Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 9, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session! I am Eric. Big day today, with the Baseball Hall of Fame making a statement, and I've started ranking positions for fantasy football 2013. So, lots of questions to get to, thanks for being here, let's start!

Dan (Florida)

Will Victor Martinez retain Cather eligibility for 2013 or is he stuck with DH only? I know being classified as a catcher going into last season was a stretch, but does the injury prolong that eligibility?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Martinez is a catcher, if in eligibility only (ha ha), but yes, play him there. In his last season he played 26 games there, making him eligible even though he played more at DH. And I expect a strong season for him...

Chris (Ohio)

Any chance Oscar Taveras makes the Cardinals out of spring training?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

I suppose it is possible, but he's only 20, and has never played at Triple-A. There's no hurry and currently in St. Louis there is no room!

Chris (Cincinnati)

Simply planning the future of my dynasty team, will Machado still have shortstop eligibility next season or will he be solely a third baseman until he earns it?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Machado did not play a big league game at SS last season, so he is a 3B only. And unless J.J. Hardy is traded or gets hurt, Machado doesn't figure to gain SS eligibility. But still, his offensive potential will work at 3B. I suspect he'll be a shortstop soon enough.

Patrick (Atl)

I was able to some insight on this topic from Tristan earlier this week but wanted to get your thoughts on the best mix of scoring categories and more importantly how those differ between rotisserie vs H2H? I'm about to switch my H2H keeper league from Wins to QS and K's to K/9.Also, pick 2: Kershaw, Prince, Price

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Totally agree. Not a fan of wins at all, as it's a misleading statistic. Quality starts isn't perfect, but it's better. And K/9 is stronger, too. And in order, keep Prince, Kershaw, Price.

Dan (Illinois)

Hi Eric, appreciate your insight. 16 team league keep 2: Bautista 3rd rd, Molina 10th, Kipnis, 12th, Encarnacion 15th, VMart 20th. Thanks for answering.

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Hmmm. Probably Edwin and V-Mart. Can't beat those rounds for value. Bautista might be a third-rounder this year. Just redraft him.

Brad (Cincy)

Curious how your GPC team changes this week now with Seattle's kicker on IR?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Yes, I already altered it. Couldn't afford another kicker, until we see Ryan Longwell's salary, but went Mason Crosby and had to drop from Atlanta defense to Baltimore. I want to keep the high-scoring players; kickers and defenses are unpredictable.

Todd (Florida)

Will Matt Moore take a big step forward this season? Projections?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

I'm someone that rarely jumps off the bandwagon of a future star just because of one underwhelming season. I'll still be drafting Moore, Hosmer, Lawrie. Book it. Moore: 3.25 ERA, 200 Ks.

Ted W (Cooperstown)

Yu Darvish: major step forward, more of the same or slight regression?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Keeps getting better, probably. His stuff is terrific, should be durable, on a good team. Future Cy Young winner perhaps.

Bill (Florida)

Beltre or Hanley as my final keeper?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

If you think Hanley can hit above .280, then it's him. Plays shortstop, runs, is younger. Beltre should be very good again in 2013, though. And many think Hanley's best days are done. But a 20-20 shortstop, even at .260...still good.

Matt (Cambridge)

Hi EK, now that Bourjos is slated to play every day, how do you see his offense numbers in that Angels line-up? Good 4th of 5th OF in deep leagues? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

I do think he is worth drafting, but be ready to move on. Has upside for 20 homers and 30 steals, but for 2013 I will say 12 and 25. Plus, I bet the Angels will play Vernon Wells too much and move Trout to center field a third of the time, at least.

Kevin (BC Canada )

Help me out eh! Keep 4 Bumgarner Trout Hamilton Stanton Hanley Dickey

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I'd keep the hitters. But that's me. You can draft pitchers late. So many of the top ones change anyway. Look at what Dickey did! Get your offense settled and then your pitchers.

tony (chattanooga)

How do you feel about Brett Anderson this season does he live upto the hype from two years ago. Also Phil Hughes does finally put it all together and quit giving up the long ball?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

The only concern about Anderson is health. Can he make 30 starts? I have doubts, sadly. But the upside is immense. Misses my top 40 starting pitchers but the kind of guy I will take a shot on in many drafts. Not a huge fan of Hughes; gives up homers, seems like this is as good as it gets, but I suppose he could improve at 26.

Dan (Illinois)

Please discuss Ogando as a starting pitcher. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I like it. Was terrific in 2011 until he appeared to run out of gas or get hurt. First half numbers were terrific. One negative is at first look of trouble the Rangers will probably move him to bullpen, though. Good late-round risk.

Nick (MD)

Will R.A Dickey be a top 15 SP? K/9 over/under 7.5?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I don't have him in my top 15, but I think his numbers will be worth owning, like the 2010-11 version. And under that K rate, but still 160 or so. Can't strike out pitchers now...

Rob (Philly)

Which Green Bay WR would you opt for this weekend?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Well, I assume all four will play, and would go with Randall Cobb. Seems the most consistent. Jones gets more touchdowns, Jennings might get more looks, but Cobb puts up numbers.

