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September 12, 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. Week 1 is done and I'm guessing most of you will want to discuss football, but we'll take baseball questions as well. Thanks for showing up and let's get going!

Mike (None of your business where I'm from)

Yo Eric, why is everyone so low on Randall Cobb after his emergence in week 1? I know Rodgers spreads the ball around, but if Cobb works out of the backfield he is gonna see a bunch of touches. What say you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Well, there's no guarantee he's used the same way this week. Cobb played well in Week 1 last year, too, then didn't do much. The Percy Harvin comparison would certainly be nice, but it's premature.

mike (tx)

good afternoon, Jordy Nelson or Antonio Brown?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Our staff and individual rankings are up, so I'll be saving everyone the time by avoiding questions like these and direct you to the rankings. I am not giving up on Nelson - or most players that didn't do great in Week 1 - so soon. http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=12ranksWeek2WR

Frank Drebin Police Squad (Philly)

Hey Eric, would you trade spiller, sidney rice and vick for drew brees?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

It's a lot. Not a big Vick fan and I don't see any chance he stays healthy much longer the way the Browns hit him Sunday... depends if you need the depth. Spiller should be really good, but it's a big QB upgrade.

mendy (pononos, pa)

what are you hearing on mendenhall. woud you trade him and dwyer for d. brown and dez bryant, who would both start for me

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I'd absolutely trade both Steelers running backs for those guys in a second. I want little part of the Pittsburgh mess. And Brown is good and Dez is potentially great.

Peter O (Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Its incredibly frustrating to go thru the process of adjusting my lineup based on the weekly rankings, only to have Insider Recommendations suggest to change it back and go against the rankings. If you were me, who would you trust?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I'd only trust yourself. Honestly, my rankings are what I would do, and even then I veer off from time to time depending on circumstance, different scoring, etc. Use all the info at your disposal to make YOUR decision. I mean, the people on the ESPN Fantasy staff obviously think differently at times, use different philosophy. You'll get different answers.

Steve (Cincinnati, OH)

Trade Alfred Morris for D-Will and Turner?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Absolutely. That's really a ridiculous offer. I can't believe you'd be able to get Turner, last year's No. 5 RB for the season, so cheap. Morris isn't that good. And please, last year Turner was good and now, all of a sudden due to age, he's done? I don't buy it. I think people giving up on him will regret it. He might not be a top-10 RB again, but Alfred Morris?

Troy (San Francisco)

Question at wide-out since none of them made the rankings, who do I start between Hill, Jeffery, and T.Young?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Titus Young made my rankings. I can't speak for others. Surprising that people would give up on Young so quickly, but whatever! He's not a raw rookie. Different matchup for the Jets this week... and Jeffery remains risky.

Evan (New Jersey)

hey eric are you really that worried about chris johnson after 1 week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Nope. Still in my top 10 running backs for the season. It's one week. I understand that people simply assume he'll be like last year, but we all spend months prepping for the season, and a guy has one bad week and his expectations shouldn't be abandoned.

Zach (PA)

Eric! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Someone in my 12-team standard dropped Justin Blackmon. Would you say he is a better bench stash than other ww darlings like Cobb, Stephen Hill, Alshon, etc. ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Nah, I'd rather have Cobb and Hill and Jeffery, actually. Better offenses.

Marty (Topsfield, MA)

Should I be worried about Welker in my PPR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Nope. He'll be fine. Too much panic too soon. One week is done. Does anyone really believe the Patriots don't intend to use Welker this season?

pk (nyc)

Thoughts on McCluster with multipositional eligibility in some leagues?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

More valuable as a RB in fantasy than WR, but ultimately I don't think he'll play enough to warrant flex status in 10- or 12-team leagues. Chiefs have 2 better RBs and better WRs. But getting eligibility never hurts.

Dan (NY)

Why do you have Garcon ranked so low? Are you more concerned about his foot injury than Garcon seems to be?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

The main issue was I didn't see too many wide receivers that deserved to take a fall. I mean, this was the highest scoring opening week in the NFL since 1970. A lot of players thrived. I like the matchup, but then again, Stafford was hardly great against the Rams last week.

