Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 15, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello to all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. With pitchers and catchers reporting this week I'm guessing we'll be heavy on baseball, which is fine with me! Thanks for showing up and let's have some fun, because let's face it, that's what fantasy sports are for... here we go!

Jamie (Canada)

Will Domonic Brown ever be fantasy relevant?

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Ah, one of many big questions surrounding the Phillies. Yes, I think he will be an MLB starter in 2013. I think the Phillies rushed him, messed with him too much, and he needs more time to succeed. The tools are there. By midseason, when that Mayberry/Nix platoon is struggling, I think we'll see Brown. But no need to draft in standard leagues this season.

Brian (NY)

Better OF keeper at $4-- Boesch or Matt Joyce?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

You know, on first reaction I'd say Joyce, but I think he's a bit limited since he can't touch lefties. Boesch can, and rumor is he'll be the Tigers' No. 2 hitter this season, right in front of Cabrera and Prince. That's not bad! I wouldn't go much above $4 on either fellow, though.

Blake (Santa Monica, Ca)

Hi Eric -- debating my 5th and final keeper in a league that counts OPS and hitter K's. First four are locked up Miguel Cabrera, Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun and Dustin Pedroia. Last spot is between David Wright and Carlos Santana... Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I'd keep Wright. Santana is going to strike out his fair share as well, so just keep the better fantasy option. Wright's in my top 20. The hate is unwarranted! Then again, Santana is my top catcher. Oye como va! I'd keep Wright though.

Bill (Boston)

In a 10 team league, would you take Upton/Cargo @ 10 and 11 or do you chase another position?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Best available, generally. I'd go Pedroia over CarGo, but you're getting two terrific hitters there regardless. Nothing wrong with Votto either. I don't chase positions..take the best available, but keep scarcity in mind.. .and if you don't have a corner guy in round 10... then you look for one.

Brian (NY)

Need 3 keepers out of these guys, whatd u think Mccutchen @ $18, zobrist @ 15, Pineda at 7 and Kimbrel at 6?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Nice prices for all of them. I generally throw all closers back in the draft, but $6 is really low. I'd throw Pineda back. Those hitters for those prices are a steal, as is Kimbrel.

Luke Johns (Boston, MA)

Do you think Ortiz will have nearly the same success in 2012 as he did in 2011?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

I think we're way past the point of doubting Papi. And it's not like he signed a 5-year deal and will slack off. He'll be fine. Made my top 100!

Matt (Seattle)

I see you are really high on Hosmer, I was contemplating keeping him as one of my 5 holds. I think this seals the deal. Would you hold instead of Carl Crawford or Youk?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Hosmer is gonna be terrific, a future Votto. And I had Hosmer in a league and traded him, but the return was fantastic and fit my needs. I don't root against players I've traded away! I'd keep Hosmer, then Youk, then Crawford. I think Crawford is gonna miss at least April, and even after that I can find steals late. I'd go for Youk.

Jason (Mahopac, NY)

Assuming Braun isn't suspended, who would you take and why: Kemp or Braun?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Can't go wrong with either, but I say Braun. I think he's safer in batting average, and each is a 30/30 option. I do NOT buy into any argument that if he's clean now - we don't know enough about Braun's situation, nobody does - then his body won't generate the same power... we can't go there.

Scott (St Paul, MN)

EK: What are you expecting out of Moustakas? Can we feel safe with him as a starter at 3B in a 12 team league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

I wouldn't say he's safe at this point, but I think he can hit 20 home runs and hit maybe .260. I feel like he's gonna be streaky. Obviously there is upside... top 12 at 3B? I mean, I have Aramis at 11. It's close.

Brad (Boston)

In an auction draft, how much would you pay for David Ortiz?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

All auctions are different, depends on rules, tendencies of others, depth, etc. But in a vaccuum he's roughly around $20 for me. Of course, if we're 3 hours into the auction and I really need power, and haven't filled DH, I will pay more. It's all relative to the situation.

Chris (Dallas)

Biggest bounce back player this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I could name a dozen easily.... Heyward and Rasmus jump out to me.

Angry Mike (SF, CA)

Eric, I know Mark Trumbo had a low BA which got worse as the season went on, but shouldn't there be SOME hope that a rookie who hit 29 bombs last year can improve? Sure, the at-bats don't look guaranteed every day but who thinks that Abreu, V. Wells and Morales (and, for that matter Pujols) will ALL stay healthy? Plus rumors have him penciled in at 3rd. Any hope for my favorite sleeper? (sorry the question was so long, Go Phils)

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I agree that Trumbo could get better with his plate zone judgment, and certainly nobody denies the power. I just think he's being regarded as someone he is not. A sub-.300 OBP is awful. Just awful. IF he can play third base it would be a bit different, he'd add some value there and not tie up first or DH. But still, he has to take some walks. And let's be real, the Angels won't sit Wells or Abreu. They make too much money.

