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November 23, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving! It's Week 12 in fantasy football and obviously there's much to discuss. Thanks for showing up and let's get going!

Charly (Oxford MS)

Eric! Glad you're back! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! How is it that the Pitt D/ST is ranked #1 this week but their only projected to have 3 pts? How is that worthy of a #1 ranking?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Well, I can't speak to projections, only rankings. But I trust the Steelers D and think it will score more than 3 fnatasy points.

Dave (Den)

K. Orton on the wire, pick him up or keep him out there? Do you see him being picked up and starting anytime soon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Yeah, I actually think there's a decent shot the Bears pick Orton up and start him as soon as this week. I know, that's crazy, right? Well, I don't think Mike Martz is a big Caleb Hanie fan. And Orton has had success. Say what you will, but he was LEADING the NFL in passing yards through 12 weeks last season when forced out for Tebow. This season Orton struggled, but the Bears do have a top running back and enough wide receivers... Still, I wouldn't rank Orton better than maybe No. 20 as a Bear.

Craig (Seattle)

Shane Vereen the back up to BGE? Worth picking up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Nah, I don't think so. I think it's Danny Boy Woodhead, but the Pats were up by so much against a Chiefs offense that had no chance, Belichick gave someone way down the depth chart a chance.

Dave (San Jose)

EK - given how stellar both the Carolina and Indy run defenses are, do you put the over/under @ about 5 for total pass attempts in the game? Also, any of the RB's in this game tempting to use in PPR formats?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Ha! I think J.Stewart and D.Brown are tempting, and there is late word that Addai might actually play. I'll believe it when I see it. Look for Cam Newton to have a monster day; he'll be throwing and running. I ranked him 2nd at QB. It's not crazy; he is the No. 2 QB for the season, after all, and the Colts stink all around.

Greg (Balt)

Do you see J. Best back this year or Kevin Smith keeping the job?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I don't think the Lions will get Best back anytime soon. Perhaps in late-December before the playoffs. And I would be surprised if Kevin Smith had a great game against the Packers. Take 12 fantasy points and be happy if he does that.

Brad (SF)

Fred Jackson out for the year some reports are speculating? If so, Johnny White a good pick-up this week? Your take?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I have a blog entry on this very subject being posted soon, and while I think Spiller has a better shot at success, yes, in deeper leagues I'd add White now. The Bills don't seem to trust Spiller running inside the tackles. Perhaps White will do better.

Daniel (US Air Force Warner Robbins,Ga.)

Better RB add in standard 10 team-----McKnight,Grant or d.Brown? Would Addai be useful also!

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I think Brown is going to play this week, and play well against the Panthers. I don't really trust Grant for much, even if Starks sits. I think Shonn Green will play. Addai, who knows? I gave up guessing on him a month ago.

Mike (Chi-town)

Sproles or Spiller for the injured F.Jackson this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Definitely Sproles. All the Bills have been pretty awful this month, so I can't trust them no matter the opponent. And it's a tough Jets opponent.

Sheila (Houston)

Bears Dst or 49ers..it's really my only slot this weekend I'm struggling with

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

The 49ers are actually fantasy's top defense for the season, and I ranked them a tad better for this week, but the consensus said otherwise. Flip a coin! Both are very good. In fact, trade one of them if you still can.

Dan (WI)

With the bye weeks done, would I be better off backing up Rodgers with Flynn instead of Fitzpatrick?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Wise thinking. But I'd still try to do a bit better, if I were you. Fitz has been bad for two months now, but if Rodgers got hurt don't assume Flynn comes in and throws 40 times, getting 3 scores. And I absolutely think if the Packers are still undefeated in late-December that Rodgers still plays.

James (Miami)

Why are you ranking a RB like Matthews who splits carries higher than say K Smith who won't be splitting anywhere near as much and the GB Def has been rather kind to RBs lately?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Mathews is better. You do know Smith came off the street and had that game, right? He was out of football. And Maurice Morris is still there. Mathews keeps putting the football on the ground, but he's a far better player.

Adam (NYC)

Eric Happy Thanksgiving! I need your help. Do I roll with the safe plays in Jennings and Nicks this week? I also have Harvin, Mario, and L.Robinson at WR. I need to fill 3 spots. Please explain your thoughts on these guys for this week. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

I would trust Jennings and Nicks, yes. And then it's Harvin vs. Laurent, and I'd go Harvin. He might get some carries as well. I do not trust Manningham any longer. Victor Cruz has passed him by.

Nate (NJ)

I dont get it. Is Ballard good or not? you see those drops?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Yeah, awful. I saw all the drops, but he's still getting targets and the Giants will throw a lot with Bradshaw out. And it's the Saints. Lot of points coming!

