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March 13, 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, heavy on the baseball today as the season is less than 3 weeks away. Thanks for showing up and bringing the questions and let's have some fun...

Jeff (MI)

We are starting a Keeper League this year. What is your preferred keeper system? For year 1 im just going with 5 keepers and no limit on years. Just wanna keep it basic. What way do you like most? thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:02 AM)

Sounds reasonable to start with, but I have leagues in which there's a financial impact if you want to keep someone like Trout forever, which tends to result in trades. I was forced to deal Miguel Cabrera a year ago, and obviously couldn't get full worth. Some leagues have 3-year contracts. But starting from scratch basic works...

Dave (Philly)

Greetings from your hometown EK! Question - what outfielder currently outside your top 30 do you think will end the season inside the OF player rater top 15? Thanks for taking my question!

Eric Karabell
  (11:04 AM)

Well, if I thought they'd end up in my top 15 then I'd have to rank them there, no? But as for the ADP live results I'd say a base stealer would have best shot. Bourn always ends up better on the Rater than his rank, though that doesn't really tell an accurate tale. So Revere, Eaton, runners like that could do it. And Beltran could do it.

Doug (NYC)

Have an open trade offer and I'd like your opinion, Eric. Zobrist ($20) and Fowler ($1) for Altuve ($1). Thanks in advance!

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

Big fan of Zobrist, and that price works. But hard to beat Altuve for a buck.

ken(chicago) [via mobile]

keeper question based on round and overall value to team. McCutchen in round 2 or Posey round 5? Also butler round 12 or Kipnis round 13? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:06 AM)

Certainly Posey is the better value than McCutchen there, and I'd go Kipnis.

Phil (CA)

What's your opinion on M.Pineda - stash of you can, or not even worth the roster spot for 2013?

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

I doubt he's worth the stash for this season, and I have concerns about him even when he and/or the team claim health. Ten starts this year? Be happy with that.

Mike (Chi-town)

Any concern for J.Zimmermann & the dead arm phase?

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

Not really. With a young guy I don't get too concerned in mid-March. With someone like Halladay that can't hit 88 on the radar, then yeah.

Andrew (Philly)

Need to decide in a 2 keeper league....Trumbo, Posey, Hanley R, Kid Felix and Bryce Harper....who do you think would be worth keeping?

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

I would go with Harper and Hanley, but the rampant love for Posey going around is unreal, so I'm guessing everyone will tell you to keep him. Trade him. He's a catcher. They don't do this consistently and certainly to expect a .385 second half batting average again... please! But he's a safe 20-90-.300 guy.

kyle (cleveland)

what are you expecting from adam lind this year? He is batting 5th in a stacked Toronto lineup. Am I ok with him at CI? It is the weakest spot on my team

Eric Karabell
  (11:11 AM)

I'd say it probably is. Lind could probably hit 25 homers, though with a low batting average. And I'm skeptical he hits fifth all year. Probably Rasmus over him.

Matt (Boise)

What kind of season do you see Lawrie having? He didn't quite live up to last year's hype (even if it was a bit unrealistic).

Eric Karabell
  (11:12 AM)

I didn't think it was that bad, frankly. Still delivered some numbers. Health is probably the main drawback, not skills. I think he'll be terrific.

Greg (MD)

Need help choosing my dynasty keepers today. I had Lincecum and Greinke penciled in but with recent news I wanted a second opinion. Other possibilities are Lohse, Jim Johnson, Marcum and Ogando.

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

I realize Greinke owners everywhere are jumping ship, but I think it's a mistake. Probably a quarter or all pitchers right now have sore arms. We just heard about Greinke. Stick with him and based on what else you've mentioned, Lincecum is fine.

Brad (OH)

Where will Ethier bat in the Dodgers lineup this season? Any boost to his numbers with the improved surrounding players?

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

No, that's a great fallacy that lineup affects individual numbers for someone like Ethier. He is what he is, which is fine, when he can stay on the field and hit the occasional lefty.

JJ (Boston)

Would you drop Chris Tillman for Ricky Romero? The upside is tempting...

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

I'd take Romero. I'm barely even looking at his 2012 numbers. Not saying he bounces all the way back, but consistent guys like him that have one bad year, that's generally the aberration. I doubt Toronto would keep him in the rotation if they thought he'd have an ERA that awful again.

avey (oregon)

Concerned at all with M. Moore's trouble with his command?

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

In mid-March, no.