Rob (Boston)

Goldscmidt or Duda? Why?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Well, not to be different, but I say Duda. He'll hit right-handed pitching, and I trust him to be more consistent, despite the difference in ballparks.

William (Pittsburgh, PA)

How well would AJ Burnett actually do in Pittsburgh, fantasy wise?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Well, I wrote a very positive blog about him the other day, but let's be honest: He probably wouldn't win more than 12 or 13 games there. ERA around 4 or so. And with 200 innings he could certainly whiff 180 or so. I think Burnett is misunderstood. Don't look at the Yankee ERA. The talent in the NL Central is not even close to the AL East.

Pete (Hartford)

Took the cheap on first base and ended up with A.Lind and B.Belt. Any good?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Well, if it's not an OBP league, it could work out. I suppose Lind could hit 25 homers. I think Belt can but have no confidence the Giants will play him enough to find out. But overall, assuming the rest of your offense is strong, this could work.

Todd (Cleveland)

Seen your ranking yesterday and you didn't seem to think A Gonzalez could hit 40 homers. Why not? Fully healthy coming off the shoulder surgery sounds like a big jump in power from last season

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

That's a LOT of home runs. Two players reached 40. I think Gonzalez, even when healthy, will spend much time hitting line drives off the monster. I don't think he hit only 27 home runs because he was hurt. I'll give him a few more, but don't go overboard. Still, to many he's a top 10 guy.

Spencer (East Lansing)

Any thoughts on fantasy relevance for the Cleveland Indians pitching staff?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Well, their closer should save 30 games. I think Ubaldo can strike out 175 or so hitters, keep his ERA in the 3s. Not a huge fan of his, but Ks are Ks. He's better than Morrow. Can't say I'd trust any other Indians starters, even Masterson.

Jack (PA)

What would be your projections for 2012 for Hosmer? Can he hit .300 with 25 HR's?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Yes. He can do that. And he can run a bit as well.

Dave (Denver)

Last keeper - Trout for long-term potential (maybe even this year?) or a newer metality in-shapre Dexter Fowler?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Not a big Fowler guy, not unless he runs a lot more. The worry on Trout is he doesn't get called up until June or July, and it's a legit worry. I suppose keeping Trout makes sense here. There will be guys with stats like Fowler on free agency.

Jack (PA)

What would your projections be for Lawrie this year? You seem to be leading the Brett Lawrie fan club!

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Little Braun? How about 25 home runs and 22 steals? Lawrie should be terrific. I fear I underranked him some. He's gonna move up. AND check out the Caple article on Lawrie and his softball-playing sister...great read on the MLB page.

Alex (MA)

How would you project Ike Davis vs. Freddie Freeman this year. We saw a lot of potential from Ike last April before the injury, yet I see Freeman valued a little higher in your post earlier

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I like Freeman to keep getting better, hit for more power, take walks, and it's a better lineup. I like Ike, too, but don't we have to be at least a bit concerned about his health?

bob (tulsa)

What are your feelings on Zack Cozart? Like his chances in that lineup and Ballpark. Is .275 15 and 15 out of the question?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I don't see him hitting .275, not yet. What worries me is that he hits .250, or needs more time in the minors.

Rick (maine)

how do you feel about Berkman this year, back at 1st base... challenging 30/100? Take him or Morse

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I'd take Berkman. Morse can't hit .300 again, not with that walk rate. Nearly impossible to do that again. And why can't Berkman thrive again? He can!

JJ Hardy (Baltimore)

My 30 HRs last year: Trend or mirage?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I'll take the under, and what worries me is his health. Could be way under.

Carl (Crawford)

You rank me low this year but am I a keeper again for 2013?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I think he has something to prove, but by no means am I giving up on the guy. He did make my top 100... but I'm assuming others are going to trust him more. I think he's still hurt.

Kevin (Inland Empire, CA)

The last closer you'd be ok with drafting is... (hopefully not Lyon)

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Well, any closer that has a job does have a place in every league, even a 10-teamer. Saves are saves. So David Carpenter in Houston? Matt Capps? Ugh.

Jason (Bmore)

Does Addison Reed get the job, and how much would you spend in an AL only?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Not a ton. I think he gets the job, but wouldn't spend more than $10 or so to find out.