JP (Wisconsin)

You didn't rank Maclin this week, but reports are he returned to practice today. With that in mind, would you rather take the chance and play Maclin in a good matchup against the Patriots on Sunday, or take a safer (but bad) matchup with Crabtree against the Ravens on Thursday?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Tough one. I still do not think Maclin will play, and while I ranked Vick, I'm starting to believe I will be changing that to Vince Young in Friday's update. I'd go Crabtree. Ravens haven't exactly been impenetrable the past month. More than 20 points each week.

Karl Welzein (Grand Blanc, MI)

Trying to decide on a backup for Vick ROS. Palmer or Young?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Well, I like Palmer more than Young, but if you add Young then you lessen your decision making, in theory. Only one of those Eagles is starting!

Jason (Boston)

When Austin comes back do I start him immediately? I have Laurent too.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I don't think it's going to happen until December. But if Miles returns, Laurent will see fewer targets, in theory. Kinda depends on Dez, too. He hasn't exactly been great.

Brian (IN)

Is it the return of AJ that has dropped Tate's projections so much this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Beats me. But I don't see one as affecting the other. In fact, if they can run now that Leinart is at QB, they will.

Daniel Owens (Houston)

What's up with OD is Houston? Awfully quiet the past month or two. Does he get a score this week with Leinart in?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I doubt it. Even with Schaub in there Owen Daniels wasn't doing much. Blocking more.

Joel (Mi)

Looks like Santana Moss practiced today with no set backs. Your thoughts on stashing him ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Makes sense to me. Rex is gonna throw 35 times, and Gaffney and Fred Davis need help. The running game isn't providing it!

Chris (Orlando)

With Andre Johnson back, even with Leinhart, should I start him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Yes. It's the Larry Fitzgerald angle. And Dwayne Bowe with Shane Falco. Overcome your QB.

Mark Sanchez (Meadowlands)

I was thinking about dropping myself for Mark Brunell.

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Mark can't help but put up numbers on the Bills this week.

Ryan (Phoenix)

Awesome stuff as usual! I need to pick one in a non ppr league. Sproles at home or Blount on the road?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I'd go Blount regardless, but that's just me.

Suzie (Peoria,IL )

What do you think of dropping Stevie Johnson for Santana Moss in a non ppr league? Good move for rest of season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Yeah, I'm on board with that. Johnson has one fantasy point total in two weeks.

Brian (Wichita)

Where would you rank Spiller if I was going to start him at WR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Worse than at running back, frankly. There are more WRs that seem to matter, but more top-end RBs. Spiller isn't that.

Tommy (the big easy)

whose a player that u can see coming up big around playoff time?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Rivers and Vincent Jax. And Blount still has 2 games with the Panthers. Batter up!

David (Indy)

Which low-end QB this week between Alex Smith, Ponder, Moore or Grossman?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Well, I seem to be alone on this, but I think the Cowboys can be thrown on, and they'll be leading, so Matt Moore will get some numbers.

Dale (Motown)

Believe in McKnight? Shonn Greene's been plodding along, and LT2 may not be brought back next year. Great time for the Jets to see what they have in him? What say you!

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I think the Jets know what they have, and since they're contenders, it's not quite like what the Redskins should be doing. If Greene can go, he gets the 20 carries.

Frank (NJ)

The FJax injury is spoiling my Thanksgiving!! Please give me a reason to be optimistic about CJ Spiller.

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I really can't. In fact, I half-expect White to get 12 carries inside the tackles and Spiller to get like 7 rushes and 7 targets. And the Bills will score like 10 points.

Steve (Montana)

Nate Burleson... Thanksgiving Day miracle plug?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Absolutely. When the Packers go up 21 in the first half, Stafford will be throwing. Final score like 42-35!

Blips McGee (Pittsburgh)

Flex help! Do I take the guaranteed touches with Ced Benson or upside of Laurent?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Pretty sure I ranked the running back better in that case. Benson is relatively reliable.

Jeff (Mahwah)

not an insider.... flex start k.smith or b.marshall?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I think if people start Kevin Smith they will not be pleased. He'll get something, but not a ton.

Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)

(Considering that I'm only part human) Percentage chance that I play this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I'd say less than 10 percent. And yeah, that kinda stinks.

Cody (Pitt)

How dare you slight Shane Falco like that!!! He's 10 times the QB that Palko will ever be. Believe me, I got to watch him play at Pitt for years. I actually think that KC could trot out Keanu Reeves and he would be better than Palko.

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I don't really believe that... Palko wasn't playing that awful, but I'd like to see a bit more. That said, I don't have high expectations.

