Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Week 9, Volume I

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Every week 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 (November 1st) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What do you make out of the backfield situation in Philly right now? “[Darren] Sproles is the guy to own. Ryan Mathews had eight snaps last week. Now he scored a touchdown but unless they’re in that goal line area Mathews is not going to do much for ‘ya. Is he worth owning? Yes. Is he worth starting? No. But right now, as it stands, Darren Sproles is the better Eagles’ running back to own and potentially start.”

How about the Mark Ingram-Tim Hightower mess in New Orleans? “Write Sean Payton a letter. Honestly, I have no idea. There are situations where I just don’t know. Last week, Ingram fumbles and doesn’t see the field the rest of the game. Hightower fumbled, too but had 100+ yards rushing which was great. Now they’re talking about a backfield committee. Mark Ingram, because he’s got a good matchup this week against the ’Niners this week, I would think he’s an RB2. Tim Hightower may be a flex starter but I gotta be honest with you Brad, that one is going to be really tough to decipher…I would be very skeptical of any Saints’ running back this week.”

Staying on the running back theme…Derrick Henry potentially seeing more touches with the Titans? “I would find it hard unless DeMarco Murray is seriously injured and I don’t think that’s the case to see a situation where they would split carries. Basically, this was a blowout last week. Murray did get a little banged up…we all know Henry is a great running back and if he was in a better situation he’d probably be an RB2 without question. But Murray’s been too good for me to think if he’s not healthy enough to be out there, he is going to see the majority of the work. With that being said, Henry still needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues but I’m not telling you that you need to start him in all fantasy leagues.”

Maybe no team has lost more skill talent to injury than San Diego—who is going to get the targets?  “This is a wide receiver by committee situation. One week it’s Tyrell Williams, the next week it’s Travis Benjamin, the next week’s it’s Dontrell Inman so it’s hard to predict. I like Williams out of the trio and now Antonio Gates has sort of closed the gap on Hunter Henry in terms of snaps played because when he first came back, Henry was still playing a lot more snaps. Now it’s pretty tight and the targets are going to Gate’s. So if you have Gates, I’d play him this week. I think it’s a good week to play him.”

The Cardinals are banged up and now Jared Veldeer is gone for the year. How much does that loss impact Carson Palmer, David Johnson and those playmakers? “Football is the biggest team sport out there. It doesn’t help to lose starting offensive lineman. It never does. With that being said, it’s not going to impact David Johnson’s fantasy value—at least not in my opinion. Last week, remember, they were playing from behind and Carolina’s defense is pretty good…I didn’t like Carson Palmer last week. I was wrong from a fantasy perspective but much like Blake Bortles, he didn’t have a great game. The good thing is Arizona is on a bye this week and hopefully they’ll get things together before their Week 10 matchup against San Francisco which is a pretty good matchup.”