Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Summer Edition, Volume I

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Every Wednesday during the season NFL Network and NFL.com Senior Fantasy Analyst 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 (June 3rd) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Cam Newton just got paid: what do you make of his fantasy value? “I just did a column on this on NFL.com. I did research on quarterbacks who get big contract extensions in the off-season and sort of looking to see if there’s a trend. There really isn’t. Some of the guys had bad seasons like Ben Roethlisberger, for example. Colin Kaepernick last year. Some of the guys had good seasons like Drew Brees. Eli Manning had a pretty good season after. I don’t know if you can put a lot of value into the fact that he just got paid a lot of dead presidents but look at the numbers. In my opinion Newton is going to be one of the better draft bargains in 2015 and here’s why: before the 2014 season he had never finished worse than fourth in fantasy points among quarterbacks. His fantasy points had declined every year but he was still no worse than fourth. He had off-season ankle surgery. Then he injured his rib. His entire receiving core turned over…because we live in a world of ‘what have you done for me lately’ people are going to remember that he wasn’t very good last year he’s going to fall. I would say sixth, seventh or eighth round depending on how many teams are in your league.”

Are you down on Peyton Manning after the season-ending injury to Ryan Clady? “Listen, you have to have some skepticism with Peyton Manning this year because, and I know this way too well because I had him last year…Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison they like to run the football. That’s not saying they’re going to take the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands. He’s a hall-of-famer…he may be the greatest fantasy quarterback ever but to go out and expect him to be the same quarterback who’s thrown for over 5,500 yards and 55 touchdowns is unrealistic. I think if you get 4300-4500 yards, 35 touchdown passes…maybe 38 touchdown passes that’s where I would project him…Peyton is still a top five fantasy quarterback.”  

Do you still like Joseph Randall making some noise in the Cowboys’ backfield? “He’s a fantasy sleeper because of that offensive line, because of the yards-per-carry. It’s really good. He didn’t see a lot of work because, quite honestly, DeMarco Murray was having a career season but Darren McFadden has never been a guy that can stay healthy…Randall is a guy who has upside and youth. If he can screw his head on right there’s potential there.”

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