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December 5, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:01 AM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session! Glad to be here as we prepare for Week 14 in fantasy football, but also if you'd like to discuss all the movement in baseball, we can do that. So, thanks for showing up and here we go!

Under .500 (in the playoffs)

If big Ben plays, would Wallace get a boost and become a great play, or should I stick with someone more consistent like Hilton? Would it help the choice that I have Luck as my Qb? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:04 AM)

Well, the rankings will be released any minute, but I did rank Roethlisberger but I didn't give Wallace much of a boost. He wasn't having a great year when Big Ben was healthy. Personally, and I could be alone on this, I'm going with Hilton. Has 100 receiving yards in 3 of 5 games, playing well, his QB is healthy and thriving. Don't go with underachieving big names.

Eric (Pitt)

If Starks is out, what is Green's value? Same as before?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I didn't think Starks is all that good, and I don't think Green is either. Is it possible Green would get 75 yards and a score? Well, I suppose, but he's not a good option and not in my top 30 RBs. Neither was Starks before I knew of his surprise knee injury.

Chris (ABQ)

Should I wait to drop Reece until I see the split on Thursday?

Eric Karabell
  (11:06 AM)

I don't think Darren McFadden is a great option on Thursday night, but Reece will still see enough touches, mainly in the passing game, to be worth a flex to some. Frankly, I see the Broncos blowing the Raiders out and neither guy doing much.

Bill (Chicago)

Hey Eric..HUGE swing in your ROS rankings for Decker and D Alexander. Decker sure has disappointed me lately! Now I have to pick one of them (soon!), in a PPR....thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:07 AM)

Yeah, I would go with Alexander of the Chargers. Getting 90 yards per week and the occasional score, and Decker has been quiet. Is Decker hurt? Is Peyton just not interested in him? It's possible Decker does something against an awful Raiders D, but I'm going with Alexander.

Scott (Chicago)

Conventional wisdom always leans towards RBs at Flex, but which would you choose between Leshoure (at GB) and Mike Williams (home vs Philly)?

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

They will be awfully close in my flex rankings, to be released Thursday. I'll still go Leshoure likely, but the Eagles D is so bad, I can't argue with Tampa's No. 2 WR.

Joel (Indianapolis )

In 5 years which SS would you rather have on your team and your fantasty team Manny Machado or Jurickson Profar?

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

Nice one, Joel. I'll say Machado, because I think there is a bit more power upside and he'll run enough, but man, Profar should be good, too. We just haven't seen him play yet.

Walter (Wisco)

My team is 1-6 last 7 weeks, snuck into playoffs. My WR's have been awful. D. Alexander, Blackmon, Roddy White, Mike Wallace, Denarius Moore. Start Roddy White and who? Is Ryan Matthews flex worthy in this scenario?

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

I'd go Alexander there, and yeah, Mathews is probably flex worthy, but I wouldn't expect much. What a disappointment he has been. Like Josh Johnson in baseball; I assumed he'd be healthy and good or just hurt and out. No in between. Mathews has been in between.

Sameer A. (Washington DC)

Could you give us an early look at your top 5-10 players for Fantasy Football 2013?

Eric Karabell
  (11:11 AM)

Will be mostly running backs, probably Peterson, Foster, Rice, Lynch, Martin, Richardson, McCoy and then Calvin Johnson, something like that. No quarterbacks in my top 10. Weren't any this year. So much depth.

DF (Chicago)

What sort of draft value do you think Dez Bryant has next year? Considering him as a 3rd round keeper in a 14tm league.

Eric Karabell
  (11:12 AM)

I can see that. Bryant is playing like a top-10 WR these days, and will probably be ranked that way for 2013.

Kay (brooklyn)

Stick with your stud Defenses in the playoffs or move to weaker D's with better matchups? I have the Broncos. Thanks Eric!

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

Certainly the Broncos have a nice matchup this week, but in general I stick with a top defense assuming the matchup is ok. I wouldn't cut the Bears if they were facing Aaron Rodgers - as they will be soon - but I don't mess with one-week wonder defenses in December.

shane (green bay)

should I drop Mendahall?