Starlin Castro (Chitown)

What kind of prime numbers will I have? I'm thinking .320 20/20?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

In time, yes, he could be Hanley Ramirez. But I don't see him doubling his power output quite yet. He has time!

Bill (Tampa)

Will you be drafting Hosmer over guys like Konerko, Berkman?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Yes, I will. Not that I don't trust the old guys, but Hosmer's pretty safe, too.

Ric (Middleville Mi.)

Who is baseball sweetheart this yeat, Football we had Tebow. Basketball has Linsanity, who is ours Roy Hobbs ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

A.J. Burnett when he wins 15 for the first-place Pirat...nah, I can't finish that sentence. How about John Mayberry, leading the Phillies in home runs. Or 15-game winner Aaron Cook for the Red Sawx...

Chuck (Philly)

how much does ted lilly have left in the tank?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Enough to post another good WHIP and K rate this season. Always underrated.

Nick (Rochester, NY)

I need some more info on Shin Soo Choo. Last year, I drafted him in the 3rd round. This year, I am considering dropping him instead of Desmond Jennings in my keeper league. Am I nuts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I wouldn't overrate what happened to Choo in 2011. He was hurt. That said, keeping Jennings is legit, too. Choo should go 20/20... Jennings could hit for power and steal 40. He's pretty ready for stardom.

Drew (Williamsport)

Where would you (if at all) draft Bryce Harper?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

In a standard league, I wouldn't bother unless I knew I had a bench spot and wasn't using it for something else. I'm more of a win-now guy... Harper starts in the minors. He's 19.

JJ (Boston)

Man, I would love to see the BoSox get something out of A.Cook. Instead of something they overpay for that doesn't perform, they'll have someone they didn't expect to make the roster outdueling the big arms.

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I predict Cook makes the April rotation and Bard is in the bullpen. Doesn't mean I'd draft Cook in a league... he'll give up many hits.. but he could win games!

Matt (Philly)

David Freese? Nice sleeper, or someone you won't target?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Likely to be overrated this season. I've had Freese in a deep league for years, and he just can't stay healthy. I'll say maybe he hits 15 home runs... but he's never topped 10 in the bigs.

Grant (MinneSNOWta)

Is this the year Jay Bruce finally breaks out?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

He's coming off a 32-homer season! You expect more than that? I'd say he has broken out.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

He's coming off a 32-homer season! You expect more than that? I'd say he has broken out.

Kevin (Inland Empire, CA)

Is Scutaro a top 10 SS?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

People might laugh, but at Coors...with dual 2B/SS eligibility by mid-April... not a bad sleeper at all. Could reach double digit homers, score 80 runs. Just saying. But no, not top 10 SS yet.

Jake (CT)

What is your opinion on using negative categories in H2H leagues, like strikeouts for hitters and losses for pitcher's?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I'm fine with strikeouts... not a big fan of losses. Hitters control their whiffs. A pitcher leaves with a 3-1 lead and bases loaded and can still lose the game. Not cool. Wins aren't a great category either.

Yoenis Cespedes (Why am I in Oakland?)

How shocked are you going to be when I bust out for 30/20 in 2013?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Certainly could happen... but when I wrote that he wouldn't do that, and to be cautious, it's because that makes more sense.

Andrew (Toronto)

Everyone has Andrus ranked in the top 60 which makes him a keeper. I know that he is a shortstop and there isnt much quality out there however, I am dropping players like Arod, Gordon & Berkman who all have better numbers. Am I crazy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

It's for the stolen bases, and position scarcity. I'd probably keep Andrus over those guys as well... and I'm not a big Andrus fan. But even sans power, the speed is worth it.

Kevin (St. Louis)

Did Albert Pujols' fantasy value get even greater with the move to Anaheim or did it drop a little?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Didn't really change my mind much. I can find reasons he's better (AL from NL) and others he's not (lineup around him).

Marco (Tucson)

EK, is this the year the Mat Gamel reminds everyone how ruthlessly he can rake when given the chance?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I've written about Gamel so many times people think I'm his agent, or I own 100 of his rookie card. But yeah, I like him to break out.

John (Fort Worth)

Draft kit is up! I LOVE that there is 10 team league value AND a 12 team league value for players in the draft kit. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

And there you go... look who's the last to know!

Tom (Jacksonville)

Would you be surprised if Morse didn't hit 30 home runs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

No. There's huge downside with him. Not saying he's gonna be a bust, but if he hits 25 homers and .260, wouldn't be a surprise to me at all.

Ronald (Salt Lake)

Kinsler vs. Wright. Who you got and why?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Kinsler. He's 30/30 in 2 of the past 3 years, and plays second base. Third base is definitely deeper this season.

