Karabell Fantasy Chat

Updated: November 9, 2005, 11:20 AM ET
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Fantasy Games

On Wednesdays, ESPN fantasy games expert Eric Karabell discusses ALL fantasy sports, whether it's football, basketball, baseball or hockey. No racing questions please. Anyway, tune in every Wednesday at 10 a.m. to discuss whatever fantasy sport you want.

Eric Karabell: (10:01 AM ET ) OK, boys and girls, welcome to another fun filled fantasy chat. But today we're trying something new. There's demand out there for not just fantasy football discussion, but hoops and baseball as well. So we're mixing it up on Wednesdays. Any fantasy questions are welcome. If you want football, we give you that solely EVERY day. So, any questions?

Dwayne (Davis): Fantasy Basketball - It's Fantastic! Now who can I buy low on that can hook me with with either Assist or 3ptm's Someone off to a slow start that will come around.... Thanks!

Eric Karabell: (10:02 AM ET ) I think the poster boy for a poor start might be Jamal Crawford of the Knicks. No numbers, and little playing time. But Larry Brown will eventually figure out the kid has to play. Don't give up on Crawford yet, he was scoring 17 per game last year with assists and loads of threes.

John (DC): What's the word on W Parker and M Moore? Either of them a go for this week? Or should I drop one of them and pick up Staley?

Eric Karabell: (10:03 AM ET ) I just signed Duce Staley in one league so I could play him over Mewelde this week. It appears, as of Wednesday, that Staley is going to start for Pittsburgh and get more carries than Parker. But don't cut Parker yet. Same with Moore. He'll at best split with Michael Bennett. Duce appears a nice play this week vs. Cleveland.

lee (ct): trade dispute: i think that kg for kobe AND donyell marshall is unfair...what do you think?

Eric Karabell: (10:05 AM ET ) I think it's OK. Garnett was the first or second pick in every draft. No matter how well Kobe has done one week in, Garnett is the better overall fantasy player. He just won't score like Kobe. Marshall is a solid fantasy player. Personally, I'd rather have the Kobe/Donyell side, but the case can be made for both.

Ken (Pgh): How bout fantasy hockey, Eric? Huh??? What about it???

Eric Karabell: (10:06 AM ET ) Go ahead and ask. I play it, I have a few pretty good hockey teams.

jeremy (saginaw, mi): what is reggie brown's fantasy value as compared to robert ferguson and nate burleson for the rest of the year.

Eric Karabell: (10:08 AM ET ) Ferguson is actually coming back this week and could start, which is quite a change from what was perceived to be the seriousness of the knee injury a few weeks ago. But still, Brown might be a better play. We shouldn't overrate his touchdown catch from Sunday night, but he's got a top QB throwing to him and Greg Lewis will get more defensive attention. I'd say Brown and Ferguson are about the same for value. As for Burleson, his TD catch this week was more of a broken play. We need to see more.

jimmy (charlotte): what do you think about smush parker? worth picking up?

Eric Karabell: (10:10 AM ET ) Absolutely worth picking up. Smush is starting at guard - there's really no point guard there in Laker land - and scoring 20 points a night. He hits threes. Has open looks. And you gotta love the name Smush. I don't think we can assume Smush will stop playing well. This is the first time he's gotten the chance, and he could remain the No. 2 scorer here.

Stephen (Aiken, SC): OK, fantasy hockey Q: I've got underachievers Rafalski and Aucoin at D, and just picked up Ryan Whitney. I'll need to cut one of these soon - advice?

Eric Karabell: (10:13 AM ET ) Well I would definitely prefer Aucoin to Rafalski, and both to Whitney at this point. Aucoin is a solid defenseman who takes a lot of shots and mans the power play. He'll be pretty good. Whitney over Rafalski is OK I guess. But the Penguins plus-minus will scare people.

Mike (Vero Beach, Fl): Cedric Benson or Marion Barber, Rudi on bye this week. Any news on Robert Ferguson's return to action?

Eric Karabell: (10:14 AM ET ) As of today, it appears Julius Jones will start for Dallas, meaning Marion Barber won't play much. And Benson could get the start over Thomas Jones. If he does, he's a decent start. But Jones keeps finding ways to get in the lineup and be productive. And Ferguson is supposed to start this week.

james (noroton): eric, I'm in a small league, so in order to pick up smush, I'd have to drop tinsley/cassell/eddie jones/andre miller. would you do it and who would you drop?

Eric Karabell: (10:15 AM ET ) No, I don't think I would drop any of those players to pick up Smush. It is, after all, still only one week. Those other guys are safer veterans.

