Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus Week 16, Volume I

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Each week NFL Network and NFL.com Fantasy Football Editor Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat to share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.

Here are some hi-lights from our most recent conversation (December 18th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer as we ramp up to “championship week” in many leagues around the world. He joined Jeff Munn who filled in for the vacationing Brad.

Is it the general rule of thumb to approach championship week the same way you have leading up to it in terms of playing your stars, even if they’ve struggled? “What got you there? What got you there…don’t get cute. That’s what we like to say on “NFL Fantasy Live”…again, nine times out of 10 you’re going to stick with your fantasy studs. You don’t want to fool around with that…the coaches around the National Football League are not benching their superstars then you shouldn’t either.”

Tom Brady is my starter but Tannehill, Cutler and Palmer are all available on waivers. Is one a better start this weekend than TB? “Wow. I’m going to go start Jay Cutler. This is a really good matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Ravens defense is tough. The Ravens defense is extremely tough, especially on their home field. This is a week that if I had an option who was legitimate, I would use that option to start over Tom Brady. Jay Cutler, if you look over his numbers, they’ve been fantastic outside of that one game where he was forced to leave because of the ankle. The Eagles just gave up [around] 30 points to Matt Cassel of all people. Start Jay Cutler. Good matchup.”

Who are the best Week 16 waiver wire pickups? “Cutler. Kirk Cousins. Jordan Todman. Doug Baldwin. Dennis Pitta. These are some very popular names and names that you can pickup and start this week and typically in Week 16 you’re not picking up players you’re going to start but…don’t be afraid to pick up a guy like a Cutler or a Cousins or Dennis Pitta if you need a tight end and start ’em.”

I have Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers…even if the Packers activate Rodgers is Rivers still the better/smarter start against Oakland? “What a conundrum this is going to be for fantasy owners if in fact Aaron Rodgers does come back. Philip Rivers is playing the Raiders, though…this is a defense that gave up seven touchdown passes to Nick Foles. They gave up five touchdowns to Jamal Charles. Last year against Doug Martin they gave up over 50 fantasy points. I’m going with Philip Rivers on this one.”

Who’s the better play this week in my title game: Jason Witten or Vernon Davis? “Boy, two very good tight ends. I’m going to go with Vernon Davis on this one. He’s got a better match-up on Monday night playing against the Atlanta Falcons. Davis is the call but Witten is a good start, too.”

To hear the rest of the interview click here.