Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 1, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session... I am Eric. Football is about a week away and baseball is in its final month, so we've got lots to get to. Have a question, send it in! Thanks for showing up, and here we go...

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric. Lots to get to today, with football starting in a week and baseball heading into the final month. Thanks for showing up ... let's go!

Andrew (Baltimore)

I know you're waiting on quarterbacks this year, but would you change your strategy at all in a league that gives 6 points per TD pass?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I do wait on quarterbacks, but my answer to this would be I wouldn't wait quite as long. Would I think about Brees or Rodgers in round 1? Sure. I don't think making TD passes 6 versus 4 points changes much. The reason we avoid QBs early is still valid here. Just as Peyton Manning gets more points this way, so does Jay Cutler and Brett Fav-ruh. I would change my strategy only slightly.

JW (Carbondale)

What's your opinion on the Jamaal Charles/Thomas Jones situation in KC? I have Charles on both of my teams and got him for a low price in an auction and in the 4th round of a draft. Did I get a steal or just a regular guy that will get 10-12 carries and a couple of catches a game?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I believe Charles will start and he'll be terrific, but would it shock me if the Chiefs went to a timeshare split evenly? No, it would not. I think Charles has a ton of upside, and even if he and Jones share things in September, ultimately the younger, better running back will prevail. Remember, Charles was second only to Chris Johnson in the final two months last season. Even if he starts slowly this year, don't give up on him.

Patrick (Honolulu)

Aloha, Eric! Given LTs impressive showing this preseason, do you think Shonn Greene's value takes a hit? Is Greene still good for around 300 carries this season? Mahalo, brah!

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

No, I don't think Greene's value takes a hit, even though LT has looked very good. Let's see how LT looks in November. Then again, I have LT ranked better than most people, because I expect he will catch close to 50 passes and score a good bunch of TDs. Greene can still score 10 times and rush for 1,200 yards; he won't be catching passes. I'm not worried about Greene, and can't make LT a top-30 RB yet.

Adam Andrew (Northern, KY)

I have both Tony Romo and Kevin Kolb as my QB. I feel a little weak at WR and looking to trade Kolb. What kind of receiver should I look to get in return?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Impossible to know what someone might give you for Kolb. For one, his value is low because he's had a poor preseason. He's not a clear top-10 QB. I'd doubt too many people will give a top 20 WR for him. Then again, if you think, like I do, that Kolb will be very good and almost as good as Romo, then trade the Cowboy! That's how value works. You don't need a top backup if you have Romo... but I also think Kolb will do well. Ultimately, someone might trade Brandon Marshall for a QB for all I know... or it might be only Davone Bess.

Brandon (Atlanta)

Gotta drop someone in week 4 to pick up a backup for Romo. Should I drop Bernard Scott or Jacoby Jones?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Well, do you really need to worry about this on Sept. 1? I'd say no. See if Scott or Jones can emerge in the next month and then find someone. There will be starting QBs available on free agency. I mean, you don't need a backup for Romo for awhile. In one of my leagues drafting now I just chose a 5th WR instead of a backup QB in essentially my last non-D or K round. My QB is Eli. I can wait until Week 10 to find a bye week helper.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Are you as high on Malcolm Floyd at TMR is?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

High in a good and responsible way, yes! I don't see Floyd putting up Vincent Jackson numbers, but he should be productive and score enough to be a WR3. Floyd is a nice sleeper and I don't know if Jackson will play ... at all!

jahvid best (detroit)

really?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! you wouldnt want me on your team.

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Um, huh? There's a spot for virtually every fantasy football option somewhere. I happen to believe the rookies get overrated some, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want Best. I just act cautiously with unproven players.

Todd (MPLS, MN)

Eric I have the #3 pick in a draft, who's my safer pick MJD or Rice?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Safer? At this point probably Rice. But I would still go with Jones-Drew fourth. He's gonna play in Week 1.

David (KC)

Falling in love with Foster...Is Barber and Jacobs too much to give up to get him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Both of them for Arian Foster? Yeah, that's a lot. That would be a lot for Rashard Mendenhall. Foster might be really good, but he remains unproven. It's a passing team. Just be careful. I happen to think Marion Barber is great value this season... not so much on Jacobs, but he could easily score 10 TDs.