Bob (Charlotte)

Hillis, Hardesty, or Ogbonnaya ROS or just leave them all be.

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I think Ogbonnaya can be an occasional helper as a flex. I do not expect to see Hillis in a Browns uni again, healthy or not.

Jim (DC)

Any chace SD has a big game as a DST facing Tebow?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Perhaps, but honestly to all the Tebow haters out there, he's not losing, not turning the ball over... I mean, how many games does he have to do this? Every week he produces fantasy stats. They don't have to be conventionally.

Sid (Sunderland)

Good afternoon, EK! Just traded for AP on the assumption that he'll return after 1-2 weeks out. Any concern that he's shut down ROS to protect against further injury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

This doesn't seem to be that serious of an injury, but I agree it's 1-2 weeks. Good move.

Eric (CO)

Where would you put Santana Moss in your flex rankings that were posted today?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Off the top of my head between Crabtree and Steve Johnson. Don't get TOO excited.

Jaymikk (Iowa City)

How big of a gap is there between Graham and Witten ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Not much at all, really. In fact, I've considered switching them.

Shawn (Detroit)

EK, you didnt rank Maclin or Cooper in the top 50...Who is getting all the love in Philly?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I actually ranked Cooper at No. 49, but nobody else did so he slipped off. I do not think Maclin plays. Pats haven't exactly been torched defensively in the past month, though.

Dan (NYC)

When will Dez have a 20+ point fantasy week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

He's actually been a bit disappointing to me. He's had chances. Dallas is just running more, and it's going well. I thought Dez would have loved to be The Man with Miles out,but his numbers are about the same.

some guy (out back)

Does Jordy Nelson finish the season as a Top-5 WR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

He's actually the No. 4 wide receiver for the season! Still, people like Jennings more. Oh well. Yes, Jordy finishes top 5!

Joe (Austin)

EK, When he's playing, how do you rank VY compared to Dalton and Flacco?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

A bit better, actually. Young didn't run on Sunday night, but he can. And he has weapons.

KO (Pittsfield, MA)

Better chance of happening: Matt Moore throws 3 TD's this week or Matt Moore wins the AL Cy Young this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I'd go with Moore. OK, I'd go with the QB. I do like the Rays pitcher, but a lot can happen in a 162-game season...

Chase (Pittsfield, MA)

Look both ways before crossing, but if Street ends up in Boston how high does he move up in the Closer ranks? Top 15?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I'd say Street would probably lose the job to Bard at some point. Initially I'd say not in the top 15, but close.

Jim (DC)

If you needed a lottery ticket in a deep league at WR who would you pick up (someone who is not widely owned but could thrive if given chance due to injury, etc)

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Well, Josh Cribbs has scored a touchdown in 3 of 4 games, and is owned in 6 percent of leagues. And Vincent Brown in SD is someone doing OK because others are hurt or inconsistent.

Stefan (NAMA)

Who would you rather have on your bench for the rest of the season? S.Moss or E.Bennett?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Moss. I wasn't a big Bennett supporter in the first place, but Moss is a better player.

Brad (VA)

McGahee ranked in the 20's? BELOW CJ0K???? How are you guys "experts" if all you do is live in last season!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Yeah, it's amazing, isn't it? A week ago you were probably writing in that Chris Johnson was a top 5 guy! I'm not so sure McGahee will play that much. That's the only issue. And his QB is the goal line option.

Terry Stephens (Better Direct) (Phoenix)

Why so low on Kevin Smith? Shouldn't he get enough carries and catches to put up a respectable line? I have some underperforming WRs that I don't really want to flex.

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I just think people are a bit too excited about a one-game wonder, that's all. It's not like the Packers weren't paying attention to what he did ... and the Lions will be trailing. But I could be wrong.

Jaymikk (Iowa City)

Follow up: The small number of receptions/targets per game Witten gets relative to Graham doesn't concern you? Witten hasn't been getting more than 3-5 catches a game, and isn't scoring much.Also, is there any chance Harvin gets a designation change to RB/WR, a la Dexter McCluster?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

No, not really. Witten has scored five of the past seven weeks, so he gets enough targets. Graham has been a bit quiet of late. And on Harvin, I really doubt he adds RB eligibility. Look for 5-7 carries this week, but then Peterson could return.

K.Smith (starting)

You said the same thing about Murray after his first big week

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Not really. But if you really want to compare those two, go for it. I doubt it happens again.

Joe (WI)

Where does Prince end up? Pujols? Reyes? Im gonna say Prince in WASH, Albert in STL, Reyes in MIL (might be wishful thinking on that last one)

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Love it! I think the Marlins go after Reyes, but a month ago I predicted the Brewers.

rob (VA)

What is your take on FJAX - out for the year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

No idea. Rumor is he might be, but nobody knows. I would not drop him yet, just in case.

