Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Summer Edition, Volume III

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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 (July 16th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What do you make of Detroit’s cluttered backfield heading into camp? “I’m on record, I love [Amir] Abdullah. I think he is going to end up being the leading touches contributor in that backfield. Joyce Bell is likely to open the season as the starter although he is coming off of knee and Achilles injuries. He hadn’t done anything in OTA’s and that allowed Abdullah to shine—which he did and he was very good. So he is someone I would be targeting in the middle-to-late rounds. Maybe round eight of a 10-team league because I think the long-term potential for him this season is great. I don’t think Theo Riddick is going to make a huge impact. If you like upside and you like guys who can take the ball to the house almost every time they touch it Abdullah, although a little bit undersized, is the guy I’d take in Detroit.”

Where are you on DeMarco Murray from a fantasy value this year? “I don’t see him coming close to what he did last season…Murray had over 440 touches last year. Had 392 carries to be exact. Number one, when running backs have that many carries typically the next year their numbers go down or they get hurt. It’s happened quite a bit. Also, you go from Dallas where you’re the future back to Philadelphia where you’ll be starting and mostly featured but Ryan Mathews is also in the mix. If you look back to last year at LeSean McCoy had just over 300 carries. He had in the neighborhood of 340 touches. Even that is a 100 fewer touches than Murray had last year and he still didn’t score 300 fantasy points. DeMarco Murray is going to score 100 fewer fantasy points this year and that’s if he stays healthy for a full 16 games. That’s why you are seeing a guy who was number one in fantasy points last year not being drafted until the second round. I would draft him as an RB2 and I would draft him with caution.”

What position projects to be one of the weakest in 2015? “The tight end position this season is weak. I mean, really weak after you get past the first two guys and even Jimmy Graham won’t produce in New Orleans now that he’s in Seattle. You’ve got Travis Kelsey, monster upside. You’ve got Greg Olsen who’s got consistency on his side…you’re hoping for guys like Zach Ertz to break out this season. You’re hoping for Jason Witten to come back and be the tight end he was.”

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A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.