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August 25, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric. Let's take questions on fantasy football AND baseball today. I know many of you are still contending in baseball, and we have not forgotten about you. Then again, football is approaching. So, thanks for tuning in and let's get going...

Kyle (Gaffney, SC)

I have the third pick in a keeper league keeping Gore, Beanie Wells, and Miles Austin. Players that will be available are Mendenhall, Shonn Greene, Fitzgerald, and Brandon Marshall. Who should I be hoping falls to me?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Well, it would be tough to let Larry Fitzgerald slip by you. I understand there's concern about his team's quarterbacks, but Fitz is going to be fine. That's a pretty strong draft in a keeper league!

Mel (NJ)

Hey Eric, keeper question for you. Keep only one and lose a round: Schaub for the 6th, Beanie Wells for the 7th, Vernon Davis, Finley or Forsett for the t0th. What do you think? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I'd say Beanie. Again, I think the Cardinals will be fine once the season starts. I wouldn't want to rely on Leinart/Anderson, but Beanie is going to get his 1,200 yards and 7 scores, and Fitz will be fine. And the 7th round is nice value there.

ALEX LAWSON (Harrisburg, PA)

Hi Eric, love your work - most trusted. Keeper question. Jamaal Charles or Miles Austin? Both count as an 11th round pick. Thanks in advance!

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Thanks, Alex! I don't think you can go wrong here. In general I'd go with the player you rank higher overall, and in this case for me it's Charles, though it's close. If you're at all worried about Thomas Jones, go Austin. Charles would be my pick. If he gets most of the carries, this could be a special player.

Andres (North Hollywood)

Hello Eric,Would you take either Mike Williams over Leon Washington?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I'd take the Tampa Bay version over him, absolutely. I think that Mike Williams is going to emerge immediately, and it doesn't matter who plays QB there. I'm skeptical about Leon Wash having a big season.

Adam (Wisconsin)

What do you think we can expect from Pierre Thomas this year? Is he going to have a bigger year due to the other back's injuries, or will Sean Payton still not let him loose?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

I'd say don't overthink things. Thomas is established. So is Reggie Bush. They're going to get good numbers, and there's little reason to be worried after what happened last season. Ladell Betts should get some run, not as much as Mike Bell, and Thomas will be a fine top 25 RB.

Scott Barry (Third Base)

One more football question and I'm throwing you out of this chat.

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Man, wasn't that ridiculous last night? Barry is the 3B umpire in Philly who tossed Ryan Howard. Both Barry and Howard should be ashamed... and don't expect Howard to play today. He might even get suspended.

Knish (NYC)

Draft etiquette question...there is always a few guys who show up so under prepared...this leads to long long waits for picks to be made. Di you have time limits? fines? what to do?Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Don't play with them! I do not like the delays, but they are inevitable. No, I wouldn't like to see fines... just set a limit of 2 minutes, and if they don't pick by then, move to the next pick. They just have to understand. But also don't take things too seriously. Draft day is the best day of the season...

Mike (Indy)

Vazquez to the Pen....is this temporary or permanent?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Not a good time to own Javy. I'd consider dropping him in standard leagues. Just not his year, and with the velocity drop I have to think all the innings caught up to him.

Sidney Rice (PUP List)

Am I droppable now in a 12 team standard league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Absolutely. He's out at least 2 months. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't play at all this season. Don't cut him just because you can, but if there is someone decent to sign, go for it. PUP list means 6 weeks... it's possible Rice is back right after that. Nobody knows.

Dustin Pedroia (Boston)

How about me? Am I droppable?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Absolutely. Maybe he plays in Sept... if the Sox are 10 out by then, he shouldn't.

Kevin (NJ)

Hi, Eric. Jamaal Charles is my pick for this year's breakout star. I think he'll produce like a RB1. Is he flying under the radar as of now? Could I snag him in the third or even fourth round?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Doubtful. I rank Charles just outside the top 10 RBs. He's already broken out.

Kirvin (Atlanta)

What sleeper QB not named Cutler or Flacco could you see throwing 20 TDs this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

A bunch. Jason Campbell will do it. Chad Henne and Matt Cassel should do it. And here's a shocker... I think Matt Moore will be very competent. I could see him doing it with Steve Smith catching 9 or 10 of the scores.

Isaac (Bakersfield, CA)

another keeper draft question, good sir: I have Deangelo and Randy and first pick-benson and ryan grant are available but i have no qb and the top 9 are gone...should i go Kolb?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Depends on whether there are other available QBs, like Eli and Cutler and that Fav-ruh dude. I'd still go RB there. Grant and Benson are close to top 10 guys.

