Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 22, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello to all and Merry Christmas! I am Eric and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. We're talking football obviously, but also baseball if you're eliminated and looking ahead to warmer times. Thanks so much for joining us and let's have some fun...

Rhett (Baltimore, MD)

Tebow or Kitna? I know your rankings have Kitna higher, but Tebow facing that 32nd ranked DEF is so tempting...

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Yes, I think all of our rankings have Kitna better than the rookie, but it's just so difficult to rely on an unproven commodity. That was one game! I think Tebow can do that again, but maybe this cake matchup is a ploy designed to trip us all up! Perhaps not. I'd use Kitna and about 20 QBs over Tebow, and I LIKE Tebow and wrote positively about him. In Week 4, I'll run with him. Can't do it in Week 16.

Jack (Columbus, Ohio)

Merry Christmas Eric...I really have learned to strictly to follow your flex rankings because when I defer from it, Iam usually wrong, but...Lloyd with Tebow ranked over V.Jax after his last game? Iam torn. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I didn't rank Vincent Jackson as well as others, but let's remember Lloyd did catch a TD with Tebow there, and Lloyd gains just as much from facing that porous Houston secondary as Tebow. I see Lloyd having the bigger game.

Tim Tebow (Heaven)

Start Eli or Freeman for the title?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I ranked Freeman better, and then blogged about the fact Freeman has been in double digits all but one week this entire season! Sure, he has no 20-point outings either, but I like Freeman at home against a bad team this week. Eli didn't make my top 10 on the road at Green Bay.

Danny (Chicago)

Joe Webb is available to play WR3 for me in my non-ppr league. Would you sit D. Bowe or S. Holmes for him? QBs get 6 points for passing touchdowns and -2 for interceptions.

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

No, I would not sit either of them for Webb. What do we expect from Webb, maybe 6 or 7 points? Bowe and Holmes have more upside. Plus, it's always possible Mr. Egomaniac drags himself outta bed again this week, his concussion suddenly healed, so he can play a meaningless game in Philly.

Rob (SLC)

Assuming Polamalu sits, would you still play the Pitt D/ST over the Pats? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Yes. I am assuming Troy does not play, and the Steelers still win like 17-3. It's the Panthers.

Brad (NY)

I usually defer to your flex rankings as well, but can you elaborate on why you ranked Austin higher than Britt? Just doesn't seem like Miles is getting the looks...

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I thought about my Miles Austin ranking and whether it was a bit too generous. I think it's ok. Kitna is playing really well, the matchup is right and I think the Titans will run, run and run some more. I did rank Britt in my top 20 though. It's not that I don't like him.

Ron (NY)

Eric, you ranked Green Bay higher than Dallas at defense. Can you explain that after Dallas got 5 turnovers against Rex and now faces Skelton?? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I like the Packers matchup at home against a turnover prone Eli Manning as well. And does Rex Grossman really have any peer when it comes to turnovers? I'm semi serious. I doubt Skelton turns the ball over 4 times.

Mike (Atlanta)

Gonzalez was great against NO earlier, but I am tempted to start Daniels this week. This is for the title.

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

You know, I'm guessing you want to win every week, even when the title is on the line. The decisions are still the same. I'd go Gonzo, no matter the week.

Ari (NYC)

What can i really expect from Hillis Week 16 (Bal) and Week 17 (pit)? Is he still a stud?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

No. I do not think so. I ranked Hillis 12th and really thought that might be too high. He looks tired, sluggish, and the Ravens and Steelers destroy the run. Maybe he can score a touchdown to balance out the 60-yard rushing efforts. Still, whatta season!

Mike (Florida)

EK, been following you all year and never had a question posted. I have a kicker question. I know, kickers aren't important, but I say in the championship game everyone is! I have Folk but am thinking about going with someone more reliable like Keading. Your thought? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Let me pass you a coin for your flipping pleasure. I probably ranked Kaeding better... but you should know the kicker stuff is about as random as possible.

Matt (Baltimore)

What can i expect out of Big Mike Williams this week? WR1's have burned tampa since talib went out...

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

It is the battle of the Mike Williamses! I would like the Seattle version a bit more if it wasn't a cross-country flight to Florida... plus, the Bucs are easier to exploit on the ground.

