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December 1, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to yet another fantasy sports chat session...judging from recent chats let's assume we're 99 percent football today, but I'll answer baseball questions when I see them. There are 12 weeks down, 5 more to go in football... the playoffs are a comin'...let's go! Thanks for showing up!

Jay (Boston)

Drafted Romo and Stafford then picked up Hill. Now I need your help, Eric. Pick @ QB's to get me through my playoffs or atleast the 1st round. Choices are: Kitna, Cutler, Sanchez, Collins, Garrard, and Henne.

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Yikes. Yeah, what a shame about Shaun Hill. He was playing well. I'd say in general Kitna and Garrard have the schedules you want for those weeks, maybe Sanchez as well. Romo could be back in the coming weeks, but if not I do believe in Kitna...

Franklin (Nashville)

Why is everyone so down on Philly's D? All Texans seem to be ranked very high this week. I was thinking of starting Bradford or Fitz over Schaub. Is that a mistake?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Well, the Eagles did just give up 4 touchdowns to Jay Cutler, which is kind of appalling considering his season stats. I think Eagles-Texans is a shootout... and I like Schaub against the non-Asante Samuel Philly secondary. and Foster and Andre are ranked great every week...

Jon (New York)

What are your views on how Malcom Floyd will produce this week and beyond? Will he get more targets with V Jackson out of the lineup again?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Depends on his health, which clearly is not at 100 percent. The Jackson situation is ridiculous..can't believe we fell for him producing. The thing is Rivers doesn't care who he throws to... I'd say Floyd has a decent shot for numbers this week.

Steve (Boston)

Why are you so low on Cutler this week in your rankings?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Yeah, I noticed that, too. I just refuse to overrate one performance, and the last time he faced the Lions he didn't do much. Lions should have won. I probably should have Cutler in the 12-15 region, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't do much.

Ethics Question (CT)

What are your thoughts on not playing a full roster? I am locked into the #2 playoff spot with a bye. I just lost Gore and decided to drop my K and Def to pick up extra RB's who could play a role for me in week 15/16. Am I crazy to think this is my best strategy? Is it unethical to the league if I do this?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Everyone needs to stop with the ethics... there is nothing wrong with this. I do it in one of my leagues, dropping the kicker on Tuesday and then signing one Sunday morning. There's no rule against it and others whining are probably just jealous you thought of it.

Greg (Syracuse)

Will Brandon Marshall be usable this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

If he plays, I would have no worries using him, but let's remember he wasn't having such a great season to start with. If he doesn't play, Bess moves up a lot.

Ted Striker (Cockpit)

Your rankings show you haven't lost faith in Dez Bryant - SURELY you must think he's a better flex play than J. Stewart or S. Rice...?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

We'll find out when flex rankings come out on Thursday, but I'd think Dez will get the nod. And don't call me surely.

Another "Ethics Question" (NYC)

Is it wrong to post the same exact question to different chatters (you, Mass, etc.)?Loved your response EK!

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Not wrong at all... we all think differently, that's for sure.

Jason (DC)

EK, strategery question. I've got Hillis but feel my best defensive option this week is Miami. Is this a bad idea considering won't get full value for Hillis' touchdowns?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

I seem to be in the minority on issues like these, but I don't see it that way. I think the Dolphins are worth using this week, and all Hillis' production does is take away the upside for preventing points. The Cleveland QB is still likely to turn the ball over...

Jim (New Orleans)

I know what your rankings say, but would you take a chance with Gerhart against the lowly Bills or go with Blount (against a pretty good Atlanta run def)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

The Bills aren't that lowly... they should have beaten the Steelers on Sunday. And my Adrian Peterson ranking answers this... Gerhart is a backup.

JT (Ohio)

AP ranked at #6 this week?!? Is that out of respect? Or do the espn analysts know something we don't??

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Well, what exactly do YOU know about this situation that says we shouldn't rank AP that well? I think he's going to play, and if he plays, he should play well.

Rich (Weymouth,)

Do you think Choice will actually get some carries this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

One would think he would, but the Cowboys will probably end up using him at the goal line and that's it. I blogged about Choice awhile ago and remain stumped why he doesn't get used more. Just because Barber is out might not change much.

Jason (NY)

Best Defensive option- SD, Miami, or Ten?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I ranked Titans a shade better than Chargers... all are good options, really. For those wondering, earlier there was a mistake on my D ranks...but they are fine now. Chargers are a great Eliminator pick this week as well.