Dave (Indy)

What do you expect out of Jarrod Parker this year? Garrett Cole? Long-term? I've got the option to keep one in the final round of a 12 team keeper league.

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Love Parker. In situations like these I choose the pitcher that has already done it. Parker did it. He was terrific in the second half of 2012. And the ballpark, his rising K rate, all look good. Cole might be great. But when it comes to young pitchers that haven't proven themselves in the big leagues yet, I take the ones that have. Parker isn't exactly old and he was a top prospect before.

Patrick (Atl)

What do you look for in SP in the later rounds? Certain guys come out of no where to dominate, what are those indicators to look for to find those guys?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Well, myriad factors. I look at K rates, trends first half to second, changes in ballpark or role, and I don't forget about what we thought of these players a year ago, either. If you had the skill, and you're healthy, you always have it.

Steve (TX)

Who would you rather have for their career in a Keeper League -- Randall Cobb or Dez Bryant??

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Bryant. I feel like he can be a top-5 WR for years with his ability. Cobb isn't built quite the same. Love his QB obviously, and offensive system, but Bryant has more upside and, to some degree, risk.

Chad [via mobile]

What's your take on Zunino? Where would you take him in a dynasty league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Great potential, but a few things worry me. One, catchers get hurt. A lot. They make for bad keepers, to be blunt. If Wieters or Santana never had to catch, watch out. But they do. Two, it's Seattle. Tough ballpark. Zunino in a dynasty league... prob not in my top 10 yet.

Todd (Cleveland)

If you play Adrian Gonzalez as one of your outfielders does his value take a hit at all?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Not really. I expect he'll have a strong season so where you play him is irrelevant. Frankly, it's tougher to fill outfield (five spots) than first base (generally 2, with corner infield) so that extra versatility is nice to have.

Brandon (Philly)

You seem high on Kipnis, due to position? So streaky which scares me. Also, thoughts on Machado this season? In 2-3 yrs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I like Kipnis because he plays a weak fantasy position, and he runs. A lot. If Kipnis was a 10-homer, 10-steal guy, that would change things. I think 15 homers and 25 steals, a young Utley if he learns consistency, is possible long-term. He does walk. With Machado, I don't think he's A-Rod, but it wouldn't shock me if he vaults to the top of the third base rankings by 2014. Power guy, shouldn't run, but 25 homers by 2014? Why not?

Drew (Work)

Am I the only person who thinks Stanton is overrated this year? I know lineup protection is a myth but that lineup has to have a negative impact on his numbers and he can't seem to stay healthy.

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I don't agree. Doesn't mean Stanton will get 600 at-bats, but I think this is one of the top power hitters in the game. I don't care about his lineup; as long as the guy hitting after him isn't the pitcher, Stanton will hit. And we want him to be patient and take walks. It's good.

Ted (Kansas)

I have Shields, wainwright, Darvish, and Moore in a keeper. Which one should I let go? Can only keep 3.

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

All pitchers, eh? I'd drop Shields. Got a bad feeling - sorry, Royals fans - about him moving ahead.

Bill (Brainerd)

Thoughts on Salvador Perez this year? Just traded for him in a keeper league

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Borderline top-10 catcher. I don't think he's hitting 20 home runs this season, but .280 with 15, that's reasonable. And he's young and signed long-term, which is promising.

Jon (Canada)

Would you start Demaryius or Andre if you were also starting Decker this week?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I don't like Houston's chances of putting up points this weekend. I'd use both of Denver's WRs.

Jay Bruce (Cinci)

I get lots of love as a top tier OF, had my finest career year to date, and STILL finished 23rd on positional player rater for OF behind Choo and near Aoki/Prado. Am I over-rated? What gives?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Yeah, a bit overrated, honestly. But it's ok if he doesn't put up top-10 numbers at outfield. We pay for the consistency, and Bruce is 25 and should keep hitting 30 homers, perhaps reach 100 RBIs. Will he win a batting title? I don't see it, but .260 with power...when you know it's coming? Nothing wrong with that.

Billy (Tennessee)

Crazy to consider keeping Chase Headley over Hanley for my final keeper spot? Can he repeat last year or just a fluke?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Not crazy, but I can't say I would do it. Hanley is still a really good fantasy option, when he wants to be. Headley is still a guy with one elite season. He should regress some. Not a total fluke, but 20 homers, .300, 12 steals, sure.

Ben Revere (Corner of Pats )

You love me right EK? I'm going to run like a wild man... What do you expect out of me this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

You know it! Gotta get my Ben Revere jersey for my daughter! I see continued improvement, a safe batting average and 40-plus steals. And nobody stole 50 bases last year, so when you know 40 are coming, it's worth a lot. Revere is in my top 100.

Mike (Chicago)

Stanton or Justin Upton in a dynasty H2H league.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I think it's Stanton, but I appear to like Upton more than most. I took him in the second round of a recent mock and frankly got mocked. His 2012 wasn't that bad and he could easily get back to top 10 status. I don't see why so many people are giving up on his superstar path. That said, Stanton is safer today..

