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September 5, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session! I am Eric. I can't think of anything going on in the sports world today, can you? Perhaps a football game tonight? And a full slate of baseball? So anyway, let's get to the many questions....

Jeff (NY)

I want to pick up a RB flier for my bench: Ced Benson or Ryan Williams?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Well, both should be owned in pretty much all leagues ... Benson first. And I'm going to look for questions that cannot be answered by our rankings, which are here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=12ranksWeek1QB

Paul (NM)

PPR league, McGahee or Donald Brown?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Like PPR... I say McGahee still, but it's closer with that change in rules. I like Brown this season and the Indy offense.

Deron (NY)

Will Bilal Powell be relevant this year without a Shonn Greene injury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I don't think so. No other Jets running back mattered after Greene last year, and I don't think durability is a problem. And really, Greene isn't a star, but he's not as bad as people think. He's useful.

Rick (S. Jersey)

Can you explain why you have Reggie Bush so high in your flex ranks? He's got an offensive line that is riddled with injuries, a coach that loves to throw, a rookie qb and no name wr's.

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Eh, just flipped a coin. The Dolphins were a mess last year and Bush was excellent. I think they'll throw to him a lot more this year, too. Maybe line him up as a WR some and use their young RBs more. And Bush is healthy today. After this week, who knows?

Alex (New York)

How effective do u think the Charles/Hillis tandem will be?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Very. I see the Chiefs leading the NFL in rushing this season. No, really.

JW (MA)

Afternoon EK! w/KWright news of him startin', over DHB and/or Titus Young? thx

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I didn't rank that way but sure, I do expect Pats-Titans to be wide open, and this week, with Britt suspended, the rookie Wright is starting. No guarantees, though. I'd go Titus here.

stephen (los angeles)

jonathan dwyer ... reasonable RB2/Flex this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I don't think any Pirates... I mean Steelers are worthy of RB2 status or 10-team standard league flex this week. It's a mess.

Elise (FL)

David Wilson is the starter by week __ ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

By Week 1 of 2013. I don't know why people are against Bradshaw. He's pretty good. Made it through last season, too.

Cliff (Bos)

Baseball! Worried about Weaver for fantasy playoffs next week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Certainly doesn't appear that Jered Weaver will pitch this weekend... so yeah, worried. That's September h2h fantasy baseball for ya...

Eric (Indy)

I am expecting big things from Torrey Smith this season, but am unsure if I should start him over Steve Smith(Car) this week! What do you think?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Agree with your assessment, and I actually ranked Torrey 20th at WR... and Steve 16th. So it's close. But go for it if you really believe...

John (NYC)

No love for Shonn Greene this weekend?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Lots of love. I ranked him the best of anyone. This Jets preseason struggles offensively are such an overrated story. The games didn't count! Who cares? They'll score 28 this Sunday.

Jake (San Jose, CA)

Start Matt Moore tonight against the yanks? They havent hit well lately but its fantasy playoffs and I can't afford a really bad start.

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

It seems to me the way the Yankees are hitting, getting roughly 5 hits per game over the past week, it's the best time to start Matt Moore against them. Yes, start him.

Dan (VA)

Dan Bailey or Hanson the safer bet in week 1?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Just getting this kicker question out of the way now. Because there just cannot be any more of them. Go Bailey. Dallas and Giants will score plenty, but to guess how many will be touchdowns and field goals... can't even imagine.

Rick (Irvine, CA)

A kicker question, and one you can get from the ranks...How does position eligibility work on football... Take for example Tebow, if he gets 5 rushes a game as an RB could he gain eligibility, or does it work totally different than baseball...

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

It's subjective, and I don't think you'll see Tebow get RB eligibility unless the Jets actually use him a lot as a pure running back. Which they will not.

Steve (Wilmington, DE)

Along the lines of the David Wilson Q - Ryan Williams is the starter by week ___?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Different situation. If Wells can play, he starts. Williams isn't the healthiest cat himself. I see Beanie and Ryan going back and forth, neither rush for 1,000 yards.