Chris (Boston)

With the injury to Michael Bush, who do you want on your team between him and McFadden?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

All along it's been McFadden for me, it just took a broken hand to Bush to even things up. Frankly, I'm skeptical either guy will emerge to gain more than 750 yards.

Andy (Syracuse, NY)

Whats your take on Flacco for this year? I drafted him thinking he be a nice sleeper

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I do not have Flacco among my top 10 QBs, so I'm probably not the one to ask! I just think people have unrealistic expectations here. Adding Boldin is great, but that seems to be the only reason why people think Flacco will go from the No. 18 QB from 2009 to top 10. He might ... but there are safer choices.

Patrick (Cambridge, MA)

@ Brandon...week 4 is a long ways away. Very long. Almost too long...Bernard Scott.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Yeah, I probably should have answered this one, too. I'd keep Scott around. IF Benson gets hurt or stinks, he could be awesome. Jones is not going to be more than Houston's No. 2 WR...

Brian (Chicago)

Hines Ward or Mike Wallace? Either a WR 2?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I think Ward is the safer choice, but Wallace has DeSean Jackson-like upside for yards and TDs. Right now I'd prefer Ward.

KG (Hoboken)

Is Cutler good enough to win me a championship with a great supposrting cast? I have AP, J.Charles,A.Foster, R.Moss, Megatron, S.Smith (CAR), B. Celek..

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Absolutely. Cutler was top 10 QB last year... when the picks go way down to like 19-20, he'll flirt with being top 5.

The Burglar (DC)

Why shouldn't I take a QB with the number 5 pick in a 12 team league? 6pts/passing TD & 1 point/10yds receiving.

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

You most certainly can. I just choose not to. And the reason has nothing to do with the scoring. It's the gap between the top QBs and the 8-14 range. Plus, you can start 2 or 3 RBs at one time, and only 1 QB. But that doesn't mean you have to follow. Take Brees in round 1. Take Campbell. It's your team, so enjoy it!

John (NY)

if you have both Beanie and Hightower, who r u starting week 1?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Definitely Beanie.. I see Hightower as a third-down back. Should get catches, score occasionally, but Wells has the big upside.

Danny (Erie)

Feel good about my team, but stuck with Favre/Big Ben at QB. Should I start QB shopping?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Why are you "stuck" with that? Favre is top 10, and after a month Roethlisberger will be regarded as top 10 each week. That's a fine QB tandem there.

Chris (NY)

Gary Kubiak stated Owen Daniels would only run about 20 plays week 1...would you roll with him or give John Carlson the spot start?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Well, talk to me in a week. No need to set lineups now. Plus, just because Kubiak says that now, let's just say it doesn't mean much. Plus, how many plays do we want Daniels to get? He can get 5 catches in those 20 plays, 60 yards, maybe score. Plays is a bit overrated to me. Some players don't need many plays to produce.

Brian (Chicago)

What are you thoughts on Jerome Harrison?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I think he's a bit underated, frankly. Where is his competition for September? Hardesty is just a rookie and he's been hurt. James Davis? I think Harrison could get started quickly and turn into a clear play early on. If he struggles, then he allows the competition to test him.

Ken (Nashville)

Just had my draft last Sunday but I'm not sure about my running back depth. Think I should make a trade? Ryan Grant, Jamal Charles, Justin Forsett, Clinton Portis, Cadillac Williams. 12 team standard scoring non-ppr league.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Looks OK to me. Grant is a RB1, and Charles should be a RB2. Maybe better. And you've got an upside guy in Forsett and some old guys who should flirt with 1,000 yards and maybe 6 scores.

Kyle (Los Angeles)

I see you have Crabtree 19 WR slots ahead of Knox. Given Crabtree's neck and Alex Smith, I'm curious why the disparity.

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I'm not particularly worried about Crabtree's neck issue, and Alex Smith is fully capable of making Crabtree a top 25 WR. So is Jay Cutler, but the Bears have 4 or 5 WRs who all should see plays early on. Knox could emerge.. no guarantees though.

Patrick (ATL)

Eric, i have the dreaded 5th pick - assuming the top 4 RBs are gone - i'm leaning towards Turner but have seen that most experts have Gore ahead of him. what would you do?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I see a clear top 7 acutally... six RBs with Gore and Steven Jackson at the end, and then Andre Johnson at 7. The eighth pick I don't want. I guess that's Turner. Still, there's nothing dreaded about pick 5. Gore is good. Turner should be good, too.

