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March 17, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat session! I'm Eric, and we've got lots to discuss today, as we approach opening day... or if you want to ask about football, that works, too. Happy St. Patrick's Day and welcome... here we go...

Brad (RI)

Rank the upside (5x5 AL roto) over the next 3 years: Scott Sizemore, Carlos Santana, Brandon Wood, Travis Snider. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I would say Santana is probably the one with the most upside, since he's a catcher and can deliver numbers. Even if Wood hits for power, I think Santana can top him for fantasy.

Mike (DC)

Do you believe in David Wright this year and beyond? I have him in a keeper league and could move him for Zimm and K. Morales.

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I believe in David Wright, yes. I think he gets his power back and reaches 25 or so homers, while still running and hitting for average. Zimmerman is awesome, too, but not in round 1, like Wright.

Jake (In the Taurus)

Which Cubs Corner IF do you see having a better year, Lee or Ramirez?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Tough to expect a full season from Aramis at this point, though he does seem to always produce when he plays. Lee, on the other hand, might not be able to hit for as much power as his awesome 2009 season, but still, he's durable. (Now watch him get hurt)

Rob (DC)

With Street possibly headed to the DL, who closes? Corpas was injured the end of last season, Morales hasn't impressed this spring, and Betancourt is also battling shoulder problems.

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I would think Betancourt, if healthy, would be the choice, but you are right, he's not having a great spring. Corpas seems to be healthy, at least. I would think Morales gets the call over him, though. No official word on Street as of yet.

Ben (NYC)

Alex Rios or Bobby Abreu for better overall 5 cat production this year? Why? And I shouldn't consider Juan Pierre over those two, should I?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Well, Pierre is going to steal a lot of bases. I mean, he could swipe more than 50. He told Buster Olney he's going for 70! We have to take note of that. Of course, he might not hit a home run all season. Rios and Abreu could hit 20 homers, could knock in 90 or more runs. They also could steal 25 bases each. I say Abreu is definitely the one you want here.

Steve (Glenside, PA)

Standard 5x5 league. If you had M. Cabrera, R. Braun, J. Upton, and M. Kemp, would you try and trade an outfielder for Evan Longoria? You the man EK!!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I don't see anything wrong with the players you have, really. Four of those guys are first-round picks, and Longoria and Upton are close. I see no need to make a deal just to get more position balance, but you do have 3 outfielders...your call.

Dave (Chicago)

In short bench leagues, drafting for saves can be tricky.. Do you prefer drafting iffy closers on bad teams plus their backups, or taking solid backups on good teams.. Which setup guys would you draft above the likes of capps, nunez, rauch etc?? thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Well, I tend to ignore the top closers in the first place, but after that, I tend to choose players who at least have the job. I think Leo Nunez will lose the closer role, but for now I still draft him over Ryan Madson, who might not get any saves.

Omar (San Diego)

True or False: Pat Burrell bounces back with 25 HRs this year

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

False. I do see him bouncing back, but he'd need to be healthy pretty much all season to get those home runs. I'll say around 20 homers works, but even then, it sure seems like the Rays want to play numerous guys at RF/DH.

Jordan (Peoria)

Eric, in a H2H league how much is too much speed? Last year I had a very balanced offense but did not perform well down the stretch...I am keeping Crawford, Kemp, and Reynolds...I am going to take Ellsbury with my first pick. If Pierre is there in round 9 should I grab him and dominate steels

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Well, remember you need to win steals by only a few, not 100. Plus, I would be a bit concerned by having so many outfielders without big power. Can you draft enough home runs with Crawford, Ellsbury and Pierre combining for about 25 homers, at best?

Anthony (Cali)

is taking Tulo with the 13th overall pick a reach, in your opinion?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Mildly, but shortstop is weak. I can see it. I wouldn't select Tulowitzki over one of the big first basemen, like Cabrera/Teixeira/Howard, though. I rank Tulo in round 2. He should be fine.

The Observer (Minnesota)

Higher total: Francisco Liriano Wins or Francisco Liriano Saves?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I would be shocked if the Twins put him in the closer role. If he's pitching well, he has to start, and there's great upside - as we've seen - with that. Liriano wins 12 games, I say. He saves none.

