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December 19, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest ESPN Fantasy chat session! I am Eric. We're in Week 16 of the fantasy football season and of course, there's always lots going on in baseball. So, let's get rolling and thanks for showing up!

Billy (DE)

Been rolling with Brandon Myers for most of the year, and have managed to get to the championship despite his last 2 weeks. Do I stick with him again this week, or pick up Scheffler or Chandler?

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

I really don't think that what Myers has not done the past two weeks is important in determining his Week 16 value. I downgraded him some, but he's still ahead of those other guys in my rankings.

Ken (Pa)

Dalton or Kaerpornick this week

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Tough to go against Kaepernick at this point, no matter the matchup.

Wendy (Tampa)

Have Stafford and C Kap and don't like either matchup for them. Would you pick up Bradford or R. Wilson and start one of them instead?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

I would not. Certainly matchups play a role in deciding whom to play, but not the most critical one for me. I'd play Stafford and Kap first.

Devin (Tampa)

I need to choose 2 from Wayne, Amendola, and Steve Smith, .5 PPR, Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I ranked Amendola worst of the three, as who knows whether he will be able to finish any game anymore.

Red Sox (AL East Basement)

If MJD gets the go this week, would you start him over other questionably plays like Bradshaw/Wilson or DWill in a 1 pt ppr?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

You know, I probably would use him over all those guys, but I haven't heard that Jones-Drew is coming back.

Cheryl (Chicago)

Championship! Not bad for a girl. Flex question (.5 ppr): DMC, Decker, or Garcon. thanks for your help all year!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

I have to tell you, boy, girl, old, young, animal, mineral, doesn't really matter in fantasy sports! Congrats to you... I'd play McFadden.

Mike (Chicago )

Why so high on Kaep vs. SEA?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Kaepernick has been a top-10 QB the past 6 weeks. He just dropped 4 TD passes on Belichick's team. I trust him now.

Colin (Seattle)

Hi Eric- If LeSean McCoy goes would you start him? I am in the final so I can either go with McCoy/Brown or just stick with Steven Jackson..

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Not a big fan of Jackson's matchup, as Tampa actually stops the run. I'd go McCoy.

Chris (Dallas)

I know you've posted your rankings, but should I really start Kaep over Bradford or Freeman? Seattle at home is brutal!

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Well, the rankings say so! But you have to be comfortable with your decision, not us. I can see going Freeman there because I will just ignore what he did in Week 15.

Sharon Briandi (Rochester NY)

Hey Eric, Thanks for helping me throughout the fantasy season. I have read and watched all your videos which were of great insight.HELP! I made it to the final game with no help from Roddy White or Reggie Wayne. Should i sit one of them in favor of Cecil Shorts? Shorts has a good match up this week and i fear if Atlanta get way ahead in the game they will sit White. What do you thinks?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

All legit concerns. I think the Saturday night game will be competitive, since the Lions can really score, but then again, the Giants... I wouldn't laugh if you went Shorts over either of them. Wayne has been awfully quiet of late, too. This isn't a "go with your studs" thing but I think it is close.

Kurt (Da Burgh)

Are you convinced Roddy White is 100% healthy? Went in for an MRI last week and then was a gametime decision. Then he had 2 catches for 13 yards. Any concerns?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I think if the Falcons game was close then White would have done more. He was actually on the field for most of the plays, so I think the injury thing is a bit overrated in relation to his paltry production.

Travis (Sacramento)

Hi Eric, with McCoy announced the starter am I better off flexing Deangelo Williams over Bryce Brown? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Yeah, but I can't say I'm a big fan of DeAngelo either.

Eric (DC)

If RGIII doesn't play, where would you rank Cousins? Above Stafford?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I originally ranked Cousins at 19 and left Griffin out, but it's sure looking like Griffin will play. Regardless, no, not above Stafford.

Jeff (Great White North (Canada))

I see that Amendola is ranked much lower than Cruz and White. Can you explain why? With the match up against TB, I thought Amendola would be much higher in the rankings and I am considering using him in place of an injured White.

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Well, Amendola clearly isn't 100 percent either. That's my only issue with him.