CheeseHead: Breakdown the frontcourt situation for my Bucks. Is Magloire gonna have the bounce back year, or did Bogut (and now Smith)'s hot start just ruin his season???

Eric Karabell: (10:17 AM ET ) Magloire is still the starting center for the Bucks, but people who expect him to score more than 12 points are wrong about him. He's a rebounder, should get 10 or so, and about one block per. He's not a very good offensive player. And that team has Redd and Simmons and now Ford to score. The stats for Bogut and Magloire could be very similar. Joe Smith does the same thing each season.

JoJo (Pacoima): Eric, local news in KC is reporting that Priest Holmes is retiring, possibly as early as tomorrow. Have you heard anything about this?

Eric Karabell: (10:20 AM ET ) Yes, we have heard all these rumors about Priest and while they are merely rumors, I could certainly see them come true. A wise fantasy owner would try to get Larry Johnson now, before it's too late and his value skyrockets. How good can Johnson be? We broke this down on the fantasy focus radio show yesterday, and all of us agreed he's a top 5 RB now if he gets the carries. Wouldn't shock me if Priest doesn't play again. Prepare accordingly.

Matt (NY): Samkon Gado a good pick up?

Eric Karabell: (10:23 AM ET ) Yes, he is worth picking up on the chance the Packers let him get carries this week and beyond, and the young guy can continue to run well. His yards per carry against the Steelers wasn't good, but it was his first playing time. He's a big guy, a Bettis type with speed. After what we saw with Reuben Droughns last season, fantasy owners should always pick up the hot guy just in case he is for real. Gado could be.

Rob, NJ: What is the over/under for games played for Grant Hill?

Eric Karabell: (10:24 AM ET ) I don't think anyone expected more than 70 before the season. At this point, say 50 is the most. We're all rooting for him - how can't we - but we also must remain skeptical.

Matt (NJ): I have two part time goalies on my team Lunqvist and Roloson to go along with Eddie the eagle. Should I stick with these 3 or is there another goalie that is probably available that I should target?

Eric Karabell: (10:27 AM ET ) I never do the part-time goalie thing. I don't think it works. I can't tell you who is available in your league, but keep an eye on Atlanta and Buffalo. Someone could emerge there. Could be Mike Dunham. Lehtonen will be back eventually. Do what you can to get a top netminder. You can always find scorers.

Will B. (Va Beach): will Marc Bulger return this week?

Eric Karabell: (10:27 AM ET ) Yep, he will start and he should be very good against the Seahawks.

Jerry (Provo): The guy with antonio gates has Jeremy Shockey and Randy Moss and NOBODY else. Is Marvin Harrison, Ryan Lindell and Anthony Wright enough to get him? Is it a fair trade? (his starting QB is still Jeff Garcia)

Eric Karabell: (10:28 AM ET ) The minute you include a horrible QB like Wright you ruin the offer. He's bad, and not even the starter anymore. Even if the rest of the offer is fair, which it might be since Shockey for Marvin is OK, it's the rest of it that would scare the other owner off.

Rob, NJK: Should I 'buy low' on Boozer now or will this hammy injury kill his season?

Eric Karabell: (10:30 AM ET ) Boozer is killing fantasy owners right now, and he probably won't play this week at all. But he's talented, a potential 20-10 guy, and this injury shouldn't keep him out forever. Buy low, but be careful what you give up.

John (New Haven): Eric, is E. Wilford a good free agent pick up? I also have Leftwich at QB. Thanks.

Eric Karabell: (10:31 AM ET ) Doesn't matter that your QB and potential starting WR are on the same team. There's upside if both do well, and hopefully you have some RBs in case they do nothing. Jags have a very good schedule from here on out, and Wilford has two straight good weeks and has scored. Solid free agent pickup.

Jim (Detroit): What is the deal with Rasheed Wallace? Pistons are scoring now but he is not. Time to trade him or will he bounce back?

Eric Karabell: (10:32 AM ET ) Look up his stats from last season. He's no longer a scorer for this team. He rebounds and does the little things. He'll get his average into the low teens, but this is not the Rasheed from the Portland days.

erick (Omaha): I am trading Leftwich and Bryant Johnson for Colts D. I have Philly D, which is killing me and Bulger coming back. Good Trade?

Eric Karabell: (10:34 AM ET ) I can see it. Even if it's lopsided a bit, it doesn't matter if you get what you really need. Just be careful, because the Colts have a tougher schedule from here on out and who knows about the last two weeks who they sit down.

Monica (Cincinnati): is Anthony Thomas a good pickup now that the Saints added him?

Eric Karabell: (10:34 AM ET ) Not really. He's insurance, but I don't see him getting too many carries unless Antowain Smith gets hurt.