John (NYC)

The ravens offense put up a lot of points, but Torrey Smith only put up 6 fantasy points, concern?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Nope. Just missed a big play or two. There's a fine line between a guy that gets 60 receiving yards and a guy that gets 60 receiving yards and a touchdown. Very slight. Impossible to predict. Smith is gonna be great this year.

Grant (NY)

Is it worth holding Ryan Williams on my bench after how bad he looked last week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

And he's gonna look bad this week, too, when the Patriots destroy the Cardinals by 30. But I'd still keep Williams and Beanie owned and wouldn't worry one bit about Fitzgerald.

Jack (Philadelphia)

Eric Decker didnt seem as reliable as was advertized coming into the season. What do you think his long term value is?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Pretty similar to DeMaryius Thomas, which is to say each could be a top 20 WR. I would presume nothing from one game, just like the perceived notion that Peyton looked more at Decker in meaningless preseason games meant something. It didn't.

Ryan (PA)

I own MJD in one league and AP in another. After benching both week 1 it is time to let them loose right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

When their teams let them loose, you let them loose. Yes, they're both fine to use now.

Jon (Orlando, FL)

Howdy EK,Seeing there's a bit of mystery surrounding the F-Jax injury length. Would you cash in CJ Spiller today for Jordy Nelson in a PPR league? Better yet, what's your season long outlook for Spiller?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I'd be surprised if Jackson gets his starting job back, because Spiller is pretty good. Huge difference in age, too. That said, Spiller for Nelson is certainly fair. But I think Spiller is a top-20 RB the rest of the way.

Keith (RI)

Would you start Alfred Morris over DeSean Jackson at the Flex spot in Week 2?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

No, I would not. In about a month when Morris is barely playing we'll all laugh at what he did in Week 1.

Jeff (Ohio)

You're one who is HIGH on Mikel LeShoure. Would you trade him for Kevin Ogletree if you needed WR help?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Team need always trumps whether a trade makes sense. I like them both, actually.

avey (eugene)

[Baseball] Eric, if (really, WHEN) your Phillies make the wild card, will you admit that you were wrong on the podcast - wrong in writing them off all those months ago? You've always blamed others for jumping off too quickly; I would hope you see the hypocrisy here.

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I absolutely did not see this coming, so yeah. I don't know why people think I won't admit I'm wrong. We do it plenty. It was ridiculous to think the Brewers or Phillies would be in this spot even two weeks ago. I love it.

Suzy (AZ)

What do you think Rashad Jennings value is for the season? droppable for someone like Hill?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

His value is gone. Literally. Jones-Drew is ready to have his 2011 season again.

Matt (DC)

After reviewing your rankings why is there not more love for Cutler? The Packer's D is way overrated and were average last year as well. Also look at Marshall's statistics against the Packers. He has huge games. Lovie has also been successful against the Packers. Seems to me Cutler should be in for a big game despite his occasional INT.

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I ranked Cutler eighth at QB. That isn't enough? The other staff members had him 14, 14 and 13. I think you should ask them. I saw what you noted here...the Packers are gonna be in shootouts every week. Saints, too.

Chris (TX)

Random question who is your favorite NFL team?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Eagles.

Nick (Philly)

EK, what's one of your fantasy team names? Also, do you think we saw from KC what they will look like this year or do you think it was more of a product of playing a high powered offense. A bit worried that Hillis' role isnt what we thought it might be.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Fine Young Karabells.I think the Chiefs want to run the ball and Hillis will be fine, but it was one game that got away from them. The Falcons are good. I need a few more games to believe Hillis' role is not what we believed.

Brave Eagle (GA)

Romo or Cam Newton?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I think pretty much everyone would choose Newton, for this week and beyond.