Matt (Alabama)

I'm really struggling with a decision and respect your opinion a lot.. Please help! PPR league- should I start sproles or Moreno and also what about Avery vs Streater

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I'd go Moreno for sure over Sproles, even in PPR. Higher upside, lot more touches. And Avery/Streater is a toss up. I ranked Avery a bit better.

Ben (Minneapolis)

What led you to rank Pitta above Rudolph this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Probably their two-week trends. At tight end, I pay more attention to them than at RB or WR.

David (Montreal)

Eric, is Dwyer still a good play this week? Any worry that Mendenhall might actually get back in the mix somehow?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Minor concern this week. I think Steelers think they're making it to January and want Mendenhall really healthy then.

Steve (MN)

D. Thomas or Dez Bryant. I'm conceared about Haden covering Thomas and Dez's fingure. I am playing against Romo this week too.

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Well, I would go with Thomas. I'm slightly concerned about Dez's finger, and the Romo angle is irrelevant.

Steve (Chicago, IL)

Thoughts on Ridley this week. Is he a safe RB2? The fumbling issues have me concerned even with a great matchup.

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I think he'll be right back out there for 15 fantasy points.

DF (Chicago)

Does your David Wilson rank assume Bradshaw sits or starts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

It assumes Bradshaw starts, but they were ranked in around the same spot. Time share.

Mike (DC)

Brandon Lloyd is back!? A lot of points to be had against the Jags, play him over Moreno or CJ2K?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I ranked him better than I had since about September, but oh I can see a major letdown here. Nothing that happened in second half Monday means a lot. Ridley will play. Brady won't throw every down. 49ers D is fine.

Mike (Boston)

Been rolling with D Alexander until he hit the wall last week. I have Amendola on my bench. Time to dust him off or do you think Alexander gets back in the mix.

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

It's trendy to simply disregard Alexander after one bad week, but look at the previous month. Very good. I would still go with Alexander.

Chad (Columbus)

PPR: My gut wants me to play Decker over Roddy and Pierre this week, but I know it's not the conventionally wise move. 8 catches both of the last 2 games, but Roddy is Roddy. Any insight?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I would go with my gut, personally. Unless you want to blame someone else if it all goes awry! Honestly, our rankings and discussion are just guides. I'd go Roddy. And I'd feel good about it. But you're right, Decker has played better of late.

BB (DFW)

In a two-week championship game with A.Rodgers and Matt Ryan on my roster. But I'm worried that either or both could be sitting in Week 17. How likely do you see this possibility, and should I be looking for some WW insurance with Kaepernick or Wilson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I think there's a better shot Ryan will be sitting in Week 17 for sure. So much so that adding Kaepernick for him makes a lot of sense.

Beaser (NYC)

Reggie Bush. Against Buffalo. In a dome. Recipe for a big day?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

In theory, but man, Reggie hasn't been great this year. Disappointing contract year.

Joe (Denver)

Tristan said Rays-Reds! What's your uber-early 2013 World Series prediction?? Im goin Tigers-Nats

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I'd say if I was doing a Power Rankings, and I just might, then my top 3 would be Nationals, Reds, Angels, Jays. So Angels-Nats.

Jason (Boston)

Would you rather have Kaep or Brees next year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

I think Brees will have the better year in 2013. But if it's a keeper and you're thinking down the road, perfectly understandable to go with the kid.

Nick (Chicago)

Am I the only one confused as to why Rice is a top 5 pick every year? I don't own him, but last week seems to happen an awful lot.

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

While everyone has been ripping Ray Rice he is the No. 5 RB in season scoring. I mean, he's been pretty good, and largely consistent.

Steve (Denver, CO)

Follow up to Reggie Bush, who do you think starts for Miami next year Thomas or Miller?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I expect Reggie to be elsewhere. I think it's Thomas.

DF (Chicago)

What was up with Jake Locker on MNF? He looked like Christian Ponder out there...

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I thought he would break out with a nice season, but clearly that's not happening.

Gronk (Chucky Cheese)

If I play this week, you're starting me over the likes of Gresham for the championship....right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Yeah, Gronkowski would be in my top 10 for sure. Wouldn't need more than a few catches and 1 touchdown to be worth it. But I doubt he plays.

