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

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric, and we've got lots to discuss today, including football and some breaking news in baseball. So, thanks for showing, let's have some fun and get those questions in ...

David (SF)

Wait, so the Melk Man can't appeal? This is an outrage! But might explain a few things...

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for testosterone. Basically, his regular season is now complete and yes, what a regular season it was. Cabrera is No. 9 on our Player Rater for the season! Well, he won't finish there. Wait a day before dropping him, in case something changes, but he is done. What a shame. Glad I traded for him in an important league last week.

Brian (Towson, MD)

ROS in a vacuum.....Moustakas or Hosmer? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Moustakas. I've tired of waiting for Hosmer this season, though I won't give up in 2013.

Brian Johnson (San Francisco, CA)

In all the fantasy leagues I've participated, it is typically the QB who is putting up the most points in each game. With this being the case, why is it that RBs are the earliest draft picks in most (if not all) mock drafts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Numerous reasons, including that there are so few sure things at RB, and in most formats you must play 2 of them, and can play 3. In most leagues you can use only one QB each week. Plus, there's variance in value; the 10th QB isn't bad at all, but the 20th RB might be below average. A year ago Cedric Benson was like 21st at RB.

Frank (Chicago)

EK, would I be foolish to go WR-WR 1-2 in a PPR league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

No, it certainly would not, especially if Wes Welker was one of them.

David (Colorado)

Who has the best shot to be this year's Gronk/Graham at TE?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Well, nobody had ever done what either of them did last season, but Fred Davis is capable of big things, though I don't rank him like others do. I could see Jacob Tamme getting a lot of receptions.

Will (SF)

Should getting a Rodgers or Brady in a 12 team, 6 points per TD for QB's a must?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

A must, no? There are many ways to win a league on draft day.

Jon (Memphis)

EK! Enjoyed you and Mr. Law today. Regarding something that was mentioned, I have a theory about the difference between Greinke's ERA and FIP or xFIP. I think it's rooted in the few really really bad outings he has a season. He's so good otherwise that is what generates the lower (better?) ERA metrics.

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Makes sense. Greinke isn't a bad pitcher by any means and any average like ERA or FIP can be affected by a few rough outings. Look at Vogelsong; went from first to like eighth in ERA from one Monday outing.

Mike Ciriaco (Omaha, NE)

Is Wil Myers ever going to get his call-up? It's nice that Frenchy gets along well with fans, but he's not very good at the whole "baseball" thing.

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Well, that's not really fair, either. Francouer is still a good baseball player, especially last season, but this year has not gone so well. I think Myers would be an upgrade, but I doubt we see this year. Myers comes up in a few weeks but he might not play much.

Jason (Attleboro MA)

Who are some players that will not be on your roster this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

You know, I really should blog about that. I usually do. The problem is people misinterpret the blog and think it means I don't like Aaron Rodgers because I won't take a QB in the first round. But certainly Rodgers, Brady and Brees won't be on my roster. I just wait on QBs. And I won't draft Gronk or Graham, either. And I've been shying away from DeMarco Murray. There's nobody else to take at RB in the second round!

Brian (IN)

How much if at all do you think that Sean Payton's absence will change Brees' strategy this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Not at all. Brees and the other Saints will score many points. They might allow a lot more, though.

Chris (NJ)

What are your thoughts on Jean Segura? Do you see the Brewers letting him run alot?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I think the problem is him getting on base a lot. For this year I don't expect big things.

Robert (Norristown, PA)

What do you think about Eric Young ROS? Would you grab him or John Jay if you need a little help with steals.

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Wrote about Young today, really like him and have been waiting for three years. He is capable of stealing many bases, though he hasn't run much lately. I'd grab Young for steals, but Jay is certainly safer in batting average, despite Young's recent play.

Neil (A Sweet Winny)

How much of a $200 budget would you invest in QB's in a 2 QB 10 team league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

No idea. Every draft is different and I never say I "won't spend more than XX dollars" for someone. If I want the player, I'll overpay. But I would think at least $70 on a pair of QBs is reasonable.

Shaun (NYC)

Blount was horrendous last year, why now all the hype now about him splitting with Martin?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

He's not a horrendous player, certainly not in 2010. And I happen to think getting less work and keeping him fresh will be a good thing. It's a time share.

cody (center valley pa)

Hello EK, I have noticed that NOBODY ever talks about Allen Craig and I am really starting to wonder why? He is on pace to have better stats then Matt Holliday and only a little lower batting average, why is noone talking about him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

We talk about Craig plenty. I've got him on multiple teams, including one in which he qualified at second base. He'll be the first baseman for the Cardinals the rest of the year and in 2013, and is a 30-homer threat.