Chris (DC)

You seem confident having Eli as your QB1, should you be? For that matter should I be? Wasn't my decision couldn't make the draft....

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I've got Eli as my No. 10 QB... so I'm confident he'll do a top 10 job. Is he his brother or Matt Schaub.. no, he is not. But over 16 weeks, a difference of 2 or 3 points per game really won't seem like much. Eli is fine. More than capable.

Big Mike (Denver)

With the Donnie Avery injury, what kind of numbers are you expecting for L. Robinson in St. Louis? On account of Sidney Rice's delayed surgery, I'm a little thin at WR. (He was a keeper.)

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Honestly, my expectations for all Rams WRs were pretty low to start with, and they still are. Could Laurent Robinson emerge? Yes. Will he? I think Avery was probably going to end up well short of 1,000 yards anyway. But I do have Robinson in multiple leagues... I think if Bradford develops a good WR, it's him.

Chris (NYC)

Assuming Leinart is traded, does Derek anderson become a solid #2 QB given the offense behind him? Take him over say Palmer or Orton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

For one, let's not assume anything. Two, it doesn't change a thing. Anderson is the starter already. Would he get more comfortable should Leinart get dumped elsewhere? I would put Anderson at No. 22 - which is where I had Leinart until recently - when he starts. Not a solid No. 2. But there is upside there.

Pat (NY)

Is it me or do people get too obsessed with the rankings? They have like the 6th pick and want to take the 9th rank player but don't because ESPN says they should take someone else.

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Totally agree. I barely even look at the rankings. Take who YOU want.. .even if it's 20 picks before the rankings say. Rankings are a guide. I don't even follow my own rankings half the time. Each draft is different.

Pete (St. Louis)

You seem higher than most on Favre...does this mean you think he'll play all 16 games?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

He hasn't missed a game since the Jimmy Carter administration. He should take a step back performance wise, but he doesn't miss games. Unless he retires... and who are we kidding there?

Nick (Boston)

Need help for my draft tonight - keeper league - can't find good keeper rankings anywhere. Please rank: Benson, Charles, Moreno, and Best

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Use your own rankings! I'd say Charles, Moreno, Best and then Benson in keeper formats.

BOB (Fla)

Arian Foster....o/U 1200 and 10 tds? if over , why is he only ranked consistently around 20 for RBs by the experts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I have the under on both... but I see your point. He's clearly rising in rankings. But there remains considerable risk here. I have some players with lesser numbers ranked better than others because of myriad reasons... upside, safety, schedule, lots of things. Foster is in my top 50 I believe, not sure how much higher he can go!

Frank (Beans)

Would you start Eli or Palmer week 1?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

In general, if I own Eli, he's my guy. Don't even look at the schedule. Palmer really wasn't very good in 2009, and adding T.O. doesn't change things.

Anthony Prisco (Lancaster, PA)

Eric. Larry Fitz. Over/Under 1100 10td'sThanks!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

For now, over. On both. Monster player, and the Derek Anderson interceptions do not count against Fitz!

Neil (Portland)

You worried about Ryan Howard at all for the next couple years? Other than his HR last night, he's been AWFUL since returning from the DL.

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

Baseball! Wow, it took 33 minutes to get a baseball question in... guess it's all football season now! Yes, I can't say I would target Howard in a keeper league. He's not 25, and players like him - lot of strikeouts, larger first basemen - generally do not age well. But can he hit 40 homers in three years? Of course he can. And he did homer last night, by the way.

George (Arkansas)

Your thoughts on drafting QB/WR tandems. Is it worth it to invest so much in one offense?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I don't target tandems, but if I already own Miles Austin and Tony Romo has slipped too far, I don't avoid it. I'm more likely to try to avoid RB-WR tandems from the same team.

JD (CA)

Would you hang onto Ricky Nolasco at this point or drop him for Jordan Zimmerman?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Don't assume Zimmermann is safe. One good start, one bad one. And he's coming back from TJ surgery, so there will be some hiccups. Plus, he's a National. Nolasco isn't so safe either, but I don't cut him.

Norm (Boston)

Are you on the Mike Williams (Tampa) train yet? He is garnering a ton of hype.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Sadly, he's garnering a bit too much hype. Saw him drafted in the top 100 of my draft the other day. A month ago I could get him on free agency after the draft.

daniel (ny)

jermichael finley: o/u 1000 yards and 9 tds

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Under on both. But there is obvious upside here. Hey, it's not so easy for a tight end to get 1,000 yards. Vernon Davis and Celek didn't do it.