Jason (Miami): Eric - c'mon, give us baseball guys a little love! Please rank the following long-term keepers: Chris Carpenter, King Felix, David Wright, Jhonny Peralta and Dontrelle. Thanks!

Eric Karabell: (10:36 AM ET ) Baseball is my favorite sport...if there were baseball questions in here, I'd answer them. Add 'em to the rotation! Long term, I think Wright is the best guy here. You always choose top hitters at tougher positions over starting pitchers and outfielders/first basemen. Peralta over Felix? Hard to tell. It was only one year for Jhonny. Carpenter and Dontrelle are great now, and one of them is the Cy Young winner later today, but long term, I'll take the hitters and Felix.

John (Atlanta): Is Priest done for the year? Is it unethical to trade for LJ if I have heard that Priest is done?

Eric Karabell: (10:37 AM ET ) Still no definitive word here, but something's clearly going on in Kansas City. Most fantasy owners will tell you there are no ethics in this game. I disagree. Regardless, wouldn't you feel pretty crappy if you lied to another owner and stole Larry Johnson from him? Make it fair, win the right way. You still can get Johnson cheaper this week - assuming the Priest news is bad - than next week.

Sean (Charlottesville VA): What is S. Jackson's value, Im in a league where receptions are not rewarded should I trade Fitz and Crumpler for him?

Eric Karabell: (10:38 AM ET ) I would make that deal. A top five RB like Steven Jackson is worth it. They can carry your team.

Kevin (Seoul, S. Korea): What are your thoughts on Okur? Great start, but I'm actually long on Centers (TD, Camby) would you try and trade him before Boozer gets back?

Eric Karabell: (10:39 AM ET ) Yes, I think it's pretty unlikely Mehmet Okur continues with his 20-10 ways. He'll still have value, but Kirilenko will demand more shots and Boozer will as well.

blair (fort wayne): who to start: J. Jones or R. Wayne? If J.Jones doesn't play, would M.Barber be worth starting over R.Wayne?

Eric Karabell: (10:40 AM ET ) It might sound hard to justify playing one of the Dallas RBs over Wayne, but think about it: Wayne just had his best game of the season, and still either of those RBs could match it with 20 carries, 100 yards and a score. Pay attention to who gets the start. Jones or Barber could be better plays.

Brian (NY, NY): Do you think Jonny Gomes is the real deal or a one-hit wonder? I'm thinking of keeping him in a deep auction league.

Eric Karabell: (10:41 AM ET ) Depends on his price. There's no question Gomes has power, and when Tampa makes him the everyday cleanup hitter or No. 5 guy he should start knocking in runs. Could be a 30-100 guy next season.

Brian (NY, NY): Which is the better D going forward: Colts or Panthers?

Eric Karabell: (10:43 AM ET ) That's a smart question, because really, what has happened so far isn't as important as what will. Carolina should be a very good fantasy defense the rest of the year. I'll stick with Indy for now, but Panthers could be third overall (with Pittsburgh second).

mike (chicago): Eric, should we be worried about Luke Ridnour at all? His PPG are terrible!

Eric Karabell: (10:45 AM ET ) He looks bad. But his job isn't to score, it's to pass. Sonics off to a rough start, but RIdnour should average 10 and 6, something like that. I don't like his upside, but he should be safer than this.

kevin-va: Hockey-sell s. gagne while his value is high? also who is a smart buy low candidate that has real scoring potential?

Eric Karabell: (10:46 AM ET ) No, Simon Gagne is going to keep this up. He could score 50 plus goals. The guy always had talent, and playing with Peter Forsberg makes everyone better. As for buying low, Todd Bertuzzi is going to get better. And he's a scorer.

Jose (Bronx): Eric, who is the better manning for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell: (10:47 AM ET ) Honestly, I think it's Eli, but they're close. Like they'll finish the season ranked 7th and 8th among quarterbacks, it's that close.

Greg (Frederick): Are fantasy wins/losses overrated? Isn't there a better system. Seems unfair when a guy is 9-0 or 8-1 and has played the easiest schedule, whereas a team that has the 2nd most points is 4-5. I think record is important but in fantasy you try and build the best team. Sometimes that doesn't seem to be rewarded. Know what I mean?

Eric Karabell: (10:49 AM ET ) I definitely agree with you, no question. There are sides for and against your argument though. In real life, all that matters are the wins. This silly Packers stat about them scoring more than allowing means nothing. It doesn't get them to the playoffs. Win-loss can't be overrated, because it's what defines a team, but a team can have bad luck and lose close games. Like the Chargers. Happens all the time in fantasy. I'd be up for finding a better way to decide fantasy champions. Too many times I bring a 13-0 team to the playoffs and have some Billy Volek 40-point performance knock me out. But that happens in real life, too. Teams don't choose their schedules.