Superbowl bound (in 2 leagues!)

Peterson, Peterson, Peterson! Do you think he breaks Dickerson's single season rushing record? Also, in a PPR league - Maclin, James Jones, or Deangelo in the flex?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I'd like to see him break the record. Calvin as well at WR. And I'd go DeAngelo... more touches. Generally my tiebreaker over hoping for WR touchdowns. Unpredictable.

S Claus (N Pole)

Eric your on my good list....Need some help... Have AP as one of my rb's. Need one other of the group of slim pickingsB powell, j rdogers or d woodhead...

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I ranked Rodgers best of that bunch, but can't say expectations are great.

New Fantasay Dad! (real kid) (California)

Would you go Cousins over Kaep if RGIII sits?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Based on one game? No. Have him 19th if Griffin sits.

JB (IN)

Why are you higher on Chris Johnson this week than SJax? SJax has had a better month and the Titans O-line is shaky.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Matchups, for one. And CJ, as average as he's been, did break off a 94-yard touchdown only 2 days ago. Only needs one big play per game to be worth it.

Alex (Syracuse)

What's the weirdest question you've seen come in during a chat?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Probably this one.

Jon (Detroit)

I see you are the only one who ranked cruz above cobb; i need to pick one of the two for my WR2. Can you provide any insight into your deviation from the crowd?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Clearly I am right. Just a hunch that the Giants put up big numbers and Cruz will have a role. I like Cobb as well.

donnie boston [via mobile]

Simple jimmy graham or pitta thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Graham, but clearly he is hurting and the Saints aren't throwing to him as much. Still go with him. Pitta is certainly capable of a zero catch game.

Brian (Akron)

Yeah. In a supposedly "pass-happy" nfl, and the emergence of two back rotations. I'd love to see AP break the record. Just wanted to give a shout to you and everyone at ESPN thanks for all your input this year. I was able to reach the playoffs in my two leagues, hoping for a championship! Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Thank you, Brian! And good luck!

Rob (Philly)

BASEBALL! What disappointing player last year you have pegged for a comeback?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Top of my head I'd say Lawrie and Hosmer.

Brandon (RI)

BASEBALL! Can you give some insight on how you think Dickey fears in the AL East?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I don't expect Cy Young numbers, but even the 2010-11 version was good enough to own. Dickey isn't in my top 10 SPs, but I'd take him. Not worried about the competition in that division, frankly. He's on the top offensive team in the division.

Rick (Kansas)

When you ranked Charles did you consider how the overall offense is completely terrible? I've ridden him all year but contemplating Bush based on last week and the lack of any passing game.

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I did consider it. But Charles has been able to rise above numerous times. I think it's riskier trusting Reggie.

Matt (Detroit)

so pretty much if i have RGIII i play him. even over Romo and Kap?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Well, it's up to you, but I think most people would.

Matthew (Ohio)

FOOTBALL!!! Moreno or Murray in the flex? Not sure I trust Murray yet even with his great matchup, then again Moreno has burned me before. . .

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Both players have a history of tormenting us, yes. I'd go Moreno. Playing great, lot of touches. Elite offense.

Kevin (Long Island)

I'm in a league where QB's get bonus points for > 300, >350, and >400 yards (equal to a TD pass), but also have harsh turnover penalties. With that, is it Freeman, Wilson, or Bradford for me?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I'd go Freeman. Best shot for yards. Wilson might not hit 200 yards.

D-FENCE (Boston)

Championship matchuip features Seattle vs 49ers you see this as a push?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I do. Each D capable of doing very well. Shouldn't be many turnovers or points. Looking forward to this game.

Thomas (DC)

Ham or Turkey for holiday feast???!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Cheesesteaks for all!!!

Brant ((TX))

Colston really hasn't done much outside of a 2-3 tear mid-season...Lloyd has finally been coming on strong as of late. Who would you roll with?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Lloyd has been good the past two weeks, but I still think odd circumstances that I do not expect this week were in play. I'd go Colston.

JT (Atlanta)

mike williams or crabtree? both streaky and horribly inconsistent

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

I'm relying on the Bucs this week. I just can't see another stinker after the fine season offensively they have had.

