or not. As for Peyton, I stick with him. I think he plays enough to get his team good points, if not the entire game just like last week.

Jake (Ohio)

Eric, Shouldn't Roddy White be considered a much better play with all of the injuries to the Buffalo Secondary this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Yes, though I learned of some of the Bills' defense problems today, after I ranked White at 14. Still, I don't think White would make my top-10.

Gifford (Ocean NJ)

You worried about gage stealing britt's looks?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

I'm worried that all of the Titans receivers seem to be getting only a few catches. Flip a coin on these guys, really.

Mike (DC)

I have SF Defense and Minn. I thought Minnestota could be thrown on. Is Cutler that bad?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Vikings can be thrown on, but when I search for defenses I generally look at turnovers, and nobody is committing more of them than Mr. Cutler. Really, what he's doing is kinda historic. In a bad way.

Jake (Ohio)

Back to Roddy, would you consider him over Reggie Wayne?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I ranked Roddy better in the first place.. so yeah.

Frank (Indiana)

Here's a D stretch ? What do you think of Atl's D against Buffalo this weekend?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Not a huge fan. Will say this though, Fitzpatrick hasn't been a turnover machine.

john (ma)

BASEBALL! EK for Xmas I need help w/who to keep! one from RajaiDavis,Carlos Gonzalez,FGutierrez or Ubaldo,JNiemann?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Not a big fan of any of those guys unless it's a deep league, but Gonzalez certainly has a future. Ubaldo is a big K guy now, but I'd go hitter.

Charlie (Syracuse, NY)

Baseball question about the Braves outfield: Mclouth, Diaz, Anderson, Heyward, and Melky... who gets the ABs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Only one I really want is McLouth... and even then not so much. I don't think Heyward makes the team in April. And Melky outside of Yankee Stadium... no interest.

Eric (Fort Collins)

How would you rank Michael Bush and Forsett if Jones and Fargas sit?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I'd move both Bush and Forsett up, but still go with Forsett.

Andrew (Boston)

Unfortunately, I got elinated this week but I guess I get to start planning for next year. wanted to get your opinion of a keeper question. I can keep one player and lose a pick for the round I selected him in. Do I keep Ray Rice as a 6th rounder or Miles Austin as a 16th rounder?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I would go with Rice in the sixth... I realize Austin in the 16th is tremendous value, but Rice is a top-5 overall player in my mind, and top-5 in next season's drafts. He's just better.

Gary Kubiak (Houston)

All I want for Christmas is an RB with hands of glue. Do I draft one next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

What an annoying team that has been at RB... please. Kubiak says all week it's Arian Foster, then it's not. Look, RBs will fumble. Still gotta trust someone. I'd avoid this team's RBs this week and next. If Foster pulls a Jerome Harrison, so be it. Too risky.

Brian (Ridgewood, NJ)

I thought that Brohm was starting for Buffalo this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Yes, I had heard that was a possibility... I have to think the Bills do a lot of running in this game.

Jay Cutler (CHI)

Come on Eric, Tiz the season for giving. That's what I do.

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Nobody has done it better... I defended Cutler early in the season, but can't do it anymore. That said, I could totally see him bounce back to top-10 status in 2010..not saying I will rank him there, but will consider him a nice backup option.

Carl Landry (Houston)

All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth.

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

That was ugly... and Dirk missed a game, too!

Ryan (Dallas, GA)

If Forsett gets all of the carries do you like him over Harrison?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

No. I guess I have decided I really like Harrison this week.

Jordan (Chicago)

Another Keeper Question... More value at this point for 2010: Philip Rivers (5th round)or Desean Jackson (6th round)! Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Probably DeSean Jax...pretty much the same round, and I think Jackson is more special in terms of the depth of his position.

Josh (Michigan)

Do you think Orton would be doing any better in Chicago? One thing is for sure, the Bears salary situation would be better.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Well, the Bears would be throwing less.

Richard (TX)

Last one: Fred Davis or Jermichael Finley?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I have Davis 7 and Finley 8... so flip the proverbial coin.

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

Eric, I just told a friend of mine about the Warner ruling and he is FREAKING OUT because it eliminates him from the 'ship game.Do you have any idea how many passing yds Warner was credited for on that play?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Again, sorry to be the bearer of bad news... but it's good news for just as many teams, too! Check your league tomorrow and see what changes. That's what I am being told. And apparently Matthew will be writing about this as well. Again, this is the NFL making the change.

jack (nj)

Need a flex spot. Thinking about starting Mcfadden over Forte. Also, Vince Young or Campbell?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Wow, McFadden, eh? I think it's a stretch, but he could be this week's breakout guy I suppose. Your call. And I have Campbell one spot better than Young.. flip a coin. Just be happy with your choice!

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, I believe that is all the time I have been given for the chat... thank you to everyone for contributing questions and I really hope you get luck and win your matchups. Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year... Have a good one!