Levi (IC): I miss baseball too, but the second season is always fun. Any initial thoughts on how prospective trades (Manny to Shea?) or free agent moves (Konerko etc.) might affect fantasy draft positions next year?

Eric Karabell: (10:50 AM ET ) The baseball offseason is a blast. Manny would still produce in Shea, but you have to look at what Carlos Beltran did (or didn't do) and be concerned. Also, Konerko is likely to be overrated next season. He's a home run guy, but be careful about him overall.

Tony (Austin): With Palmer on a bye week, is it safe to start Bulger? Or should I consider picking up someone like Kyle Orton or Brad Johnson...gulp!!!!

Eric Karabell: (10:50 AM ET ) I think Bulger is safe. And between Orton and Brad Johnson, it's definitely Johnson.

Brandon (Birmingham, AL): Do you think Andre Johnson is safe as a #2 WR now??

Eric Karabell: (10:51 AM ET ) No, not yet. He could be soon, but it's not a favorable matchup this week vs. Indy. And we need to see more from Andre anyway.

Todd (Kiowa): What is the deal with Tony Gonzalez's Fantasy performance this year, is he even the best TE in the League any more, or did Antonio Gates take that title?

Eric Karabell: (10:52 AM ET ) Gates clearly took the title, but Gonzalez has played well the past few weeks and we need to look ahead, not behind. Gonzalez would still be my No. 2 choice at TE.

Greg (Staten Island): I am the commish of my football league. Monday, a contending team trades Priest Holmes, Reuben Droughns and Larry Fitzgerald to a non contender for Shaun Alexander, Ricky Williams and Larry Fitzgerald. Now that Priest may be out for longer than expected, the league is complaining. Do I need to reverse this deal?

Eric Karabell: (10:54 AM ET ) First of all, let's all wait to make sure the Priest news is official. We don't know yet for sure. Second, it's dangerous to overturn trades. Nothing screws up a league like that does. By the way, how does Fitzgerald end up on both sides of the trade? Fitz for Fitz, now that IS fair. Priest for Alexander isn't really fair, not with the health question about Priest, even on Monday. But you need to be careful about overturning deals in which a case can be made. And on Monday, I think a case could have been made. Today? Probably not.

mark(baton rouge): In your response to Greg's question: in real football records matter because teams effect how much the other team scores. Here how your team does and your opponent are generally independant events. You have no effect on how they do.

Eric Karabell: (10:55 AM ET ) Excellent point. But still, unless you play in a fantasy football roto league, it's questionable how the winner gets decided. I hate when people point out in a fantasy league that such and such team has "allowed" the most points. It's just bad luck.

Matt (Boston): Is Dalembert a good pick up for next week. Do you think he will return to full fantasy status?

Eric Karabell: (10:56 AM ET ) Next week or two, and he'll be back. It is very wise to get ahead of the curve and sign a potential double double guy before he starts playing again.

Yorkis (Philly): Why do people always draft Shaq? He's a horrible fantasy player! Every year I warn everyone not to draft him and they take him and miss the playoffs. I ranked him #106 this year. How do I make people stop drafting Shaq?

Eric Karabell: (10:56 AM ET ) You're wrong. He's a good fantasy player except you have to punt a category and potentially deal with 15 missed games. He does well in what he does well...

Dave (Boston, MA): Can we please chat basketball??? I have Pierce and have been offered McGrady. Would you do it, considering all of the injuries that McGrady has been going through?

Eric Karabell: (10:57 AM ET ) This T-Mac news is not getting better. I'd keep Pierce. It's a back problem, and it might not get better.

Rob, NJ: What is your take on Kobe's lack of 3's? Can he be MJ circa 1988?

Eric Karabell: (10:58 AM ET ) I predicted a month ago that Kobe would win the scoring title and league MVP. People thought I was crazy. That might be true, but I definitely think Kobe will average 30 points per game. The MVP? Depends if the Lakers can win 50. It could happen you know...

erik (pittsburgh): tough decision.pick 2... tiki, LJ, staley, s. davis

Eric Karabell: (10:59 AM ET ) Tiki and LJ. I'm assuming Priest at best misses this week. It all could change later today.

Eric Karabell: (10:59 AM ET ) OK, thanks for all the great questions about a number of different sports. We'll continue with this format each Wednesday, so bring your thoughts on baseball, hoops and anything else. We'll mix it up. Adios...

Eric Karabell | email

ESPN.com Senior Writer