Ricky (Baltimore)

How would Greg Jennings' likely absence on Thursday night affect James Jones? Top 30? Top 20?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I almost didn't rank Jennings, because I think it's about 50-50 he plays. It's a Thursday game, not Sunday. But no, I wouldn't move Jones or Cobb that much. Probably late-30s.

Adam (Colordo)

Eagles suck just like you sir!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

What a wonderful thing to say!

Kevin (Charlotte)

Fine Young Karabells was pretty good back in the day, but I think it is time to change it. They only had one song and it was over 10 years ago.

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Fair enough. And it was more than 10 years...

Mike (Minnesota)

I saw that you don't think Fred Jackson will get his starting job back???? It seems to me that he is an every down work horse back and spiller is more of a 3rd down change of pace guy. That being said do you like Spiller more than Reggie bush in a .5 pt ppr league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Hey, you guys don't have to agree with me. You ask for my opinion, I answer, and you tell me why I am wrong. That's how it goes. But I think Spiller is more than a third down back and Jackson, while awesome himself, can't stay healthy. And yes, I like Spiller over Reggie.

Matt (RI)

EK, whats your otulook on Larry Fitz going forward? Im starting to think drafting him at the end of the 1st rd (PPR) was a mistake...

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Well, that's irrelevant today. You've got him, and while he might not end up the No. 2 WR, he's top 10. You'll get good numbers here. It was one game.

Corey (D.C.)

You wouldnt put Cobb in your top 30 with Jennings out? Does your league count points, or is it based only on name recognition from previous years?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Nice. Well, this is my first year playing fantasy, so what can I tell ya. Cobb had a big Week 1 last year. Didn't quite work out after that. I like him and think he's gonna be good, but let's not go overboard. It's SO easy to say everyone is a top 30 WR... but when you sit down to do it there are 50 guys there. Happens all the time...

Raider Red (Texas)

Mr. Karabell, first of all wreck em tech. Secondly would you trade AP for Megatron if you had Demarco and Mcfadden with Ridley as a backup. You can only play 2 rbs (nonppr)

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I sure would. Fair deal.

Stephen (Deployed)

Ryan Mathews seems to think is plague of injuries is over. What is your thought and how do you think he will do the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

IF he plays this week or if he doesn't, it seems kinda silly to expect he won't miss any more games the rest of the way. Should be productive when he plays, but ...

matt (DE)

Just because you don't have player X in the top 30, doesn't mean player X couldn't be in the top 30... Make your own rankings people and just use the EK and the gang as potential tiebreakers if needed!

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Nah, I think complaining about it is much better!

James (Good Old Philly)

EK, I sense bitterness today from some of your responses. You must love your job, but do you ever get real tired of having to respond "don't over and/or under estimate week 1" like 100 times? Especially over something so (admittedly) trivial as Fantasy Sports?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Not at all. I laugh at the criticism and the haters, frankly. I love my job. I suspect others would love it, too. I believe what I believe, and if that means pointing out 100 times to not overrate Week 1, so be it.

Chris (Rotterdam Jct, NY)

Who do you value higher....Richardson or C Johnson. This week and Full year!

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Johnson. It was one week. I do think Richardson will be fine, though. But he's hurt.

CAM (Chicago)

Would you part with either Roddy White or Hakeem Nicks for Stafford? If so, which would you rather give up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I personally would not. There are 15 quarterbacks I would call reasonable starters for a 10-team league. There's WR depth, too, but those are borderline top-10 guys. Stafford is awesome... but I'd choose Roddy or Nicks.

Chris (Lexington, KY)

Right now, Vick is my only QB. Cutler is a FA. Pick him up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Oh yeah, absolutely. Let's put it this way, to make the point: I am an Eagles fan. Since I was born. And I don't trust Vick to stay healthy for more than 12 or 13 games. His performance Sunday was one thing, and it was bad, but he hit the ground way too much. The Ravens are licking their chops. Get a good backup now.

Arian Foster (2010)

You know, sometimes Week 1 matters.