Ed (NY)

Eric, I know you HATE rank questions but I read where you said your not buying MJD only being a 3rd down back and getting a small amount of carries. Why? So if thats the case, do I start him over Jennings? Would you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

No, just too much risk... but I see this being more of an equal timeshare as long as MJD shows early on that he's in fine shape. And he is. You're right... my MJD rank really doesn't show my confidence in going against the Jaguars coach.. I'm using MJD in a league. I haven't added Jennings anywhere.

Joey (Pittsburgh)

Mendenhall is the starter by week ______

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

If healthy he probably starts this Sunday, but be reminded that he tore an ACL too... so all the concern about Peterson and Charles... Mendy is no lock even if he plays.

George (NY)

So if witten does play where do you rank him? Are you starting him over say cook?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

No. I'd be surprised if Witten plays, and wouldn't make him top 10. I just can't see him getting in that many plays.

Ben (Charlotte)

how does DWill's fantasy value change if Stewart is out for an extended period? RB1 possibly?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Of course it changes, but RB1? No, I doubt that would happen with a running QB and two better goal line options (Newton and Tolbert).

Bryan (DC)

Is Nicks a no doubt start?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I think so.

Big Willy (Philly)

MJD...week 1... what does he do stats wise?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Let's say 12 for 48, perhaps a score. Jennings might get more touches, but ...

Steve (Chicago, IL)

With Nicks still recovering from injury, would you feel comfortable starting Garcon over him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I wouldn't overthink it. I don't. I think Nicks is a top-10 WR when he plays. And he's playing. There's no comfort level... go with your gut. Sounds like you want Garcon. That's fine. I'd go Nicks.

Scott (Colorado)

Inevitable question....I own Kevin Winslow and Dallas Clark. Should I keep Winslow until he lands somewhere, or punt and grab someone off waivers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I think he will find work, and he'll be better than Clark. But for this week, you need better.

Sal (NJ)

Buying into Royster at all or do you stay as far away from Redskins RBs as humanly possible??

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Not buying into anything in the Washington backfield. Honestly. Wouldn't surprise me if Royster, Helu or Morris were 1,000 yard rushers... or none topped 600 yards. That's Shanahan. Can't say staying away overall, because I'd stash any of them away just in case.

Aaron (GB)

You have D williams ranked higher then Trent Richardson. Do you expect The Daily Show to take a commercial break this week.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I'd be a bit surprised if J.Stewart plays this week, yeah. But he's definitely relevant this season. Man, we're still doing this #Twittermockdraft and I just got Stewart with pick 97. I know he's got a hurt ankle and might miss a game, but wow for value. This week DeAngelo could be very good, I acknowledge this. And I'm a bit down on T-Rich this week.

Brad (Pa.)

What are your expectations of Kenny Britt this year? High WR3??

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I think when he plays he'll do great things. So when he plays, perhaps WR2. But what, 12 games?

Bill (Oakland)

I grabbed Robert Turbin on news that Lynch's back may be acting up. Where would you slot him if Lynch doesn't play? If I don't own Lynch, is he worth a roster spot? I'd have to drop probably Brandon LaFell.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I don't think it matters if you own Lynch or not. If he doesn't play, any fantasy team would, in theory, want a starter. But that's the thing: Would Turbin be the lone guy getting touches? I doubt it. I'd keep LaFell, because I think Lynch will play and play well.

jake ((Big apple))

what type of AP can we assume for sunday? if negative how will toby gerhart do?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I assume nothing for Sunday with Peterson. Not sure he suits up. He's a risk to use in fantasy. Gerhart could get 20 touches and double digit fantasy points if Peterson sits.

Josh (cape cod)

What do you expect from austin colllie this year? Should i snag him on my dynasty team?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I'm rooting for Collie to play 16 games. Unfortunately...

Tom Coughlin (Building a Bridge)

You said you see Charles leading the league in yards, what do you expect out of Hillis then this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

That's not remotely close to what I said. I said the Chiefs will lead the league in rushing yards. More than 1,000 yards for each fellow there.

Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)

Why are people so high on me this year? I'm lazy, banged up, and I had two bad years in Buffalo. Why do 9 great games make people think I'm an RB1?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

He was the No. 6 RB for the SEASON last year. I know he's burned us all in the past, but lazy seems a bit harsh. He carried fantasy owners in 2011. To answer your question, find 10 other RBs you like better. I'll disagree with a few of your choices, guaranteed!

Andy (Atlanta)

the absolute best fantasy baseball players remain in the thick of it. why in the heat of the most important time of year do the chats go so football on us?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I can only answer the questions that get asked. So ask a baseball question.

Eric N (Charlotte - DNC)

Hello Eric,What's your take on the Detroit RB situation? Can anyone emerge as a viable option?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I think it's Kevin Smith this week and next, and by Week 3 we'll see Mikel Leshoure emerge and be the guy. I believe that. And then hopefully in Week 7 Jahvid Best is ready to play, but I think Leshoure can be a top-30 RB this month.

Cliff (Bos)

Cause Most of us who are still in it in the playoffs can make up our own minds by now on our teams.

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

And there's that! And good luck to all in the baseball playoffs! Hey, I'm paying attention... I've got teams.

Seth (NJ)

Does Maclin have a bounce back year? I stole him in round 10 and am using him as a flex in week 1, good move?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Round 10? Wow. That's a bit crazy, and yeah, he'll be better than last year.

Titus Young (Detroit)

Will I score a TD this Sunday?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I guarantee the real Titus Young already knows the answer to that one.

Bill (NY)

Why so high on Vincent Jackson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Well, he's a pretty good talent, and I think Josh Freeman can be a pretty good QB.

Zach (Seattle)

Fine heres a baseball question:Would you drop Uggla for Scutaro, Infante, Ciriaco, or Ackley if you need production or do you think Uggla is relevent still?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

No. I would keep Uggla over all those guys. I find it hard to believe his regular playing days are done. And those other guys aren't really productive.

Ryan (Deerfield Beach, FL)

In "one word" how would you describe Trent Richardson's upcoming season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I hate to do this, but ... "disappointing" (because he's a rookie, and not healthy)

Eric (Col)

Isn't depth a little bit of a curse? sure its great if someone gets hurt but agonizing each week who to start. Start a or b but how about c and i loooove ds matchup. Is it just me? Not to mention all the start sit questions you have to wade through.

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Depth works both ways. Sure, we don't generally like timeshares at RB. But for guys like Jamaal Charles, or Darren Sproles, we don't WANT them getting every touch. We want them healthy, rested, they'll be more productive.

Matt (Steinway)

Not fantasy but I'm curious who your AL and NL Cy picks are? Dickey going strong through 5 today.

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Right now I'd say it's Dickey over Cueto in the NL. No relievers, please. And in the AL, Verlander barely over Felix and Price.

Steve (New York City, NY)

I waited on tight end this year because I'm pretty high on Kyle Rudolph. The rest of my team is stacked. Would you feel comfortable starting him week in week out?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I should have blogged about this somewhere but didn't, but yeah, I am high on Rudolph as well and actually took him as my starting TE in a 20-team league this week. Of course, there were about 18 tight ends already off the board, but he doesn't need to know that. I'd say in a 10-team league you can do better though.

Goldberg (ATL)

Do you think Mike Williams will become fantasy relevant again with Vincent Jackson getting attention?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

See that's what most people don't get... with Vincent Jackson there it HELPS Williams. Now he can't be double covered. The pressure is off. He'll be open. I like Williams to bounce back. Entire TB offense will.

Kelly (Canada)

Go Eagles! I have to pick between Sproles and Reggie Bush for my RB3, and you were the only expert to pick Bush higher. Just wondering the thought process, as Bush was terrible against the Texans the last time he faced them.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Go Eagles! My only reasoning for Sproles getting out of the top 20 is his knee issues and the fact the Saints have plenty of running backs. I think Bush will be productive, even though the Texans have a top defense. But don't rely only on me! I realize I'm alone on this one.. .and really, people reading and watching and listening to ESPN stuff should want us to have different opinions. Would be pretty boring if we ALL said 5 QBs in the first round, wouldn't it?