Ben (Atlanta)

Does your "draft skills, not roles" principle affect when you target SPs?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

Somewhat. I still think the weak Reds will cave and have Aroldis close rather than start the first time he tweaks his elbow or can't hit 100 on the gun, but obviously his skill are outrageous. You want Chapman.

Brian (GAinesville)

Time to push Halladay down the rankings?

Eric Karabell
  (11:17 AM)

Yes. Major concerns there. Nowhere near my top-20 starters now. I watched Tuesday as he couldn't locate, couldn't hit 88 mph, there is something wrong and he can't figure it out. Certainly the team has no clue at all.

James (NJ)

You digging V. Mart this year as a DH only?

Eric Karabell
  (11:17 AM)

He's catcher eligible, so as long as he gets 500 at-bats and knocks in runs, digging it for sure.

James (NJ)

Darvish wins the AL Cy Young

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

Yep. Been saying that for months. My No. 10 starter.

Bob (What about him?)

Moustakas or Adam Eaton?? Last round keeper, no limits on years i can keep them

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

I'd go Eaton. Will run a lot and hit for average. Moose seems like a 25-homer guy but I worry about batting average.

Alex Cartacki (Pennsylvania)

Are the sixers a contender in the eastern conference if they have a healthy Bynum ?

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Perhaps as a top-4 seed, but that's irrelevant now. Lottery team. Can't even watch anymore. He will never play for the 76ers, unfortunately.

Zack Morris (Bayside, CA)

Your top 5 Fantasy Football players for next season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:21 AM)

Peterson, Foster, Lynch, Martin, Richardson. RBs.

Matt (Boise)

How far down your rankings did Granderson drop after the injury?

Eric Karabell
  (11:21 AM)

Certainly outside my top 100. Want no part of it or Teixeira now.

Ben (Atlanta)

Football question: Keep Andrew Luck in 5th round or Colin Kaepernick in the 15th (14-team league with 3 keepers, no limits on years to keep).

Eric Karabell
  (11:23 AM)

Kaepernick for sure. I have Luck ranked a bit better, but with that difference in rounds...

Andy. Indiana [via mobile]

16 team points league and I need to keep either Craig or hosmer.

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

Big fan of Hosmer of course but I wouldn't take him over Craig.

Max (Utah)

What kind of strategy do you use for a points league?

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

All that matters is the total points, not how they're acquired, so you can punt steals, saves, whatever. I try to accumulate power hitters and those that do not strike out at the plate, and with pitchers avoid the walkers.

Joe (GA)

Are you buying Teheran's spring numbers or just a product of facing double and triple A players?

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

I would had to have seen him, who he faced, how hard the threw, etc., to buy into the stats. We know he's talented, but pitching in March is not April. Nice sleeper though for NL-only and deep mixed. Can't justify in 10-team standard yet.

Brian (Spokane)

"Avoid the Walkers"? Like as in the walking dead? I realize Halladay had a bad outing, but I don't think we need to label him a Zombie yet!

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

He walked 4 and hit a guy. He didn't know where the ball was going and it wasn't going very fast in the first place. Could he fake his way to 28 starts, ERA of 4 and win 14? Sure. But you don't draft that 20th among starting pitchers. Hate to overrate one outing, but it made an impact and the Phillies can't explain it or deal with it.

Ricky (OH)

Would you keep Wright (round 3) Beltre (4) or Desmond (26)? Seems like the value on Desmond is too good to pass up.. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

That is pretty sweet. All 3 are bargains, but yeah, Desmond is special there.

Hanley (LA)

SS is very shallow this yr. Can you justify me as a top 13 pick? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

Probably not, though he was a 20-20 guy last year and few hitters can do that. I don't overdraft middle infielders that early because the position is shallow, because it's not shallow. It's just not as deep as other spots.

Joe (GA)

What are your projections for Matt Carpenter this season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

Shouldn't hurt the batting average, but more pinch hitter/fill in than starter. Should not be playing second base. But I'll say .280 with 8 homers in 300 at-bats.

Ben (Atlanta)

Another Hosmer question: I watched the Puerto Rico pitchers throw inside to him all night and he just could not catch up to it. I want to see him break out but is this a fatal hole in his swing?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

It's possible, but the numbers show that wasn't his issue in 2012.

Rod (El Paso)

Kuroda or Harrison this year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

Definitely Kuroda. Safe numbers every year, doesn't get lit. Not the K upside, but that's ok. Harrison gives up the homers and scares me more.