Matt (Houston)

Are you at all concerned about Lynch? Not necessarily to be suspended but to duplicate last year's success? Should you be confident if he's your #2 RB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Confident, no. We've seen the guy play poorly before. But in this watered down era of running backs, he's a relatively safe RB2.

Lou (MN)

How do you feel about Stevan Ridley this season? Do you see him putting up similar stats to BJGE that last couple of years?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I could see 1,000 yards and 7 or 8 scores, but I think he's also likely to get a bit overrated in drafts. There are no guarantees with a Patriots RB, and there is depth there.

Angry Melky Owner (Chicago)

Who do you like as a replacement the most? Revere, Ludwick, or Markakis?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Ya know, I'm a bit angry myself. What a joke. And I can't imagine Giants management or fans are happy, either. Forget fantasy, they're in a pennant race! I doubt Gregor Blanco is a reasonable replacement for them! Anyway, Ludwick for power, Revere for speed. Both should be owned in all leagues by now. And Markakis for average! If only they were one player... it'd be Mike Trout.

Shaun (Boston)

Who do you think wins the battle for #2 behind McFadden? Goodson or Jones or someone else?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I blogged last week that Mike Goodson was underrated and of course the conversation on the blog was so negative that I am convinced it will happen. That's normally the deal! Jones is just a speed guy. Also, I half expect Ryan Grant to end up in Oakland at some point.

James (Boston)

Plouffe is 0-8 in his first two games back. Was his early success just a mirage? Stick with Machado this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I'd give him a bit more than 2 games. But certainly Machado is worth using as well.

Sleepless (Seattle)

Are you still drinking the kool-aid on R Matthews?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Well, none of us can be surprised that he got hurt. I actually am ranking him worse than others on the ESPN staff now. I would be a bit surprised if Mathews plays in Week 1, but more than that when does the next injury occur? Of course, everyone is an injury risk.

Frank (Chicago)

Do you think Julio Jones will end the season as a Top 5 WR this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

No. He has the ability, but unlike others I still rank Roddy White ahead of him and expect a big season from both, diluting each a bit.

Reginald (Cape Cod)

How do you feel about Stafford this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I don't project anyone to throw for 5,000 yards or more than 40 touchdowns, but I have Stafford at No. 4 QB. No real obvious concerns about injury or performance.

Keith (VA)

Who do you believe in more... Cobb, Corbin, Medlen, Straily, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy (played by The Rock)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Wait, Santa Claus isn't real? Of course he is. I think Medlen is totally legit, but also wonder how the Braves will find an excuse to move him to the bullpen. I rank them Medlen, Cobb, Straily and then Corbin.

Brad (Atlanta, GA)

Trade deadline is coming! Who is a better keeper: HanRam or Justin Upton. I have Hanley but thinking of trying to move him for Upton since this season I'm out of contention.

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I would keep Upton. Nothing against Hanley, still a very good fantasy third baseman, but I don't see him getting better or returning to past glory. I am not giving up on Upton having his MVP season eventually.

Dan (NJ)

ADP back in pads? Ready for week 1? Where you selecting him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I probably have him a bit overrated and will drop him some into late third round. I doubt he plays a major role for the Vikings the first few weeks. It should take more time.

Rick (NY)

Better keeper Graham in 9th round or Stafford in 6th?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I'd go Graham there.

Zok (Minneapolis)

Do you think Kipnis has anything left in the tank? Thinking about Aybar or Keppinger for my 2B/SS slot...

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

It sure doesn't look like it... this is why I blogged about Kipnis being an obvious sell high option. I didn't think it would be this bad, though. I don't drop him for those guys, but if choosing it would be Aybar.

Bob (Buffalo)

Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace in a standard scoring?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Wallace. It's mid-August. I think all will be well in Pittsburgh.

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

With the Gronk/Graham hype, do you think Gates is getting somewhat unfairly overlooked?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Nope. I think he's probably overrated, too. I like Tony Gonzalez in round nine and keeping taking him there in drafts. Oh right, THIS is the year it all falls apart.. I don't buy it.

Alex (Texas)

Love your stuff EK! Am I wrong to be worried about Stafford because so much of his value is due to the fact that Calvin Johnson is...Calvin Johnson? Sure, no way to predict injuries, but what happens to Stafford if Megatron goes down?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Then Titus Young becomes Victor Cruz. I wouldn't worry... basically all these guys are injury risks. I don't think Stafford would become Matt Schaub, if that's what you mean.

Dan (Ohio)

Are you saying that Antonio Brown isn't a top WR option?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I'm saying I like Mike Wallace over him, and Wallace will eventually report to the Steelers and be a top-10 WR. I have Brown around the 20th WR, but more valuable for PPR formats than standard. Not more valuable than Wallace though. At least not yet.