Alan M (Columbus, Ohio)

Hi Eric! Do you see Megatron struggling this year because of defensive triple-teams, or can he overcome?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I see Titus Young emerging early to make sure that Calvin doesn't see triple teams. That's generally how it works. And Calvin is awesome. He'll get his.

Dave (NYC)

What kind of stat line do you see Benson putting up this year? Solid RB2 or more of a Flex?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Probably ends up a RB2 because of volume of touches, 7 or 8 scores, 1,000 yards.

Ryan (Delaware)

Should I add Locker or Wilson to back up Schaub?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Well, not that Locker is some wily veteran, but I trust him more.

Jack (NYC)

If Lynch is no-go this week, start Turbin or Benson (against tough SF run D) this week? (0.5 PPR)

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Benson. I don't see why people simply assume Turbin can step in and be a safe RB2. We know what Benson is.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

If Austin Collie stays healthy, he will out-produce Reggie Wayne..concur?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

In theory, but one of these guys could miss every game, quite literally. And I think Wayne has been underranked some. I like Luck to pass 4,000 yards. Someone has to catch the ball, and it's not only his pal the rookie tight end.

Jon (Tampa)

Does Brandon Pettigrew finish as a top 5 TE?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Seems unlikely, but anything is possible.

Dave Leonard (Charlotte)

I have Legarette Blount...should I dump him and pick the best back available?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I would keep him. His comp is a rookie. And I think they're sharing touches.

Heinz (Czechoslovakia)

does rivers improve or get worse this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I see the same numbers in yards and touchdowns, and fewer interceptions, so improves.

Ray (Cin Sity)

What was the last concert you attended?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Hmmm. The Police last year? Was awesome. Nearly saw the Eagles this weekend. I should've gone.

Mike (Kansas City)

Baseball question.....do you see Jurickson Profar starting 2013...AAA or in the Bigs? And who moves to a different position/gets traded to make room for him? TIA.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I don't see room for him at this point. They're not moving Kinsler or Andrus or Beltre anytime soon. So he waits. Olt could play first base though.

Eric (Lake Forest, CA)

I have Big Ben and Cutler... they are about the same to me. Would you cut one of them for the upside of Jake Locker, and if so, which one?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Why does Locker have more upside than the other two? In relation to what he has accomplished so far he does, but I think Roethlisberger will be very good.

Mike (NYC)

Can you explain the insane overuse of nicknames in fantasy sports? Is it that some people want to feel like insiders by knowing the secret handshake?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I can't explain a lot of things in fantasy sports... but whatever makes you happy. I mean, it's fantasy. Enjoy it or why bother?

Jason (WI)

Randy Moss is now the #2 in SF.. Any chance he could beat up on the Green Bay secondary per usual for him this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I'm really skeptical that Moss is going to have a big season. But certainly this is a matchup he can exploit.

Kent (Huntsville, TX)

Best Fantasy defense this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Everyone says San Fran, but I bet Houston is right there with them. Can't predict defensive touchdowns...

Zach (NY)

EK - you are the most risk adverse fantasy analyst on the planet.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

And I'm guessing you're not a fan. But you're here?

Big Ben (Pitt)

You're that high on me huh? I am going to throw more this year. But am I a better QB2 option than Peyton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I think Peyton is a QB1. Big Ben is like No. 11...

km (atl)

I am worried about Vick and Andre Johnson staying healthy this season. Would you trade them for an RB1 and Percy Harvin, respectively, if those were needs? My backup QB is Freeman.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Hmmm...why would you worry about their health? The thing is, don't trade them now. Get their Sept production. And it could be elite. I rank Johnson over Harvin. But would trade both for a safe RB1.

bob (Texas)

you ranked toby gerhart above kevin smith opposed to berry and cockcroft, why is that?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Well, someone has to be wrong. I can't begin to guess what they're thinking. I can speak for myself, and I don't think Peterson plays much, if at all. That's it.