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

In fairness and to prove I read and answer all questions even when they rip me, you are correct. I really don't think Alfred Morris is Arian Foster. If he is, I will do what I did in 2010 and admit I was wrong. If anyone thinks we'll always be right they don't get it...

Brent (Philly)

How worried should I be about Sproles? He salvaged last week with a late TD, but not a single carry! Whats going on?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Not worried about him. Dealing with a sore knee and they have other running backs, plus weren't they trailing early? You don't want Sproles running the ball 20 times anyway. 10 is fine.

Jamaal (Los Angeles, CA)

Do I start Cutler over Vick this week???

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I would.

Andy (Huntington, NY)

Just curious - why doesn't ESPN post Flex rankings?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I produce flex rankings each Thursday.

mike (nebraska)

News on the street is Jonathan Stewart practiced today and will play Sun. PPR league I had F. Jackson go down. So now im trying to figure out my RB2. Would you start Stewart, Hillis, or P. Thomas as RB2 this week PPR league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I actually did not rank Stewart, because at the time I did the rankings I thought it was not likely he will play. Now I think he will, for anyone looking for my reasoning. I'd use Hillis over Stewart though this week. Carolina couldn't run the ball in Week 1. It wasn't because they were missing Stewart. It's the line.

Bob (NC)

whats the craziest league tradition you have heard of or that one of your leagues does. ?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Some pals of mine spend 9 hours in Atlantic City drafting each year. Wow, that is a long time! And they produce an annual book with league history, stories they write, awards, photos ... it is terrific.

Mike (Missouri)

ESPN Insider recommendations (uh oh, am I giving away secrets?) have DeAngelo Williams starting over Michael Turner this week. Agree?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Nope. But I guarantee one of us will be correct.

Larry (CA)

Would you recommend stashing Jahvid Best in deeper leagues?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I'd rather have Mikel Leshoure, but yeah, in a deep league.

Corey (NJ)

Love how you say you'd start Cutler over Vick this week. News flash, EK: WEEK 1 ISN'T EVERYTHING!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Vick vs. Ravens. Cutler vs. Packers. It's obvious, I think.

Pete (Ohio)

Eric, would YOU trade Spiller & Garcon for Bradshae

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Nope. I think Spiller keeps the job.

Mike (Columbus)

After seeing the law form post 18 for 91 and a TD in a game against a great D when Cinci got behind early, you really don't think he's a top 15 option against a Browns D sans Joe Haden?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Apparently not. But I do think Green-Ellis is better than his rank, but so are about 25 others.

FYC ("She drives me cray-zay...Ooh ooh")

I understand that Vick is almost certain to miss time at some point in the season, but is his upside worth the risk? Is the fact that he'll almost single-handedly help me win a week or two better than the more "boring" consistency a guy like Schaub brings?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Yes, the upside is there, as we saw in 2010, for top-3 QB results. But this o-line can't keep him healthy and Vick refuses to alter his style. Just make sure your backup is good. I'd own him... and I am rooting for the best, but let's be real. He's already wearing a special jacket for his ribs...

Alfred Morris (Top of the depth chart)

Over/under 6.5 starts for me this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Under. Remember last year in D.C.? Or every Shanahan year? Rueben Droughns? Morris isn't even that good... people seem the cumulative yards from Sunday, but 3.4 yards per carry stinks.

Michael (Motor City)

can i trust a guy like stevan ridley to give me solid output all season? or was week one the most production we will see out of him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Big fan. Vaulted him well into my top 20 RBs for the rest of the season. I believe.

Todd (Philly)

As a Zeppelin fan I think you should consider a team name such as "Karabellambra" or "Nobody's Fault but Mine"...

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

My fave band... love it! Does anyone remember laughter?

Frisman Jackson (2005)

Most of the time week 1 means very little

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

It sure does.