Dave (Detroit)

Rd 9 for Gonzo...how many teams in the league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Look at ADP, nobody wants Gonzalez. Falls in every single draft I've seen. Ten teamers and larger.

Cindy (Toronto)

Will Dee Gordon ever become a regular SS in the MLB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I don't see why he can't play 150 games in 2013, steal 50 bases and bat .230 with a .290 OBP. Awesome.

Jeff (Rochester, NY)

I've been doing mock drafts and to me it really doesn't look like WR is as deep as some say. What say you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I say it's about 5 times deeper than running back. It's much deeper than normal.

Jason (Boston)

When is too soon to draft MJD?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I'd say if you took him fourth that would be fine. I'm really not worried about him sitting this season out or struggling statistically.

Bruce (Newport Beach)

Eric,There are no RB's I like in the second round, I don't want to draft the TE's like you, I want to wait on QB's and after CJ who is gone in the 1st, all the wr's look the same. The 2nd round is brutal. Who have you been taking in the 2nd round of your mock drafts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Well, I've been lucky enough to pick first in recent mocks, so I've generally picked 2 top WRs at the round 2/3 turn or one and one. I agree, round 2 is awful.

Ramsey (Los Angeles)

Eric, should I hold out hope that Anibal Sanchez and Ryan Dempster return to earlier form, or should I cut them and look elsewhere?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I have little faith in Dempster, personally, but I think I'd keep both owned. Depends what the other options are. I think Sanchez will be fine.

Kmac (Boston)

Good day Eric, Any concerns with Brady's O-line?The offensive unit didn't look so hot in their game. Thank You

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

If you mean their preseaosn game, then no, I have no concerns. It's a top offense.

Steve (Boston)

Bouncing off that question: Is using a mid-early 2nd Round pick on Julio Jones crazy talk?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Not at all. Jones should keep on improving... a number of teams have 2 top-20 WR options.

JT (Boston, MA)

EK - I've got a sunday deadline, please help...Gronk, Julio Jones or Cruz...keep 1, 10 teams, PPR - drafting last...thank you!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I'd go Jones there in a keeper. Still getting better. Other guys will never have a season like they just had...

Bob (Vegas)

Any chance Tebow becomes QB/RB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Who is this Tebow fella you mention? Never heard of him. No, I doubt he ever adds RB eligibility.

Ryan (E.L. MI)

EK! Owning both Roddy White and Julio Jones, one needs to be traded right? Who do you keep and what is the range of RB you feel each player should draw in trade?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Why trade either of two potential top-10 WRs? Sorry, I don't see it. Two Giants were elite WRs last year. Two Packers, too. Two Cowboys can do it. If you're compelled to trade just look at our top 200 for a comparable RB.

Eric (Fort Worth)

do you ever think kemp will go back to his around 40 steals a season player?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I'll predict in 2013 he flirts with 30/30 again. But it's tough to predict 40.

ryan (georgia)

what's the draft stock on kevin smith

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

He's the Detroit starter, probably, with Jahvid Best likely out until Week 7 if not longer, but that doesn't mean Smith can stay healthy. He's outside my top 30 RBs.

Reginald (Cape Cod)

Hey EK everyone seems to be in love with AJ Green. I know he's a freak talent but Dalton isn't a stud QB and won't pretty much every defense in the league focus on shutting down Green with no other real play makers on the team? Am I missing something?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I don't think Dalton has to be great for Green to be great. Look at Larry Fitz in Arizona. He has nothing at QB and always does well.

Bill (Jersey)

Eric in a ppr league who would you keep, sproles for $12 or Fred Jackson for $15 ($200 budget)? Go birds

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I have Sproles ranked better in PPR and standard.

Martin (Frank)

EK! I don't understand. You say the 2nd round is bad but then you say DON'T draft safe and solide TEs like Gronk or Graham? What gives???

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Why are they so safe? There's too much tight end depth for me to take one in round 2. It doesn't make sense to me. Still need RBs, even if they aren't safe or solid.

Kenny (The home stretch)

Is Affeldt going to give me enough saves to warrant his roster spot or should I drop him for Medlen? Other closers are Chapman and Wilhelmson

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I doubt Affeldt gets 5 more saves. Then again, I'm not sure Medlen gets 5 more starts... or even 2.

Cliff (Bos)

Do your rankings hold for keeper leagues? For example 1st pick do you take Turner over Richardson? Just worry about this year and handle next year next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

In that case I'd go Richardson. We have all kinds of rankings in our draft kit and they are often updated. We have keeper ranks.