Joseph (Charter Lake, TN)

Eric, I'm just about on the clock with pick #202 of my draft. I have 4 solid SP (Verlander, Beckett, Hanson, Nolasco), but am ready for another. Should I go with the best available (Gavin Floyd?) or gamble now with someone with high upside for this season? If you pick the gamble, who would you suggest? I'm also considering Ted Lilly since it sounds like he won't miss much time.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I like Lilly over Floyd. Every season people think Lilly isn't good, and every year he gets plenty of strikeouts, and good peripherals. Floyd is fine, I like Lilly better if he's healthy enough.

jay (nyc)

Unfortunately got the 7th pick in my draft. Too early for Lincecum?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

It's your team! I personally wouldn't draft a pitcher - really, any pitcher - that high, but I understand many people do. There is no such thing as "too early" by the way. If you're right, and Lincecum is fantasy's best player, who cares how it looked in March?

Insert Fake Name Here (Insert Fake Location Here)

Am I crazy to project this for Beltre:.285 avg 23 HRs 88 RBIs 70 Runs 14 SBs

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I think the power is possible. I'd say the batting average is a bit high, as well as the stolen bases. But he is a good player, and last I checked he was the fastest rising player in our average draft results.

Mike (Indy)

Who would you rather have in a points only league.....J Santana or Carpenter? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I would take Santana, as long as the reports on his arm continue to be positive... not that I expect Carpenter to be hurt, but I still feel better about Johan...

Steve (Chicago)

Keeper question - These 3 all have the same contract value - pick 1 - S Drew, A Ramirez, or Marmol

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Well, if you need a closer, then obviously you'd want Marmol. And I don't know if that's Aramis or Alexei... I rank Aramis over all these guys. If it's Alexei, I take Drew over him.

Jim (Seattle)

Everth Cabrera, Erick Aybar, Alcides Escobar. Which of these quick SS sleepers would you target?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I don't expect Cabrera or Aybar to do much better than they did a season ago. I think Escobar can steal the most bases of this trio, and depending on where he hits in the order, can score the most runs. I think he's a sleeper.

Matt (MD)

I kept Beckham (22nd round) instead of Wainwright (11th round), smart move?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I think so. Beckham is going to be terrific this season, and for those in keeper formats, remember he'll be a second baseman. Honestly, look where we rank Robby Cano. That's Beckham next season, and he'll probably be better.

Dan (NY)

Just how much is Pujols worth? Would you trade the #3 overall pick and a 5th round pick in a 10 team league to get him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I don't know if I would... fifth round pick is pretty good, and getting Braun or A-Rod No. 3 overall is pretty good.

EGO (County Ct)

If everything clicks for Juston Upton what could his stat line look like this season? Better lineup, more experience, and tools up the wazzoo.

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I'd say I could, essentially, see J.Up go for 35 homers, 100 RBIs, 25 stolen bases. That's pretty special, no?

Andy (Charlotte, NC)

Nick Johnson is officially been named the number 2 hitter in the yanks lineup and has hit 3 hrs so far in spring....if he's healthy as the DH is he a big sleeper you think since he will score lots of runs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I don't think there's any worry about Johnson producing, but it's always about health. He should hit second, certainly over a Granderson, for example. But this news isn't a big surprise. Do I think he scores 100 runs? I don't think he'll play more than 120 games, even in my most optimistic voice.

Dan (NY)

If the 3rd question of this chat was Wright for Zimmerman AND Morales in a keeper league, he has to make that trade, right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Oh yeah, in that case, sure...

Carl G (Tallahassee)

Carlos Santana's odds on making team out of spring training 50/50? Less?Better?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

About 5 percent. The Tribe have to send him down, I think. He's not really ready yet. He's not having a spring like Heyward, for example. That guy is a monster!

Stan the caddy (NYC)

Brian Roberts... worried or not worried?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Um, worried. Not jumping ship, but back injuries are scary, and this is someone who gets much of his value by stealing bases. He could still steal 30 bases... but keep an eye on this.

Ryan (SF)

Why the dislike for Kerry Wood everywhere? Post ASB - 2.96 ERA, 30 Ks in 24.1IP, 1 HRA. Is it just the chance he will only close half a year before being dealt to serve as a set up man?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I wouldn't call it dislike. He's on a bad team, that didn't get better, which restricts save chances. He's an obvious trade target, and it might not be to someplace he closes. And he's always an injury risk. He's even hurt now. Numbers wise he did OK, but there's much risk.