Diggy ("work")

You have OAK Z. Miller ranked 3 spots ahead of Jimmy Graham... a little insight on why you like Miller better? Those ranks are relatively close!

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I realize a lot of people really like Mr. Graham off his multi-touchdown effort, but he's not the starter and there are many options there.

Jared (Waco)

Why are you so down on SD D this week vs. CIN? You have them at 17, whereas your compadres all have them in the neighborhood of 4-5.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I actually don't have them there, but the mistake is being adjusted, for all those wondering. But just because everyone has them top 5 doesn't necessarily mean it's so, either...

Travis (IA)

Can you confirm with me that drafting a rookie RB high is a really bad idea to do from now on (R Mathews, J Best)? I won my league 2 straight until this year when I decided to do the "experiment."

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Well, a few years back with Rice and Forte it worked well. Just one of those years. I would argue most rookies do not work out, but I did think Mathews was a can't miss. He missed.

Inquiring Minds (Wanting to Know)

EK, What is your favorite part of your job, and your least favorite?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I love it all... I have a terrific job. Chats are fun, blogging is fun, television, podcasts and radio... Least fave? When the seasons end!

Tommy (NC)

I have 4 good options at WR this week but can only start 3, who gets left out... Austin, Garcon, VJax, Wallace? PPR League. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

You sure do have nice options. I'd say Garcon is probably left out there in a PPR. I ranked Garcon the worst of this crew, and even though Wallace doesn't catch a lot of passes, case can be made. It's not like Garcon has gone crazy.

Green Man (Philly)

You rank Harvin ahead of Crabtree, but seeing as Percy doesn't play till Sunday night, and that the Vikings seem to enjoy making last minute playing status changes, who would you start? If Percy gets a headache before the night game, one could get shafted, having benched options who have already played.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I see your point, but Crabtree's projected 4-point effort doesn't excite. And I don't think this was all the Vikings doing, either. It's their QB thinking the team couldn't win without him. I think Harvin wants to play every week.

Mike (The 06460)

EK - first of all, big fan. Can you please explain your ranking of Jonathan Stewart in the top 20? Doesn't Pitt scare you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Of course. But I think Stewart and the Carolina o-line are playing well, and he can still deliver something interesting. Not a 20-point day, but maybe 60 yards and a touch.

RutgersESQ (NJ)

ETHICS QUESTIONS-my client is sitting in jail and wants me to get his bail reduced, is it unethical to put that on the backburner while I try to figure out whether the certainly of Blount playing is worth more than the guessing game surrounding AP?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Oh my. Has fantasy really come to this?!? And I think Peterson will play.

Sean (Ohio)

EK - My opponesnts team has Vick and is loaded, I have (had) Gore and TO so I am hurting..need a HR at flex to win the Title..Webb, Donald Brown, or Choice?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Yeah, I would NOT want to be facing Vick, that's for sure! It's amazing that a waiver wire pickup is going to decide so many leagues... I'd say Choice over Brown.

Tyler (Duck Country)

Doesn't every Sunday during the season feel like Christmas? Can you tell me who I should bench between Jennings, VJax, and J Stew?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Probably Stewart. Jennings is a very good option and Jackson will likely be better than Stewart in my flex rankings Thursday. Sundays are a blast during the season... I forget how I spent my Sundays back in July.

Dan (Baltimore, MD)

Why Freeman over Flacco? He had a monster game earlier in the season. I own both, as well as Tampa Mike..Start the tandem?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

If anything, one would assume the Browns learned some lesson from Anquan Boldin torching Eric Wright for 3 TDs that game. I doubt Boldin goes off again. I like Flacco.. he is my No. 10 guy. I just like Freeman a bit more.

Joe (Charlotte)

I'm thinking of going with Tebow over Fitzpatrick this week. Insane, or insanely clever?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Oh boy... you're actually thinking of BENCHING FITZ! How could you? Don't you know how awesome he is. Look, if you had typed you were benching Peyton Manning for Tebow, then we've got a story... Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't exactly a fantasy monster. Sure, Tebow there is fine. If it's Week 4 I rank him much better. It's just so risky.

Pete (Bean Town)

BASEBALL!!! Eric, I need to choose six keepers for next year out of these fellas... Votto, Lincecum, Lester, J. Johnson, B. Phillips, R. Zimmerman, Choo, Holliday, K. Morales. Thanks!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

BASEBALL! Let's get more baseball! No on Kendry, Choo and Josh.