Frank (Ready for the NHL)

Was offered Votto for Stanton in a keeper league...would you make the deal?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Yeah, I would.

Fred (Boston, MA)

What are your expectations for Joey Bats this upcoming season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

At least 30-100 and 150 games. No real concerns about him, actually. Can easily make the case for late-second round.

Rob (Philly)

Do you have an opinion on where Justin Upton will land? It's getting ridiculous at this point, I can't imagine 'Zona keeps him.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I think Arizona is nuts to trade him, but it's their team. I thought they were nuts to trade Bauer for Gregorious, but let's see it play out. Upton is elite. Arizona should just stop discussing it.

Rob (Philly)

Expecting more of the same out of Pedro Alvarez this year, or can he take another step forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I think this is what he is, and it's not so bad. I mean, 30 homers, tough to complain about that. But he's always gonna strike out and probably will never hit lefty pitching well enough. But 30 homers is legit.

Evan (Springfield)

I need two keepers in a 0.5 PPR league: J. Charles (1st round), C. Newton (1st), A.J.Green (2nd), D. Martin (5th), R. Cobb (14th)? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Martin is an obvious one first. Wow. Might be a top-5 pick on draft day, so that price is awesome. Then Cobb. Look, Green is a second-rounder in most leagues. You can just re-draft him. Same with Charles and I would never take a QB in round 1.

Bob Babooey (NYC)

Do you think Chase Headley is worth keeping, at the cost of my 6th round draft pick, in a head-to-head points league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Probably not. I've got him on the border of my top 50, so there's not much value there. I find it hard to believe he'll have that season again.

Dazed and Confused (Vegas?)

Keeper Help Please! Need 2: Craig, Mauer, C. Santana, Kipnis, Zobrist, Bruce, Moore, Wainwright, Machado (Already keeping 3 other OFs & Hanley)

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Prob Kipnis and Zobrist. Love those middle infielders that hit and run! Most people would say Bruce, and there's nothing wrong with him, but outfield is deeper.

Earl (New York)

Who has the most value long term in a keeper league...B.Lawrie, M.Machado, W.Myers? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Still Machado. Potentially a middle infielder and has power.

Chris Sale (North Side)

Even my left arm scares me...you nervous? Me or Matt Moore as a keeper?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Definitely Moore. Sorry, Sale. Scares me, too.

Jared (Cleveland)

Lincecum bounce back or is he TOAST!

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

He's not toast. With that K rate, I'll take my chances on his ERA getting back into the 3s. No more Cy Youngs, but he's not done.

Chris (Miami)

Madison Bumgarner or Yu Darvish for this year and beyond? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Most people would say Bumgarner, and I agree. But man, Darvish is so good.

Mike (San Diego)

Hold on. Machado has more value that Lawrie? Has your outlook on him changed enough that you don't see him as a future Ryan Braun anymore?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I think Machado's ultimate upside is higher. I do think Lawrie will have a tremendous career and probably make fantasy owners very pleased this season. Talking long-term.

Justin (St Louis)

What do you expect for Medlin after last years amazing streak? Who has better season, Medlin or Wainwright?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I'll still go with Wainwright. But Medlen was awesome for a few months. Just tough to believe it's sustainable.

Vince (Fresno)

Hey EK, my man Ian Kinsler had somewhat of a down year for him. Do you think he bounces back? And where I own him in a keeper league should I be looking to move him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

He went from 30-30 to 20-20, so it wasn't as good, but he's still a terrific fantasy option. I'd lean more toward 20-20 for this season, though. Move him if you get enough back.

Rob (Philly)

Felix Hernandez will OR will not be the #1 pitcher in fantasy this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Certainly feasible. But until further notice I'm sticking with Verlander.

Nick (Odessa)

This year's breakout player in the MLB will be____?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Probably Machado. Perhaps Bauer.

Rob (Philly)

Out of your early mocks, get the sense that rookies are going higher this year thanks to Trout/Harper effect?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Not really. I think actually what Hosmer/Lawrie did is scaring more people off from young hype than getting people to think Profar is the next Trout.

Shawn (milwaukee, wi)

Dynasty league, which side you like better. Bruce and Andrus for Reyes and R Zimmerman?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Neither. But I would take the Bruce/Andrus side. My issue is I don't think Andrus has major fantasy upside. No power. And it's not coming. Didn't run much. But so much injury risk on Reyes and Zimm.

Nick (Odessa)

Would you be aggressive in trying to acquire Chapman in a keeper league with his potential move to the rotation?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I can't say I'm too aggressive in getting any pitchers, to be honest. Just too much risk, and the Reds could easily move Aroldis back to relief at any point. Still value there, but scares me.

Craig (Tempe)

Lots of Machado buzzz...whats you projection for him this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

I'd say a conservative 18-70 with .270 batting average. It's only the beginning.

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Well, that is about all the time we've got for today's chat. I want to thank everyone for showing up and asking questions. Enjoy January... take some time to relax from fantasy and get ready for baseball, while always keeping football on your mind. Have a great day!