Danario Alexander (Goose Egg)

You say start/sit questions can be answered by looking at your ranks, but then in this chat you say you would continue to roll with Danario Alexander over Danny Amendola, yet you have Amendola ranked 7 spots ahead of Alexander? What gives Eric?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

You are correct. I made a mistake there when I switched Amendola at the last minute. Apologies.

Matt (Boise)

Baseball - Need help picking my three keepers. I drafted and traded well last year and had an embrassment of talent. I have Trout, Kershaw, Verlander, Fielder, Heyward, and Posey to choose from. Which two do I keep along with Trout?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Wow, that is quite the crew. I would keep Kershaw and Verlander and then load up on bats in the draft.

Out of it (Minny)

Lost in the playoffs because of Stafford and Nicks last week. Do i play Big Ben over Stafford this week? Why does everyone think Stafford can do what Eli couldn't?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I don't think Atlanta's defense has played that well all season. Just had a great game.

Tom (MT)

Better keeper for next year? D Thomas, L Miller (both for Phins) or D Richardson (Rams) assuming the current starters are gone.

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

Yeah, I think Bush and Jackson will be elsewhere, but I could see the Rams signing someone. I think Thomas will be the starter and be pretty good.

Chris johnson (one last chance)

Do you dislike me? First I made you look bad by putting up epic numbers against Chicago and Miami prior to my bye week (when you were begging owners to trade me) and now are saying to stay away next year. I think I'm a solid 2nd round pick do you disagree?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

I watched Monday, the good and bad. Broke a 94-yarder, and on the other 20 carries, he had 28 yards. I think the 350-plus touch season a few years ago affected him. It affects everyone. Solid second-rounder... probably late 2nd for me. I just don't want to deal with him again. Doesn't mean he can't be great.

Shawn (Chicago)

In our league, points and yards against aren't part of the scoring for D's so the keys are sacks and turnovers. With that said, Falcons or Bengls this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I'd go Falcons there. Lions will score, but better shot for turnovers.

Matt Forte (Arizona)

Do points per reception boost me enough to surpass Aflred Morris this week. Even with him playing your eagles?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I am assuming Morris will have a very good game. And yes, I root for the Eagles. I know better!

Stumped (TB)

Saints D shutting down D. Martin a fluke?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Yes, some games are just unexplainable. Bucs will score a lot this week.

Brian (ATL)

Are you keeping Matt Ryan or RG3 next year??

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Not a big fan of keeping running QBs, but you have to go RGIII there.

Dave (NY)

Is McFadden back in the circle of trust after last week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Closing in. Made my top 20, but still not durable and when the games don't matter, he could easily just leave after a few touches. Seen it before.

Walter (MN)

When you answer me, I win. So a little help goes a long way for me. L. Moore, DX, TY Hilton, Wallace, David Wilson, MJD. Pick 2 please and thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Well, then does it matter my answer or just that I did answer? I'd go Hilton/Wallace.

Jason (Attleboro MA)

1st year keeper. Keep 3. Brees, Julio, Harvin, Hilton, McFadden, Sproles and Hernandez.

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Probably Brees, Julio, Harvin. Could be convinced based on QB depth in your draft to go McFadden, but I'm not a big fan of major health risks.

Avoiding my boss (at work)

Who is the best bet for "safe" points, if there is such a thing.... Say 8-10 points or so. Reggie Bush, McCoy, or Deangelo. I believe I have a stronger lineup than my opponent and am therefore looking for a safer flex play than a "boom or bust" type play.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Probably Bush there. I could see McCoy losing touches because the Eagles fall behind, and Williams isn't getting the short touchdowns. At least Bush should get 15-20 touches.

Matt (Boise)

Last week you said if one running back was going to leave a game after only a few carries due to injury the most likely person was McFadden. Apparently Ryan Mathews heard to offense.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Yeah, I want to say I am done with Mathews, but you know when he's a 7th rounder next season he'll get off to a great September start. Don't be fooled! Brittle players seldom become durable. It's a skill... these fellows don't have that skill.