Bryan (Buffalo)

CJ Spiller - fantasy stud this year. You heard it here first

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

It's certainly possible. It's also possible Fred Jackson is a monster sleeper that many owners will regret passing up. He should play in Week 1.

Andrew (WI)

Great work on the Baseball Today podcast every day. And now that I sucked up, you have to answer my question: In the late 2nd round in a 12-team standard draft, if 6 QBs have already been taken, is taking Matt Schaub a good idea? Or do you let the position run dry and load up elsewhere as a general strategy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

If 6 QBs are already off the board, then you've already got your great value in Schaub. Yes, it's too early, and I would probably still target RB/WR types to load up while others miss out, but I see your point.

bj (philly)

what are your thoughts on Freddie Freeman? Is he worth a flier pickup for the last month?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Not really. Derrek Lee is the everyday 1B. Freeman is the everyday pinch hitter.

Josh (Seattl)

Is it time to sit Utley for Weeks? Chase has done next to nothing since he's been back

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

You are correct. The case can be made to sit - not drop - a lot of Phillies, really. And Weeks is having a terrific season, great power. Really, he has Utley numbers!

Anthony (Cleveland, OH)

Forsett: Great flex player or the next Derrick Ward type bust?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Could be a bust if someone counts on him to be a starter, but what Ward did, that's just crazy. Amazing how he flamed out so quickly in TB. Maybe the Giants should take him back.

Fantasy FB addict (USA)

Given the instant repoire Camarillo had with Favre, do you like him as a pick up? Better year than Berrian - who seems to be a perrenial bust?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

What repoire would that be? Favre gets along with all WRs because they want the ball and he throws it a ton. Berrian has disappointed before, but he was also hurt last year. He'll be good. Camarillo might catch 50 passes... but is that good enough to own?

Mike (Miami)

Doesn't Steven Jackson seem like a risky pick for the 5-7th pick in the draft? Obviously, he has upside if the Rams are half decent and he stays healthy. But shouldn't you play it a bit safer with the first pick and take Turner, or even Mendenhall?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Jackson is a tad risky... but the upside is monstrous. Better than most. He catches the ball, scores touchdowns, etc. Turner scares me more, actually.

Richie (Charleston)

Rank: Blanton, Porcello, Zimmerman

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Man, amazing how everyone loves Zimmermann after one nice outing! Of course, I don't love Blanton or Porcello after their nice outings either. Let's go Blanton, Zimm and then Porcello here.

Miles (Knoxville)

Eric what do you think of Desmond Jennings callup...drop victorino to pick him up? It is a keeper league!

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Sounds a little extreme to me, but depends if you can still win. Jennings could steal 10 bases this month... but he might not bat more than 10 times, too. Victorino is flawed, but he's productive in sum.

John (Louisiana)

Is there any chance Ray Rice gets Steve Slatoned? Slaton had a terrific rookie season and flamed last year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Built differently, and far different offenses with game plans. I'd be stunned if Rice has a Slaton-like fall.

Joe Flacco (Baltimore)

You aren't telling the whole story in your earlier answer about me being #18 QB last year. I was ballin' with a top 5 status before I was hurt last year. Team finalyl came out and said the inury I was dealing w/ was much more serious than being let on. THAT's why people are high on me!

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Top 5 status? Where? Hey, I like Flacco. He is my No. 11 QB. Reports that I hate the guy are misinformed. He's just not better, to me, than Cutler, Favre, Kolb, Eli. That's all. Flacco should improve. He has weapons. I'm just not as high on him as others...Boldin is risky, too.

Kate (Florida)

Who ends up being the more worthwhile NYG back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Tiki. OK, I think Bradshaw, who outscored Jacobs last year, will again. So clearly if you look at the average draft results, one of them is really underrated. Guess which one?

Petey (Princeton,MN)

Do you see AP as the Vikes 3rd down back to show his receiving skills off a bit more now with Chester gone? over/under 40 catches?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I will say under 40, but yes, he won't automatically leave games on third down. Probably won't be Toby Gerhart early on replacing him though.

Anthony (Raleigh, NC)

Chapman - High K/BB rate and some Holds for the rest of the season or better?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Not gonna start, not gonna finish. But 15 innings with a 1.50 ERA and 25 strikeouts. Very valuable!