Scrooge McDuck (NYC)

Is it smart strategy to drop my Benson handcuff - Scott - for Chase Daniel, in the event Drew Brees goes into labor on his way to the game Monday night, to make sure that I have a fallback option?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

These are the chatters... Chase Daniel, really?

Matt (Philly)

Happy Holidays Eric!! I am in a jam, Knowshon was my RB2 and he looks very questionable to play this week. I have ravaged the WW and acquired Lance Ball, Toby Gerhart, Derrick Ward and Woodhead. Who do you like the most of this week to score some points?!?!

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

You sure did ravage! I'd say Woodhead. He's pretty reliable. I expect Foster and Peterson will play ... Moreno I did not rank, but will probably add him by Friday if the reports improve.

John (Seattle)

Do you think NFL stats will be updated to indicate the Mendenhall only ran for 99 yards instead of 100. This has cost me a trip to the finals, my league awards a 3pt bonus to an RB that rushes for 100yds or over and I only lost by less than 1pt!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

I'm certainly on the lookout for it. If the stat feed adjusts it, then it will be changed... so don't be surprised.

Mickey (Orlando)

Who is visiting me after the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Mikey Vick.

Mike (Indy)

You didn't rank Moreno this week. Do you not think he's going to play or do you just really not like him this week? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

I have him ranked at 17 if he plays. As of now I think it's more likely he sits. Time will tell.

Hermie the Elf Dentist (North Pole)

I'm considering Kitna over Rivers this weekend. Do you think there is a leak in my laughing gas tank?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Can I just tell you Hermie is definitely my favorite part of that show. Man it bothers me when everyone picks on Rudolph. I have Rivers, obviously, ranked better, but I also have Kitna in the top 10. It's not outrageous.

John (Miami)

Please answer this EK - I know you feel Tebow is super risky but is his upside enough to help take down the mighty Vick?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

In theory, sure. Anyone COULD top the mighty Vick this week. But fantasy is a game of chance, too. Is it worth that chance?

Brian (CT)

Am I crazy to go with Grossman over Big Ben? Ben fantasy value has been mediocre for me... thinking Grossman has the higher ceiling this week.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

What exactly is a ceiling? Don't all players statistically have ceilings? I don't think Ben is an awesome option, not against the Panthers being ranked second-toughest for opposing QBs... but really, Rex?

All of the other reindeer (Playing reindeer games)

C'mon, Eric. Rudolph's nose red!

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Don't you feel bad for Rudy though? I do. He's special.

Katie (Kansas)

Is there anyway of knowing that Torain won't get shanahanned this week?? I'm planning on starting him over Hillis!

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I like the new verbs you make up! I would be surprised if Torain gets pushed aside. He would have to be hurt or really struggling.

Bill Murray (Scrooged) awkward is that situation? You think hes back in DC next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I think it is absolutely ridiculous the way his situation is portrayed. How can a coach get ripped for sitting a QB having an awful season? Because that QB played well in years past? Think about how silly that is. McNabb doesn't "deserve" anything. It's a coaches prerogative to bench anyone, whether they are performing well or not. Now I do think it is odd to go with Rex Grossman and not some kid with a potential future, but Washington did score 30 post-McNabb.... and no, McNabb will definitely not be in D.C. or Philly. Both franchises will be better already is.

John (Seattle)

In regards to my Mendenhall question above, what's your take??? do you think he should be awarded the 9 yards or 10 yards, since the refs granted him the first down???

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

My preference is for it to be correct, even if that means an adjustment later in the week. It might happen. It might not. I don't like the uncertainty. I would have hoped the scoring change came about Monday! He should be at 99, and I say that even if one of my Week 15 wins will be erased.

Steve (SF)

Why did you guys rank Austin at 11? He's been horrible. Wouldn't you rather have anyone in the top 20 over him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I thought I saw Austin score last week... eh, must have been someone else.

Ryan (Dallas)

Nicks or Fitzgerald. You seem to love Fitz every week even though he NEVER scores with Skelton!

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Have you seen the Dallas secondary the past month or so? It's bad. And Fitz just had a double digit game...