Dan (St. Louis)

Will Greg Camarillo help the Vikings passing until Sindey Rice returns? Worth a stash in PPR leagues?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

With Percy Harvin hurting, that's where Camarillo could get playing time. He's certainly no Greg Lewis. Camarillo is a possession guy, and the Vikings should use him. For now, sure he's worth a stash late in a standard league. He's going to do more than Javon Walker.

Chris (NY)

Would you gamble on the likes of Matt Moore over Palmer?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Probably not if all I need a safe, reliable backup for the one week my starter is on bye. Depends who the starter is. Depends if it's a 2-QB league. I just see Moore doing more than everyone expects.

Ryder (Houston)

Whats the earliest round you would pick Arian Foster?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Always depends on the rules and the construction of my team. If I go WR-WR right away, then someone like Foster looks better. I never do that, but as a No. 3/4 RB in round 5 or 6, absolutely.

Dylan (Dallas)

Seems like alot of experts are predicting a slight dip in Eli Manning's production this year, is that due to personnel or will they simply not need to throw as much?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

I don't see a good reason why to expect a dip. Eli's safe. He has weapons. The running game did nothing last year, and is it really any better? Eli's my No. 10 QB...nothing to worry about. Just keep your helmet on!

Mike (Minnesota)

What is your guess about VJax being in Seattle soon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

My guess is it won't happen. No team wants to trade for a malcontent like this. Signing him as a free agent is different! I think Jackson and the Chargers eventually work things out.

Scot (Colorado)

How would you feel about rolling with a QB platoon of Orton, Henne, and V. Young (all available 9th round or later) in a 12 team league? Viable?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Wouldn't feel particularly great about it, but Henne is someone I like to be a possible top 10 QB. It's just risky to have this trio and nothing else.

Raul (Panama)

Numbers to expect from Brian Westbrook?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Very little. Honestly, he went to a team with a top-5 RB who does catch passes. I doubt B-West does very much at all.

Navy Pilot (Pensacola FL)

Good afternoon Eric. Just got home from a flight and had to ask if this trade sounds kosher. Ray Rice, Saints D, and Mike Wallace for Shiancoe(I have Gates), 49ers D, and Thomas Jones. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

It's really one-sided...I mean, take Rice out of the deal and the case can be made. That's robbery dude!

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Eric: Hope you don't mind a question from a Braves fan living in PA but are there any TEs that should be picked within the first three rounds of a 16-team league with a 16-round draft?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I have nothing against Braves fans, or even the Braves. Good for them... But sure, if pick 48 is the final one of round 3, I can see Gates/Clark going there. I'd be more worried in that deep a league about getting proper RB and WR depth though. In so deep a league you can't take the chance at those spots... but Zach Miller in round 10 will suffice at TE.

Greg (Chicago)

Buying or selling Strasburg in a keeper league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I'm sure not paying the going rates for him... which is why I won't get him. I rarely invest in hyped players like this. Give me someone producing now!

Mat (London)

Hi Eric, you say that Camarillo is no Greg Lewis, do you mean he is better or worse fansasy wise?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Better. Should have noted that. I could see Camarillo, if he starts, catching 50 passes... but I also think Berrian and Harvin will productive.

Hogan (Chicago)

Nice to hear you on ESPN 1000 radio today....just had my draft and got Benson and Charles as my starting RB's. On the bench I have Jerome Harrison (flex), Arian, and Donald Brown. Can I feel good about that group??

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Yes sir, bunch of radio spots already today, Chicago, Charlotte, etc. Radio is fun! Yeah, I think Benson/Charles is OK... neither are certain top 10 guys, but both should be productive.. This is not the strongest RB crew I've seen, but I'm assuming your first rounder was a WR.

Petey (NYC)

I see Berrian having a sidney rice like year...do u?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Oh no, not quite that good, but 1,000 yards, 8-10 TDs, Berrian is certainly capable. Remember he didn't exactly have a Favre at QB when he was in Chicago...

Robert (Milwaukee, WI)

How does the issues the Vikings are having at WR affect AP's production?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

It doesn't. Peterson will get his numbers. So will Favre. And Longwell :)

Chris (NYC)

Call it right now EK...Larry Fitzgerald finishes the year as a top 5 WR with 1000+ yards and double digit TDs...true or false?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I am thisclose to saying false. Look, I have some doubts. Some. But we cannot overrate the preseason...Leinart will start, and he should be competent.

Ralph (ny)

Hanraham droppable or keep him? Don't see many more saves coming his way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

The Pirates have 3 saves this month. That's scary. And Hanrahan didn't even get the last save. See what else is out there.