Tim (Fl)

What are the projections for the Marlins and should i draft any of there players?

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

Nope. Just disregard the entire team, including the second-round slugger that should hit 40 home runs, the leadoff hitter that will steal 40 bases, the 20/20 sleeper in center field that nobody seems to believe in, the 30-save closer, etc...

Pinkman (The Lab)

Speaking of SS, if you miss out on the big guys, thoughts on A.Escobar or E.Aybar...

Eric Karabell
  (11:35 AM)

There are enough middle infielders for standard drafts, just some of the ones late do different things. There is no Hanley or Tulo in round 12. But Escobar and Aybar run. They're fine.

Eric (Kansas)

How do you think Joakim Soria will do coming off of an injury and on a new team?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

He's out half the season recovering from TJ surgery, so I don't expect him to play a role in closing games until 2014.

Phil (Ottawa)

does Franklin Gutierrez become fantasy relevent again, at least in an AL only league? better team, played well in winter ball

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

I think when healthy he can hit double-digit home runs, steal perhaps 20 bases, hit .250. I don't buy any 'better team' argument. Gutierrez hasn't been healthy, but he's looked ok in March.

Joe (GA)

Was last season a fluke for Brandon Moss? Can he hit 30HR's this year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

He'll strike out a lot and potentially hurt the batting average, but yeah, Moss should play more, even against lefties, and I'd say 25 home runs are reasonable.

Kevin (Charlotte)

Looking for a late $1 guy and noticed Raul Ibanez. Do you think he will get enough AB's to contribute? Is he worth a flier? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

Sure, he can probably hit 15 home runs, knock in 60 for the M's. Hitters at a buck are almost always worth it. It's the starting pitchers that hurt the ERA/WHIP that aren't worth the dollar.

Manny (Boston)

So staying on your April means nothing - don't buy into Kazmir's seemingly finding it?

Eric Karabell
  (11:40 AM)

Not looking at his stats, but how he's throwing the ball. And yeah, it's promising.

Philip (Nepean, Ontario)

Could you argue Swisher's value goes up hitting cleanup in Cleveland over the park advantage when playing half his games at Yankee stadium?

Eric Karabell
  (11:43 AM)

Nope, I cannot. But I can argue that Swisher is very underrated in drafts. His numbers should not change, and I don't care where he hits in Cleveland's order. He's got power. And he should be going about 5 rounds earlier... I seem to be getting him in these mocks we're doing.

Jonathan (North York, Ontario)

Infante coming off hand injury and not having a particularly good spring, would this worry you in taking him in an AL only league?

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

Don't look at the spring. I doubt he would contribute the power and speed from last year anyway, but certainly he needs to go in an AL-only. But it wouldn't be me.

Mike (TX)

Altuve for $6 or Niese for $6 ?? need my last keeper - 12 team mixed, $300 budget

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

Always the hitter. There's plenty of pitching depth every year though I really do like Niese. Each is worth this price, but Altuve really is.

Troy (NH)

Buster tweeted that Florida's Dept. of Health is investigating the Bosch clinic and PED allegations. Has your stance on Braun and others changed at all with this news? Obv. its not scary if they dont find anything, but what if they do!?

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

Nobody is being suspended.

TJ (NJ)

Prolly won't answer this but I need to make FB keeper decisions by the end of the month. Pick 3: Spiller (5), Luck (8), Cruz (11), Kaepernick (12), Gronk (13). Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

Can't argue with Cruz, Kaep and Gronk, unless you're worried you can't get proper running backs in the draft. The Spiller round is very good there. I tend to keep who I want and worry about the rounds later... I'd go Spiller, Gronk and Kaep, in that order.

James (NJ)

Matt Harvey is looking real good.

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

He looked terrific last season, and while I think his innings might be capped by September, man, he is really good. I am surprised that my colleagues don't rank him as well as I do.

Brian (NY)

Thoughts on Brandon Belt this season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

He told me he would have an awesome season, and I believe him. OK, he told me he'll hit for power and probably play more. I blogged about Belt recently... I think he'll be relevant in 10-team standards, which based on the ADP he is not at this point.

Philly (Philly)

does Guyer make TB and see any PT? any fantasy value in an AL only league

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

Nice! I bet 90 percent of people don't even know who Brandon Guyer is! I do think he will get a chance eventually, kind of like how Ruggiano eventually did. Guyer has pop and speed but is way past prospect status (like Ruggiano was). But I don't see 300 at-bats for him. Just remember the name if he gets opportunity.