Devin (Cocoa Beach)

If you knew Shaun Hill was starting, would that impact your rating of Pettigrew?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

No, not really. I ranked Hill, so I thought he was starting all along.

Jared (NY)

Kitna over Rodgers this week? Kitna got me to the finals, do you trust GROGGY RODGERS???

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

If Rodgers was groggy, or GROGGY, he wouldn't be playing. Teams are very careful with concussions. And I think both QBs will be very good. How can you sit a healthy Rodgers?

Jamaal Charles (KC)

I am a top ____ draft pick next year in a 14 team PPR league.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Isn't Charles definitely a top 10 guy by now? I think so.

Hakeem Nicks (Giantland)

And my 12 points aren't double digits? The only thing around this team that's single digits is the number of people at an Eli Manning press conference.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

That. Was. Hilarious. I almost felt bad for him. Almost. And Nicks is a monster... I ranked him well.

J.B. (PA)

On the Mendenall ruling: What if the change happens after Thursday? Second round playoff match ups will have already begun and such a decision could change those.

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

I guess it would be retroactive. Depends on the league, the site you play on, etc.

Patrick (Minneapolis)

Quick one for yaHarvin or Mason? I see that you have Harvin higher, but with Joe Webb named the starter I'm not having a lot of faith even as a Vikings fan.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

You had more faith with Fav-ruh at QB? Webb could have made that exact throw to Harvin, a quick pass that the WR did all the work on. I'm not too worried about Harvin. Mason's matchup is fine, if you are more comfortable with him, go for it!

Eric (Vegas)

AJ Mass said in the last chat, Detroit is a top 10 play this week. You have them 29th, why the disparity?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Two men, two opinions. Maybe they end up 20th. Each fantasy owner has to make tough decisions. I just can't justify the Lions D, pretty much ever, but certainly Chad Henne isn't a star, and the Dolphins are 1-6 at home. I could see it.

Dale (Cleveland)

Eric, you place too much emphasis on who the " starter " is in New Orleans. Graham was in on many plays and especially the red zone. He is a legit play. Is he really any worse than Marcades Lewis who scores once every few weeks?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

I guess my point is Graham had caught a total of 7 passes and no TDs the 3 previous weeks. So isn't it a bit of overreaction to love the guy off one multi-TD game? Seems aberrant to me. And I don't really care who starts. I keep ranking Thomas Jones top 20.

Adam (Florida)

Hey EK, can you tell when a poster is asking the same questions just under different names and varying the question ever so slightly? Merry Christmas to you and yours EK.

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

No, I cannot. Doesn't matter much to me. And thank you and Merry Christmas to you as well!

Chris (Boston)

You always protect your fantasy colleagues even when you disagree with them. It's ok you can give them grief if you disagree!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Can't really give grief before the games happen. What if Rex Grossman puts up another 25 fantasy points... I tend to not trash talk for a lot of reasons.

Diego (Chicago)

If Derrick Ward gets the start, do you prefer him over Kenny Britt?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

No, I don't think I would place him that well.

Jason (D.C)

Eric, I think Dale from Cleveland was referring to Marcedes Lewis not Thomas Jones in comparison to Jimmy Graham.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Yes, but I don't think it changes the point. Lewis is safer, more of a consistent performer.

Chuck (NJ)

Baseball: Thoughts on J. Montero and A. Chapman for 2011?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I doubt Montero plays very much in the big leagues this year. They've got Russ Martin and Posada can play catcher. Maybe they deal Montero. I think Chapman starts in the minors as a starter; Reds have so much depth, they can afford it.

frank (the tank)

EK---what's your take on Boldin vs Garcon. Rankings are very close. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

The more I think about Boldin's erratic ways the more I would pick Garcon.

Vincent Jackson (San Diego)

Am I even a better play with Floyd out or do I get mine either way!

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I will say 75 yards and a touch either way. Don't feel bad for having Jackson benched last week, most people did.

J.B. (PA)

Time for me to run. Eric, thanks for filling our Christmas stockings will great information this season. I hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas full of great memories.

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

And time for me to run as well. Thanks JB and to everyone out there in the chat world for showing up and having some fun. We appreciate you following us and playing at ESPN. Have a Merry Christmas and best of luck in your fantasy leagues.