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

As always it depends on what you can use the roster spot on, but I'll be writing today that Jonathan Dwyer is worth starting this week and perhaps we see Mendenhall in Week 15, but I think only in helping Dwyer.

benjy (bk)

with all the corners out, is the seahawks defense droppable?

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

They are not out yet. They have appealed. Stick with the Seahawks.

Michael (Florida)

Pierre Garcon or Crabtree for flex?

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

I have Garcon among my top 20 wide receivers. He's healthy enough and certainly productive enough. I like Crabtree, but not as much as Garcon.

Chris (San Antonio)

What are your thoughts on Percy Harvin the rest of the season. Is he droppable?

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

I think the case can be made in a shallow format, but I wouldn't do it. I doubt Harvin plays this week, but in Week 15, with playoff hopes slipping away, it is possible.

Tom (Boston)

I have a bye and a looking towards week 15. Would it be crazy to pickup Russell Wilson (who is against Buffalo) and play him over Rodgers (who is against Chicago)?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

I wrote precisely that in one of my blog entries last week. No, it is not crazy. Rodgers has exceeded 15 fantasy points once in the past 5 games. Wilson has done it in ALL 5. Do you want to win or be loyal? That said, Rodgers should get to 20 points this week.

Bill (LA)

I dropped Steve Smith last week...bad decision or terrible decision?

Eric Karabell
  (11:17 AM)

Not a great decision, but I also doubt he comes up with a 20-point fantasy game anytime soon. I did rank him top 20 this week though.


Eric - you going with Myers or Gresham at TE in a PPR league? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

I can't understand why Myers remains available in 80 percent of leagues. He's tied for 5th among all tight ends for the season, and unlike say an Eric Decker he's playing well now. I'd go Myers over Gates, over Vernon Davis, over Gresham.

Geoff (DC)

Cobb or VJAx this week? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

Have you seen what the Philly defense has done - or hasn't done - the past month? Jackson is top 10. Easily. Cobb is not.

Kevin (Memphis)

Thoughts on Chase Utley for 2013.

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Certainly a risk of him missing time, but certainly was productive in 2012. I'm hoping for 140 games but easily top 10 second base numbers, like 15 home runs, 10 steals, .280.

Barry (New York)

I know I can check rankings, but since they will be ranked close (and different people will have them in a different order), I was hoping you could give some reasoning to support starting Stafford or Freeman. I think it's a tough (and probably not uncommon) choice for people.

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

I ranked Freeman higher because I do not care about name value, and the Eagles have permitted 2 of the past 3 QBs to have perfect ratings against them. Freeman is gonna go nuts. I doubt Stafford will, but he made my top 10 as well.

Alex (Palm Harbor)

EK, with the possibility of Big Ben not playing looming, would you start Carson Palmer instead (thursday night game)?

Eric Karabell
  (11:23 AM)

I would use Palmer. Regardless of what happens with Ben.

Scott (K-town)

You have McCoy in your top 10 for 2013? I don't even think he starts next year! At least for the Eagles.....

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Um, I think he will be starting. Brown will be working with him.

Karl (Michigan)

I miss Percy Harvin

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Certainly Christian Ponder does. We all do.

Ent (Chicago)

I know both are long-shots for being relevant, but would you rather hang on to David Wilson or Ronnie Hillman?

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

Hmmm... I think Hillman has a better shot for relevance sooner, because Moreno could do just about anything. Wilson has a nice future, but I really like Bradshaw.

Manny (San Diego)

Ek, why is Spiller not in your early top 10 for 2013? He's only going to get more touches and start to enter his prime.

Eric Karabell
  (11:27 AM)

He could be. I didn't name 10 guys there. But I have durability questions, and why would he automatically get more touches? It's clear the Bills want him to share them, even if it's not Fred Jackson.

Billy (DE)

What are your thoughts on Randall Cobb for the rest of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

My top Packers WR this week and probably Week 15 in Chicago, but that's a tough matchup. Cobb is borderline top 20, but Jennings could pass him. Remains to be seen. I see Nelson missing a few games.

Bryce Brown (Philly)

Hey Eric - ever heard of Wally Pipp?

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

I sure have. But I think McCoy isn't going anywhere. Come on!

Drew (Bristol)

How many keeper leagues did you pick Tebow up in?