Gerrit (Iowa)

Am I being two cute by starting Avant over Fitzgerald this week since the Eagles are playing a terrible Houston team

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Fitzgerald is obviously not a great play anymore, but before the Monday game he was getting into double digits. I don't think Avant - who I didn't rank at all - is in that class or even close.

Jake (Seattle)

Is it morally wrong for me to start Orton over Rivers this week based on how badly Orton slashed the Chiefs the 1st time?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Morals, really? This is fantasy football...morals, ethics, is this politics? Start who you want! Rivers is having an awesome year, I can't make much case to sit him.


EK, with all due respect, you are wrong. You may not be breaking the rule per se, but you are not abiding by the "spirit" of fair competition.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I guess I don't see what is "unfair" about leaving a kicker spot open for a few days... but you are all entitled to disagree...

Ethics (Are For Losers)

I have no ethics and want to beat my opponent mercilessly this week. Who will help me achieve the beatdown better...Welker or Harvin???

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Pretty even in my ranks... I would say if a beatdown is your choice, Harvin has the better upside for a big game. I think Welker is safer for a 8 or 9 point game though. Note the Jets have been thrown on this season...

Ethics (For Winners)

All is fair in love, war, and fantasy football

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Yeah, I see some crazy stuff in my leagues... it's best to just delete the word "ethics" from vocabulary this time of year...

Pete (Spokane)

Where do you have Brandon Pettigrew ranked this week? I didn't see him listed on the expert's rankings.

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

He's in there, should be ranked quite well. Occasionally there's a minor ranks hiccup... I'm sure people love jumping all over us, but we're just doing our best. Pettigrew is there, borderline top 10 TE at this point.

Joe (GA)

Top fantasy scorer in the HOU-PHI game is _____.

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Pretty much have to assume the best player in fantasy will get that number... on a per game basis nobody is beating Vick. And the Texans are the worst team against the pass... could be a 30-point fantasy outing for MV...

Bernard (Acton, MA)

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, I believe "Ethics Question (CT)" was asking about playing week 13 with no kicker or defense in his lineup at all. That's a lot different than leaving that roster spot open for a few days as you say you do.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Again, what is wrong with that? If he doesn't want to score the most points possible but IS playoff bound, it's strategy. Five or more defenses get negative points every week... would you rather a blank spot or the Jaguars D this week?? Think about it!

Adam (Detroit)

With Hill Out, how does that affect Calvin Johnson?....Do I keep him in or roll with someone like Tolbert as a flex in a PPR league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Consider how surprised we were that Hill was this good... and how people overrated to Calvin's value then. Why can't Stanton be competent? I would think Calvin will be the better flex rank for me...

LeBron (need to get my mind of things) [via mobile]

Thinking about Bradford over Big Ben. Am I overthinking?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Well, a little. But it is your team and let's remind people, anything can happen. I would roll with Roethlisberger, and feel ok about it if he delivers a 6 and Bradford gets 18... I just doubt it happens.

Nate (NYC)

Are the Chargers a top 5 defense the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I think it still depends a bit on matchups, but certainly that unit is doing well and should be owned in 10-team leagues.

Chad (Hattiesburg)

Let me say WOW! on the people complaining about someone not starting a roster spot. There is nothing in FF rule guidelines that you have to start every position. You can very well start a kicker and get zero anyway so if you want to use that spot on a startegy..go for it.

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

WOW is right!

David (Mamby-Pamby Land)

Ethics?! why don't we all just march on down to Mamby-Pamby Land and maybe we can find some ethics, you Jackwagons!

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

That commercial still makes me smile... I admit it.

Derek Anderson (PHX)

This chat is not funny. Why do you rank me so low? I played in the Pro Bowl once because 15 other QBs didn't want to play in it. THIS IS NOT FUNNY!

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

You know what's not funny: This guy is starting AGAIN this week... after watching Monday night, that is stunning.

Kevin (Dallas)

James Jone or Malcom Floyd rest of the way...

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Really? Why do people love James Jones so much? I mean, owning him is fine, but Floyd should be really, really productive now that he is healthy.

Andy (Mass)

I know rankings are out, but really having difficulty with this: Felix has a great matchup plus no Barber vs Run DMC who has been struggling against great SD D vs FJax who's been on a tear but faces great Minn run D, help!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I ranked them close enough that I can make the case for either... if McFadden plays the way he did the past few weeks, he's not worth considering. The problem is Felix... we don't know what the Cowboys intend to do. But overall, go for it...