Nick (Cranford)

are either Mike Wallace or Jeremy Maclin legit WR2 material?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I would say no, they are not, but both are strong WR3 options with the potential for more. But there are certainly questions.

Pat (NY)

I was having a discussion with someone about one of your favorite players Dave Bush. There are certain players who always seem to better or not meet their underlying statistics. Is it completley luck or does the player have something to do with it?In Bush's case, he seems to to pitch better with no runners on, than when there are baserunners.

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I'm way past trusting Dave Bush. To answer your point, he's a mess with men on base, and he allows too many home runs. Something always seems to go wrong, so it can't just be bad luck.

Jason (Bmore)

I noticed in your ppr draft done earlier this month that you went with rbs first. Was this indicative of the players on the board, or a general strategy you maintain?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I generally go with RBs first no matter the format. I know WRs aren't so deep this season, but I still feel like I can steal Hines Ward types - old, little upside - when nobody else wants them. You gotta get 2 RBs you can count on early.

Anthony (Cali)

if there was a gun to your head, and you had to choose, what Pats RB do you want? Maroney, Taylor, or Morris?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Well, nobody should take fantasy football THAT seriously, or even joke about it! But I think it's Maroney. More carries until he loses the job. No Patriots RB gets 1,000 yards. Belichick is fine with that. Why would he care?

Ben (STL)

Odds on a lockout next season? And thoughts on SJAX this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

No work stoppage. Let's stay positive! And I've still got Jackson in my top 10. Some concerns about his back and the team around him, but he's so talented.

Jerry (Lebanon, OH)

Do you believe in drafting a top 3 TE or grabbing a second WR? (12 team league, 16 players)

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

The WR, no question. Don't mess around at that position. At tight end.. .I seem to be getting Celek in many leagues, but I'd be fine waiting longer for Shiancoe, Zach Miller in Oak, Cooley, etc.

KingClovis (SF, CA)

Have you ever lost in fantasy football to someone who let the computer autodraft their lineup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Haven't we all? Sometimes luck takes over. All you can control is your own team. I've had undefeated teams lose in Week 17... happens too much, actually.

John ((Oakland))

What are your thoughts on Dexter McCluster? Viable flex option? I saw one fantasy guy predict 1,500 yards for him.

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Well, that seems just a bit inflated to me... but one never knows! For now I don't think Dex is draft worthy in standard leagues... but there should be opportunity in KC.

Andy (Phoenix)

Hiya, Eric. Hope you're doing well.So . . . Travis Wood: Fluke or sign of things to come? Should I drop him for Homer Bailey or Jake Westbrook?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Man, that outing from Wood last night bothered me. I was so sure he was safe... and then...boom! I'd still keep him around over Bailey and Jake though.

Josh (Denver)

Seriously!? You answer ?'s on NE rb's as if anyone actually drafts them, and a lockout, but i cant get mine on Charles/Jones or Flacco as a starter?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Do you know how many questions are in here? A lot! I'm not ignoring anyone. And yes, in most drafts at least one Pats RB goes. In some I see 3 go. In fact, in a draft the other day the first NE RB to go was Fred Taylor! Anyway, you want Charles. He's going to be the guy. Flacco is like a number of other QBs...probably a bit overrated.

Mike (Nashville (with hot girlfriend))

Undefeated teams lose in week 17 because fantasy football is probably 50% LUCK. Or is that percentage low?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Well, people can also make their own luck. But certainly you cannot control fate. Everyone leaves a draft with a worthy starting lineup. Then injuries and fate takes over... and in Week 17, we know crazy things happen and some of the best players just don't perform.

Jack (NH)

I love it when people get upset with you. They must think Erik Karabell is their own personal fantasy go-to guy. I feel your pain. Thoughts on Jabar Gaffney this year? If you have time ; )

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Trust me, I laugh it all off. Comes with the territory. And I always make time for the readers, listeners, users... we're here for them, even if they're often ...well... not happy!I think someone has to catch the ball in Denver, and it's likely Gaffney and Royal. But will either top 50 receptions... I'd say no. As late picks they are worth the shot. I just don't see the Broncos scoring that much.

Andy (Phoenix)

It's EriC. With a C. I mean, it's in the page title for gash sakes.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

No worries...been called worse!

SAM ((NY))

Name one player who will finish in the top 3 at their position in scoring that no one predicted....

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Well, if I really thought that I would have ranked it that way... but here are some thoughts... how about Romo at QB. How about Austin and Roddy at WR. And DeAngelo or Charles at RB... and Finley at TE.

Nick (Seattle)

Danny Haren gave up a leadoff home run, what is UP with his fly ball rate this year?!