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

Nice! Only one. I do not think, as I noted in a video Tuesday, he will play this season. The Jets don't want him. Why they dealt for him, who knows, but he's not playing. In 2013 he starts for ... another team.

Greg (PA)

The rankings may not shed enough light on what you see happening in the Jacksonville backfield this Sunday?

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

I see Montell Owens getting 16 carries and rushing for a quiet 52 yards. They have nobody else. They will pass a lot. You don't really want Owens active.

Cole (San Diego )

Ridley has been consistently productive, but that schedule gets brutal - stick with him, believing some guys transcend matchups - or roll wih a guy like Leshoure.

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

I ranked Leshoure and Ridley in the same place this week, so either one. What's interesting is that Houston is playing well defensively, but would it really surprise anyone if Tom Brady went nuts on them like Rodgers did? I'd say Ridley borderline RB2.

Brian (PA)

Bryce Brown is the Lou Gehrig of football?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

He is not. Reminds me more of the year Jerome Harrison carried owners to fantasy titles... but hey, enjoy it.

Todd (Cleveland)

If I can move pujols in a keeper to get mccutchen should I do it?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

Yeah, I would look for that. Pujols is fine. Will probably be in my late-second round. But McCutchen will go earlier and can still improve.

Ben (Iowa City)

What are you going to have for lunch?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

Probably some fast food. Oh well.

Kevin (NYC)

BASEBALL! EK, what are your thoughts on Victorino to the BoSox?

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

Lot of money for a platoon outfielder, but whatever. Glad my fave team didn't do it. Red Sox unloaded lots of money on the Dodgers, and this is how they're using it. Good luck when he slugs less than .400 against RHP!

Steve (NJ)

Wendy's never disappoints.

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

Read my mind.

Elvis (In the Building)

Thoughts on Michael Turner ROS? Would you drop him for Shonn Greene?

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

I would not drop Turner for Greene. I don't have high expectations for either, but Turner scores the occasional TD and though Jacquizz Rodgers seem to think the baton has been passed, it has not.

CJ (Michigan)

Ugh, has there been a bigger fantasy bust than Gates this season?! Would you pick up Rudolph, Tamme or Olsen to start over him?

Eric Karabell
  (11:35 AM)

I could probably name 10 bigger busts than Gates, honestly. I'd start Rudolph and Olsen over him this week, and probably next.

Balboa (Philly)

Should I be worried about Lynch and AP's brutal playoff schedule?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

Peterson ran for 100 yards on the Bears two weeks ago. I'm not worried. And Lynch is a beast. Play these guys no matter what.

Dexter (Miami)

Instead of picking up Bryce Brown for myself, I suggested someone else in my league pick him up so that he could make playoffs instead of my hated rival. The strategy worked perfectly, but now I am regretting it considering how well Brown has played. Please tell me Mccoy will be back soon.

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

I think there's a 50-50 shot McCoy's season is done. Or he plays more than Brown in Week 15. Either way Brown is good, but the fumbles are a problem. If it happens again this week, the touches will go down quite a bit.

Brian (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Eric, how often do you get recognized out in public? If I run into you at Wendy's, is it ok to ask you a fantasy football question? :)

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

1. Never. 2. Always.

steve (nj)

assuming you would start kapperneck over big ben, this week

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

I sure would. That doesn't mean Roethlisberger won't have a big game, but playing the percentages, I could see him throwing only 20 times, too.

Alan (Michigan)

EK, where do you think Josh Hamilton will end up?

Eric Karabell
  (11:40 AM)

Back in Texas. I doubt another team gives him more than 5 years... actually, forget that. Teams are probably lining up to foolishly do so.

Keith (Chicago)

Is Luck matchup proof, or would you start Russell Wilson in week 15?

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

I think both have become matchup proof, but Luck is still better.

theonly1Avenger (MO)

Wanna say thanks for the tweet replies, much appreciated! Also, Would you drop Harvin for a healthy G Jennings? What are your thoughts starting Cobb and Jennings as only WR's in a given week?

Eric Karabell
  (11:42 AM)

No problem! Yeah, if this week could be your final game of the season, Jennings is gonna play, and Harvin probably is not. No point in keeping Harvin for Week 15 if your team will be eliminated. And it's not ideal to start both GB WRs, but they should both do well this week.