Dave (Ohio)

Baseball - need 3 keepers, cost is round in which they were previously picked: Hamilton (2nd), McCutchen (3rd), Lawrie (9th), Matt Moore (10th), Sale (19th) and Trout (21st). Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Trout. Lawrie. McCutch for me.

joe (la)

2013 Trumbo is more like 1st half 2012 Trumbo or 2nd half 2012 Trumbo. Would a trade impact his value much?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Not a great player at all. Just a power hitter. Probably needs to be dealt the way Angels currently constructed. Maybe they deal Morales and use Trumbo where he fits best, at DH. I could see 30 home runs, but .270 at best.

Jordan (NJ)

FOOTBALL KEEPER - All else equal in a $150 budget, Charles at $36 or AJ Green at $28? I'm already keeping A. Morris at $12.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I'd keep Green at that price over Charles.

Z (ATL)

Does Floyd being on IR add to D. Alex Value??

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Not really. We see this every year with downtrodden teams like Chargers, Eagles, Lions. Should have been better. Alexander is a nice sleeper actually. It was one bad game!

Chris (Tampa)

KEEPER LEAGUE!!!!! Could you see Mendenhall and Daniel Thomas starting next season????

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I think Mendenhall will be elsewhere, so both should start. Maybe Mendenhall goes to Miami. I'd go Thomas.

billy (MD)

how do you see doug martin next year i have him as a 9th round keeper in a first year keeper league. is he a top 10 pick

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Yes, he made my initial top 10. Easily.

Luke (NC)

Hey Eric, how did you fair in your leagues this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Some good, some bad. Can't predict all injuries or one-point playoff losses. Anyone who says they won all their leagues is either lying or incredibly lucky. I'm sure it happens but ... not a great gauge of whether someone is a good fantasy player.

DL (Chicago)

Can you extend your philosophy of "brittle" players to the likes of Percy Harvin and Julio Jones?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Perhaps, but I don't think they're quite there yet. I mean, on Harvin it was the headaches and now this injury. Is that brittle? I say not officially. And Jones hasn't missed many games.

kenny (dc)

Keeper question...Harvin, green,or julio only 2.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

With those choices, would have to leave Harvin out.

Andrew (SF)

Why so defensive on the your league question? Couldn't you just describe your best and worst teams? We know there's luck involved.

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Not defensive at all. You took it wrong.

Jason (Ottawa Canada)

Why all the love for Kaepernick? He has a tough matchup IN Seattle.

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Watch him play. Every week he does well, and he can throw it.

cracklinrozi (MD)

Trying not to overreact after one week; but does James Jones become the safer play over DX in a PPR league? Pitta over Gresham?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I think they have each proved that neither is safe. I have Jones two spots better. Not exactly a big diff. And I ranked Gresham better. Again, flip a coin.

Tim (Detroit)

Keeper: Peterson (2nd), Martin (6th)

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Wow. Peterson is the first overall pick, but I have Martin at 7. Great value and he is younger... so I guess it's Martin there.

49ers vs Hawks (Seattle)

Final score in niners, hawks game?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

13-10. Seahawks.

Aaron (KY)

So, are there any under the radar college players you are looking at in Bowl games that you think might have a significant impact next year in fantasy, like Alfred Morris was this year in a way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I doubt he was on anyone's radar. Was late pick, and got a break when all the fellows ahead of him on Washington couldn't play. I wait until the real draft to see where they land.

Championship (Within Grasp)

With the league question-if someone finished Number 1 in regular season but lost in playoffs, is that a person that is a better fantasy player because of the sample size of the whole season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Neither means much, to be honest.

Scrooge (Foggy Londontown)

Is Jimmy Graham still a keeper next year with the uncertainty around the TE position?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Yeah, I'd say he's probably the No. 2 TE in keepers after Gronk. Clearly Graham has been hurt the past month and he does need surgery.

Jon (Minnesota)

Baseball: dynasty league who should I keep at second if any murphy (nym), utley (phi) or weeks (mil)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Big year coming from a healthy Utley! (I hope)

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, that is all for today's chat! I thank you for all the interest and the questions and wish you all the best of luck in Week 16 and, if it matters, Week 17 as well! Happy Holidays to all!