Dale Doback (DC)

Is a Crawford, Markakis, Braun OF too powerless? I keep waiting for Nicky to hit me 30.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

It sure doesn't appear that Markakis is going to hit 30 home runs. He's a good player, but with the power seeming to plateau, and him not running... he tends to get a bit overrated in drafts.

Eric (CO)

What numbers do you project for Coghlan? Better than Ludwick and Gutierrez?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Well, different numbers. Coghlan is a leadoff hitter. I expect he can hit 10-12 home runs, steal 15-20 bases if he likes. Ludwick is a 30-100 guy. Gutierrez is a 20-75-15 guy. All are good. I rank them Coghlan, Ludwick, Gutierrez, but it depends what you need.

Nick (Milwaukee)

How deep into the season will Webb be on the DL?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

As of now it's impossible to know. It sure seems likely he won't help anyone in April, though. See last season as worst case scenario...well, it could be worse. He might not pitch at all. I don't think we need to be that pessimistic, yet...

Mike Richie (Florence, KY)

Who would you rather have as your token speed outfielder at about the same draft position; Rajai Davis or Juan Pierre?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I think Davis can steal the bases Pierre does, and offers the chance to do more things. So I would take Davis first.

Fox (Baltimore)

Speaking of Heyward, is he now a pick worthy in the top 10 rounds?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Yes, after seeing him mash the ball in the spring, and Bobby Cox likely to stick with him as he begins his final year as manager, I'd say he's top 100 for sure.

Alex (New Orleans)

Do you like Ian Kennedy as a late round flier? Do you see an ERA of under 4 for him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I see an ERA right around there for him. Kennedy doesn't project as an ace, or a big K guy... but a mid rotation type, sure. It's nice to see him healthy and doing well.

Seth (St. Louis)

Elijah Dukes has just been cut by the Nats. Is it Justin Maxwell time?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I blogged about this today, and wrote that Maxwell probably gets the chance, but I don't think he's shown he's ready for 400 at bats. He can run, but there are holes in that swing. Odd move by the Nationals today. Why not try to trade Dukes? I have a feeling Willie Harris is gonna play way too much this season...

Jim (Seattle)

Do you like either Latos or Wade Davis to excel this year... sub 3.5 ERA, 170Ks?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

I think 170 Ks is a lot for either of them. The Padres don't want Latos to make 30 starts, they will handle him carefully. Davis should make 30-plus starts... still a lot of Ks. I think both will excel.

Nick (Milwaukee)

Sorry to ask a follow up question, but is Webb worth stashing on my bench? Or should I pick up a Liriano, chapman, or sanchez

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

I'm not optimistic. I'd say Liriano. I don't expect to see Chapman pitch for the Reds for a while.

John (NY)

Looking to pick up another closer to replace Street if need be. Who would you take between Gregg or Lindstrom? Both seem to have a leg up in their respective competitions this spring.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I'd say Gregg. I expect him to be the Toronto closer. I still think Brandon Lyon, when healthy, wins the Astros job.

The Analyst (Heaven)

Eric,You run a serious chat - no nonsense at all. Is that by design? I picture you as a cold, heartless, owner, demanding production from your players.

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

I don't see that... but people want answers, and I'm going as fast as I can. I mean, we have people on staff who do the nonsense, right? Nothing wrong with that... I am far from cold and heartless and demanding... this is fantasy, and should be fun. I'm just a bit locked in...

Kevin (Charlotte)

Kyle Blanks - Where does he end up hitting in the Padres lineup? Definitely worth $1?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Could be the guy protecting Adrian Gonzo in the lineup. Has 30 home run power..definitely worth a buck!

Chris (Saratoga, NY)

Ian Desmond looking good this spring for the Nats...if he wins the job is he a decent CI in a standard league and would you take him over the likes of say Miguel Tejada?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Tejada has become underrated. Sure, you don't get 20 homers, or stolen bases... but he hits for average and plays every day. Plus, he'll be eligible at 3B as well as SS... I don't see Desmond hitting for much power or running much.