Justin (Tampa)

Should I be worried that Fred Jackson is rated so low on the flex rankings? I thought he was right along with the likes of Steven Jackson, Turner, etc. Or is it matchup based?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I'd say nothing you see in the flex rankings or any ESPN article/blog should worry you. It's just our opinions. I like Fred. I just like the others more. And that's an important distinction. In some cases guys get bad rankings because we don't like them. Jackson is good, but yeah, not the easiest matchup.

Jake (San Jose)

Best and worst fantasy baseball call you've made this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Best was ranking Ryan Braun first overall in March. That worked out. Worst was thinking Eric Hosmer would be great, and not believing in Fernando Rodney.

Ray (Cin Sity)

No question. Just thanks for the advice EK.

luke (motor city)

Dez bryants stat line tonight is...?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Memorable. I see over 100 yards and a score.

Fluffer (NJ)

Peyton is a QB1 to you. What about the talk of his not being able to fully throw to his right? Why not bothersome to you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I guess I don't buy it. I trust he's healthy and ready for a big season.

Rex (Chicago)

Pete Caroll just said Lynch was limited in practice today and will likely be GTD. Thoughts now on Robert Turbin?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Nothing changed. It's Wednesday. I think he plays, but am preparing in case he does not. That's all we can do.

Danny (Concord, NH)

AL Only Keeper League. Can keep or trade a couple catchers: A.Avila (keepable through 2013) or J.Montero (keepable through 2014)? Who would you keep? Who has more trade value now? Any thoughts here would be great! Thanks for taking the baseball questions too!

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

I'd keep Avila. I feel better about him in 2013, and honestly, it's tough to look 2 years ahead. Montero is no lock anyway.

Dan (NY)

If your prediction about Dez is true, that will only be his 2nd 100 yard game ever.

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I'm well aware.

John (Los Angeles)

Statistically, someone has to be the most risk-averse fantasy analyst on the planet.

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Always a silver lining. And really, why is this a bad thing?

Jo Nathan (Baltimore)

Thoughts on Blackmon this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Rookie. Bad offense. Don't see how this can go well initially.

Joey (Toronto)

Over under on 12 games played for the following: Vick, Peterson, Charles, A Johnson

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Over on all of them, but not by much for Vick and Johnson.

Ethan (DC)

Who do you think emerges as the WR3 in Dallas?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Ogletree.

John (Miami)

Ronnie Brown and Turbin are both available on waivers. Who do I grab first?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Already going to waivers before any games are played? OK. I'd go Turbin.

Last but not least (Charlotte)

Who has the most upside between Dalton, Locker, Cassell. or Freeman?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

We've seen Freeman's upside, and it was top 10. So it's pretty good. Locker's got upside as well. But he's never done it before. The other two... not a big fan.

Ryan (VA)

How will the Madden Curse effect Megatron?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

You're kidding, right?

Fuzz (MO)

Why are you so scared of Helu?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Because his coach apparently is.

Joey (Toronto)

Sleeper RB for 2012 and Bust RB for 2012

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Leshoure and Richardson.

Jason (Vegas)

Thoughts on Tamme this year...

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Liked him more a month ago.. .looks like he's not the clear cut starting TE.

Andrew (STL)

I drafted three Patriots this year (Lloyd, Hernandez, and Ridley) would you be comfortable starting all of them in the same week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Yikes, little late now, eh? But yeah, if you don't have better options, go for it.

Jason (Vegas)

Safe to deploy Votto as usual for my playoffs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Absolutely. Looked great today in his at-bats.

Luke (Wisconsin)

FOOOOOTTTTTBAAAAAALLLLLLL IS BAAAAACCCCCKKKKK

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

And with that, our time is up for this week. I thank you for the thousands (literally) of questions today and obviously I tried to get to as many as I could... I wish you all luck in your leagues, and please get lineups in on time. Season starts tonight! Enjoy it!