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

CAR Steve Smith. WR1 by the end of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

No, I think he's going to high in drafts.

Eric (CO)

I know you arent a big fan of Murray but would you take him early 2nd round if he's the best RB available considering what the dropoff at the position?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Sure, if you must. The guy has 2 career TDs but we've all got him top 10 because there is just nothing else.

Christian (NY)

What's your strategy in an auction league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

To draft well.

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Balanced team, use my money, some bench depth.

Larry (LA)

I think what Martin means is that Gronk and Graham are a shoe in for 1000 yds and 6+ tds. Isn't that' basically what you want from an RB2?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

They aren't shoo-ins for anything... but my point is I can get a decent tight end 8 rounds later... I can't get anything at RB 8 rounds later.

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

More Rush TD's this year: Newton, Vick or Tebow?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Tebow. Sorry. I'd still draft Newton in the third and Vick in the fifth and Tebow much later, though.

Matt (Denver)

Are you a daydream believer?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Are you a homecoming queen?

Ethan (Steel City)

Does Mendenhall return to Steeler backfield in 2012?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Yes. He will make an impact. I probably rank him too poorly.

Doug (PA)

You believe Hillis and Charles both will have productive yrs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I do believe that. People want their RBs getting 300 touches, but these are humans. Less work often makes people more effective.

John (Nj)

When are you drafting Trent Richardson ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Monday.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Oh ... I dunno, prob the fourth round.

Ben (AL)

who will make a bigger impact in 2012 - Skaggs or W. Myers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

It's a zero-zero tie... but I will say Myers.

Chris (Cincy)

Any advice for someone drafting 11th in a 12 team league? I'm trying to get a strategy but it's probably going to be take the best player available.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

What's wrong with that strategy? I'd still take at least one running back in the first/second round...but let's see what WRs are there.

Jason (Boston)

What QB's are you waiting on?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Well, I'd like it if I could get Rodgers in the seventh. I'm generally waiting on the elder Manning, Rivers, Ryan, Roethlisberger, Schaub. Fine with any of them if I have a strong RB/WR base.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Anyone you've been overdrafting based on their ADP?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Yeah, Ben Tate and Tony Gonzalez. But I don't care what the ADP says!

Bob (NC)

Who is a better bet for Saves ROS - Bailey or Storen?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Bailey, but that doesn't mean he gets double digits.

Greg (Cleveland)

Most likely to regress ROS: Fiers, Niese, Hughes, Sheets?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Based on current numbers, Fiers. Niese and Sheets are safe.

Cody (Pa)

i took cedric benson as a late pick for my bench? Smart or bad move?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Looks smart now.

Allan (Pittsburg)

With all this talk about an aging M. Turner, do you see Snelling or J. Rodgers as the better late-round draft?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

The Turner narrative is overrated. Yes, decline is coming, but he's not going to be unplayable this year. I'd take Rodgers late.

Chuck (Toronto)

Would a team of say Mccoy, steven jackson and B. Marshall be considered a strong wr/rb base?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Works for me.

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

Are you buying Manning's greater rapport with Decker, or do you think Thomas ultimately wins out by 2nd half of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Both will be productive... I don't buy that Peyton has an overwhelming rapport with either of them yet. With Tamme, he does.

Steve (Colbert)

Would you be ok waiting so long on drafting a tight end that you end up with Jared Cook as your starter?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Yes, I would.

Sam (NY)

Any chance Randy Moss or Terrell Owens are worth a bench spot?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Go for it. I'm avoiding them.

Angry Giants Fan (SF)

Forget Fantasy! Without Melky, our chances of making the playoffs have taken a significant blow.

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

It's not over yet. Still great pitching...

Change (New Era)

Interestingly you seem to be one of the few guys still holding onto the RB first philosophy.....change is hard for us all, Eric....

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I don't think that's my philosophy at all. It's RB/WR. Best options there. Good luck with LeGarrette Blount as your starting RB2.

Boss (AB)

Pujols or Kemp in keeper for next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Kemp for now, but both top 5.

Dave (Chicago)

Why the anger? Melky's always been a joke, the PEDs are the punchline. He got caught and he's out.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

He wasn't a joke yesterday hitting .350 and in the top 10 of the Rater. C'mon, you didn't know this was coming.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Better keeper: Eli for $8 or Steve Smith (CAR) for $5

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Smith... cheap prices on both, though.

Ben (Portland)

Desmond or Aybar at SS ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I trust Desmond will be more productive...

Michael (Knoxville)

better keeper...j charles or graham?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I'd keep Charles.

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, that is all the time we have for today's chat session! Thanks so much for showing up and checking us out on ESPN Fantasy... we certainly appreciate it! Have a great day...