Bill (Indy)

If you can get Nathan for $1 in a 12 team keeper league, is he worth keeping on the DL for the year. AKA... he's old, is he ever returning to form?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Let's put it this way: There is no guarantee Nathan is closing a year from now. It takes a while, especially at his age, to recover, and he hasn't even had the Tommy John surgery yet. He could return to form, absolutely... but I wouldn't expect a full season closing until 2012, and it might not be for the Twins by then.

Nathan (NYC)

is Rauch going to be the closer? trade him or mike gonzalez for nolasco?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I'd trade both of them for Nolasco! No guarantee even if Rauch is the closer he piles on the saves, and same with Gonzalez. Take the potential top 20 starter.

Todd (Cleveland)

If there was not so much speed this year would Crawford be considered at top 5 player?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

He might be in my top 10, but I still want power early. I've never been a Crawford guy. Love the 50 steals, but I have to take a 40-homer guy.

Daniel (Maine)

Do you draft Adrian Goinzalez just on where he is now (San Diego) or where he could be in July (Boston)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Why oh why would the Red Sox trade for him with 1B, 3B and DH filled, plus an extra guy in Lowell not playing at all? I don't see it happening.

Scott (NY)

Looking for cheap steals in a standard ESPN league - go with Stubbs, Gomez (8 SBs in spring!), Gardner or Coco Crisp?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

All of them, really. I think Gomez could steal the most, probably 40.

James (Arizona)

Are you and Mathew Berry friends or rivals? You were at ESPN first, right? :)

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Never rivals. Friends long before he got here. I'm not competing with my ESPN brethren at all.

Bill (Florida)

MOCK DRAFT 2.0 Kinsler at 10, crazy right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Well, not something I would do, but I see why it was done. Second base is not strong. But it would have to be a 2B I feel comfortable would not need a DL stint to go that high.

Denis (Thousand Oaks)

What are your thoughts on Sean Rodriguez? Does he have a good chance to get 400 ABs? I am thinking he hits .270, 20 HR, 65 RBI

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

I don't see how he gets that many at bats, unless Pat Burrell gets released/traded. S-Rod is having a great power spring, but ... he needs opportunity. I don't see it right now.

Julio Borbon (TEXAS)

Can I put up similar stats as Ellsbury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Wouldn't shock me. Which is why Ellsbury in the top 20 seems foolish to me...

Andrew (Baltimore, MD)

Eric, would you drop either of Capps and Dotel for Lindstrom? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

All the same to me. I'm hearing Drew Storen might make the Nats... not good for Capps getting saves. I'd go Dotel, then Capps, then Lindstrom right now.

Mark (NY)

Would you take Heyward or Tim Hudson as a keeper at the same price?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

The NL rookie of the year...

Brian (St Louis)

How do you like the following old and/or psycho OFs this year? Vlad, Ordonez, Milton Bradley?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Ha... In that order. Vlad should be fine in his 120 games in that Texas ballpark.

Tim (Colorado)

True/False: Rollins bounces back for a 30/30 year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

False. He won't hit 30 home runs again.

Ted (San Dimas, CA)

Better trio: Billy Butler/Haren/Carpenter or AGon/Wainright/Beckett?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

The second one...

Chuch (Boston)

Buzzer Beater: How much of a drop off is it from Utley to Beckham?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Well, Beckham is going in round 7 I think... but might not be a big drop statistically.. big sleeper!

Mike (NY)

In 2-years, Gallardo or Kershaw?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Gallardo.. I am not someone who drafts a 5-inning starter...

Raul (Hunter)

Kubel or Reimold?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Kubel, for now. Safer power.

Bill (philly)

True or False - Adam Jones will be a top 10 OF this year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

False. Not expecting him to run much.

Jon (Tulsa, OK)

Better keepers (2 of them): Votto (8th), Weiters (14th), Heyward (20th).

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Sorry, Joey...

Shaun (NYC)

Wouldn't I be better off taking Carlos Lee in the 5th or 6th round as opposed to the similar stats from Matt HOlliday that would cost a 2nd round pick?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Yeah, I think so.

The Timekeeper (Watching the Clock)

Eric,We have to end soon.TK

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

That we do.... with that, I thank everyone for their team and questions. Chats are a blast. Hope you enjoyed it, and I should be back next week at the same time. Have a great week... opening day is coming, get ready! Adios