Brian (NY)

What is your argument against people who say Safeco and inexperience will get to Montero?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I could argue Montero hits the ball to all fields, so normal tactics (ballpark, opposing pitchers) wouldn't 100 percent apply. I don't buy the inexperience angle. He's not a good catcher, but he's going to hit, no matter the home park. He'll just hit fewer home runs in Safeco than he would have in the Bronx.

Jon (Orlando)

Earlier you said Dominic Brown will replace a Mayberry/Nix platoon. What do you see for Mayberry? If he's leading the team in HR, he's got to stay in the line up?!?!?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

I don't expect to see Brown for most of the season. Mayberry hits lefties, and I think he's good enough to hit right-handers. Frankly, he'd be my first baseman while Howard is out, not Wigginton. Nix can represent enough against RHP... I'd play Mayberry every day in April and platoon Nix/Wigginton in LF unless Brown has a big spring. Then I'd play him every day and bat him sixth.

Scott (Dallas)

If Cory Luebke was a Phille, would you answer a question about Cory Luebke?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Stop it. I like Luebke... tons of questions in here, I'm not ignoring anyone. But if Luebke was a Phillie, he would be about half as valuable. His value is tied to Petco for sure.

Fred (GA)

Would you be worried about runs and RBI when targetting Kung Fu Panda? Or does the .310 BA and 25 HR's help offset that?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I think the Giants lineup will be better this season. Not a huge Melky fan, but he's an upgrade leading off. And assuming Huff bounces back some and Belt plays LF, Giants should hit more.

Dave (NYC)

Big Game James and Alex Gordon both lived up to their hype in 2011. Who do you keep for 2012?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

The hitter. Definitely.

Andrew (Toronto)

So you are not big on Elvis Andrus...Would you accept a 10th Round pick for him and keep another player like Lance Berkman, Arod, Carl Crawford or Alex Gordon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I didn't exactly say that. I just don't overdraft players with no semblance of power. And he has no power. But what's a 10th rounder worth? You need a shortstop, keep the shortstop. I'd draft him over those others.

Jason (dc)

how much does price affect your keepers? would you keep lincecum for $1 over fielder for $32? what about moore or lawrie for $1 over fielder for $32?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Price is a factor. Of course I'd keep Timmy at a buck, and Moore or Lawrie. And $32 for Prince is too much.

Jason (NYC)

Projections for Josh Hamilton this year......

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I'll say 30 and 90 in 125 games.

Guy whose boss just left for the day (Atlanta)

What are your feelings on Mat Latos in Cincy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Leaving Petco won't help, but still good enough to keep his ERA in the 3.50 range and strike out many hitters.

Rick (Idaho)

Who would you rather have for the next 2 years, Lawrie at $3 or Stanton at $29?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Lawrie, definitely. I mean, at that price, there's no risk. None. I like Stanton, and that's a bit more than I would want to pay, but 3 bucks! C'mon!

Brian (NY)

Do you think Pedro Alvarez will be fantasy relevant this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Yes, but I wouldn't draft him in a 10-team league. Still has to prove he can at least do something against lefties... and stay healthy.

Tom (Jacksonville)

Why so much hate for Aramis? He has averaged 26 homers and 85 RBIs for the four out the last five years (one year cut short b/c of injury), and Youkilis is ranked 60 spots higher and has hit less than 20 homers in 3 out the last 5. You didn't like Aramis in Wrigley either, so don't give me home/road splits as your reason

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I don't hate anyone. But the home/road splits are exactly the reason. He's also old and brittle. Youkilis is a better player, hitting .300 every year until he was hurt in 2011.

Jonesing (Draftland)

Don't mock me but, pleaaassse give us the mocks!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Not my department... no idea what's happening there. Trust me.

Bob (Nebraska)

Better long term keeper? Jennings or Sandoval. What about this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Long-term it's Jennings. I think he's legit, and am a bit surprised at the low projections on his batting average. He's a walker, has pop, why can't he hit .275? This year... probably Sandoval, he's safer.

Jason (PA)

Looking into my crystal ball, I can see Justin Upton having a 40/40 season and being the #1 overall player.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Wouldn't shock me. Well, perhaps the steals, but still, he's a fantasy monster in the making and top-5 for keeper leagues!

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, that is about all the time I have been given for this fine Wednesday, so I thank you for showing up, for asking questions, for reading and watching and listening to my work over the years, for Tweeting, for being a pal, for helping create Cheesesteaks, etc. Honestly, thanks. You make it all possible. Gotta go! Have a great day and enjoy our comprehensive draft kit! It's awesome!