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I really lost patience with Haren in about May. Way too hittable now. I can deal with the average second half if the first half is really good...but this season is not good.

Dave (Chicago)

Hey Eric - Nice to see you tweeting again. I drafted Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger. Schedule-wise, is it worth keeping Matt around until Ben is playing again or should I try to swing a trade and play the waiver wire game week to week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Yes, I was "subtly" asked to tweet regularly. That's cool, I can do it... I just haven't been. But for football, I'm ready! I am @karabellespn by the way. Found my password today and everything! Couldn't let Berry have all the fun.... anyway, I think Big Ben will outperform Ryan this season, EVEN with missing the first 4 games. How about that! But I'd keep Ryan around even afterward...and certainly in September.

Underrated Stud (Without HOT girlfriend) (Louisville)

Is Donald Driver really draftable this season? I mean seriously, he got Jennins and Finley, I thought his last season was a mistake.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Driver is eminently draftable. Last year was no fluke, not with the top QB in fantasy. Rodgers throws a ton.

Pat (NY)

What people should do is use fantasy experts to get ther line of reasoning and then make the decison for themseleves.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Absolutely. It's YOUR team(s)...

Joe (Newport, KY)

Eric,Do you and Matt Berry agree on most fantasy football philosophies? For example, Do you agree with drafting 1 QB, TE, DEF, K and the rest with RB's and WR's?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

We're both pretty wise people who know what we're doing and have been doing this for a really long time. I think we would both eventually get a backup QB, but otherwise, hit the RB/WRs hard. Absolutely.

Mike (NJ)

What do you realistically expect from Farve this year? I know a repeat of last year isn't likely, but is he still a solid QB1 in fantasy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I rank him ninth at QB, so clearly I believe so. But those numbers last season, just crazy!

Brad (Cincy)

Seems everyone at ESPN has Jennings over D-Jax, even you! Worried too much about the inconsistency from week to week with him? Definitely seems risk/reward but also seems Kolb and him have a good connection. Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

I have no concerns about Kevin Kolb. He'll outperform what McNabb did the past few seasons. I'd be worried about Jackson's health ... and clearly he wants more money, so that could come into play as well. The biggest thing is his value is so dependent on TDs. Jackson will not be catching 80 passes... if he doesn't score double digits, it's not a great season for him.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

EK: What's your prediction for a "FFB Comeback Player of the Year?" LT, Edwards maybe?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

How about Cutler and Forte... though they weren't really that bad last season. People just think they were. One was a top 10 QB, the other a top 20 RB! Marion Barber will bounce back as well.

Jim (Seattle)

Speed Round! Over/under - Schaub 3800 yds, 32 tds?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Yeah, I love the speed round... let's do it! I say over on yards, but under on TDs.

matt (ia)

safe to cut chaz schilens?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Yes. Had knee scoped... forget about Oak WRs really.

Martin (Hartford)

Better fantasy year, Romo or Brady?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I say Brady, but Romo is not getting enough love.

Andrew (Chicago)

Thoughts on Manny for the rest of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Good luck, White Sox. Not a top 30 outfielder... but ownable.

Jason (queens)

Better year, Kolb or Flacco?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Kolb. Just because Boldin is there we're supposed to annoint Flacco, No. 18 at QB last year, a top 10 guy?

Josh (Denver)

For the last 2 years Forsett has been predicted to be the Seattle RB you want, but then Jones gets the ball, even though he is obvicously not the better player. Realistically percentage chance this happens again?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

In September, I say 90 percent. But after that common sense takes over. And it is a new coach now.. can't blame Carroll for the past.

Harper Sandy (Atlanta, GA)

Best later round depth-pick in a keeper league, Justin Forsett, Reggie Bush, Malcolm Floyd?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Forsett!

Todd(PA) [via mobile]

Finley over/under TDs-8

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Ooooh... over!

Pat (NYC)

Rank for rest of year - Bud Norris, Rich Harden, Barry Enright

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Bud, Barry, 50 other pitchers and then Richie...

Josh Cribbs (Cleveland)

I am the Browns offense this year right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Harrison is looking like a steal at this point...

Joe (Trenton)

Gore over/under tds 10

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Over!

Ryan (Lexington, Ky)

Cutler or Favre at QB1?

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Cutler is the new Favre...gunslingers unite! I have Cutler 8, Favre 9.

Bill (DC)

Nelson Figueroa - You buying this?

Eric Karabell
  (4:01 PM)

Really? ON this note, I have to say goodbye. Thanks for the great questions and fun in the chat room today. Wow, lots of questions! Get ready for those drafts and go win your baseball leagues! Have a great week!