Marc (California)

How early would you take your first SP in a 12-team roto 6x6 league?

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

Each league is different. I never say "round 4" or anything like that. See how the draft is going and react. In general I go heavy on hitting but if a Greinke slips too long, or I feel good about the offense early I will react.

dave (Wolcott CT)

Can keep four out of: Wil Myers, Machado, Billy Hamilton, VMart, Yadier, Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Aaron Hill, Profar, Peavy or Swisher (all for $2), Bumgarner for $17, or Beltre for $22. Can keep players for up to four years. Whom should I keep?

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

Wow. Interesting rules. I'd rule out the expensive guys initially, even though they aren't that expensive. But why pay $22 for anyone to keep? I'd say Jackson, Hill, Machado, Profar jump out to me. Yeah, not the best 4, but you can get pitching and pop and a catcher.

Josef (Detriot)

Alex Cobb in Tampa. Is he a sleeper this year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

Liked his skills last season, so let's assume more starts, some strides made, yeah. Can make the case in 12-team mixed.

Ben (Atlanta)

Jesus Montero is not a full-time catcher. But do you see him getting enough appearances behind the dish to retain catcher eligibility for the years to come?

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

For 2014, yes, of course. But after that... when Zunino is the next Wieters, I doubt it. Perhaps he does a Victor Martinez and is the backup, and still qualifies, but Montero looks like a full-time DH to me soon.

Josef (Detriot)

Last keeper: Angel Pagan, Adam Eaton or Wilin Rosario?

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

Eaton for me. Pagan isn't special and isn't getting better, and Rosario just had his best season.

Tom (Bath)

I have two keepers to declare in a 12 team 6x6: CLee, Fielder, Votto, Beltre, Cargo...whom do you like?

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

I'd keep CarGo and Prince, in that order.

Jon (Illinois)

In a H2H Mixed Keeper League--who would you target from this group of players with a 5th Rd pick = Darvish, Zobrist, Headley, Lawire, OR Panda? Thanks EK!

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

The 20/20 guy that can play both middle infield spots and outfield. But that's just me. I also think Darvish will be awesome and Headley is legit and Lawrie will be great. Would still keep Zobrist though.

Troy (NH)

Thanks EK, I trust your opinion. Do you think Cueto can maintain last years K rate?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

I do, but also have doubts he makes 30 starts again. Just a hunch.

Steve (Winchendon)

If Trumbo is eligible at 3B in your league, does he get a bump?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Not to me. Not a fan of anyone that hit .200 the final 8 weeks when pitchers figured him out.

Shawn (MN)

Hosmer or Lawrie at CI in keeper league. Both would cost $13.

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

I'd go Lawrie over Hosmer, though both made my top 100. People are way too reactive, including those that analyze for a living, based on one year's results.

Mark Knoffler (CA)

"I can play centerfield." The upside of Cain or the experience of Rasmus. Which was do you lean?

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

I almost always avoid hitters that I know can't hit .250, and Rasmus hasn't even hit .225 lately. So it's Cain. That's for standard formats...

Ward (Cali)

Is Adam Eaton worthy of an OF spot in a 12 team mixed league?

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

Yes.

Shaun (Philadelphia)

i give cano, hamilton and chapma, and i get latos, castro and trout. do it? keeper

Tim (LA)

Targeted Hosmer but was outbid. Can I rely on Rizzo as my starting first baseman? Any sleepers just in case?

Eric Karabell
  (12:01 PM)

Rizzo is better than Hosmer, except for the steals, so yeah.

Matt (Boise)

What type of strategy do you go with when you have the last pick in a snake draft. Do you "reach" for guys you know won't be around 20 picks later when it gets back to you?

Eric Karabell
  (12:02 PM)

My last word for today would be don't ever worry about "reaching" for a player, especially if you have consecutive picks and know it will be a while until you pick again. So what if others think you went 2 rounds early on Lorenzo Cain? The proof is in September if you're contending. So yeah, I reach all the time. Most people think it's a reach to go Bryce Harper at No. 20. Why would that matter to me? Reach away my friend!

Eric Karabell
  (12:03 PM)

And that is all for today's spirited chat session. Thanks to everyone for your attention and questions, we couldn't do this without you and certainly appreciate everything. So have a great day and get ready for those baseball drafts!