Brian (PA)

I helped draft and manage my little brothers team for his first time playing fantasy and don't wanna blow a call in the playoffs...which 2 wrs will help him win round 1 Fitz, Floyd, Mike Thomas or Golden Tate?

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

Wow, not much there. I'd go Fitz and Tate. But I don't see a ton of upside.

Oliver (PA)

Crabtree or Blackmon is Shorts stays out? BTW do you think Shorts will stay out?

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

I think Shorts plays this week, and have him ranked over Crabtree and Blackmon.

Justin (Queens)

EK; I'm assuming anyone with Vernon Davis on their team has not made the playoffs, thus the lack of questions concerning him. I am 1 owner that despite his HORRENDOUSNESS still made the dance. Should I start him this week? My alternatives are MLewis, Pitta, Cook or Moeaki.

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

I never believe that one player can torpedo a team, so I bet plenty of Davis owners made it. He was good for more than a month and there is enough TE depth - average depth - to replace him. I'd probably go with Davis over those options this week.

Eric (Chicago) [via mobile]

You're going to advise him to start Fitz against Seattle? Bad call EK, you cost him a "W".

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

Well, that's why I'm here. Look at the other options!

sean (San Diego)

I seem to never pick the right players, who is the safest and who has the highest ceiling out these players, V Jax, R White, G Jennings, M Crabtree, H Knicks

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

Jackson and White are clear starts this week.

Alex (Philly)

Am I the only guy that doesn't want Spiller to touch the ball 20 times between the tackles? Back when he was a monster, Gailey was finding ways to get him the ball in space. Draws, Screens, lining him up out wide, etc. He's not doing it anymore.

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

I think Spiller would get hurt if he had too many touches, and agree he's best used in space. I understand all the whining about Spiller, but at least he's playing and productive.

Red (Milwaukee)

Assuming that Gronk makes it back in time for the fantasy playoffs (a big assumption, I know), any concerns about plugging him in right away? Right now, my only other option is Martellus Bennet, so it's not great.

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

With Gronk, no, no worries. I'd use him right away. Hoping he plays Week 16.

Caleb (Lawrence, KS)

Should a player that missed the playoffs still be taking players off the wire? Seems like at least bad etiquette to me, and there are jelly beans on the line for the playoff teams and no punishment for those finishing at the bottom either.

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

Either write it into the rules before the season or it's perfectly legal, in my opinion. There is no such thing as "etiquette."

Deven (Denver)

Flex Spot--- Dwyer the safer play over Shorts?

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)


Robert (FL)

EK, what are your thoughts about Ryan. It seems the falcons are going very conservative with him.

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

I don't see that at all. Not a top-5 guy, because we've seen his downside, but he'll throw this week.

Joe (Cleveland)

Can we all agree that all the rankers jumped back on the Hakeem Nicks bandwagon prematurely? Even in last week's "breakout" performance, he looked slow and not explosive to me. He doesn't look like the same guy at all.

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

I disagree. I think he looks fine, but it was a tougher game on Monday than expected.

DL (Chicago)

Any chance Joique Bell sees consistent enough work with Broyles out to make him a low-end flex candidate ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

Always a chance, but I see Tony Scheffler and Mike Thomas picking up those targets, not a running back. Bell is Leshoure's backup, and a good one.

roland (texas)

Pleases answer Romo Dalton or Luck?

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)


Ed (NY)

How long does the Ben Jarvis Green Ellis train run?

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

I don't see it stopping.


Your thoughts on starting guys on Thurs nights? With the exception of the Bucs vs Min, the studs have not produced. And the guys with good matchups don't seem to do well.

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

I have noticed that for Thursdays, but I see Peyton Manning having a nice night. And Moreno and Demaryius. No Raiders will go off.

Horton (Whoville)

Palmer or Russell Wilson this week. My QB choices are awful.

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

Wilson is not awful...

Riaz (OH)

So don't start any Raiders including Brandon Myers because of Thursday? You just said you would start him over Gates, Rudolph and Davis?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Yes, except Myers. Apologies. And Palmer is fine.

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

Well, that is all for this chat session. Thank you for the questions and kind words and best of luck in Week 14 and beyond!