Bob (Detroit)

EK, saw the rankings but in a ppr league would you still start Blount over Reggie B.?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Yes. I don't know why people think Reggie Bush is going to produce big numbers.. he's probably not close to 100 percent healthy.

Jake (VA Beach)

With news that Daniels is out, would you go Dreessen or Celek tomorrow?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I would still go Celek, since the Texans are so forgiving to opposing tight ends this season, and Celek did show a pulse in the Sunday night game...

Jason (Chicago)

Westbrook or Dixon the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I think common sense says Westbrook has the opportunity to do more for the 49ers, but Idon't see how he can remain healthy for 5 more games. Dixon could be really good but for now it looks like a timeshare.

Marc (Malden, MA)

You were the only one to give Mike Williams West a ranking. Is that because of his Q status?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

I haven't heard he is out for this week... if he is then Obomanu would be pretty close to his spot.

Danny Woodhead (MA)

Surely Belichick will design a TD or two for me this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

People love Danny boy, a bit too much it seems in proportion to his production.

Robbie (Seattle)

Eliminator pool advice please; Philly, Minnesota or Chicago?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I think it would be very Cutler-like to lose in Detroit... he should have lost to them in Week 1, if not for the ridiculous CalvinJ non-TD catch. I like Philly. They're not gonna lose that game at home... the Vikings are not playing well, and the Bills are...

Roper (GA)

Someone in my league just dropped Kenny Britt. I heard he might be back this week against the Jags worth a pickup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

With Rusty at the helm... I wouldn't expect much.

Brian (VA)

How does Gore look for 2011... considering Dixon as a sneaky keeper pickup for next year...

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I haven't heard major concerns about Gore suffering a Bo Jackson type injury, so I assume Gore remains a top 5 RB keeper for next year. He's not too old, and this injury shouldn't be a long term concern. But yeah, I do like Dixon long term.

brian (de)

Eric, You completely forgot about FJax in Andy's question.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Yes, I do see that now. It's Fred. Definitely. Torching good and bad defenses... Vikings do stop the run, but Fred can beat you through the air, too.

Sean (AZ)

I am playing a guy who has Peyton Manning this week. I have Tamme and was thinking about starting Garcon over Marshall to eliminate Mannings points. Good strategy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I don't see how that eliminates anything, really. Plus, Peyton has 11 or fewer points in 3 of 4 games. I wouldn't be too concerned about him. Start Garcon over Marshall because Garcon is the better option.

Brian (MA)

Is Kerry Collins not at the helm for the Titians now?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Yeah, that's what I meant by "rusty"... get it? OK, the point is, I don't really trust Collins either.

Cody (Edmonton)

I think I spend way too much time on fantasy football... Is D Mason worth picking up or should I go with N Washington?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

You and me both! And probably 10 million others! I'd go Mason. I just want to avoid the Tennessee passing game right now. I mean, they were just shut out this past week.

Looking at a Stuffed Beaver (bottom of the ladder)

Nielsen was a genius. Deadpan delivery. Kind of reminds me of you EK! That's a compliment...I think. Anyway, need some guidance for a WR3: Boldin or Gaffney? Starting Flacco, but just don't trust the Quan!

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

How kind! I'm not high on Boldin anymore, but Gaffney? Sorry, I didn't rank him. Boldin is the choice.

Omar (Baltimore)

Should I keep Darren McFadden for the playoff push, or drop him for someone hot?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I think that's a bit of an overreaction... let's give it more time, shall we? If in 2 weeks he looks like Jahvid Best post-Week 2, then fine...

Jason (Denver)

White or Garcon this week and going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

I think it's still Garcon, even though White seems to be playing the Collie-touchdown role...

Morgan (Baltimore)

How crazy is it to start Bradford over Peyton this week? Peyton has been boom or bust recently and Bradford goes against the hapless Cardinals.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Seems a bit of a reach to me, but your points are valid. I don't think we can assume Peyton will get 11 points every week, though.

Brandon (Cheney)

I lost Gore but picked up J-Stew. Am I in big trouble come playoff time?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

I think a lot of Gore owners are panicking. I don't think Stewart will be great from here on out, but let's not forget how good he was last season. There's talent. Maybe he just needs to get healthy... he should get opportunity even with Goodson around.

Brian Westbrook (SF)

Why no love? You've got me outside the top it the matchup, or concern for timeshare? Is Blount the better play?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I don't want to take away anything from B-West, because he's awesome and one of my fave players for years... but he doesn't get to face the Arizona D this week. Put simply, anyone could have found those holes. Even Beanie.