Mike (Meloy)

I'm thinking of benching Murray for Nicks this week. I've seen your rankings, but am wondering what your thought process is.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Well, some of it is feel, but also sheer touches. Murray should get more than 20. Nicks will not, even against the Saints.

Eric (Indianapolis)

Why don't you think McGahee plays that much?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Well, he got 12 carries last week and 4 the week prior. Health is an issue.

Chris (NY)

Like the Papelbon signing? Lot of money to an inconsistent closer as of late...

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Don't like the years/money. It's just ridiculous to give that to a closer, no matter his age or ability. But for 2 or 3 years, Papelbon should get his 35-plus saves. He did have a very good season. And he is younger than Ryan Madson. But 50 mil...wow. I like the Joe Nathan signing comparatively far more.

Brandon (Chicago)

Would you continue to hold onto Bradshaw? If/when he does come back he going to be able to do anything?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I think he's worth holding onto in case he plays in Week 13. It's not like Jacobs has run with the job.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

I'll rephrase this way, how does DeSean Jackson keep getting respect?, even in a week when the Eagles #1 WR was out, he didn't even break the 10 point mark (hasnt since week 5!)

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

He's an explosive player, and let's remember if he doesn't act like a complete fool and negate his own 50-yard catch by taunting the Giants and throwing the ball at an assistant coach, it is double digits. He can break a play at any time... and the Pats can allow big plays. Respect isn't the proper word... but he's capable of being very good in fantasy if he wants to be.

CJOyVey (TN)

Can you imagine how many FFL owners are kicking themselves for not being willing to trade me?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I did not rank Chris Johnson well coming off the Panthers game... but people just wanna believe.

FJax Owner (Boston)

I was dealt a big blow today...can you help me out here? Spiller or Antonio Brown in my flex? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Well, consider that in a way he did you a favor. Hear me out: If Jackson was going to simply get you single digit points every week, it's better that you can't use him. Of course, you might not have anything better... Pretty sure I ranked Brown quite a bit better in flex this week.

pj20 (Marin)

Last Flex spot: You liking Tolbert, DeAngelo, or Spiller this week? THANKS EK!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Probably Tolbert. Should get enough touches to matter, and he finds the end zone.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

With the Nathan signing, how much more valuable does Matt Capps become, or do you see the Twinkies picking someone else up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Capps is a free agent, and I'd be a bit surprised if a team signs him to be their closer. Could happen. Word is the Twins don't have their current closer, and will sign someone.

ZEKE (CALI)

EK,WHAT DOES YOUR GUT TELL YOU ABOUT FRED JAX?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Move on from ALL Bills at this point.

Reggie (Bush)

Top 10 RB rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

That would really surprise me. Really.

Charly (Oxford)

Is it time to introduce Fitzpatrick back to the waiver heap? He is playing terrible week in week out

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

He's been bad since Week 3.

dave (home)

tolbert over jacobs this week,right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I've seen a lot of Jacobs the past three weeks... not impressed at all. Slow.

Turkey (Hidden Away)

Can you please explain why you ranked M Forte much lower than the rest of the gang? Is he going to actually score this week or will Barber keep eating up the red zone carries? Also, aren't you worried that the Bears defense is going to suffer from endless 3 and outs? Wouldn't the Bengals be a better pick against the Browns? Thanks! GOBBLE GOBBLE.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Forte hasn't been as dominant as most think the past 5 or 6 weeks. And telling the opposing defense Forte will get the ball more... yuck. I see 20 carries and 70 yards again. Sell high. And yes, it's clear Barber is the goal line guy, and he's a good one. No problem going with the Cincy defense... could pitch a shutout.

Daniel Thomas (Miami)

Should I be dropped for Ryan Grant?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Not really sure why everyone seems to like Grant so much. He hasn't played well when he's played.

Matt (Boise)

Best place for Prince to land to elevate his fantasy stats? Cubs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Well, Rockies or Rangers. And the Rangers actually could happen. Cubs would work. Doesn't really matter with Prince.. he'll hit anywhere.

The sarchastic Jeff S. (Vermont)

cmon EK, you were the only one not to rank John Kuhn, what in the world were you thinking??? 45, 47, and 47, then i see an NR... did we forget the amazing Ha-KUHN-a-matata?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Yes, what is wrong with me!

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Well folks, thank you for the spirited questions in today's chat and for following us on ESPN and Twitter and whatever else. I know I appreciate the attention and take my role seriously. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck in Week 12 and for the rest of the season! Adios!