Blake (Seattle)

I know it is an overreaction probably, but sit Welker in favor of Boldin?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Yes. If you liked Welker enough to make him a 2nd or 3rd rounder, does it really seem plausible to jump ship so soon? Would you do this after one week with a stock? Or a car?

chris (chino)

Brandon LeFell going to be a trusted Flex Player?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I don't know about trusted, but I think I ranked LaFell well for this week, and he was on my sleeper list.

Torrey Smith (BA)

Do I get more involved in the offense like I was in the preseason or am I still a long ball receiver?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Remember the year Mike Wallace became more than just a deep WR threat? That's Smith.

Chase (TX)

Baseball question! Pick up Belt or Mayberry Jr. as a contingency plan for Morse?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Morse might be out for a week, so yeah, get help. I'd go Belt first.

Tomas (Cherry Hill)

Which player benefits most with Kenny Britt's reurn?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Everyone does. Locker does. Johnson does. And so does Nate Washington. Everyone but the rookie Kendall Wright.

Darren McFadden (Oakland)

Am I a top 4 rb if I stay healthy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

I ranked him third third week. Sky is the limit, but ....

Stephen (Long Island)

Ok... do I trust Demaryius Thomas the rest of year or go with Antonio Brown or Torrey Smith?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

All three are top-25 WRs for the entire season. I'd go Thomas first.

Aaron (Grand Rapids, MI)

Are you only answering questions from Insiders? That's okay if you are, but I need to know if I should continue submitting questions or not.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

There are thousands of questions here... I have no idea who sends them.

Xander (Philly)

Why such a low ranking for Malcolm Floyd? Looks to be RIvers' #1 target.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Gates is the top target. But I do like Floyd.

Jason (Palo Alto)

Eric, would you drop DWill now and pick-up LeShoure (.5 PPR)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Probably not today, but in a week I could see that making more sense. All this Leshoure talk is more about him getting opportunity, which he should. He still has to do something with it.

Duane (Dallas)

Gut feeling? Does Jeremy Maclin play this week

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I ranked him, so I have to answer yes... but be prepared for him to sit. Eagles signed Gilyard for depth yesterday for a reason.

Prue (Boston)

thoughts on Kolb - I need a backup and deciding if I should trade for one or put a bid in on Kolb. Deep league with no other starters on waivers.

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

That is a guy I was wrong about last year. He can't play. And I think Skelton can. I would not try to get Kolb unless you have no QB this week.

James (A Giant Peach)

Are you hopping on the Kyle Rudolph train?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

I sure am. But not top 10 TE.

Dan (Pittsburgh)

So is Fred Jackson out 3 weeks or 8 weeks? And you really think he loses his job after how he performed last year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

People, I really have no agenda to lie...but those are my opinions. The Bills management didn't tell me what would actually happen. They don't know, anyway.

Aaron (Grand Rapids, MI)

Is Kendall Wright a guy you see emerging this season as a WR3?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

If Kenny Britt misses games, I can. But WR3 is still a bit much for a rookie. There are SO many useful WRs.

Jake (NJ)

wanted to clear up my earlier question. i asked if it's worth it to start kenny britt this week. that is with the knowledge that i also have percy harvin, torrey smith and antonio brown.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I would not use Britt over any of those guys in Week 2.

ZEKE (San Jose)

Even if you are right on FJax, do I trade away Dwyer to get FJax? I have Spiller Gore and Turner

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Oh yeah, I would make that deal.

Mike (VA)

If Ryan Mathews plays, should he be in my lineup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

If you own Foster, Rice and McCoy, no. But in general, yes.

Ryan (Deerfield Beach, FL)

Why are you so much higher on Nicks this week than everyone else?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I'm never going to speak for or rip my colleagues. I like Nicks and Cruz this week.

Randy (NJ)

HaVe YoU gIvEn Up On T-RiChArDsOn??

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

No, bUt I aM GiVinG uP oN This cHat.

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, thanks to all for the excellent questions and the interest. We really couldn't do this without you, and I love my job. So thanks. That's all for today, but I'm sure there are more chats scheduled for Thurs and Fri so get in there and ask! Have a great day...