Scott (Boston, MA)

supposedly Owen Daniels is coming back in time for the playoffs. if Dustin Keller is my only TE, should I take a flyer on Daniels?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I wouldn't bother with Daniels anymore, but that's just me. Non-playoff team, hurting player who is part of the future, at some point they have to shut him down, no?

Mike (Raleigh)

Back to Kenny he #2 behind Moss when/if he returns? His monster game was with Collins at QB...

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Yeah, but like Cutler in Week 12, it was against Philly. I don't see it. And Moss has done nothing. He's not even helping others anymore, like he did Welker and Percy Harvin.

Felix Jones (TX)

no barber, choice is unreliable. Why am I not ranked higher? Especially against the very soft Colts!?!

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Basically because the Cowboys haven't really trusted Felix all season, and they've had ample reason to. Maybe they'll run only 15 times...who knows. I just think there's risk.

JT (in CO)

do you feel completely comfortable dropping VJax at this point? I mean, would you be scared he is going to come back week 15 to haunt you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Yes and no. I could see him not playing for SD ever again... and I could see him going off for 175 yards and 2 scores in Week 15. There's something amiss there, but unpredictable. That's why I can't cut him yet...too much talent and arguably the top QB.

matt (seattle)

Maurice Morris against Chicago? I know Chicago is stout against the run, but he's the guy, for better or worse....

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

If McCoy/Vick didn't have success running, how will the Lions?

Brian (IL)

How is it that out of the "thousands" of questions submitted each chat, the same ones from chat to chat repeat--the dumb ethics question and Gerit's same question from yesterday?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Well, your post seems like a new one, no?

Big RB Question (Pittsburgh)

CJ, FJax, and Moreno...pick 2. Like the guy above I know the rankings are out, but I am really considering sitting CJ. Is that a mistake?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Obviously I would not do it, but I can't say you would be wrong to do so. Nobody has a crystal ball here...I think CJ and AP are special and can have the occasional stinker. To use Moreno over CJ seems tough.

Ahmad (NY)

My buddy Brandon's got the start but do I still have a good fantasy game? That two point conversion helped last week, but can't count on that week in and week out. Should I start myself in my fantasy league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I wrote about this last week, not being at all worried about Bradshaw just because Jacobs was getting the "start." Starting means little.

Brad (Ohio)

Did I miss Witten on your rankings today or was he actually left off by mistake? Either way, how do you think he does this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Witten is ranked sixth, and he's actually doing better than that for TE season scoring... he's fine. Definitely worth using.

Sidney Rice (MN)

Will my owners be rewarded for their patience?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I don't expect any monster games, or production like last season, but he is ownable. Remember, this is a totally different Favre.

Mike (Arkansas)

Blount or Ronnie Brown? I was going to go Westbrook before your earlier comment.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I have them 25 and 26, so flip a coin. I just wouldn't go Westbrook over either of them. But ask another chatter and you'll get a different answer... we can't possibly monitor all the chats!

Trent (AL)

Hoping that Steve Johnson doesn't blame god this week...SJ a better play than Wallace?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I ranked Stevie in my top 10... love the targets, love the passion, and the skills are there. He's a terrific option.

Eric (CO)

Baseball! Do you think Matt Kemp is top 10 next year? He was pretty awful the 2nd half last year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

BASEBALL!!!! Finally! His overall stats aren't awful... maybe he needs a new manager, and now he has one! Honestly, this is a top 30 player, on 30-30 potential alone. I'm not worried here.

Pick Me, Pick Me (Anytown)

Cutler or Orton? Need a win to get in. Lead me to the promised land.

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I think it's a slam dunk for Orton... but obviously others disagree!

Pablo (NJ)

Eric-because of what we saw from the Arizona D, is Sjax finally ready to break out?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

That was just awful, wasn't it? Yes, love SJax this week.

Steve (Playoff Bubble)

True or False: Denario Alexander will get 6 receptions for 95 yards and 1 TD.

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Yes. In Weeks 13-14.

Pete (San Antonio)

Do you think you're right more than you're wrong?

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Right, and everyone on the ESPN Fantasy staff is. You guys should enjoy this, you're reading the best coverage...

dave (waiting to get answered)

jacobs over LT? yes or no?

Eric Karabell
  (4:01 PM)


Brandon (kansas city)

thank you for answering my question good thing i avg 115 points a week probably dont need your advice anyway. lol

Eric Karabell
  (4:02 PM)

Ha! And with that, I will smile and say farewell for this chat session, and wish everyone luck in Week 13 and beyond. Thank you for your time and interest and have a great day! Adios...