Austin (Chicago)

S Jax has gained nearly 10 lbs of solid muscle in his upper body and did you read that article on how he is welcoming the fact that he is going to get banged around? Even if he gets hurt he'll carry 6 men on his back for an extra two yards.

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Hey, I believe. He's my No. 6 guy.

derek (Fla)

What QB's have you landed this year with your "wait on QB's" Strategy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Mostly Cutler, Favre, Eli and Kolb. And definitely Roethlisberger. What a great backup... by Week 5 he can start for you and be a top 10 guy. Very underdrafted.

Erik (Lalaland)

Who's a better backup, Kyle Orton or Vince Young. 6 points per TD's, 1 point per 10 yards rushing

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I think Young is. In deep leagues he can be a starter. Orton is far more risky.

James (Atlanta)

Can Dexter McCluster be a #3 WR this year. Doesn't rushing attempts make him a safe WR3?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I don't think McCluster is going to get many rushes. He could be a DeSean Jackson type in theory, but it's not the same offense. And he's a rookie! He could barely play.

Andy Mac (Stayton, Oregon)

Would you be comfortable with Campbell at QB in a 16 team league waiting for Big Ben to come back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Absolutely. Plus, Raiders have Rams and Cards in the first month... Campbell was underrated last year. He beat out Flacco!

Smitty (LR)

Got completely hosed at QB on the "wait for a QB" strategy with Henne and Young. Attempt to trade for Cutler or pickup Orton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Henne and Young are in my 14-16 range. Not a ton different from Cutler. I'd probably wait unless you can acquire Cutler reasonably. Orton isn't better than Henne or Young.

Jason (Bmore)

Are you a believer in Leon Washington being healthy enough to contribute to the Seattle backfield?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Contribute yes, but more than 10 carries/touches per game, no.

Justin (Jersey)

Am I CRAZY to draft R Mathews at 7? I don't like the injury risk of Gore or Jackson, and want to hold off on QB.

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

It's your team. And I have seen this done in the past few weeks. Evyerone seems to love Mathews. Maybe he's gonna be awesome. But here's something to watch: HE's an injury risk, too. ALL RBs are. Gore and Jackson just aren't rookies so we all know about their injuries.

Vinny (NYC)

Is Cadillac Williams the starter in TB? I've heard of this guy Huggins but know nothing about him.

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Williams has been the starter all along. Huggins passed Derrick Ward a few weeks ago. Nothing really changes here, except that with Ward gone, now Huggins could really make inroads if Caddy struggles.

Jennifer (Texas)

Lightning round!!!!! D. Mason O/U 1000 yds and 7 TDs

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Have to say under, but still D-Mase is very good value this season.

Matt Forte (Chicago)

I've been drafted anywhere between rounds 5-10. What value do you see me holding?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Oh, I've seen Forte drafted before round 5 a few times. Definitely closer to that than round 10...

John (Atlanta)

Vincent Jackson play this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Probably. But it might be months. No, really.

Tyler (Bowling Green)

chapman a top ?? starter next year..

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Oh, I couldn't put him in the top 25 yet. There are 25 really good options for that honor. But soon after.

sean (hoboken)

Will Greg Olsen be a good fit in Martz system ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Everyone will be a good fit...but they would have been no matter who the coordinator was gonna be.

Steve V (Illinois)

Keeper for 2011 - Rios $12, Konerko $3, McCutchen $10

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Probably McCutchen. Monster in the making!

Greg (Louisville)

Will Zach Miller have a breakout year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

The Oakland one will.

Harold (Dallas, TX)

Any chance Ward ends up in Houston? This could put a damper on all of this Arian Foster talk.

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Ward should find work. Could absolutely be there in Houston. But note Ward was not in good shape... that's partly why he got dumped.

Danny (Chicago)

Thoughts on owning two WR from the same team? I couldn't pass on Nicks in the 8th round even though I already had Steve Smith.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Not the worst thing to do... but when would you play both of them together?

Jerry Jones (Dallas)

I think Felix should be the starter, but my coaches say Barber. What do you think?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Timeshare!

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

On that note, time for the chat to unfortunately end. Thank you for the fine and many questions. Wow, tons of them today! It must be football season! Have a great day and check out our other chats and all our articles, podcasts, blogs, etc. See ya...